Friday, October 06, 2006

New Yarn From The UPS Man, and A Knitting Miracle From Maui.

Mambocat had a lousy afternoon involving a contractor who found himself in jail for a bench warrant, and let's just say that at one point during this otherwise fine October day, Mambocat found Linda Blair's "Satan" voice coming out of her mouth, directed at the abovementioned contractor.

So when Mambocat got home, she got a cup of coffee and went out on the porch to stew for awhile and watch the sun go down when ... lo and behold, the delightful UPS man appears with a bag of yarn from the Discontinued Yarns Sale. Not that Mambocat wasn't expecting the yarn -- she had, after all, ordered it -- but the timing of its arrival was perfect and, on a bad day, yarn just makes you feel ... better.

I have heard male friends wonder out loud why so many women harbor a little bitty secret crush on the UPS driver who delivers at their home or office. It's really quite simple, guys -- here's a cheerful, energetic, efficient, polite and often nice-looking dude, who shows up on time and brings you stuff you want. Next question?

Here is Guinness inspecting my purchases. Guinness is the Vice-President of Inventory here at the Asylum. His job is to inspect all incoming fiber-related purchases. He approves of what the UPS man brought, although he is partially obscuring a ball of tweedy Sockotta yarn.

Mambocat needs to play with her yarn and chill down so she can write a long, coherent post over the weekend. Meantime, don't forget the Halloween Costume Challenge -- click over on the Previous Posts for the rules. Over the weekend I hope post photos of the (hopefully) enticing prizes.

So Mambocat will take advantage of Auntie Lisa Louie's kind offer of a guest blog today. Lisa had sent me this true story awhile back in case I was having a bad hair day, blog-wise, and needed a lovely substitute blog post from Maui, Hawaii.

Today, I do, and to thank her for sharing this lovely story from her knitting life in Maui, here is a photo of the New Orleans Surf Shop on Magazine Street near my Mom's home -- I love their sign; note how the waves and surfboard combine to make a clever fleur-de-lis:

Thanks, Auntie Lisa!

Lisa's post is called --

The Knitting Miracle

A minor miracle, involving knitting, occurred recently. While I find knitting in itself something of a miracle, and I may be biased in my observation, in this case I think it truly qualifies. For the record, I am not the only adult to concur on this matter. What’s the miracle? The miracle is that knitting got a group of junior high age students to actually pay attention, focus and admit to the world that grownups might not be totally, terminally, hopelessly uncool and may not be completely worthless as a life form and have a function besides giving them orders and providing food and shelter.

How did the miracle happen, you ask? Well, I work for a non-profit learning center and part of my job involves students. Another certified adult and I took a group of 4 students to Oahu to a reception and a meeting. This involved both a plane ride and an overnight stay in a hotel. Great trip, very important and productive, but um, challenging. We had to corral 4 junior high age students, which is an, um, interesting age group to work with. The kids we took were part of a class that has been known to be um, high maintenance. Very high maintenance. The kind of kids that eat substitute teachers for lunch and spit them out. I was one of the subs for a class with them earlier. Let’s just say the experience was ugly.

The group of kids who went on the trip was actually very well behaved, just very busy, not exceptionally attentive to adults, and very playful. It was like trying to herd cats. They have their own agenda and are easily distracted. Wrestling, pushing, shoving and rowdiness will also be involved when they are in a group.

So off we went on our big trip. The first glimpse of this miracle occurred when I was working on what evolved into being a scarf/belt that is knit in the shape of fish.

First kid: “What are you doing?”
Me: “I’m knitting.”
First kid: “What is it going to be?”
Me: “A scarf.”
First kid:” It looks like fish. What is it?”Me: “You’re right, it’s fish. Good observation.”
First kid: “Hey! She’s knitting FISH! Look at it!”
Second kid” Yeah, it’s fish! That’s cool.”

Later we were all sitting in a meeting talking and I was still working on the fish scarf. Me, being me, knitting away on the scarf, listening to the conversation, answering questions, obviously involved in what is going on around me, and not looking at my knitting. The kids were watching me not watching my knitting and were blown away that I could actively participate in the conversation, knit, and not watch my knitting. When the meeting was over the miracle happened.

First kid: “So, how can you do that (knit) and not look?”
Me: “Practice. It’s just one of those things you do after a while.”
First kid:” And you can just go do that without looking?”
Me: “Yup.”
Second Kid: ”So could you like, maybe, make something like the top you’ve got on?”
Me: “I did make the top I’ve got on. Designed it too.”
At this point, both kids’ eyes almost literally popped out of their head, looking like characters in a cartoon. They were stunned.

First kid:” Hey! She MADE her top! Can you believe it? She actually MADE the whole thing! You gotta come see this!”

They were interested. Impressed even. Paying attention to a certified grown up. Respectful. No eye rolling. No pushing. No giggling. No poking each other. Just interested, and for once the certified grown up was actually doing something that just might be worthy of their time and attention. Even better, a certified grown up was doing something cool in the eyes of a gaggle of junior high age students.

Don’t tell me it wasn’t a miracle.

--Lisa Louie


At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Barbara-Kay said...

Hey, Dez - how come you failed to teach Lisa Louie how to herd cats? VBG! Great story, thanks for sharing it.

I hope today is a better day.

At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got the same reaction from my own kids when they saw me type on a computer keyboard for the first time. "Mom! I didn't know you could do THAT!" Been there, done that, have the T-shirt to prove it. It is a miracle to see a young adult react to a certified adult doing something they think is "cool".


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