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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

CH 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook…

Crochet 101 (January 2010 session) was a rip roaring success! Boys, girls, hooks everywhere, the yarn was flying and they’re all in possession of the world’s longest, well, longest crocheted things!

I was worried that the boys wouldn't ‘get it’ as quickly, there’s a real disparity in dexterity between the boys and the girls, but they were all brilliant and there was no one slowing down the train so we chugged happily along. There have been a couple of wonderful side stories with the Loopers! classes that I’ve been told over the years that I’ve been doing it and I just have to share some of them;

There was a student who had some emotional problems who is blossoming and (I was told) actually made eye contact with an authority figure, something they’d not done before, and it was during a conversation about the student’s crochet project. WOW.

One of the math teachers at the elementary school that homes Loopers! said there’d been a marked improvement in the math scores of the students who took the knitting class and that teacher gave total credit to the knitting and cited a number of studies to that end. WOW.

A mom emailed me to say the art of knitting/crochet helped her kiddie with stress release and helped ease some medical issues they were dealing with. She went on to tell me the ‘relaxation’ aspect was helping calm the child. WOW.

I wanted some kids to get some ‘old school’ exposure to an “old lady” art and these are some most wonderful side effects. I don’t necessarily want to take Loopers! in that direction, I’m not a medical or mathematical professional and I’d hate to make any claims to that end. But, I love that these side effects happen and love hearing (and sharing) the stories and the fact that perhaps, just perhaps, I AM making a difference. BIG WOW.

I had the kids chaining in lesson 1 and they returned the following week with the longest chains I’d ever seen… there were prizes for longest, most improved, most impressive and just plain coolness – yeah, I reward the cool!

We moved quickly onto rectangles and squares and they made mini pillow covers and baby patchworks without having to experience the actual granny square**. I’m so crazy proud of these kids, they’re amazing and love what they’re doing which makes me grin like the Cheshire with puffy pride and excitement. I love doing this.

**OK, confession time: No offense to the granny square or to those who love and have perfected them. I have nightmares of making the gigantic granny square afghan back in the day, of the bright yellow and orange combo with the nasty scratchy yarn and the daunting pile of finished squares screaming to be seamed. I shudder at the memory of making square after square – for weeks. The pile seemed never growing until one day I realized I’d succeeded in making the final “square” (I have to use the term loosely)

I’m haunted by the memory of the seaming seaming seaming for days days days to only to realize I’d wasted my youth on an enormous project that I’d never ever ever use, cover myself or anything else with.

It was ugly, itchy, rough, fake, plastic yarn. The squares were different sizes, gages, shapes. Some were tightly crocheted, some loose and loopy. I did seam the great thing, I finished it but I didn’t weave in the ends. I couldn’t face it, I knew it’s time was done.

I gathered up the great monstrosity and wrestled it into a black garbage bag and placed it heartlessly at the curb. I did not shed a tear or even look back, it was my singular hateful dispassionate act and I vowed never to make another granny “square” – and I haven’t – and I won’t. I’ll admit, I’m a far superior fibre artist now, sure, I could swing the square, it’d even BE square but I can’t do it, I won’t do it and should Loopers! ever find the need to instruct the children (or adults) on how to make the perfect granny square, I’ll simply have to hire someone to do it.

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