Sunday, June 10, 2007

How I Spent My Saturday

Knitting in public on the Metro, and

With about 120,000 friends from all around the country.

Some of you know that I'm active with the Girl Scouts, and this year marks the 95th birthday of the largest women's volunteer organization in the world. In the past I've been a troop leader for all levels except Daisies (the kindergarteners), and now I work in positions helping the adult volunteers. One favorite service is as a "First Aider". I was a Red Cross First Aider for many years, and now I fill the role as a nurse. In addition to serving at events such as this, I go on campouts when first aid presence is needed.

Be Prepared:

A Gentle Pitch
If you're in the Nation's Capital area, and have an itching to work with the Girl Scout Organization, or if you're an ol' Girl Scout anywhere in the country who would like to register as an Alumna, go ahead and contact the council. There are opportunities to work with girls, or if that's not your thing, to do support activities, paperwork assistance, teach outdoor skills, first aid, helping area groups with money management, be the "extra adult"-- no matter what your strengths and interests, there's a place for you. And there's not a better way to be a part of helping girls become responsible adults.

Of course, we have a lot of fun, while teaching girls independence. Check out these two from Connecticut:

There's Even Room for Knitting
One of the most fun times I had was when I was a Day Camp Unit Leader for Cadettes. This can be a really tough group, and I was very concerned, and not too eager at first. Silly me. The theme for the week was women's history, and one of the activities we were encouraged to explore was learning a craft that was important years ago. Well, of course you can guess that I decided to teach the young lovelies to knit!!!

This could have gone really really well, or really really badly. In preparation, I overplanned activities so we could quickly switch away if it bombed.

I was so happy that it went well.

Being on a rather tight budget, Addi Turbo's, Lantern Moons, and even Clovers weren't in the plan. I purchased dowels-- probably about size 10's, and sharpened them in an old pencil sharpener that came with the house. This was for 15 girls, by the way. (There were a couple of blisters on my thumb and hand that are probably now healing after 5 years.) I started to sand the tips, and then decided to let the girls do it-- good decision! I think the girls took pride in working on their own tools. We glued on ends (I think they were toy car wheels from the wood section at Michaels). And then taught them to knit using donated bulky craft yarn.

I was thrilled at how they embraced the craft. By the end of the week, they even learned to cast on. I learned a lot about teaching knitting to kids, and I learned that I could love even a group of middle-school girls. The night before camp ended, I was at Michaels, and found some close-out knitting needles-- REAL needles-- for $1.00 a pair. So I was able to give each of the girls a pair, and closed out my stash of Wool-Ease.

And Then Some Grown-Up Time

It was hot and sunny. White Girl Need Shade!!! So I took the Metro back, picked up a Raspberry Crystal Lite Slurpee at the 7-11, and drove to KnitHappens where I spent a couple of hours with
Holly and Kelly. They have some cool new stuff, including some shawl pins that I am definitely going to buy several of (some wooden, some carved bone), and some nifty new yarns. I'm still working on the top for The Daughter, but I need to go in small increments because the Jaeger Aqua is a tightly spun cotton with no give that is a bit hard on the fingers for closely knit projects-- but it's gorgeous.

I've been working on the Leaf Tendril sock from Socks Soar on Two Circulars, using Ellen's Half Pint Farm sock yarn that I got at MSW. I really love the colors, and I think that the 1/2 Merino, 1/2 Tencel blend will make them durable.
The pattern isn't difficult, once you decipher Cat Bordhi's sometimes cryptic pattern-writing. This toe-up pattern is different from those I've done before, and the toes are somewhat pointy, even after I stuffed them for the picture. I have rather squared-off feet. But we'll see. I don't feel like frogging this, and I have lots of relatives and close friends with skinny, pointy feet who could use them if they don't work for me. I usually use the short-row start for Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Socks. Next time, I'll stick with a sure thing, use Wendy's toe, and continue on with the other pattern.

(Go, Wendy!!!!)

How I Won't Be Spending Next Saturday
Even though it'll be a good time.
Because I'll be helping to finish Hokie Healing blankets.

And in my life, every day is a Folk festival.


Shanti said...

The Washington Post had a lovely article on the sing along. Glad you had a good time - being a GS was a great thing for me.

Gina said...

You'll not want to be anywhere else but Blacksburg next Sat. I promise!

jody said...

I think that's the most potties I've ever seen in one place at one time. Impressive!

That knitting with the Girl Scouts sounds so great! I especially liked how you had them make the needles-I made 2 sets as gifts for Chrismas thinking it would be a quick easy gift, but it was more work with the sanding, polishing, etc than I thought! I can't imagine making 15 pairs!! Great idea!!! I may "borrow" it for an activity at my daughter's school-if I feel up to the task of teaching a bunch of 2nd graders to knit or even have pointy sticks!!

Loren said...

I haven't done socks from the toe up yet. But I am about to finish a pair of socks so it's time to cast on another pair!