A little bit of writing, a little bit of knitting...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Case of the Mondays

Considering how exhausted I was all day yesterday, I was a little nervous about knitting with the girls. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could handle it without having a total breakdown. To make matters worse, everything was just going wrong for me, and I was in a seriously cranky mood.

I made it to the store early, so I thought I’d stop by the grocery store Starbucks to get myself a nice relaxing cup of tea. But when I got there, no one was there to make my tea. I waited a minute, then I left, thinking I’d run to the Starbucks at Target instead.

But then I realized that it was just the perfect opportunity to get to the store early and hide the candy jar.

Miss A was the first to arrive. She was excited to start her new project—a bag. But not just any bag. She wanted to use circular needles just like Miss H. For her second project (okay—her first real, non-doll project). I warned her that knitting a felted bag is a big project—and she’ll have to stay interested in it for a long time. And she told me—very emphatically—that she knew, and she was ready for it. That lasted for about ten minutes—until she had to cast on 40 stitches and found out that she’d have to knit about 20 rows, just for the base.

Miss S and Miss H also showed up, along with two new girls—the two Miss Ms. M&M, I suppose. Miss M the elder already pretty much knew what she was doing. Miss M the younger is only 7, and she needed a little more help. Her mom, a non-knitter, tried to help her, but Miss M was having none of it. As I’ve often found, kids want nothing to do with getting help from anyone who’s related to them. So Miss M’s mom left for a bit and left me to it. It took a while, but by the time her mom came back, she was knitting away—and totally excited about it.

We had a rowdy group of five. Poor Miss M actually told me at one point that it was so noisy that she couldn’t think. I could totally understand.

Miss H is turning out to be quite a leader of the group. Since she’s the oldest, the other girls really look up to her. They want to do whatever she does. Unfortunately, it also means that when she gets a little giggly, all heck breaks loose. At the same time, however, she’s getting to the point where she’s experienced enough to help out—and that means a lot to me, especially now that the group is growing so much. While I was working with the M&M, Miss H helped Miss A (AKA Miss “I MESSED UP!”). Miss H is the greatest. I’m so glad to have her there.

This week, Miss A learned a couple of things. First of all, she learned to vary her vocabulary a bit. In the past, everything was weird. This week, I told her to try to use a different word. She’s moved on to unique.

Second, she’s learned that she needs to chill. During one of her “I MESSED UP” freak-outs, I just looked at her and said, “Miss A, you need to chill.”

The next time she had a freak-out, she screamed, then paused. I heard her say under her breath, “I need to chill.” Then she realized that she hadn’t actually messed up after all.

I consider that a giant leap for Miss A.

As we were winding up for the day, one of the members of the new [adult] beginners’ class walked in. She stopped when she saw all the girls and said, “Awww…” Miss H thought it was funny.

“You girls are so cute,” I told them. “Especially now, when you’re being so quiet.”

In the end, despite the noise and my general exhaustion, I had a wonderful time. I love the girls. Miss S never ceases to crack me up with her quiet, dry humor. Miss H has been coming for so long that she’s practically family. And there’s nothing like watching a kid’s eyes light up when she finally catches on. It makes Mondays fun.

Last night, I decided to work on the new baby blanket while watching The Apprentice. I was almost done with a row when I realized that I’d totally screwed it up. Instead of tink out an entire 108 stitches of the stitch pattern using double-stranded yarn, I just frogged it out and started over. I now have four rows done. At this rate, it could take me a whole nine months to finish the blanket…


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