Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not Crochet, But Very Spunky!

I promised Spunky Girl that I would teach her how to crochet on Friday.  That is when the good little boys and girls in my class get to take a day of semi-rest and it seemed like an opportune time to do this.  She's already mastered quilting courtesy of The Cheerful Teaching Assistant and it only seemed right that I impart my own bit of wisdom unto the child.

I did my best.  I truly did.  But, for some reason, poor Spunky Girl just couldn't seem to get the hang of it.  She never got frustrated, bless her little heart.  She kept at it all day.  In spite of this, she never even managed to figure out how to do the foundation chain.  She just couldn't help but wind the yarn around the hook a few times before looping it through and a vein in my head began to throb each time I saw this.  I tried everything I could think of.  I showed her.  I explained it.  I made up cute little sayings to represent the process.  I put my gnarled, withered old hands over her little flawless ones and helped her to do the right movements.  Nothing.

By late morning, I was joking about taping her thumbs down to keep them out of the way.  By early afternoon, I was still saying it jokingly, but almost kind of meaning it.  The Boy With The Bass Booming Earbuds commented, "If you just keep saying it, but never actually do it, how is she going to learn?"

I stopped saying it for two reasons.  First, it is never a good idea to tape a student's thumbs in place even if it is well intended.  That never plays well in the media.  Secondly, The Cheerful Teaching Assistant was starting to refer to me as The Crochet Nazi.  I took that as a sign and backed off.

It didn't matter much to Spunky Girl by then anyway.  She'd discovered that her attempt at chaining was resulting in something she rather liked.  She declined further lessons from the benevolent Ms. Sheep and merrily looped the yarn awkwardly until she had a very stretchy string of great length.  She decided it was a belt.  I suggested that she might put a few beads on the end for a funky touch and my reputation as a craftsperson was redeemed.

She made her cute little belts for the rest of the day.  Even the boys were impressed.  I have decided to pretend that I taught her this and let it be a part of my legacy from this day forth.  If she makes her first million making beaded yarn belts, I expect some sort of remuneration.  I think that this seems quite right and proper.

I probably should see about teaching her to knit sometime soon.  That seems like the next logical addition to my ever-growing and shining legacy.  I'm sure it will all go swimmingly...

SA

9 comments:

Teri S. said...

Hmmm...it sounds to me like Spunky Girl created a new craft form and you were its inspiration. I'm duly impressed!

=Tamar said...

Y'know, all she needs to do is work the chain through the previous chain. If you just keep doing row after row of chaining, you get Bosnian Crochet or Shepherd's Knitting, both of which are historical craft forms in their own right. If it's loose and open, fine, have you seen the scarves they're offering lately?

trek said...

Some students are just like that. Good on you for trying all day long.

kmkat said...

I wish you had been my teacher. Of course, that means I couldn't have the Goody Two-Shoes that I was and would have to have been *difficult*. But for you, I would have made the effort :)

Agatha's Gran said...

The patience and diligence you exerted attempting to teach this young lady to crochet reminds me of the time I tried to teach my students the fine art of origami...

Karen said...

Good for you showing her the way. She took a different road and it worked out perfectly for her. I look forward to hearing about the knitting lessons.

Susan said...

Check out the tutorials on-line for "finger-knitting." My 11 yr. old niece makes pretty scarves with this technique and no needles or hooks are required. All you need is yarn and your fingers. Remember the spool-knitting you may have done as a child? What you produced was a long, rather tightly-knit "chain" that could be sewn into a circle to make a chair pad or rug for your doll house or something. This produces something similar but VERY open and lacy and pretty. Maybe Spunky Girl would have luck with finger knitting! (Although it certainly sounds like her version of crochet is working for her!)

Julia G said...

Spunky Girl's innovation reminds me of my first attempt to knit by learning from a book. I had never seen anyone knitting and could not fathom what it meant to "turn" the knitting at the end of the row, so I knit backwards and forwards like a typewriter (sort of). The result was... interesting. I used it in a window display at a shop I worked at, setting up a stuffed bear with dpns and my odd attempt at ribbing. People saw the display and asked me what fancy stitch it was!

My word verification word is "snogic". Can't argue with that!

Cathy said...

Glad there wasn't a chained hangman's noose to end the day. I usually teach youngsters finger crochet before introducing the hook. It seems a bit safer. ;-)