Knifty Knitter

One husband, two kids, lots of pets, little time to knit. Yet I find time anyway.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Wednesday Club

I have been in a mood lately. Years (and years) ago, I suffered a 'meltdown'. Not really a breakdown, but instead a very low point in my life that found me unable to cope with living. Back then, there were no commercials that pointed out my symptoms in black and white, no "who does depression hurt" promos-nothing of the sort. For over a year I just thought something was wrong with me, and I figured, like I always had, that I was unable to be truly happy. Then something inside me snapped, and after a long talk with my doctor I began taking anti-depressants. After many types and doses, I have been successful with Effexor for the past few years. In short, the medication gave me my life back (up yours Tom Cruise), and while I have a love/hate relationship with it, I know it is the only thing that keeps me from falling off the thin line of sanity that I sometimes walk. As it were, no one is really 'cured' of these types of things-just treated. And that means every once in awhile things surface that can make a person scared, and concerned. For me this happens every March. Be it the grey skies that want to be sunny, but are still clinging to winter's steely cold, or the hopeful little buds sticking out of the ground looking for a new life but smart enough to know that the snow is only a few degrees away-this time of the year is hard for me. I know spring is all about renewal, but the transition is rough-the promise of warmth that just isn't there yet. It doesn't help that I seem to get sick every year in March, and true to form I am still recovering from my cold. All those hours spent laying in bed really does nothing for my mental state, so it takes me weeks to completely recover-physically and mentally. One of the reasons I have not posted or commented much is because I am a real Debbie Downer of sorts these past few days-and nobody likes a party pooper.

I have been keeping myself busy though, and one of those things is the Wednesday Club. A few weeks back Miss V brought home a note from school that asked parents if they could volunteer on Wednesdays for 6 weeks. The idea was that on Wednesdays, from 3:45 until 4:30, kids would get together with different parent volunteers and learn something new. Parents were asked to volunteer their time and their skills-scrapbooking, soapmaking, basketball-whatever. Now, I am not a patient women. I learn fast, and when I teach I expect whomever I am teaching to catch on just as fast as I do. However, I have this -talent, if you will-an ability to knit, and I knew deep down in my heart that I needed to sign up and volunteer. So a couple of weeks later, the principal called me and thanked me for volunteering, and that I would have 10 girls in my club, 4th-6th graders, and was there anything I needed? I told her no, I had enough yarn to teach the whole elementary school to knit, and that I was looking forward to the first club meet.

Oh, what a fool I am.

Or at least that was what I thought after my first meet with the girls. One girl knew how to knit. The rest had no clue. Not only that, but I had two lefties (I am right handed), and one girl was in tears about half way into it. I had come prepared, with printed instruction sheets (I even had a couple for the left handers-an afterthought but a damn good one), and had made some wooden needles out of dowels for the girls as well. That first day was chaotic to say the least-only one of me and 10 of them. I had already cast on 10 stitches and did a few rows for them ahead of time, but even so not much was accomplished. I kept telling them, over and over, that it would get easier, and by the next week they would be surprised at how much they were indeed learning -even if they did not feel like it. Honestly, part of me also felt that if I kept saying that out loud then it would have to be true. By the end of the 45 minutes, they were all armed with needles and yarn, a worksheet that broke down the steps of the knit stitch, and repeating their new mantra:

"In through the front door
around the back
out through the window
and off jumps Jack!"

Whew. When I got home, I seriously wondered what I had gotten myself into. I fully expected a call from the principal the next day telling me that she was getting calls from angry parents of frustrated little girls. However, there was no phone call, and I decided not to even think about it until the next meeting.

Holy cow.

By the next meeting, the girls were ready to go. After a quick refresher, they were knitting. I mean, really knitting. Even my crier. Sure, some of them were still having difficulty, but every single one of them understood what it was they were supposed to be doing. They were confident-and having fun. Two meets later, some of them are very far, having worked on it at home. As I was going around helping out, I was listening to what some of them were saying:

"I like to knit after my chores to relax. It is a good way to wind down."

"My mom can't believe how talented I am. She is so proud."

"My grandma is going to take me to the yarn store so I can pick out some new yarns for scarves."

"I like to turn on the radio and just chill out and knit-it calms me."

When a boy from the photography club came to take our picture, he asked 'how do you know how to knit?' Almost in unison the girls answered "its easy!"

Some of them have already been taught to cast off, and are starting something new. We talked about different fibers, and a few girls are even purling. They are gung ho to learn-every single one of them. I asked them today if they could believe how far they have come-and they couldn't. In fact, they asked me if the club has to end, if next week has to be the last week.

I told them I don't know-I don't want it to end either.

As we were getting ready to leave today, one of the girl's mom came in to get her. She waited a few minutes and then said, "come on honey-we have to get going."

The daughter's response?

"Oh mom, I just really would like to stay here and keep knitting. Just one more row..."

*sniff*I am so proud*sniff*


  • Your knitting group with the girls sounds like so much fun! Good for you for handing on the love of fiber and the knitting craft.

    By Blogger Jennifer, at 6:56 PM  

  • *I've been having the worst time trying to post comments- keeping my fingers crossed that it works this time! :-)* That's so amazing!! What an incredible gift you've given those girls! It must have been so amazing and gratifying to see them gain so much confidence and satisfaction from knitting. I'm so happy that you had such an awesome experience with the girls and hopefully, it's something that can be continued even after the program is over. Thank you so much for sharing your story- and I'm so with you on Tom Cruise- he can take it and put it where the sun don't shine! You are NEVER a Debbie Downer and I'm always so happy to see your posts light up in Bloglines. I'm so glad that things are starting to look up- spring's here! Take care, Teresa! :-) Love, c.

    By Blogger candsmom, at 9:53 PM  

  • I am so proud for you!! I bet you are totally proud and it sounds like a blast!
    I have approached my pastor about starting a prayer/knitting/crochet group at church that will meet twice a week. I told him that the younger girls could learn too. I'm super excited at the prospect now because I know that it can be done. Please keep me updated on the progress!

    By Blogger Melissa, at 11:58 AM  

  • Oh my, you SHOULD be proud. Just think about what you have given those girls...........and you have given it to them in such a way that they love it! The joy of knitting, and you have passed that on!
    I was proud just reading your post!

    By Blogger christine, at 3:28 PM  

  • I totally know how you feel! As much as i hate pills, the alternative is just not an option. i think you're really awesome for reaching out during your down time to give such a great gift to those girls. i know it's not easy when you're feeling that way. and i'm glad you've all gotten so much out of it! YAY you!

    By Blogger tatjana, at 9:12 AM  

  • That's so cool!

    By Blogger Carrie K, at 1:25 PM  

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