In Before Snow

As we were driving home from the airport it started to snow. Gerry said it had been snowing off and on all day, but not sticking.

Now it’s sticking.

It’s 5:00 am, I went to bed SO early yesterday as I was just bushed, so now I’m up early. And it’s a winter wonderland outside!

Here is our neighbor’s house at 5:00am in the snow.

I don’t think it will last long, it’s been warming up here in St. Paul. But it’s pretty until the sun comes out and scares it away!

So now I’m home for a bit. Time to dust off the projects I’ve been talking about and GET THEM DONE! Enough of this ‘holding pattern’ existence, time to roll up the sleeves and accomplish one or two of my goals!

It was great to be in Virginia Beach, the Knitapalooza event was so well organized by Bobbie & Ayesha & Ewe Knit – all of the attendees I met were enthusiastic and EXCELLENT knitters! I’ve seldom taught so many really DIFFICULT classes back to back with so much skill displayed by the students.

Teaching is fun (and exhausting, but anything worthwhile is going to be a bit of work!) but now it’s time to get some projects out of the twilight of ‘almost finished…’ into the bright sunshine of COMPLETE!

New Strategies
I keep thinking that teachers and designers developing their own fiber related workshops in a neutral setting (like an airport Hotel) is the direction to move in the future. I’ll never stop teaching at yarn shops (and I don’t use the word “never” lightly) but bringing in teachers is a big expense for one shop.

If one shop can’t afford me, it can be hard to find multiple shops in an area that are cool with sharing a teacher (and expenses.) This also involves a dance of soothing fears and convincing owners that classes will fill (or at least balance out…) So for those areas where there may not be shops able to host a teacher, a traveling teacher/designer based workshop may not be a bad idea.

Teach the Children Well
Some folks teach their kids about fishing, or cooking, or how to speak a foreign language. I teach my kids comic delivery. As usual, once I was in the car at the airport the kids were nuts to tell me new jokes;

Max’s joke:
One muffin turned to another in the hot, hot oven and said, “Is it getting warm in here?” The other muffin screamed and said, “Aaah! A talking muffin!”

Hannah’s joke:
One cow said to another, “Have you heard about this Mad Cow Disease? Apparently it makes cattle insane, and it really has me worried!” Her friend replied, “Worried? I’m not worried! I’m a helicopter!”

I explained to Hannah that a funnier punchline would have been, “Worried? I’m not worried! I’m a talking muffin!” But only if her joke follows Max’s joke.

And this is how we instruct the children the development of leitmotif in humor.

Knitty Call
While in VA I was chatting with a guy in the business center (ie, closet with computer & printer.) He and his wife were in town for her brother’s wedding (she was marrying her brother… she’s a minister.)

It turned out that learning to knit had been something on this guy’s list of ‘things I’d like to do someday’ so I offered to show him the basics. We made a tentative appointment to meet in the lobby the following day after classes.

I joked with my afternoon group that I had a “knitty call” to make after class. Unfortunately, the timing for our lesson didn’t work out – when I called I spoke with his wife, who was lovely, but they were on their way out to dinner.

That evening when folks asked, “How was the knitty call?” I’d answer, “Not good. His wife answered the phone…”

When I got to the airport early for my flight, who should be at the next gate waiting for their flight but my new friends!

An impromptu knitting lesson for both of them ensued, and I left them with a small ball of wool and some bamboo circular needles so they could practice. It really brought home to me the difference in teaching men and women to knit. I don’t like to make generalizations based on sex, it’s not usually useful or true, but I have noticed that men just seem to have less fear about jumping into something.

Many women aren’t fearful, it’s true. I don’t want to make sweeping generalizations. But I do believe that on the whole we [women] have been trained to doubt ourselves – or act like we doubt ourselves – and this is a hard habit for some women to break.

Men haven’t had this same training in forced modesty. In the case of my new friends, she seemed to be an incredibly intuitive knitter, but he was definitely the more confident knitter.

I’m hoping to see them again when I’m in their town in a few weeks – isn’t life funny?

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