On November 10th I traveled to my former hometown of 28 years to do a spinning demonstration for 2 classes of 4 year old kindergartens. One of the teachers there is a dear friend of mine and she remembered that, in my former life, I often demonstrated for school classes. The children were studying the Pilgrims as part of their history lesson so my contribution fit in nicely. However, I don't have a Pilgrim costume so my Pioneer costume had to suffice. (I may make a Pilgrim-type of costume now. I have the perfect material from my late grandmother's fabric stash.)
I had to make the demonstration a bit more simple for the attention span of 4 year olds but I think it went well. I tried to ask lots of questions - although some of the answers were completely off topic. Some of their questions were, as well. HAHA They really were great and were very attentive. However, I was surprised and saddened that only about 3 out of maybe 35 children knew anyone that uses yarn to knit or crochet.
I know that my teacher friend crochets (and has a blog called The Sparkly Toad) so I asked her to bring something on which she was working, to show, along with the few items I brought. I thought the students might enjoy seeing something she makes. I certainly enjoyed seeing her project - it was a lovely shawl.
In order to keep our roots alive, I like to try and connect wool and yarn with its origins - the farm. So after playing a You Tube video of sheep Baaaa-ing, passing around locks of raw and washed wool, explaining and showing carding, AND explaining and showing spinning, I read to them A New Coat for Anna. It is a wonderful book about the process of creating a new coat for a little girl.
Here are a few photos of the day: (If you notice faceless children, I blurred their faces if I couldn't crop them out. I didn't have permission from any of the parents to put their kid-dos on the internet.)
I was able to eat lunch with my friend and her co-teachers which was great and after the afternoon session, I packed up and drove home.
Fast forward to today. In the mail I received a lovely shawl from my teacher friend as a thank you for coming to their classes. Yes, the very crocheted shawl that I oooh-ed and ahhh-ed over during the demonstrations. I am overwhelmed - it is such a lovely shawl and I believe the gift far out-weighed what I put into the event.
NOW - DON'T forget to leave a comment on this post or my previous 2 posts to be entered in for the yarn give-away. Deadline is December 20 for 3 skeins of Cascade 220 Paint.
P.S. Did you know that the Pilgrim women did not bring their spinning wheels to the new world. There was simply no room on the Mayflower. And when they arrived, there was no fiber to spin. And, at any rate, they were in debt for several years to their financiers so they worked hard to pay them back which left no time for spinning. Already by that time there was ready-made fabrics available from Europe so they purchased what they needed for clothing. But once they were paid off, after about seven years or so, they began acquiring wheels and sheep so they were able to again provide for themselves in the way of thread and yarns.