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Teaching Kids New To Knitting September 22, 2010

Posted by myblueheavenknits in Uncategorized.
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Hello again from Costa Rica.  My two knitting students came over last night.  No small feat!  They live in a tiny house about a mile uphill – over a rocky road – sometimes in the pouring down rain!  But to them it is worth it.  I bring them “goodies” each trip and teach them another hand knitting stitch.  The last time we were here, six months ago, I only had time to teach Liz how to cast on, the knit stitch, and then of course the garter stitch, and how to cast off.  My lack of any decent Spanish hindered me and Liz (I think she is 16 years old now) doesn’t do too well with English either.  So, after being gone for six months, don’t you know how happy I was to see Liz and all the projects she was able to complete, while going to High School and helping her family in chores?  They are Nicaraguan coffee pickers and do other agricultural jobs – their house is tiny but oh so clean and neat.  They are very proud and even asked us over for a lunch where they taught me how to make tortillas by hand – yes, from scratch too.  I have a new appreciation for those simple things in life!
Her  mother, Marta is a fantastic painter/artist.  You can give her a photo of anything and she will free-hand paint it on a canvas that she makes herself in a small backyard patio/studio.  We have bought several of her paintings to decorate our large Veranda Lodge, and also commissioned pieces from her.  She is teaching Daniela (see photo of me holding Daniela’s welcome back gift to me, a Resplendent Quetzal.  
Daniela is 10 years old.  She was staying with her uncle in town last time, so I didn’t get a chance to start her knitting lessons.  This time I will, but I also brought the girls a little Friendship Bracelet Maker that I picked up at Michael’s and a whole bunch of colorful embroidery floss.  I started Daniela out on it and she picked it up right away – smart girl!  And of course a talented artist-to-be like her mama.

Liz Mai-Lin and Her Scarves

Here is Liz showing off her stash of completed scarves from the yarn that I left with her last time.  I want to find a way to help  them sell these items at local venues, so I will need to do some scouting.  It is hard for the girls to find things on their own.  First, they aren’t Costa Rican and local shops want only goods made by Ticos, as they call themselves.  So, I will need to use my contacts and see if I can open some doors for them.  If they can sell their items, it will help to pay for the bare necessities that they need.  Liz had to sell us one of Marta’s paintings in order to buy her school uniform to begin high school.  No uniform, no school.  It is a very big deal here.  Education is very important to the people, but in order to attend, you must have the uniform.  Also, there are no books or supplies given out.  All the stores have the little note pads, pencils and compasses for the kids, cheap but when you only get a few cents to pick coffee a day, well, enough said, and I digress.
I wanted to make a difference when we built our dream vacation home here in Costa Rica two years ago.  I still have energy and I am determined to help one girl, one family at a time.  It  might be just a drop in the bucket, but there is such a need and why not me?  I must tell you though, they would both be insulted to think that I would consider them to be in the “needy” category.  I would love to have a typical American teenager come down here and get a reality check.  Definitely some culture shock would occur.                                                                                                                                    

Teaching Daniela How To Make Friendship Bracelets

Anyway, we made Sunday afternoon their knitting lesson time and I will get them going.  I did bring down some great yarn for them to work on and many people have told me that they will donate to the cause.  I usually save room in one of my two suitcases that come down with me, just for yarn for them. 

Oh my gosh, my Bronze-Tailed Plumeleteer hummingbird was just skimming around my window frame looking for tasty bugs.  You will have to check out a picture of one of these showmen.  Brilliant teal/emerald green head and throat with a gorgeous bronze tail – oh my, he’s about two feet away from me and working so hard to get those what must be tiny morsels in the crack of my window sills.  He’s one of the larger hummers, about 4″, so he really shows off that teal iridescent throat in the sun.  Hey, those would be beautiful yarn colorways also….gives me an idea.  I brought some emerald Paton’s Classic Wool to do my Knit-A-Long Sweater that our El Segundo Slipt Stitchers guild are doing (Sonnet is the pattern, knit side to side in garter stitch and box stitch.  I have already done my first four inches this morning after completing my swatch for gauge. 
So, keep knitting all of you  and I will try to send more pictures to inspire different colorways.
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