Number Two Hundred: Bad Yarn and Good Family

It’s just after midnight, and there’s a full moon on Murder She Wrote.  My day has been splendid.  Prednisone kept me awake until the wee hours of the morning, so I slept late today.  I actually had breakfast and went back to sleep until almost lunch time.  Afternoon was spent talking with my daughter and son Julian, and a friend that he brought over.  Julian is known for bringing home the sick and injured, and this young guy presented me with a swollen ankle to examine.  After his unofficial medical visit, we all sat in the kitchen talking.  Suddenly it was 5 p.m., time for the guys to drive on to Atlanta and for me to get some work done.


As they got ready this afternoon, I found myself further proving that-in one way, at least-I have become my mother.  Until the last five years, I couldn’t leave my mom’s house without her loading me up with whatever she had bought in bulk in the previous week.  Sometimes it was paper goods purchased in a truck sale at the commissary, sometimes canned goods, occasionally something I had enjoyed eating at the house during my visit.  She was capable of showing generosity in that particular way, making sure her children had provisions.  My son left the house with a bag full of toilet tissue and a six-pack of mac and cheese boxes, with an extra-large cannister of raisins for snacking.   I felt more secure seeing him carry out those items.


As I’ve been discussing, I’m finishing chemocaps to donate.  Tonight, having finished one of my most beautifully crocheted ones, I turned to one of the ugliest balls of yarn I possess.  I don’t know why I bought it; my monitor must have enhanced the appearance of the photo.  I couldn’t possibly have purchased it in person.  Crystal Palace Poof (see it here:  Crystal Palace Poof Knitting Yarn at Yarnmarket) is 100% nylon, a braided thread with a continuous puff extending from one side.  Mine was a blush pink with black tips.  What was I thinking?!  Anyway, I knit a puffy cap from it.  It’s finished, but I haven’t sewn the back seam.  I grew frustrated with the way the puffs catch each other and put it down until tomorrow.  I will try it on my daughter and see if it merits being a gift for some patient with a zanier personality, or if I should just put it in the Goodwill bag. 


Speaking of gifts, and yarn, I packed a box for the prison knitting project in South Dakota today.  They teach prisoners to knit, and the students knit things to donate to needy folk on reservations.  Recently the program has been completely out of yarn.  They rely on whatever knitters will donate from their stashes or leftovers.  I donated some Knitpicks Crayon in a color that I over-bought (bright, bright yellow, okay?), and some white acrylic baby yarn that I used when I first started knitting regularly and quickly abandoned.  I’m happy that there is someone who will put those to good use.  The program doesn’t use novelty yarns, else the Poof would have been the first in the box.  In case you feel moved to donate, the address is: 

Elisabeth Robinson
Prison Project
XRX, Inc.
1320 S. Minnesota
2nd Floor
Sioux Falls, SD 57105


Several days ago, reporting on my road trip to Apalachicola, I noted the purchase of a left-handed kitchen utensil for one of my sisters.  She followed my trail to the post and actually left a comment yesterday!  Miracle!  Actually, I shouldn’t tease about her being too busy to read my stuff.  She is principal of an urban Catholic school in a poor, gang-ridden neighborhood.   In her first few years there, she turned the school around, and now it produces students who are consistently recruited to the best high schools in the city of Minneapolis.  I have admired her work for years.  She has students from culturally diverse backgrounds (African American, Native American, Hmong, Vietnamese, Hispanic, Somolian…) and has developed a curriculum that affirms their cultures and produces strong, capable students.  When I google my sister, the list of press and notices of achievements is awe-inspiring.  This is what the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis says about her school in their July 2008 bulletin:

Ascension School was started in 1897 with three Sisters of St. Joseph teachers and 160 students. Under the current leadership of Principal Dorwatha Woods Adderley, Ascension School is one of the greatest educational success stories in the entire Twin Cities metro area. The school has almost 300 students in kindergarten through eighth grade that are 95% non-white and 90% non-Catholic. Most of the students come from lower-income families and reside in the challenged North Side. This year, 100% of Ascension eighth grade students passed the standardized math test and 76% passed the reading test. Their scores are significantly higher than those in the Minneapolis Public Schools and are equivalent to scores in many suburban school districts. With strong academics, spirituality, discipline and caring, Ascension School is a successful model for other urban schools.


In addition to producing an amazing curriculum, my sister has put in countless hours educating economically disadvantaged parents about the importance of quality education and consistency in their childrens’ lives.  She has also become an effective fundraiser, both for her school and for other Minneapolis causes that support children and their development.  In my 200th post, I’m happy to be able to brag about Dot.   




2 Responses

  1. Poof looks cute to me. I would have bought it too.

  2. I didn’t see a picture of the ugly yarn. I would like to see it. I tend to like the unusual yarns.

    I would like to send something to you if you are able to email me your address. My email address is:

    Hope you are feeling better soon. My girlfriend is moving in with us soon. She will stay anywhere from two weeks to life. She had breast cancer and has lasting side effects from her chemo that make life difficult for her. I have told her to read your blog. You are an inspiration. She has neuropathy and some days her feet don’t move when her brain tells them to move. Constant pain has become her companion. She is losing her house and I think losing that stress will greatly improve her health. She has struggled to keep it for the past two years. She is beginning to get excited about moving in with us and was completely dazzled watching me spin. Hopefully the fiber arts will keep her engaged and she will find herself on a new adventure that delights her heart.


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