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Crochet can make you cry…

Crochet Jeffy puppet

I think I just had the sweetest moment in my teaching career this last Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had many sweet moments with the kids at work, but never from such an unexpected source, in such an unexpected way. Those two 5th grade boys (the advocate and the recipient of Jeffy the Puppet) made me cry today. Not the kind of crying where I want to beat my head in frustration, but the kind brought on by a sweet surprise.

In our program, we have Friday movie day with popcorn and a treat. Since we have no homework on Friday, I allow the kids to share anything they like before the movie. This particular Friday was no different. Continue reading

Freebie Friday – Finger Knitting

I’m notorious for telling the kids that if they want to learn something, they need to keep trying, even when it seems super hard. It will get easier.

I’m not a knitter. I wanted to learn, though. I tried, got frustrated, tried again, failed again, and vowed to become the best crocheter ever! Nope, I didn’t follow my own advice. I gave up. The irony wasn’t lost on me. I guess I didn’t want to learn that strongly or I would have followed my own advice. But a good thing came of my failed attempt and that was a deeper love of crochet and a desire to keep honing that craft. Thanks failed knitting attempt!

Then I stumbled upon this video tutorial on how to finger knit. Finally, knitting I can do! It’s also something I can teach the kids. This is the kind of project I think they can all do. I might save it for the next school year but I definitely want to introduce it to them.

In the meantime, I did introduce it to one of my Kinder girls and she got so excited because she learned how to do it all by herself. When it was time to go home, she didn’t want to put it down. I didn’t have the heart to force her to stop so I let her take the ball of yarn home so she could keep working on it.  She wanted to make a scarf. I can’t wait to see it and share in a future post highlighting student work.

But just because I think it would be great for kids doesn’t mean it wouldn’t also be great for adults. Have a go at it and see what you think.

Photo and video courtesy of the web. 

Crochet Fires

Was it me that foolishly uttered I didn’t have any more crochet fires to put out? Yep, yep, that was me. What a farce! I spoke too soon. Luckily, they’re just little fires, easily put out.

I failed to notice (or conveniently forgot) that a bunch of kids were close to our Ultimate Prizebox. Lucky for me, I had a few crochet emojis and a Pokeball already in there.

emojis

These were all in the Ultimate Prize Box plus another heart and small crochet purse. There are only two left.

But one little boy wanted a Popular MMO figure. Those aren’t that hard and I said I’d try but I had to concede defeat.

IMG_0975

This is one I gave to another student last year. H e was already played with by the time  took the picture so he was a little beat up.

He wasn’t technically at the ultimate prize box, he was past it. So technically, he missed his chance to get a custom made crochet piece. He chose something else at the time. So I didn’t feel so bad about directing him to something else. He chose the Pokeball.

red-pokeball

Then, two more kids made it that wanted something custom. I stressed it had to be easy (and small!). One girl picked an emoji purse. As long as she’s not expecting something big, that’s doable.

The other student asked for a hat or a beanie. Phew! That sounded easy. I asked what kind he wanted. He said a top hat. I laughed. A top hat? I asked him to draw it because I wanted to make sure I was thinking the same thing he was. Uh huh, I was. He’s a second grader so he could be thinking anything. Lol I guess I’m making a top hat 🎩 for a second grade boy. 😁

We’ve got two weeks left of school. I’m going to be busy! Again! LOL

Crochet Jeffy The Puppet

Jeffy is done and my student said something that made me glow all pink and rosy today. I don’t think he was necessarily giving me a complement (I’m not sure a 5th grade boy is capable of that, even if he’s thinking it) but it was a complement just the same.

jeffy the puppet

I’ve been letting him play with the puppet in all its levels of completeness (or incompleteness as was the case) and it’s been great watching his genuine joy at seeing the puppet develop. Today, I finished it and he and his buddy were having an absolute blast with it.

Crochet Jeffy the puppet

I got a couple of candid shots of them playing with him.

I took a group of kids to the restroom and while we were waiting on some of the kids to come out, he said to me that he thinks this is the only homemade puppet that actually looked like the real thing. That it was the best one.

Well now.

Queue the glowy glow happening. You might be thinking that I directed this conversation and was fishing for complements but I wasn’t even talking about the puppet or even talking to the student. It was unsolicited! It was just true happiness on his part that he had the best puppet! Of course, there’s no way to prove his theory on that, but the fact that he believed that only showed how much he loved it. Believing he had the only existing homemade Jeffy the Puppet that looked like the real thing, well, that made my whole year.

jeffy the puppet_1

jeffy the puppet_2

Do I think it’s the best and most accurate homemade representation of Jeffy the Puppet? Uhm, no. He could have been better. The eyes are too poppy and I never gave him hands. No shoes either. But I will say this, when  I looked him up to do my research, there were only a handful of images of the actual puppet. I didn’t see any homemade representations out there, period, never mind crochet. Mine might be the first crochet version out there, at least that I could find. So my student might be right. That means I’m ahead of the curve!

Was he a success? For my student, absolutely! For me personally, maybe. I know he could have been better. I definitely learned I like making puppets, almost as much as making dolls. I might just make more puppets (not Jeffy though) of all varieties.

And just a reminder of the real thing.

 

Super Power: Crochet!

I saw the superhero illustration below in an email newsletter I receive from Lion Brand. I loved it instantly. It would have been even better if they were crocheting instead of knitting but I’ll take what I can get. It reminded me of a funny moment I had with one of my Kindergarten boys.

Super Heroes knitting

When I saw this illustration, it was love at first sight! But where is Superman?

One of my co-workers was having a conversation with one of my Kinders. They were talking about superheroes and my co-worker said to the student, “We have a superhero right here.”

The little boy said, “No we don’t. Where is he?”

My co-worker pointed to me and said, “Mrs. Sherman is a superhero.”

“Nuh uh, what’s her superpower then?” he smugly asked, sure in his conviction that I was not a real superhero.

Without missing a beat, I said, “Crochet is my superpower.” He giggled.

“That’s not a super-power,” he countered.

I wasn’t bitter about this. Not many people know crochet is a superpower. I had my counter argument ready.

Well, I said it was a super-power because I could make anything with crochet. You can imagine the silly conversation that ensued about what I could and could not make. Days later, he was mumbling and giggling at the same time about whether crochet could be considered a superpower. This is why I love working with kids. Where else can you have such ridiculous arguments?

Speaking of superheroes, I’ve made some of my own. There’s Superman!

Crochet Jeffy the Puppet Progrss

He’s coming out ugly. That’s ok though, he’s supposed to be ugly. I would be doing it wrong if he weren’t coming out ugly.

Jeffy the puppet

I’m ugly and I like it!

I’m not so sure he looks exactly right but my student seems to be really excited about the progress. He hasn’t seen the inside of the mouth or the face yet, but if the way he was playing with just the body is any indication, he’ll be thrilled to see it now. As I slowly build the puppet, his reaction gets better and better. I can see his joy as the puppet is coming alive. It makes all the thought and work (and struggles with eyes!) I put into a project so worth it when I see that kind of a reaction.

The eyes were a bit tricky. I tried a few different things before I settled on the ones he has now. I’m still not totally sold on them but I had a mom who actually knows what Jeffy is and what he looks like. She told me he looked great so far. Henceforth, I didn’t rip out the eyes. He gets to keep them.

Now, he just needs his ears and his helmet. Oh yeah, his hands too. I was hoping my student wouldn’t notice he has no hands or shoes. He hasn’t said anything about the shoes but he casually asked me if I knew how to make fingers, apropos of nothing. He can’t trick me. Even though he didn’t come out an ask, I know he was thinking about the handless puppet! I guess I’ll have to make him some fingers since I do in fact know how to make fingers. 🙂

Hopefully, the puppet will only get better and better too.

Crochet Jeffy the Puppet Request

gold crochet crown

What have I gotten myself into? The kids’ memories have deep roots! Their memories are lousy for most things but then, one of them will remember that last year I made so and so such and such and why can’t I do it this year too? I’m blabbering so let me explain.

Today, I got unexpected pleas to make crochet items. The kids are always requesting things, and this year, I’ve moved away from making crocheted items for individuals because it was hard to keep up with demand. This year, I made things at my leisure and threw them in our prize box. I got good at saying no, sorry, can’t do it. Eventually, the requests started to taper off. I thought, “Good, they’re starting to forget.” Every now and then, one of them will remember we had a year where I made them all crowns when they made it to king or queen (an incentive on our star chart where they are the king or queen for the day and they get to pick our treat and what movie we watch on Friday). But that was several years back and I was counting on them forgetting, which they mostly did. I would happily make the crown for those that did remember because they were few and far between. Continue reading