July 24, 2011

The Winter Holidays

We're on winter break here in New Zealand. It's delightful to have time to knit, time to cook, and time to think again! I'm cozy, knitting a shawl, under a crocheted blanket that I found years ago in an antique store. It is a beautifully hand made wool throw.  This shawl pattern is really weird. Can you see the way the pattern is not symmetrical?  The stripes go straight up and down on the right, but angular on the left? I don't know whether to keep going or not? Any thoughts?

Naturally Sensation Yarn 70% merino/30% angora

July 7, 2011

Back in class with my knitting

It's great to be back in the classroom again!  Last month it was all about Human Resources, what motivates people, employees, and volunteers.  It's so interesting to consider what makes people want to participate in work and volunteer based organisations.  It begs the question, what motivates me to volunteer? What is it in my work or play that motivates or demotivates me to give of myself?

I recently decided to start tutoring French for my son's school.  I certainly don't have more hours in the day but I was motivated by the need to give back, the hope that my French would still be somewhere in the recesses of my mind, and the desire to be a part of my children's lives. My son, Ben, loves to learn and speak French.  He has found some keen students who also want to improve their French language and so we started a conversation class after school. If anyone has any ideas on how to get teenagers to speak French, please let me know!

What rewards do we need to help us keep going?  It's not all about money for me. I think recognition is high on my motivator list but that rarely happens. So maybe it's the journey? The sharing of knowledge?  Taking it to the craft room, I am motivated to finish a quilt when I have someone in mind who will appreciate it.  I would not get the same satisfaction if I were to sell it at a craft fair. I'd like to think that it's all about the cause, the person or group. Sharing knowledge of crafts like knitting and quilting are great ways to give back.  Last Saturday, a few women got together to make some quilts to give to a woman that I work with.  Jacqui goes to a local maternity ward and visits newborn babies and their mothers.  We made three cot quilts with another almost done.  I just have to quilt them!

One woman makes knitted toys like small teddy bears and balls to give to Jacqui for the newborn babies at the maternity ward.  I found two gorgeous patterns that I want to try but I'll probably just give them to Elizabeth.  She churns them out a lot faster than me!