Life Learning

Learning does not have to be separate and apart from life. To wit.

I’ve been knitting a lot this year. Amongst other skills I’ve worked on (like making socks without a pattern), I’ve wanted to learn and work on doing colorwork or using multiple strands of yarn to create multi-colored patterns and images in the knitting. I was thinking about this, when I came across a pattern from Insayshable Knits (Saysha Green).

The double layer, reversible ear warmer had just a touch of colorwork and I had some beautiful Farmer’s Daughter Fibers yarn to which Ms7yo had already laid claim from the FDF Sock Squad monthly subscription service. The icing on the cake was that the pattern had a story behind it. Saysha Green used Bogolanfini or “mud cloth” from Mali as her inspiration for the colowork, to beautiful results.

As homeschoolers in the DC area and prior to the pandemic, we viewed the numerous (mostly free) museums in the area as a learning resource. We didn’t visit them that often, but one trip could inspire several weeks-worth of projects and areas of learning. Of course, with the pandemic, we’ve had to find ways to bring those topics into our home.

After I’d finished and blocked the earwarmer, Ms7yo and I sat down with an atlas in front of us. We talked about the different continents and oceans. She found Africa. I explained about the mud cloth and the meaning behind it as Saysha Green had included in her pattern directions. Ms7yo found Mali on the map.

This short lesson didn’t take long. And I’m hoping that whenever she pulls out her earwarmer, we might take a moment to remember where the inspiration and yarn came from and how we are all connected in these ways big and small. Even when the museums are closed. And even in a pandemic.

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