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April 2011
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The Semi Annual Festival of Yarn

Every six months our church broadcasts a General Conference. Over a weekend there are 10 hours of prepared talks on various doctrinal subjects. The leaders of the church prepare these talks on a variety of subjects some encouraging, some admonishing. The membership of the church are invited to listen either in person, on TV, on Radio, or over the internet. For the Saturday sessions Howard and I listen on the Radio. On Sunday we hook a computer up to our big TV and gather the family for Conference. This is when the Festival of Yarn begins.

The kids rejoiced when I plunked the tub full of yarn, scissors, and crochet hooks down on the floor. “You got new yarn!” someone cried. Yes I got new yarn. I remember last Conference when we had to argue about yarn colors. The kids each grabbed a skein and as the choir began the opening hymn, we began our crafts.

Sitting still for two hours at a stretch is a challenge for young children, even in their own home. I always tried to plan activities for them to do while they were listening. We bounced from one choice to another until I dusted off my old crochet hooks and yarn. I made all sorts of creations using crochet when I was young. None of them were particularly useful, but I liked making them. My rhythmic motions and the growing granny square drew the attention of my kids. Soon they wanted to make things with yarn too. I handed out what yarn I had and the creativity began.

This year both Link and Patch tried their hands at crochet, but defaulted to making long finger knitted ropes. Gleek made several small crocheted pieces, none of any particular shape. She also made yarn flowers, yarn dolls, and a finger knitted rope. Kiki worked a little on the knitting project which she’s had since she was 11. After awhile she switched to a school painting project. Patch took a break from finger knitting to make yarn constructions using knots. I made granny squares. Howard worked on assembling miniatures at the table behind us. Our hands were busy and our ears were open.

“I like Conference.” Patch said.
“Me too.” Said Gleek.

I looked around the room. I knew what Patch and Gleek were not able to articulate. The atmosphere in the room was calm and cozy. We were all together in a way that seldom happens in our crazy scattered lives. For two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon we were together listening to words which helped us think about how to be better people. It was lovely.

I made five granny squares in those four hours. We already have a dozen from conferences past. They’re made of random colors, because I use which ever colors the kids don’t want at the moment. Some day I will have enough squares to crochet together into a blanket. It will be a crazy patchwork of mismatching sizes and colors. It will be perfect, a representation of all those conferences together, when we stitched together things far more important than yarn. At the end of the final conference session, everyone tossed their yarn projects– finished or not–into the tub. I’ll put it away downstairs until next Conference when we will have another festival of yarn.

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