Handwork Classes

This past Saturday I got to attend two wonderful handwork classes taught by fiber artist/teacher extraordinaire and homeschooling consultant Jennifer Tan of Syrendell. The classes were free and offered by the Friends of the Fair Oaks Library. (Thank you, Friends! Thank you, Jennifer!) The morning class was beginning crochet and the afternoon class was spinning. I had the pleasure of taking a spinning class from Jennifer earlier this year, too. Oh my, this stuff is challenging and fun! It’s supposed to become relaxing and even therapeutic once you get comfortable and good at it.

Tools and Yarns

Jennifer’s display of handspun yarns, crochet hooks of many sizes, a fiber batt, niddy-noddies, and drop spindles. I think the tools are gorgeous.

R's Crochet

My classmate R’s lovely crochet

Yarn of 9-Year-Old Girl Jennifer Tan, Fiber Artist/Teacher S's Handspun Yarn

The left photo is yarn spun by a 9-year-old girl; Jennifer Tan is in the middle; the right is yarn spun by our lovely Youth Librarian, Stephanie. It is thanks to her and the Friends of the Library that this class was offered.

My Crochet

My crochet! My hands made this!

Basket of Roving  Handspun by Jennifer Tan and Family

Basket of colorful roving and some handspun yarns made by Jennifer and her family, all of whom are tremendous fiber artists

Drop Spindles

Drop spindles

My Yarn

My yarn. We started with a lovely brown wool and moved on to some colors; mine has brown, red, navy, and a dark orange.

Wee Crocheted Pumpkin!

I crocheted this wee pumpkin, which is small enough to fit in my tightly cupped hand! I finished it at home and improvised a stem of sorts. My boys think I should sew a jack-o’-lantern face on it.

Started This at Home

And this is my attempt to apply what I learned at home without my patient teacher to correct me. I seem to have remembered how to start a circle and how to increase enough to keep it flat. This is a crummy acrylic yarn leftover from our Solstice sun project. It might become a Halloween decoration. I also practiced more on that green square—alas, it is definitely a triangle now.

The Fair Oaks Library is hosting two more handwork classes taught by Jennifer next Saturday, October 23. They are beginning crochet and Tunisian crochet, and both are free. Registration is required though. I would happily take those as well, but for the conflict with our school’s Harvest Faire.

One Summer’s Day

Lucas off to camp, Daddy off to work. Me and Asher with all kinds of time for …

Asher Loves the Chalk

chalk drawings on the patio,

African Daisies

inspection of garden flowers,

Cana Leaves and Shadows

and the study of sun and shadow, curves and lines and points …


for free-ranging hens, like Avalanche here,


and for growing pumpkins, green and ghostly white,

Purple Morning Glories

for purple morning glories, cana seed pods,

Corn in Morning Sun

and corn in the morning light. How do we know when it’s ripe?

Red Crepe Myrtle

It’s August, so the crepe myrtles are blooming, bursting!

We’re busy, so the playroom needs sweeping. A million precious things scattered a million different places.

And then the blocks simply must come out to play,

and Mommy simply MUST work a tad.

“Bob the Builder” is fun for Asher. Chapter 8 is not so fun for Mommy.

The leftover Ciro’s pizza simply MUST be Lunch.

“I will take my nap on the couch. For ONE minute. And then you wake me up and say, ‘Asher, it’s time to wake up to play!'”

Mia’s Apple Tree

Cameleon Was A Spy

I’ll be damned! He is asleep on the couch, just like he promised.

More of Chapter 8 in the hush of the sleeping preschooler, who,

miracle of miracles!

awakes with a smile and gentle

pat, pat, pat footfalls,

bear in hand.

We fetch Lucas from summer camp, where he wove a tiny rug.

“When can I go to big-boy summer camp?” Asher asks. Again.

“Buckle up, boys. We’re going to the library,”

Charmichael Library

where they cannot see the books for the computer that has kid games and a candy-colored keyboard.

Charmichael Library Rotunda

But the Carmichael Library is newly remodeled and lovely, as is evident in the rotunda. Mommy wants to take more pictures, but then feels too much like a weirdo.

There’s also too much bickering between Asher and Lucas over the computer, so Mommy decides to check out.

Three books for boys, three books for Daddy.

We visit Great-Grandma and Great-Aunt, who are fine and old and loving and mysterious and bored until we arrive.

They don’t believe we have chickens.

Green, White, and Brown

Home again, we collect the day’s eggs. The green ones are lucky, don’t ya know.

They Called It "Toy City"

And “Toy City” grows and grows some more.

For dinner, tasty snapper, spinach, snap peas, garden tomatoes, à la Daddy.


There’s still time for chicken ranging, feeding, and holding,

for watering the garden,

for watering the boys, giddy and nekkid, screeching and laughing.

“MY FOOT! I stepped in chicken poop!”


Shower. Teeth. Jammies. Stories. Lotion for eczema. Songs. Cuddles.

“You check on us?”

“Oh yes.”

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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