Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Knitting into Community"

This is the linkback perk for the March 1, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl which was originally hosted by DW user Dialecticdreamer.  It came out of the February 2016 Creative Jam.  It was inspired by a prompt from DW user Chanter_greenie and fills the "unexpected friendship" square in my 10-1-15 card for the Trope Bingo fest.  This poem belongs to the Danso and Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

All 16 verses have been posted.  Linkers include: DW users Alexseanchai, Shiori_makiba, Capriuni, siliconshaman, technoshaman, rix_scaedu, kestrels_nest, eseme, ysabetwordsmith, wyld_dandelyon, my_partner_doug, and Norma on Facebook.


"Knitting into Community"



Hannah slipped into the room where
the church's knitting circle met and
sat in a comfortable chair beside
the nice lesbian couple who lived
down the block from Hannah's house.

Everyone kept hoping to strike up
some conversation with Mariamma,
the refugee lady who had come to town
with four kids and no husband left, but
so far she only paid mind to the balls
she was knitting for her children.

So Hannah shared the news
that Nathaniel had figured out
"front" and "back" on his clothes,
even if he couldn't always get
them on the right way yet.

Megan and Carlotta talked about
interviewing possible fathers, since
they didn't want an anonymous donor
for the family they were hoping to start.

Some people from the choir began
singing a hymn as they work, their voices
covering up the click-clack of knitting needles.

Hannah finished making a glove puppet
of Mother Mary, tied off the last tail of yarn,
then rummaged in her bag to start Joseph.

Megan was making a rainbow stole,
while Carlotta -- much less crafty, and here
for her wife's sake -- was just making
a washcloth for the homeless outreach
program that the church hosted.

It wasn't until Hadyn came in
to look for Hannah, bored with
whatever the the girls' program
was doing, that Mariamma looked up.

"You have baby brother, yes?"
the woman asked in a thick accent.

"Yes, his name is Nathaniel,"
Hadyn said, curious.

"Good. We make him blanket,"
said Mariamma. She looked
from her basket to Hannah's.

"Use my yarn, Nathaniel has
allergies," Hannah said.

"Blue for a boy, pink for a girl,"
Hadyn said, laying out skeins
of different colors. "This way,
Nathaniel and Rosita can share."

Mariamma contributed a spare pair
of knitting needles and begin showing
Hadyn how to cast on the yarn.

It was an unexpected friendship,
but beautiful to behold.

To Hannah, this is what crafts
were all about -- coming together with
people from all different places, and then
watching them knitting into community.

* * *

Notes:

Megan Velasquez -- She has pinkish-fair skin, brown eyes, and long brown hair with just a little wave.  She is a lesbian, married to Carlotta Velasquez.  They live in Onion City down the block from Hannah Patterson.  Megan is a sweet girl and usually fun to have around, but doesn't notice quickly if she's annoying someone.
Qualities: Good (+2) Affectionate, Good (+2) Beautiful, Good (+2) Fibercrafts, Good (+2) Girltalk, Good (+2) Spatial Intelligence
Poor (-2) Oblivious

Carlotta Velasquez -- She has toasted skin, black eyes, and long straight black hair.  She is Hispanic.  Although Carlotta is not very good at crafts -- her skill lies in home improvement -- she comes along with her wife because Megan enjoys them, and Carlotta enjoys making Megan happy.  Carlotta likes having a pretty wife and nice things, and she can get a bit smug about it.  They live in Onion City down the block from Hannah Patterson.  Carlotta works at a home improvement store.
Qualities: Good (+2) Determined, Good (+2) Family Woman, Good (+2) Home Improvement Clerk, Good (+2) Kinesthetic Intelligence, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Smug

Megan and Carlotta live in the yellow side of this duplex, which has two bedrooms on the second floor.  The red side has three bedrooms, with the master on the first floor and two above.  It belongs to a family with several small children.  T-American neighborhoods often have one or two multifamily residences on each block, often on the corners so that the people who share a building can have a larger communal yard.  This makes it easier to mix up the income levels and thus reduce the tendency to form really bad neighborhoods.

Mariamma Homsi -- She has tinted skin, brown eyes, and long brown hair with a little wave.  She is the mother of daughters Mais and Shayma, sons Yaman and Rifat; and she is currently pregnant.  Her husband Elyas was killed in an ongoing religious conflict in Syria.  After that, Mariamma escaped with her children and eventually made her way to America, where they claimed asylum.  Now they live in Onion City, in the same neighborhood as Hannah Patterson.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Fortitude, Expert (+4) Mother, Good (+2) Handicrafts
Poor (-2) War Trauma

Mariamma and her children live in the leftmost unit of this fourplex apartment building.

   *   *   *

"Knitting circle" is a general term for fibercraft clubs which may include knitting, crochet, and similar activities.  Learn how to start one.

Here is a pattern for knitted balls like Mariamma is making.

This pattern for knitted Bible puppets is highly customizable.  If you're not into Bible characters you can decorate yours some other way.

See Megan's rainbow stole.  Alas, I had no luck finding any kind of rainbow stole pattern.  EDIT: kestrels_nest suggests that this diagonal scarf pattern could be used to make a rainbow stole.

Washcloths are among the easiest projects.  Here is Carlotta's washcloth.

Browse the instructions and illustration for Hadyn's blanket.

Tags: crafts, cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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