by watching videos on the internet," she tells us.
My guess is that the newcomer is probably about thirteen or fourteen. She has the most wonderful ebony skin and her hair must have taken hours and hours to plait. Her dark eyes are a little bit anxious and that somehow makes her even more beautiful. She has just asked seven strange adults, "Is this the knitting club? Can I join?"
I wish our eleven year old member was not in Russia right now. That would surely have made it easier but the newcomer has asked anyway.
Oh yes. We are happy to have her. Her name is? She gives us a name which, for me, instantly identifies her as Sudanese. Her little sister looks in shyly and her name is also definitely Sudanese. They are a most attractive pair of girls to look at. Her sister shakes her head and backs out to find some library books instead.
Someone gets another chair. The newcomer produces needles and yarn and wants to know what to knit. We explain that everyone is working on their own projects. She seems a little startled by that but sits down next to me. We talk her through what she might do with what she has with her. A little overwhelmed she agrees to everything but someone gives her a spare ball of yarn and, with an idea, she casts on a few stitches carefully. I watch but don't interfere even though she looks a little awkward. My guess, confirmed a moment later, is that she has taught herself to knit "continental" style. That's fine. There is one other person there who knits that way. She knits a few rows. We ask her a few questions - not too many. I don't want to frighten her away. After those few rows I ask her how she is getting on. She shows me. Her knitting is a little loose but it is even and I suspect she will, if she persists, be a good knitter. She tells me her friends don't knit - but they like the end results.
I want to encourage this girl, just as I want to encourage our other little friend and the other girls before that. I know there will be school and other activities which will get in the way but I want them to say of something they are wearing or using, "I made it myself."
I admire her persistence at teaching herself to knit by watching videos on the internet too.
But, most of all, I want her to feel welcome in a group of like minded people. I hope, hope, hope that our other young one will be back next meeting.