Out of the Frying Pan

Have you ever started doing something after a long time of NOT doing it and had that rush of forgotten skills come flooding back to you?

Knitting was like that, for me. I had done a lot of knitting when I was 12 and then basically none at all until 30 years later. It amazes me that my hands knew exactly what to do--how to hold the needles and the yarn and how to control the tension of the yarn as it flows through my fingers. Actually, it's really funny because I am what is called a "Continental" knitter, which means I hold my working yarn in my left hand, and since I am the only Continental knitter I know (and I think the only one in my knitting group), if knitting hadn't come back to me as easy as breathing, I would have NO ONE to ask for help. But it did, because some skills are just part of the fiber (hah!) of who we are once we learn them.

I have another skill like that: I can write grants.

In fact, I am a very good grant writer and in my L.B.K. (Life Before Kids) I raised literally millions of dollars for various non-profit organizations. And then I had my girls and I stopped doing that because, well, I really didn't want to do that anymore. It's hard, tedious work (mostly) and you have to swing at six million pitches before you ever get a base hit (Oh. My. Gosh. Clearly, I am overwrought if I am now making SPORTS ANALOGIES. I'm going to go drink a glass of cold water and come back when I'm calmer.)

(Insert "hold" music... "Oh.... Mandee--well, you came and you gave without taking...")

(Sorry about getting you stuck on that song.)

Anyway, as I was saying before my Psychotic Break, grant writing isn't really about anything so much as it is doing research and then writing and submitting grant proposals-- lather, rinse, repeat. It's kind of boring, really, and incredibly time consuming and no one wants to do it. Especially on a volunteer basis.

But guess what I'm doing this year?

I am chairing the grants committee for Ana's school. In fact, as it stands now, I AM the grants committee for Ana's school.

I know, I know, what if it cuts into my blogging time?? But I have to get involved in this new community in which we live and it's not like I have very many other skills I can offer. I can't even make copies! No, seriously, I have some weird Copier Death Ray and I can break a copy machine faster than you can say "add more toner." Once, I was walking PAST the copy room at my job and the door to the copier fell off of the machine. I am serious! There was no one touching the copy machine and all I did was walk PAST it and it broke. It got to where my staff would see me heading to the copier and they'd form a human barricade in front of it. "Step away from the copier and no one gets hurt!" You should see what I can do to a FAX machine...it's really ugly.

So, that's out. I'm not sure what else I could do--knit socks for the student body?

At any rate, here I am, dusting off some old skills.

It's funny, though, because I went to a Meeting this morning to learn about the committees at Ana's school and at some point, I heard something that sounded sort of like a click as my grant writing gear dropped into place. I began thinking of all the things the school needs and how easy some of them would be to fund. And then, boom, I was backing out a timeline and planning some strategic meetings and here I am, doing research and pulling out my old grant proposals and so on.

I think maybe I'm a grant writer again.

I wish my WEIGHT LOSS/EXERCISE gear would click into place... Maybe I could fund a home gym.


Unknown said…
if you can find the way to turn the weight loss/exercise gear on please let me know...
Stefanie said…
That's great, Barb! Now that you're getting into something, that'll probably improve your look on living in New York. :)

(But Ahem. I am a continental knitter too, ya know.)
Back in the saddle, again!

How do you know where to send the grant proposals, anyway?

Continental here, too, baby. All the way...
Kerry said…
How does one learn to write grants? I think it's such a valuable skill...one that I would love to have!
JJ said…
Could you write a grant for me because I think I really stink at writing them!!!
Katie said…
Hey! I am a Continental Knitter also! The ladies at my Knit Group call it Old English. I am the only knitter I know around these parts that knits this way.
Barb, I'm a continental knitter because of you. After I'd found out there was such a distinction, between Continental and English knitting, I asked you what your favored technique was. I realize some English knitters are very fast, but I can't help thinking that we lesser mortals are better off learning to kick it Continental style. Since there's fewer mechanics involved in making a stitch any engineer would place a bet that Continental is faster.
Ann in NJ said…
Alas, as a very beginning knitter, I have enough trouble doin' it English, let alone continental. And no, I didn't start knitting JUST because of your blog, Barb. I was already dabbling, and now, thanks to you, I have sock ambition. But I'm still very much at scarf/almost hat stage. Can someone point me at an explanation of "knitting into the back of the stitch"? I'm SO not getting it.