You know what they say: if you want to convert people, you've got to get 'em while they're young. It's not a coincidence that cult members and soldiers are recruited from high schools. You stand a much better chance of permanently affecting how people think if you start training them before they've had a chance to form their own opinions. Teaching your own children is a good start, but if you really want to have an impact, you've got to go after them in groups.
I have done my duty in the name of fiber and begun recruiting the next generation of fiberheads:
Here I am, demonstrating the fine art of spinning. This is after we talked about fiber (cotton, flax, wool, cashmere, mohair, llama, alpaca, silk...), examined unwashed fleece, petted clean fleece, and practiced carding. See the attentive little heads? That's not all of them. I had about 100 kids in two groups.
My son was in one of the groups, so I had him demonstrate knitting. The long needles--which he's never tried before--didn't stump him for long. He just tucked one under his arm and started clicking away. He was a big hit. Not quite as big as the ball-winder and swift, though, which got a spontaneous round of applause when the child doing the winding got to the end of the skein and the umbrella swift demonstrated how it got its name by flying open to its widest diameter.
Although we all know it's not as wonderful as knitting, I also demonstrated weaving on a tiny child's loom, and then read a lovely book called "How a Shirt Grew in the Field," which is an old Russian story about how flax is grown and processed and spun and woven and then sewn into a shirt for a little boy. The kids seemed really interested.
I'm not entirely sure how the whole performance went, since I was pretty busy talking and carding and spinning and knitting and and weaving and reading, but I think it went reasonably well. The kids seemed attentive and didn't wiggle too much, and they especially liked my swatches, which I passed around, and the unwashed wool, which they all agreed smelled "like the zoo."
There were a few hiccups. My first 45-minute presentation ran a little long, if you can imagine such a thing, so I had to trim my second one a bit. I forgot to mention a few things I meant to mention, and I couldn't have as many volunteers for my second talk, since I was running short on time. Passing things around was a little disruptive in both sessions, which I anticipated, but my husband (who came along for moral support) says the samples were the most interesting part, so I'm not sure how I could improve on that. All in all, I think it was a worthwhile demonstration, I was able to tie it in well with the current ancestry unit, and--most importantly--I am still in solid form, and not, as I had feared, reduced to a little puddle of shivering goo on the library floor.