LAX Kids Knitting and a Fab New Card Game

My knitting group has met twice more and this week we had a half dozen! So it’s slowly building and I told them today about the library’s upcoming Knit In (what are you doing April 9?) where we’re hoping a couple of hundred knitters will join us for a fun afternoon/evening of knitting in public. A young man joined us this week and he’s hard at work on a teddy bear. I explained the concept of cables to the group and because it wasn’t “scary and hard” no one found it particularly overwhelming. Kids, I think, accept that they don’t know all the possibilities and so are less afraid to experiment– they didn’t even wince when I said “pull four stitches off and hold them either to the front or back then knit the next four, now put the stitches back on and continue.” No, instead I was drawn into a discussion of why holding stitches to the back was easier and how front versus back affected the look of the cables.

Then after the knitters had packed up their stitches, I was drawn into a card game with the Head of Tech Services, who was teaching me so I could use it today. Anyone ever played FLUXX? It’s pretty straight forward with basic rule: everything changes. The game evolves as you play with new rules, new ways to win, and your cards changing based on actions one chooses to take on their turn. A game can last 30 seconds or the better part of 20 minutes and gets really confusing at times.

It also seems to be rather irresistible to boys. Last night one of our familiar faces, a young man who usually won’t do much more than respond with a barely civil hello, squatted down by the table to watch the game and then joined a hand for a few minutes.

Today, I took the game up to one of the branches, where I’m trying an outreach after school program. We don’t do a lot of after school–mostly because the schools do a lot and it’s hard to be in competition with where they are already. But we’ll never have enough computers for all the Runescape players and MySpace addicts, so I figured I’d give something a shot. Armed with FLUXX (I borrowed the deck) and popcorn (that smell gets to everyone), I headed into the teen section, grabbed a kid and said “Hey, wanna play a quick card game? There’s popcorn.”

An hour and a half, five boys, a bag of popcorn, many animal crackers, and quite a few hands of FLUXX later, the library was closing. But they said they might be interested in coming back next week. Was I only there on Thursdays?

I have duly ordered my own deck of FLUXX and I’ve ordered “blanks” so we can make up and add in our own rules .

Anybody for a game of cards?