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Mrs. Helen Jeu of Altheimer, Arkansas

Mrs. Violet Bing in Manhattan sent the package to her sister, Mrs. Helen Jeu in Altheimer, Arkansas. The contents of the package:

An empty envelope, two inches on the right side folded over. Same addressee. Singer “Fashion Aids for Smart Finishes.” Outline of Student’s Lessons in Singer Sewing Skills. Three labels from Jaime brand acrylic yarn, color no. 269, pastel green, lot no. 242037; paper-clipped together. Red Heart brand label with instructions written in blue ink on the back: 6-85 Sleeve 34-40-48 start 100 or 98 or 102 (this underlined twice) if add add 2 st. or st. on each side flower, Deep Pink & Blue, Sleeve 36, 14, 10,5,4,3, 2 on each side. More of the pastel green, lot no. 242037 labels. More labels, these for “SOFTelle Luxuriously Soft-Opulent Color” 4 ply worsted weight in Fisherman. Six xeroxed copies of knitting pattern for ladies’ winter hat (they suggest 2 2 oz. balls of Bernat Blarney-Spun. Forty-five red paper money envelopes.

There were some instructions for making some kind of batik wall hanging. The second half of the instructions were missing. I have since tracked down the rest of the article from an archived copy of McCall’s Needlecraft, but in the interim, I enjoyed the cryptic language of the incomplete instructions.

I cut up the instructions and xeroxed the clips with a post-it note that said simply, “These are your instructions.” This single sheet was given to my students. They had approximately 4 days to make a response in the format and medium of their choice.

When we shared our responses in class, I asked the students to simply explain how they got started. Several students began the same way, by circling or underlining all the materials listed in the instructions that they knew they had on hand. These materials then dictated their responses.

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