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a little prettiness

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From the word passed among the others, the Jedi will be perfectly happy to have them show up. Fox still doesn't quite feel confident until he steps into the designated room, and sees a half dozen brothers already seated among the various Jedi. Fox fidgets with the bag of yarn he brought, then gathers his courage and marches himself over to the Jedi in charge - she might not wear any designation, but Fox is practiced at looking over a room and seeing where the power lays.

"Good evening Commander," the Jedi says, crows feet wrinkling around her eyes.

"Ma'am," Fox greets. "I'm Fox, they said you were willing to teach."

"I'm Jocasta," she says, "and that is my life's calling. Why don't you have a seat, and tell me what you want to learn." In the background someone is singing a warbling song in another language. Fox nods, and sits.

"The others say crochet is the easiest," Fox says, and Jocasta smiles.

"But what do you want to learn, Fox?" Jocasta asks, and Fox flushes.

"Embroidery, ma'am," Fox says, even though he knows it isn't practical. He can sew a straight seam, do simple mending. He's looked up videos on the holonet about embroidery, but even the most basic ones don't quite stick in his memory properly, and he wants - he wants to make something pretty. The crafts they've learned - they're all useful, functional. And he wants to learn those too. But more than anything he wants a little prettiness for himself.

"You came to the right place then," Jocasta says warmly. "Embroidery is one of my specialties. Now, what do you have already?"

"Nothing for embroidery, ma'am," Fox confesses, and shows her the yarn.

"That's fine," Jocasta says, waving away his worry. "If you want to learn how to knit or crochet later, those will work fine, and if not, I'm sure one of your siblings will make good use of them. Now, do you know if you want to try free hand embroidery, or cross stitch?" Fox just gapes at her, because he hadn't realized there was a difference.

Jocasta pulls out a datapad, and shows him a holopic of a nearly tone on tone foliate border embroidered on a Jedi cloak. "This is free hand, in the Dorin tradition - Plo's work, not my own." Fox nods his understanding, and she scrolls to another image. "This is some of my free hand work, for one of the other librarians," she says, showing him a Pantoran Jedi in deep red robes embroidered with bright yellow and soft pink flowers. She scrolls again, showing an embroidered wall hanging that depicts Master Yoda standing in front of a fountain full of flowers, a blossom balanced on the top of his head. Instead of the flowing lines of the other works, it's made up of little crossed stitches, and Fox barely needs Jocasta to say "this is a cross stitch I did some time ago, it's about life-sized."

"Free hand," Fox decides. He likes the way the stitches flow and move. The cross stitch is attractive, but regimented. The rest of his life is sorted into neat little boxes already, he doesn't need any more of that.

"We have some patterns you can look through and download," Jocasta says, showing him how to find that sort of thing in the Jedi Archives that have been made accessible to the 'troopers. "They'll say the difficulty level - it might be best to find one that says it's a sampler, as it will have different types of stitches for you to practice." She shows him how the filters work, so that all the results are things he can save directly to his datapad and keep as long as he likes.

Fox nods, and pulls out his own datapad. He searches, and could easily keep looking for hours without seeing all that's available. Still, he doesn't want to waste too much time, and once he's learned some basics, he can come back to all the other patterns. He downloads a sampler pattern that uses a multitude of stitches to create a botanical scene, full of flowers and leaves.

"A lovely choice," Jocasta encourages. "One of our AgriCorps members published this one, and a few others, that are quite popular." Fox blinks at that, and nods. He'll have to look the others up, once he knows the basics. "I also recommend this manual," Jocasta says, navigating to another set of search results, "it's not the same as learning in person, but it can help refresh your memory, I use it often myself."

One of the brothers starts singing, loud and a little off key, and Fox turns, intending to tell him off. No good can come from singing a drinking song from the lower levels in front of the Jedi. But an old Jedi laughs loudly, and joins in, twice as loud and even more off key. Jocasta laughs too, more quietly, and Fox looks to her in question.

"Master Tera is my old clan leader," Jocasta says fondly. "He spends a great deal of time in the lower levels - he specializes in researching organized crime." Fox blinks, and looks over, inspecting the old Jedi more closely. A reptilian being, although Fox couldn't say the species off the top of his head, with white hair tied up in a neat knot. Fox has seen Master Tera before, he realizes, dragging quietly from bar to bar, never causing trouble, but always at its periphery.

"A good Jedi to know," Fox says, and Jocasta smiles. A few more Jedi have joined the chorus, and all the other brothers. Fox shakes his head, and decides he won't reprimand them about it, since it seems not to be a problem among the Jedi.

"I'm biased of course, but he is indeed an excellent Jedi to know," Jocasta says, the warmth and affection clear in her voice, even to Fox who has just met her tonight. She turns back to Fox with a smile, and shows him the basic stitches from the sampler he's chosen. It makes so much more sense, when she can gently make little corrections, and she moves slower and more intentionally than the people making instructional holovids available on the 'net.

By the time tea break arrives, Fox has finished a big purple leaf and begun outlining the lovely pink flower that accompanies it. Jocasta waits until he's finished his thread before gently laying her hand on his shoulder. Fox looks up, blinking. Jocasta smiles.

"Tea time," Jocasta simply says, and points over to where a spread has been laid out. Fox hesitates. "Please, you're our guest tonight Fox, we want you to enjoy your visit to the Temple." He nods after a moment, and carefully offers her back the needle she loaned him at the beginning of the night. "Oh no dear, that's yours now, and the silks you'll need too. Come on, help an old lady up."

Fox blinks again, and she holds out her hands as if he actually believed she was some sort of invalid. Still, he tucks the needle into his cloth, then rises and helps her to her feet. Jocasta tucks her hand into the crook of her elbow and very politely drags him over to the food. Before Fox can quite gather his dignity, she's filled his hands with a cup of tea she says is quite nice, and a plate full of cakes and sliced fruit.

Some of the other brothers, when Fox looks around, look as poleaxed as he feels. The others just look smug as they enjoy their tea and snacks. They, Fox thinks, have come to the crafting circle before and knew that there'd be treats and tea and Jedi who refused to let them go without feeding them. Fox drinks his tea, and as Jocasta has been right about everything else tonight, Fox isn't too surprised to find that the tea really is quite nice.