December 22, 2010

A Day for Knitting

I've been pouring over Waldorf School resources, trying to pick out the gems that I think will work well for our family and leave behind some of the parts that ruffle my feathers and make me want to run away screaming.  All that rainbow hued, crafty goodness put me in a hand work mode with the kids.  Hannah Jane has been dying to learn to knit, but I've just thought it too tedious of a task to teach a moody seven year old.  But I was inspired by my research and we finally gave it a go today.

We started by making our own knitting needles.  I mean, why not make for $2 ourselves what we could buy and loose in a week for $10?  Ya know?  And how much better care will she take of them if she sanded them for hours?  And it did take her small hands hours to sand the blunt end of a dowel rod into a nice point and then chisel away at the other end to fit a bead over the top.  But it was worth it.

Then she oiled them with cooking oil and Johnson's furniture oil in an attempt to avoid getting a major splinter.  I'm not sure how effective that will be, but it did make them look a little nicer!  Slipped a red bead on the end of each one and we were ready to knot!

After a quick lesson, she was off and away!  She actually came over to me and said, "I can just see me on an airpplane with my knitting bag.  I need a bag with all colors of yarn, and maybe a spare set of needles in case I break one.  I should always be ready to knit.  Oh, mom!  I can really see me getting into this!"  It's so true that for a seven year old girl, no matter the hobby, job, or chore,it is all about acquiring the full spectum of accessories.  Next she'll ask for knitting themed jelly bracelets.  And once she has all the gear, she'll give it up forever.  At least that's the pattern we're working at so far.

In the mean time, Hunter set about perpetually disturbing her, rolling her yarn around, threatening to make her drop an all precious loop!  So I asked if he wanted to knit.  His answer?  "Can I make a scarf for my best friend, Journey?"  SO I began to show him how to finger knit.  His first response was to throw a fit for about 15 minutes over not being given needles (which he would inevitably use as a sword).  I walked away, checked back in, walked away, checked back in, and so on and so forth.  In the end, he was convinced that I would never ever give him needles until he'd show the ability to do a simpler finger knit and that he may as well do it my way just this once. 

He loved it!  At first I wound the yarn around his fingers, chanting the order of actions, and let him bring the bottom over the top.  After a while he asked to do it all.

Soon he was off and away, Hannah Jane was photographing this momentous event, and I was free to sit back and admire the view of my little guy who has made some seriously big moves this past couple of weeks in terms of trying new things, participating in groups, and finishing what he starts.  It was a great day to be the mom!

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