Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Handwork Inspiration

Spools of yarn. It's something we spend money on, just like paint and drawing pencils. They are natural tools we're always using and don't really know how to live without. I am not a knitter.  I have knitted.  I find sewing more gratifying. Despite that grudge, I think learning to knit and eventually crochet are important parts of our homeschooling. First, children finger-knit, then they learn on needles, and then they learn to follow a pattern. In Waldorf schools, knitting is used to reinforce math skills, develop fine motor skills, prepare children for handwriting, and give them the satisfaction of making something with their own hands. (It is much more than that, but that's the gist of the motivation behind learning fiber crafts.)

Within a few days of each other, Fairy Girl mentioned she wanted to know how to knit better, to make something other than a washcloth, and Bubba said he was ready to learn on needles. So being the non knitter I am, I asked my friend who knits avidly to give us a lesson. We were invited up to her parents house and while I intended to only require 15-30 minutes of instruction for the kids before they ran off to play with their friends, the day wonderfully exceeded my expectations. It was a beautiful fall day, in an ideal country setting.

The sunlight on the nape of her neck, nom nom nom!

After parking the car, the kids found their friends and disappeared. My friend's mom was winterizing her bee hives and she invited me to watch. If only I had had my camera/phone! I watched as she removed the drone frame and checked broods. I smelled the heavenly bee food supplement she handmakes with essential oils, bee protein, and honey. She showed me the fuel she preferred for her smoker. I watched a young worker bee emerge from her cell and drones without stingers hiding out still in the boxes. In the meantime, Zibs had wandered into their garden where my friend's dad was pulling up all the squash and getting beds ready for winter. As a seasoned grandpa, he handed her a toddler sized hoe and let her mess around.

I love the leaf in his hair, evidence of other play...
With food as a lure, we gathered the kids on the deck in the lovely sun. My dear friend taught Fairy Girl how to purl and start a pattern for a cat and then she patiently started Bubba on needles. After he finished a row, he retreated for a trampoline break and surprisingly came back for more knitting. He was hooked.

See, knitting in the warm autumn sun, ahhh!
Setting traps; something is at the chickens.
Meanwhile the other children were petting goats and getting cart rides behind grandpa's four-wheeler. It was a pretty great way to keep everyone happy.  When one of my friend's twins went missing, he was always found in the garden. What a lovely afternoon. I feel like I said that too many times, but it was just one of those days you'll remember fondly for a long time. Before I left, I had some black tea with fresh honey and I think I may have found something I like more than coffee!

No comments:

Post a Comment