What a crazy couple of days! Our thoughts and prayers are with our many friends and family members along the eastern seaboard – especially those in New Jersey. We have had candles lit and are counting our blessings that everyone is safe and sound. Sending love and light to all those affected by the storm.
When I first came to Waldorf, I asked a friend’s mother to teach me to knit. I have always done handcrafts, and usually take to these things pretty quickly and easily. However, after spending an entire afternoon reciting, “Jack goes in the window, up around back, catch your stitch and off hops Jack,” I came home with a yarn-tangle the size of a teabag. When I showed it to Tom, he belly-laughed out loud. Jude has taken to knitting much easier than I did. I decided to teach him to knit right-handed, even though he is a lefty. I did this for two reasons: #1 it is easier for me (sometimes the truth is that plain). #2 he needs to build up strength in his right hand and arm. Jude is so left-dominate, that his penny whistle teacher also has him do exercises with his right hand so he can more easily play the bottom notes on his whistle. Who knew Waldorf required strength training?
I am using our main lesson time to teach Jude to knit. I knew if I tried to fit it in the afternoon, it would never happen. We usually start the day’s lesson with a fun story that has a knitting theme. Of course, we read the classic, Pelle’s New Suit by Elsa Beskow. I had never read this book before, and I loved it like I have her others. Pelle reminded of a short novel we read aloud over the summer. Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates is also a story about a boy who has a coat made out of the wool from a sheep he owns. Mountain Born would be fine to read to a first grader, but I think it would be even better for an older child learning to knit. (Thanks Mama, for the recommendation!) We also read “Teasel and Tweed” from a Donsy of Gnomes by Sieglinde De Francesca. After our story, I had Jude sit on my lap and I guided his hands as we recited the “Jack” verse. This cut down on extra verbal instruction and hopefully is beginning to build muscle memory. He has now graduated to sitting beside me, and is really knitting along nicely. He has casted on only 10 stitches, so the rows go (relatively) quickly. He picks his knitting up several times throughout the day and is really proud of his work.
- Lori over at Waldorf (inspired) Moms has some great ideas in this post about what to make with all those little knitted squares.
- Joey over at Made by Joey has a nice tutorial on making your own knitting needles. This is something I want to do during our December break from formal homeschooling.
- Here is another great post by Joey with some simple projects for a beginning knitter.
- Vincent loves the book Kids Learn to Knit by Lucinda Guy and Francois Hall. I believe it is out of print, but we check it out a lot from our library.
- Ms. Martha has some cute baby blocks that are knitted squares sewn together.