Monday, March 15, 2010

Finger-Knittin' Good

(Sorry, couldn't resist!)

Even though my mom was (and is) and expert knitter, I learned finger-knitting at school, from a girl named Aimee Hanson (it was probably the most benign thing I learned from Aimee; she had a shockingly detailed--if inaccurate--knowledge of sex for a second-grader).

I forgot all about it, though, until reading about it in The Creative Family. I tried to get the boys interested last fall, but it seemed too complicated and we got distracted by other things.

Then I saw this amazing bit of fingerknitted rainbow wonderfulness and was inspired.

I bought a skein of handspun rainbow yarn at the end of buy nothing month (33 yards of yarn makes for three very very tiny balls).

And got the boys going. First I started with M, who picked it up easily.

Then I worked with E over a couple of sessions, until he was able to work the yarn on his own.

But it's been Z who really took off with it.

Twice I've set him up with his finger knitting before I went away and have come back to the thing having grown by yards.

From the Waldorf Connection lecture on handwork (by Heather of Shivaya Naturals), I learned that this kind of activity can calm little ones, so that when the boys start bouncing off the walls or trying to kill each other after a long day, I get out the finger knitting.

The other day, Z was running back and forth between his room and mine, crashing into my bed on every turn, which really drives me bonkers.

"Do you need to finger knit?" I asked.
"Yes," he replied eagerly.

After he was settled in with his little rainbow rope he said, "I have a feeling about finger knitting."
"What is your feeling?" I asked.

"That it's magic," he replied.

I think he's right.


  1. I remember finger knitting at camp in elementary school, and getting hooked on it for a while. I never thought of it as a calming exercise. Great idea!

  2. That is really, really sweet. I love seeing boys knitting. How old is your youngest? I wonder if my 5 year old boy (who can benefit from calming exercises) could do it.

  3. so wonderful! i love how much you are teaching your boys about creating.

  4. Thanks everyone.

    6512--the little ones will be five in May. We first tried when they were 4 1/2 and didn't get very far. This seems about the right age for them. Definitely worth giving it a try with your 5-y-o.

  5. How wonderful! It's so nice to see our handspun yarn going to good use. It looks beautiful fingerknitted. I agree that this type of activity is very soothing. Let me know if you ever need more yarn! :)

  6. So the 4th/5th grade classes at my school spent all last school year finger-knitting during daily read-aloud time. At the end of the year, they submitted what they believe to be the largest finger-knitted ball to the Guiness Book of World Records (there was no former record that they could find). We are still awaiting Guiness's decision but DARN, the kids were so proud of that ball!

  7. Sara--M wants to know how big the ball is! He's way into Guiness BWR.


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