Thursday, September 29, 2016

Waldorf-inspired art classes for kids: knitting

In today's art class for kids, our second in the series of ten, we introduced the concept of knitting.  We started our group out with a classic story about wool, Pelle's New Suit - where a boy goes step by step from sheep to shirt (shearing, carding, spinning, dying, weaving, and sewing the wool).  The kids got to feel natural wool roving noticing how soft it was and a bit sticky from the lanolin still left on the wool.  They saw how it looked when it was dyed, and tried carding with simple carding brushes (just like grandmother does in the story!).  The younger group just got a taste for working with wool by doing very simple finger knitting and creating a wool flower craft with their finger-knit chain.  The older group had the chance to work with knitting needles, learning how to properly roll their yarn skein into a ball (working in pairs to do this was a nice teamwork activity), casting on their stitches, and starting the first rows of a small project.  They will continue to work on this small project over the remainder of our weeks together as a way to continue to practice their knitting skills bit by bit.

Sometimes knitting can feel frustrating at first as you fumble with holding needles and making stitches (for any beginner, both young or old) so working in small doses, with large needles and soft beautiful bulky good quality wool, will hopefully make this more manageable for our learners.  Our theme in all our art classes is simply to each try our best and find the beauty in using different textures, colours and natural materials, not to strive for perfection!  Since these classes are just a short introduction to our different Waldorf-inspired art forms we also hope the parents will continue to explore these various art forms at home with their children.

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