Little hands have been busy all weekend at the Knitty Gritty Homestead.
Here's what they're doing:
1. Cut a square out of cardboard. Snip off the corners to create an octagon. It doesn't have to be geometrically perfect! Snip a little slit into each straight side, for a total of eight slits.
2. Cut seven lengths of yarn (for the littlest hands) or embroidery floss (for older, more patient hands); about 8-10 inches long should be about right. *For 3-4 year olds, using seven different colours could be helpful!*
3. Tie a knot at one end, to combine all strings into one big hank. Poke a hold in the middle of the octagon, and push the knot through just so it sits on the back side. Working from the top, put one strand of yarn in each slit, leaving one empty (so that the yarn hangs down).
4. Instruct your little one to put the empty slit at his/her bellybutton.
5. Count up three strands on the right; pick up the third strand and pull it up and out of the slit.
6. Take that strand, and slot it into the empty slit at the bottom (near your child's bellybutton!).
7. Turn the octagon clockwise until the NEW empty slit is again lined up with the bellybutton.
8. And repeat!
We tied a beer opener to the bottom as weight, and every now and then you'll need to gently pull down on the centre of your work (as you do when using a spool knitter).
After awhile, you'll see all this work resulting in a tiny rope! Longer strings will yield a necklace, shorter ones a bracelet. If you make most strands one colour, you'll get a spiral effect.
Violet and a friend of Jude's were mesmerized by this handwork and worked away all weekend at their creations.