Thursday, December 10, 2009

Westen Learns to Crochet ~ Step 1: The Slip Knot

Last night I attended a guild meeting and was inspired by a family sitting at my table. Theirs was a family just like mine, a mom, dad and two boys. Their kids are a little older, but they talked about all of the things they have done together, pottery classes, learning Latin and even fiber arts. Her sons learned to knit, crochet, spin and weave.

I left feeling motivated and with a renewed sense of purpose. You see, when I was a kid, my dad built wooden boats. He had a workshop with all of his power tools and projects. I used to love to spend time there; the smell of sawdust becoming one of my favorite bouquets. Deep down I really wanted to know how to work all of those noisy machines and how to make something beautiful out of wood. My dad didn't think his workshop was the best place for little girls and usually shewed me outside.

Now I'm the parent with a room full of mystery machines; spinning wheels, a drum carder, rotary comb, etc. Though my kids haven't really shown much interest, I have to admit that I haven't encouraged it either. It pains me to confess that I didn't really bring them into my craft because they are boys. You have no idea how hard it was for me to write that last sentence!

What's great is that it's not too late to change things. I don't know if my kids will embrace my world of fiber, but I do know that I can share something I love with them and that we can spend time together exploring something new. I also think that fiber arts offers some good lessons. You can learn color theory, design, all the math that goes with designing, coordination and patience. It encourages a harmony between oneself and nature. That's my favorite part.

So today I began by teaching my youngest the first thing you need to know when you learn to crochet ~ the slip knot. I've actually taught quite a few kids to crochet and this is how I teach them to make a slip knot:

First you make a "U" on your lap with your yarn. Then you cross the tail end over the skein end making a loop. Next, bring your pincher fingers up under the loop and grab the skein end of the yarn above the place where the yarns cross. Now hold the tail end in place while your pincher fingers bring the yarn through the loop and pull.

Westen liked learning how to make a slip knot. He's not so sure about crocheting yet, but he kind of likes the idea of being famous here on my blog. I'll be back to share our progress and I'll be getting big brother Jens in on the action too! First crocheting, then maybe dyeing, spinning, the world!

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