Sunday, October 28, 2012

(Homeschooling) Lessons with Wool

dyeing yarn for homeschool





Back in September, C and I started our own wool lessons on our craft days. On our very first craft day she dyed yarn herself using our own kool-aid tutorial.  We used burly spun yarn  that we picked up from our school store for this project, as it was the perfect weight for what I had in store for C after we dyed it. This was to be her very own yarn so I wanted to her to dye it however she wanted to. She chose 5 different colors (I regret that I did not write down their names) and had a blast using the baster to squirt dye everywhere (hence, the outdoor dyeing pictures!).

You might appreciate that in true Portlandia style,  it was impossible to find  kool-aid anywhere here in Portland. Believe me, we searched! I am happy it's not a normal thing here but since we (only) use it as dye - I am also a bit disappointed. Thankfully I remembered I bought a bunch back in Virginia (it was quite plentiful, I am sad to say) and kept it in a folder in my filing cabinet for future dyeing projects.

dyeing yarn for homeschool (using our own tutorial)


We broke out the sheep toys that have been put away for years to keep Little L happy while we worked

On the following craft day (I purposely look for projects that can stretch out over many days to help nurture patience.) C wound her yarn into many little balls. These balls were to be used for finger knitting. (That's why I wanted the thick yarn) Does that seem a bit odd to do many little balls instead of just one big one? Well, it did to me until  a few years back when I gave K one large ball for a special project and she refused to knit with it. I later learned from her teachers that seeing such a large amount was just too overwhelming for a child her age (4 at the time). So using one small ball at a time is much more manageable for small children. They can finger knit the whole ball with their shorter attention span or put it down for later. Either way, it won't seem endless to them and that is what matters.





learning to finger knit

I first taught C how to make a slip knot  (I use that for starting both finger knitting and knitting with needles).Then I said this verse while finger knitting on my own ball of yarn:

"Into the lake,
pull out the snake"

When we say "Into the lake"we put our hand into the large loop (the slip knot)coming in from the top
and  then for "pull out the snake" we grab on to the yarn tail (that is still attached to the ball) below and pull it through until it forms a new lake. Then we just repeat the process over and over again. Repetition is key. And since children learn by imitation it is best if you sit with them with your own ball of yarn finger knitting as well.(Side by side is best. If you sit in front of them then they are watching the process backwards which can be a bit confusing!)

She did quite a few stitches and then decided the toys Little L was playing with looked like too much fun to pass by.

C's finger knitting

She has since gone through half of her finger knitting balls, picking up her knitting on her own throughout our days. I think it's safe to say she likes it!

p.s - Don't forget the Belambolo giveaway is still going on here.

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