Friday, January 10, 2014

Learning some handicrafts skills

Handicrafts, I must admit, were a bit scary for me. Just thinking of adding one more things into our busy schooling routine, one that would require skills that I haven't mastered, was indeed a bit overwhelming.

What are handicrafts you may ask?

   They are life skills that 
  • should not be employed in making futilities such as a pea and stick work, paper mats and likes,
  • should  be taught slowly and carefully what they are to do
  • slipshod work should not be allowed
  • therefore, the children work should be kept well withing their compass  ~ HomeEducation Vol 1pp 315, 316
There are many types of handicrafts like: baking, knitting, sewing, clay sculpting, spool knitting etc...When one of the little girls mention at few occasions in the last month, her desire for learning to knit, I took her hint seriously.  

I went to the store to get the biggest needles I could find. Since I taught myself how to knit, I was pretty clueless on how to teach someone else to do so. Did what I do best when need help in a hurry, and sat down and watch some youtube videos on "how to teach children to knit" Seriously, youtube is a great source of information when it come to thinks like this! 

Then pick up that little big girl on my lap and we slowly knit together, her hands over mind and she following each movement while I explained what we were doing. After a while, I let her hold the needle and helped her with the tricky part of "not loosing a stitch". Little by little she gained enough confidence to try all by herself.

Then I realized, I don't need to be an expert knitter (or any other handicrafts) expert to be able to teach the skills, I just need to know a little bit more then they do! 

 I am certain that, in the future, I'll be the one learning some skills from them.

Knitting was a skill that my big girl was interested in and wanted to learn, it made it easier to sit down with her and teach, because she was willing to learn. My 2 other little goose did not share the motivation in learning how to knit, at least not at the moment, but still needed to work with their hands to keep them busy.

I always say "If kids are not busy doing something productive, they are busy doing something destructive"

Got our buckets of beads out and asked them to create necklaces to giveaway to some of their little friends. Why not use that time of being busy with their hands, to create something to bless others, and they did for hours. Busy and happy.

How about you, are you teaching any type of handicrafts at the moment?


  1. Love this post. I'm hoping to learn to knit this year. I really enjoy embroidery too.


    1. Good luck on the learning to knit, try looking at youtube videos, it really help :-)

      Embroidery sounds fun, not sure I'll have a patience to do it, but might give it a try :-)

  2. That photo of her sitting there knitting is priceless!!! Love your statement about being either productive or destructive - that's often so true!

    1. When I saw her like that I HAD to take a picture!!!!! She reminds me of an old lady trap in a little girls body hehe.

  3. What a sweet photo!

    We are working on sewing and weaving at the moment - my kids enjoy it. Maybe we'll try knitting next - that's a skill I would like to work on!

  4. haha I have to work on all those basic handicrafts skills. Now I wish I would have been able to take homeEc in high school (our school was in transition and too many students for not enough teachers = kids who were good academically got into classes like physics and advance math and those with lower grades got shop and homeEc.... not really fair in my book. ) So now I am trying to figure some of those skills all by myself (glad for all those youtube tutorial video)

  5. I totally agree about youtube videos...they're great when you need to learn something like knitting. I'm learning to knit myself now, and am looking forward to teaching my boys. I'd like your expert opinion now that I see those huge needles, though...are they really easier to use for kids, or will I be OK with my extra set of regular ones? :)

    1. It all depends how dexterous your boys are.

      With bigger needles you are using bigger yarn (I made my |big| yarn by tripling the yarn over itself) and bigger yarn is easier for the beginners (and bonus they can make a scarf way faster with bigger yarn and needles and when learning something like this a sense of accomplishment is always helpful)

  6. Dakota hands weren't ready for needles yet but we purchased a knitting tower from Nova Natural and she LOVES working with it. She made a scarf for her doll and is now working on a rope for a swing.