Sophia has recently begun to finger knit. And although this is typically a kindergarten activity in Waldorf education, this soothing form of handwork has this eight-year old completely captivated.
I taught Sophia how to finger knit last week and she has since spent time during the morning, afternoon and evening hours practicing. She even came downstairs the other morning sleepy-eyed with her blue skein of yarn tucked snugly under her arm ready to start knitting a chain. It was her first instinct of the day.
Last year we had the pleasure of following the process of making yarn from sheep to scarf in one of our homeschooling co-op classes. Sophia was able to see the entire process from shearing the sheep to skirting the fleece to washing, dying and spinning the wool and finally making yarn.
It's always great to get right to the source of something and to allow children the experience of actually being a part of the process.
Finger knitting is an easy introduction to knitting (with needles) and requires no equipment other than hands and yarn. Once a child masters finger knitting it can become a soothing activity that allows children to create their own bracelets, necklaces, belts and scarves.
I find it has a very calming effect on Sophia who tends to be highly energetic and always looking ahead to the next activity. It has been wonderful to see her sitting still, concentrating and working contentedly with her hands.
For those of you looking for a good tutorial on finger knitting you may want to watch this video. I also found this instructional which offers another method of finger knitting along with a little story to teach the process.
Next week I will introduce the spool knitter to her and let her have at it with a few more skeins of colorful yarn!