… Here’s a post from the archives in the days of an old blog I wrote many moons ago – Where Wild Strawberries Grow …
“Was on a rainy afternoon,
As all inside we were,
Rose piped up and said “Today, I’d like to finger knit”
So we knit, knit, knit, knit then we knit some more.
We knit, knit, knit, knit
And Rose could finger knit!”
Rose (A name Chilli insisted she be called for a few years between the ages of 4-6 years old!) has always enjoyed to be by my side whilst I craft, with her own pieces to create and bring together her own unique creations. Recently she has been wanting to knit gifts for people and the other day a friend asked if she could finger knit as yet. I asked if it was appropriate to be teaching Rose this as yet and she said that from this age on it was ok for the children to start to play with finger knitting (Rose was 4.5 years old at the time). This afternoon at midday rest time, Rose asked if I could sit with her and we could do some finger knitting. I drew on my trusty old finger knitting verse inherited from Patricia all those years ago when I learnt to finger knit, and coupled with a bit of inspiration from ‘A Child’s Seasonal Treasury’, we were underway.
I showed Rose first how to do her slip knot, by holding the yarn ‘snake tail’ between Mr Thumbkin and Peter Pointer. She kept using both hands together, so we reached our right hand up to the sky and had ‘twinkle fingers’ away with that hand whilst the left hand was down with the snake tail and Mr Thumbkin and Peter Pointer were holding on tight. Then we brought ‘twinkle fingers’ down to the yarn snake, on his ‘body’ and between Mr Thumbkin and Peter Pointer on our ‘twinkle fingers hand’, we brought our two Mr Thumbkins and Peter Pointers together so they could kiss and then there was ‘surprise’ a little yarn cave above the tail and the body. We held the ‘meeting place’ or ‘bridge’ in our first Mr Thumbkin and Peter Pointer, while our ‘twinkle fingers hand’ went in through the cave and with our little pinchers, took hold of the snake and brought him out of the cave, pulling him up to form the snakes head and then the little slip knot, or the snakes ‘neck’.
Then we used our verse;
Run round the log, (wind yarn around Peter Pointer finger, front to back)
Jump off the tree, (lift the first snake head up and over the new snake head, letting him ‘jump’ off the end of the tree – making sure Mr Thumbkin and Peter Pointer hold tight to the new snake head)
Swing on the vine, (twinkle fingers hand pulls gently on the snakes tail [the yarn tail end]…still making sure the other Mr Thumbkin and Peter Pointer hold tight to the new snake head)
Fly home to me. (Mr Thumbkin and Tall Man High come down to hold the snakes neck [the top knot just created of the finger knitting] while Peter Pointer points nice and straight and Mr Thumbkin and Peter Pointer on twinkle fingers hand gently pull the snakes body down toward the ground)
And such is the way that Rose learnt to finger knit. I was so proud of her as she also was of herself. She has made quite a length of rainbow finger knitting that I am going to combine with my pink/orange tone piece that I did whilst teaching her how to finger knit. We are going to sew the two pieces around into a little mat for Rose’s dressing table to remember always her first finger knitting piece.
I promised Rose that if she was able to finger knit, she could order some wool to keep doing her craft with. Consequently as soon as she realised she could finger knit successfully, she was wondering over which colour yarns she would like to order for herself. She settled on rainbows, mermaids and lollipops in 20 ply (which is the thickness she was using with ease this afternoon) from Indigo Inspirations.
:: An update to this archive posting – we found that the 20 ply was WAY too thick and the 16 ply was more than ample for her to knit with, even at this younger age. Below is the little mat we made for her dressing table which did take me nearly a year to stitch together! (I find the delicate stitching together of the finger knitting quite tedious!) ::