But first, my current WIP...
More longies for W! Yes, winter is leaving us and warmer weather is a promise. Wouldn't one be ready to pack away the wool?
There is an old English saying, "The months that include an "R" are months for the little ones to wear wool!" I happen to wholeheartedly agree! Fostering warmth in a young child is important for emotional, physical, and spiritual growth! (wonderful article here for more on Warmth)
We will happily be wearing our woolens well into spring:)
I borrowed the beautiful books from a wonderful woman at our church.
The Easter book is going to guide me considerably in the next few weeks as we prepare for Easter, Springtime, and our Baptism!
The toymaking book has been on my list for a long while. In my opinion, it's a classic, and perhaps even a "must have" for a Waldorf family!
Having the ability to knit playthings and clothing for my son is a wonderful gift that I am so thankful for. I am by no means a seasoned knitter!
Two close friends of mine taught me last summer.
They made it look so easy! I struggled a lot during the first month. My stitches were too tight. I was holding the needles wrong. I lost count all the time. Forget reading patterns- that was like learning a new language! I kept turning to Jay and saying, "This doesn't look right! This doesn't feel right!"
I so envied knitters who could hold a conversation and knit; all the while looking pleased and relaxed.
My first completed project...full of dropped stitches, mistakes, and crooked rows. I love it.
I almost gave up. I thought, "Maybe this isn't for everyone. Maybe it's just not my thing."
I doubted myself; especially since knitting incorporates a good amount of math.
I have posted before about my struggles with math, how I had been "diagnosed" with a learning disability, how missing points on a standardized test had kept me from advancing my career. I recall being so embarrassed. Staying inside for recess to be tutored, (while my teacher whispered about me to my tutor as I did long division totally wrong on the chalkboard..."hmph. See what I mean?" Yes. I heard you. And I remember, 20 years later..) failing tests over and over. I was tracked so low in high school that I was in an algebra class with sophmores my senior year. Of course I failed all of my standardized tests; I had never even been introduced to more than half of the concepts!
Into my life walks knitting and a yearning to create. And to overcome obstacles.
Through knitting, I have discovered a real patience and confidence. I count my stitches. I divide them. I multiply them. I take my time. I pull projects apart when I make mistakes, even though it almost hurts to do so. You know what I mean.
Fall hat for W, 2010
During an observation morning at our local Waldorf school, I walked into a classroom of 4th graders during their handwork block. They were making socks. They held them up to show me; they talked about the experience as a whole.
Children who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with their hands (head, and heart!) are given such a huge gift. Handwork is powerful. Skill learning is a huge foundation for all learning, not to mention the sense of self reliance when one creates useful, everyday objects.
Legwarmers for baby W, summer 2010
How different would my experience with math be if I were lucky enough to internalize it through art? Or handwork? Or a passionate teacher?
At nearly 30 years old, I am now facing it. I'm learning by doing and it feels great.