Finger knitting is a skill that strengthens both sides of the brain. It satisfies the right brain's desire for beauty and creation while stimulating the left brain's bent for order and process. Finger knitting is for everyone. Besides, it’s uses are legion—from scarves to sweaters, simple placemats to intricate rugs. The best thing about finger knitting is the calm and beauty it brings to our homes. Here are five reasons you should teach your children to finger knit.
Finger knitting is an easy craft for everyone to learn. The initial learning curve is small enough for a child of five. A simple chain is a great place to begin. As small motor skills grow, imagination sparkles. Soon the young artisan gives birth to crochet and knit items like blankets, hats, or even purses. The maturity of this skill may eventually lead to life-long income-producing business ventures.
The craft of spinning yarn from the fleece of a lamb, goat, alpaca, and even cashmere bunnies is thousands of years old. The Smithsonian has a 1,700-year-old sock from ancient Egypt, and the traditional Huichol yarn paintings of Mexico is one of the most beautiful forms of yarn art in the world. Studying the historical significance of master craftsmanship aught to inspire the beginning artisan to work diligently with their hands to create useful, beautiful art. Finger knitting is the first step in fostering such worthy aspirations.
The list of items made just from yarn is truly limitless. A young child may begin with a single stitch chain to create a headband, a bracelet, a belt, a rope, a toy snake, a tie, a jump rope, a necklace, and more. Throughout the centuries, knitting has provided rugs, blankets, bags, table covers, and clothing of all kinds. Master crafters have turned yarn into textile treasures that have decorated palaces and adorned kings and queens. The possibilities are limited only by our imaginations.
Because the possibilities for finger knitting are ageless, timeless, and limitless, there is no end to the amount of time one can spend at this craft. There is always something more to do and more to learn. Teach a child this new skill, and they will sit quietly for hours, focusing their heart and mind on the task. Allow an adult to develop a love for knitting and the useless things and small anxieties that once occupied their minds will give way to endless hours of joy and purpose. This leads us to our last reason to learn finger knitting, fruitfulness.
The fruit of finger knitting extends far beyond the items you create. Working with your hands gives you a chance to focus your mind on worthy things like Scripture and music. While you work, you can ponder the greatness of our God and seek his help in untangling situations in your life. It is also a great way to engage your child in a relaxed and meaningful conversation. Talking and sharing ideas while you are sharing a common craft leads to a shared exprience that will lead to a deeper bond between a parent and a child. 1 Thessalonians 4: 11-12 says,
“But we urge you, brothers ... to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”
Teach yor children the self-care skill of being quiet. If life is frenetic, take a break and sit quietly, mind your own affairs, focus your heart on greater things, and just knit for a while. The fruit of that labor just may sweeten your demeanor and provide a harvest of beautiful creations.
In case you need help teaching your little ones the fine art of finger kntting, we included a video of our favorite little green puppet, Gordon, to help out. Gordon is the brain-child of Clapham School teacher Joleen Steel. Joleen has created an e-book with instructions for handwork that you can download. She has also created an introductory blog post and video where she introduces Gordon and the Handwork Series.
Happy finger knitting!