Saturday, October 2, 2010


I don't know how many times I've heard Melissa Nielson write and talk about the importance of handwork.  That handwork is not just about making something but that it helps children to focus and work out problems that they are having.  It gives them time to be quiet and even though they are not aware of it they work out their internal problems.  These sorts of problems are the ones that have symptoms of bad behavior, acting out, smart mouths, etc.

I've tried to teach my girls how to knit and crochet.  We've even tried finger knitting and they are just not ready for it.  With 4-H they have been working on quilt squares with mixed results.  But recently my oldest daughter picked up a bag of latch-hook and asked,  "What's this?"

I showed her how to do it and she has spent the last 3 days working on this:
It was partially done, the mouth, bow, an eye and 3/4 of the blue and paw prints were finished but she has been steadily working on it since then.  It has had such a calming peaceful effect on her.  Yesterday at play group she and her best friend just sat and talked while they each did handwork.  She has been such a pleasant child.

My youngest also wanted to learn how to do latch-hook and we got her this kit:

She worked last evening and this morning.  when it is finished she will have a nice horse pillow for her bed.  She seems to need a little more help.  The backing is stiff and the hook keeps getting stuck.  But it is going well and she keeps telling me how much fun she is having.

Now, my solace with handwork is needlepoint and knitting.  This morning I went to a knit swap and sale at the local knit shop.  It was a real find for me.  For less than $8, I picked up 4 circular needles, some really nice yarn including 2 skeins of alpaca (1 red, 1 gray) and a free baggie with these inside:

These will be perfect for the little squares I am making to practice knit stitches.  Aren't they pretty?  All but the multi-color are really soft, silky yarns.  The multi-color is a more stiff. 

So this Saturday morning, I am wishing you happiness in your handwork endeavors.  Handwork really does help to sooth, focus and help you work out internal problems so that you can deal better with life.


Amanda, the Head Nut said...

We picked up two easy needlepoint kits for the girls Friday afternoon, after playgroup (40% off coupons). The girls have been working on those. They cried at first at "not getting it." After they figured it out, they've been working and working while listening to books or music. I really believe in handwork.

Darcy said...

My grandfather did needlework up until his death a few years ago. It was hanging all over their house, he often gave it as gifts for Christmas, and I have a few cherished pieces he did for me. He started out with latch hook many years ago. I dabble in handwork, most recently learning how to crochet.

Not too long ago, I talked Mr. Busyhands into learning to latch hook. After hearing stories about his great-grandfather doing it, watching me work it a little, he's so excited and is about to finish his first project which will be a patriotic flag pillow for his room. It keeps him occupied during reading time if it's been a particularly busy day for his body lol.

Glad to see another generation interested!

Julia F. said...

I was just going through my closet when I found the same horse latch hook that your daughter made, unfinished. This is the only instance of the same project that I have found online. This may be a stretch, but would you happen to have the instruction booklet for that kit? I seem to have lost the one that came with mine and would like to finish the project.

CloseAcademy said...

I don't know if she actually finished it and I'm not even sure if we still have it. I'll check around and see.


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