Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fifth Grade Handwork: Socks!

Handwork...a total love-hate relationship for both the Boy and me. We are both perfectionists and both very verbal when things aren't going right. And that seems to  happen too, too often in handwork class!

His exposure to handwork began in his Waldorf kindergarten class, with the introduction of finger knitting by two of his classmates. In first grade, SWS students make their own knitting needles, then progress to knitting. His class started by making a 20 st x 20 row square, which they folded into various animals: cats, chickens, bunnies and the like. In second grade, he learned to purl, with the main project for the year being a knitted gnome. Third grade brought the introduction of crochet and the creation of a beautiful wool cap, a knitted horse, and an introduction to needle felting.

And then we began homeschooling. My skills are limited to threading a needle, crocheting a chain, and I finger a kindergartner; we couldn't rely on mom to teach this subject! I had to find a way to teach him handwork, ugh! Fortunately, several of the Boy's classmates opted to home school the same year, which allowed us to create our own class and hire a teacher, which we did.

Wednesdays are our handwork days. Knowing that this is a stressful class for us, I give the Boy plenty of free time in the morning, and a filling breakfast. We listen to soothing music on our drive, and arrive at Barb's at 10. We have a half hour play time with our friends, enjoy a quick snack, then settle to the task of knitting. 

Last fall session the Boy made a knitted fox. It was a true test of will; there were lots of new terms to learn and times of having to literally work stitch by stitch in unison with the teacher. I was proud of his determination to work through, even on days when he ended up in tears.Yes, there were a handful of those. In the end, he was so proud of his work when little Fargo the fox was finished! 

Working on Fargo's tail.
During the spring session, we  were introduced to knitting in the round, the kids making little puppets and moms starting on socks. I was a little too ambitious and started mine on size 4 needles. I now have a nice pair of ankle warmers...I never did finish.

Our socks: His on the left, mine on the right.

This year, Barb has all of us, moms included, making socks. We are using Stitch Nation wool, 2 skeins each with size 8 needles. So far they look great and have been so much easier than the ones I started last year. What an encouragement!

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