Posted in Home Economics

Weaving for Kids

weaving for kids

Weaving for Kids

Does the process of knitting seem to take too long before you finally have a finished product? You may like to give weaving a try in your homeschool. We started to learn how to weave when my son was just a few years old, with a frame loom, and he was hooked!

Frame Loom

A Frame loom is the simplest kind of loom. It looks like a picture frame but with pegs along the top and bottom. Frame looms are generally inexpensive, and can be made of wood or plastic.

Once you have run yarn lengthwise (known as the “warp”), you use a large needle to weave yarn in and out from side to side (known as the “weft”). Frame looms are good for making small items such as place mats, but it takes time because you have to manually weave the weft in and out, in and out of the warp.

Rigid Heddle Loom

weaving for kids

Rigid heddle looms come in sizes that will fit in your lap (see photo) or on a stand or small table. With a loom like this, you can weave a scarf, potholder, or purse – and if you’re willing to sew them together you can make a bigger item such as a blanket.

weaving for kids

The rigid heddle itself is what you lift up and down to separate the warp. You then push the yarn (wrapped around a shuttle) through the space between the two sections. This space between threads is called the “shed”. Weaving goes a LOT faster with no weaving in and out of the weft with a needle; simply draw the shuttle from one side to the other, change the position of the rigid heddle (from the up to the down position or vice versa), then draw the shuttle from this side to the other and repeat.

Table Loom

weaving for kids

The table loom (see photo above) sits on a table and you use levers to create the shed. Throw the shuttle across the shed one way, throw the lever; repeat. The table loom is large enough to make small throw rugs and small blankets in addition to everything you can make on a rigid heddle loom.

When I took this photo of my daughter weaving on a borrowed table loom a few years ago, I also took a video. It’s amusing because the table loom is so big and she is so small, that she had to throw the shuttle across, go around to the side of the loom, throw the lever, go back to the front of the loom and sit down to throw the shuttle across and so on. It was fun to watch her get her exercise while weaving!

Floor Loom

Floor looms take up a lot of space, and sometimes even a whole room. You still throw the yarn across with a shuttle, but to create the shed between the warp, you use foot pedals (instead of levers as on the table loom). You can weave anything on a floor loom.

There are many more types of looms, and sub-types of looms. If your children are interested, explore more along with them. Then, enjoy making a simple loom together.

Make Your Own Index Card Loom!

You can make your own loom using simple 3×5 index cards and yarn! Look up “Learn How to Weave with Paper Index Cards” on Youtube for a step-by-step how-to video or watch here:

You can also print this pocket loom template out onto cardstock, which includes a shuttle and pocket loom. What you are making here is a rudimentary rigid heddle/backstrap loom. A backstrap loom is something you’ll see in many third world countries, with the warp stretched between two sticks, one strapped to the weaver around their back. You can also use this index card rigid heddle if you have a frame loom and want to thread the warp yarn through it so you can lift and lower it instead of weaving in and out. We’ve tried this and it works well.

More Ideas

If your children try the index card loom, love it and yearn for more (like mine did), consider purchasing a rigid heddle loom. My two children have enjoyed the “Cricket” by Schacht (the one pictured above, with both my son and daughter weaving) that we bought for them as a joint Christmas gift in 2010. They take turns weaving on it – usually making beautiful scarves of one, two, or three colours.

If you would like to study weaving more formally, Harrisville Designs has put together WoolWorks! a curriculum designed for Grades 3-8. Created for use in a classroom, this curriculum is easily adapted for use in your homeschool or local co-op. It comes in a binder, which I find very practical because I can easily add any extra resources or patterns I find to supplement the curriculum. This curriculum contains 12 Lessons, four of which concern weaving, including information on weaving and looms, and weaving around the world. Each lesson is full of ideas, projects, and photographs.

Weaving for kids can be an educational addition to your homeschool, especially when studying past history and cultures that weave. Children can also create beautiful woven items for themselves or as gifts!

Have you added weaving for kids to your homeschool curriculum? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Resources

For the Kids AND for You: The Ultimate DIY Bundle

**This bundle is no longer available. Stay tuned for new bundles coming up in future!**

There aren’t enough hours in the day, right? With homeschooling, work, preparing meals, cleaning up after everyone, and putting yet another load of laundry on, there’s very little time for sleep – let alone fitting in arts or crafts or even time for DIY and crafting just for you!

Do you look at that bare wall In the family room or that tatty tablecloth on the kitchen table, and just wish you had a few hours to do something about them? Or do you browse through those wonderful crafting successes on Pinterest and think to yourself that “one day” you’ll have a few more minutes to yourself so that you too can create something incredible?

You’re not alone – there’s a huge community of people out there who are feeling just as frustrated as you are! I’m one of them!

Thankfully though, there’s an exciting new product to help you quickly and easily get you and your kids into (or back into) the creative projects you’ve been desperate to start. It’s called The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and it’s a collection of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading authors and bloggers in the industry.

For the crazy low price of just $34.95 US, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 76 eBooks and eCourses. And let me reassure you that this really is great value: the Ultimate Bundles team (who produced the resource) has spent MONTHS seeking out the most respected experts in the industry and asking them to contribute their premium-quality eBooks and eCourses. I am so excited about getting my own bundle! These really are the best of the best when it comes to DIY and crafting advice and information.

Topics in the bundle include:

  • Home decor
  • Furniture painting
  • Photography
  • Chalk pastels
  • Handmade gifts
  • Homemade skincare products
  • Cake decorating
  • Photography and photo-editing
  • Paint colors and interior design
  • …and a whole lot more (76 eBooks and eCourses in total) – to help you be inspired or get started with your next DIY or crafting project!

There’s no need to worry about information overload though: The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with a complete guide to getting started, so that you can know exactly which resource to use for your specific crafting or DIY project and can jump straight into it with confidence!

Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 9am Atlantic on Wednesday, January 21 until 12:59am Atlantic on Tuesday, January 27.

You can buy with complete confidence because you’re covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you have a full 30 days to enjoy all the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle, and if you don’t think they provided enough value, you’ll get a full refund.

Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $118. That’s 3x the price of the bundle alone! These include …

A free $15 Store Credit PLUS 8×10 Art Print from Hope Ink ($43 Value), a free online class from Craftsy (up to $60 Value), free $15 store credit to Fawnsberg.com, and a free sewing pattern PLUS a Premium Video Class from UpCraft Club ($19.99 Value).

The Craftsy class alone is worth more than the price of the bundle! My 11 year old daughter and I LOVE Craftsy classes!

So, don’t miss your chance to grab The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and get 76 incredible eBooks and eCourses for just $34.95. All you need to do is take action by 12:59am Atlantic on Tuesday, January 27!

This amazing deal ends in just…

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Pick up your copy right now, before it’s too late. Or, learn more here.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. If you click through and buy I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Friday: Sewing a Frozen Elsa Costume Part 2

Fibre Friday
Last Friday, I shared the beginnings of the dance version of a Frozen Elsa costume I’m making: Fibre Friday – Sewing a Frozen Elsa Costume Part 1. It’s dance competition season and my daughter will be wearing it for her lyrical dance solo. I’m not finished yet! Some of the hand sewing took quite awhile.

I finished hand sewing all the beads to the bodice. I also hand sewed the bodice to the skirt:

Frozen Elsa costume

My daughter is looking forward to helping me add sparkles to the skirt with fabric spray! I need to start making the gauzy sleeves to attach to the bodysuit that is going underneath.

And then there is Elsa’s coronation cloak. We have some lovely purple velveteen to make it out of. I have started working on the capelet part. I made a mockup out of some spare fabric:

Frozen Elsa costume

I tried hemming it, but hemming rounded edges is HARD! So a friend gave me the idea of doubling the fabric, sewing all around it and flipping it right side out (as I would do for making a pillow). It will make the capelet a little stiffer than the rest of the cloak. I will be keeping the rest of it single so the fabric flows while my daughter dances – it should be pretty easy to finish that part and hem it – it will be a simple rectangle. Hopefully I’ll be done in the next few days. I will share the finished product next week!

What have you been sewing, knitting, crocheting, or making in your home or homeschool this week? Feel free to share and link up!

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Friday: Sewing a Frozen Elsa Costume Part 1

Fibre FridayWelcome to Fibre Friday! It’s dance competition season! I have been busy sewing a costume for my daughter’s Lyrical solo. It’s going to be a dance version of a Frozen Elsa costume. She is a huge fan of Frozen the movie and of the music. She sings the songs all over the house, all the time.

Sewing a Frozen Elsa Costume – Part 1

Once we had decided to make her outfit look like Elsa’s, my daughter had some great ideas for things we could recycle and use. She brought out her old ballet costume (which she had worn so much for dance and theatre, that the bottom had started to wear). We started cutting the skirt pieces off:

Frozen Elsa costume

Once removed, we were left with this:

Frozen Elsa costume

And then we cut off the bottom, leaving just the bodice/bustier part. And of course, Elsa’s bustier is very sparkly, so we bought reflective beads to sew on it:

Frozen Elsa costume

We also bought some beautiful, stretchy fabric for Elsa’s skirt. I took my daughter’s measurements and made my own pattern. I am a beginner sewer, so the stretchy fabric was a bit of a challenge, but I made a mock-up skirt out of some spare fabric first, just to make sure I had it right. And here it is:

Frozen Skirt

It looks great on and my daughter loves it. Now I have to finish sewing all the beads on the bodice and I have to attach the skirt to it. We bought some fabric spray paint and still have to spray it on the skirt for some sparkle.

A bodysuit needs to be worn underneath of course, and we were lucky to find this one at Ginger’s for just $10!

Frozen Elsa costume

Elsa also has sheer sleeves, so my daughter pulled out her Cinderella nightgown, with a gauzy overgown that has a big tear in it:

Frozen Elsa costume

We have cut off the gauzy material and will be attaching sleeves to the bodysuit. So, we still have quite a bit of work to do. I will share where we are at with it next week – hopefully it will be done or just need a few finishing touches as the first dance competition is in just a couple of weeks!

Is your child obsessed with Frozen? What have you been sewing, knitting, crocheting, or making in your home or homeschool this week? Feel free to share and link up!

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Friday: Knitting More Fingerless Gloves

Fibre FridayA couple of weeks ago, I shared about A Knit-a-thon, Arm Knitting, and Fingerless Gloves. Since then, I haven’t got much knitting done (or any other fibre arts for that matter), but I did manage to knit more fingerless mitts.

It’s the same pattern from the book, Knitting New Mittens and Gloves, that I borrowed from the library and shared in my post. I knit some fingerless gloves for charity and then both my son AND daughter wanted a pair!

Here is my son’s pair. He wanted his in the same, blue yarn.

Fibre Friday

For my daughter, I knit some up in a beautiful pink bamboo yarn that she just loves.

Fibre Friday

Hopefully, by next Friday I will have some progress on knitting a dog with my daughter, and on the Crosstown Convertible that I started during the Olympics.

What are you or your children working on this week? Knitting, crocheting, spinning, or felting? Please share and feel free to link up!

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Home Economics

Fibre Friday: Teaching Kids to Knit

teaching kids to knitIt’s Fibre Friday! I thought I would share some tips on teaching kids to knit this week.

Teaching Kids to Knit

My 15 year old son, my 10 year old daughter and I all enjoy knitting. Sometimes we knit while we take turns reading aloud to each other during our homeschool day. Knitting also comes in handy for something to do in the car, or when stuck in a waiting room, or even backstage or on set.  Some Friday afternoons you can find us knitting at the Fibre Friday drop-in at our local library.

Books for Teaching Kids to Knit

Teaching kids to knit can be a lot of fun! I started teaching my children when they were each about 4 years old. I used “A First Book of Knitting for Children” by Bonnie Gosse and Jill Allerton. This book is based on the Waldorf method.  It has fantastic, memorable little rhymes for casting on your stitches to start your project, and teaching the stitches: knit, purl, etc.

teaching kids to knit
I even use these rhymes to teach adults how to knit, so don’t be afraid to learn right along with your children!  The book also has some adorable knitting patterns for all kinds of animals and dolls. I also recently picked up a great book at the library last week, “Knit Your Own Dog“.

Getting Started

To get started, we picked up some cute, fat knitting needles with faces on them (size 8 or larger needles, not too long, also work well).  Each child picked out a colour of yarn they liked from my “stash” and went to work. If possible, choose a nice, soft natural fibre such as 100% merino wool.  After a short lesson working beside them, or whenever they got frustrated, I had them put away the knitting to bring out again another day.

Make it fun! You’re building a memory with them, and it’s up to you whether they have warm, fuzzy memories or not.  If you spend some time teaching kids to knit, it’s something that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives. They can spread the joy by teaching others or through knitted gifts.

Neither of my children really caught on right away at 4 years old, although I know of children who have. My son didn’t really “get it” until he was about 8 years old, and my daughter was 5 years old when she started running with it. We all enjoy teaching kids to knit now, and many of our International Students have returned home knowing the basics.

teaching kids to knit

A good way for children to start knitting is without a pattern.  A garter stitch square or scarf make good first projects.  Garter stitch is accomplished simply by knitting every stitch, for every row.  I find the little one learning gets the most pleasure out of their first project by having the stitches cast on for them at first, so they can get the hang of the knit stitch.  To knit a square, cast on about 25 stitches and then knit each row until it looks square.  For a scarf, similarly, cast on about 25 stitches and then knit until it is the desired length.

The most common problem I find for beginners, is adding stitches as they go, usually at the beginning of a row.  Be sure that when they finish a row and turn their needle around to start a new row, that they give a little tug on the yarn at the first stitch (which is the last stitch of the previous row), preventing them from making two stitches out of it.  Also, remind them to count their stitches after every row for their first project, to make sure they don’t end up with a parallelogram!

If you ever have trouble with a concept, one great way of learning it is to watch free videos on the web, i.e. on YouTube.  Once your child has knit a simple project to start, they can choose other projects – there are so many free patterns on the internet.You can also find knitting books at your local library.

Benefits of Knitting

Knitting is a fantastic, repetitive motion activity.  Studies have shown that engaging in a repetitive motion while learning increases retention rate!  So feel free to have your children knit along while listening to you or an audio book, or even some great Classical music.

Knitting is also a great way to give children a sense of accomplishment and pride. There are so many things we do in our lives that we never actually “finish” and knitting a project is something kids can actually get done. It also feels good to give loved ones those precious knitted gifts!

Learning More About Knitting

You can all study the history of knitting and historical knitting patterns together as a family.  If you have a boy, show him some photos of boys and men knitting socks for the war effort.  Perhaps you would even like to incorporate some geography into your lesson, and look at knitting around the world.  Type “Estonian lace” or “Latvian mittens” into your web browser and see the astonishingly elaborate knits traditionally made in that corner of Europe.

Go pick up some needles and knit with your children – it’s never too early to start working on Christmas gifts! Do you and your kids knit? Do you have some tips for teaching kids to knit? Let me know in the comments below. And feel free to link up with what you’re up to in your home or homeschool!

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Friday: A Knit-a-thon, Arm Knitting, and Fingerless Gloves

Fibre FridayThe Olympics and the Ravellenics are over! Did you knit, crochet, or make something? I didn’t finish the Crosstown Convertible, but it’s on the back burner – I would love to finish it sometime in March!
Fibre Friday

Last Saturday was the annual Knit Fit Knit-a-thon. We spent all day knitting from 10am to 5pm and had a fabulous time. We raised about $1100 or so for the library’s Children’s Literacy programs and knitted, crocheted, and wove hundreds of items for charity! The photo above shows just one wall of the items collected by the end of the day.

I taught a bunch of people how to arm knit and we all made scarves. Here I am modelling one of the three I knit and donated:
Fibre Friday

And here is my friend Chris’ very first arm knit project ever:

Fibre Friday

Before the Knit-a-thon, I took out these two books from the library:
Fibre Friday

I thought the fingerless gloves pattern would be perfect for the day of the Knit-a-thon. I started knitting them last Saturday after arm knitting scarves, and finished them during the week:
Fibre Friday

 

My daughter loves these fingerless gloves, and I will be starting on a pair for her. Hopefully I can also get to the Knit Your Own Dog book and knit some cute dogs with my daughter in the next couple of weeks!

Have you ever tried arm knitting? What fibre arts projects are you or your children working on this week?

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,
Kimberly

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Friday: Needle Felting Fun at Home & School Mosaics

Fibre FridayWelcome to Fibre Friday! Every week I will be sharing the fibre arts we like to do and what we are working on on our homeschool!

This week, I would like to share my recent article from Home & School Mosaics: Needle Felting Fun. There are so many great things you can make with your kids – for instance these great butterfly pins! It’s quick and easy so hop on over to read the article and learn all about it.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Resources, Reviews

WoolWorks! Curriculum Review

PhotobucketFor Fibre Arts Monday this week I thought it would be fitting to share a Fibre Arts curriculum. I received this curriculum in exchange for an honest review 🙂

Harrisville Designs provides fleeces, yarns, looms, educational toys and more for those who love fibre and the fibre arts. They have also put together WoolWorks! a curriculum designed for Grades 3-8. Created for use in a classroom, this curriculum is easily used in your homeschool or local co-op. It comes in a binder, which I find very practical because I can easily add any extra resources or patterns I find to supplement the curriculum (for instance, instructions for making a spindle with a CD for the spinning lesson). This curriculum contains 12 Lessons:

Lesson 1: A Brief History of the Sheep Around the World
Lesson 2: The Science of Wool
Lesson 3: Humans Discover Textiles: Felting
Lesson 4: Simple Machines: Spinning
Lesson 5: Nature’s Rainbow: Natural Dyeing Dyeing Nature’s Rainbow
Lesson 6: Braiding
Lesson 7: Introduction to Weaving
Lesson 8: Weaving Around the World

Lesson 9: Introduction to Looms: The Rigid Heddle
Lesson 10: Tapestry Weaving

Lesson 11: From Grandma’s Knee: Learning to Knit

Lesson 12: Domino Knitting

There are some very easy, quick, and fun things to felt with your children’s little hands and some fibre in lesson three 🙂 Each lesson is full of ideas, projects, and photographs.

One of our favourite parts of this curriculum is the map of sheep around the world. We were already knitting and spinning in our homeschool and doing some simple weaving on a frame loom before we started using this curriculum, but since then we are also weaving on a rigid heddle loom, as I have shared in some previous Fibre Monday posts. After being inspired by the felting lesson, we’ve also experimented with needle-felting 🙂 I used this curriculum with my 7 year old and 12 year old, and also for some ideas for an interactive fibre demonstration with children at our local library. Although recommended for Grades 3-8, I believe it would be great for Primary (Kindergarten) through Gr. 8, and even perhaps beyond.

WoolWorks! costs only $39.95 US plus shipping (9.50 in the US and 11.95 in Canada). Or you can pick u individual lessons for 7.50US. Check out some of the great crafting kits and tools Harrisville Designs has on their website while you’re checking out WoolWorks!

 

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

 

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Arts Monday! March 28th, 2011

It’s Fibre Arts Monday once again!  I promised to share the summer sweater pattern I’m working on knitting in a beautiful, natural organic cotton yarn.  Here’s the back piece that I’ve already finished.  Photobucket

I just have to get around to casting on the front piece now 🙂

Click on the icon to learn about Fibre Arts Monday, and join in the fun if you like.  This week, Teaching Good Things shares a link for a fun rag rug for kids to make.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,