I’ll let you in on a secret – my very talented friend Kerrie has designed some beautiful wall hangings that have featured on The Block this season (visit honeyhoneycreations on instagram for a sneak peek). And, what’s more, Kerrie has inspired both her own daughter, Gabriella, and my daughter Eva, to make their own handicraft projects - perfect timing for the school holidays!
So, if you’re looking for ideas to entertain your kids, then you’ll love these great suggestions involving good old-fashioned yarn – no screens in sight.
Traditional crafts are beneficial for several reasons. Not only is there an immense sense of achievement that comes from finishing a beautiful piece of craft; but the practice of crafting has been shown to produce benefits that are commonly linked to meditation and mindfulness. In fact, weaving classes have helped to regulate the moods of women suffering anxiety and depression. But mental health aside, weaving is the perfect activity for holiday downtime, after a busy term of school work and routines.
So, here are the details for two rewarding holiday projects – including all the information you need to source your materials. First up, a luxurious knitted 'snood' scarf; and second, a beautiful weaving for your wall.
Knitted snood scarf
There are several great yarn shops around, but the one we visit is called Wondoflex Yarn Craft Centre, located at 1353 Malvern Road, Malvern. The staff in the store are ever so helpful, and very keen to help young knitters with their projects.
To make this stylish snood, you’ll need 15mm knitting needles, which are very chunky. There are several different price/quality options of knitting needles, but to be honest, I just chose the cheapest – less than $10.
Plus, you’ll need 2 bundles of thick yarn – there are a couple of appropriate options, which retail between $9-$19 per bundle, but we selected the gigante wool/acrylic yarn, at $13.50 per bundle. You’ll find some really lovely ‘on trend’ colours, including blush pink, creamy whites and soft greys.
Finally, the knitting pattern is available for the very low price of $2, if you’re also buying your materials at Wondoflex.
Eva taught herself the basics of knitting over summer, largely thanks to youtube. Here, she learnt how to cast on, cast off, basic stitch and purl – which is all you need for this gorgeous snood.
And now, for the best bit – because you’ll be using large needles and thick yarn, this really is a very quick knitting project. In fact, the girls completed their snoods in just one day, including stitching them together at the end to create the ‘loop’ effect.
However, this meant that we were off to the wool shop again, a few days later, to restock…ready for snood number two!
In Gabriella's words: "I enjoy knitting because I love creating, and when you knit, there are lots of different things you can make, like scarves, neck warmers, jumpers, gloves, hats and blankets. It is also very relaxing because while you knit you can go off into your own world. My last knitting project was a snood, and it was very quick to make because I used big needles and nice thick wool. I did this project in one day."
Textural weaving – wall hanging
The sky’s the limit when it comes to the traditional craft of weaving. So many different textures can be used to great effect – plus, you can then embellish with features such as tassels and pom poms, to make something that is truly unique.
But before you start, you’ll need to order your materials. Kerrie’s research led us to loomandspindle.com.au, where we placed our online order for the 44cm weaving loom ($39.95), cotton warp thread ($15) and a short weaving needle ($4). Finally, the booklet ‘Line Shape Texture’ also has some great tips for beginners ($11.99). Delivery was really quick, and our order arrived within 2 working days. For more inspiration, follow loom_and_spindle on Instagram.
Next, you’ll need to stock up on yarn. If you visit Wondoflex on a Friday or Saturday, head out the back to the clearance section, where you’ll find balls of yarn for as little as $1 each. Kerrie advised us to choose our favourite yarn first, then select some other complementary colours.
Wondoflex really is a treasure trove full of wonderful surprises – it’s worth perusing the shelves to see what you can find. We also walked away with a pom pom maker ($12), so Eva’s been making her own little pom poms to attach to her wall hangings.
So, there you have it! We really encourage you to have a go...and please share your success stories here at sub-urban. Happy weaving!