Using Our Hands Has a Calming Effect March 25 2020

Certainly, in these times of being housebound for preventing the spread of illness, the uncertainty and fearful anticipation can cause nervous restlessness, particularly in children whose rhythms are disrupted. Establishing new rhythms can be very helpful, and so can using our hands (after washing, of course) in constructive activities. The rhythm of knitting or sewing can establish calm all by itself and make everything and everyone feel better.  There might be a beautiful creation to show for it as well by the time we are free again from quarantine.

A really wonderful way to knit without using needles is described in our recently published book, Bare Hand Knitting. The author, Aleshanee Akin, has worked with finger knitting, done in Waldorf kindergartens, using only fingers, and has now developed a technique of knitting with all our fingers to make fabrics that can be made into items of real beauty and usefulness. The skinny tubes done by kindergartners, which parents pretend are “scarves,” wearing them to ensure our little ones feel like real participants in clothing manufacturing, can be developed further using the Bare Hand Knitting technique, into useable, wearable items: hats and scarves (wider than an inch and a half) and, best of all, new playthings.

One favorite project in Aleshanee’s book is a bridle for a horse that can be used for when one becomes a horse oneself or turns a sibling (or a parent) into a horse.  A good gallop around the house with a handmade, beautiful bridle is a genuinely rewarding, full-blown project all the way through to the good exercise!

Or check out the little gnome vest! Your little one’s doll or troll or gnome or? will be warm and grateful once dressed in it. Think of the sense of touch cultivated by using one’s whole hands to make things with wool! Even just the activity, without a goal of something to make, is worthwhile. Wool is so warming and soft and colorful and, well, fun! The possibilities are endless. These activities are limitless in their ability to calm and help pass the time most pleasantly. We are posting a few chapters of this marvelous book on our website to help you to get started.  Here’s the link for the first three chapters!

If you want to buy the book for yourself, remember that all books published by Waldorf Publications are 15% off until we all get out of isolation. C’mon, get out your yarn and get finger knitting!