Stylecraft’s Year of Wellbeing – Intergenerational Crafting

How did you learn to knit and crochet?  The chances are your mother or grandmother taught you and that gives our crafts such an important link across the generations.

Knitting can be traced back to the 4th century – the Victoria and Albert Museum have some Coptic socks from around that time. Although, in previous centuries, passing on your craft to your children or grandchildren may have been an economic necessity, today it is much more of a leisure activity; a way of spending time together as a family and an antidote to technology – don’t we all need a bit of that sometimes?

What is the best way to pass on your skills if you have children or grandchildren that are starting to show an interest in your craft?  Finding a nice, easy project is a great way to introduce a child to the textures and colours of yarn.  Everybody loves to make pom poms and, while there are lots of gadgets to make them quickly and easily, all you really need is a fork.  Wind the yarn around the tines until it is nice and fat, then tie it in the middle and snip the sides. A bit of a trim and a roll around in your hand and you have a lovely pom pom.

 

Once they have developed a feel for yarn you might like to try some finger knitting which gets them used to the idea of stitches.  We have found that kids get quite addicted to finger knitting and you could end up with many metres of their work.  No problem, just think of it as a super chunky yarn and you can make bags, cushions or even try a bit of arm knitting.  Great fun!

If you think they are ready to pick up some pins or a hook there are always lots of books in your local library with basic patterns. A simple square is a good place to start.  The key is to choose a project that they can finish quickly and feel they are achieving something.  Before long, teddy will have a new blanket.

If you want to give them the incentive to keep going while you aren’t there, you might like to borrow this lovely idea from Germany called a Wunderknäuel or magic yarn ball.  Get a handful of sweets in wrappers, little plastic toys and a ball of wool.  Start with one of the toys and start to wrap the wool around it.  When the toy is almost covered add a sweet and continue winding.  Keep going adding toys and sweets until you have used all the yarn up and have a great big ball.  The idea is that your child has to keep knitting or crocheting until one of the goodies drops out of the ball like magic.  It is a great way to build that determination and ‘just one more row’ attitude we all have.

We hope you enjoy passing on your skills to keep them alive for the next generation.

And The Results are in!

You may remember we launched and exciting colour competition for our Head over Heels yarn with an air of mystery.  Our Blogstars, inspired by the artist David Hockney, had put together the colour combinations and which colour combination belonged to which Blogstar was a closely guarded secret, locked in a vault at Stylecraft HQ.

There were two categories, melange and stripe variations, and the top 3 in each would become part of the Head over Heels range for Autumn 2018.

During March knitters and crocheters voted in their thousands to help us choose the new shades. We watched the votes come in every day – it was so exciting to see which colourways were proving popular.

 “ This competition has been such fun and lots of people were trying to guess which colours belonged to which Blogstar.  It was so difficult to keep it secret,” says Annabelle Hill our Sales and Marketing Director.

And now…drum roll…. we can unveil the winning shades and reveal which Blogstars triumphed. The new range will be called Head Over Heels All Stars.

We hope you agree that they are stunning colourways and we can’t wait to see them come to life. Here are the blogs of the winning Blogstsars:

Josie Kitten- http://theknittingexploitsofjosiekitten.blogspot.co.uk/

Cherry Heart- http://sandra-cherryheart.blogspot.co.uk/

The Twisted Yarn- https://thetwistedyarn.com/

Hand Knitted Things- http://handknittedthings.blogspot.co.uk/

Zooty Owl- http://zootyowlcards.blogspot.co.uk/

Attic 24- http://www.attic24.typepad.com/

Intergenerational Crafts by Zelna Oliver

Zelna Oliver is a Stylecraft Blogstar who blogs under the name Zooty Owl.

You can find more of her posts here.

My earliest and most vivid memories are of being engaged in some or other crafty activity with either my mom, granny, grandpa or my great granny.

Mom loved colour and flowers – we would sit for hours and colour in, cut out pictures, make collages, and look through her kaleidoscope.

My granny was a knitter, a great baker and flower gardener.

Grandpa grew vegetables and made all sorts of things for my cousin and me (beds for our dolls, a cupboard for our Barbies and mini kitchen dressers, etc)

My great gran was an expert crocheter and cake decorator.

Being engaged and included in these crafty activities from very early in life gave me a sense of purpose and belonging, and a strong character foundation to build on.    Besides the amazing skills that I learned from them, the stories and life lessons shared have provided me with a place of “wellness” (you can read more about the lessons my grandparents taught me in this blog post).

Having that place of “wellness” from which to approach life makes dealing with difficult situations much easier.

The beauty of this intergenerational interaction is that it is a two-way street. As I grew older and learned new things I was able to share that knowledge with my mom and my granny (sadly my grandpa and great granny died soon after I started high school).

When I had my children they were painting as soon as they were able to hold a brush. By the time they went to playschool their fine motor skills were already extremely well developed. Later, answering the tough questions was made much easier in that we were usually busy with some kind of crafty exercise when they arose – so the conversation was way less awkward!

My first little grandbaby is just six weeks old and I cannot wait to share my crafty knowledge with her!