I love school holidays. There is nothing quite like the joy of not having to make school lunches; not having to get in the car and drive everywhere; not needing to be at a particular place and a particular time. There is a lovely sense of freedom and relaxation that descends on our house during the holidays and we all love it.
Add to that the fun of doing craft together and you almost have the perfect day (to be really perfect it also requires pancakes, hot chocolate, fruit smoothies, laughter, music, story tapes and someone else to cook dinner – am I painting you a clear enough picture here?).
The big news this holidays is that my daughter, aged 10, has learnt to knit. She is so happy and has spent several days happily ensconced in various cosy corners around the house patiently working her needles. The funny thing about this is that I have introduced her to knitting on several occasions previously and it never really took. She wasn’t comfortable, couldn’t see any progress, got VERY frustrated with dropped stitches – each attempt was categorically a fail in her eyes. On every occasion I would simply pack away the knitting supplies and think to myself, “Not the right time yet – we’ll try again in a few months”. And sure enough, this holidays turned out to be the right time.
She has already completed a wrist warmer and this neck warmer in the space of just a few days.
But even better, as we were preparing to photograph it, inspiration hit. This lovely piece of pink warmth was also the perfect fashion accessory for my daugher’s favourite doll, Louise.
The great thing about knitting is that it is endlessly forgiving. It can be stretched and moved in so many different ways. Here a simple rectangle with a pretty button and buttonhole has not only been the perfect beginner’s piece of knitting but is also proving extremely versatile and thus adding to the sense of acheivement.
And it all goes to prove one of my strongest philosophies about children. Children will get to things when they are ready. My daughter has tried to knit several times over the last few years and each time it has just felt like an ordeal for her and for me. I was always very quick to follow her lead. If it wasn’t fun for her, I didn’t want to force her to continue and have knitting turn into something that she hated.
This time it just felt right. She was ready to learn and felt comfortable holding the needles. It has been such a joy to see her face light up with the knowledge that “I can do this!”. Knitting may not be her thing in the long term, but I am pretty sure that experiences like this will ensure that she will always find pleasure in making things for herself. And from my point of view that is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children.