There has been some discussion lately about the "types" of patterns various yarn companies are offering (other than knit & crochet) and their effectiveness. Understandably the goal of the yarn companies is to sell more yarn. But, either knowingly or unknowingly, they are helping to spur on interest in the other fiber arts: weaving, macramé, and braiding.
I happen to like that the yarn companies are branching out. I think the more people are exposed to the "other" fiber arts, the more apt they are to consider mixing their art forms together to create interesting works such as this child's purse I designed (including dying the fiber with kool aid) on the right in June of 2005. It combines crochet for the body and finger weaving for the strap. (I did the crochet, my daughter did the finger weaving so this also helps with the argument of getting children involved with the arts. The bags below also have the crochet/finger weave mix.)
So where's the proof in the pudding you ask? Well, I think I found it yesterday among a group of people that stand no taller than 4 feet tall; a classroom of third graders.
I was advised by my son that the school children have been spending recesses inside due to the extreme cold, snow and ice, and that they were given the OK to bring toys in from home because they are "bored" with the school board games. Upon hearing this I thought I'd do something a little different with my volunteer time later that day.
I packed up a bunch of yarn and offered to teach the children how to finger weave! Boy! Were they ever so excited!
I sat a group of a dozen children down at a round table and got them prepared to start when just at that moment a teacher came into the classroom and announced that the "higher powers" opted to OK them to go outside for recess.
You would have thought the children would have been excited with this news -- a chance to go outside to run wild, with yelps of joy and tons of giggles.
But that wasn't the case.
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Do we have to??!?" they inquired in near unison. "We're learning how to finger weave ..." Their faces were so sad looking. I didn't want to cause any trouble so I promised the children that the next time I come to do lunch duty in their classroom -- when they're "stuck inside" -- I would bring all my yarn and teach them how to finger weave. The children smiled and cheered, "You're alright Mrs. Stanziano!!" and with that they put on their coats, hats, scarves & mittens and went outside.
Apparently the excitement of learning finger weaving spilled out onto the playground and other grades got wind of this endeavor. "You're going to teach my child's grade, right Mrs. Stanziano?" inquired another parent.