Sunday, September 4, 2011

Yarn Bombing Family Style :-)

There is nothing that can compare to the satisfaction of teaching your children  something that you yourself enjoys doing. My daughter Dahlia is soon - to -be eleven years old and is learning to knit and crochet right now and its awesome :-)
Seeing that look on her face when she completes a project she has taken on is a wonderful moment . Watching her mind figure out how to create something she envisions is really fun for me. The joy continues if she then turns around and gifts someone with her creation  or sells it at a show.

The last few times i have gone to Yarn Bomb during the day i have taken one or both of my children with me. I HIGHLY recommend this practice if you get the chance yourself :-)
What better way to teach your children how to express themselves in a positive creative way that gives joy to strangers  and adds to your community all in one.
Now keep in mind that Yarn Bombs or yarn graffiti is not always welcome or encouraged in your area and you CAN get ticketed and fined for graffiti .  Here is my guide for a fun fine-free family adventure that will build strong healthy young minds , cultivate useful skills and leave lasting lifelong impressions through learning :-)

Getting Started:

First of all you will need to find a place that you want to add some beauty to. Talk to your children to see if they have any advice. Children spend most of their time in a vehicle as a passenger and often see places that could use something cheery :-)  Drive your local area as a family and talk over possibilities.

Once you come to a decision on where you wish to bomb,  I suggest you pick something simple like making a flower chain which can be added virtually anywhere onto anything. If you want a "bigger" yet still simple project pick a small to medium sized tree to  measure and make a wrap for.  Don't focus on the entire tree just focus on the length it would take to cover the middle/center area which allows your children to reach for the install :-)

Asking a local business ahead of time for permission to add some beauty to their store front is a great way to avoid fines and stress and what could end up a not so great memory for your children. This will also help instill a sense of responsibility :-) Ask your children's daycare or school . You can also check with your city/town/state officials and ask them if they have an area in town where they would like some free beauty added.
You would be surprised how many people are very open to yarn graffiti and welcome its use .  Some people will tell you that this is not a "real" Yarn Bomb because a "real" Yarn Bomb is done at night without permission.  Okay so be it.  Then this is what a Family Yarn Bombing is ;-)

Brainstorm with your children as to what theme you should work off of while creating. Children who are 2 - 4 can help in many ways! Have them help  you create by picking colors for you, putting together layered flowers for you to sew and for holding the piece while you sew it on as well as helping you sew .
Older children can help by actually knitting or crocheting even if all they can manage to do is make a chain by finger crocheting. You can turn the chains into flower stems, flowers, tree's, funky hanging details or, as my daughter has taken a talent for; making mustaches ;-)

For smaller children use plastic canvas needles and saftey scissors that should ALWAYS remain in your possession when not being used. To avoid losing the needles, create a necklace chain in which to string the needle on  and keep an eye on them to make sure no-one is chewing on their needles :-)

I also recommend scouring your local resale and thrift stores for your needles and yarn. Giving "new life" to discarded yarn is an awesome way to recycle as a family and save money :-) 

To help your family keep track of its supplies i recommend getting a basket, canvas  or plastic organizer with the spacers or a bucket such as the Homer buckets at Home Depot and the bucket organizer that hangs off of it.
You will be able to keep all your supplies neat and tidy along with your knitted /crochet work and it won't roll around or get lost when you are getting in and out of the car :-) If you get a bucket with the bucket organizer you can then use the bucket as a seat when needed as well :-)
  *I myself use a basket, a yarn tote with a knitting needle holder and a tool belt which keeps all my supplies easily at hand  and i can chase after my 2 and a half year old if he needs me to :-)

For younger children i recommend a stroller with a sunshade or a shady spot for anyone who needs a nap or timeout .

Your supplies should always include the following:
1. Tape Measure

2. Safety pins or zip ties to hold your work while you sew

3. Extra yarn and needles/hooks for last minute add ons and for the actual sewing.

4. Extra  sewing needles (just in case)

5.saftey scissors.

6. Snacks and drinks for your family. If planned around a meal time, bringing a picnic lunch is an excellent practice! Activities like books or a few toys to occupy younger children are a must have as well :-)

7.Sunblock and hats as the weather dictates.

8. A camera or video camera for documenting your work which can be scrap booked later :-)

A yarn bomb is something that is a unique personal expression . There are no real rules as far as what it has to look like or how big or small.
Sometimes the things that impact us the most are the smallest most simplest things such as a group of three flowers sewn onto a chain fence by a run down factory.
 Small but powerful signs of love, joy and hope made by you and your family for anyone who happens along.   Be prepared to meet new people and possibly make friends with fellow knit/crocheters as they discover your artwork :-) Yarn Bombing is a very social experience if you do it during the day which opens up a whole new way to help your children build strong social skills as well :-) 

I cannot stress enough the importance of the lessons you will be helping cultivate in your children  which will grow into valuable lifelong assets they will be able to use in their grown up lives. Knitting and Crocheting develops, self confidence, patience, love, respect, sharing , giving and imagination. It also gives an outlet for eliminating stress and is awesome for hand eye coordination :-)  Yarn bombing is an activity that builds a healthy social awarness and a sense of community. We are all living in this world together, let's make it a place we can all enjoy!

*Jane Thompson :-)

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant! Yarn bombing? Hadn't heard of it before, thanks for sharing- the pics are awesome (especially the bicycle)!