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Let us share our textile skills with others – 
give a beautiful life-time gift to a child! 

An onomatopoeic word from the Latin susurrus (“a humming, whispering”); … silence so profound that I could hear the susurrus of the blindfold’s soft …
Whispering, murmuring, or rustling: “the susurrus of the stream” (Merriam-Webster – The Free Dictionary Latin, hum, whisper — more at swarm. First Known Use: 1826.)  

LISTEN: There is an orchestra of perfect silence to sooth our hectic and rushed thoughts and actions: Yarn – the “susurrus of the stream” – as it glides through your hands and imparts its desire to become a beautiful river of joy and delight. It hums and whispers as it releases itself from a skein or ball, glides through our hands and settles in interlocking loops. Knit me a River by Jane Thornley one of those fine examples where your fingers follows your mind or vice versa, providing you with the ensorcelling realization of being truly creative.

Working with one’s hands has always had a calming effect on people. Watch a child being busy discovering the world around her or him – hands on. Let your child explore as many routes as you can safely tolerate. A great way of opening up an life-long path of joy is letting them work with a crochet hook or knitting needles, with a Lucet, a knitting bobbin with 4 or 5 pins, or any tool yarn-handling tool. Finger knitting is the most perfect way for getting those little fingers used to handle strands of yarn. Look at the relatively short time a child needs to get basic skills in yarn language – and in return has a skill lasting a lifetime.

When teaching children how to knit or crochet I always found it very helpful to use very large needle or crochet hook sizes and a bulky yarn to demonstrate the process and they could follow the path of the yarn much more easily and the tools would not slip and the stitches remained visible and on the needle!

Knitting and crochet – these skills equal a language without words. It is understood everywhere.

In Shanghai I sat on a bench at the Bund overlooking the Huangpu River towards Pudong, with my knitting – and pretty soon a lot of people gathered around me, mostly women, smiling, chatting, moving their hands, demonstrating that they, too, knew how to knit and how strangely I was moving my needles and how quickly the stitches flew on my right-hand needle and pretty soon these Chinese knitters took over, added their own way of purling and knitting and yarn over and row after row everybody had a go at it and the piece became a wonderful swatch demonstrating unified trans-global knitting skills!

Written languages hidden in textiles have been known for centuries. One of the most treasured, interesting and least known was Nu Shu (Woman’s Writing in Chinese), a means of communication between women, hidden in embroidery or written in a secret alphabet. A report on Nu Shu is a worthwhile read, while for an entertaining story based on the skills of Nu Shu turn to author Lisa See‘s book  Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel.

Knitting and crochet – an incredible source of strength for coping with the vicissitudes of life.

Look at the amazing blog of Helen MyHeartExposed. Against all odds Helen is facing life head-on, struggling between long periods of pain and moments of joy with her favorite crafts. Her incredible skills are best viewed in this project for Jane Thornley’s Autumn KAL.


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