It’s called by different names – spool knitting, corking, loom knitting – yet the art of French knitting isn’t going anywhere soon with the library hosting a session for the kids of ages six to 10, on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Elaine Hoekstra, program manager at the library helped built their own knitting machine or spool or corker from household materials and discussed what other household materials could create different diameter cords or tubes.
“Each participant chose a ball of yarn and we began to knit. This craft, like many yarn crafts, develops fine motor skills which are used in many different daily activities,” Hoekstra explained. “We brainstormed what items we could create beyond trivets (pot holders), flowers, and bracelets. The items that were created in about 30 minutes of knitting included headbands, necklaces, hair scrunchies and a finger puppet.”
Hoekstra said that one benefit of this type of knitting is that the material fits in a coat pocket and help pass the time during a sibling’s hockey game.
“Many of my program ideas come from the patrons and/or children attending the events,” Hoekstra stated, when asked how she came up with this idea. “Some events are designed from materials we have and we can use up our stock. The purpose behind activities is that children and adults learn a new skill or generate ideas.”
Most events have an underlying educational component, which participants can apply in other aspects of their daily lives, according to Hoekstra.
“Lots of ideas come from resources within the library systems, such as books, but in the end, they are activities I want to share with the patrons of the library and we welcome ideas to grow our programs,” Hoekstra added. “These activities are not just for children; we are all young at heart. If teens or adults want to learn a new skill or just participate because it looks like fun, they are welcome to join and have fun too.”
The Stettler Public Library is a safe place to learn something new, said Hoekstra.
The programs, Hoekstra hosts at the Stettler Public Library, are designed for children to explore the topic she has chosen for the day.
“They can safely explore the topic and redesign, if necessary,” said Hoekstra. “This was the case, last week with indoor snowball launchers (catapults and mini marshmallows).”
Hoekstra said that she had one design in mind, but she allowed the 25 participants, over a two-hour span, to create a device with the provided household materials without using glue.
The results were amazing, those who had studied simple machines in their science classes, put their knowledge to work and shared it with others, according to Hoekstra. “Those in younger grades, created and tested their machines until they got the desired result – a marshmallow flew through the air,” Hoekstra added. “The Stettler Public Library is definitely not a library of past generations where you can hear a pin drop. It is a vibrant place where people gather to read magazines, and books, use the computers, socialize, find a variety of resources, borrow a book, movie, or game, and learn new skills.”