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 ISSUE 57  •   22 SEPTEMBER 2008 
   This issue: fun with wool


1. Editorial – DIY Kids
2. Hairy head pictures
3. Winding wool cylinder

4. Soft and squishy bangle
5. Easy finger knitting
6. More woolly craft ideas
Featured subscriber blog

1. Editorial – DIY Kids

Hello and welcome to the latest woolly instalment of Kids Craft Weekly!

Before I start rattling on in the usual fashion I must urge you to go and check out the fantastic photos in the Kids Craft Weekly photo pool on Flickr. It's so exciting to see pictures of crafty kids from all over the world having a go at the newsletter crafts. Thank you to all of those who are crafting along with us.

If you have your own photos please submit them. Every month I am giving away a book from my Amazon favourites list – all you have to do to be in the running is to have uploaded a photo in that calendar month.

The winning photo for August was Tricia's photo of her daughter doing the zebra print craft from the Kids Craft Weekly printing issue.

Tricia has chosen to receive a copy of DIY Kids by Ellen and Julia Lupton.
I realise I haven't actually mentioned this book before though I've been enjoying it for almost a year.

What can I say? DIY Kids is a visual and creative delight. This is an exceptionally well-designed and well-written book – no surprise considering it's authored by Ellen Lupton (a renowned designer, curator and academic) and her writer/academic sister Julia.

The book has a heap of great projects for kids (and by kids) but what I really like is how it talks to children about design concepts. My five-year old loves looking through it and can recognise that it's a celebration of the originality of young minds. That's pretty cool. I think she'll enjoy it even more when she can read it's message herself and be inspired to buck mainstream, mass produced trends and go for originality instead.

Prior to the book coming out the authors kept a blog of the same name which is well worth a look. If you like ideas in the blog you'll love DIY Kids!

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

A note about terminology: In this newsletter I use the terms wool and yarn interchangeably. You don't have to use actual 'wool' for these crafts. Any old thing will do as long as it's long and windy.

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2. Hairy head pictures

Making these simple hairy heads will delight all age groups. 
I always know when a particular craft idea is a hit because we have to do it over and over and over!

You will need

• balls of wool
• children's scissors
• card
• markers
• glue


1. Snip some wool into pieces. For most children who can handle scissors this is a very enjoyable pursuit.

As your little one snips, collect the wool into little piles.

2. Draw a circle on a piece of card. Invite your little one to add eyes, a nose, mouth, ears etc, and praise them as they go.

3. Blob on some glue in the head region and encourage your little one to make it hairy with the snipped up wool scraps.

4. Here are a couple of our favourite hairy heads.

5. My five-year old opted for a variation. We used three strands of thick wool on either side of the head and fixed them to the card so that she can practice plaiting! Very popular indeed.

3. Winding wool cylinder

If you have a child who ilkes to wind yarn and string this craft is a must-do. Don't expect a perfect winding technique though – it can be tricky to coordinate for small hands. Great fun though, and good for practicing concentration.

You will need

cardboard roll
double-sided sticky paper
different colours of wool


1. Cut out the double-sided sticky paper to the right size.

2. Stick the paper onto the cardboard roll, then peel the backing paper off and embrace the stickiness. Note: my son would have been perfectly happy to finish at this point and run around with the roll stuck to his hands for the rest of the afternoon. Consider yourself warned.

3. Wind different colours of wool around the cardboard roll.

With an appropriate container I think you could use this idea to make a great pencil holder. My boy preferred using our colourful cylinder as a 'robot arm'.

4. Soft and squishy bangle

Watching my daughter do this craft brought back memories of doing the same thing with my sister when we were a similar age. This is a great activity for kids who like to craft independently. Having said that, adults will have to stay nearby to assist with knots at colour changes.

You will need

• contrasting colours of yarn
• cardboard roll or plastic bottle
• scissors


1. Cut a section from a cardboard roll or plastic bottle – large enough to fit over a child's hand but not so big that it falls straight off.

2. Tie a piece of wool around the ring and start winding it around the outside and through the middle. It you are working with large balls of yarn you may need to cut some shorter lengths so that you can pull the wool through the middle.

3. Finish off and wear with pride.

5. Easy finger knitting

Ella has been wanting me to teach her how to knit and crochet for almost a year but every time we attempt it she winds up cranky and frustrated that she just can't seem to manage it yet. (I don't think it helps that she's left-handed and I'm right-handed).

Then about a month ago a school friend taught her how to do finger knitting with just one finger! She proudly demonstrated her new skill to me when she got home and I was very impressed. Best of all, now whenever I sit down to crochet she grabs her finger knitting and parks herself beside me on the couch. Heaven.

You will need

• wool
• some fingers!


1. Tie a slip knot around the index finger. If you don't know how to tie a slip knot a loose normal knot will suffice.
Hold onto short end of wool with the fingers of hand you're knitting on.

2. Then, with the other hand, pick up the wool and loop around the finger, in front of the original loop that was formed from the slip knot.

3. Pull the first loop over the second.

4. Repeat steps two and three to make a long and spectacular chain.

Once you've mastered knitting with one finger you can move on to using all your fingers. Good instructions here.

6. More wool and yarn crafts

If none of these ideas take your fancy, have a look at some of the other woolly crafts that have been featured in previous issues of Kids Craft Weekly. Follow the links for all the details.

• Fuzzy teddy bear ears from the teddy bears issue.

Dingly dangly spider from the creepy crawly issue.

Newly hatched chicks from the birds issue.

Simple wool mouse from the mouse issue.

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7. Featured subscriber blog

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