Last week my eight year old daughter and I were flying home to Atlanta from a lovely long weekend visiting my extended family in Pittsburgh. Shortly after boarding the plane we discovered that her DSi was out of battery power.
Here it comes.
I braced myself…
Three. Two. One.
“MOM! Why didn’t you remind me to charge my DSi last night?” she verbally lunged faster than a cornered snapping turtle at an impromptu roadside petting zoo.
“Um, excuse me, Miss Thang, but you are eight years old; it is YOUR job to be responsible for your own electronics, not mine.”
That’s me on the defense…can you tell? I was acting all tough, but deep down inside I was silently kicking myself for not charging that thing for her. You see, I want to be a good parent. I want my children to learn from natural consequences and grow up to be responsible, self-sufficient adults. However, on an airplane, surrounded by 200 cranky strangers with nothing but diminutive packets of peanuts to break up the time, regular rules don’t apply. The fact that her DSi was uncharged was about to create some pretty fucking negative consequences for everyone else on the whole plane. I cannot be a party to that.
Believe me, you do NOT want to be sitting anywhere near THIS… especially on an airplane:
We’re talking kick-the-seat-in-front-of-her, see how many times the tray table can go up and down, repeatedly raise and lower the window shade so fast that it creates a strobe light effect and sends people into seizure mode. Not okay. So since I forgot to remind her to charge her electronic babysitter, I needed to think fast and find a way to keep the little bitch busy.
Fortunately, one of my aunts had just given Mini-Me a really cool “French Knitting Spool Kit” with a couple skeins of really pretty variegated yarn. Unfortunately, as we learned the night before at dinner when Mini-Me spiraled into an “I can’t DO this!” meltdown, she’s probably not quite developmentally ready for Spool Knitting. Ooops. Well, it was the thought that counted.
But never fear, with my cat-like parenting reflexes, I engineered a quick alternative: FINGER KNITTING!
Super easy. Super fun. Hours of zen-like busy work with really cool results. I’ve seen kids as young as five years old do this with no help! All you need is yarn and two hands and you can make headbands, belts, necklaces, decorative garlands, a leash for your little brother, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Here’s how you get started:
Turn your non-dominant hand to face you. I’m using my baseball-glove-sized right hand below, because I’m a lefty. Now take the end from your skein of yarn and loosely weave it in and out of the four fingers of that non-dominant hand, figure eight-style, like so:
Then, using the thumb and index finger of your other hand, pick up each of the finger loops one by one and lift it OVER the wrapped hand piece of yarn, one finger at a time. In finger knitting, your fingers can bend toward your palm to make it easy to pass the yarn over each finger. Sounds complicated, but it’s not. Look at these pics. First I’m doing my pointer finger loop…
Next, my swearing finger:
In this next pic, I’ve already lifted the yarn over the first three fingers, one at a time (working toward my pinky), now I’m about to lift the wrapped loop on my pinky over the other piece of yarn that was wrapped around my whole hand:
You’ve just completed a row! Wrap the working end (skein end) of the yarn around your whole hand and back again. And one by one, lift the bottom finger loops over the top hand loop. Do this over and over until the back of your hand looks like this (we’re switching to Mini-Me’s sweet little hands now):
Naturally your child will need to go to the bathroom at some point. You have two choices, tell her to hold it and hope for the best, or remove the finger knitting from her hand so she can go to the bathroom without turning her knitting into a bio-hazard. I chose the latter. Here’s a picture of me temporarily using a pen to hold her stitches in place while she drains the main vein on the airplane (hey, I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it!). I’m nothing if not über resourceful.
So there you have it: my desperate version of Impromptu Airplane Finger Knitting. Take my advice and keep a skein of yarn in your bag o’ tricks! You never know when it will come in handy.
If you would like more information on Finger Knitting, here is a good (short, sweet, & silent!) YouTube tutorial for your viewing pleasure. And here’s another. It’s so easy, just ask these adorable kids!! (But kids, don’t wrap the finished product around your necks! Der.) And look…there’s even one for my Spanish speaking friends. As you can see, there are a variety of personal finger knitting styles and techniques. All of them work, so pick one that makes the most sense to you and give it a try. Or let your kid annoy the shit out of everyone on the airplane just because you were too drunk to charge up their electronic game. Totally up to you.
yours in desperate craftiness,
© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.