Thursday, August 20, 2009

Methinks we finally found his craft

Because of his mild cerebral palsy, Kai's had OT and PT (occupational and physical therapy) his whole life. I'm always trying to find ways to sneak in work on his muscle tone and fine motor issues. With all the knitting. spinning and woodworking going on in the Twin/Spin house, crafting is a natural.

Spindling is good because it requires coordination between the two sides of his body and use of the pincer grasp to snap the spindle. But it's difficult, so Kai prefers spinning on a wheel. Which is also good, requiring coordination between his hands and feet as well as hand to hand...but also difficult. I don't push him to do either, though I do nudge him with gifts of fluff in whatever garish colors (eye searing green is a favorite) catch his eye.

Kai's blue ribbon handspun (wheel)

He's been working on knitting with needles but holding the project while also working both hands to form the stitches is daunting. Spool knitting is easier and he'll obsessively create yards of i-cord (hence his Ravelry name, I-cord), when he's in the mood. I picked up a small, simple loom (so simple, it didn't even come with a shuttle--I trimmed down a spindle shaft and left the eye screw closed for a needle--but it does have a heddle [having to learn weaving terms so I can teach Kai]) at one of our spinning guild destashings and finally got him interested (with the help of Ravelry adding a weaving section to projects--he so wants to fill his project page!) in playing with that a bit lately.

Yesterday, Kai came flying in the house from being down the street schmoozing. He'd told an older neighbor all about the bookmark he wove that won a blue ribbon in the county fair this week.

Kai's blue ribbon bookmark

Neighbor said he'd pay "good money" for a handwoven bookmark. They must have also talked about spinning because Kai said Neighbor knows someone with llamas and promised to get him some llama fluff.

Kai, breathless from running: What's good money for a bookmark?

Me, painting spindle whorls: Huh?

Kai: He said he'd pay good money for a bookmark. How much should I charge? I didn't want to tell him something wrong--like twenty bucks or something. I knew you'd know. Three bucks?

Me, looking up from my painting: Uh, yeah, twenty is too much.

Kai: Five bucks? That sounds right. Does that sound right?

Me: Sure, it sounds fair.

And then he was gone, off to strike a deal. And I continued painting.

Last night, he asked for help setting up the loom. And then he set to work. And he kept working straight through past his bedtime (please Mom, I just need to finish this order!), until he had this.


After he went to bed, I cut it off and tied it for him. Of course, every business person needs cards and products need labeling. I made him some simple cards before I went to bed. This morning, he signed the back of a card and pinned it to the bookmark before running out the door.

ready for sale

show me the money!

The boy needs a bigger loom.

Of interest: The yarn used in Kai's bookmarks is handspun, by a multitude of spinners. When I do shows, I keep a basket of fiber bits on the table next to spindles for test spins and demos. After one show, Em joined all the lengths of singles and plied them on a bottom whorl. When that spindle sold, I pulled the cop off the shaft and it's been floating around ever since.


Linda said...

That is so awesome!

Elizabeth said...

I love where they yarn came from for his project!

WonderWhyGal said...

I'm so proud of him! staying up past his bedtime to get it finished and it turned out beautiful!

Holly Bee said...

I'd pay good money for some book marks!! Yes, I said BOOKMARKS!!!

I need some for holiday gifts. Please tell Kai I'd like to place an order for 2 book marks. No rush.

xoxo! icord!

Dawn said...

Wow! He did a fantastic job! I would definitely pay good money for some bookmarks. I'm thinking holiday gifts like Holly. Put me down for 2. He doesn't have to rush, I won't need them until just before Christmas. Even though he doesn't know me, tell him he did a fabulous job and I'm proud of him.

Shannon said...

ditto on the paying good money for bookmarks. I'd like one for myself and Jake is just starting to get into having chapter books read to him, so he could use one. It's a great excuse to get together, too, now that I've stopped being a shut in. I know how lame this sounds but I'm all excited to be driving and leaving the house without TJ...LOL Call me!

Jane said...

Great job- thats gorgeous!