Knitting Nell

The onset of cold weather is the perfect time to think about knitting clothing that will keep us warm. Knitting Nell by Julie Jersild Roth is the story of a little girl who doesn’t say much but loves to knit. Not only is she busy knitting for people she knows, but she also knits for people who are in need of hats, gloves, and scarves. At the annual county fair, Nell wins a prize for her sweater and medal for the knitting that she has gifted to others. It’s a lovely story, not only about fiber arts, but also about kindness and giving.

Knitting was a little beyond the skill level of even our oldest pre-school members, but we did try our hand at finger knitting. Even this was a little advanced, so was intended as an activity for parent and child to do together. The simple finger knitting technique that we tried was described on THIS blog. We looped the yarn around each child’s finger and then helped them loop the yarn and “knock off” as described on the previously linked blog. The finished chain could be a bracelet for the kids if desired. This was definitely one of our more challenging activities for the kids, but my son repeated the process to my husband later that day, so he definitely understood what we were doing. I think even in a year the kids might be able to finger knit more independently.

Coming up with a healthy yarn-related snack was a bit more challenging, but I eventually settled on what we called, edible vegetable yarn. Essentially, we used a spiralizer kitchen tool to create long spaghetti like strands out of three kinds of vegetables: sweet potatoes, beets, and zucchini. These long strands created a yarn-like appearance in three colors, orange, pink, and green. I then mixed the strands with olive oil and salt, spread on a baking sheet, and baked at 375 degrees for about a half hour or until soft (and crispy if you have the patience–although the zucchini won’t easily crisp, the other vegetables will.) Spiralizing vegetables is a fun way to prepare vegetables and is a big hit in our house. My preschooler really loves helping turn the crank on the spiralizer tool and often will munch on the raw vegetable scraps that result as part of the spiralizing process. Any way that I can get him to eat extra veggies is a win, in my opinion!

Sadly, not everyone has access to warm clothing when the weather turns cold and in the giving spirit of the book, we donated some hats, scarves, and gloves to our local food pantry after our meeting.

We hope that everyone reading finds the clothing they need to stay warm this winter and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

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