A kinder, gentler kind of bombing
By Maleka Fruean
"Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti" by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain. My kids and I went to the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education this past weekend to check out the yarn-bombed trees up and down the path by fiber artist Melissa Maddoni Harris. The outside exhibit will be up for a few more weeks, and if you have younger kids, it is so worth it. My almost three-year-old lit up with excitement at every single tree covered in beautiful crocheted and knitted designs created in yarn, plastic bags, and grasses. There's an inside exhibit too, with photos of Melissa's yarnbombing work in other areas of the city. Yarnbombing makes sense to children. They see parking meter stands covered in a yarn cozy and think, "yes, that's exactly what that needed!"
"Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of All Ages" by Melanie Falick. I have good insider information by an avid knitter and bookstore owner that author Melanie Falick has the best introductory knitting books for kids. This book would be great for parents who always wanted to learn how to knit themselves but somehow missed the whole home and domestic arts generation hand-off (I know I was skipped!). Bright pictures are paired with making cool things like knitted bracelets and bookmarks!
"Super Simple Sewing" and "Simple Sewing" by Klutz. These introductory sewing books by Klutz are fantastic gifts and filled with cute projects. The super simple sewing kits comes with pre cut fabric pieces that makes it easy for older preschoolers and kindergartners to work with. Honestly, I think I just wish someone would give me one of these books for my current adult birthday because they weren't around when I was little. I had fashion plates, folks, and yes, I absolutely adored them.
"The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections" by Amanda Blake Soule. Amanda Blake Soule and her blog SouleMama always has ideas on incorporating fiber arts into the world of children. Amanda is an expert sewer, knitter, and crafter, and I especially love how she introduces textiles to her youngest babies by simply letting them play with balls of yarn, swatches of soft cloth, and big ol' pieces of fluffy wool. There's plenty of inspiration to choose from in her multiple books and everyday blog posts.
Get your fiber arts on, Northwest Philly families! FiberPhiladelphia 2012 still has plenty of very cool exhibits up all around the city to get you inspired.