Our hands are our most dexterous and often neglected part of our body. But Antioch alum, Aleshanee Akin is bringing our attention back to them with her latest book. Bare Hand Knitting: Tool-free Knitting at Its Finest is exactly what it sounds like: a how-to for beginner hand knitters.
Finger knitting, or tool-free knitting, is a skill often taught to Waldorf kindergarten children to help them improve motor skills and dexterity. But few carry the skill into adulthood where the need for maintaining finger dexterity arises. Aleshanee reflects on her own experiences with the technique, both as an educator and a parent, to bring deeper context to this simple hand-craft.
Techniques covered in the book include braiding and knotting, whip-stitching, wet-felting, ripple stitches, and chain knitting, among others. Illustrating all of these processes are simple but beautiful drawings by Elizabeth Auer; showing each step in making a hat, sweater, or table cloth.
Torin Finser, professor of Waldorf Education at AUNE, absolutely adores this book. He writes:
“It is an incredible gem, an inspired guide to creativity and practical activities for young and old using our most precious tools: our hands! … I highly recommend this book for all who care about humanity and reclaiming our social mandate through our hands. I can see it used in homes, schools, prisons (where needles and other devices are usually banned), clinics, hospitals, and community centers. It is a festival of the spirit and gives us hope for the future.”
This book may be purchased from Waldorf Publications as a joyous learning opportunity for the restless hands of young and old alike!
Read Dr. Finser’s full review here.