How to make a ‘Twistie’ Rope out of wool

Posted under Fun basics

Sometimes, we just need rope.

Rope can be used for an unlimited amount of things.
For making cubbies and  horse reins, to hang cloths for a puppet show, as bag handles, as decorative borders on things, to sew a floor rug…. what else can you think of??
Children LOVE rope.

It is also especially good for Star Birthday headbands!
(My little man wasnt happy in this pic.  One too many stacks off his little bike and a scratched nose hurting just a little too much)

Fingerknitting is a good way to make rope BUT it is time consuming and not really suitable for little little ones.
Another way to make a rope is to make a Twistie.
Little ones can help too!  Just show them how to hold on tight!
First, take two long strands of wool.  I measure the distance between my outstretched hands.
This makes a good size rope for a headband when it is twisted.
If you are doing it alone, hold one end secure between your toes.
(and for those who are wondering, the tattoo says “Carpe Diem”- Seize the Day;
a mighty fine motto to live by)
Begin to twist the two strands, keeping them together and going in one direction.
If you have a friend to twist with, you twist one direction and your friend twists the other direction.

When your two pieces of wool begin to entwine and look like this, you are ready for ‘twisting’ action.

Take the two loose ends in one hand, and hold your finger in between the U shape at the other end.
If I have a child with me, I ask them to pass me their end.  I then put the U shape back into their fingers and remind them to hold tight.
 (Whatever happens, I make sure I dont let go of the two loose ends I hold, until it is done.)
Then, we count.
1   2   3
 Let go!

The twistie TWISTS and wiggles like a snake!

I then catch the ‘snake’ and pull it down to undo the twistie knots.
I tie a knot in the loose ends.

Then, your twistie is done!

The unknotted end can be opened up with your fingers to make a loop.
This is helpful when you want to hang a timber rod.
Timber rods on ropes are great for hanging mobiles, felt pictures or notices.
I use twisties all the time, especially when I don’t have time to fingerknit a rope.

They are great for playgroups where mama bears and little ones can make a rope together, and for Mama craft.

If I may be so bold, and without wanting to give out a hard and fast rule or commandment
(where is the freedom in that???)
I would gently like to suggest not making twisties in front of children who are learning to fingerknit. (4-5 year olds)

Fingerknitting is a skill that develops the will, and requires a degree of thinking capacity and fortitude from the child.  If a child finds fingerknitting challenging, or lacks the will to complete a task, a child will soon learn that making a twistie is a great way out of staying with the learning and engagement process.

However, I have used twisties to ‘help’ a child finish off an arduous fingerknitting task.

For example, one lengthy term project was for my six year olds was to make a tiny felted teddy bear, who lived within his own little carry bag (strung over their shoulder with a fingerknit rope).  This project needed to be completed by the time of our big picnic day out to New Farm Park, as our ‘friends’ were to accompany us on our boat and train journey.

A few of the younger children really struggled to complete the long length of rope so they did what they could with my support in class, and then we made a twistie to compensate for the added length they needed.
This kind of thing is a lovely compromise.

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