Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lanyard Love

Big Sis went to summer camp and came home full of camp cliches--three-legged races, corny and nonsensical (still trying to solve the mystery of Princess Pat and her "ricka bamboo") songs, and lanyards.  Oh, the lanyards!  We invested in some plastic lanyard cord and metal clips for endless braiding and looping and weaving.  We have lanyards as "flair" on backpacks, in the hair-tie basket, and under the couch.  Alas, Little Sis's fine-motor skill development to date prevented her from much success with sophisticated lanyard-weaving. 

Enter the Creative Weavers' Guild.  We encountered them at a weekend art walk, where they were weaving as well as giving away kits for making cool yarn lanyard-y thingies.  The handy little craft was ingeniously simple and somewhat addicting:  my daughters and their friend spent the rest of the day weaving away.  To fashion the kits, a guild member cut a hole in the center of a foam square, and knotted seven strings of yarn and fed them up through the middle with the knot underneath.  Two slits were cut in each side of the foam square, and one string of yarn pulled through each notch, leaving one empty.  To weave the lanyard, one simply counts to the third string to the right (or left--it's only important to remain consistent with direction) of the empty slit, pull that third string out, and pop it back into the empty notch, leaving a new slit vacant.  And over and over again (it's important to run one's fingers through the strings on occasion to keep them from tangling).  A neato braid appears below the square.  We finished the yarn weavings and then made a few out of plastic cord, too.  I imagine these braids could be made from more than seven strands, too, by just cutting more slits in the square.  It's a perfect activity for long car or plane rides...a birthday party or holiday craft...add beads or bells...

Keeping Them Busy, One Braid at a Time
And what do you know?  I even stumbled upon a lovely poem, "The Lanyard," by one of my favorite poets, Billy Collins.  Enjoy. 

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