In this clip discover how to create a rock-stick-string wrap! However it is more the concept and once learnt, know that you can wrap other items together too, not just the ones shown here. As with most crafts this technique has it’s roots well planted in history. Exact history, is more difficult to unravel although it is clear that most rock wrapping techniques are from marine knots, lashings, Japanese basketry knots and other basketry techniques. Although I admit it looks complicated, the design is actually based on repetitive techniques, that with a bit of time, effort & patience, come together to make an item of great beauty. You can keep these for yourselves as decorations that you know you spent time making, or it can be used as a point of focus, or gifted away.
This activity is possible to do with all members of your family whatever their age, even younger ones, but it will take more time, help and support for them. Slightly older ones or those with a good concentration span will likely get the most out of this session if they are to work alongside you. If you take your needle and yarn with you, you could find a smooth rock & stick out on your walks to use and set about making it whilst sitting outdoors sometime. This activity can help develop: fine motor skills; concentration span; and develop a deep love of making beautiful objects by hand. You can make these for yourselves, friends or family members or choose to leave them as anonymous gifts for people to discover.
Smooth rock: large and flat is easier to begin with
A stick of some sort - consider the shape, strength, size and colour of your chosen stick against the chosen rock Depending on the rock size you will need a few metres of yarn/twine/string - if you intend leaving them out to be found in nature, please use natural yarns so that over time they can biodegrade (acrylic yarn won’t) so thick cotton yarn, natural string, twine or 100% wool yarn.
Needle - embroidery or darning needle - blunt ended if using with young children
Optional: long knitting needle or similar
Whilst using this resource to inspire learning, know you are helping you and your family's wellbeing by:
1) Get Active - Get out on a walk with your family to find your perfect rock and stick to use, perhaps if you take other materials with you you can wrap your objects outdoors somewhere.
2) Keep Learning - use this session to learn a crafting technique to create an object of skill and beauty with your family. Once you understand the techniques why not challenge your development and discover more techniques online to further your skills.
3) Be Mindful- When we use objects that are originally from nature (eg rocks and sticks), consider the idea of leaving it there too. Not all things need to be made to be kept. Also remember that if your intention is to leave the rock wrap out in nature for another person to discover, ONLY use natural materials to weave with so as not to litter or spoil out wonderful countryside. Consider how you might feel if you discovered a stunningly wrapped rock whilst out on a walk? Learning a craft as a process is known to settle our minds, because it requires a type of focus that can help shut other things out while we are doing it, giving the mind a 'break'. Over time if we develop this craft, the settled mind can fall into the state of flow.
4) Practice Kindness- Depending on your family, know that you may need to prepare materials beforehand and give patient help if you have younger children, aim to respond with kindness to their needs.
5) Think Community - Is this object being made for you or for a stranger to find? Forewarn if the intention is to leave the objects made so that it is not a shock to anyone when the time comes. Make someone happy and leave your creation to be found, or leave on family members doorsteps, or those of neighbours, share the love. Post your beautiful outcomes and share any tips in the comments below.