We’re delighted to partner with Heidi Gustad of Hands Occupied to bring you a series of kits to bring a little DIY to the library! Read on to learn more about this STEAM-friendly activity and download the Kit to use in your library. Don’t forget to check out all of Heidi’s posts for us HERE. Cheers! ~Erinn

RainbowLoomProgram Kit: Knitting Loom

by Heidi Gustad 

HandsOccupiedLogoHello, Library as Incubator Project readers! This is Heidi, a Chicago librarian and a DIY blogger at Hands Occupied. I usually do STEM-focused program kits when I guest blog here, but today I wanted to share an easy loom knitting craft that has been SUPER successful at my library with kids as young as 7, all the way through older teens. (PS: I have some friends who volunteer with adults at a community center who also enjoyed this program.)

You can do this beginner-level knitting program for very little money, which is always great. I put out the call to co-workers and friends to save up and bring in toilet paper tubes, paper towel tubes, packing tubes and the cardboard rings from the inside of book tape. Next, a couple staff members and patrons donated some old yarn. And then all I had to do was buy a really cheap box of 1,000 popsicle sticks and ask for an extra roll of book tape to be ordered from our supplies coordinator, and I had a program that worked as a formal program, as well as a drop-in Saturday program. The hardest part is simply learning how to knit on the looms.

Supplies, Supply Sources & Costs

Program Prep

Check out my tutorial for how to make knitting looms from recycled paper tubes, and have enough looms ready for program participants ahead of time. Then, keep one loom for yourself and make a pair of hand warmers to master the casting on, knitting, and casting off before the program. Hint: the casting on and off is by far the hardest part.

You’ll also want to have your yarn balled ahead of time. This will avoid the easy trap of having a single participant using an entire skein of yarn when, had it been broken up in to smaller balls, you would be able to accommodate 6 or 8 patrons with that same skein. I have a yarn baller at home that I brought in for the prep, but you might be able to borrow one from a patron or colleague who’s an avid knitter. (There are just a few librarians who knit out there, after all!)

Appropriate ages: 7 and up

Approx. Cost: $7.43/book tape roll + $4.00/large skein of yarn + $1.00/48 popsicle sticks + $0/donated or recycled supplies = (very cheap per person!)

Concepts Demonstrated, Skills Learned: fine motor skills, thinking 3 dimensionally

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HeidiGustad_HandsOccupiedHeidi Gustad is a librarian in Chicago and an experienced DIY blogger. She is the Founder & Editor of Hands Occupied, a craft blog sharing projects, instructions and inspiration for adding a little DIY to your life! Through Hands Occupied and her other craft writing, Heidi has worked with Michaels, Etsy, Plaid Crafts, Kia, and more. You can also find her writing at Craft Gossip, Mod Podge Rocks, and Houzz. 

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