Monday, September 15, 2014

Macrame Owls and Canadian Set Fiction


For some odd reason, I can't quite explain, I decided it would be fun to make macrame owls, this weekend.  My original intent was to craft alone, but after finding a 2010 post from That Artist Woman detailing a 4th grade art extension project, to go along with Farley Mowats Owl's in the Family...


...I decided it would be fun to bring my younger four (ages 8-13) in on the project, as well.  The owl pattern That Artist Woman used with her class doesn't seem to be available online anymore.  But, our library did have a copy of Owls in the Family on the shelf, and the after a little trial and error, I settled on a simple, easy to follow pattern from Free-Macrame-Patterns.com for us to use with it.


We made our owls from yarn, because we have a pretty good selection of fall colored yarn on hand...


...and the children raided the button box, trying out different combinations of yarn, eye, and beak colors until they were happy.


Having a very limited knowledge of macrame, I needed a pattern that was simple.  Somehow, I managed to live the entire first half of my childhood through the 1970s, without ever tying a single macrame knot (or doing any of those nail and string pictures, either).  Fortunately for me, the pattern we found, only uses four different knots: a larks head knot, for fastening the yarn onto a stick, or necklace string...


...a series of square knots for forming the top of the head...


...double half hitches to outline the face, and form the wings, and a couple of standard overhand knots to attach the bottom stick (broken chopsticks, in our case).


Each of the knots are explained, and demonstrated in the instructions in a way simple enough for even my eight year old to follow, with the smallest amount of help.  We worked on our owls on top of cardboard box lids, attaching them to the cardboard with bread ties, and using small pieces of clear tape to hook the yarn to the back of the board, when it needed to be kept at a certain angle, or pulled tight.

I worked with the children one at a time, and one step at a time, throughout the weekend.  It is a small project, that could have been completed all at once, but we took our time, and really enjoyed the whole process.


Finally, taking one last bit of inspiration from That Artist Woman, we displayed our completed owls, hanging them with clear tape on either side of their top sticks...


...perched on the branches of our fall to-do tree.


While the younger children and I enjoy Farley Mowats tale of life, and wildlife in rural Saskatchewan, I've picked another owl themed, and Canadian set story to read together with my teens...


...which I haven't read since I was a teen (in Saskatchewan, strangely enough) myself.

5 comments:

Ticia said...

I never knew that was called Lark's Head Knot.

Karin Huber said...

The owls are too cute (I have to save the page, you took the pattern from)! Thank you and have a nice day.

Phyllis said...

I have never made macrame either. I have not read your book selections either. The owls turned out really cute and go well on your fall tree.

raventhreads said...

That is a nice project! I love them on display.

Angelic Scalliwags said...

You know how much I love your tree, and now macramé owls to go on the tree....brilliant! If I wasn't so busy with all things Native American I may have been persuaded to gather my children and copy both the tree and the owls. Very, very lovely!