I was never bored as a kid. Even back in the dark ages when I was a child and we had one family computer (and the pixels on that computer were about a big as my fingernail), research for school papers was done at the library with a good amount of time spent combing through the card catalogue, we used a phone that was attached to the wall and if you wanted to send someone a note, you'd write them a letter with actual pen and paper, crayons and a blank sheet were my method of choice on how to pass a rainy day. Yes, my brother and I had a Nintendo, there was a TV in the living room and a handful of friends lived within walking distance of our home, but set me down in front of a box of crayons and a blank pad of paper and I'd be happy for hours. That's still true today.
Being a parent nowadays is an experience full of wonder and whimsy, but also a bit strange. I see my 3-year old operate my iPhone with ease. He'd rather do a puzzle on the iPad than with actual pieces on the floor. When a DVD ends we don't have to wait and rewind it to watch his favorite part again. While this makes me feel old and (only slightly) regret all the time I mocked my own parents for being "old school," I love that if I give him crayons and paper, he's content. Why are these such magical objects?
On nice days if no friends were around and I was banished outside until dinner, I'd grab my little bag with my drawing materials and disappear into the woods, drawing bugs and plants, clouds, trees and whatever else my imagination could drum up. My mother is a painter, so art materials were never in short supply and being creative was encouraged. I went through boxes of crayons and pads of paper like it was my job.
When we'd travel, especially on airplanes, drawing was more difficult. Confined to the small tray table space (and forget it if you dropped a crayon - you wouldn't see that again until landing) and often shoved between the adults in the dreaded middle seat, having a place to stow the markers or crayons was imperative. With this in mind, I designed the Travel Crayon Roll, a roll-up case easy for small hands to operate. With plenty of space for an entire rainbow of crayons, a thick stitch ensuring none will poke out and be lost forever and extra long cord ties for wrapping around the case and tying it shut, this is the perfect knit for any kid.
Knit using one skein of Cascade's Pinwheel, I loved the rainbow color change combined with the thick star stitch. While I hope my son gets this dirty and covered in marker and crayon, I also want the option to wash and dry it easily, so this 100% acrylic makes perfect sense. With over 20 pretty great color options (the more color, the better!) I don't think you can really make a wrong choice. The best thing? I weighed my finished project and I could get 3, that's right, 3 crayon rolls out of 1 skein! 440 yards for a worsted? Insanity!
I'm a big fan of technology, but a much bigger fan of creativity. If you're undertaking Handmade Holiday for 2014, NOW is the time to start knitting! Why not knit a few of these up, buy crayons in bulk and give them out to the littles ones? Put away the iPads, the laptops and the video games. Long live creativity!
Download the free Travel Crayon Roll here.