Friday, April 10, 2015

Knit a Tree House


Knit a tree house? Why not?
Materials: rope from Lowe's (not thick or slick). I used four 100-foot packages.
Two branches that are 5-6' apart
broom or piece of bamboo, or two if you prefer to use a broom to do the knitting
people and children

Start with the rope:


 To start, you will need loops on your first branch. I "cast on" using the backwards loops method. First, I tied the end around the branch, loosely, and made several knots to secure this loop to the branch. Casting on is basically wrapping the cord around the tree once, then bringing the cord back through the loop you just made.

Keep doing that until you have as many stitches as you like. We had 17 stitches.

Casting on completed!

To start knitting, make a loop, then pull it through the first loop on the branch. Put this loop on your left arm. 

Continue to make loops, taking the cord from the roll, and putting them on your left arm.


Here you see the "live" stitches on the left arm of my daughter.
To change colors, simply tie on. I leave a long tail and tie several knots in place for extra security. I'm sure you could fuse the cord together with a woodburner but we were too far from the house.






 Once you have all the stitches on your left arm, then you use your right arm to loop the cord through and turn and go the other way. We divided stitches between my daughter and me and our neighbor and used all six arms to knit. Soon, they tired of this and so I was able to put them on my arm then transfer the stitches to a broom to finish solo. Last summer, I did this in my camp and assigned each person a stitch. This was great teamwork and cooperative play, for we all had to snuggle in very close, wait our turn, laugh and giggle, and help each other keep track of the loop. I hope to chronicle a treehouse knitting like that soon. It really is great fun.
After awhile, it was long enough! I then climbed the tree, too the end and tied cord through the loops on the broom, 4-5 at a time, to secure the end to the next branch. It wasn't rocket science, just tying it on tight enough and repeating it enough to be secure. 
And now time to use the treehouse!

 Davis tried not to smile and insisted on not smiling.


 But he sure did spend a lot of happy time in his new treehouse!
The treehouse is a place my kids go to often when they want to be alone, and also when they want to be social and climb a tree. We have now attached a zipline to the tree, so the idea is that they can climb into the treehouse then jump on to the 100' zipline. I just need to get the zipline tightened and we are good to go! And that is another blog post for certain.