Around the age of 9, a child reaches a place of "crossing" over, or out of the dreamy realm of childhood. There seems to have opened up within the child a quiet space which no-one can know about but themselves. If we make a cross gesture across our chest with our arms, we can feel the presence of an internal space within our heart. To a child who has hitherto had an open connection to all around her, this discovery of a private space can be quite a shock, and a new responsibility to bear. This can be a trying time for a child, when nightmares arise, fears of death, of being abandoned, wondering if they were indeed adopted, and of questioning the dreamy realm of magic and wonder which just slipped a little into memory...
In the Steiner/Waldorf school curriculum, the cross as a gesture is made wherever possible by the child, to meet them at this stage, as support, and bringing this new consciousness into the limbs, in fact, the whole body.
Running figure eights as a class, with the challenge of running through each other without colliding, and in craft, cross stitch. The children make their own knitting bag, decorating the front folding panel with a simple, symmetrical design using crosses. A single thread is used for the first time, requiring more attention to the work than previously. The bag will house the future knitting and crochet works in progress. It feels good to have made a bag like this: waiting to protect treasured new inspirations, delicate works unfolding. I can imagine a nine year old being pleased with this also.
Mine already has the next Class 4 project: Fair Isle Knitting.