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The Chinese Staircase Stitch

The art of making lanyards is often called boondoggle or Scoubidou. This craft is done using long strands of rope or similar material. These strands are tied using various knots to create various shapes and form.

When children are doing this craft they are often given longs strands of hollow plastic tubing to knot. These cords are frequently made in bright colors and are about 80 cm in length. These strands are easy to tie and flatten when pulled, which allows children to make stable tight knots.

This craft is not only fun, it teaches children patterns and counting. It also helps children to improve their dexterity and teaches them how to tie various types of knots.

This is a list of some of the more commonly used knots;

  • The Cobra Knot

  • The Square Knot

  • The Lanyard Knot

  • Snake Knot

  • Diamond Knot

  • Butterfly Knot

  • Box Knot

  • Triangle Knot

  • Chinese Knot

If you are interested in teaching your children, to make lanyards you should know that many knots have numerous names. What one person calls a snake knot another might refer to as a cobra.

This craft is a simple one to teach children. It is also a craft that can be done almost anywhere. Once a child learns the basics it is something they can do in a car while traveling or while they are watching TV. It is also an inexpensive craft and one which creates virtually no mess.

The History of the Lanyard

If you are intending to teach this art form to your children, you might also want to teach them about the history of the lanyard. The art form of the lanyard began about 1950 in France; however, this is not when the lanyard was invented.

The lanyard was created hundreds of years ago in a time when tall ships sailed the seas. But, however wonderful these ships were, they were also incredibly dangerous. Sailors on these boats faced life threatening situations on a daily basis, and one of the most dangerous was the task of climbing the rigging. On a calm sunny day this chore would have been challenging but on days when the seas were rough and the weather was cold it would have been virtually impossible. And if those factors weren’t enough, the men would often have to make this climb while they were trying to carry various tools.

The sailors realized that they had to devise a way that they could make this climb safer.  What they came up with was the lanyard. They used scrap pieces of rope which they found on the ship and fashioned straps which could be hung around their necks. Once in place the sailor used his vast knowledge of knots to tie whatever tool he needed on the cord. He could attach a knife a spyglass or any other small item.

This little gadget was great. It was simple to make and could be worn with almost anything. The sailor could tie one on over his slicker or pull it on with a light t-0shirt. Once it was in place, they could climb the rigging with the tool and not have to worry about having something in their hands. It also virtually eliminated the chance of them dropping the item while climbing.

Through the years the basic idea of the lanyard has changed very little, it is still a simple cord that is worn around a person’s neck and it can hold various kinds of tools. However, today most people do not tie items directly to the cord. Instead they rely upon the different attachments and clasps and they use the cord to hold countless high tech items as well as more traditional tools.

 To learn more, call to come in for a lesson or watch our You Tube Videos. 

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