String figures from AROUND THE WORLD!
January 21, 2003 4:58 PM   Subscribe

When I was in sixth grade, all the boys and girls carried around bits of yarn, and at recess we all demonstrated our l33t skillz at making string figures, such as the Jacob's Ladder, or the Banana Tree. This site teaches you how to make these two, and many more. Yarn sales will spike as a result of this post, I'm sure.
posted by WolfDaddy (15 comments total)
Wow, WolfDaddy, I didn't know you were Amish.
posted by Ty Webb at 5:10 PM on January 21, 2003

hjelo9p ,me ]
n,my finjgers arew caauigjht"

canmt typew
posted by Stan Chin at 5:11 PM on January 21, 2003

when I was in sixth grade, we were 2 poor 2 afford yarn for these l33t gam3z, and we had to compensate with some special sk1llz for our toyz. Today's kidz have it 2 easy.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:59 PM on January 21, 2003

madamjujujive, did you have the shave the dog uphill both ways in the snow in your bare feet?

Coz I did, but then my dad divorced my mom and she got a lot of muneys.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:02 PM on January 21, 2003

Wow, WolfDaddy, you had it much worse. ...I lived in Mexico so I didn't have to contend with the snow...but then again, it w4z not easy 2 work with my dogz.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:19 PM on January 21, 2003


posted by pudders at 6:43 PM on January 21, 2003

Wolfdaddy, how could you make this post and not include the phrase "cat's cradle" somewhere in it?

No cat, no cradle.
posted by vraxoin at 8:10 PM on January 21, 2003

Hey, vraxoin, you've got a cat post right above this one. I figgered that would suffice ;-P
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:47 PM on January 21, 2003

WolfDaddy, I have to say I am sorry I was so silly with your thread because the topic actually triggered some interesting surfing tonight...did you know there is an international string figure association?

They have some great links and demonstrate that this child's game actually has a very ancient folk tradition - look at this neat Navajo page or this page from an Easter Island museum... and then there's also the Mathematics and origin of String Figures - quite cool stuff. So thanks for the topic - it's quite interesting!
posted by madamjujujive at 9:19 PM on January 21, 2003

Hey WolfDaddy my father tells a story about when he was kid that they were so poor that his mother would cut holes in his pockets just so he would have something to play with....
posted by SweetIceT at 9:28 PM on January 21, 2003

Shucks, madamj3, I just put the link out there to have fun, so if you had fun digging into the history of it all, my work here is done. Uphill. Both ways. All the time. :-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:14 PM on January 21, 2003

all the boys and girls carried around bits of yarn

Wolf D., I never found yarn much good for making string figures. (After all, they're not called 'yarn' figures.) But I've been doing them for years, and am now teaching them to my son; thanks for the link.

This book I got -- yikes, 28 years ago now -- is really the best, and inexpensive. And if you want to learn more, too, this guy seems to have it all covered.
posted by LeLiLo at 12:25 AM on January 22, 2003

And this book I have also shows how to do cat's cradle all by yourself. Quite handy for when you don't have a partner nearby.
posted by beth at 8:07 AM on January 22, 2003

(Yorkshireman) Yarn? Paradise! We used to dream of playing with bits of yarn! (/Yorkshireman)
posted by Ty Webb at 9:16 AM on January 22, 2003

(Yorkshireman) You had it easy! (/Yorkshireman)
posted by Ty Webb at 9:17 AM on January 22, 2003

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