Klutz book on string figures. In no time at all, she's an avid fan.
"You start with string," she tells me, authoritatively. "It's really amazing because that's all you need!" Her voice goes peeping high in excitement. She thinks it's almost magical that, with a bit of advanced thumb twirling, she can build the Eiffel Tower, twist together a witch's broom and cat whiskers. She's even conquered Jacob's Ladder, her proudest feat.
Magic might not be involved, but there's definitely something meditative about making a string figure. I think it's the way our hands work together, mirror imaged, to create further symmetry. Or maybe there's something to be said for twiddling our fingers, some sort of innate soothing ritual our ancestors developed along with their opposable thumbs. It's certainly an old game. Anthropologists tell us that string figure games have prehistoric roots, and are also well known in cultures around the world.
Caroline has already memorized all the figures in her book, and we're on the hunt for new challenges. Let me know if you have a favorite pattern to recommend!
2 hours ago