Friday, November 25, 2011

Pippi and the South Seas

Yay! I taught Leah how to purl. She ended up using some leftover pink yarn to make a scarf for her doll, Jane (a recent birthday present -- my girls have all asked for dolls this year -- yes, you never outgrow them). I always think of Pippi in the South Seaswhen I purl. The two needles coming toward each other (instead of "side by side like brothers") I think of as the sharks attacking. When you wrap the yarn around and push it away from you back through your loop, I think of the time when Pippi wrapped her arms around the shark's neck and threw it far out into the sea. Purl of course, is "pearls" that the children dove for.

Hey, it works for me!

I'm sure there's some kind of Waldorf verse for learning to purl but I don't know what it is.

Purl Every Row

My daughter Leah is in 2nd grade and wants to learn the purl stitch. In order to give her practice, I have been looking for simple patterns which use the purl stitch only. Then I realized -- duh! -- that if you purl every row you STILL have garter stitch.

This means that I can show her the following simple knitting patterns in The Children's Year: Seasonal Crafts and Clothes:

Duck and ducklings p.30
Knitted Easter chicken p.31
Chicken and cockerel p.32

Knitted gnome p.93
Cat p.95

Coathanger cover p.167
Needle case p.168

And for some more complicated patterns, try
  • Pull-up: scarf and hat all in one! p.79
  • Slippers - socks - baby bootees p.80
  • "Gnome's hat" p.84
  • Mittens p.92
  • Pig p.94
  • Finger Puppets p.97
  • Baby's rainbow ball p.110
  • Knitted doll p.160
  • Knitted gnome p.161

This is a great Waldorf book for patterns -- clothes, playthings, decorations for holidays -- I recommend it highly. The main difference between The Children's Year: Seasonal Crafts and Clothesand All Year Round, I find, is that All Year Round talks more about how to celebrate holidays and create family traditions. The Children's Year: Seasonal Crafts and Clothesjumps right into patterns, and gives you plenty of them! If you are looking to turn your home into a Waldorf kindergarten or a classroom for the Lower Grades... you have come to the right place. The Children's Year: Seasonal Crafts and Clothes, don't forget, even gives complete directions for making a Waldorf doll. You don't have to buy a special book for that.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


As a project for one of my grad classes I am doing a makeover of Eric Fairman's 8th grade Food and Nutrition unit (the assessment portion). When it's complete I will add it to the website. I am working on having more available for older grades.

Here's a great link to a food log that is simple enough for young kids.
Food Journal

I especially like that it gives you a place to check off each glass of water as you drink it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Elf Slippers

Natalie recently sewed herself some Elf Slippers for a school project (shown here in progress):

She used some wonderful plant dyed wool felt that we got years ago at one of Rahima's conferences, and put little jingle bells on the toes. We sewed non-slip shelf liner material to the bottom of them so that she wouldn't fall down walking on the wood floors.

The slippers are so cute and now her sisters want some!

The directions were in See and Sew: A Sewing Book for Childrenby Tina Davis.

Tina Davis wrote two other how-to books for kids:

They are all great! Natalie wants to make an egg cozy next...

Christmas Gift Time

Okay, so Thanksgiving is a nice time to sit down and make the plan for the homemade gifts this year. We usually spread it out because the process can take some time (last year the girls sewed a bunch of sachets). This year things look pretty simple: cat toys for the cats, dog treats for the dogs, and for our human gift recipients:

Crystal Snowflake ornaments

The teacher next door made this this year and it is so simple: 3 T Borax to 1 cup BOILING water. Mix up as many portions of this concoction as you need in a large glass canning jar or a craft-only large mixing bowl or other heat resistant container. Bend a wire pipe cleaner to form a simple snowflake, tie a piece of string to the pipe cleaner at one end and a pencil or dowel to the other end, and lie the pencil or dowel across the container of Borax/water so that the snowflake is completely submerged and leave it overnight. Voila! In the morning the water will be clear and large crystals will have grown all over the pipe cleaner frame. Simple.

So easy, fun, cheap!

How to Grow a Borax Crystal Snowflake

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ancient Mesopotamia

Beginning Ancient Civ; looking for recipes. Here are some links: - "Ancient Recipes" lesson plan - informational article

Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese and Peppered Honey - modern recipe

So happy that Dorothy Harrer's book Chapters from Ancient History is back in print! Perfect for the 5th grade year: Ancient India, Ancient Persia, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt and on through Ancient Greece.