Saturday, April 19, 2008

more nostagia - the nanna-list

After the wonderful time spent bending knitting needles into bangles, an activity that has been done quiet a few times in the past few days, my Zgal wants to know what else I used to do with my nanna.

It wasn't just my nanna that I did things with, there was also time spent with Grandma and other elderly women who taught me a huge range of things, from french seaming for babies clothing to how to get pastry just right to how best to peg out clothing.

It was all fun back then, but lessons were learnt so I've decided to try and work out a nanna-list of activities to do with my daughter.

I'm not going to do water colours with her and I don't have a massive art studio complete with a wheel and kiln, but I do have a french knitting 'thingo'. For years I've been looking through op shops trying to find old wooden spools with a hole in the centre big enough for french knitting. Of course I couldn't find one with a big enough hole, but then I realised that my french knitting was probably done with the left overs from the dresses she used to knit for herself and her daughters which was of course, 4ply, fingering or finer.

When the craft show swung into town and the wood turners had a bit of a show there too and I found a hand carved french knitting spool (could that be what it is called) so next on the nanna-list is to learn to french knit properly. She has already done french knitting at school over paddlepop sticks stuck to toilet rolls.

Also on the nanna-list similar to the knitting needles, is melting a record to make bowls.
I remember doing this as well with nanna who then turned them into pots for plants, cacti if I remember correctly.

So I'm going to go through my huge vinyl collection to work out what can be donated to the nanna-list. The Dead Kennedys, Kraft Work and my rare Nina and Frederick records will not be given the oven treatment, but I do have some first rate shockers (Tiffany anyone) that were bought to be spun at drunken parties.

So what did you used to do as a child with older people, what else can I include on the nanna-list.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

what my nanna did

Often during school holidays I'd go and spent time with my Nanna, the one that taught me first to hook then knit.
She also showed me how to paint with water colours properly and to throw a pot, glaze it and how it was 'baked'. Along the way she also taught me to embroider and read music and some where during one of those school holidays we made knitting needle bangles.

How long ago I have no idea, just like how she made them. So I scratched that empty head of mine and gathered together some old plastic knitting needles, my oblong (now is n't that a word from my childhood) fish steamer which I use for dying wool and some tweezers and Zgal and I set to work.

So here is how you do it. Boil the water, throw in the needles, give them about five minutes at a rolling boil, grab a needle out with a pair of tweezers and then quickly wrap around a tin or a bottle, plunge into cold water and you have a bangle. If it doesn't work properly, just throw it back into the water again to soften and then have another go.

Yes the needles are hot, but wear gloves to do this, and no, you don't put marks on the needles when handling them, they are soft, but not that soft.

So we made 17 using needles that were in a tin in the kitchen. Yes there are needles all through the house, and I can see some more school holiday bangles being made.

ADDED: We have a competition, do you want a bangle, just go here to read the details and post a comment or send me an email!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

when i go out

This post was going to be all about the knitting I've been doing, the sewing. But there really hasn't been much of that lately. I've been under the gun to squeeze several week's worth of work into my days as I'm off on holidays for a fortnight, which of course means covering as much of my work for that time off. It isn't written down anywhere that I have to do it, let's just say it is expected.

Often it is best to do it, rather than leaving it for relief people, because when I have I end up spending the first week back ringing and saying sorry for the messes that they have created.

But something has been happening when I've been out of the house, the boys decided to cook.
You see the fellow is a marvelous cook. He'll look at a recipe and without physically doing it, he knows what he can change, how he can improve it, and he is usually right.
Yesterday he set about making his famous chocolate mousse cake, which involves fresh eggs from our girls, sugar, cream and plenty of dark, dark chocolate.
It is a favourite in the house and goes down a treat. But the best part of cooking with Dad is the licking of the big bowl and the saucepan in which he melts the chocolate.

Yes Jar Jar loves cooking with his dad. He doesn't really like the showering afterwards to get it out of his hair and from his ears and nostrils.