Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Yarn Along in pajamas

It has been a looong time since I did the knit along. Mostly because I haven't been able to sit (curse you back troubles) so my knitting has been on GOOOOOO SLOOOOOOOWWWW.  Now I'm way more mobile its going faster.

This project is the tail end of something experimental.  I am making sleeve, leg and tummy extensions for E's favorite pajamas.  I am not normally ambitious enough to bother with this sort of thing because E.'s clothes go right to J. as hand me downs and everyone is happy. 

These particular pajamas are for E. the best-est pajamas ever created on the face of the planet. They are boy's pajamas (eg nice and comfortably baggy) we bought in the UK before we moved and they have guitars and other rock/music equipment on the shirt.  I am lengthening them only because when I told E. they were getting too short and she had to hand them on her eyes teared up and J. started jumping around crowing because E.'s precious "Coolest PJs on the Planet" would soon be hers!  

So here I find myself... doing the thing that seems totally futile for the sake of a pajama obsession that is probably quite unhealthy... 

I will post pics next week with a how-I-did-it-and-if-you-are-a-masochist-or-cheapskate-so-can-you!!

I'm reading Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore.  It is a fantasy novel which has two others in a sort of paralell series. I've found it  interesting and I love the world the author created but the book is slow and pushes hard against some moral issues that I feel quite strongly about so I have found it occasionally uncomfortable enough to skip some reading. I would read it again if it weren't for a lot of (gentle) references to said moral/sexual issues which this is not the forum for discussion.  It has a villain I find very very repulsive and A LOT of victims. So I dunno. Thumbs sideways I guess.

You can see E is re-reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Excitement for the The Desolation of Smaug is reaching fever pitch in our house as the girls all know it opens the day after M.'s birthday and I've already bought us tickets at our local cinema (surprisingly good for a small town) as a surprise for him (he LOVES The Hobbit).

Happy kitting!

xx Jo

California's Pilgrims

E. and J. have just finished their fall homeschool history project. JUST in time.

The girls tend to work from books for all their main classwork but for history we always make it a little more exciting with a topic project three or four times a year. We have made a medieval newspaper, had Roman feast for M.'s birthday and traveled the world with craft paper passports which get a "stamp" once a culture has been "visited".   Having just moved back to the states from a town on the south coast of England (only a little way away from Plymouth)  we have been studying the pilgrims and the Mayflower. To most Americans the idea of being completely ignorant of Pilgrim history probably seems incomprehensible but my kids were. 

Completely. Ignorant.

They have had such a great time researching and writing these diary. For example their characters existed and survived the first year in the New World when most of the immigrants died in the terrible conditions. Also E. and J. know where their characters settled married and how many children they had.  I had nothing to do with the research and writing (other than book buying/spotting and insisting on a minimum of ten diary entries) just the physical leather manufacture of their amazing Pilgrim Diaries.

We used regular printer paper aged and stained with coffee but not crumpled up a la fake treasure maps.  They wrote their diary entries leaving a good size margin on each page so that there was space to trim the paper down to fit leather sheet covers.  Which we punched with a bradawl tool and they stitched their diary up using leather thong.  They then wanted to mark the initials of the character on the cover. E. was Remember Allerton, and J. Mary Allerton. I didn't have the right tools but my girls really didn't care. A screwdriver did the job nicely.

The leather is rather expensive for a faux diary cover and only comes in one size from Michael's or Beverly's by us but a bigger one might have more options.  Having said that the work the girls put into writing up each entry, spell checking the lot and then by hand carefully re-writing them onto diary paper deserved a more noble finish than a fake leather or felt cover so I caved and bought the more expensive stuff.  In retrospect it was the very best thing I could have done. Children put value in the things their parents value.  By covering their work in leather I told them (inadvertently) that their work was worth something more than throwing away.  They are so proud and excited.  Just in time to share them with the family at Thanksgiving.

xx  Jo