‘Making the Children’s Year’……our review

 

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Making the Children’s Year

Seasonal Waldorf Crafts with Children

by Marije Rowling

Published by Hawthorn Press

 

We have (and love!) the previous version of this book  ‘The Children’s Year’. It was one of the first craft books we purchased when we first discovered Waldorf, and it has facilitated many a making session.  I was delighted to see that an update was coming, and our lovely friends at Hawthorn Press offered to send us a copy for review

This volume ‘Making the Children’s Year’ is an updated version of the previous book, put together by Marije Rowling (one of the original authors of the previous edition) It offers a brand new layout and more information for each season, including a very inspiring piece on colour throughout the year, the nature table, information on craft materials and where to source them, tips and abbreviations for sewing and knitting, information on fabric dyeing, pattern tips for tracing and transferring and much more. 

There’s a wealth of seasonal offerings within these pages, things to make for outdoor play, indoor play, cards, nature crafts, lanterns, decorations, dolls and doll’s clothes, children’s clothing and accessories and more.

I  especially like the knitting patterns because knitting is my favourite craft. I have previously made the mittens, hat and jumper from this book, actually, the first jumper I ever knitted was the one in this book, thanks to the easy to understand, yet thorough pattern instructions. Imagine my delight when I discovered that such well loved, familiar patterns now have beautiful colour illustrations! 

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Of course I paged through to the autumn portion first, because its my favourite season, and also because we are currently gearing up to begin Kindergarten again this autumn so this is perfect timing for some extra autumn craft inspiration. Much is included for festival crafts, as well as some lovely ideas for gifts and little play figures and even some creative and beautiful storage solutions. The Bundles delighted in looking at the illustrations and telling me which things we should have a go at making (so, basically everything!)

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This book is accessible for both those who are already crafty and seeking seasonal inspiration, and equally for those who would like to learn.  There are patterns offered for adults, older children and younger children, and the illustrations are captivating to all!  It is an Invaluable resource for Waldorf home educators, indeed for anyone wishing to bring rich, seasonal crafts to their family, group or community. 

Bringing seasonal delight and a reminder of the importance of creativity and handwork, this book is a real treasure and we most definitely recommend it!

Our friends at Hawthorn Press are so excited about this title that they have made it available early! Order your copy here 

 

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Blogmas Day 8, Candy Cane Craft and ‘Eggs in a Poke’

Our festive gnome, Eggnog, is delivering activity suggestions and things to try for each day of December…… 

 

Today’s activity was making pipe cleaner candy canes to decorate our tree! Along with a handwritten note in a tiny wooden advent house,  Eggnog always leaves any supplies we might need for our activity in his little box beneath the tree. Today we found a collection of red and white pipe cleaners.

After breakfast we got to work making our candy canes. This activity is simple enough for most little ones to have a go at, Bundle Number One is five and managed it himself, Bundle Number Two needed a little help.

 

We also tried another new activity today, which was inspired by yesterday’s Martin and Sylvia Advent story when they had ‘eggs in a poke’ for breakfast. We hadn’t heard of this before but thankfully the lovely people at Sparkle Stories had thought of this and added a ‘how to’ on their blog.

Bundle Number One was thrilled to discover we could make this new dish ourselves so we decided to try it for lunch……

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Festive and nutritious, Yum! I would’ve added the avocados and tomatoes personally, but neither Bundle wanted any embellishments so we kept it simple. The Bundles tucked in, discussing which of them would be Martin and which would be Sylvia!

 

🙂

 

Summer knitting project

I have wanted to try double pointed needles (dpns) for a while so I decided to get some and give sock knitting a try. Summer might seem an odd time to learn how to knit socks what but really it’s an ideal time, everything feels more relaxed, there are plenty of opportunities to sit and knit at the beach, in the garden, on picnics, anywhere really….. and plenty of space to practice before we need warmer socks ready for Autumn!

Bamboo dpns looked good and I have read that they are more ‘grippy’  than their metal or plastic counterparts meaning that the knitting is less likely to slip off the needles, one less thing to grapple with while learning! So I ordered those in a pack with sizes ranging from 2mm up to 10mm. They are a good length and are pleasantly easy to hold, the yarn definitely stays put so they were a good choice. I got them from Amazon for around £8 which was a bargain and the range of sizes means I can play around with different yarns.

Of course I needed sock yarn too, I chose two plain colours and two self patterning mixed colour balls (these are really fun to knit with)

 

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I used online instructions for casting on, the ‘long tail cast on’ was recommended by it baffled me so I developed my own cast on which works well enough. I found an easy pattern online to follow and it worked, I can knit socks on dpns 🙂

 they’re not quite perfect yet, turning the heel and picking up stitches are tricky!

It’s addictive, and so much easier than I though it would be. I’ve already knitted two pairs and I have another on the needles 🙂

 

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yarn and Kool Aid

We found this fun activity over on  Waldorf Essentials and couldn’t resist having a go at it ourselves.

The first thing we had to do was source some Kool Aid sachets which are not widely available here in the u.k but good old Amazon to the rescue and we found a variety pack for £5.95 with a variety of flavours, or in our case, colours!

We used a skein of undyed wool yarn which we made into two smaller skeins so The Bundles would have one each.

 

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We began by soaking the yarn in white vinegar for a few minutes

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Then we placed each skein in a separate zip lock bag 

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Then we mixed up the Kool Aid following Melisa’s instructions (see link above)

 

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and used spoons to add the colour to the yarn straight into the zip lock bag (keeps most of the mess in one place!)

 

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then we removed the air from the bags and heat set the colour in the microwave for one minute before allowing it to cool and this is how it came out (the picture won’t rotate but you get the idea!)

 

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This is sure to be a regular activity here it was a lot of fun to do, pretty mess free and a little goes a long way with the Kool Aid so we had a lot left to play with next time we do this activity.