Sunday, 15 April 2012

Me and how to entertain yourself when bored: part 1

As a child there always seemed to be hours of time to fill and despite busying myself with reading Mallory Towers, playing with Barbie and writing poems I was often bored.  It was about this time that my passion for making things started.   Anyway I'll pass on a few of my childhood craft ideas in case you are suffering from ennui and need inspiration.

Then as now I have little patience for making things that don't give fairly immediate results; French Knitting was a quick win.  You need a wooden cotton reel (haven't seen one of these for a while) for the authentic Renka experience or a commercially-made knitting dolly.  Tap four small nails into the top of the reel, stuff a tail of wool through the hole - I'm getting a bit bored trying to describe this - so for excellent instructions I shall refer you to:

Eventually a small woollen sausage will appear at the bottom of the cotton reel - if you are very impatient you can pull the tail and stretch the wool.  Keep going until you lose the will to live or you have run out of wool.  I would then sew the said sausage into hats, capes and skirts for my dolls.  Alternatively I'd sew them into circles and give them to Nan -she would (loyally) put them on her dressing table as coasters for flagons of  Oil Of Olay (aka Oil of Ugly ).

Another time-consuming activity was shoe box weaving (no - you are not weaving a shoe box - just read on).  Take the body of a shoe box, on the rims of the short-side cut shallow notches at about 1cm apart.  Knot some wool and thread it through a notch, take it to the far end and thread through the facing notch, wind around the tag (this instruction writing is obviously an art which is beyond me and a little dull) and then take it back up again.  Continue until all notches are full - you now have your warp.  You are now ready for the exciting (everything is relative) part. Take a small ruler and use it to lift up alternative warps and slide under a length of  wool to act as a weft or woof (those Anglo-Saxons really knew how to make a good word in my uttlerly biased opinion). If you vary the wool colours and don't pull it too tight you will produce a tiny magic carpet (or big if you happen to have very large feet) - warning this takes ages and ages.

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