Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Winter crafting

This year was a very fertile year as most of my friends are pregnant.

My best friend just had her third baby, a boy. Another close friend is having her first baby in August, she is having a girl. And one of my oldest friends' wife is also having a baby in August, also a girl.

So to get, make the right gift is very important. My best friend has a beautiful home, a fully fitted nursery and a mother in law who does the most fantastic crafts, she crotchets, quilts, fabric paints, does woodwork and makes ceramic dolls. So I chose to make her a quilt, knowing the style her mother in law does, I made my style quilt!

How I made the quilt
  1. I decided on the size I wanted to make it.
  2. I decided on the pattern, design I wanted to use.
  3. I got the measurements together. The actual finished measurements.
  4. Now I added on seam allowance, 0.75mm on each side.
  5. I chose my fabric. I always use cotton.
  6. I cut out my quilt pieces.
  7. I stitched it together using a sewing machine. I prefer hand quilting but this was a project I needed to get finished rather quickly.
  8. I sandwiched the top, batting and bottom fabric together with a basting stitch.
  9. I machine quilted it all together.
  10. I finished it off around the edges with bias binding.
And voila! It is finished.

My close friend is very healthy and will not use disposable nappies so I bought her pre-made toweling nappies.

My oldest friend, and his wife are Jewish. They have the most fantastic support system. They have everything they need and more!

Therefore I have chosen to crotchet them a baby blanket. Their pram is pink, baby carrier is pink and most of everything else, so taking that cue I chose a mottled pink acrylic wool. I normally do not use acrylic, but because our winters are wet and I know what it is like having a newborn baby I got a yarn that washes in the machine, dries quickly and the colour will not fade. It is also 100 percent acrylic sticking with the torah - the torah states that we should not mix different types of yarn. According to my friends this is to keep the purity of the yarn.

I am not very advanced with crocheting so I used a very basic pattern. And, this is what I ended up with.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Vagaries of Language

This is why it is so difficult to teach the English language!

From an email:
A newspaper reader sent in this lament on the vagaries of the English language:

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes

One fowl is a goose but two are called geese
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice

If the plural of man is always called men
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

If I speak of my foot and show you my feet
And i give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and there would be those
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose

We speak of a brother and also of brethren
But though we say mother, we never say methren

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim !

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England.

We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes we find that
quicksand can work slowly,
boxing rings are square
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them,
what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the folk who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.
And if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?

There's no simple answer. You see, Engllish is a hybrid language. There were the Angles and the Saxons. Then there were the Vikings. Then the Norman-French, who were French but not quite French because they also had Norse in them. Then there were the Vikings again. They all brought their languages. Then there was Hollywood. Then the Australlians colonised England. It's an ever-evolving proces.

Perhaps another practical example of the vagaries is appropriate.

A Frenchman is complaining: "I am playing poker wiz two Englishmen and an Englishwoman.
One of the Englishmen wins a hand and his compatriot says : you lucky dog!
Zen ze ozzer Englishman wins a hand and ze first responds ze same: you lucky dog!.
Zen ze Englishwoman wins a hand and I say : you lucky bitch!
Zen zey all want to punch me on ze nose.
Inexplicable ! Les Anglais ! Zut ! Alors!

There must be many more of these interesting observations of the English language.
Hope you had a smile out of one or more.
Have a great day

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Quote of the day

Each of us tends to think we see things as they are, that we are objective. But this is not the case. We see the world, not as it is, but as we are - or, as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms.

Socks age 7-12

This pattern is for age 7 till they grow out of this size, then you would use the adult pattern, or use a slightly thicker knitting needle.

When you are knitting socks a slightly thicker needle gives a softer knit, and of coarse a more stretchy sock. This makes it easier for children to put on.

Socks age 7-12
50g sock wool.
Set of 4 needles, 3mm.

Cast on 54 st. Put 18 st on each needle.
Knit in the round.
Do 6 rows of rib. Your choice of rib will do.
Change to knit.
Knit 40 rows.

Knit 12 st from needle 1.
Slip last 13 st from needle 3 onto same needle as the 12 st you knitted. (25st)
Put the remaining 29 sts onto two needles.

Working on the 25st.
Row 1. Pearl.
Row 2. Knit.
Row 3. Pearl.
Repeat row 2 and 3 ten times.(21 rows)
If you want a reinforced heel then on every knit row do slip one, knit one etc. till last stitch which is a slip stitch.

Turn heel
Row 1. Knit 15, K2 together in the back of the sts. Turn.
Row 2. Slip 1. P5. P2 together. Turn.
Row 3. Slip 1. K6. K2 together in the back of the sts. Turn.
Row 4. Slip 1. P7. P2 together. Turn.
Row 5. Slip 1. K8. K2 together in the back of the sts.
Row 6. Slip 1. P9. P2 together. Turn.
Row 7. Slip 1. K10. K2 together in the back of the sts. Turn.
Row 8. Slip 1. P11. P2 together.
Row 9. Slip 1. K12. K2 together in the back of the sts. Turn.
Row 10. Slip 1. P13. P2 together.
15 sts left.
Knit 8.

Knit 7 on needle one. Pick up 12 sts along side of heel. (19 sts).
Knit 29 sts on needle two.
Pick up 12 sts along heel, knit 8 sts on needle 3. (20sts).

Shape heel
Row 1. Knit.
Row 2. Knit sts on needle one till last two remain. K2 sts together.
Knit sts on needle two.
On needle three. K2 together in the back of the sts. Knit till end.
Repeat row 1 and 2 till 54 sts remain.
Knit length according to the child's foot.

Shape toe
Needle one must have 14 sts.
Needle two, 27 sts.
Needle three, 13 sts.
Row one.
On needle one. K to last 3 sts. Knit 2 together, knit 1.
On needle two. K1, K2 together in the back of the sts. Knit till last
three sts. K2 together, K1.
On needle three. K1, K2 together in the back of the sts.
Row two.
Continue with last two rounds till 20 sts remain.
Graft sts!

Happy knitting.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Grade 8 curriculum: History

The Age of Revolution
by Charles Kovacs
Cost is about R100 to R150 depending on the exchange rate. Book Depository does not charge for shipping. Loot shipping is free for orders over R230 so even if the exchange rate is not doing too well, it might still be cheaper to buy from Book Depository if you are getting a single book.

'An overview of world history from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, including the French, American and Industrial Revolutions. Kovacs chooses pertinent stories which create a tapestry showing the development of humankind from Medieval times, when every person had their place in the hierarchy of society, to the awakening of individualism in modern times.'

1. Spain and Holland
2. The Dutch Rebellion
3. The Siege of Leyden
4. The Divine Rights of Kings
5. Charles I
6. Chromwell and the Civil War
7. The execution of Charles
8. England and Scotland
9. The Lord Protector
10. The Restoration
11. The Merry Monarch
12. The Plague and the Great Fire
13. The Glorious Revolution
14. Union of 1707
15. The Jacobite Rebellion
16. Past and Future: Russia and Germany
The French Revolution
17. The Huguenots
18. Le Roi Soleil
19. Versailles
20. Banking
21. Louis XV
22. The Count of Saint Germain
23. Rousseau, Voltaire and the Aristocrats
24. The American War of Independence
25. Louis XVI. The Three Estates.
26. Liberty - Equality - Fraternity
27. The Tuileries
28. Danton, Robespierre
29. The Reign of Terror
30. Napoleon
31. Egypt
32. Emperor Napoleon and Trafalgar
33. Austerlitz
34. Elab, Waterloo
The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
35. The Threefold State
36. The Beginning of the Industrial Revolution
37. The Arrival of Steam Power
38. The Locomotive
39. The Proletarians
40. Liberty and Economics
41. Robert Owen
42. The workers' Struggle
43. Robert Clive
44. Garibaldi: the Early Years
45. Garibaldi and the Unification of Italy
46. Henry Dunant
47. Abraham Lincoln
48. Tsar Alexander II
49. Bismarck
50. The Turn of the Century
51. The First World War
52. The Rise of Nationalism
53. The Second World War
54. Prospects
I will be teaching this as three main lessons, three weeks each as the book has been divided so nicely for it.

Grade 7 & 8 curriculum: Natural science / Biology

Muscles and Bones
by Charles Kovacs
Cost is about R100 to R150 depending on the exchange rate. Book Depository does not charge for shipping. Loot shipping is free for orders over R230 so even if the exchange rate is not doing too well, it might still be cheaper to buy from Book Depository if you are getting a single book.

'This book is an overview of human physiology and anatomy, including health and hygiene.'

Health and the Human Body
1. Uprightness and the spine
2. Posture and Walking
3. Head, Trunk and Limbs
4. Sleep
5. The Skin
6. Care of the Skin
7. The Four Elements and the Body
8. The changing Solid Body
9. Regulating Warmth
10. Warmth and Clothing
11. Digestion
12. Teeth and Saliva
13. Food
14. Bread
15. The Quality of food
16. Drugs, Coffee and Alcohol
17. Dr Harvey and Blood Circulation
18. The Threefold Human Being
19. The Three Cavities of the Body
20. Digestion and the Stomach
21. Digestion and the intestines
22. Breathing
23. Breathing and the Blood
24. Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide
25. Blood Circulation, lives and kidneys
26. The Healing Power of blood
27. The Heart
28. The Nervous System
29. The Eye
30. The Ear
31. Balance, Taste and Other Senses
32. The Brain
33. The Brain and the Spinal Cord
34. The Threefold Human Being
Muscles and Bones: Anatomy
35. Calcium and the Bones
36. The Structure of the Bones
37. The Joints and the Bones
38. The Spine and the Vertebrae
39. The Spine and balance
40. More Correspondences
41. Carrying the Weight of our Body
42. Walking
43. The Hand
44. The Muscles
45. Voluntary and Involuntry Muscles
46. Human and Animal Skulls
47. The Shape of the Skull
48. Human Beings and Animals

Grade 7 curriculum: History

The Age of Discovery
by Charles Kovacs
Cost is about R100 to R150 depending on the exchange rate. Book Depository does not charge for shipping. Loot shipping is free for orders over R230 so even if the exchange rate is not doing too well, it might still be cheaper to buy from Book Depository if you are getting a single book.

'An overview of world history from the time of the Crusades to the Renaissance, including Saladin, Joan of Arc, Columbus, Magellan, Queen Elizabeth 1 and Francis Drake'
  1. The Threefold State
  2. Roman Law and Germanic Law
  3. The Monks
  4. Roman Wealth and Germanic Wealth
  5. The Feudal System
  6. Knighthood
  7. Christian Europe
  8. Muhammad
  9. The Crescent of Islam
  10. Arabian Civilization
  11. Charles Martell, Pointers, Charlemagne
  12. The New Empire
  13. The Vikings
  14. King Alfred and the Danes
  15. Alfred the Great
  16. The Norman Conquest
  17. The Crusades
  18. Godfrey de Bouillon
  19. Saladin and Richard Lionheart
  20. The Changes in Europe
  21. Gilbert and Rohesia
  22. The Growth of Cities
  23. King John and the Magna Carts
  24. Scotland and England
  25. England and France, Joan of Arc
  26. Printing and Gunpowder
  27. The Age of Discovery
  28. Columbus
  29. The Year 1492
  30. America
  31. Pizzaro
  32. The fall of the Incas
  33. Magellan
  34. Crossing the Pacific Ocean
  35. The Renaissance
  36. Leonardo: Childhood and youth
  37. Leonardo in florence and Milan
  38. The Last Supper
  39. Intentions and the Mona Lisa
  40. Raphael and Michelangelo
  41. The Wars of the Roses
  42. Borgia and Savonarola
  43. Martin Luther
  44. Luther and the Reformation
  45. The Diet of Worms
  46. Calvin and knox
  47. Henry VIII
  48. Mary Queen of Scots
  49. The Great Armanda
  50. Elizabethan Times, Shakespear, Raleigh
  51. Francis Drake

Grade 7 curriculum: Astronomy

The Constellations Stars and Stories
by Chris Sasaki

I bought this book second hand at ABE books online. It was $1.50 plus postage. There were no customs charges as the value was so low.

This book is fantastic as it has beautiful pictures of all the different constellations. It gives lovely stories about each constellation, and how to find them in the sky. At the back of the book there are maps of the Northern Latitudes and seasonal maps for the Southern Latitudes.