Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Basic sweater pattern

Sizes, to fit chest 41cm,16in. 46cm,18in. 51cm, 20in. 56cm,22in. 61cm, 24in. 66cm,26in. Remember that these measurements are for double knitting wool. So if you use aran wool for example you would use a smaller size and thicker needle.

For example For my 7 year old I use double knit yarn with a 4mm needle and cast on 75st which is for chest size 61cm,24in. For my 12 year old I use aran weight yarn with a 4.5mm needle and also cast on 75st as well.

Using double knit yarn and 3.25mm needles cast on 51[57:63:69:75:81] sts .
Rib for 8 rows. You can do any rib you choose.
Change to 4mm needles and proceed as follows,
1st Row. Knit.
2nd Row. Purl.
There 2 rows will now be referred to as st-st. Working in st-st
continue until back measures 13[14:15:17:20:23]cm,
(5.25[5.5:6:6.5:8:9]in) or the length you want, ending with a purl row.
Shape Raglan
cast off 5 sts at beg of next 2 rows. 41[47:53:59:65:71]sts.
Proceed as follows,
1st Row. K1, slip 1, k1, pass slipped st over(psso). Knit to last 3
sts, k2tog, k1. 39[45:51:57:63:69]sts.
2nd Row. Purl.
3rd Row. Knit.
4th Row. Purl.
Proceed as follows, 1st Row. K1, slip1, k1, psso,knit to last 3sts,
k2tog, k1. 37[43:49:55:61:67]sts.
2nd Row. Purl.
1st and 2nd rows set raglan shapings. Work these two rows until you
have** 19[19:23:23:27:27]sts left.
Slip the remaining sts onto a stitch holder.

Work as for back until **27[27:31:31:35:35]sts.
Shape Neck
Next Row. k1, sl1, psso, k6, turn, leave rem 18[18:22:22:26:26]sts on
a stitch holder.
Working on these 8 sts only proceed as follows,
Next Row. Purl.
Work 3 rows dec 1 st at raglan edge as before in next and foll alt row
AT THE SAME TIME dec 1 st at neck edge in every row. 3sts.
Next Row. Purl.
Next Row. K1, S1, K1, psso. 2sts.
Next Row. Purl 2tog. Fasten off.
With right side facing, rejoin yarn to rem 18[18:22:22:26:26]sts and
proceed as follows,
Next Row. Cast off 9[9:13:13:17:17]sts knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. 8sts.
Next Row. Purl.
Work 3 rows dec 1 st at neck edge in every row AT THE SAME TIME dec 1
st at raglan edge as before in next and foll alt row. 3sts.
Next Row. Purl.
Next Row. K2tog, k1. 2sts.

using 3.25 needles cast on 33[35:37:37:41:45]sts, work 8[8:8:10:10:10]
rows in the same rib you used before. Change to 4 mm needles and
working in st-st inc 1st at each end of 5th and every foll
10th[6th:4th:6th:11th:13th] row to 39[41:45:45:53:57]sts.
For 3rd and 4th sizes only.
Inc 1 st at each end of every foll [6th:8th] row to [51:51] sts.
All sizes
continue without sharing until sleeve measures 15[17:20:24:29:33]cm,
(6[6.5:8:9.5:11.5:13]in) or length required, ending with a purl row.
Shape raglan
cast off 5sts at beg of next 2 rows. 29[35:41:41:43:47] sts.
Proceed as follows,
1st Row. K1, S1, K1, psso, knit to last 3sts, k2tog, k1. 27[33:39:39:41:45]sts.
2nd Row. Purl.
3rd Row. Knit.
4th Row Purl.
From 1st to 4th row sets raglan shaping.
Work 8[8:4:16:16:20]rows dec 1 st as before at each end of next and
every foll 4th[4th:0:4th:4th:4th] row. 23[29:37:31:33:35] sts .
Proceed as follows,
1st Row. K1, S1, k1, psso, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
21[27:35:29:31:33:35] sts.
2nd Row. Purl.
1st and 2nd rows set raglan shapings. Work until you have 11[11,
13:13:13:13] sts. Put there sts onto a stitch holder.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Western leopard toad

Last week-end Caleb and I went on a Junior Rangers Camp at the Silvermine reserve. The leaders had felt that the Junior Rangers had worked hard all year and deserved a nice week-end out. Hannah and Sheth joined us in the day but went to sleep at granny's house at night with Greg, their dad.

We arrived at the camp late on Friday evening in the pouring rain. It was dark and cold. Supper was being served so Caleb ate straight away. It was a brown soup - vegetarian. The meals for the week-end were terrible! It was white rolls with all the meals. For lunch each day it was a white roll with margarine. Yuk! ...and palony! Double yuk! There was no lettuce or tomato to go with the rolls, or any other vegetables for that matter. It can not get worse than that. Breakfast was Cornflakes or Nutrifix. Caleb enjoys Cornflakes as we never have it at home. What I have learnt is that I will have to provide food for Caleb on the next camp.

This is a River Click Frog
found on one of the hikes
The rest of the camp was great! We did two fairly long walks, and one serious hike! We did an evening walk which Greg joined us on. We walked to the Clovelly Golf Club. This is where we were hoping to see the migrating Western Leopard Toad. Well we did! We found the males in the ponds and found two females walking across the greens of the golf course. We also sat and listened to their calls. It was fantastic. I think Caleb and Sheth enjoyed it more than anyone else. This comes from the fact that kids between 14 and 17 are more interested in the opposite sex of the human race than in the mating of the Western Leopard Toad.

Facts about the Western Leopard Toad:
  • Their name is Western Leopard Toad or August Toad
  • They move in the rain
  • They move up to 5 km
  • They are nocturnal so move at night
  • They move on a waxing moon
  • The male has a darker throat than the female
  • The female's throat is almost a lemon colour
  • The male is smaller than the female
  • If the female toad has a predominantly triangular shape, then she still has eggs in her
  • She has 1000 to 2000 eggs in her
  • The male toad jumps on the female's back and gets into the Amplexus position. He has nuptual pads on his hand that help him hold on to her
  • If a female gets into the water without a male on her back she will be marked and drowned
  • The female lays strings of eggs which are black. The male then puts sperm over the eggs to fertilise them
  • Their eggs take about 2 weeks to turn into tadpoles
  • It takes about 3 to 4 months to grow into a toadlets
  • Baby toads are called toadlets
  • The toads burrow into the ground, to sleep during the day. They share their burrows with other toads
  • Toads walk and hop
  • Frogs can only hop
  • Every Western Leopard Toad has its own special pattern on its back
  • The Clovelly Golf Club has Koi fish in their ponds. These Koi fish are eating the Toads eggs, tadpoles and toadlets
  • The Western Leopard Toad is an endangered species
For more information on the Western Leopard Tod go to or

Thursday, August 11, 2011

South African curriculum

In Waldorf, in each grade, we study certain things. So in grade 1 it is Fairy Tales. Grade 2 Nature Stories and The Saints. Grade 3 Old Testament, clothing, fibre and housing etc.

As we live in South Africa we will study our local tribes and history instead of Native American. When the children are older we will study Native Americans. I think it is very important to learn about one's own country - to understand our roots.

I have bought a South African curriculum called Little Footprints. The age suggestion is 4 to 8. I think it is way too academic for that age and use it, spread it out over grade 2 and 3. I do not use it as a stand alone curriculum, but use it as local geography and history blocks. The story books are fantastic.
For grade 4, 5 and 6 I bought Footprints on our Land. It is a very good curriculum. The draw back is that it is very expensive for what you get. The books are all "home" printed in black and white. The covers are a very light weight cardboard, that pick up stains and dirt easily. The teachers guide is also black and white. The cover has a plastic sheet to keep it clean. It is not much more expensive for the producers to have laminated the front cover instead. The binding is also inferior, so you have to be very careful when using your teachers manual. For maybe R20 more the producers could have used the metal ring binding and laminated the front cover.

But after all that I would still buy the Footprints on our Land curriculum for the content alone. The curriculum is a literature based curriculum. It consists of 24 books. I do the first 8 books in grade 4, the next 8 books in grade 5 and the last 8 books in grade 6.

I will be buying the Footprints into the 21 st Century for grade 7 and 8.