the globe

Another gorgeous object recently passed down through the family to us. A globe, circa 1961. Isn’t it fine? We’re studying history, the children and I, lucky for me as I seem to have been somewhere else when they were teaching this stuff. (It is a shame we’re not in England, just at the moment when we’re reading about Richard III and princes in towers.).

1961 globe

I love looking at the globe as an object so clearly embodying a moment in history, the political landscape drawn out on its surface, the particular, faded shades of ink, the typography. We talk as much about 1960’s history as we do the medieval history we’re into just now. It is a great object to help us get a sense of the world. There’s always the 1990’s atlas, and modern interactive maps online, to round things out.

the globe, circa 1961

Such a pleasing old object, and still so useful.

(These images are variations from the traveller, part of the series of photographs I’ve been making of my new short & sweet handwarmers and things I love to do while wearing them. You can see all the images, and choose your own kit, in the shop.)

short & sweet seagreen handwarmer kit

short & sweet seagreen handwarmer kit

aeroplane

Playing with flight has been a human obsession for thousands of years. Around here, as in history, an adoration for good old fashioned kite-flying developed into a fascination with aviation. Our small girl has been experimenting with a light wooden aeroplane, taking off the twisting rubber bands that spin the propeller, and using it as a glider. Endless fun! My sweetheart made this little short for her, and I’ve borrowed it for you.

Occasionally our flying games require a ladder. But isn’t it pleasing?

toy wooden aeroplane

I’ve fished the tail out of the currant bush and rescued the propeller from the camellia, yet the tendency of this flying machine to come to pieces is also its strength. On meeting with a wall, it simply deconstructs instead of cracking, and we easily reassemble for the next flight.

aeroplane.2s.jpg

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p>A bit of glue will fix the wood, so it is quite trusty, and thoroughly beloved. No doubt there have been toy aeroplanes for nearly as long as the real thing, and probably one informed the other. After all, so much of learning is play. I’m waiting to hear requests to go up in a hot air balloon, next.

chalkboard routines

All kinds of trouble, I have found, is averted by following simple routines. My habit, if I have one, is to regard the new day with fresh eyes, as if I’ve never seen a morning before, and no recollection of what to put in it beyond the next inspiration. This tends to fall apart, particularly as the children need as much reminding of their morning rituals as I do. To avert certain chaos, I write our routines down. Where I write them has been evolving.

chalkboards.s.jpg

To really devote ourselves to a routine, we needed a good home for it, and a simple system. Little slates, double-sided and petite, are our latest and greatest solution. Each child has a chalkboard. On one side is written their morning routine, on the reverse, their evening routine, with space left to check things off. Checking off a list is such satisfying action, isn’t it? The energy of completion. Following the natural order of our days is helpful, as is keeping the list brief enough to complete with ease. Effortless to alter and refine, nothing to print; easy. Best to keep a bit of chalk around, it does get misplaced. I simply ask if they’ve done their evening routine, instead of chasing each detail. I’m still surprised to find beds made, hair combed, dishes put away! And less stress, thank you. Now I’d like chalkboard routines for myself!

knitting the gusset

Curiously, of all the nine movies in the “Cabled Handwarmers” set, “Knitting the Gusset” is by far the most watched. I’m guessing that this follows from many knitters searching for a good explanation – and this is where learning from a video online is just so full of potential. All those household studies we might have grown up with in another era, now as a short movie. The thumb gusset is a basic problem, simply solved, best watched over someone’s shoulder rather than explained or diagrammed. Would you like to see how I like to knit it?

That’s how it’s done. Work along with the movies in the old schoolhouse (see the column to your left), to make the knitting projects in the appleturnovershop. The patterns are easily downloaded and printed, if you’ve got your own yarn and needles.

appleturnover handwarmer pattern

winding yarn

Okay, let me show you the good old fashioned skill of winding yarn by hand. If you’ve ever admired beautiful hank of yarn but didn’t know how to wind it without some kind of contraption – or if you’ve wondered how your yarn was organised into a skein in the first place, the second part of the “Cabled Handwarmers” set, in The Knitting Series, might please you. Have a look at how I wind yarn into a ball by hand. (It’s 2.22 minutes.)

Such a meditative process. Particularly if you find yourself falling in love with spinning your own! I prefer to pull yarn from the center of a skein, so that it needn’t roll around to unravel. Then I can knit or crochet freely, with the yarn in a handbag, which makes it easy to pick up my knitting at violin lessons, at the park, on the bus, at a café. I’ll also wind yarn like this when a store-bought ball gets knotted up, or is half gone and getting a bit messy. Yarn is happiest loose ’til you’re ready to use it, without tension to stretch it, I’ve been told, and is also easier to send through the post. (Like the appleturnovershop does, naturally.) You might like to watch the other movies in the “Cabled Handwarmers” set, over at the old schoolhouse (in the column to your left).

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