Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Doll in a Day - Steiner/Waldorf Doll Making In Action

Chicken 1 sprained her ankle and stayed home from school to rest it. We sat in the morning sun working on kindergarten tables. She was finishing her Farming poem with sweet illustrations. I started looking at my Child Study for my Steiner teacher training course. Steiner stressed the importance of doing child studies, and particularly within the college of teachers (teaching staff at the school). A child is chosen, and the teachers observe the child on a physical level first, noting absolutely everything they can. Things like how they walk upon the earth, their gaze voice, teeth, fingers, nails, hand dominance. The study moves onto intuitive observations. Steiner said the mere fact that all the teachers are contemplating this child is very beneficial for the child, and recommended every child have at least one study done on them in their school life.

As for the afternoon, we decided to make a baggy doll for a dear little friend who ended up in hospital on the weekend and is needing cheering up! We felted a handful of op shop jumpers in the hot washing machine, and chicken 1 tried her hand at making a real Waldorf/Steiner formed head. We always use Maricristin Sealy's divine book, Kinder Dolls (now published as Making Waldorf Dolls). I love this book, but always tend to adapt, or mix and match the different aspects of different dolls in the book. I have some in depth photos of the sewing of the eyes and mouth. My girl added the embroidery at the end, oh, and we threw in some lavender from my recently relocated and dead Lavender plant...boo hoo.

Stuffing the tube made from an old t-shirt, and tied with linen thread at the end and turned inside out.

Stuff it well, and you get a firm egg. You then have to tie it in the middle again firmly and that is the neck.

You have to halve the head by tying an eye line in the centre with the same linen thread.

You sew an outer skin layer and pull it on like a sock. Tie it at the neck and there is you head.

Pin out the eyes and mouth and start stitching from the back. Careful not to ever tug!

I decided to crochet a wig and sew it on, using a nice fuzzy mohair, which doesn't show up my random crochet effort.

Another sausage like shape for the arms, which stitch onto the ball under the head.
I used some felted jumper for the baggy body, cutting out one piece, stitching, turning inside out and stuffing. A small opening cut at the neck allows the arms and head to squeeze in and some sewing onto body.

A bit of loving embroidery to finish. Yummy little Steiner dolly to cuddle, smelling all lavendery!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Just stumbled upon a gorgeous splash of 60s fashion and colour from this blog.

And this is the somewhat fluffier, suburban backyard version...

Perhaps I have established an Easter Sunday knitted hat tradition. I am pretty pleased with the result. Chicken No. 1 swears it is not too big for her. I think it could probably do with a felt, but she seems happy with it not being a snug fit.

Chickens spent the day "grooming" our SIX guinea pigs. Dabbing with warm lavender water, combing and cleaning. The little guys have been very patient.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I decided to paint the back "room"/kids art studio/thoroughfare to toilet. Found some old cream paint (where did it come from) an roller and paint brush, and began tossing out half finished finger knitting, run out textas and swept the scary scary big BLACK SPIDERS from the doors and window edges. This was the real reason for the clean out- an excuse to deal with the spiders which have been giving Chicken 1 nightmares.
Got the neighbours to pass the ladder over the fence and painted and painted and painted, until things were cobweb free, cleaner, neater, and creamier.
Aaahhh, satisfaction.
Just need some cool green reto curtain fabric to make the curtains to finish off...mmm...Camberwell market on Sunday...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Two more hours later..

Never again will I take for granted those nana knits I find for 20cents at the op shops! Never!!!
Somewhere in the last two hours I realised I was knitting the front of the jumper!!!! Not the hat!

This has not deterred me, and I have decided to push on and see what happens, the option to felt later on being the only thing keeping me going!
Things are slowing down....I think the "hat" will not be finished today. I think Good Friday is getting to me....

Two and a Half Hours Later...

The knitting is progressing, and I am struggling with the feeling I should be doing something else...oh well, it is Good Friday, and I am a Catholic girl prone to guilt tripping myself about having a good time.

The girls have created a half a dozen new "houses" around the place in their amazing make believe game, where they are mums with babies and mobile phones which they use to photograph their babes and send to each other!!! Next they'll be blogging!

Knitting on Good Friday.

Knitting on Good Friday.
My 9 year old chose this pattern and the wool when she was about 5 years old. It has taken me three attempts over these years to get past the 372 stitches cast onto circular needles!!! to be decreased by half and half again with this incredibly thin tricky furry yarn, but I DID IT! I got off the circular needles, and onto my favourite knitting stitch, moss stitch! I am far from an excellent, or even clever knitter, but thought I better try to tackle something tougher than a head band! I have a feeling this hat will be enormous, already, and am therefore preparing to make it slightly "taller" so I can felt it with hot soapy water later on...
I want to find a great cardigan/wrap pattern for me to make for myself...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

To learn, to teach, to rest

Life has been incredibly full, busy, crazy, hectic, running here to there without a breath!
My practicum time in a Class 6 Steiner classroom has been so rich and wonderful. I got to teach a fantastic Greek verse about Helen of Troy and a great Mexican cowboy song for the kids to sing whilst making Nachos to sell for their business maths project.
The teacher was an inspiring storyteller, and I feel inspired to find my own storytelling voice. Steiner said the class teacher needs to make their pupils laugh and cry every day, and with the story of Troy in the hands of this artful teacher, I think this may have been achieved!

I had my own first days of being a real teacher this week also, and did some Farming Main Lesson work with Class 3. I got to tell my mum's old farm stories from the 1930s, in the days when draft horses pulled their ploughs! It was a great experience, especially as our classroom was actually the chook shed!

And finally, the school holidays are on, and my chickens have been grounded with a certain tres infectious disease which seems to be spreading around town at the moment. As yukky as being sick is, it is a kind of blessing to be forced to stay home, and rest, and we have had a splendid day pretending we are home schooling; knitting, reading, drawing, and resting to the sweet adventures of Olga Da Polga, read by mum/teacher!