Family Craft

Recently I opened up my portable spinning wheel and was surprised by my son’s reaction.  I was sure that he had seen me use it on many occasions, yet he expressed surprise that this funny looking object opened out into a full size, operational spinning wheel.

It made me wonder how often we carry out our hobbies and believe our children are learning a little by observing us, when we actually need to be more proactive in involving them in our activities.  I say this knowing that my son can knit and weave, is starting to crochet, has made felted pebbles and pictures, has spun yarn and has helped me with dyeing in the past!  Perhaps the solution is planned family craft times, when we can all work on projects together, rather than my craft being slotted into evenings and occasions when the children are occupied with toys or other activities?  Wouldn’t it be lovely if such times not only allowed the children to learn more about these crafts, but also enabled me to do more craft too! I shall plan a session and let you know what happens!

Crafty Kits

Christmas has been and gone (Merry Christmas everyone) and one of the things I did was to make craft kits for the children.  I’m delighted with how these came out.  I started by dying up some yarn.


I added some undyed yarn into the packs too.  My daughter had a french knitting doll and my son had a set of bamboo needles.



Sadly, my daughter quickly lost interest on this occasion, but once my son was steered away from big knits like a scarf and had decided on a blanket for a teddy, he was away. I cast on for him and every so often I catch any dropped stitches and get the stitch count back down to the starting number. The mistakes are now happening less often and his knitting is neat and even.  In the near future we’ll be casting off this teddy blanket.



Today I stood in the kitchen and I could see two jobs to do next.  Either I tidied and cleaned the lounge floor or I cleaned the fluff from my drum carder.  Before I’d really thought about it I’d picked up the drum carder cleaning brush…

My daughter (almost 4) has been asking about the drum carder for a bit, and seeing me clean it she was again asking questions about how it worked.  So, we went and found my box of fibre scraps and some suitable fibre for holding it all together (I chose some silver-grey Haunui fibre) and we had a play.

We chose colours together.  Then I cut up some leftover handspun yarn – this was a first for me!  I wrapped the yarn around a book, then cut it into short lengths.


We carded up a batt – but my daughter thought it was a little too subtle, so we revisited the colour selection, making three piles of fibre to drumcard into batts.  By this stage my daughter was very engaged with the process and happily turned the drum carder while I prepared fibres and fed them on.  She also issued instructions about the colours and fibres that should go on next.  We made glitter and cut-bit sandwiches (with thin layers of fibre for the bread) for the drum carder to eat (the large drum is apparently the drum-carder’s tummy!).  We ended up with four batts.


At the moment I’m not sure what I’ll make with these (or even how I’ll spin them), but I’m sure they’ll end up being made into something for my daughter.