Category Archives: Musings

Fiber crafts for children

I posted last fall about a childhood activity that apparently had far-reaching effects on me, even though I didn’t really remember it from that young of an age. Do you recall the article about the “Cotton Sheep”? I had titled the article childhood memorabilia for a fiber-y future.

Anyway, I have wanted to revisit with you about thoughts of how we can help our children and grandchildren to be instilled with a love of the fiber arts and crafts at a young age.

Do you remember crafts that you were introduced to at a young age? My earliest recollection was playing with sewing cards while my grandmother guided me in various stitches I could do. I am going to guess that I was 3 – 4 years old at the time because prior to 3 years is a blank memory. And I could not have been older than that because I remember that I was not yet attending kindergarten.

I don’t have any of those sewing cards around any longer to take a photo, but I did find this link for some that were similar to mine.


Of course, you also could make some simple sewing cards from some heavy cardboard and hole punch. For example, check out this article at ehow:

How to Make Simple Practice Sewing Cards for Children

And even if your roots were not in fiber-y / crafty things at a young age, do you have favorite children’s crafts that you like to use in encouraging the fiber arts now?

Another suggestion I have for when motor control and attention span is established well enough (usually 7 – 8 years), is to introduce children to knitting or crochet. Here’s my favorite for a knitted bunny.

Bunny from a Square - Knitted Bunny
Bunny from a Square

The instructions are for beginning with a stockinette stitch square. But the bunny can also be made with a simple garter stitch square so that even the most basic beginner knitter can enjoy. My “chocolate bunny” below is an example in garter stitch:

Chocolate bunny in garter stitch
Chocolate bunny in garter stitch

Children can be so creative, so don’t squelch that by limiting the color or size. Even flopppy ears or crouching bunny are all welcome and give each little bunny its own personality.

Each bunny has its own personality
Each bunny has its own personality

Adults have a lot of fun making these bunnies, too. So, if you know someone who is just starting to learn to knit, send them on over to the HeartStringsFiberArts.com website to get the free pattern.

 

An old-fashioned Christmas day

Working a puzzle on Christmas day was a tradition in my family. Now my parents have passed away and my sisters and I are all in different places. A simple online puzzle is not really the same, but it just seemed in keeping with the spirit of the day to put one up at my blog here.

So, to all of you my faithful readers and friends, today I am especially wishing you and your family an old-fashioned Christmas day … however near or far you are in distance … may your hearts be close in warmth and love.

Sunday Musings and a pretty yarn bowl

It’s a beautiful morning with clear blue sky and sunshine. Plenty of coffee. Nothing shouting for my immediate attention. What could be more perfect for a laid-back Sunday morning after catching my breath from a busy week?

I’d been meaning to show you the yarn bowl I picked up at an art market a couple of months ago. I love it when I have an excuse to support local artists. Isn’t it pretty?

pottery yarn bowl by Sherry Lutz
Leaves & Nature pottery yarn bowl by Sherry Lutz

I was first introduced to Sherry Lutz’s pottery a couple of months prior at the New Orleans Museum of Art Gift Shop where I saw her “Louisiana Seafood” gumbo bowls and purchased two. While strolling through the art market, I immediately recognized Sherry’s pottery and stopped to look at other pieces on display. I hardly needed any coaxing though, when I spotted some pieces in her “Leaves & Nature” which I had not seen before. And oooooh … looky there … a huge yarn bowl. Perfect. I LOVE it.

 yarn bowl

I actually took the pictures several weeks ago, but here it is when I was getting ready to knit another Red Hots Anklets sample model for the pattern I completed for publication just a few days ago.

huge yarn bowl

You can see by the size of the bowl compared to the yarn that this bowl is nice and roomy. It will be great for using with some of those huge single balls of yarn that are enough to make a stole or shawl all by themselves. But most of all, I just enjoy looking at this pretty yarn bowl with its subtle coloring and delightful ‘leaves’ theme.

 

crunchy vs. soggy cereal

Sunday musings about breakfast cereal …

For many years (i.e. basically my whole life), I hardly ever would eat cereal. For many different reasons, it was my least favorite breakfast food. I guess tastes change. Or eating choices improve. Or maybe it was just a matter of finding the right brand of cereal. Because now I have done a complete turn-around, and my breakfasts include cereal almost everyday.

What has not changed, is that I HATE soggy cereal. So my preferred cold cereal is by Nature’s Path. Their organic, natural grains cereals really hold up to the milk. I especially like the low-sugar, low-fat ones like Heritage Flakes and Heritage Bites. Add some sliced bananas and dried cranberries, and I am all set to crunch down on a great start to the day.

Crunchy cereal
Crunchy cereal

On the other hand, John intentionally leaves his cereal to “sog”. He fixes his bowl of cereal, pours in the milk, then walks away for about an hour while all the milk is sopped up into the cereal. Yuck. But that is how he likes it. Go figure.

Soggy cereal
Soggy cereal

So, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. What’s yours? Are you a crunchy cereal or soggy cereal person?

Note: Links in this post are for my personal affiliate account at Amazon. If you should purchase through this link, I am compensated by Amazon with a few pennies. However, I would never include a recommendation link to something I myself already buy and feel you would like, too.

rose-colored glasses of youth

More attic discoveries … this time an article I wrote for a 4th grade school class assignment.The tightly rolled bundle of papers were not in very good shape after some silverfish had made a meal.

One sheet of paper was my original hand-written version in ink (I assume that I would have re-written this from a penciled draft as it is too neat for anything I would have done on first attempt, lol). It was on the typical flimsy ruled paper used in school along with two typed versions (one in mixed case and one in all caps).

My Daddy had gone to the trouble of having the article typed by his secretary, I think, as my Mom did not have one of those typewriters with the fancy cursive letters at that time. Daddy was very proud of what I had written … no one had helped me and he did not know of it until after the fact when, I think, the teacher might have told him about it. At the time I was ecstatic to gain such favor with him (in later life, I finally came to terms with how much my early life was ruled by the attempts to please him).

Decades later when I now come across this and read it, I think to myself that it was not all that outstanding after all. Youth has a way of seeing things through rose-colored glasses.

Anyway, I invite you to see what you think and reflect on what you were doing in 4th grade …

What Happened to the “K” ?

My first encounter with my problem was in the fourth grade. In our history class, we were studying the early explorers and their voyages. I learned that Leif Ericson, a Viking, is generally assumed to have been the discoverer of North America. This is an interesting fact in American history. I have always remembered this little bit of information.

Perhaps I had better explain what all this has to do with a little letter of the alphabet. My name is Jackie Erickson. You will notice my last name is spelled with a “k” while Leif’s name does not have a “k”.

The Vikings are said to have come from Norway. It is also stated that the names of Norwegians end in “son”. This was an easy way to designate whose son they were. Since my ends in “son”, this shows that I am Norwegian, also. Since Leif and I are related in this respect, and I have a roving spirit just as he must have had, might he be one of my ancestors?

If I assume that he is an ancestor, there is still the problem: what happened to the “k” ? First we must analyze some solutions in order to view this question.

There might have been a bad speller somewhere between then and the present. Perhaps a letter was misplaced in the records or in the printing. Maybe Leif was lzy or didn’t feel like being complex. Suppose that as our civilization and way of living because more complicated the name of Erickson also did. There might have been somebody who decided to be a bit fancy and add a letter.

Although I have given some solutions which may be unlikely, they are possibilities and should be considered. This sounds very simple, but I haven’t been able to arrive at a satisfactory answer.

I have stated the possibility of being descended from Leif, but he could very possibly be of another family. Perhaps I am worrying over nothing. Nevertheless, I am still wondering about the missing “k”.