Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Home Ec

Ever take home economics in school? I did. In 7th or 8th grade we were required to take a semester long class that covered cooking and sewing. Those are the only two things I can remember, that is. We had to make a felt pillow from a kit--I made a hamburger because it looked the hardest. It took me all of about 10 minutes to make, since I was already far beyond beginning sewing level, even at that age. I was bored stiff in that class because I already knew how to cook and sew.

Now I have a daughter in 8th grade. She is a very creative, crafty (in a good sense) person. So I picked out a home ec "curriculum" for her. Really, we don't need a formal curriculum to teach cooking and crafts, but she is someone that loves a schedule. Also, though it pains me to admit it, I haven't been all that great about allowing her to cook or teaching her to sew. I always plan to do it later. You know, when I am not so busy. Of course, when later comes (which is just about never) all I want to do is relax.

The book I chose to use breaks the year up into 6 different sections. One is just some reading about young ladyhood. The others are cooking, gardening, knitting, greeting card making, and sewing. She has been making lunch, or part of lunch, once a week. We have had applesauce muffins, banana bread, scones, and quesadillas with homemade whole wheat tortillas. Last week she made veggies and dip.

This week's recipe is fruit and fruit dip. Easy stuff, but she is in heaven.

I didn't get a picture before the kids got to it. Trust me, it was arranged very nicely.

She really doesn't need cooking lessons. This is the kid that I can tell as I am walking out the door to feed the animals in the morning--"Fry up some eggs for breakfast, would you?" or as I am leaving to go pick up her brother at the bus--"Cut up some potatoes and put them in the oven, please." If she doesn't know how to do something, she can usually figure it out. BUT, like I mentioned before, it is letting her do it on a regular basis that is the problem. This is one way to do it.

Anyway, we are starting the knitting unit. I can do all the other things except knitting. I have decided that I am knitting challenged. Even if I can decipher the instructions, my knitting still looks all lumpy and uneven. Yesterday while waiting for my oldest son at the bus stop I pulled out the yarn and needles I had just purchased. I thought I would figure out this knitting thing a little before having to show 13 year old daughter how it is done.


Who knew that casting on isn't just something you can just figure out? I guess directions are needed, although the second attempt, using directions, wasn't much better.


Maybe the problem is lumpy yarn. It is a little thick and lumpy so it is hard to pull through and make it loose enough. We may have to get out some simpler yarn. Not only that, but whose idea was it to get connected needles? How awkward.

My daughter is going to make a headband out of this lovely yarn, assuming I can get her started on it. As for me, I think I will stick to making gymnastics leotards. Sewing them, that is. Not knitting.


KarenK said...

Yeah, I think the problem is the yarn - it may not be an ideal beginner yarn because of the bumpiness. Although it looks very soft, and the colors are great, which can be an incentive to keep going! And the needle cable looks a little stiff and maybe too long, which makes it flop around and get in the way - am I right, that's what it's doing? Just a guess from this angle. Any new skill is awkward at first, but if the tools and materials are the least bit awkward too, ... well, it only compounds it. I think you're doing great! Have you investigated the on-line video tutorials about casting on, etc.?

Cathy said...

Ha ha're going to be knitting socks and talking about yarn and...sheep and stuff pretty soon.

I love handknit socks (hint, hint).