Tuesday, 10 February 2009

What can I do now, Grama?

I spent the weekend looking after Little Stuff. Miss Perpetual Motion. Miss Constant Chatterer. Miss 'What Can I Do Now, Grama?'. I'm not complaining, mind. She loves being here and if thinking up stuff for her to do is what it takes to give her mother a break, then I'll keep it coming. But it does mean that my brain is mush today* and the thought of tackling the Monday Mission is too daunting to contemplate. Maybe later. Much, yawn, later.

However, that is not what this post is about. It is about spool knitting.

I keep an activity box. It has puzzles, crafts, games, whatever inexpensive and amusing stuff I can find or collect. Little Stuff is allowed to dip into this box once daily, and whatever is on top (with a little cheating by Grama depending on the weather) is her activity for the day. On Sunday what came to the top was a purpose made knitting spool (also called a knitting Nancy or French knitting spool).

Those of you of a certain age may have had knitting spools made of an actual empty thread spool (wooden, and usually a twist spool because the hole was bigger) with four finishing nails driven into the top in a square and with another larger slim nail (or, if you were lucky, a crochet hook) to use to hook the wool over the nail. The one I bought is a far cut above that. It is a yellow plastic spool, longer than a thread spool and wasp waisted, with a bumpy strip at the centre to hold onto. It has a matching thread pick that has a cap to prevent it sticking the unwary owner. It has curved metal loops instead of nails. It is a handsome piece of equipment. (Athough not up to this one!)

It took Little Stuff about half an hour on Sunday afternoon to 'get' the pattern of making loops and lifting. She lost the pattern several times, I put it back together and she kept relentlessly trying. By the time her parents came to get her, she had the technique down pretty well. By Monday evening, her mother reported to me, she had worked all Sunday evening, from breakfast till school time on Monday, after school and all evening and had about two feet of cord. She is making a hot pad, she told her mother.

I wonder what I will have to come up with next time to beat that.

*Yes, I do know it's Tuesday.


  1. hm. how old is she? i have one of those somewhere, but i don't know if the kid has the wherewithall.

  2. Magpie, she's 5 and a half. I figure a kid is ready for this kind of thing when she can 1.) colour inside the lines or equivalent (eye hand) and 2.) spend half an hour at a time at one activity.