22 May 2013

Yarn Along - Finished Things

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I made these long wrist warmers based on a photograph a customer sent me. I adapted a pattern to her measurements and the style of the picture she sent, and dyed mini skeins in lovely rainbow skittles colours especially for the project. They knitted up in about two days of spare moments, and would have been quicker if it were not for going out one day and *horror* forgetting my knitting bag!

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I just finished Beyond the Rainbow Bridge today, and liked it as a really clear introduction to Waldorf thinking. But like most full-on Waldorf things it leaves me torn between thinking that it all sounds so nice - and feeling this unpleasant sense of restrictedness and legalism that straight away leaves me wanting to rebel and play video games and eat junk food. ;)

I feel so drawn to Waldorf; both as the kind of idyllic childhood I actually had and loved, and because of the emphasis on nature and art. I am hungry for beauty in my surroundings, and love natural materials and texture and lots of light. I feel strongly that Waldorf thinking and radical unschooling mesh in so many places. Yet over and over again I meet (and often bump right up against) the dark side - the perfectionism, ultra-false niceness, control and coercion, a rigid idea of the One True Way. Not so much in this book, by the way, just meandering... At least when I crash right in to the less pleasant elements of unschooling, there is rarely either false niceness or coercion (just a kind of, OK, don't agree with me, bye then)!

Ha! Derailing my own post - and in such a way that nine tenths of my readers will be annoyed with me! Awesome!

(The other book pictured is a perennial favourite to re-read, this time aloud to the Mister.)

Other projects finished this week: Kelp, and the Summer Love Shawl. :)

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21 comments:

  1. Mitts are fantasitc, just love the rainbow colour. I don't know too much about 'Waldorf' but I found it what you said very interesting. I also love the idea learning with nature and art.

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    1. I do love dyeing yarn rainbows. :)

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  2. such beautiful mitts! Your other projects are lovely as well! I agree with you about Waldorf.....through the years we have picked and chosen the things that fit our family and our way of thinking!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, although there is a part of me that wants to be all-or-nothing about everything, I have to tell myself that I'm all or nothing about the family I actually *have* - not one in a book. :)

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  3. I used to be an unschooling homeschooler (I have many issues with schooling systems in general), but since returning to Switzerland have enrolled our girls in a local Waldorf school. I must admit that I hadn't touched much on the Steiner philosophy before this, but I totally love the schooling system of Waldorf. I love the way the curriculum is built up and my children are very happy there. I am happy there, and that one is much harder to accomplish!
    x
    Natalie
    Marigolds' Loft

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    1. So wonderful that you've found something that works for you all! :) xx

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  4. I have just started to read about Waldorf philosophies and like you I find myself wanting to embrace it whilst also running away and doing the opposite. I guess the key is to pick the bits we like and ignore the bits we don't, the beauty of home education.

    I love your rainbow mitts, gorgeous colours, your shawl looks amazing hope it stays that colour for a long time!

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    1. Haha me too, I'm not convinced it will stay cream in this house (Jenna needs a white shirt for her drama group, and I am thinking I'll have to put a ban on dressing up in it til after the show, or it won't be white any more!)

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  5. loving the knits and i too read the "rainbow bridge" I actually sat and read it in one evening as i liked it so much, but like you can not seem to commit to the whole ethos and follow waldorf in a pure way. My other half is a gadgets man, likes junk food, so there has to be compromise. So we take the elements we like and mash them in to our "real" life and i feel our lives are richer for a broad and more diverse mix of ideas.

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    1. Maybe it's partly that I can't make myself *want* to commit to an ethos unless it's one that says, "Don't commit to this idea, or that idea, commit to prioritise relationship - commit to *people* not ideas!" ;)

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  6. The wrist warmers are so expertly modeled :-)

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    1. Ha! Yes, she's an great little poser. :) I have to be sneaky if I want to get a photograph in which she isn't posing. ;)

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  7. I think it's not uncommon for people to be drawn to the beauty and idealism of Waldorf-y ways, and then morph into more of a radical unschooling path as they see what works and doesn't work for their own families. That's how it worked for me, too, and I've heard others say the same thing. Nothing wrong with incorporating aspects of it that work well for your family and the individual personalities in it, and letting the rest drift by.

    Also, those wrist warmers are gorgeous. Do they have thumbholes?

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    1. Yes, they are based on the Kumara wrist warmers on Ravelry. They have increasing for the base of the thumb, then cast off a few stitches for the hole (though if you wanted a proper thumb you could transfer those to waste yarn to knit with later). :)

      I knitted a different number of stitches, didn't knit ridge patterns, made the thumb stockinette rather than garter stitch, and left the cast on (and off) plain stocking stitch to roll naturally.

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  8. Fab knitting and I love your honesty with the homeschooling!

    xxx

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    1. Ooh just spotted you've been posting while I've been away. :) :) xxx

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  9. I know how you feel Sarah, we love steiner/Waldorf ideas but also really need to be autonomous with a little splash of Charlotte mason!
    I think it depends on what mood Charlie and I are in and also how much patience I have too. I've been spending far too much time comparing myself to all the mama's in lots of wonderfully inspiring blogs, I need to keep reminding myself that I am enough :)
    Sitting at the feet of the Rabbi Jesus is a book I've been meaning to read, when I have spare pennies xx

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    1. It's too easy to feel inadequate with so many glossy pictures to compare with. (hugs)

      Sitting at the feet of the Rabbi Jesus is a really good one, I'm finding new things to pull out of it this time around. :)

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  10. I think most of us are conflicted in this way and not just about how we school our children. I am inherently sceptical that there is any right way to approach most things and wary of those who think there is. That's how we tend towards Unschooling in the first place. Perhaps this is like most things and it is the fact that you are curious, that you read and try and challenge yourself that matters. Some parents never think about these thins at all.

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  11. Pleased the book arrived, love the shawl, wow x

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  12. Wow - that shawl is stunning! Love it! I agree with Katharine - most of us are conflicted in how we school our children. We have been Charlotte Mason/unit studies/my way - LOL. We have recently changed to a more structured curriculum so that our girls can get their GCSE and A level equivalent certificates - yet I find myself changing it and adding Charlotte Mason twist! I think that you need to just go with your gut - take the bits you like best in a philosophy and 'customize' it :o)

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Penny for your thoughts? :)