Thursday, 4 February 2010

The perils of buying cardboard model-making sets.

You'd think I'd have learnt from the James Watt Steam Engine that took us weeks to make, and the numerous cardboard model-making sets still unused on the bookcase. And the Trojan Horse model that I ordered from Amazon and immediately regretted. But no. I went and bought a telescope-making kit. It was cheap. In fact I thought it might have been mispriced.

Then I realised, as ds2 progressed, that the part labels were written in German. And that at least one of them was incorrectly labelled. We haven't got any further, but it's possible that more is mis-labelled.

So by the time we've interpreted what it is we're meant to do (each little stage requires gluing and drying before progressing to the next stage) it could be a couple of months before we are viewing the stars through our cardboard telescope.
And then we have a Trojan Horse to make. Sometime this year.
Still, we are plodding along at Ancient Greece. Not on Ancient Greece. Not in or with Ancient Greece. But at Ancient Greece. That proactive word 'at'.
I'm trying to make it as interesting and painless for the kids as possible. Ds1 and ds2 are making lapbooks/folders. We are covering small topics. Small painless topics. So far: Athens; The Parthenon; Sparta; City States/Government; Food; homes. For each we make a little booklet to stick into the folder, sometimes photocopying pictures, sometimes printing out words, sometimes doing a bit of colouring. So very painless. Theoretically.
Next I think it'll be Greek Gods (we've been listening to the first of two CDs of Greek myths) and perhaps something about architecture and writing.
Below you can see the kids importing clip art into the wordprocessing package (some of which they'd downloaded from the internet). I gave them the task of getting pictures of a list of foods that the ancient Greeks would have eaten.

And now to the very different subject. The subject of socks.
I've been very naughty and visited a wool shop. Frugal went out the window. In came greed. Not only did I buy self-patterning camouflage 4ply sock wool to make ds1 some socks, but I also bought a pattern and some cheap wool for chunky socks. Here's the first one finished, modelled on ds1's foot (he's been wearing it all afternoon). :

They dont look quite as wholesome and natural as the wool that was used in the pattern, but that wool was expensive and rather too girly (pinks and pastels) for the boys. This is courtelle yarn, which is basically a nice chunky and soft acrylic. It's really easy and quick to knit with, though it does have a mean habit of splitting into its individual strands if you're not careful.
I was a bit worried it might have really lumpy seams as it's knitted on 2 needles (makes it even quicker!) with the seam sewn up afterwards. However ds1 hasn't complained so far.
I don't know what they'd be like inside shoes, but they make great slipper socks (if a bit slippy).
Maybe I'll be able to use up some of the other chunky-thickness wools in the loft now I've got the hang of it.

Now I need to knit the second sock before he wears this one out.


Sam said...

Nice sock! Get knitting the other, lol.

I haven't tried making socks yet - too intimidated. I've got lots of sock yarn though, so I must day.

Good luck with the telescope. I have to admit I have a couple of untouched cardboard model kits from when I was young ;-)

Carolyn said...

Ooh its like sock warfare!!!!
'Anything you can do, I can do better, I can do anything better than you....'
Not tried funky chunky socks here yet...maybe sometime soon. Yeah just as soon as I have used up my stash of sock yarn.....15 balls at last count!!
And those cardboard have to be very determined to get even the simplest to look anything like they are supposed to...but I guess it's all a learning curve!!
We got some Landrovers from the motor museum recently and resorted to cellotape to hole them together!!

Big mamma frog said...

Can't help it...I try and tell people I'm not competitive, but then I go and give the game away lol.

Only 15 balls? That's good going. I've got at least 15 boxes of wool in the loft (er hum). Dh calls them loft insultation. By the way, any idea what to knit with about 20 balls of fluorescent orange 100%cotton (bit lighter weight than DK). It's sat there now for a couple of years...

Big mamma frog said...

just realised...that last post about how many balls of wool I'd got sounded even more competitive lol. Better stop now before I did the hole deeper.x

Carolyn said...

LOL!!!!! Needed a smile round about now...feeling tired and sick of sorting Playmobil boxes out!!