Saturday, January 1, 2011

Getting back into the swing of things

So welcome to 2011... hard to believe that the year has rolled around as fast as it has. But here we are and January has such wonderful things to learn such as cooking, art, the color wheel...

The Color Wheel?

Ok – so when I start these entries I'm not fully sure where they will take me, but I use what we are doing in our everyday to inspire the posts, so today I will write about yarn dying and fiber processing. Spinning wool is a great way to teach Math...a certain volume of raw fiber will convert to so much processed fiber – cleaning the wool to take debris and lanolin out will reduce the weight. Measuring before and after cleansing the raw wool will show the difference, and my first grader loves the entire process...carding the wool into equal sized cigar shaped rolags, and setting them upon the digital scale to see how close to the perfect match that each can be.

After spinning the wool up we put it on a tool called a Niddy Noddy in two yard circles, which enables the lesson of counting by twos. Once the yarn is put into a skein the whole process of setting the twist is great fun...Look up at the title of this post...getting back into the swing of things? I swing the yarn in circles and thwack it on a counter for good measure. Then we measure out what we need to for dyeing the yarn in hot water and the shades of koolaid we are looking for, wrapping it in cling wrap and placing it all in a bowl, then microwaving it until the color is set.

All these things together integrate a wholistic learning method and reinforce the lessons that our formal curriculum teach.

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