Making a Sink Unit

Daddy and I turned a wooden box into a sink unit for the little house.  First we turned it on it’s side, and using B2’s old cot rails we made a shelf in the middle of the box.  We used the handle as a tea towel holder and put a screw to hang the dish cloths.  Using the sink unit as a storage unit as well, we placed our pottery, water collecting bucket and laundry soap balls inside.  On the top we placed a tin bowl as a sink and our dish soap balls.  We attached the sink unit to the house by screwing it to the floor.  Here is our final sink unit:

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Jam Making with Home Grown Produce

Me and my jam (oh, and my sister!)

Me and my jam (oh, and my sister!)

Over the last few months I have been collecting raspberries and freezing them so I can make jam.  To make the jam I simply boiled the raspberries with a little bit of water.  Then I added sugar and pectin to help the jam set.  After about half an hour of the mixture bubbling away I tested it using the finger test method – I put a teaspoon of jam onto a cold plate, let it cool and  then pushed it with my finger.  Once it wrinkled up with a skin, we knew it was ready.  I kept testing until I obtained the wrinkling.  I transferred it into our jam jar and let it cool.

After it was cooled we had some on prairie bread and home made butter.  It was so good!

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Sharpening my axe and chopping the wood

I have my own small axe which I use to chop the kindling for our log burning stove in our real house.  I am in charge of the kindling and enjoy chopping it.  I have wanted to use Daddy’s axe for a while now, and this summer seemed a good opportunity to try, with Daddy’s guidance.  First he taught me to sharpen it.  I used an axe stone in a forward and across motion, using controlled strokes:

Daddy demonstrating

Daddy demonstrating

Me attempting to sharpen my own small axe myself

Me attempting to sharpen my own small axe myself

Then how to chop the wood into smaller pieces:

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I then stacked it beside the Little House for the winter.

Making a Net

This week I made a net, using the knot making skills I had learnt in the last couple of weeks.  I decided to turn the net into a small hammock for a bed for a rag doll for baby Carrie.

First, I tied a piece of string between two chairs, then using the Prusik knot I attached 10 pieces of string to the horizontal string knotted to the chair:

The Prusik knot

The Prusik knot

Each vertical string was a double string.  In order to make the net I took one string form the first row and one from the second and using the overhand knot I joined them together.  I continued in this way until I had used up all the vertical strings.  Each knot had two strings coming out from it.  Then I began another row using one string from one knot and another from the knot next door.  I did this for approximately 10 rows:

Using the overhand knot

Using the overhand knot

After the net was as big as I needed it, I took it down from the chairs and fastened the ends using an extra length of string:

My net hammock

My net hammock

Here is a photo showing my knots close up:

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It has been good to learn these skills

Making a Ladder and a Peg Rail

My next project was to make a ladder so I could repair the roof of the little house.  I used some wood that we had left over from the pallets and any other wood I found around our garden.  Daddy helped me with this project.  I was not able to use the leather twine I had made because I didn’t have enough so I used rope instead.  The ladder will not be that high  but nevertheless high enough for me to reach the top window.  First we made the ladder frame by placing the horizontal  poles at an angle, with the two poles meeting at the top.  We lashed a longer rung at the bottom and a shorter rung at the top.  To lash the rungs to the poles I used  a diagonal  lashing.  When making the diagonal lashing I started with a timber hitch and wrapped the rope diagonally  around the  rung and the pole.   After making a full turn I started to go in the opposite direction.  I continued in this way until the rung was firmly attached.  I repeated the procedure on the other side, and then on the other rung:

Starting a hitch

Starting a hitch

I was a little nervous about it holding my weight, but my weight actually helped to stabilise the ladder, and the angle of the frame prevented the knots traveling down the frame:

Me standing on my ladder!

Me standing on my ladder!

The peg rail I did totally by myself .  I made this from door handles and wood from an old cot . Firstly I cut the wood to size and drilled holes with a 3.6 volts screwdriver and a 4.5 mm drill piece .  Next I screwed the handles in, then I dyed the whole thing brown with wood preservative.  I intend to screw it to the wall of the playhouse for the babies nighties to hang on:

My peg hooks

My peg hooks

Making Twine and Rope from Leather & Learning Knots

My interest  this week was leather working.  We had some  leather from an old sofa that Mummy wanted cut up and kept for an occasion like this.  I made some twine by cutting the leather in a circle like this:

Here is a half cut twine from a circle of leather

Here is a half cut twine from a circle of leather

I also made some laces by cutting a rectangle of leather into thin strips:

Making leather strips

Making leather strips

With the twine I made some rope by plaiting it. I did this by tying three pieces of twine together and plaiting it how mothers plait their daughter’s hair. I had help from Mummy to do this:

Here is the rope I made with my lengths of twine

Here is the rope I made with my lengths of twine

I decided that before I would make the ladder I would learn to make a few different types of knots.  I made an impromptu dagger from pieces of wood from the garden.  I attached them together using the timber hitch to fasten the twine to the sticks and then used diagonal strapping to hold the two sticks firmly together.  These are the knots I will be using to make my ladder next week:

My dagger

My dagger

I will hopefully be using the rope I made for other projects from my SAS survival book.