Age : 9-10 Years
One yard of 36-inch wide cream flannel, IS. to IS. 6d. per yard, will give twelve needle cases 6 inches x 18 inches, and eighteen of 6 inches x 12 inches. Needles, No. 5 "Scientific" sharps. Thread, No. 25 coloured cotton embroidery or fine mending yarn. A small piece of tape, braid or ribbon for fastening the needlecase ; a small square of flannel (to be pinked out); and a small square of linen hemmed or tacked for holding needles, pins, etc. Cost 2 1/2d. to 4d.
We now introduce definitely for the first time a second texture - flannel, which has much to commend itself to the child - elasticity, warmth, and weight - and comparing this with the fixed persistent memory of unbleached calico, the child begins to distinguish and reason. The joy of a fresh interest in material, coupled with a new kind of stitchery suited to the flannel fabric, is enhanced with the planning of the colour scheme.
Up to ten years of age, normal children do not worry about results, and it is important that joyful, interesting occupation should translate gradually this holiday quality of spirit into, at least, an attitude of alertness, which is pre-eminently needed as an introduction to the next period, perhaps the most important period in the acquirement of skill, eleven to twelve years of age.
The new material requires a new stitch, and as we began our first bit of calico with tacking, we begin to sew our first bit of flannel with tacking too, but a step in advance of the first primitive movement.
Canvas should on no account be used to practise upon as an introductory lesson for this or any other lesson, till after the eye is finally accommodated at normal vision. Canvas means counting threads; it means keeping the material at close range, to the deterioration of vision. Whereas, the eye not only discriminates colour, and enjoys regularity and exactness in spacing through colour distinction, but the muscular sensibility of the eye is strengthened with this feast of varied colour.
"Of all God's gifts to the sight of man, colour is the holiest, the most divine."
The new stitchery is tacked from left to right in zigzag fashion - a combination known as Herring-boning - one row of stitches on the double fold, the second and lower row on the single material just beneath the fold (Diag. 22). As much material should be taken on the needle, as is left between each stitch, and in beginning or finishing threads, "run" the needle on the right side over the last three or four stitches, and let the end of the thread lie between the folds.
Note that the pupil be directed to lay opposite sides and to square the corners for strength and beauty (Diags. 23-24).
One'end of the needle-case (Diag. 25) is turned up and top-sewed to form a pocket for reel, thimble, etc. ; initials are tacked, and the needle-case is ready as a base for the next lesson.
Herring-boning is distinctly an acquired movement, and acquired with more or less difficulty; but given freedom with choice of colour and size of fold, the pupil enjoys the effort. Of the value of this stitchery there can be no question.
1. It is sufficiently trustworthy to protect raw edges.
2. It stands in place of an extra fold of cloth, and with thickly woven material, clumsiness is avoided.
3. It is constructive and decorative at once, and is therefore an endless source of suggestion to the designer in this and other crafts.