Saturday, May 29, 2010

Knitting something different for baby

“When a baby is on its way, mothers-to-be can often expect a plethora of knitted presents such as clothes and blankets.
Now one group of women is shaking up the tradition – commissioned by the NHS to knit 150 woollen breasts. The models, made by the Somerset Mothers’ Union, are being used to teach techniques for breast feeding – and how to deal with problems such as blocked ducts and mastitis. […]
Knitted breasts have been popular in the US for some time, where groups such as Knitting for Knockers make prosthetics for women hit by breast cancer.
Patterns are available online.”

Metro, 27 May 2010, p.35

Friday, May 28, 2010

Underpants on show

“Italy: a middle-aged teacher who dropped his trousers to show students that low-slung jeans aren’t cool has been disciplined. The unnamed master stunned pupils at Fogazzaro middle school in Como with his impromptu show-and-tell. ‘A teacher mustn’t lower himself to the pupils’ level,’ said headmaster Luigi Zecca.”

Metro, 26 May 2010, p.26

Cables and wires

As the house is being rewired, under floorboards and behind wall panels a network of cables and wires, usually hidden from view, is brought to light. Entangled cables from different eras: pre-1970s rubber coated wires, now crumbling and disintegrating, partly replaced later by white PVC around red and black. Now all ripped out and replaced with grey PVC around blue and brown to conform to European regulations introduced in the early 2000s to make the house a safer place.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bubble wrap

“Bride is (literally) bursting with joy
Popping bubble wrap is said to be great for coping with stress – so what better to wear on your wedding day than a dress made out of everyone’s favourite packing material? Teacher Rachel Robinson, 30, had the gown made for her by parents of pupils at St Mary and St John’s School in North Luffenham, Lincolnshire. The dress is made from 13ft (4m) of stitched bubble wrap attached to a cloth lining and finished with white foam packing and Haribo sweets. ‘I was very nervous but having the bubbles to pop really helped,’ said Mrs Robinson, who married Duncan Turner in Stamford.”

Metro, Tuesday, May 18, 2010, p.12

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Wolves in sheep's clothes or Ba Ba Black Sheep?

“Two Argentinean convicts who escaped from jail evaded capture after disguising themselves as sheep, it was claimed. Maximiliano Pereyra and Ariel Diaz, who were jailed for robbery offences, dressed up as the animals after escaping from a maximum security jail in Argentina more than a week ago. Pereyra, 25, and Diaz, 28, dressed in full sheepskin fleeces with realistic looking heads as they tried to evade capture, The Sun reported. They had stolen the sheep hides from a local ranch, it was claimed. They used their disguises to fool officials for more than a week despite more than 300 members of the local constabulary searching for them. The local police have been left embarrassed by the episode after locals reported seeing the pair running through local fields at night. ‘They were wearing grey clothes but had full sheepskins, including the sheeps' heads, over their heads and backs,’ said a farmworker at La Almeda. […] Police sources said it appeared that identifying the pair among thousands of other sheep was "almost impossible".
‘They can't pull the wool over our eyes forever,’ one officer deadpanned.
A spokesman for the jail was unavailable for comment. A spokesman for the local police force was also not available for comment.”

The Telegraph [ONLINE], 13 April 2010

more about sheep

Friday, May 07, 2010

“School knitting tuition ended by council cutbacks”

“Knitting tuition is to end in schools in Shetland, despite fears it could threaten the future of its world-famous knitwear industry.
The Shetland Islands Council move will save the authority's education budget about £130,000 a year. Fourteen part-time staff will now be redeployed, or offered voluntary redundancy. Some in the local trade believe the knock-on effect could cut off the textile industry at the roots. Lerwick knitwear trader Evelyn Leask admitted almost no-one under the age of 50 now made a living by hand-knitting. But she warned: "It's really important that Shetland's heritage is taught to the young people of Shetland so that they can continue and learn to do it and also keep the knitwear industry fruitful." Some of the new local crop of textile designers have said they were inspired by knitting lessons in school.”

BBC News, Thursday, 6 May 2010

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Origin of Clothes

“Geburtsstunde der Menschenkleidung
Unsere Vorfahren haben sich offenbar schon weit früher in Kleider gehüllt als bislang angenommen. Das hat ein Team um den US-Biologen Andrew Kitchen von der Pennsylvania State University herausgefunden – auf dem Umweg über die Tierwelt. Durch umfangreiche Erbgutanalysen ermittelten die Forscher, dass sich die Kleiderlaus vor rund 190 000 Jahren im Stammbaum der Menschenläuse abspaltete. Ihre Entstehung […] wäre nicht möglich gewesen, wenn ihr der Urmensch zu dieser Zeit keinen geeigneten Lebensraum geboten hätte.”

DER SPIEGEL No. 18, 3.5.2010, p.127

“For once lice are nice, at least for scientists investigating the origins of garments.Using DNA to trace the evolutionary split between head and body lice, researchers conclude that body lice first came on the scene approximately 190,000 years ago. And that shift, the scientists propose, followed soon after people first began wearing clothing.The new estimate, presented April 16 at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual meeting, sheds light on a poorly understood cultural development that allowed people to settle in northern, cold regions, said Andrew Kitchen of Pennsylvania State University in University Park. Armed with little direct evidence, scientists had previously estimated that clothing originated anywhere from around 1 million to 40,000 years ago.”

Bruce Bower, Lice hang ancient date on first clothes: Genetic analysis puts origin at 190,000 years ago. Science News 177 (10), 8 May 2010, p.15