Rainbow Jelly Shots and What Happened to the Dorcas Squares

by mutteringhousewife

The things we do. The boys’ school normally just asks for cash, which is easy. Although the Horror’s mate told his mum that his class wanted to win the competition to buy goats for a village somewhere that was short of goats and could he have $250? She did beat him down to $5, but someone, somewhere is setting the bar too high. The girl’s school, on the other hand, seems to prefer your blood and sweat. Or perhaps that’s just how it filters through the Muffet.

Do you remember the Dorcas squares? Every girl in Year 7 was supposed to knit a couple to be later arranged into blankets for the deserving and frosty. Except that I knitted some for the Muffet because hers were a bit more Art Nouveau than a square. I assumed at the time that most squares had actually been composed by adults. Well, they asked for volunteers to assemble the blankets and guess who’s childlike faith in her mother’s abilities stuck me with a pile of ill-assorted squares? Go on, guess.

It turns out that some girls did knit the squares themselves. They were given a template to make it easy on the assemblers, but some were more free spirited than others. Muffet brought me home eighteen assorted “squares” to sew together and if you think about it for a bit, eighteen is not a square number. So I laid them out on the bed and eventually got them into a pattern that would give something with three straight sides anyway. I also invented a fabulous way to thread a wool needle that I’m sure has never ever been thought of before. You get a bit of cotton and loop it around the wool. Then you feed both ends of the cotton through the needle hole, then pull the doubled over wool up through the hole after it.

So working sometimes with the ends that had been thoughtfully left on the squares and sometimes with a purple wool that clashed with all the other colours I managed to whipstitch it all together. I think it’s called whipstitch, it sounds good. It’s quite a small creation in the end.
It has come out nice and flat (in that picture it wasn’t all stitched together yet) but it’s still a pretty rough looking thing. I’m not sure even the dogs would bother with it.
I could be wrong. I wonder what it’s eventual fate will be?

And also due tomorrow is jelly for the jelly stall. Apparently the girls in each house run stalls from time to time and the Muffet and buddies have been assigned the jelly stall. Some show offs are doing jelly in orange halves. I resisted the urge to just hoik some gelatine leaves into a five litre tin of apple juice and laid in some plastic cups and a rainbow of Aeroplane Jelly packets.

It’s like feeding a baby, you do it every four hours. You lay out your twenty plastic cups. Put the packet of jelly crystals in a coffee plunger sitting on a scale. Weigh in 250 grams of boiling water. Stir. Weigh in 200 grams of cold water. Stir. Pour small amounts into plastic cups. Place cups on the shelf you’ve just cleaned off in the fridge. Repeat next time with a different colour. Sometimes the colours will blend into each other, but it gives a nice lava lamp effect.
I’m just off to do the last layer and try to work out how she’s going to carry them safely to school. Lots of plastic bags I rather think. They’re going to sell them for a dollar each and while it didn’t actually cost me twenty dollars in goods and being a housewife my hourly labour rate is zero, it feels like they’re getting it cheap. Although from the Horror’s reaction upon eating a test sample, they will be very very enjoyable. And nobody forced me to do rainbow jelly, I just can’t help myself.