The Milly Molly Mandy books by Joyce Lankester Brisley were among my favourite stories as a girl. I felt very nostalgic recently when I came across the book Milly Molly Mandy’ things to make and do by Sam Hay; based on the stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley. It’s packed with all the favourite things Milly Molly Mandy, little friend Susan and Billy Blunt loved to do.
It was fun trying to remember which story the activity came from; like the one when Milly Molly Mandy learns to cook with Teacher. My daughter and I started with French knitting. She was so excited at the sound of knitting, she announced that she was going to knit a blanket. I persuaded her to instead knit a length long enough to make a small knot that would be big enough to embellish the end of a hair clip.
While Milly Molly Mandy suggests making a bracelet for a friend, we got the idea for the hair clip from the book State of Craft edited by Victoria Woodcock. The book has pulled together a lot of ideas from different makers and designers. The French knitted hair clips are a simple idea, that can easliy be modified for the beginner.
Instead of two strands of knitting, we used one, and made the length quite a bit shorter then suggested, so not to waste any of our precious knitting. The clips look very cute, and now that my daughter has got the hang of French knitting, she’ll be able to get started on that blanket she’s so keen to make. But in the mean time, we’ve got a lot of activities to try in our Milly Molly Mandy Make and Do book.
More make and do books for children
Cherry cake and ginger beer by Jane Brocket
Ripping things to do by Jane Brocket
50 things to make and do by Fiona Watt