Vegemite toast and tea in bed, 2 cards handmade by an enthusiastic 3 year old and a Japanese crafting book from a very thoughtful guy. Oh and half a dozen Haighs chocky frogs. It's pretty good being a mum.
I am busting to make some of these fellers. The whole book is for knit fabrics so it's right up my alley. I love pretty much every pattern in this book, which is something of a rarity for a pattern book. I really wish I could read the technique section, which looks like it has lots of really useful advice. If I had some stuffing beans I'd be stuffing right now... and if the bedroom where I sew wasn't so darn cold.
And to all the other mums out there who get to celebrate mum's day today (Australia only I think?) congratulations. I hope you get a chance to reflect today on all the great bits about being a mother. A chance to celebrate your mother for getting you this far, to celebrate your own skills, patience, persistence and love in keeping your youngsters alive and in the world. And hopefully staying more or less sane in the process.
And here's a picture of my latest attempt at something way too complex for my skill level. It's from a book of sewing, knitting, embroidering and applique gifts for babies by the Australian Women's Weekly.
Ang, my knitting instructress thinks this pattern is overly complicated and she might be right, but I'm kind of enjoying (in a masochistic kind of way) the challenge of so many illogical increase/decrease patterns. It has jointed limbs, which will be another first for me and not at all in keeping with my general philosophy that soft toys should be entirely soft, but I'm enjoying surrendering to someone else's pattern for once.
I just love the way this pig looks in the picture and I am hoping it's adorable look is directly related to the degree of difficulty in the pattern. Either that or I'm the butt of someone's very unfunny joke.
Making this guy has provoked a lot of thoughts for me, thoughts about knitting and knitted toys and making things that are really complicated, and following patterns instead of your nose. First and foremost I think I am enjoying the delicate balance between a steep learning curve and yet not feeling completely overwhelmed. The pattern is hard, but there isn't anything in it (so far) that is beyond me. I'm really enjoying doing something quite different from my usual repertoire.
I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with knitted toys. I love the idea of them, their handmadeness, their domesticality, their imaginativeness. At the same time so many seem really disappointing in their execution. Poor colour choices, loose, sloppy stitches, cheap acrylic yarns, ugly increase and decrease markings,stuffing poking through. I feel ashamed of being so critical of them, since I applaud all crafting efforts as a blow against the mass produced plastic world our kids grow up in. Maybe I had a bad experience as I kid that I have since repressed, something scary and awful that's put me off.
Anyway, when I saw this pig I thought it just might be the pattern to bring me round. To embrace my inner toy knitter and overcome my fear of complicated knitting patterns. And get more crafting mileage out of trips in the car and time on the couch. And to get me over the hats. I really need to get over knitting hats. And it's going so well that Ang and I are planning a series of projects on the knitting toy front. After the pig there is a fantastic book of Aussie animals to knit, which excites me a lot since the animals Amy sees when we camp and go bush never seem to make it to her toy box. So hopefully there'll be a piggy here in a few days and a steady stream of wombats, possums, penguins and the like to follow. Here's hoping this post doesn't put the mozz on me.