Last week we had the Grandparents for a visit. It was lovely to eat Grandma's food and to have Grandpa take care of the crazy puppy. Games at night, a marathon of Studio Ghibli, walks in the woods and even a short visit to Toronto was managed to be squeezed in the little time they were here. When they go we all feel a bit too sad and a bit too lonely, but we know the next visit is just around the corner so that always perks up the grey spirits.
Over the weekend we not only celebrated the arrival of Spring with the discovery of blossoming Snow Drops in our backyard, but also Easter and the birthday of my littlest little faeries. They are grown up now, being 8 and 9, and so I am going to start calling them something else, something more fitting to their personalities. While they still romp through the thick forests collecting pinecones and showing me all sorts of fungi growth (to the squeals of delight of their mother), presenting me during summer months with the bounty of their mud kitchen (to be photographed, judged on presentation and creativity, and also enshrined in the annals of our mud food books), they are also changing. Their games are of a slightly different nature, more imaginative, with longer plots and devilish characters. Their father and I were discussing their play antics just yesterday, and compared it to the kind of play that visiting children seem to exhibit. If anything I am extremely grateful that we both pay some sort of attention to their daily play and how that is morphing and giving us hints of their passions and maybe their future.
It is by noticing those small changes in her play that I decided to make her a miniature teddy bear. I recently received another wee Manomine creation as a gift from a kind friend and my littlest little elf hasn't stopped asking to play with it. I of course oblige to her requests but thought that maybe she needed one of her own, a little creature to pet and dress and play with. My original idea was to make it about the same size so she could share on the many little dresses and coats we have belonging to our small Manomine flock. However, these hands of mine always have their own ideas. This little bear came out and my daughter named him Tip. I thought of him as a her, but I guess she saw the blue blanket and decided it was a he. Either way we are both pleased with him and he has joined the other dolls in their room like an old pal.
Now, working with that furry fabric, in such tiny proportions, almost drove me mental. Good thing I was under pressure, the deadline had to be met, and there was no chance for procrastination. I vowed to never, ever, use it again, but what do you know? It looks so unbelievably endearing and it is so soft that I just might have to bite the bullet again. Don't hold that thought in your heads too long, I am prone to follies.
So for now, I must gather strength to publish my new knitting pattern. I cannot understand why knitting the way I do, I only seem to be able to publish one pattern per year. I have tried to break the mark but life and dolls run away with my best intentions. This is a combined pattern for a baby diaper and little matching boots and it should be in the shop by the end of the week. Maybe calling myself out publicly like that will break the spell? I don't have a clue but I will try my earnest to turn it into a pdf so you can all knit away.
As a last little tidbit, I wanted to let you all know that my dear friend Juliane is having one of her enchanting little dolls available via auction tonight. I have fallen in love with this doll, her story brings me back to my childhood and the many excuses I had to come up with in the blink of an eye to appease my distressed mother. It is actually one of my most vivid memories, washing dishes with my maternal Grandmother, by her large kitchen window, and telling her all sorts of things that actually happened while her knowing smile just agreed with me. I have always had a very vivid imagination and when I was little it was hard to differentiate what had happened and what was a dream. Ylva and her story are not only close to my heart on that regard, but the fact that she is dressed in folk style fabrics makes me want to jump on a plane and steal her all for myself. However, I know that someone out there is going to be extremely lucky to give her a home, and I encourage to go and read her story and participate in her auction if you can. Offering every now and then dolls for auction has helped our little family immensely as the world of handmade toymaking is extremely time consuming these days and there is no fair wage earned from the many hours we all spend at the helm of our crafts. I have profound admiration for the world Juliane has created for her dolls and they always move me to the core. Now, I won't be held accountable if you all fall madly in love as well and spend hour upon hour reading her blog. But if you do happen to give Ylva a home, feel free to send her my way for a small visit and I might send her back loaded with knittings and canadian pinecones. Just saying.