Sometimes I think I might be a crazy person. Especially when it comes to crochet.
An idea will drop into my head, perfect and fully formed, that will send me into a frenzy of wool and stitches. I won’t be able to rest until I’ve snipped and woven in the last end of yarn. And I won’t know until the moment the handmade gift is opened whether I’ve created something special and wonderful and right-on-the-mark; or lame, attention-seeking and deserving of pity.
I wanted to share with you my latest piece of insanity.
Mr Knightley’s sister, whom I’m going to call Audrey (if he were called Mr Darcy, I could call her Georgiana, I suppose, but I digress…), lives in a different city to us with her husband and two daughters: two-year-old Holly and newborn Eliza. They also have three big and very loveable dogs. Now, when Eliza was born, I put my head to thinking what I could make for her. Unfortunately, my brain had other ideas, and thought instead of a great present for Holly. I figured Holly might need a present more than her baby sister, babies get enough fuss!
Holly is devoted to her three big dogs, which is what gave me the idea. What if I made her three toy puppies, modelled on her favourite playmates? And the idea wouldn’t leave. So I had to make them.
Here is Fudge, a brown Labrador, and the eldest of the three;
This is Jet, a black Labrador who is very excitable;
And here is Trumpet, a black poodle, who is more shy and sensible than his friends.
And he has a curly tail.
Each dog has his own collar, bed and blanket in a matching colour. I like to think this makes them all very Montessori. I don’t like to think that pointing this out makes me all very pretentious sounding…
I didn’t want to forget Baby Eliza entirely, so I made Miss Doolittle a soft ball which makes a crunchy sound when you squeeze it. I spent many of my days testing various plastic wrappers for sound quality before putting the best ones in with the stuffing. People think I’m odd.
It’s not as round as I would like it, but thankfully Eliza does not yet understand the basics of geometry, so I think I’ll get away with it…
The pattern I used for the dogs is the very clear and well written “Puppy Love” by Beth Ann Weber on the By Hook By Hand blog. The dogs’ collars, beds and blankets are my own design, as is the ball (which explains the wonkiness).
And here are the presents all together. My parents-in-law were travelling to visit Audrey and her family, so I packed it all in a shoe box (I resisted the temptation to use a “Hush Puppies” box), wrapped it nicely and gave it to them to deliver.
Now I was stuck. I wouldn’t know until the gift was opened if the present was good or not. And I wouldn’t be there to see them open it. While the box remained closed, the present was simultaneously lovely and lame. This is a paradox known as Schrödinger’s Dogs.
Thankfully, my sister-in-law called to thank me soon after they received the present. Holly had fallen in love with the little dogs and had been playing with them all day. Huzzah!
As for me, my fingers are starting to itch again!