wrap me up!

Dude it's COLD outside. Which is why I am bewildered as to why Anya decides to take off her mittens as soon as we get out of the car. This afternoon it was all of 10 degrees (F) and there was a mighty wind a-blowin' and she handed me her hat and mittens as we were heading across the parking lot to the entrance of the grocery store. Then she put up a big fuss when I tried to at least put her hat back on. The shopping trip went downhill from there, I'm afraid, but at least we are no longer out of contact solution and coffee beans. Daniel seems to have more sense about wearing winter gear, thank goodness.

I braved the frigid air with the camera this afternoon for about 45 seconds to get a few shots of one last-minute holiday gift. I kind of lied when I said I was done with Christmas knitting, because I just got the book Itty-Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson and when I saw the wrap-me-up puppies, I knew I had to make them for my kids.

(I swear I didn't mean to pose the puppies to look like the brown one was taking a pee on the white one. I didn't realize how it looked until I was back inside the warm house and uploading pictures onto iPhoto, but I didn't want to go back outside - see above re: temperature - and the lighting inside is terrible.)

Lately Anya has been very much into playing mama with her various stuffed animals. She has a puppy pull toy that she likes to give drinks from a cup and snacks with a spoon. She has a stuffed kitty she likes to dress in her socks and jacket; this always leads to much frustration because her clothes are WAY too big for the kitty and they fall off, but she still insists on trying. Occasionally Daniel joins in the game, so I figured if I made a little wrap-me-up puppy with a blanket for Anya for Christmas, I ought to do the same for Daniel.

Each puppy is about 6" long and used less than a skein each of some Dale of Norway Lerke (DK wool/cotton blend) I have in the stash. The body is knit in the round, and you stuff it before the final decreases. Legs, ears and tail are knit separately and sewn on. I thought fiddling all the little pieces would annoy me, but they didn't. This project is so little and goes together so fast! For the blankets, I found some scraps of fleece and flannel and serged around the edges. The original pattern has a knitted blanket with button loop and bobble button, but this was faster and will serve the same purpose. I think I'll find some adhesive velcro to hold the wrapped blanket shut instead of bothering with a button; velcro is easier for Anya's little hands anyway.

Last Saturday I got to meet Susan B. Anderson in person! She was doing a book-signing and trunk show at Stitchers Crossing, a local shop with tons of gorgeous quilting supplies and quite a lot of nice yarn. All the knitted samples from Itty-Bitty Toys were there, plus a couple extra designs she has done for the Spud and Chlöe line from Blue Sky. The toys were even more charming in real life than in pictures, if you can believe it, and Susan was as nice and friendly as can be. My favorite were the squishy balls (which look easy-peasy to knit) and the reversible toys. I brought the kids along because Stuart was busy powering through a homework project for a Comp Sci class, and I thought they might like to see the toys, too. As it turns out, Daniel and Anya weren't at all interested in the knitted toys because they were too preoccupied with the other toys Stitchers Crossing has in the front of the store...but at least they played nicely and for the most part didn't get in anyone's way.


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