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crafting ahead

Projects are flying off needles all around the house these days. It's the way this mama does nesting I suppose, what with the house already 90% prepped for a new baby and little desire to go up and down the attic ladder to finish off the last 10%. Yes, I have lots of baby creations I'd like to share with you, but with two showers coming up this month and two more friends pregnant on top of that, and with a little uncertainty still remaining over handmade gift allocation, I can't afford to spoil anyone's surprise just yet. So instead I'm spoiling a surprise for Harvey today, only because I'm sure he doesn't read this blog. I'd like to introduce you to my new friend:


Over the past few months I've re-written my crafting priority list several hundred times, trying to get squared away with baby showers, Easter, and Harvey's birthday before my new little life interruption arrives. Many ideas rotated out next to the line that read "Harvey's birthday," but for some reason "sock monkey" was the one that seemed to stick. This boy loves monkeys, after all, and I've been wanting to try my hand at a sock creation for some time now. So going through the priority list ass backwards as is my fashion (Easter is still not done of course) I just finished this gift for Harvey's birthday. All it took was two naps and one very long chunk of night-time time. Oh how I'm going to miss these quiet naps when I have two babies...

sock monkey

don't you want to hug me?

I referenced a pattern from Miyako Kanamori's book Sock and Glove. I use both the terms "referenced" and "pattern" loosely, because this is mostly a book of ideas and pretty pictures, leaving someone to their own devices for figuring out how to best cut, stitch, and hand finish knit fabrics to create something like the creatures therein. Aside from general sewing competency (or a flexibility with the outcome, either one will do) there is only one piece of information someone needs to create a sock monkey, and that is the diagram that shows how the second sock should be cut to form the arms, nose, ears, and tail. If you're interested in making one, you can find such a diagram here. I was fortunate that Kanamori's book appeared at eye level in my local library this week; It saved me printing out another piece of paper to lose five times over the course of one project.

The finished sock monkey is super soft and snuggly, and I do think Harvey will fall in love with him as quickly as I did. I only hope it will feel to me like enough of a "real" birthday present to keep me from pulling late nighters come the end of June. I know that with big presents likely coming from two sets of grandparents, and new pants and shirts that need to be sewn anyway, all that the boy really needs from his mama is something simple and heartfelt to let him know that I love him. In general I am trying to adapt my way thinking around gift-giving occasions. I tend to go overboard for each holiday, thinking I have to make EVERYTHING that comes into my head, which in turn only makes me stressed and anxious and sometimes moody on party day if something doesn't turn out right. I'd like to just be able to say, "This is my handmade gift. I put a lot of time into it and I think it's pretty good. I think you'll like it too. You don't need 20 of them to know that I love you."

Anyway, it's a work in progress. Me, I mean. Not the monkey, though. He's finished.

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