So it’s been a busy year (and …uh… change) since Don’t Quit Your Day Job went on hiatus. I’ve been distracted by improv and a new-found fiber arts gang and all manner of other mischief, but the biggest, most all-consuming distraction of the last year has been the addition of a truly precious little girl to the family, and my big sister’s long-overdue promotion to “Mom”. So she and her cousin are the stars of the comic marking their aunt’s triumphant return to late nights cursing at my computer and unsteady drawing hand. You all remember Missy. Now meet JoJo.
I have a whole pile of new things in store, so stick around friends.
I have a cousin who has managed to mold a lifelong hobby into a legitimate career. He has lived and breathed basketball, as far as I can tell, for his entire life, and now he’s a sports writer who follows all his favorite NBA teams, watches every game, and interviews the players and coaches for a living. (Obviously, lately he’s been following more legal shenanigans than actual games, but… that’s really not relevant to the post.)
It seemed only natural, when I learned he and his wife were expecting a little girl, to make something special and basketball-ish.
Possibly I was a little too literal?
In all seriousness, I actually put a good bit of thought into the design. I could have gone for the plain old beanie design, thrown some stripes on and called it a day.
“Hey, cuz! Check it out! Now your kid’s head is a basketball!”
But baby beanies are just so… common.
Furthermore, I wanted to add some element of fashion, because my tiny victim’s mother is a dance teacher who somehow even manages to add some style to her slouching-around-the-house clothes.
Clearly, I needed some kitsch. Something hip. Something that says, “I look at fashion trends at least once a year… y’know… when I’m bored.” Clearly, a newsboy cap was the way to go.
As an added bonus, I knew the smaller size of the hat would drastically reduce the problem I usually encounter with brimmed hats. Specifically, the brims tend to get… floppy. It’s a simple matter of physics, really. The kind of yarn I want to make a hat out of tends to be very flexible, and then the design of an adult-sized hat would call for a brim that is a good six to eight inches long, and more than an inch wide, at which point the flexibility of the yarn will cause the piece to droop. Since I am generally far too lazy to do something as involved as conjuring plastic inserts, I just very rarely make brimmed hats.
This is especially sad because I love brimmed hats.
As usual, any excuse will do, and I made a tiny brimmed hat with a tiny brim for my tiny new cousin!
Mother’s Day and Birthday, rolled into one! Get it?
So I was in the midst of the Great Moving Marathon for both Mother’s Day and my mom’s birthday, and
used that as an excuse not was sadly unable to get her anything. I mean, she’s impossible to shop for anyway, and doesn’t like just stuff, so in a way, I was giving her what she wanted.
(Yes, I am the worst daughter ever.)
Then she came to visit, and asked me – point blank, “Can you make me one of those purses?”
I was so thrilled, I nearly started work right away. I asked what color she wanted, and pulled out the big box-o-nylon thread. She pulled out this lovely red and peach variegated.
She noticed I had less than one full spool and expressed concern that I might not have enough to finish the purse, but I assured her that I could always buy more. After all, who am I to pass up a good excuse for a trip to Hobby Lobby?
Funny story. I couldn’t buy more.
I didn’t find it.
After a couple dozen unsuccessful trips to every store within 20 miles (and a few very generous expeditions by friends in other cities), I gave up and improvised a match, and I’m pretty sure I like it better:
The main body of the purse is a 4×4 basket weave texture, in a clever mix of two shades of red, off-white, and a ridiculously bright pink variegated I never thought I’d use for anything. The color pattern actually got slightly complicated. I had to switch colors every row to get the color variation I was aiming for. Each row incorporates two threads, and I switched out one color at the end of each row:
Row 1: Light Red/White
Row 2: Light Red/Pink
Row 3: Dark Red/Pink
Row 4: Dark Red/White
But now, finally, I can show you a finished product! Mom’s Red Purse:
For the uninitiated, Hyperbole and a Half is one of my very favorite blogs. Dear Roomie and I have spent many an hour reading and re-reading her stories aloud to each other, sobbing with laughter.
One of my very favorite posts is “The Alot is Better Than You At Everything.”
I’ve been looking for a good excuse to make an Alot, and now I have one.
One of my cousins is beginning his third year of teaching high school English, and I just introduced him to the Alot this summer. Obviously, he needs one for his classroom.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
The magical pink unicorn hat still belongs to D. Corsetto, who I love dearly for making that ridiculous thing exist.
The adorable one-year-old belongs to my brother, who I love for pretty much the same reason.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
My big brother’s munchkin turns one year old on Monday. She has become mobile in that way that small children do at the end of their first year, and she has a predilection toward getting into things and going places she shouldn’t. However, she is also very cute, and therefore can’t be held responsible for any of it.
I have to say, it has been a wildly entertaining year, watching this whole process from a safe distance, and I am looking forward to the many more yet to come.
In the mean time, I have purchased the makings of a quick-and-easy birthday present craft. I have a cute little hat and an adorable little iron-on that wittily mocks my brother’s hair styling skills. This is a five-minute project.
Unfortunately, it requires finding the hat, the iron-on, the iron, the ironing board, and a spare cloth.
I currently know the location of only two of those five items.
How will you be spending your Friday night?
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
I spent last weekend chaperoning a group of girls from my old church at camp. Probably the worst part of moving was leaving behind that congregation, because they were there for the vast majority of my formative years and are therefore family. By that measure, the girls are effectively my little sisters, and what do you do when you’ve spent too much time away from favored young’uns? You bring them presents, of course!
In all honesty, this started out with a request from one of them last year to make this Pichu Plush, and I just wound up taking so long to finish it that I figured I’d wait and give it to her in person rather than shipping it around Christmas. But then I had to come up with something for the other two, because it wouldn’t be fair to have something for just one of them.
Shucks! I had to make more cute things for people I love.
I gave the Pichu project a little extra challenge: I did not allow myself to diverge from the pattern at all. It was shockingly difficult, given my propensity for ad-libbing more or less every project I touch, regardless of the quality of the original pattern.
Here is the finished Pichu, in all it’s adorable-ness:
You know you’ve done it right when you look at the unattached, unadorned head mid-assembly and have a sudden attack of Cute.
Now for the other two munchkins…
Munchkin #2 has had a long-standing love for all things Star Wars (I trained her well), and has yet to grow out of it. Several years ago I made her an amigurumi Yoda, so I thought she needed another beloved character:
Yes, I finally managed to crochet something with eyelash yarn. I don’t think that will ever be happening again.
The third and final munchkin and I have this ongoing joke about finger puppets that came in a book of crochet patterns she gave me a couple of years ago. There is a set of four patterns: a witch, a wizard, a white owl and… a baby walrus.
Yeah, one of these things is not like the others – unless it is a magical baby walrus, which… clearly, it must be.
Anyway, I made her the walrus for her birthday last year, so I figured he needed some other animal friends to keep him company:
I finished the finger puppets while I was in Houston with my sister-in-law and niece, and of course my niece took an instant shining to the bird, so I made one more before I left for camp:
She naturally came up with a fun new game for it immediately:
Watch [mommy, grandpa, grandma, auntie] wiggle the bird. Grab for the bird. Pull the bird off the wiggling finger. Drop the bird on the floor. Watch [mommy, grandpa, grandma, auntie] pick the bird up off the floor. Repeat.
It is a very good thing this child is so freakishly cute, because she is evil.
…and I am so proud.