Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Cousin Series - Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Britney ~ #2

Cleo the Dragon (B, if his name is different let me know, I'll change it) came from a pattern that a wonderful woman at my local knitting shop worked up off the top of her head.

My niece and I were at the shop together and saw this little dragon in the glass case up front. I inquired whether there was a pattern I could purchase because Britney wanted me to make it. The woman at the counter did not know and tried to call the woman who originally made the ami. She left a message and told me the woman would contact me via phone or email. Great!!! We bartered over the price. $3.00? $4.00? We settled on $3.50, the going rate for a pdf pattern at the time.

I waited and waited. Nothin'!

FINALLY, an email arrived with the pattern attached. She stated in the email that she had created this dragon off the top of her head and hadn't written it down anywhere. She had looked at the finished dragon and tried to recall all the stitches she had used to make him. She hoped she'd got it right. I shook my head, (such kindness), I smiled and opened the file. As I read through the pattern, it seemed to work out in my mind just fine, but once I began working with yarn problems arose. The head turned into an oval. The snout was a strange, flattened shape and the tail? Too short and too small.

I thought about replying to the email and letting her know her pattern was flawed, but in the end decided it would be a great time to try my hand at "tweaking" this dragon on my own. I still appreciated her pattern because it created some interesting shapes for other projects, but it really didn't look like the dragon in the case. It was still worth the $3.50. She had worked so hard to do this for me and I didn't want to belittle that because I was a wuss at "tweaking".

I ended up "tweaking" the whole thing! Body and head became rounder, more ball-like. The feet and snout the same ball-like shape only smaller. The tail longer and bigger to match his increasingly larger bum and I added the ridge down the back which came from another ami pattern, an alligator. (Every dragon needs a ridge spike, right?)

So technically, this became my first pattern, but all the credit goes to the kind knitting woman at the shop. I couldn't have done it without her. It felt good to have created something new, but it felt even better to have had something with which to take that leap of creative energy.

Thanks Crafty Lady wherever you are! You made my Britney rather happy! You made me a more confident pattern-maker.


Friday, June 15, 2012

The Cousin Series - Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Britney

Dearest Britney,
I remember thinking about what to make for you for during the Cousin Christmas. I remember asking Sage what I should make for you. We just couldn't decide. So we scrolled through the pages and pages of inspiration until Sage squealed, "That one, Mom! That one!" I recently made another of these little piggies for an auction to raise money for some girls who wanted to go to camp, that's how much I love this pattern. It's easy to make and is soooo cute!

I have enjoyed making these next few amis for you. (Chapters 5-7) I hope to be able to make many more at your request or just because I want to give you something special. I know you will grow more and more mature over the next few years, but I hope these little cuties will continue to be something that makes you smile. Something that brings you my love.

I admire your quiet sweetness, your love of books, and drawing. (so like your sweet mother) When I think of the short, small times we have had together, a winsome smile crosses my face. You inspire me to love and reach out to those in need, just like you do. You have always brought me happiness even when you were being tested. Your strength is amazing. Your patience is even more amazing.

Don't be surprised to find a new ami in the mail once in a while. When you see it, just know I've been thinking of you!

All my love for always,

~ S