Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nighttime yarns

K and I have a long-standing tradition of meeting in the middle of the night for songs and stories. I have no patience for singing or storytelling at bedtime; her bedtime is my bedtime too; I need to be sleeping then, my brain doesn't work at that time of the evening.

But tug at my sleeve at 3:30 am, and I'm good to go. Ever since she was an infant, and I sat with her in the rocker, gliding and singing endless hymns (they have so many verses, I thought eventually she'd fall asleep!) we've done this. Such was tonight.

Actually, tonight was a special treat. Tonight I pulled Prince, Princess and Duke out of my, um, ear. The royal ones are a trio of lion cubs I made up on an interminable vacation out West last year, when I wanted K to think of me as "Mama Lion" protecting her cub, rather than the adversarial witch I was becoming for demanding tolerable behavior and refusing to reward atomic meltdowns. The stories were as bland as I could make them -- her reading material of choice at the time was My Little Pony paperbacks -- and the Mama always either rescued her cubs from danger or welcomed them safely home. For good measure, I also made sure that Princess was the brave cub and that Prince and Duke were nervous and a little bit stupid. Perhaps that was unfair of me, but I was trying to fill a deficit, here.

So tonight I told a boring story in which the cubs got lost in the forest and Princess found the way home, after which Mama tucked the three safely into bed and sang them a lullaby, which I also sang to K, and I handed out some cuddles and kisses and turned the bathroom light back on, and I'm quite sure she was asleep before I hit the landing. It pays, sometimes, to be a lousy storyteller.

Yesterday I started and finished a project for K's Christmas which I was not at all sure I was going to be able to do. It was very similar to the receiving blanket project but involved terrycloth, which I've never sewn with. I did have to stop and re-pin one time, and re-adjust from a straight stitch to a zig-zag, but once I made those changes it was pretty much smooth sailing, as I'd chosen the appropriate needle at the outset for dealing with stretchy fabrics.

The finished project, as you can see Curious George enjoying, is a reversible hooded towel/flannel blanket, and I am very pleased with the results. It looks to be warm, absorbent, and oh-so-cuddly so I am going to make one for my nephew as well. I'm thinking that with the leftover terry and flannel I might be able to make matching baby washcloths/hand towels or something like that -- maybe a double thickness of terry bound with the flannel? I'll have to wait until I have some time to experiment.

This project was adapted from Last-Minute Fabric Gifts by Cynthia Treen and Karen Philippi.

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