This evening I was greeted by my DD1 telling me that she had an "interesting story" to tell me about. Apparently, one of her friends at school is the proud owner of an Eleanor Chipette Chipmunk figurine, courtesy of a McDonald's Happy Meal. (Eleanor is the one to the very right in that image.) Said friend has also apparently decided that tomorrow is her Eleanor figurine's birthday, and requires presents. Said friend is hoping for clothes, but DD1 recognized that this wasn't really practical (take a look at that picture of the figurines and you'll see why), and suggested a figurine-sized blanket instead. This offer was accepted by the friend.
DD1 was very keen on using some of the yarn from her stash to make this blanket. Now, ordinarily I would be supportive of this, except that the specific yarn she wanted to use was 100% merino hand-dyed by my friend Mel and gifted to her for her birthday a few years back by my friend Tanya. And that is what my daughter was planning to use for a throwaway gift to a friend who arbitrarily decided that it was time for her buddies to pony up some presents to her for no good reason?
(DH, who had heard this "interesting story" before I arrived, had already formed the same opinion, and was basically willing to form a human shield between DD1 and the merino if it would prevent this travesty.)
So this is where I had to think really fast. To start with, I don't think this blanket-knitting thing is a good idea, I told my eldest child, because you don't knit fast enough to finish it for tomorrow.
She countered by expressing the plaintive hope that I would knit the blanket for her?
Alright, I told her, I was willing to do that. (I must be insane, but that is what I said. I figured what the hell, right? It's going to be swatch-sized, this is not a big deal.)
However, I continued, I do not think that the merino - even though it is her merino to do with as she wants - is a good choice for this particular project. Because the item to be knitted is a toy. The friend is going to take it places, play with it all over the place, the thing is going to get dirty...and eventually, someone is going to throw it into the washing machine. And if the blanket is made out of the merino, it will SHRINK. And this would be bad.
To my great relief, this made DD1 stop and think. She can usually see good sense when it's pointed out to her, and this reasoning certainly made sense. She didn't want the blanket to shrink. I followed up my devastating logic by recommending that she choose a machine-washable yarn. Of course, DD1's stash is still basically in the fetal stages of stash-hood, so she doesn't actually have green (the colour she wanted for the blanket) machine-washable yarn in her stash. Tentatively, she wondered if we could dive into my stash for this project?
Absolutely, I told her.
She was delighted.
(I am sure, at this point, that my husband was thinking I was the world's smartest human ever spawned.)
And this is how she and I went stash-diving in my synthetic worsted tote box to find exactly the right shade of green. Amazingly, we found it - and in just the right amount. (Making it a highly convenient stashbuster for me, awesome.) DD1 grabbed pencil and paper to outline the general sizing requirements, and additionally requested a hot pink bow of some kind in the middle.
And that, my friends, is how I came to create this off the top of my head:
She thinks I'm a frickin' genius.
Where is my mother-of-the-year trophy?