Last week was one of the busiest so far this year with not one but two daughters with birthdays only three days apart. Add to that a school fundraiser to organise and then cancel due to rain it was no wonder I suffered a couple of migraines. Sometimes the pressure to make everything is too much for me. By the second birthday I was near to finishing this cute little knitted elephant toy however to finish in time there was no time for home baked cupcakes to take to school. Luckily my daughter was so understanding and didn’t put as much pressure on me as I put upon myself. As a maker I feel like it is expected of me to make absolutely everything and sometimes life is just too overwhelming.
I tried to focus on what I believed I could achieve and set myself the task of completing this cute little elephant girl in her pretty colourwork dress a believing that this treasured toy would last long after the cupcakes were baked, decorated and eaten.
So may ends to sew and weave in! I did remember from the last time I made another one of these patterns by Julie Williams that it almost takes as long to sew all the pieces together as it does to knit them so I made sure enough time was saved. The pattern is extremely detailed with 14 pages of instructions and lots of photo and tips on how to make her. There is also a boy version of all her toys and the elephant boy comes with a pattern to make him a textured sweater and striped shorts.
I’m sure you’ll agree that she is well worth the effort and time. This bunny was knitted two years ago for my middle daughter and now she has an elephant sister who belongs to her little sister.
The elephant girl was knitted in Flinders cotton 8ply and bunny was knitted in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. It’s interesting to see the difference between the two and the cotton definitely stretched the stitches more. If I was to make her again I’d probably go down a size in knitting needles or make sure to hold my tension tighter, particularly on the head.
When constructing her head I wondered if it was at all possible to actually have her trunk turn up instead of down as I do think that would look cute too. If I make another one someday I will experiment a bit more with her head.
Besides the adorable dresses that come with these patterns, my favourite part of her is her cute little mary jane shoes and matching underpants. Oh and maybe her cute little tail too.
My daughter adores her hand knitted toy and the surprise on her face when she realised I had finished knitting Enid the elephant made it so worthwhile. She named her after her great grandmother which is so touchingly sweet.
I’m so glad I focussed on the second birthday a little more this year instead of always attending to the first birthday and then hoping I’d have enough time to catch my breath and make the next birthday special. Sometimes birthdays are not planned and they unfortunately fall all together in the same month or even too close to Christmas like our other daughter. When we were newly married and excited to fall pregnant, planning the best times for our children’s birthdays was the last thing we thought about.
“You can only do, what you can only do” is a little saying I repeat to myself in times of overwhelm and it helps me. It helped me focus this week on setting achievable goals and reaching them.
Do you get maker overwhelm? Do you feel the pressure to make most things because you can? How do you deal with it?