I couldn't wait to finish this year's Christmas quilts so I could make something for me. Specifically, I cut out a dress to wear to my niece's wedding in April, and the pieces are still sitting next to the sewing machine, waiting to be made into a dress.
However, the annual craft fair at my office was the week after I finished all seven quilts. I didn't make much new stuff specifically for the craft fair, but I displayed a bunch of things I've made over the last few years, including the Noro Lanesplitter skirt I hoped to one day fit into... That was four years ago. I decided the skirt is so beautiful, it deserves to be worn. And it actually sold!
I typically don't take special orders during the craft fair because by the time I set up my little booth, I'm tired of making things and meeting deadlines for everyone but my own family, and I want to spend the last couple of weeks before Christmas with my true love and making things for him, if I can sneak a project or two in without him knowing. (Fingers crossed for this weekend...)
But how can I refuse when the request comes from a very dear friend? Or two? Or more...
My flip flop necklaces were a big hit, although they did not sell. However, one of my co-workers asked if I could make five more, with one flip flop each and a chain to coordinate with each flip flop. The flip flops work up pretty quickly, so I agreed. I thought I could be done in just a couple of hours, leaving me two weeks to make Christmas gifts for The Lizard.
Then came a request for six tiny snowflakes for a tiny tree, and could I make them pink and/or purple?
This project took another night, plus stiffening and stringing, but it wasn't a heavy burden.
I'd just finished a cute little hat for Baby Molly, and I had enough yarn left to make another one. So I whipped up a second one, and it garnered lots of interest and compliments at the craft fair, but none of my customers had baby girls on their gift lists. One of my friends, however, has a not quite as new "chunky little nephew" and asked if I could make a monkey hat, tail and stuffed monkey for the six-month-old bundle of joy. This, obviously, was going to take more than a couple of hours, but how could I say no?
I had never made a monkey or a monkey hat before. I'd thought about a sock monkey a couple of times during my crazy sock-crocheting phase, but I'd never even looked up patterns. I didn't have time to look up patterns this time. So I improvised and nearly finished a hat from the only brown yarn in my stash, not quite a full skein I received from a destashing friend. I guess it's a good thing I didn't have enough yarn to finish the project. I didn't have a clue what fiber was in the yarn, and there won't be enough for a burn test, much less a monkey, if I finish the braids and ears. I dreaded having to make another hat, but I had no choice.
I searched the yarn section of the closest craft store, and nothing was even remotely close enough to even semi-match. I bought two more huge skeins (to make sure I wouldn't run out again) and made (and finished!!!) another hat in just a couple of hours.
The monkey was going to take a bit longer. Perhaps a lot longer.
I got the mini monkey's head done but didn't like the shape of the mouth. I wasn't able to unravel the yarn to rework the head because I'd bound off so efficiently. I used the first monkey head to stuff the second monkey head. Yes, my little monkey is a cannibal. I'm sorry I don't have pictures of either of the first two heads. While walking to the park and ride, the cannibal escaped in a clandestine manner. So somewhere out there in the Denver Metro area, a body-less cannibal monkey head is roaming the streets.
I had to make a third monkey head.
By the time this project was finally finished, I never wanted to see another crocheted monkey again as long as I live!
On the bright side, all my craft fair customers said what I made was worth far more than what I charged. Some real warm fuzzies there!
On the very dark side, after I posted an Instagram snapshot of the monkey project, my aunt called to request the hat pattern so she can make one for her youngest granddaughter.
So, instead of sewing that night, I had to begin writing a pattern for the monkey hat!
Christmas might be a little late at my house this year. And I probably can't wear that long-forgotten short-sleeved, warm weather dress until spring anyway, so might as well put it off just a little bit longer.
Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.