May 2015 we found out our first bub was on her way. For god sake within that moment my mind went into overdrive, there's a thousand things that would have to be done, a million things to buy and how on earth can could I expect to achieve everything while hugging porcelain. Without even a good story from the night before to recall, there was very little to motivate me to do anything.
The reality is, none of it mattered. The connection between myself and my little one was what ultimately mattered. While managing long work days, waddling in and out of treatment bunkers and dealing with life in general, I needed much more that would connect me to the bub that would inevitably arrive. In the last few months leading up to her birth I took up the crocheting after a very long hiatus. Before then I got stuck into knitting so my connection the the fibre arts was still alive.
I've always found craft, whether it be knitting, sewing crochet a great comfort and stress reliever. Its always been a cathartic process which has kept me grounded.
This is very unflattering photo my partner took. He thought it was amusing even being induced i was still knitting. I would have continued till near the end if the pain hadn't been so bad haha.
At the time I had I spoke with one of the midwives was developing her thesis on how the bond can be established between mother and child in utero, and how craft of some sort, particularly items for the child can enhance this. Honestly it was more of an intuitive thing for me, not something I had to be shown or advised on.
Anyhoo the point of this post wasn't to delve too deep into that discussion, just know thats how it all started.
After trawling through a number of websites and Ravelry, TOFT popped up. I purchased my copy of Edwards Menagerie through the book depository but I've also seen this in my local yarn store or try them online at TOFT shop
Each month I've recreated an animal for my little one. I want something Annabelle could play, not just wear and be put back into a box. Mind you I did that too. The great thing with these projects, you can use scraps of yarn in your stash, each toys has used less than 100g of yarn.
The first animal I made was the Elephant. I made her in a Maxima sky blue yarn from Manos Del Uruguay. Such a pleasure to crochet with. I highly recommend that yarn.
I never used the recommended hook size. The look I wanted was a nice dense fabric where the stuffing wouldn't be seen. It may take a few cracks, it so tension dependent. I must admit the hardest part was the facial features. How do you make that animal look sweet, sew the eyes slightly in the wrong direction and its got crazy eyes lol.
These are a couple of my favs.
Hamlet the Cheetah - Patons yarn for the body, Rare earth yarn for the spots and face.
Georgina the Hippo - Patons yarn.
Emma the Bunny Rabbit - EcoYarns, Eco-Prganic cotton clouds. The floppy ears were my favourite part.
Anghard the Donkey - created in Rowan yarn, tweed
Our very good friend Glen offered to take monthly photos. the whole shot is always so much fun. Annabelle loves the the song and dance we perform and the endless cuddles between photos. He's truly captured the moment, all of her genuine smiles and brought the toys to life.
Glen's can be found on Instagram at Glen McPherson Photography