He's eight. Blanky has holes. Blanky is too small. He can't curl up inside and hide from the world. Blanky's not big enough to comfort him completely. Life's thrown him a curve or two, none of his own making, all of which hurt his heart. It's a sweet, loving, gentle heart. The Ben's Bells necklace he wears every day is but one indication of his kind soul. People this good often need more protection than the rest of us. Hence, the need to improve Blanky. Sometimes, an inanimate object is needed when hugs are the only thing that will assuage the pain...and the person whose hugs are required is not available.
What to do? He asked, and I answered. We'd make a new blanket. We might even learn to sew along the way. Amster bought Miss Texas a bright pink sewing machine for $5 at a garage sale. She made the purchase knowing that I would be the instructor; her many talents do not include stichery of any kind. Miss Texas's brothers wanted to learn to use it too. Since I've not plugged in G'ma's portable machine since I moved it to my closet five years ago, my skills might be a little rusty. The pink machine was new to me, and I was intimidated. Replacing Blanky was a chore left undone.
Then, I spent a week on Cozy Rosie with Little Cuter and SIR. We each had our own corner of the world's most comfortable couch, and we each had our own favorite blanket. I chose the one Aunt Terri made for their wedding. SIR opted for the heavier, silkier blue one. Little Cuter had dibs on her favorite, the best blanket ever, the one she made herself.... without wielding a needle or thread.
This was a project I could create with Mr. 8. This was the solution I'd been seeking. I asked many more questions than were necessary, collected all the information I needed, and waited for the kid to return from his Dad's house.
The first stop was the fabric store, filled with so many many options.
We never made it past the football section.
It's hard to photograph an unwilling participant.
We discussed bolts of cloth, and the silver guide rail for the scissors
and spent a considerable amount of time purchasing the right pair of sewing shears.
They will not be used for paper or wire or plastic or wood.
They are Fiskars. They are Mr. 8's shears.
He put them to good use.
The craft table was too small for our purposes, so we used the floor.
Unfortunately, Sasha was using the floor, too.
Mr. 8 wasn't peeved.
He picked up my cell phone and found the camera before I could explain how to find it and as I laughed at the technical adeptness of his generation and the utter impenetrability of the subject to mine Mr. 8 took many pictures (like this one) and was pleased to know that I'd use them for this post.
His heart was gladdened by the fact that Sasha thought the fabric was soft and inviting. He is truly the kindest human on the planet. He was never annoyed that the beast was in our way. He took it all in stride, as we snipped, fat then skinny then fat then skinny, all the way through the selvage (another new word) and down both of the long sides of the new blanket.
The dog got out of his way as the scissors approached.
It wasn't all work. We had time to test the softness of the "when I'm cold" side, remembering the yoga he learned at pre-school.
There was more careful cutting,
and then there was the tying.
It was hard, and required some encouragement and agreement that the skinny ones were escaping from the knots. One knot was insufficient. I insisted on double knots, to maintain the structural integrity of the blanket. Agreeing, we got to work. It was tedious and annoying and left no time for picture-taking.
And then, we were done!
Mr. 8 wasted no time; he was on his way to put New Blanky on his bed before I could grab the camera and ask him to pose.
The kid has the right attitude. No pictures. Let's use the thing right now.
And so, to the oversized bottom bunk he shares with his big brother because neither of them likes the notion of being alone and neither want to sleep on the top. The first order of business was clearing off the detritus of life which accumulates when you only see your bed on alternate weeks. Without going into too much detail, I can guarantee that there will be more laundry than expected in the machine this week. The clean clothes went into the drawers, the books went onto the shelves, and he got down to business.
Scooby-Doo mesmerized him as I shot photo after photo without any complaints.
If I had my way, that television would be gone.
He's lucky I am not his mom.
This is not an easy bed to make. Especially when Scooby Doo is on the screen.
Unfortunately, he is not graced with expandable arms. Climbing was required.
It took some doing
to get everything just right,
and the process had to be examined every time he moved,
but it got done.
All by himself, he straightened and organized and created a masterpiece.
I hope he had sweet dreams, with the cool side down because it was warm last night.