My favorite toy growing up was a stuffed purple cow--it was the sixties, so Cowie was a truly vibrant shade of purple. I loved that cow. Heard of the Velveteen Rabbit? Well, this guy was The Velveteen Cowie. He got so tattered that my mom felt it was time for Cowie to move on. It got to be like a game: I'd go to school, leaving Cowie on my bed where he belonged. My mom would come into my room to clean up, take Mr. Cow into the garage, and put him into the box where we put our charity donations. I would come home from school, glance into my room, see that Cowie was missing, and then go out to the garage on a rescue mission.
I won, year after year. Cowie is still with me, in fact. He's in the basement of my house, giggling as we speak, eluding all my efforts to locate him for his big photo op--but he's there.
I had a lot of toys growing up--glass animals and plastic dolls and wooden building blocks and all sorts of playthings in-between. The ones whose memories I cherish, the ones I fought to keep, tattered ears and lost eyes notwithstanding, were the ones I referred to as Stuffies--the toys I could cuddle and carry about, the toys I could dress up and talk to and take to sleep with me at night.
So when I saw a report on TV last week about ways to console your kids when you have to take away a lead-tainted plastic toy, I thought of Cowie, and all the Stuffies who stuck with me through thick and thin, when plastic toys broke, and metal toys bent, and building blocks went missing.
If you've got a youngun, and you're faced with the task of taking away a toy that might be dangerous for them, may I suggest a swap? Trade them the plastic for a Stuffie, something with eyes and a nose and a personality and a heart. Knit them a bear, or a kitty, or a bunny; crochet them a lamb. Make a game out of discovering the new Stuffie's name, help your child choose a ribbon for their neck and a blankie to wrap their new friend in at night.
Knit a toy for a child, and maybe someday they'll be all grownup like me, digging through their basement searching for the one denizen of Toyland who really mattered to them their whole life long.
My favorite comment from last Friday's post was this one from Julie:
Holy. Moly. I've been using my bra band size this entire freaking time. No wonder my sweaters are always too big. I thought it was my gauge. *smacking forehead*
Judging from the state of my email, Julie, you certainly are not alone. I'll be continuing our series on sizing over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, if you have not started your own Beautiful You notebook, take a look at our How To Measure Yourself page and join the measuring party! I'll be adding more tutorials on other critical measurements, as well as instructions on how to decipher schematics and choose the best pattern size--and the best fit--for you.
Later this week: I'm wandering around the office with the 1824 Blouson from the Summer 2007 issue of Knits, sweet-talking folks into trying it on and letting me take their picture. Stay tuned!
Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.
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