Christine here. This past Friday I went to what was probably my first baby shower in… 15 years? Or more? Having been rather late to the baby adventures myself, most of my girlfriends had kids ages before me. Maybe there was a shower for my sister when she had my nephew about 13 years ago (sorry, Valerie, I can’t remember).
My most recent job (which, given the salary, I thought of more as a volunteer work than anything) was as a secretary for the local borough. My boss was a young woman whom I both liked very much and yet… I didn’t really have the personal maturity to accept orders from her. After all, she was young enough to be my daughter, and I had to advise her on work basics (Council is never going to listen to you until you make yourself look older: glasses, low heels, slim skirt, pearls, and a hair cut or at least pull your hair back, and modest make up). She was terribly competent: a Master’s degree in Government from Pitt, and a father who’s a Borough Manager in a nearby larger and more-moneyed borough to tap for advice.
Once Julie dropped the college student clothing and wore glasses and heels, she really did get some more respect and authority, but I just wasn’t that good about accepting it from her. I realized it was me, mostly, and not her… but that didn’t make it any easier to put up with, so because of that and a host of other reasons, I left the job after 3 years (and the loss made no appreciable effect on our standard of living, which tells you why it just wasn’t worth it.) Since then we’ve kept in loose contact: I drop in to harass the code enforcement manager about my deadbeat neighbors with 3-foot tall weeds and horribly peeling paint, and I always stop in to see how Julie’s doing.
I was absolutely delighted when I ran into the current secretary while we were both out walking our dogs, and she invited me to Julie’s baby shower. I realized that I just wouldn’t have enough time to make a rug as a present, and none of my former rugs rolled up and stashed in a corner were sufficiently baby-looking. So I got to go to Babies R Us for the first time in many years, and had way too much fun picking out baby boy clothing.
The shower was a lot of fun, but since then, I’ve been thinking, if I’d had enough time… what would a braided rug for a baby shower look like?
The “challenge” in 2015 was “Just for Kids.” There were wonderful rugs there, with all sorts of game-themed ideas… but not too many of them were really specifically for babies: they were more for older kids. The only real “baby” oriented ones were: Dianne Tobias’ rattle, which was hooked and braided; and the baby ball of hooked pentagons connected by braiding, which Kris McDermet made. These braided items weren’t rugs, though, and I’ve been thinking about a RUG for a baby. Some of the other rugs from the 2015 Challenge were more “baby” oriented: Eileen Colligan’s bear rug, Deb Lynch’s Mickey Mouse rug, and Pam Landry’s round rug of crayon colors.
But still, not exactly what I have in mind for a baby rug. I guess I was affected too keenly by all the pink and pale blue in the Babies R Us store. I googled, “Braided rug for baby” and got about a million images of those t-shirt cotton rugs in pastels stitched together with machine zigzag stitching. Cute, but I like working with wool. There also were a whole lot of crocheted rugs that came up: again, cute, but not what I was looking for (I find it very annoying that crochet rugs are being “tagged” as braided rugs: I love to crochet, but the technique is DIFFERENT from braiding and should not be lumped in there).
So, I’ve decided – for some hopeful date in the future… or at least the next baby shower – to make baby boy rug and baby girl rugs. I’ll work with heavily felted wool to make thick, soft, plush braids – no thin or tweaky wool, and a preference for fuzziness. Although a round would be easy, I always have to have something a little extra complicated to keep my interest.
The baby girl rug is easy: a big pink flower with a light yellow center, and 5 short spokes to make the rounded petals. The baby boy’s rug… for some reason I’m attracted to the spiral square pattern, maybe 6 squares lined up in a 2X3 grid, with a million blue, turquoise, and light green scraps used up, something like this:
I’ve gotten started on the spiral square one, which is a fun pattern IF you are comfortable with counting loops and IF you are perfect about doing so. I’m using up all of my turquoise and baby blue and light green scraps, which is fun. I’ll keep you posted.
Anyone else have any braided rugs for babies that they’ve made?