A little background about Steve and why this toy was important to him. Steve was something of a child protege and because of that he missed out on a typical childhood. He came from a no nonsense family and at an early age he was hard at work around the house mowing the lawn or in his bedroom constructing a ham radio or doing a physics project. By age 12 he was a budding entrepreneur and began the first of his many business ventures, which was selling customized Christmas cards.
After only 2 years of college he began medical school. At the time he graduated from medical school he was one of the youngest doctors licensed in the United States. He went on to become a highly respected and skilled eye surgeon and had patients that traveled from as far as the United Kingdom for treatment. All the while he was furthering his education by obtaining a law degree from the University of Notre Dame, publishing a textbook, and pursing his entrepreneurial interest and adding a string of other awards, degrees, and professional licenses.
But with all that drive and focus on education and developing his profession, he never experienced what should have been the fun and carefree days of childhood. Which is enigmatic to me, because I had a very different childhood. Mine was filled with fun and endless Summer days of camping, tennis, sunbathing, picnics and getting lost in story books without a worry or thought given to the future. I guess opposites really do attract.
Fortunately it's never too late to have fun, or a stuffed toy of your own. At least that's what I think.
Sweet Bear by Twins; this is a well written pattern and easy to follow but I did modify it for a heavier gauge yarn and larger needles to make a bigger toy (pattern instructions are for a 9" bear and Steve's is 15"). I also modified the pattern by making my own sweater and scarf set. I wanted this toy to be exactly right so I had Steve choose everyting from the pattern to the yarn and finishing buttons. Yarn: Lush (50% angora / 50% wool) by Classic Elite Yarns - 2 skeins sky blue and 1 skein root beer; the white yarn is angora left over from my Netsuke Wrap; US 6 needles. The pattern calls for all pieces to be knit flat and seamed together, which is not my preference, but wasn't too bad. The scarf I based on the free pattern by Jared Flood (Noro striped scarf) and the cardigan I made up as I went along. The hat is only slightly modified to be a bit slouchier (Ravelry Link).
The MisAdventures of Simcha
The other man in my life, Simcha, is also filled with strong drives. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we have possibly found him a vocation. Ta da..... sheep herding. Bet you didn't know there was a need for sheep herding in Southern California. Think again, we have something here for everybody. So off we went to Drummond Ranch (Malibu location) for Simcha to be evaluated for his herding instinct.
Simcha was eager to begin. But Steve was concerned that we would be eating Shishkabobs for dinner after paying for the sheep. What an absurd worry.
His concern was obviously misplaced as all Simcha did was gather the sheep together in the middle of the ring, as he was supposed to do (albeit with a few nips here and there).
We were as proud as punch. I'd like to quote from his evaluation "Simcha had a lot of enthusiasm and drive. He went right to work exploring his instincts. He brought his sheep into a group and would regroup them. He read his livestock well - all instinctually. Nice dog. He was showing his ability to think well with the sheep."
All that chasing sheep is hot work and afterward he jumped into a tub of cold water. He had a blast and so I think we'll sign him up for a few lessons.
Until next time, be well and love well and it's Summertime so remember to go outside and have fun.