(A bit like plaster),
But so delicious, goodness sake-
I could have eaten a lentil soup lake.
It's amazing the difference
A bit of sky can make."
-Shel Silverstein, "Sky Seasoning"
I love Shel Silverstein. When I was a kid, one of the few books I remember having was The Giving Tree. I loved it, even though it didn't make sense to me until I was pregnant with my first child. Perhaps it was the influence of the Children's Literature class I took in college. For the most part, kid lit ruined all fairy tails for me. The sad way Bruno Bettelheim sucked perversion and dirty symbolism from classic childhood stories with his Uses of Enchantment(a required read for the class) made me cringe when I read The Brothers Grimm to my children later on, but one thing that class taught me was to read between the lines. Most authors of children's books are adults, and none of them are writing from the child-mind of whimsy and imagination, but from an adult mind, tainted by maturity, life's experiences, and agenda. One of the few whom I appreciate, though, is Shel Silverstein. If ever there was an author who could put himself back into that childhood mindset and combine it with a message, it is him.
Where the Sidewalk Ends is one of my favorite Silverstein books. Since my oldest was tiny, we've been reading it, over and over and over. "Where the Sidewalk Ends" seemed to be far too long a name for my then-toddler, she she nicknamed it, "Silly Poems." Now all of my children who speak call it this and know the book well. My six-year-old reads it himself. My 7-year-old reads it to the baby, explains the poems just as I've done for her, and giggles to him as she shows him the super-size sandwiches, the chairs of human heads, and the python swallowing a human whole. It sounds gruesome, but it's total kid-hilarity.
When I asked my girl what her favorite book on the living room bookshelf was, she picked 'Silly Poems.' It perfectly fits the imagination and light-hearted though sometimes inappropriate nature of my big girl.
When I asked my big girl last night what she wanted me to make for her next, she said, "RAINBOWS! Then I can pretend I'm in the sky rolling around in colors and rainbows. " Sounds about right. Well, that's easy. I just happened to be hoarding a few yards of this rainbow gradient cotton lycra. Not great for winter weight, but when I showed her the finished garment she SQUEALED and said she didn't care, she could wear tank tops or t-shirts under it for the winter, and it'd be perfect for spring(though Mama's a stickler for modesty and will likely make her wear a tank top then, too ;-) ). I chose to do a hoody so my girl could really wrap herself in 'a bit of sky.' I used the Hangout Hoodie pattern from Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop. I made a size 8, but modified it a bit, adding an inch to both the front and back body pieces to ensure it fit loosely given the thin material, increased the cuff around the hood to accommodate the extra width, and added 1" length because I've done this pattern before and found it runs short. The outcome was perfect. My girl adores the finished garment, wants to wear it the rest of the day, but made me promise I'll wash it tomorrow so she can wear it to church on Sunday.
|Annoyed that I didn't realize the inside seam of the hood had caught on her bow for this pic. Boo.|