Laura - my lovely daughter - the one who still at 30+ calls Mom when she needs a costume - is one of the new generation of knitters. You've seen them - the anti-craft, slightly sinister, subversive knitters who take traditional skills like knitting and crochet and use them to create their own amazing things. It's part green-recycle-reuse-repurpose and partly a way to make something cool out of an old-fashioned technique.
This is great, because in the process, the skills of knitting, crocheting, sewing, embroidery, and more are reviving, being passed on to more generations and being transformed in the process.
My daughter is an intuitive knitter - she never uses a pattern but comes up with her own creative designs. (Along the way she's also learning. Her first knitted animal - an orange cat for her niece, Choe, was stuffed with stray pieces of yarn - so this cat literally left yarn "hair-balls" around the house. Now she makes a neat little muslin pillow stuffed with fiberfill for each padded shape.
Her current menagerie (available at Eclectics Gallery in Kansas City) includes a dragon, a horse, a duck and a cat....each with a coordinating hat.
Each is unique - the first duck was made for niece Anastasia, and included a hat that looked just like the back end of a duck....it was awesome.
However, Anastasia was not thrilled about everyone laughing at her "duck butt" hat and she wouldn't wear it.
The elephant hat gives the wearer matching ears...
I love her creations....nearly as much as the Laura and Aaron dolls she made for her nieces. (Since they live nearly 2000 miles away and rarely see each other, the girls have soft fabric character dolls dressed and coifed like Laura and Aaron. They come to visit for special occasions, like when Grandma comes to visit.
More about them another day....