Meet Charlie and Dave

As it’s school holiday time here I was able to take my daughter to see Grandma for the day. It’s usual that we take along anything Grandma hasn’t seen for a show and tell session. Amongst the hoard this week was a needlefelted clown fish. Not needlefelted by me but by my daughter who’d taken it from a new book acquisition (the book is mine and she has to let me look at it sometime) and had a go. Now she has needlefelted a little before and two, or was it three?, Christmas’s ago she depicted me and her Dad as mermaids.

Why mermaids, I hear you ask. Well legs are rather difficult when you’re just starting out and can’t accept help from Mum because the present is for her. Aren’t I lucky? I think you have to agree, for someone of tender years they’re pretty darn good. So it was no surprise when after an hours work I was presented with a fish to admire. And I do admire it, I think it’s really lovely.

To return to the story, it was such a good fish it had to be taken to Grandma’s for show and tell and it was thought a good idea if we took some fibres and equipment along with us to show how it was done. Obviously, the next thought was that Grandma, also being a crafty person, could have a go too and that’s when the day started to line up for being very, very funny.

Grandma was lured into a false sense of security by admiring the fish and asking all the right questions,” Where did you get the idea?, How was it done?”, little expecting a day long tutorial in response. My Mum is such a good sport she was easily talked into doing a project together. They looked through the book and chose an animal to make, at which point I thought it only fair that Grandma should make a 2D piece of needlefelt first followed by a ball just to give her the idea of how to use the needle and to use it for shaping. That’s when the laughter started and I heard the first of my daughter’s exclamations that went like this: “No Grandma, not like that, like this, watch”

After only a 2 minutes practice Mum thought it was great fun but obviously wasn’t the most adept person with a needle to begin a 3D animal. Added to which, Mum has a rebellious streak, doesn’t take orders well and generally likes to mess about (now I know where I get it from).

It started well and then dissolved into anarchy very quickly. After doing as instructed Grandma started adding bits, demanding to know what my daughter was doing and why, but not really listening to the answer and generally behaving like a six year old. They were happily bickering and jousting (verbally) away and the needlefelt very quickly became secondary to the main aim of the day, having fun together. I was busy doing a few jobs around the house and kept popping in to view progress or to pretend to break it up when arguments got heated. If my daughter left the room to tell me what was happening, Grandma would pinch her animal and add or alter bits!

This is the animals when we broke for lunch. Can you tell what they are yet? The one on the left made me think of Clangers (70s Tv programme), it just needs a little knitted jumper. I had absolutely no hope of them being finished before we left or of them looking like anything recognisable. Nor can I remember when I enjoyed a day so much and laughed so much. We really did have tears of laughter running down our faces. It was a joy to see them enjoying each others company so much and reminded me of the close bond I had with my Grandma, another very crafty lady. I had to be quite strict about being careful with needles, Mum can be such a minx. Progress was quite rapid once they’d been fed and watered but I still don’t know how because the laughter and arguing abated not one jot. How did they manage it?

I was wrong, the animals were finished and so I think was Grandma. Day long activity, lots of laughter and arguing, I think she needed a lie down when we left. These animals are great but I’m not going to tell you what they are. The first person to correctly identify Charlie and Dave will receive one of my flower brooches as a prize and I’ll reveal their species later.