Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Promised Toy

Here he is!  A sweet bear, naked as a the day is long. The toy that I promised Steve long ago.


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.

Particulars:  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.

28 comments:

jillian said...

Ahhhhh. I don't know which is the sweeter story!

Willow said...

Oh, Simcha should meet our daughter's dog Bailey, half Chou/half border collie. She can herd Mia's friends' children into a corner of the back garden so quickly. The kids love to play 'get away' but they never win!

What a sweet bear! It seems like you are the perfect mate for Steve, helping him learn to play, at home or at the beach.

Renee said...

What a charming bear!

Simcha - a true shepherd, good boy!

Allie said...

So Steve is basically your average under-achiever, eh? Good heavens! What a guy! I have a soft place in my heart for eye surgeons - one performed one of the first corneal transplants on my grandmother, and after 20 years of blindness, she could see. Steve's bear is so, so sweet, what a lovely thing to do.

Simcha has found a job, it sounds like! He is one grand dog!

Anonymous said...

Adorable bear - so much personality. Adorable Simcha. Even more personality.

Kathy

raining sheep said...

Oh.My.Goodness. A family of high achievers including the furry member of the household :) Such a perfect toy for the perfect man. Now, the only thing is to keep Simcha away from from that little bear :)

Sue said...

What a wonderful gift for Steve. He must be very happy with his bear - and it sounds like his childhood was all work and no fun at all which must have been very hard. Simcha looks as though he was enjoying his sheep wrangling!

SissySees said...

Hooray for Simcha!! Steve and the bear look quite handsome together. What does the man do to relax now?

Monika said...

Oh Claudia, that's so sweet of you! I got teary eyed reading this post. The toy turned out wonderful. I like the fuzzy looking clothes, I like everything about it, especially the sentiment behind it.

Simcha made me smile again. He's beautiful, and clever. I hope you all have a great time herding sheep!

Andrea said...

We took Timber herding for the first time in May and it was so exciting to see him actually acting like a dog and doing what his instincts told him! There was a bit of nipping too, but it's so neat to see them doing their dog stuff that they just know how to do.

Anna said...

What a sweet story. My husband went to ND, I went to SMC.

kessainstitches said...

I agree with the first comment: I don't know which story is sweeter! Steve looks pretty satisfied with his toy and Simcha looks like he had a blast!

PS Love the accessories you made for the bear.

Knitting Out Loud said...

Lovely bear! Perfect!
Good dog Simcha. We all want to feel useful.

Tracy said...

Sweetness all around, Claudia! So lovely your toy for Steve and the story behind it all. The bear is such fun--love the colors. Look at Simcha go with those sheep! Very fitting that his new "job" is almost related in a way to your fiber hobby. ;o) What a beautiful boy is your Simcah! Happy Summer Days to you all ((HUGS))

KnittySue said...

Bravo Simcha...woohoo you did a great job sweet boy.
Claudia...love your little bear, he is just the sweetest and Steve looks happy with his new gift. Your are all amazing.

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

I love the bear you made for Steve - what a sweet idea.
Go Simcha! He looks like he was born to herd (which, come to think of it, he probably was!).
Nothing better than two satisfied boys :)

Denise said...

Oh, that bear is so cute, and how sweet of you to knit it for hubby, it must mean so much to him too. and Well done Simcha.

Hilary said...

I'm also going to agree with the first commenter...which story is sweeter?! Steve looks *so* happy with his adorable bear. (And seriously, my jaw dropped reading his list of accomplishments! I don't know if you're "opposites", though, since you're pretty accomplished yourself!) And really, that bear is the cutest thing I've ever seen. Then Simcha! Well done, buddy!

kim said...

What a lovely story. Why do I feel that there will be a post in a few weeks about a certain canine eating the new toy? ;)

Kristyn Knits said...

Everyone deserves a handmade toy filled with love. What a great post celebrating both the men in your life!

Katherine said...

What a sweet story! I love that you made the bear for Steve. The bear is one of the cutest I've seen. I especially love his little round belly!

Good boy Simcha!! He looks born to herding. Macy loves to herd the horses in the rancher's field behind our house. The horses tolerate her growling and nipping and even nuzzle her lovingly. Give Simcha a hug for me!

Lap Dog Knits said...

That is so adorable that you made your buddy and little buddy of his own - I love that!!!
Do you have a tiny pair of glasses you could put on him? After all, his childhood pal would grow up to become an eye doctor!!
Simcha is a talent - no surprise, german shepherds are amazingly smart.
Enjoy the lessons....enjoy your summer - you're right, California has everything a person could ever want, including sheep herding for a dog.

betty said...

Whew! I got exhausted just reading Steve's mini-CV!

very cute bear.

I wonder if my Large Dog would like herding...

Prairie Rose said...

what a darling bear, and I love that none of us are ever truly to old to love a teddy bear!
Oh, Simcha! You have a hidden talent, and I am so happy that you didnt even once try to take a nibble:)
Have a great weekend!

Kristen said...

What nice stories, and all three guys look like great company!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Love the bear for Steve. I'm not surprised that Steve is so accomplished and smart because after all he is with you right :)

Loved reading the Simcha story...sounds like he really has found his calling. Hope your summer is going well!

gMarie said...

What a lovely toy you have made for Steve. I hope he enjoys it and that Simcha doesn't steal it.

As for Simcha learning to herd, what a boy! Looks like he's doing great. g

knittingdragonflies said...

The knitted toy is so cute!
I really enjoyed the "ACTION" photos of Simcha!
Vicki