Crocheting for the Dread Pirate Grasshopper

I’ve made two crocheted bats and six or seven crocheted wings. Below is my second bat and the most recent two wings:

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I’d previously made my first one for the Striderling. On a recent visit, I listed the few things I can crochet for the Dread Pirate Grasshopper, and he chose another bat. (Pattern here)

When I presented the first attempt to the DPG, one wing was much shorter than the other. What happened is I accidentally switched crochet hooks because I finished one wing before lunch, and then did the one after lunch and didn’t realize it until I was nearly done and compared the two.

Now, the DPG can be a bit OCD and I need to stress here that in my opinion, it’s not that he was ungrateful, it’s that he was genuinely *distressed* that one wing was significantly shorter than the other, because that meant his bat could only fly in circles and not really get off the ground and do what bats need to do so it would die. He was as polite about it as he could be given the circumstances, but I could see he was really not going to be able to play happily with this thing as it was. Also, I had not given it eyes, so it was blind. “Blind as a bat,” he said, “But the ears and feet are good.” (He’s seven. How diplomatic were you at 7?)

SO told him I would fix it for him, and I crocheted another wing. I wasn’t happy with it, either, so I surely could not present it to the OCD king as an improvement.

I ended up removing both the original wings, discarding the ‘improved’ version and another failed attempt, finally succeeding when I just made two new ones, back to back. I discovered, btw, that I like the results better when I make all the wing stitches using the front loop only, and sometimes skipping an extra stitch in the wing based on eyeballing it. The skipped stitch will fall in line in a row beneath the other skipped stitch(es).

I also sewed on the eyes, which remains my least favourite part. I had shown the DPG a picture of his cousin’s bat and told him that I am really not very good at eyes. “I can’t get them right,” I said. “No matter what I do, whenever I make the eyes they seem” and I hesitated, searching for the word I wanted to finish my description.

brown-bat-brown-bat“Creepy” said the DPG, helpfully. “They are creepy. But that’s okay, because bats are kind of supposed to be creepy, Grandma.”

Have you ever noticed that the harder a small child tries to console you over something you are stupid or inept at, the more innocently insulting they are? It’s a marvelous talent, really.  I wish I could master that level of passive aggressive insult masked as comfort.

So I was still sewing eyes and things when he went to bed, and had only attached one of the wings.  Without realizing it,  I  accidentally showed him one of the discarded shorter wings instead of the new longer one I was planning to use. His lip quivered. “It’s okay,” he said. “If it could just be a little bit longer.” I told him I’d made four wings, and I did not think I wanted to make another one, and he sighed and went to bed, saying  thank-you for trying or something like that under his breath in that discouraged, ‘you’ve disappointed me again but I shall try to bear up manfully’ tone of voice only a sincere 7 y.o. DPG can really master.

I sighed heavily, discouraged by failures as a Grandmother, a crafter, and a human being.  I thought about trying yet one more pair of wings, but then I looked at what I had and realized I had shown him the wrong wing, in fact, I had shown him the too short wing I had previously promised to replace.

I did have one already done which was longer, as he had requested. I quickly sewed it on and brought the completed project to him (he was still being tucked in).   With much angst,  fear and trepidation I presented my offering to the OCD King.

crocheted-bat-smile
He looked at, took it in his hands, stretched out the wings, and said with immense relief and satisfaction, “It’s perfect!” He made a little cave in his blankets for the bat to sleep in, and I breathed my own sight of relief, going a little weak at the knees over the honor of being told by this child that the work of my hands was perfect (especially because it most assuredly is not).
I feel prouder of this moment than of acing the SAT test. I mean, I assume this is how I would feel if I aced the SAT. It’s better than a purple ribbon at the fair, too.

Whew. I am not sure how to top this, or if I ever want to.

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