My family structure is complicated. Take divorces & remarriages and couple them with the Mexican extended family where EVERYONE is an aunt, uncle or cousin and it's just hard to know what to call people. What, for example, should I call my second cousin's stepdaughter? OK, yes, I could call her "my second cousin's stepdaughter" but somehow that sounds like I don't like her. I really really do. She's an awesome little lady! So, for lack of a better term, I'm going to refer to her as my niece. Deal with it.
So my niece turned 10. I knew her birthday was coming up but didn't really know if there would be a party / if I would see her until 2 days beforehand. I find those "tween years" so difficult to shop for. 10-14 year olds are still kind of little kids... but you can't really assume they want a toy. Luckily, I knew she is really into Hello Kitty. I was just going to swing by the Sanrio store and pick some stuff up, but then I realized the one in our mall closed! Boo!
I had seen a Hello Kitty granny square around on a couple craft blogs and really wanted to try it. The problem is the pattern is from an out-of-print Japanese book! I finally found this tutorial, but honestly, I just couldn't quite get the pattern to work out right. Finally, I just stared at the picture and kind of worked something out myself. Since I was free-handing it and had no clue if I'd be able to replicate the square, I decided to just make one and turn it into a little purse.
I used old reliable: Lily's Sugar 'n Cream 100% cotton yarn. I love it because it's heavy & sort of stiff without being bulky. It's great for crafts and is my go-to yarn for washcloths.
I made a panic-run to Joann's for some embroidery floss for the face. In retrospect, I think I should have gone with more yarn in black. The features are just a little small and don't have as much of a cartoony quality. Still, I think she turned out ok. I added a small flower (made of Caron's Spa yarn) and a fun little heart button for the closure. I briefly considered closing it up with a zipper, but I was worried that the repeated pulling would eventually rip the purse apart.
I finished the face while sitting in my car in front of the store. I realized the purse just looked better if there was something in it, so I ran into CostPlus World Market to grab some Hello Kitty candy to put inside.
The purse was a hit. My niece seemed to really appreciate it and so did her mom. Although, she did sort of stress me out by saying "Oh, I knew Lia's present would be something cute and handmade!" Ok... that's sweet except that my people-pleasing self now feels all this pressure to make all their family's presents now! Sheesh. I need to get over it.
Have a happy day!