What does a former preschool teacher give a little three year old princess for Christmas? Something sweet that can be endlessly used in imaginative play, that won't break, that can be washed and tossed around, that won't hurt - that's what.
This knitted strawberry pattern that I found on Ravelry a few years ago, is wonderful when it is knitted up. It is a bit tricky as it is knitted in 8 ply or DK across 3 x size 4 mm double pointed needles, with one extra needle to knit with. It starts off with 6 stitches spread across the 3 needles. It increases in size, changes colour to green for the leaves; is stuffed while it is being knitted and is icorded at the end to form the strawberry stem.
Each strawberry takes me from about 45 minutes to an hour to make, unless your son rings to let you know how long he has off at Christmas so that you can jump online and book his air ticket that you're paying for as part of his Christmas present, and your non-computer owning father rings up to get you to find the lyrics to 'Vincent' by Don Mclean because he's rapt in a recent biography that you gave him on Vincent Van Gogh and he knows that you don't mind looking things up for him online. In these situations it helps to have some familiarity with the pattern. It is a small project and it is forgiving if you increase the odd stitch or so, but it's hard to know what line you are up to and whether you've knitted that row already.
I'll present them in a small colander for the playhouse or a real strawberry punnet or persuade the vet to make a little box, or maybe I'll buy a little basket to keep them in.
They'll go with the knitted cupcakes that I gave her Mum a while back and that the three year old plays with.
So here I sit at my work station that is my 'Retirement Office', writing a novel or three , while checking on my Facebook Friends, reading book blogs, playing Online Scrabble, and ducking in here to write a Post on knitted strawberries. It's that kind of retirement.