Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Congrats on not keeling over yet, Dad!

My father turns 70 today. He's been awesome for at least 36 of those years (I can't vouch for the ones before I showed up, although based on the photographic evidence, he was pretty cool back then, too).

In no particular order, here are 70 things my father has made over the years - some he made just for me, some he made just for the fun of it and I've absconded with them when he wasn't looking, and many I'm sure he's forgotten about completely:

  1. A toy shelf with my portrait painted on the back in white enamel
  2. Another bookshelf for my toy room
  3. Bookshelves for my bedroom
  4. Loft for my dorm in college
  5. CD cabinet
  6. Art supply cabinet
  7. Shelf for my stereo
  8. Sawhorses to use at our first house
  9. "That's one" plaque to remind me of a traffic accident
  10. Name plaque that declares me to be a boatbuilder
  11. Head sculpted from clay he dug from the beach near our old house
  12. Yard sale signs
  13. Silk-screened t-shirts for the entire low brass section in my high school band
  14. Garden tote
  15. Toolbox
  16. Plant labels for garden
  17. Golfer crossing sign for Jason
  18. Wooden toy truck
  19. Dollhouse
  20. Dollhouse furniture
  21. Wooden ladder to help me climb trees at our old house
  22. Splinter the Wonder Horse
  23. Stilts
  24. Rope swing with wooden seat
  25. Tire swing
  26. Bench to sit on in my hiding spot behind the lilac bushes at the old house
  27. Swing set at the old house
  28. Basketball hoop
  29. Balance beam
  30. Manger for the hideous salt dough nativity scene I made in elementary school
  31. For Liza: Toy fairy house with furniture
  32. For Liza: Balance beam
  33. For Liza: Rocking balance board
  34. Ultralight kayak
  35. Yarn swift
  36. Partridge carving
  37. Beaver carving
  38. Whale carving
  39. Fox carving
  40. Goose carving
  41. Wooden spoons
  42. Wooden butter spreaders
  43. PPG Man carving
  44. Santa with a Cat carving
  45. Santa with a Goose carving
  46. Pumpkinhead Man carving
  47. Red Christmas sleigh
  48. Reindeer carving
  49. Cardinal carving
  50. Balancing bird carving
  51. Big Ralph carving
  52. Medium Ralph carving
  53. Spirit of St. Louis Christmas ornament
  54. Wright Brothers airplane Christmas ornament
  55. Santa face Christmas ornament
  56. Peeking mouse carving
  57. Hand carving to hold yarn
  58. Scarf pins
  59. Name sign for my office with a carved wooden plane on the top
  60. Santa gargoyle carving
  61. S-W Man carving
  62. Goat carving
  63. Penguin carving
  64. Snowman face Christmas ornament
  65. Ball in cage on a chain carving
  66. Skunk carving
  67. Winnie-the-Pooh carving
  68. Caroling mouse carving
  69. Angel with trumpet carving
  70. Carved wooden flour scoop

Since he's made me all these things over the years, I thought it was only fair that I make him something impressive for his birthday. Behold, the Liberty Blanket:

That sucker used up 13 skeins of yarn (that's more than 1.5 miles), is about 7 feet long, weighs a ton, and is guaranteed to keep you warm in sub-zero temperatures. More importantly, the chart for the pattern was 70 rows long (get it? 70th birthday, 70-row chart? Yes, I'm geeky like that), and I worked on the blanket intermittently from October 2008 until the end of January 2010. The size of the project translates out to me knitting on it for 2 hours every night for more than 70 total nights at the top speed I managed once I was good at the colorwork ... but in real life it took much longer than that because I was really, really slow at the beginning. It was my first serious colorwork project, my first steek, my first hemmed project, my first full-sized knit afghan. And it was all worth it, because he seemed to really like it, and he used it twice while I was there (and found an old pillowcase to keep it in so their cats don't shred it right away).

Happy birthday, dad. Eat some cake, then go finish up that ginormous dragon head so I can add it as #71 to the list for next year, okay?

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