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The Sasquatch Project

Updated: Sep 1, 2019

Owyn and wife wearing yeti winter hats and yeti sweaters.
Owyn and Stephanie Richen being yetis at the family tree farm the Christmas before the baby was born.

“Mom,” my youngest son, Owyn, says from his end of the phone. “Can you make a Sasquatch onesie?”

This is the son whose wife, Stephanie, is expecting in about three months. This is the son who at eight years old sewed a set of colorful flames for the front of our fireplace. (The fireplace had to be closed until the chimney got repaired. He missed watching the fire.). This is the son who calls his wife “Mizz Yeti”. This is the son who went to art school.

“What’s a onesie?” I ask.

“It’s this piece of baby clothes that’s all one piece.”

“Aha,” I say. “When do you want to go shopping with me?” (Not doing this craziness by myself when I can get Mr. Artist Son roped into sewing time together.)

So, the next Saturday Owyn, Stephanie and I end up at Fabric Depot. It turns out we arrive on the last Saturday in the life of Portland, Oregon’s most famous fabric store, so we are part of a mob. We soon depart the mob and its long lines. We drive out to Milwaukee, Oregon’s also famous Mill End Store where we buy a half yard of five kinds of fake fur.

Five half yards for a onsie? you wonder. This can be explained by understanding the mind of youngest son, Artist, Yeti -Sasquatch lover, and imaginative fellow. By the time we have looked over patterns and furry fabric, he has also decided that the onsie should actually be a furry sleeping bag with hood and large Sasquatchy ears.

At the dining table, Owyn is cutting out parts. there is a mess of patterns and pins all over the table.
Owyn at the dining table cutting out faces for his sasquatches.

Plus, he wants to make a mobile of Yetis, Sasquatches and eventually, yes, one unicorn.

And any fabric not already dedicated to these projects will become a crazy quilt of fur for a child’s big-girl bed.

Son, Owyn, picks out the patterns for the onesie-cum-sleeping-bag, and for the monkey-face dolls who will become yetis. I pick out the giraffe pattern that will become the unicorn.

So, now, we plan to dedicate several Saturdays spaced out over the next year or so. And this is fine with me. My kids are fun to spend time with, and now that they are adults, I can send them home at afternoon’s end when I need to write (or nap, depending on the project.)

Owyn down next to the piano with a yeti and a sasquatch doll.
Three woodland creatures.

Priority becomes the mobile. Here is a photo of the first two parts. The yeti is a snow version of a sasquatch. Body by Mom using the reliable Singer Featherweight. Faces by Son, using scissors, needle and thread. For face fabric, we have raided my quilting fabric (none of which was fake fur.)

Son admits halfway through the first face that he really likes to make things, but he believes his least favorite medium is hand sewing. That’s mainly because the eye of the needle is hard to see and get thread into.

This means he is well on his way to cheater glasses – those reading glasses that he’s been teasing me about for four or five years. This project has many benefits for Mom.

White unicorn with rainbow ears, tail and horn,
The giraffe pattern became a unicorn. Owyn created the rainbow tail and horn. The unicorn is another woodland animal we rarely get to see.

And here is the unicorn. Again body by Mom and Featherweight, tail and horn by son. Face, his favorite googly eyes.

Now, the question is how to hang these furry faces above the crib.

It turns out that he has already bought a clamp-on hanger, and I have a pattern to cover the mobile frame, thank you to Nancy Fierlinger and her book Vintage Knits for Modern Babies. Of course, her knitted pattern features darling pastel bunnies hung from a hoop that is covered in a lovely knitted rose color.

Ours, however, is knitted in black, to go with the colors in the fur.

Owyn holding Baby Richen.
Baby Richen at a day old.

All through this project, which we’ve enjoyed for four Saturday afternoons, I have wondered about poor baby. She is now born and healthy, and looks to have lovely red-gold hair like her mama. She likes to stare at her mama’s face and at ceiling lights and at the three sizes of dog that are her siblings.

Last weekend, she stared a lot at my shirt print of dinky skiers. The print is so small that each ski looks like a long foot on some hunched over animal.

I told her they were Jackalopes. She smiled and stared some more.

But how will she take to a mobile of furry friends hanging over her every dream?

Is one unicorn enough to overcome meeting Four Woodland Ghosts at such an early age?

black mobile hanger, four yeti and sasquatch dolls surround the unicorn.
Mobile hanging in garden before going to its new home above the crib.

How long before she can join us in these nutty, art projects?

And do we know a good psychiatrist who can help a child with such a dad and grandmother?

P.S. I'll show you the Sasquatch sleeping bag once it has ears and paws. the baby is not going to need that thing until next winter.

1 Comment

She will survive her crazy parents, because their crazy will seem normal to her! Lucky baby to have such love and creativity around her.

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