I'm particularly close with one group of girls, and we were all trying to build our families in a variety of ways. One of the gals went to the Atlanta Zoo and posted what she learned about pandas. Apparently they have a very narrow window each year to get pregnant, but have still managed to keep the species going, which was an inspiration for my friend. She told all of us the story, and within a week or so a group of gals found out they were pregnant. We had our mascot.
As J and I went through the adoption process, I often thought about the pandas. I found a seller on Etsy who made the cutest stuffed animals, and I asked her to make me a panda. She sent me a picture of the cutest stuffed panda you ever saw, and I told her the story of my girls and our mascot. In response, she sent me a bonus "baby panda." A week later we were matched with S. The baby panda is now one of S's favorite soft toys.
Fast forward to last week, when I'm at my knitting circle. Now, most of us knit, but some of us also do crafts, meaning we knit or crochet cute things like animals and food (you've seen my crocheted fruit already). The yarn store owner had a new craft book, and it had a panda pattern. Not just any panda pattern, but one that came with a cape. A Super Panda. I had to make it.
Oh, I am in love. It's not my best work, and symmetry has never been my strong suit, but it was a blast to make.
The book also has some other cute patterns, incuding a sheep in a wool sweater, a duck in galoshes, and another little animal I'm going to make for my niece. But the panda will always be my favorite.