Things to be happy about

  • Winston is happy and healthy and home.
  • Grady and I are still nursing
  • I have a home that I can always return to, no strings attached.
  • I finally got to the stripey part of this dress I’m knitting.
  • It’s still warm enough that I only have to put a space heater in Grady’s room, avoiding the smelly dank uncontrollable gas heater.
  • Grady says “mama.”
  • When Grady sees something she thinks is amazing, her eyes open wide and she whispers, “Pow.”
  • I’m getting paid to write.

10 cool things for babies

DIY tutu! Grady needs one.

Shirred dress from a men’s shirt. So cute.

I love this nursery wall hanging.

Ah! Too many cute things!

This is too adorable, and it’s a free pattern – not just a tutorial. But “Go To” should be hyphenated.

Not too shabby. Unfortunately we have a zillion baby blankets. But this would be pretty cute as a lap blanket, or even adult-sized quilt.

DIY learning!

This is a soup for babies that I really need to make for Grady someday. Really really really.

Cute cute cute cute cute. Pattern from Sew, Mama, Sew.

Solar dress pattern. I love the simplicity of it – it could handle some serious prints without being out of control.

As promised


I am embroidering this thing. Slowly, as I’m seldom in a mood devoid-of-hate-towards-it-enough to work on it.

She is so perfect. And she looks absolutely nothing like me.


Last month I was driving to school, and this mascot for some local sports team was riding a motorcycle. No big deal.

Little-little (one of her many nicknames) in the newsroom.

And at home. She’s working on her dissertation, so she needs to chew on a lot of pencils. Also, I love that dress.

Kitty kitty kitty. Sometimes Grady almost says “meow;” I’m pretty sure it will be her first word. Except she says it like Winston, and Winston’s meow is more of a nasal “mrrrrrrrrrrrow.”

Seriously. This kid.

Yum, pants! Don’t worry – they’re clean. Also, my apartment is a mess.

Speaking of pants, Grady tries to put almost everything she picks up on her head. And sometimes she succeeds. Too lazy to change the orientation of these shots.

Reading, while wearing a knitted dress! She makes me so happy. Caitlin knitted this dress for Grady for her birthday – and we love it. Caitlin, I’ll get around to editing and sending these pictures to you soon.

How nighttime works: A symphony of tortuosity

  • Things I like about my phone: That it saves all text messages, meaning that I can indulge in being a crazy person and over-analyze conversations from over a year ago. That it is so compatible with all things google. That the sd card is in fact functional. And so much more.
  • I hate this title, mainly because I assume that you assume I spelled the last word incorrectly. Tortuous = twisty/too long/convoluted. Torturous: painful. Tortulous: swelled at intervals like thick-n-thin yarn. Also, I hate it because it is lazy, indulgent, and poorly written.
  • I had this sandwich, and it just didn’t work out with the sandwich. So now I have no sandwiches, and I want a sandwich really bad – and until I have a new sandwich, the first sandwich will just have to deal with me hating it. Because it is the lost sandwich that should be in my belly right now. And I don’t have a sandwich because I don’t have that sandwich. And if I were reasonable, I’d be sad instead of angry about not having a sandwich; but I have a busy life and anger is more productive than sadness.
  • (Usually I do these things with many pens in one journal, because I felt like I was being to open on the internet. But what the heck, today’s a holiday. That’s right, it’s United Nations Day! The day we give our journals a break and over-share in public forums.)
  • Radiohead made Grady fall asleep tonight.
  • I’ve compulsively embroidered this exact phrase at least six times now:

  • I posted my last post because last night I was so filled with bitterness that I couldn’t sleep, because I couldn’t exist within my body. No room for me and all the bitterness. I used to be really wary of bitterness, and then I got busy and forgot to defend myself against it at every second.
  • I am knitting things. I am planning blog posts about the knitting. Next time I go to a thrift store, I will blog about it.
  • I’m trying to imagine what it would be like if someone was in this room with me right now. My imagination is usually dangerously adept at dreaming things up, but I can’t imagine this.
  • This album is really doing it for me. Fun fact: this artist was a Mormon, then she wasn’t, and then she was Tom Waits‘ nanny. She has a beautiful accent and makes beautiful music. If I weren’t so awful at describing music (e.g.: I recently submitted the phrase “like a wild boar attacking classic American blues” to be published), I’d try and tell you more about how great she is. Also, Blitzen Trapper.
  • I keep on seeing things that do not exist out of the corner of my eye. By “things” I mean bugs, rodents, and Irishmen. I blame it on my out-of-date prescription and messy glasses.
  • Speaking of seeing imaginary things, sometimes I accidentally visualize the motivations, attachments, histories, etc. of human beings as strings, tied from one head to another. And it scares the hell out of me. Makes me want to lock the door and never leave. Because you take one step out the door without accidentally tripping on/cutting/tangling/adopting someone else’s strings.
  • Why is spell check saying that “else’s” is not a word? How am I supposed to speak about imaginary people’s possessions? Words are hard.
  • I think that I’m already giving up on being, you know, a passionate human being who is willing to fight for what her daughter deserves. Sometimes I don’t know how to accomplish this without often looking like an odious bitch, which is exhausting to accept.
  • Example of how the time gets spent: (self 1 in italics, self 2 in plain text) I hate that we create/fall into some new disaster almost every single day. So do I. It is a waste of time. Seriously, it makes us one of those silly girls. We are one haircut away from being just like them. Wait a second. Don’t we believe that conflict can be good? Stir the pot? Avoid stagnation? Solve problems? Be honest no matter what? Oh right! So it’s a good thing.
  • Repeat ad infinitum, the details of the argument can be replaced with basically any other conflict.
  • Wait a second, I should write about things that are, you know, part of reality. Like, for example, how exhaustingly, self-hatingly, wonderfully difficult it is to be a parent. I’m not even all that great of a parent, and it’s still really hard. And, of course, absolutely wonderful. I think much of the difficulty is in being a parent and an individual human being at the same time. I am terrified by the temptation to sacrifice my entire identity to her.
  • (I know this post is long – at this point I’m letting it be long enough that you won’t want to comment on it, or even read the whole thing.)
  • I still don’t know whether to defend myself or not. I know that I don’t need to, that I really haven’t done anything that I regret, but I still want to. I don’t know which option is more honest.
  • I can’t imagine anything realistic about my future.
  • And now I will write a post with pictures, as an apology.

 

10 cool homey things

DIY Universal knife block. Brilliant. I’ve always hated knife blocks because they only fit the knives they come with, and always look so generic. This one is beautiful.

Hydroponic herb garden. Ug. I’m so burned out on gardening right now. But I saved this link in the spring, and I’m sure back then it was thrilling.

Ikea hack-ed kitty litter locker. Winston would abhor this. We are currently slowly working on getting him to use the toilet. I’ll let you know if that happens.

Pretty painted pots! This is a great idea, but I’m not much of a pot-user. (Ha! That wasn’t even planned.) Maybe if I get my act together someday.

I’m just not interested in actually doing this, but it looks great in this room. And it’s made of yarn!

I’m planning on making a bunch of these DIY raised garden beds for the back lot next year, and tarp-ing off the rest of the ground. Strangle out that purslane.

Punched-tin recycled aluminum can frame. Awesome. I think this would look so good as an embroidery frame.

Recycled coffee-can yarn storage. I want to do this sooooooo bad, but I don’t make my own coffee (because I’m lame) and I never use other cans like these. I asked around among my formula-using friends to let me use their old formula cans, but that didn’t pan out. If you’re reading this and you have saved coffee or formula cans you’d like to give me, I’d be a happy happy lady. I think it’d even be cool with different sized cans.

I love this room, and I love that crocheted garland.

Oh man. So gorgeous.

Knitting book review: Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders

I usually don’t like to rag on other knitters, because I love every knitter there is. But I’m kind of pissed about this book.

I love the “One-Skein Wonders” books. Granted, each book comes with some truly heinous patterns, but usually they pass my test; meaning that in a perfect world I’d knit over half of the patterns. But their latest installment is a huge disappointment.

I pre-ordered the book in April and it just came today, so I haven’t knit anything yet; this isn’t a review of the written patterns, just of the pictures, really. But I’ve been stocking up on sock yarn since I bought it, anticipating it’s glorious arrival. Alas, I have been let down.

But here’s how the patterns are panning out for me:

  • Patterns I can tolerate: 20
  • Patterns I despise: 54
  • Patterns I like: 23
  • Patterns that I will likely make: 4

Not cool. Usually with the books I buy, I can tolerate about 20% of the patterns, despise 5%, like 50%, and will end up making 25%. I’m so mad at this book for sucking, when it could be so awesome. Using sock yarn for non-sock projects is so much fun. Blerg.

10 cool random things

Whoops, I missed a few weeks. Sorry about that. Here’s a late post to make up for it. Coming Thursday, 10 cool homey things.

WATERMELON DEATH STAR. This makes me feel almost like I could really fall in love with someone someday.

From Cat High. I adooooore this one – a kitteh feminist! “The Feline Eunuch!” Love love love. I just asked Winston if he was a feminist and he flipped me off.

Make an old book into a journal!

Tie-dye your own tights! I want to make two matching pair of tie-dyed tights for Grady and myself. It would be amazing.

Lee Meredith dyed this skein of yarn in a crock pot, and you can too. Seriously. I keep on almost buying crock pots at thrift stores, and then I realize that for the price of a crock pot I can buy a pair of pants for Grady. Let’s talk about the ridiculous prices of baby clothes sometime.

You can also make a planner out of an old book.

Real-life Pacman!

This is a weird-looking cookie recipe that also includes this handy pattern for a gift box.

Real Peanuts. Teeheehee.

How to ply yarn using a drop spindle. A dear writer of mine at the UVU Review gave me a hand-made drop spindle recently, and I haven’t yet dared make anything with it. As soon as I buy roving, I know I’ll be obsessed with it.

Grady’s antics update

Photo by Kaitlyn Waters, Grady's aunt.

At dinner tonight, I was reading a book to Grady that aims to teach children what noises various animals make. Each page has a picture of an animal and lists the animal’s name and the noise they make.

We turned to a page with a brightly-colored frog on one side, and a vaguely Winston-ish kitten on the other. This is always Grady’s favorite part of the extremely abstract plot of the book; mostly because of the kitten.

After reading this book to her about a hundred times, it is necessary to my sanity to improvise additions to the plot. If I have to say only “Toad, burrpp; bee, buzzzzzzzzzzzz; alligator, snap snap; etc” one more time I may lose my already-tenuous grasp on the English language.

(For example, I had to look up “tenuous” just now after writing that sentence, to make sure it means what I think it means.)

Anyway, tonight’s improvisation was about the dangers of the treefrog. Grady is unabashedly orally fixated, and I figured now is as good as any time to teach her about licking brightly-colored animals and their brightly-colored poisonous excretions.

“Don’t ever lick a frog like that, Grady,” I said. “You can lick neutrally-colored animals, but never those with red or orange or yellow on them. That’s science’s way of telling us that an animal is poisonous.”

Grady looked at the frog for a moment, pointing at it with her overused left pointer finger. And then she licked the picture of the cat.

I KID YOU NOT.