Friday, November 20, 2009

Star Crossed

While the summer here has been just too blasted hot to knit more than dozens of cotton washcloths, the fall has become rather chilly. I suspect the humidity, which still resides firmly between 80 and 100% regardless of temperature.

On my way home from Utah I started the Star Crossed Slouch, with the ever-lovable and available Paton's Classic Wool in Moss Heather. Monkey was kind enough to let me work on by sleeping through much of the flight (hurray for the weighted blanket!)

I finished it just a few days later and despite Lawyerguy's comments re: patchouli, I think it is great. More French, or Beatnik, than Hippy. Monkey just thinks it looks smashing on him, and I can't disagree. Do boys wear slouchy hats?

Monday, November 09, 2009


Two tiny pairs of socks, each barely the length of my thumb. Knit on a heartbreaking emergency trip back to Utah. How can such a tiny loss hurt so much? I'll see you in the next life little guy; for now all my prayers are for your momma and daddy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weighted blanket

Hurray! I just finished a weighted blanket for Monkey, and then woke him up so it could help him fall asleep. Yep, this is the magic that is parenting. I've wanted to make him one for a long time, but couldn't think of what to fill it with. Dried beans or rice couldn't be washed, an important quality for us. Pennies or washers seemed prone to oxidization and banging the heck out of my washer. Then Craft Nectar mentioned using Poly Pellets, tiny polypropylene balls for filling stuffed animals. Genius. It's very easy, once you actually get all your stuff together. I was very picky about fabric and looked all over the place before finding this great Alexander Henry robot print and some nameless fabric with tools. It is so nice to finally get this done.
I sewed channels into a giant fabric pocket, sewn together on three sides. I then measured out 23 grams in nine cups and poured it into each channel. I used three bags of pellets for a six pound blanket.

Sew across the top of the pellets, dividing your pocket into little squares, and repeat as necessary. I propped my machine up at an angle to keep the pellets away from the needle. It is cumbersome at first, but actually gets a little easier as less fabric is mashed under the arm.
So soothing.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I'm hanging in there. Knitting helps.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I've been meaning to do this for Monkey since before school started. Freezer paper stencils can be remarkably detailed.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I won't lie, I am a bit lonely here in Alabama. I like it here, it is so beautiful and green and people are so friendly that as an ex-westerner it constantly surprises me. But I haven't made any friends. My neighbors all work, and I miss living on base. Church has somehow become nearly intolerable for Monkey, and by the end of the first meeting he is so agitated I would gladly chew through my own leg to get out of there. Who knows what the problem is, the lights? the upholstery? the sound of that many people breathing? Autism is a mystery that likes to kick you in the gut with it's poor verbal skills. But this loneliness is not all bad, because I am getting so much done. I am working on building an island in my kitchen. I'm sewing a quilt. And I finally recovered my dining room chairs, which were truly disgusting. The original cream upholstery was beautiful but sure did not last long. Last week Monkey bled all over several of the chairs, and that was the last straw.

I'm kind of embarrassed at how easy recovering the chairs was. I should have done it a year ago.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I am so picky about furniture, that I have started building stuff just so I get exactly what I want (also, I live no where near an ikea). My first project was organizing the Monkey's bedroom. I am really happy with the way these cubbies turned out, and did learn some important things to remember when I start my next project.

*Refuse help at Home Depot. This rule is not for everyone, but is vital for me. Seriously, if I need help loading a sheet of plywood I most certainly will ask for it. Please don't insist just because I'm a tiny girl with a kid, you just make me feel nervous and uncertain. And then I won't carefully choose my wood to make sure it's not warped.

*Measure the exact spot where a piece is supposed to go. Just because your math says that the slot should without a doubt be x inches long does not mean it is.

*Prime plywood. You would not believe how much paint the inside of a 2'6" x 3'6" shelving unit sucked up.

Next up, debates about whether I need a miter saw or table saw more.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This is a deceptive picture; I am not actually in Okinawa. Luckily it turns out Alabama has bamboo forests too.

This summer was loooooong and weird, and I am glad to be moved, and have Monkey back in school. Planning then canceling an international move, then moving within the country on short notice can mess with a girl. But my home is where my boys are, where I keep our stuff, where I sleep at night. And I am glad to be home.
Amongst all the craziness of this summer I did get a lot done, the very best thing this pair of capris. At 5'2" and shaped like a cardboard tube, pants are very hard to find. I have no waist. I have no ass. Even sewing them myself is no guarantee: I have tried so many different patterns, and the very best I have come up with qualified merely for "don't hate them". After an unsuccessful attempt at drafting I gave up and tore into a box of scrap fabrics containing one perfect pair of jeans that have disintegrated past the point of decency (even with extensive patching). Out came my vorpal scissors, seam ripper and craft paper, and I now have the patten for exquisitely fitting pants/shorts/capris. I am no longer a slave to the fashion industry in regards to clothing my lower half! I have actually made two pairs of these so far, exactly the same save the fabric (the second pair is dark green denim). They are the most comfortable shorts AND best fitting shorts I have ever owned.
Stay tuned for tomorrow, when I show off my kick awesome woodworking.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


I found this in the monkey's bedroom. Obviously I have waited too long to talk to him about drugs.
Things are so crazy here that we are mainlining lizards. Actual updates when my brain isn't so heavy.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The arranging of Baggage

I just had the most wonderful epiphany. I was pinned down earlier today by someone whom I do not like. And just now, I realized there is no need for me to be held hostage to her negative rants. I know that in the past she has said some nasty things about me, when I was YW president. It really upset me that hours after merely speaking with her, she still has the power to make me feel bad about myself.

But just now, I remembered that there is no reason for me to have to talk to her ever again. I am not in YW anymore. I was in fact released about 8 months ago. I do not need to subject myself to her verbal poison. I have never heard her say anything that was not a complaint-frequently very personal things about people I know. I would not stand near someone who was using fire unsafely; why would I let myself be burned by her vitriol.

So I happily release myself from any misplaced sense of responsibility I might feel. It is not my job to make her feel happy with our ward. I will remain polite, but if she interjects herself into a conversation I will excuse myself and leave at once. Interactions with her will be 10 words or less. I don't need her or the emotional weight, and like a balloon I am letting it go. And it is so beautiful to watch it float away.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Can't sleep a wink. How many of these do I have by now?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Again with the rectangles

Too windy for the quilt to hold still today My quilting kick continues. This is a throw for the RS to tie, for some good cause or another (I don't get to attend RS because I'm Monkey's teacher, so I'm fuzzy on details).
My secret confession is that I started the lattice quilt for this project, but the squares were a lot of work and it seemed a waste to tie it instead of quilting it on the machine.
I am really happy with this top; my corners match up better than anything I've done yet. Which I guess means I've finally mastered cutting things out.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


This weekend my brother and his family visited from Alabama, so Monkey and I were able to hand over the quilt we made for their little boy. I am so happy with the way this quilt came together! I love the way the colors went together so perfectly and I think that the rectangular blocks make the lattice design really interesting.
I had a rather embarrassing learning experience in the early stages of this quilt: rectangles are directional. That means that when you are bisecting the blocks, half must be cut slanting one direction, and the other half must lean the other way. They can not be rotated 90 degrees, no matter how much you want to and how stupid you might feel.
This is the first thing larger than a potholder that I've machine quilted using the darning foot. I ended up using chalk to sketch out my meandering line; it was just too much space for me to think about while muscling around the quilt and looking at a small portion of the whole. Monkey helped lots on this quilt- he loves to sit on my lap and help me run the sewing machine. He also will pull out little snips and scraps of fabric and put them under the presser foot working the needle by hand when I'm up cutting fabric or ironing; it is a good thing he's too short to reach the peddle or I'd have to pick things up better.

Monday, February 02, 2009


A poem for the 4th Annual Brigid Silent Poetry Reading, penned by myself this year. Haiku, of course. Maybe by next year I'll be good enough at iambic pentameter for a sonnet.

Won Ton Soup

tasty little fish
swimming in broth, cooked on the
surface of the sun