The Times and a Kong and an Afghan and a Cat

Here’s the Times article. “Nashville historian.” Lord. That is awesome and makes me laugh. I don’t know shit about Nashville. Everything I learn is a known fact on a mountain of unknown facts. Well, to me, anyway. But I’ll take it.

Nashville historian.

In unrelated news, a couple of Sonnyboy’s friends bought him a Kong and I remembered to bring it home yesterday. I put treats in it and put it on his bed and he was so disappointed. He just sniffed at it and sighed dejectedly and then laid down next to it.

I felt so terrible! Who doesn’t like toys?

But finally, he figured out that he could get the treats out of the Kong if he just moved the Kong around. BUT he then just dragged his bed with the Kong on top of it around.

Finally, when I was getting ready for bed, I heard him in the other room finally getting it.

This morning I put more treats in there and he carried it around the house to show me multiple times, so I think he likes it.

But man, I so understand his initial reaction. “Oh no! Something new and unknown?! I hate new and unknown things.” Same, dog. Same.

I just have one square left on this afghan. I had a reason for putting off the borders of all the squares until the end but I can’t remember what it was, but I’m going to trust I had some good reason and keep with it. And I am going to have so many ends to tuck. I weep for the amount of ends I have to tuck.



Pray for Me, Dear Readers

Today I take the dog to the vet by myself and with him having only a cursory walk.

I don’t know much about lap-sized afghans, but I want to make two of them for the folks at Third Man Books.

I have 4/6 of one done:

Also please note that these are the same squares with the same yarn and that is, indeed, how different that yellow can look. Which is why I had such a tough time–and still believe I might be wrong–matching it to the Third Man yellow.

Remember how I told you I wanted to do a motif from the goth afghan that was the flower from the one and the background of the other? I decided to give it a go for the other lap afghan:


I may do a few with the center being the same color as the petals, just so there’s a little more variety. But we’ll see.

Sitting and Crocheting

I know it’s not the clinical diagnosis of “introverted,” but man, my life one-hundred percent improved when I read the internet meme definition of introverted as being someone who is drained by group events and recharges by being alone.

Because I had a wonderful time yesterday seeing friends and talking about music and just being a person in the world and I could have easily gone to bed at 7:30.

Anyway, this is the new afghan I’m working on.



The Goth Afghan

I really love how it turned out.


The only thing I’m a tiny bit bummed about is that I can’t get my phone to take a picture of it that really shows how lacy it ended up. If we get a good sunny day between now and the time I wash it, I might see if an outside picture picks up that detail.


This kind of gets at it, though it also shows all the dog hair. Jesus Christ. Yesterday I made the mistake of looking at my couch in the daylight and I had to vow to never have people over until every pet I own is dead and I have all new furniture. I mean, I know it’s spring shedding season, but christ.

For my next afghan, I’m going back to the spiral pattern and I’m hooking my folks at Third Man Books up with something they can use in their freezing office. Though, by the time I get done with it, it might not be so cold in there.


The Dog Just Asked for Cat Food?

Okay, listen, for me to tell you this story, you’re going to have to accept some things that may be upsetting to pet lovers. In the morning, I give the cats wet cat food. I put some on a plate for the new kitty (who, no, at this point is not new) on the counter near her food bowl and leave a little for Old Grouchy Pants in the can, which I set on the floor, near the tipped over bag of cat food, because Old Grouchy Pants prefers not to get off the floor unless it involves getting on the couch.

They eat their wet cat food while I walk the dog and, when we get back, he eats whatever’s left in the can on the floor. And, sometimes, if he thinks I’m not looking, he stands on his hind legs and eats whatever’s left on the plate. But often that goes sliding around the counter and he can’t get to it.

Also, when the dog wants something, he leaps near it. So, like, if he wants to go for a walk, he goes to the back door and leaps up and down. Or if he wants to go for a car ride, he goes to the car door and leaps up and down. Or if he wants to come inside, he leaps up and down at the door.

That seems pretty straight-forward–the thing that usually happens here, I want it to happen again, so I will do my leaps.

But today he was jumping up and down kind of in the middle of the kitchen, looking at me expectantly, and I had no idea what he thought should happen there. He had his breakfast. He had a well-licked can of cat food by his feet.

Folks. Folks. He then picked up the empty can of cat food and brought it over by the counter and leaped with the can in his mouth. And, indeed, the new kitty had left a pile of wet cat food on her plate (no cat seemed to care for that flavor). Which, yes, I think put on the floor for him because I am not a monster.

But what the fuck?! Maybe it’s just the same as other leaps, but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like we’ve taken a step forward. Like, he understood that I wasn’t saying “no, you can’t have that,” but that I literally didn’t know what “that” was and so he did the logical thing of showing me what he wanted.

Is this dog ever not going to surprise me?

In unrelated news, I’ve started to join this afghan together.

I picked a continuous join that echoes the lacy parts of the motif that I love. Both because I love that lacy part and because I’m not convinced the hexagons are really the same size and it felt like I was going to get a lot of pulling and buckling that might have made me unhappy. I didn’t want to work this much on something that was, up until this point, so pleasing, to be unhappy with the end result. This gives each hexagon a little room to be not exactly the same size as its neighbors.

It’s small, too, which kind of annoys me. I want an afghan that, when I’m sitting on the couch, will cover me from shoulder to feet. Ideally, I want an afghan that, when I’m sick, I can wrap around me like a coccoon of warmth and healing. I don’t know about this size.

But in general, I love it and am very, very happy with how it is going.



This has been, by far, my favorite hexagon to make of the bunch. Many others are more exciting and probably look neater, but I love the lacy petals on this so much. They’re easy to make and they look so cool.

What I would like to do is the middle of the other hexagon:


With the lacy petals of the top one and just make a whole afghan of that.

Anyway, I’m almost done with my motifs and then I’ll have to pick a join. This has been very fun and satisfying to work on, I’ll say that.



I’m still not sure how Goth this is, but I love it. Part of working in someone else’s asthetic is that you can get shit right–like I know my colors are right; I studied the fuck out of them–but using the colors correctly is hard. Like, maybe a true goth afghan would go with more purple and less red?

I just have six whole hexagons and eight half hexagons left. Then I need to figure out how to deal with the border. That one motif that’s all bunched up below really need something on all six sides to pull it true, but the pattern just calls for a regular border. I don’t think that’s going to work. I need some triangles in there, I think.IMG_3626

The original pattern calls for DK weight yarn, which is smaller than I work in. This is worsted weight. And I have to say, this is a small afghan. Or will be. I think it will still be fine because it’s fine for draping over you while you’re sitting or wrapping around your shoulders when it’s cold.

I genuinely don’t understand what this afghan in DK would be good for. I’d be so super pissed if I worked up this whole thing and it was too dinky to be of any use.

I’m excited about starting to put this together. I think it’s going to be very cool.



I think my favorite thing about these motifs is how the outer part looks like dirt and stones.


As predicted, I don’t miss the bullion stitches.

I really like this pattern. It’s just very well constructed and tries hard to mitigate the drawbacks of flowers, which are that they are heavy and tend to pull away from the rest of your motif and can sag. But like here. the flower is firmly anchored to the leaves, which are anchored both where the brown round is and up in the black. It’s just very thoughtful about ways flowers go wrong and I appreciate it.


Weekend Stuff

I went to see my nephew this weekend. He’s finally getting hair all over his head and I’m a tiny bit disappointed that the cinnamon roll swirl is gone. But he is delightful. I just like that whole family a bunch.

I’ve been working some on the latest afghan. I’m just enjoying the shit out of it, at least until this latest flower, which calls for bullion stitches:


Bullion stitches are hard to do with yarn. They don’t look uniform. And I don’t like doing them. But I really really love that pop of yellow, so I think I’m going to pick these out and do an easier stitch.

All these flowers, though, man. I love them.


Oh, shit, and there’s this guy:


This is probably my favorite so far, though we’ll see how I feel when I get the bullion situation straight.


Heels, Toes



I’m just enjoying the shit out of the variety of different motifs in this afghan. But I started in the middle of the pattern and after doing one of the next ones, I realize that the pattern writer had helpfully designed the motifs to teach you some skills and then become more complex, so I am going back to the beginning with the mostly black hexagons.

I have noticed an interesting thing I don’t know how to explain. A while ago I saw this video where a dude demonstrated how medieval white people walked before the wide-spread adoption of hard-soled shoes.  So, rather than putting your heel down first and then rolling forward onto your toes, they put the ball of their foot down first and then the heel. It’s kind of how you walk when you’re stumbling through the house in the dark, trying not to step on a Lego. Feel with your toe, find no Lego, put your whole foot down.

It’s a weird gate, but sometimes I try it out. And here’s a thing that blows my mind and I can’t explain it and I wish I understood it: If I’m walking the dog through mud and I walk normally, I sink into the mud. If I walk ball first, I don’t.

But it makes no sense! I weigh the same. It’s the same feet on the same body. All week, except for the day it was just too muddy to walk and we did the driveway, I’ve been testing it, because it makes no goddamn sense. And every time, same thing. Heel first, sink down. Toe first, no sinking. How is this possible?!

Witchcraft, I assume. Or physics, but really, aren’t they the same thing?


Goth Afghan

I’m trying to make a spooky, but beautiful afghan for one of my Goth friends. I would call her style kind of rockabilly goth? Anyway, so I decided that flowers would be fun. I’m following the Frida’s Flowers pattern, but with more Halloweeny colors.

Here’s what I have so far:


The reds make me so happy. Anyway, I think the original colors are pretty close to goth, anyway. My goal is to get rid of the pink–much too happy–and way, way, way tone down the white. So far so good.


How Do Single Parents Do It?!

I’m definitely sick. I went to bed at 8:30 and only got up at 7 because the cat was complaining about his lack of breakfast. And you know he’s not opposed to peeing on things if he’s unhappy.

And just getting up and doing that wiped me out. Being sick when you’re a single parent must be hell.

Anyway, yesterday I went to get my stuck earring taken out and I ended up just replacing them all with new, higher quality earrings.


The piercer and I were talking about how she got started and such and she was telling me about the first time she saw a woman covered in tattoos (as the piercer is) and how, when she saw that woman, her very first thought was “I bet nobody messes with her.”

And I keep thinking about the wonder of a woman who doesn’t get messed with.

It was also weird because the dude who ran the counter recognized my name, knew me from the Scene. I still don’t know how to handle that shit gracefully.

I also put a border on my Bauhaus blanket! And now I just have many ends to tuck.

But look how awesome it is!


It’s exactly what I hoped and better. I love the red border.

But I’m not buying any more yarn until those mermaid tails are done.


Yep, a Cold

This definitely is a cold. But I have too much to do to be sick. So, that’s a bummer.

I’ve started the border on my current afghan. So, here’s the thing. Normally, when you’re making a row with single crochets, at the end of the row, you just do one chain to turn. And the moss stitch is just a single crochet and a chain. But at the end of my rows, I did three chains so that, when I did the next panel, I’d have an easy place to attach the panel with a chain-slip-stitch-chain join. Easy peasy. Each row joined as I went.

But I also then put those three chain turns on the outside, where I knew there wasn’t going to be a panel, not for any good reason, but just because it seemed easiest.

But it has made putting a border on this thing super easy. And often when you do a border down the edge of your blanket, it looks a little wonky because you’re just kind of guessing where stitches should go. But here there’s a deliberate place for stitches to go!

I feel like I’ve stumbled on a miracle.



Showing off


I just like this so much.

This morning, the dog lied to me. He made like there was a squirrel he needed to chase, so I dropped his leash so he wouldn’t yank my arm off. But really he just wanted to run through everyone’s back yards while I got mad.

One of my neighbors was working on his car, down on the ground, under the car, and the dog plopped himself down on top of my neighbor. I repeat. This asshole saw someone on the ground and put himself physically on top of that dude. 120 lbs of surprise dog on a dude.

I had to take a break from writing this post after that paragraph because I’m so fucking mortified even just remembering it.

The guy thought it was hilarious. Thank god.


Who Among Us Yet Again Doesn’t Have Enough Yarn?

I got my third panel on this blanket done.


The third panel is supposed to be the halfway point on the blanket. Please note that it is barely half the size of a single bed. So, I need to go up to seven panels, not five. Which is fine, I just need to get some more yarn. I also think I have a fun border picked out.

Season 3 of Someone Knows Something remains brutally hard to get through. It’s only six episodes, but I often have to stop in the middle of one and take a break. The brother’s grief and rage is heartbreaking. But it ends up not being the Klan members that make me the most upset. They are what they are–evil, sadistic terrorists.

The most upsetting part to me is watching how the whole white society continually shifts around them to give them cover and room to work. How it continues to give them space to be free. The support network, intentional or not.



My Plan Worked!

I did walk the dog when it got a little warmer and then I suffered from unimaginable cramps and then I felt better! (Every month. I’m almost 44 and every month I’m like “What is this weird thing happening in my abdomen?”)

I feel like walking sets me right. Like it allows unsettled things–physically and mentally–to work themselves back into place. I know it’s “exercise,” but it doesn’t really feel like that for me. It’s more like sleep. It’s a thing I do so I don’t feel like shit.

ANYWAY, I think the Bauhaus blanket is turning out even better than I could have hoped. I think I’ve decided to stair-step the red down. I’m not sure what I’m going to do for a border. But there’s time to decide.


I started making my way, slowly, through Season Three of Someone Knows Something, but it’s so hard. I just feel so much stress and anger. And the kids who died were my dad’s age.

I don’t feel like Trump is some anomaly. I feel like I was lucky enough to mostly live in a slightly strange, better version of America that I was sheltered enough to not know didn’t really exist.


Seasons of Therapy

Yesterday was my last day at the therapist, at least until I need her again. A thing she said and has said a couple of times which I’m mulling over is that I find incongruity in my life very hard to deal with.

Like, instead of being all “I’m accomplished in x, y, and z, so that outweighs the fact that I can’t do a, b, and c.” I’m all “I think I’m accomplished, but I can’t do a, which means that my sense of self is false and I am secretly a failure.” But really, I’d be happier with a belief of “I’m accomplished in these areas. I’m working on these areas. I haven’t yet tried these areas.”

So, I was recounting how worried my dad is that with this Fort Negley stuff, I’m going to become too prideful, like turn into this ego monster. But really, I have that problem in the opposite fashion. When I feel fear/failure, it becomes monstrous to me. My problem isn’t that there’s some “I’m so great” monster waiting to be unleashed. It’s that a “I suck” monster is always ready to trample the shit out of me.

My yarn came in, so I fucking started the Bauhaus afghan. I do not have the motivation to work on those stupid mermaid tails. “How’s this going to turn out?” is an important part of crocheting for me and I already know that the mermaid tails will turn out delightful.

So, these are my inspiration.

And here’s my start:


I think I’m just going to do five panels–three this size and two larger–since I don’t quite know what I’m doing. And if it’s not as large as I would like, I’ll just add a border. I have a red, too, so each panel will get one red stripe. My plan is to make it the same height on the small panels and then down from that just a hair on the large panels so that it looks kind of woven. But something to draw your eye all the way across the piece and make sure all five panels are tied together.

I need to go do some shit today, but I don’t have it in me. I think I’m going to downgrade my goals to “walk the dog when it gets a little warmer.”


Bad Daughter

I might be obsessing a tiny bit over my parents’ fake daughter. I’m torn between feeling like it means that I have so failed them that they had to go outside and find someone who could do the things for them I can’t do and feeling relieved that it’s not me.

I brought the mermaid tails to work on when I was up there, but I was mostly too distracted to work on them. But I did finish the afghan.


I didn’t do anything too fancy for the border, just a single crochet row of that amazing dark blue and then a row of half double crochet in white. That’s Scheepjes Stonewashed XL yarn and it’s really, really lovely.

And my favorite part is that it is that baby blanket I did, but in a bigger yarn. Same amount of squares. I did add two more colors–that blue and a dark green, but pattern-wise, it’s the same.

Here’s the comparison.

And it’s so cozy! It’s got a nice weight to it and it looks beautiful. So, I just need to finish up my mermaid tails so I can start on the Bauhaus afghan.


Crochet Days!

So, this was how I spent my snow days. I love that the afghan is literally the exact same thing I did for the baby afghan, just in a different size yarn. It’s very heavy, though. Like, when you’re under that afghan, you’re going to feel snuggled.

I’m using the left over yarn to make an afghan in the style of a Bauhaus rug, so like vertical panels of horizontal stripes, and I had been debating whether to do it in the Tunisian stitch or moss stitch, but feeling the weight of it, I think I’m going to go with moss stitch, because the Tunisian is super heavy. I don’t want the person it’s for to get pinned beneath it.

My dad’s having one of his knees replaced tomorrow, so the dog and I have to get up there today. I’m hoping for clear roads.

And they announced that they’re not going to put a neighborhood on top of Fort Negley Park. I kind of think there might have been a slight dig/hat tip to me in the press release, when they mentioned that even critics thought the development was a good idea, just not in that spot, which had long been my argument. But also maybe that’s just my ego talking.



So, what I’ve discovered over these past few days is that I can walk the dog the whole way when it’s 17. I can’t when it’s 14. You’d think those three degrees wouldn’t make a difference, but they do. And there’s no dog-walks at all once it’s 10.

The dog doesn’t seem to mind unless the wind is blowing. He still wants to stop and rip apart all boxes and lick everything that once had a food particle in it.

I think I already said I’m giving my finger a chance to heal up before I get back to the mermaid tails, so I’ve been working on this afghan which is the baby afghan I did earlier but in bigger yarn.

So, this afghan:


But adult sized. And with a few more greens and blues.

Here’s a good illustration of the difference in size:

Did I show you guys the baby blankets I made over break? It doesn’t see like it:



Rope Burn

I was hoping to get these two mermaid tails done, but it’s been so long since I’ve used huge amounts of that yarn, I forgot how hard it is on my skin, especially on cold days like these.

I actually have rope-burn on my finger. Yesterday I had to switch over to a project with softer yarn.

I was trying to come up with a way to not have to go to the grocery store today, but, alas, I need shit.

The old cat was in fine form this morning. He played with a magnet for like twenty minutes, threw a pillow on the ground, and fought with the dog. I guess he woke up a kitten again, for a moment.

Also, the Butcher sent me this picture:


He claims he righted Cthulhu after this picture, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I get up there and it still looks like this.

There’s something so very satisfying about seeing that look on his face.


Another Reason I Would Not Care to Sell Crocheted Items

I’m making a couple of mermaid tails–one for a little girl who asked for one and one that actually fits my niece. And they’re not that fun. I’ve already made mermaid tails before.

I’ll do it, because I know the kids and I know they’ll like them, but in general, I wouldn’t want to have to do stuff I’m not excited about anymore just because that’s what’s selling.

I was talking to my therapist about my weeks-long panic attack and she talked to me at length about how to life your life while you’re having an ongoing panic attack. One of the important things is to do things that make you happy, at least one thing a day. Not for anyone else. Just for yourself. A good thing that doesn’t have a web of expectations or implications or justifications. Just “I’d like this.”

I was thinking about how my resolution for 2017 was to just like things, without feeling self-conscious about it or like it was necessary to couch it in sarcasm or irony or apologize for it or say things like “I know this may be stupid but…” and to share that like.

My goal for 2018 is to do more things I like just because I like them. I feel like I’ve been conditioned to believe that happiness is suspect, that orienting your life toward it is frivolous at best and dangerously hedonistic at worst. You can be happy, but only as a side-effect of doing shit for others.

I’ve had charity and obligation weaponized against me.

“Put others first” is a lovely sentiment and an important personal philosophy that I support if one has chosen that discipline. But it’s also damn convenient for some of those others, who aren’t doing the same.

So, I’m going to try to figure out what things make me happy to do. And I’m going to do more of them.


And This One’s Done, Too

The flat braid join is a lot of work, but it’s nicely sturdy and it looks great. I will definitely keep it in my baby blanket repertoire, even though I probably won’t use it on adult sized blankets.

My parents are here, but they’re staying with the Butcher. I’m curious to see how that goes. I’m also super relieved.


The Flat Braid Continuous Join

I really wanted to get started on joining these squares together last night, because I’m learning a new join and I wanted to see how it went. So, I finished up a few squares before work and I messed one up. I put three stitches in the corner instead of five and then I tucked my damn ends. In a regular join, there are ways to work around that, but since I haven’t done this join before, I didn’t want to knowingly have a mistake to deal with.

So, I fixed it. It didn’t bum me out. I just waited until I had all the other squares done to make sure I had enough yarn to fix it and then I picked apart the end-tucking and added some yarn and thus upped my corner to five.

I’m sure part of it is the drugs. I don’t get washed over with feelings of “oh shit, I fucked this up beyond repair!!!” over minor things anymore. (Knock on wood.) But I think part of it is just that I’ve been doing this long enough now that I have enough experience to know how to fix things and to know if I should bother to.

Maybe that’s part of what mastery and experience gives you–not the ability to do things right but to know how to recover from the inevitable mess-ups.

Anyway, look how cool this is.



Random Things

–The dog ran off this morning and was gone for a half an hour. I thought I was going to throw up. When he finally came strolling back in, he did.

–I’m fascinated by these crochet sculptures by Yulia Ustinova. Have you guys seen these? I read recently a thing on Twitter, which I’m not going to get right, but something like “capitalism is saying that all the wealth should be concentrated into the hands of a few. Neoliberalism is saying half of those few should be women.” And you know how much stock I put in the change vs. exchange problem.

So, yes, I know it’s not really a victory to just switch up what society considers attractive in women, that it doesn’t get at the real problem, not really. BUT, but, but. There’s still something really amazing about looking at sculptures–at things that by definition encourage you to look at them and appreciate them–and finding them beautiful and they look like you.

–I see folks going after Meryl Streep for not knowing about Weinstein and it just… ugh. I mean, yes, folks. It’s always easier to go after the women than to continue to hold men’s feet to the fire. That’s the same old bullshit there’s always been. If we’re going after women, go after the women who knowingly served up other women to these jerks. But let’s focus on the jerks first and for a long time.

–I keep having dreams in which I have massive panic attacks. And I know this should maybe concern me, but I find it comforting, like my brain is trying to adjust to not having them in real life.

–As soon as I get all these squares done, I’m going to try a continuous flat braid join. If you’ve done that before and have any pointers, feel free to give them to me.