Archive for the ‘clothes’ Category


March 6, 2014

I knit my first intarsia project a while ago.  It’s hideous.  I’m kind of embarrassed by it.  I called it the Sad Penguin.  Such a mess.

Here is an in-progress picture.  (I am apparently incapable of not sharing my shame, however powerful.)


If you turned it inside out, you’d notice where I cut the white yarn and knotted it to the other bits of the hat in a mistaken bid to try make it go better as I knit circularly.  I was 2/3 up the white before I realized I didn’t need to cut it, I could just sort of wrap it around the blue yarn and knit onward.   No wonder this pattern was designed to be knitted flat.  *HEADDESK*

I had invested too much time in this not to finish.  (Beside, I had a good amount of white yarn in that breast/tummy area of the penguin that couldn’t be used for anything else because I’d cut them like a fool. )  I thought I would keep the hat and wear it in desperation one day when all other hats were unavailable or something equally self-flagellating.

Last month my daughter found the hat and is wearing it pretty happily.  She loves it.

All’s well that end’s well.  Lesson here is that I should stop being so self-judgemental and if stuff doesn’t turn out, I should think that would still be okay.  And also that kids like stuff that might be sort of not perfect.  That’s okay, too.  (I mean, we’re all redeemed by other people’s kindness and love.  Why not this terrible-looking hat and my feelings towards it?)


hiding in plain sight

April 18, 2013

I noticed something this morning.

I guess I should be careful about where I put my yarn because it could disappear into my clothes.


(My taste is very consistent, at least.)


January 29, 2013

So cold here last week that when the little bit of half-dried laundry got left in the drier, it froze.  That’s right.  Frozen.

The other thing happening here is knitting.  A fair amount.  Nothing complicated, as I’m not very good, but still.  It’s happening.

I am full of feelings about knitting.  A lot of it is happiness – I really enjoy it.  I didn’t know what to expect when I took that class last year, but happiness was not it.  Maybe I would have been okay with contentment.  I was taught knitting when I was a kid, by my grandmother.  She basically used me like a machine – she would cast on, give the item to me, and I’d knit until she thought there was enough and then she’d do everything else – the bind off, the shaping, changing colors, buttonholes.  I just knit on straight needles, back and forth.  So I left knitting behind, for something close to 25 years, with a brief foray into afghan knitting that failed miserably.  Then a friend’s sister was teaching a class and another friend of mine wanted to take it, but there needed to be a minimum number of people and so I joined.

And the knitting came back – but I was determined to do thing differently.  Learn how to make stuff I could use.  Learn different ways of knitting.

So now I have made a couple of things.  And I am emotional about them, but not possessive, if you know what I mean.  Rethinking the process has made me a crazy person.  I have found that it is really, really hard for me to get gauge.  It drives me crazy.  I have learned how to knit continental, re-learned English knitting, figured out Irish cottage/lever knitting and none of these things ever gets me gauge.  I have gone up and down on needles.  I try different yarn.  It’s maddening.  Swatches are all over the place.

And should I ever get gauge, then the hats I make (following the pattern very carefully) are huge.  How is it that a hat that supposedly is 18 inches in circumference looks like a bucket on the head of somebody who has a 23 inch head?  The hat doesn’t even stretch – it’s just hanging there.  I think there’s a conspiracy in the hat-pattern world.  They like big hats, and they cannot lie.  (Even though gauge apparently does.)  I’ve had to re-knit most of the hats to sizes down to “toddler” for me.  That’s crazy.  It’s not like I want a tight hat – I just want a hat that FITS.

Still, I am very fond of knitting.  I have made a sock, successfully, but it does not have very tight or good gauge – but the sucker fits.  (We’ll see what happens when that guy gets washed.)

Tell me of your knitting and how you do it, because it must be better than mine.

summer crafting

September 4, 2012

So this is what I’ve been doing this summer.  A lot of tie-dying.  While poking around on the Internet, I saw this:  and thought, my kid would love it, and better yet, I could actually do that.   Regardless of me never having done any tie-dye ever.

Captain American Tie-Dye

This is the Captain America tie-dye.  Mine’s a little crooked, but my kid really likes it, so it’s a win. (He painted in the star stencil.)

Kid was so happy about these results, he asked for an Iron Man tie-dye.  So, I cogitated for a while and then decided on a conceptual Iron Man.

Iron Man tie-dye

Conceptual Iron Man tie-dye.

This also made kid happy.  I left the power source “arc reactor” bit white in case Henry wanted to paint it a light blue or something, but he has left it alone.

I ended up buying a big multi-color dye kit to do this and a bunch of fabric paint to do the Cap’n, so I tried some other things out.

The spider (can you see it in the center of the shirt?  It looks more like a squashed bug, but it is a neat effect) and the spiral.  Not professional, but I’m pretty happy with the results.  Tie-dye was really interesting to do, but the washing out is kind of time consuming.  Then I have to remember to be careful not to wash with other things because of the terrible amount of dye bleeding.

soft clothing post

November 21, 2011

Henry’s been demanding “soft clothes”. Which would be okay, if he wasn’t trying to put on sweatpants in 85degree weather. (Of course, for people who knew me and the way I dressed in high school, this all probably seems like genetic revenge.)

J’s been spending many mornings screaming about the injustice of having to wear clothing at all, so I guess it could be worse.  (And then she might rub milk, cereal, or apple sauce into her hair.  So lovely is my little lady.)

Sigh.  Chant.  I love my children.  I love my children.  I love my children…

Note:  I realized Henry doesn’t have any sweatpants appropriate for holiday visiting.  They’re all torn up at the knees, or getting too short.  (As for “sweatpants appropriate for holiday visiting” –  I’m trying not to think about that as a real term.  I mean, I wish I had sweatpants appropriate for holiday visiting.  But it’s all about W and what he considers inappropriate.  Frowny-face.  That’s another entry for another day, though.)

I might have to visit the store and buy holiday-ready sweatpants for the boy.  And me, too.

Post Halloween

November 3, 2011

I really love Halloween now.  It didn’t used to be such a big deal, but since I’ve had kids, and seen how the kids love the holiday, I’m into it now.

I did not dress up, although I really thought about it.  For ten minutes before I had to get to work.  I’m trying to get the office to dress up for next year.  We’re going to have to consider themes.  It’ll be fun.

W does the costumes – it’s his thing.  He loves doing them.  Henry was a rocket this year (made out of a big round thing originally designed for concrete posts).  We bought J’s costume (green and pink fairy) – I was of the opinion that I was not going to kill myself for a 2-year-old’s costume, especially when the chance of her rejecting it was so high.

Henry loves Iron Man, so I got this idea to use one of those stick-on lights (the big round battery-powered ones you push on and off) on a cardboard box.  It’s sort of dumb, and I have no idea if it would work, but the idea of it is really appealing to me.  This idea I give to the Internet, in case somebody actually does it.  (Please send me pictures!)


October 6, 2011

So, it’s been feeling like the autumn around here since, oh, I don’t know, the middle of August, practically.  There was nearly non-stop rain for a while, and then it got hot again, and now it’s raining again.  The end of the week is forecast for our first frost of the year.  Joy.

I can tell W is feeling the season as well.  He turned on the heat in the mornings already.  I’d complain about the cost, but, heck, it’s not as if I’m not enjoying it.

I have been busy with my usual fall things.  Lamenting the end of the sun, praising the end of allergy season, dealing with kid clothes, and making soup.  The slow cooker makes its triumphant return to my kitchen counter.  I used it twice already this week.  Part of that is because I just bought an immersion blender, so now I just grind the stuff in the crock and that is just thrilling.  (If you are the one person who actually reads this blog regularly, you know how dull stuff in my life actually is, so yes, immersion blending = thrilling.)

In two weeks, I’ve made potato leek soup, some Mexican-inspired squash soup, and borscht.  Some of it was more successful than others.   (Potato leek is a winner – the truth is in W’s reaction.  He said he’d eat it again, which is high praise.  The Mexican squash soup, though, not so great.)  As for borscht – well, it sort of turned out like vegetable soup with a lot of beets in it.  I thought it would be, I don’t know, more…exotic.  With a name like borscht, it’s got to be odd.  I mean, it’s red, but that’s about as exotic as it gets.  (Give or take the sour cream.)  My borscht was okay – but it wasn’t a real winner.  I’m not certain if I’ll go bother with it again – but I keep getting all those beets from the CSA, so it might just be a matter of time before the beets find a way into the crock pot again.  I have a friend who’s got a Ukrainian background – it might be time to see if she’s got any tips.


September 12, 2011

Crap.  I think I’m about to commit steampunk AU.

I don’t even know why.  The most important thing to understand about the Victorians is that no modern day Asian American woman with a liberal bend should in any way be interested in their views.  (W says they’re awful.  And he should know, having spent a lot of time researching the science of the period.  Science, which besides stretching the understanding of nature, was also heavily tainted with sexism, racism, and classism.  We’re probably still trying to crawl from underneath some of that stuff right now.)

Also, made W laugh.  Because the only visual I can really think about what people wear on airships is sort of what I remember people wearing from the movie “Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang.”  All trenchcoat and goggles.

Query:  Is steampunk an aesthetic?  Because the technology piece is awkward, from my view.  You’re constantly trying to fix their problems in a modern way without seeming “too modern.”

Stupid prompt.  But I’ve got a whole plot in my head now.  Grah.   I even went so far as to look up the design for airships.  *Stomps around angrily.*

quick tip, travel and clothes

August 6, 2011

I’m off to vacate somewhere for a while.  (In a manner of speaking.  I actually can’t vacate from my real responsibilities – you know, the kids.)   I’m always stressed about leaving the house for any period of time – whether it be for a weekend or more.  I want the change of scenery but I can’t stand the mental anguish of prep.  And packing for me plus two kids and consultations about everything from future weather to maps – it makes all the downer facial expressions of other parents in airports totally relatable.  I’m going to have that face too in a few hours.  But, we do the best we can.

So, I present you with a tip a friend told me.

If you’re in a hurry, you can approximate waist size by wrapping the waist around your neck. Yes, you read that correctly. It freaked me out a bit thinking about how my neck is 1/2 the circumference of my waist, but then I tried it. It’s about right. She also added that people would look at you funny, but if it saves me time in the store while the kids are melting down, I will totally do it.

(I’m thinking about this while I’m packing.  Why am I thinking about new clothes while I’m packing?  Is it because all the ads for back-to-school are coming out?  Is it the fantasy of buying stuff while we’re away because I hate packing so much?  Is it because having young children in the climate in which I live is sort of like purchasing a new wardobe for them every 3-6 months hence, I’m always thinking about new clothes?)

good to know

June 25, 2011
From: Me
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 2:28 PM
To: StrideRite Customer Service,
Subject: old shoe disposal

Hello –

I’m writing about some of the shoes you sell – specifically, the slimers shoes that light up when you step on them.  We purchased them this spring, and my son has loved them, almost literally to pieces.  But I’m worried about the disposal.  Is there any batteries or heavy metals or anything in the shoes to be worried about when throwing them away?
A concerned Mom.
Dear Mom,
Thank you for your inquiry.  The shoes can be disposed of in the trash.  There are no hazardous batteries, or metals.
We appreciate your interest in Stride Rite.
Kind Regards,
Consumer Relations
I mean, weren’t you also wondering about those kind of shoes?  Although I should have probably asked before I bought the shoes, if I really loved the earth and all.  (Of course, if I really loved the earth, I should be living in a dirt house with wooden blocks strapped to the feet of everyone in my family.)