Summer Reading

"MO-OM. Why are you SAD? Stop crying!"

Yes, sometimes I cry at picture books. Especially beautiful ones, at a page where a dad is packing his daughter's stuff into the car so he can drive her out of the city, away to college, and he needs that really useful piece of rope the family relied on years ago when they left South Carolina for New York.

"It just makes me sad to think of when you'll be ready to leave, that's all." (Stifled sob.)

"Stop it, Mom. This is not a sad book."

The callousness of a six-year old can be astonishing. Anyway. This Is the Rope: A story from the Great Migration is wonderful, and if you're me, it's also pretty moving. Wyatt, on the other hand, mostly loved the detailed illustrations, especially the ones of the children. He was also impressed with one of the later illustrations, where the mom has just come home from work and is teaching her daughter the "Miss Lucy" jump rope song.

We've checked out a bunch of books to read, all pulled from the list my friend gave me this spring. Wyatt will be getting his San Francisco Public Library Summer Stride prize in no time!

(My own reading has been put on hold for a bit while I finish a mess of work on some knitting patterns. Next for me is finishing Mo' Meta Blues and then diving into Lincoln in the Bardo.)

What are you reading this summer?




Inspired By

Happy Valentine's Day from this little mouse (and me).

My inspiration levels have not been overflowing lately. Shocking, I know. I have had only just enough spark to take someone else's work and riff on it.

This hat is a good example. I loved Bristol Ivy's Peace de Resistance Mittens pattern, but I hardly ever wear mittens. Hats, on the other hand, I wear all the time. So, I turned the mitten pattern into a hat.

I finished the hat on Sunday, and I have posted my project notes on Ravelry in case you would also like to make a hat like this one. I like mine so much I almost slept in it Sunday night.

I then turned to knitting a gift for Wyatt for Valentine's Day. For the last two years, I have knitted him a little Valentine's present. The first year was a red heart pillow (that I scented with lavender flowers and is now worn and pilled from love) and the second year was a bouquet of lavender flowers (that sit on his nightstand).

Last week, Wyatt reminded me that Valentine's Day was coming and asked if I had already started working on his present. (I do love how there is no chance my child will wait and wonder whether I will meet his expectation for a present. I mean, why hope quietly, count on mind reading, and risk disappointment when you can SPECIFICALLY ASK?) I hadn't, so I looked through Hansi Singh's book of Amigurumi Knits, and I opted to make him a banana slug, inspired by the snail in her book, the endless amount of rain we have been getting this winter, and my lack of lovely yarn for a shell. But, the problem was three-quarters of the way through the body, the slug looked a lot like a gangrenous-colored peen warmer (as my friend Sarah correctly observed).

So Monday afternoon, I bought the pattern I had found last week before I talked myself into making that stripped-down snail. I knitted furiously from when Wyatt went to bed until the wee hours of Valentine's Day morning, knitting, embroidering, and assembling a Valentine's Mouse. The mouse is adorable, and way more time-consuming than I had anticipated.

And for dinner? Inspiration has been lagging a bit there, too. We had lots of soup last week. But this Saturday, after another afternoon volunteering at the Presidio Nursery (weeding this week!), I tried making Cabbage Pad Thai for the first time. I know, I know. The rallying cries of "Zucchini noodles!" or "Cauliflower rice!" followed by, "You won't even notice the difference!" is utter nonsense. Of COURSE you will notice a difference. If you don't, you're not paying enough attention to your food. The question should be whether you like the substitution, not whether there's a difference. Sometimes I like the swap, and sometimes I don't. Same goes for Wyatt. He actually scowled when I said it was Pad Thai made with cabbage, and said, "WHAT? NO NOODLES?" And he wasn't wrong--we all really do love cabbage in many forms, but cabbage is not noodles. So I made the recipe as written but added a two bricks of brown rice noodles I had just pre-cooked (mixed them in with the cabbage at the end). We also added a sprinkle of mung bean sprouts, too. We had just enough for the three of us for dinner.