Do you curse?
Some people don't, and I respect that. I, on the other hand, enjoy a well-placed, well-timed "bad f-word," even if it's only in my head because Wyatt's around. Strictly speaking, curse words aren't necessary, but neither is cheese, chocolate, or whiskey.
The subject of cursing brings me to my latest pattern: Stitch It To The Man. It's my tenth published pattern and last pattern for 2017. All three of the designs in the pattern—from clean to full-on curse—came together easily for me, and I finished knitting the sample quickly. But then I got stuck. I couldn't, for the life of me, name this pattern. Even worse, I could only write terrible, stilted descriptions of it. Good thing I have clever, irreverent, and generous friends. My high school friend, Molly, and her oldest daughter (both in Massachusetts) named the pattern. Isn't it perfect? Once the pattern had a name, Sarah (in South Carolina) wrote the best blurb ever:
Let’s work together to dismantle white supremacy. With delicate snowflakes and a gut punch of solidarity, this beanie roars the message you choose: “end white supremacy” for your grandmother, and “fuck white supremacy” for your daughter. Choose a character mark for a whiff of mystery, or pick a vowel to make your point loud and proud. Suggestions for customizing the ribbing band are also included.
We’re serious. This privilege absurdity needs to end. 100% of proceeds for this pattern are donated monthly to the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).
And then? My editor (in Texas) decided to charge me exactly zero dollars to work on this project.
I love all the generosity that went into this hat. And I love how this project, thanks to all five of us, spans so much of the United States.
Of course, the proceeds are going to the Equal Justice Initiative (in Alabama):
The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
While I was knitting the sample for this pattern, I listened to Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy. I won't try to describe the book here, but I will say it's an absolutely essential read, and it is the reason why I chose to support EJI with this project.
I'd love to count you as a collaborator on Stitch It To The Man. Whether you're a knitter or a friend of a knitter, you can buy the pattern here.
Other books I've been reading while working on this project are: Michael W. Twitty's The Cooking Gene, and Rivers Solomon's An Unkindness of Ghosts. Both of these incredible books are written by authors of color, and they address in their own distinct and riveting ways how truly critical it is to end, f*ck, or fuck white supremacy. Read these two books, too. Or give them as holiday gifts. Or both!
That's right: it's the holidays. This weekend, we decorated the Christmas tree, in and around doing about a zillion other things. And I finally used the butternut squash that arrived in our CSA box during the week of Thanksgiving. I made soup with a recipe that went as far away from sweet butternut squash flavor as I could find: Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup. I'm pleased to report it is a new family favorite. All three of us happily ate it two days in a row (it's gone now, or we'd still be enjoying it), and that never happens with squash soup. I served the soup with a kale Caesar salad. This Caesar vinaigrette is the best. And don't roll your eyes when I tell you that you need to massage the kale before you dress it. It only takes five minutes and it makes all the difference. Here's what to do: Once you've washed and stemmed the kale, chop the leaves into salad-sized pieces and put them in a big bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil on the kale, and with your (super clean) hands, squeeze and smoosh the life out of the kale. The volume of leaves will shrink by about 1/3 or 1/2. When you're done with this step, add dressing to your taste, and toss. The salad will keep beautifully for several days in the fridge if you have left-overs. Some good cheese and bread rounded out our plates nicely.