I’ve been in my head a lot lately. The last few months have been a little quiet socially and I’ve done some traveling which is always good for rumination.


I went to Chicago at the end of September to finally meet my coworkers (after 2 and a half years working here). I like to consume media related to my travels, so I read The Devil in the White City, which traces the rise of Chicago during the World’s Fair of 1893. The titular devil is HH Holmes who operated his murder mansion as a hotel catering to fair visitors. It sounds strange to say, but the behind the scenes of the creation of the fair was far more interesting than the murders.

While there were no major surprises in meeting my team, it was interesting to see people’s real personalities come out beyond the confines of a Zoom meeting.

While I was in town one of our team activities was a local park cleanup. The parks coordinator was quite a loquacious character. His version of Chicago – sports obsessed, strong working class vibes, chip on its shoulder about being compared to other cities, great wealth disparity between neighborhoods… sounded awfully similar to my idea of Philadelphia.

And yet I felt generally positive about Chicago, but speak about Philadelphia with qualifiers. Why? What’s the difference? Living somewhere vs visiting it? Small city vs large? East coast vs midwest? After some thought I hate to admit that it probably just comes down to money. Chicago felt wealthier, grander, and more cosmopolitan. Philadelphia feels provincial. I mean we still don’t even have a real tiki bar (I will not let this go…), and Chicago has multiple tiki bars including the very excellent Three Dots and a Dash.

NYC/New Haven

My mom visited again in late October. I think we might make it an annual thing. This time around we spent a little time out of the city. We spent a few nights in New York, and walked all over Manhattan (my mother’s endurance had me beat, I couldn’t keep up). During our stay we caught a broadway show*, visited a few colleges, saw Central Park, and went to the Met.

The third day we popped up to New Haven to hit the old stomping grounds. I felt uneasy about going back because I don’t have great memories of the end of college. It was all just a crazy blur. But my mom has always expressed this deep regret about not taking me to college since her family never encouraged her studies. It’s too bad that she carried that pain, because not being dropped off was not on my radar at all. I wanted to go alone.

I wasn’t sure what we’d do in New Haven, but we filled the day pretty easily.

I saw my old apartment.

And other old apartment.

Stopped by my old job. Same chill vibe among the workers, which made me happy.

We took a campus tour, ate some New Haven style pizza, bought some merch… New Haven was way nicer now and less grubby than I remember. On the train home I felt like I’d made some peace with the past. Everything that happened back then is gone and over now, truly.

Also my mom was really really psyched to be there again. So it was cathartic for us both.


When I decided to get tickets to a broadway show, I didn’t know what to book but since Phantom was closing after 35 years, that was the obvious choice. I had started the novel earlier in the summer but hadn’t finished it (because Raoul is a lame stalker).

I didn’t think much it, besides scouring for decent views, but after seeing the live Broadway musical, I was hooked – I was a “Phan”. I promptly became obsessed and sought out as many iterations of the story as possible. And there are a ton – dozens or more maybe. And then the fanfic…  wow what a rabbit hole. Ladies love Erik. On the Phantom subreddit I came across a fic where the Phantom berates Christine for eating a grilled cheese sandwich. LOL

It’s kind of a surprise that I never got into Phantom earlier. I love gothic horror, silent films, mysteries, monsters, and opera of course. The musical is just a way more romantic take compared to the book or silent film. It was sensual as hell, which I was not prepared for at all. Also it explores controlling vs healthy relationships, which is always interesting to me.

As I researched, I learned that many of the spectacular parts of the story had some kernel of truth to them. Like the chandelier in the Palais Garnier did really fall and kill someone. There really are 5 levels of cellars that lead to a subterranean lake beneath the building. There were rumors of a ghost haunting the opera, and various legends of men with deformed faces (whether from accident or birth) living within the opera. Wild!

The musical production itself is interesting because the version on broadway hasn’t changed much from its original incarnation 35 years ago. Watching the show is like… time travel in a way. And some of the show’s staff have been there since the very beginning! This American Life has an interesting story that’s about Phantom’s orchestra, and what its like to play the same music every night for decades. TLDR: it drives you insane, but you do what you gotta do for money.

Phantom lead to me seeking out more musicals, which I guess is something of a new hobby (which continues to baffle Ryan). From lurking the broadway subreddit I’ve learned a lot of new terms and history, which is fun. Les Mis happened to come through Philly a few weeks after I saw Phantom, so I caught that. After listening to a few cast albums, I got into Hadestown, so now I’ve got tickets to see that in NY at the end of December. And I’ve got to see Phantom again before it closes for good, so we’ll be daytripping into the city to see that in January.


All of my fall was spent knitting baby things and I’m so glad that’s done!

This blanket was 30,000 stitches.

The leafy pattern up close

And this one was 40,000 stitches but I was able to memorize the pattern so it was actually much faster.

And just for funsies I made a baby Yoda robe.

It’s gonna be a long while before the recipient can wear it.

And yet another pair of socks of course.


Our first international travel in 3 years! I’ve got a ton of photos so I’ll do a separate post on my trip. I left inspired by the harsh beauty of winter in Scotland.

Puppy Trials

Since the start of November Bogie has been having seizures. The first two were scary but manageable, but once we returned from our trip to Scotland Bogie immediately had his 3rd and worst seizure in 3 weeks, and at the emergency vet he was put on meds to stop his ongoing attack (which we had been avoiding since once you start the drugs, it’s for life, every 12 hours… forever….).


At first he was so zonked out from the medicine that he turned into a little dog zombie who had forgotten all his potty training. He’d just look you in the eye and pee right there. But then the drugs made him restless, and he paced endlessly. For the first day or two back home from the hospital he barely slept, just walked around for hours, clicking his nails on the wooden floors.  We put up baby gates just in case he fell down the stairs since he didn’t have great motor control.

To limit the pacing, we tried crating him in our bedroom at night. Since he still didn’t have control of himself he peed and pooped in the crate on his cushion. Then when we let him out, he walked through the poop and dragged it all over our bedroom at 2 in the morning. I thought I was going to cry and throw up at the same time, it was so sad. After that we decided to take turns sleeping in the living room so that we could let him out quicker. We dragged the mattress for my daybed down to the living room, and things were weird for a little while.

It’s been about three weeks on the meds, and Bogie is mostly back to normal. He takes his pills 2x a day and we’ve taken him to a doggie neurologist. I’m glad he’s feeling better, but who knows if the drugs will actually help manage his seizures. So far the longest we’ve gone without a seizure is a week? 10 days maybe? I try not to count the days between seizures because I don’t want to be disappointed.

This has been going on for a month now but I don’t think the enormity of what this could mean has hit me yet. We’ve joined canine epilepsy groups on Facebook, which has mostly been a helpful resource, but there are frightening stories from people who have had their entire lives upended. They don’t travel, they don’t go out, they’re taking care of the dog all the time and then in some cases it dies from too many seizures or too long of a seizure. Sigh.

We’re nowhere near that level of life upheaval, but things are still up in the air. I just hope the meds can contain his seizures to a manageable level. Scary stuff!

Craft, Knitting

Knit: The “Filly”- Horseshoe Lace Headband


The thing that I love most about knitting is that out of the same basic stitches you can create so many different and beautiful designs. Colorwork, cables, and my favorite … lace, all come from the same base stitches, with a few tricks thrown in.

After plowing away on quite a handful of winter and summer hatsfor my shop, I felt like a change of pace.

These lace knit headbands are quick to knit, featuring an easy but memorable horseshoe lace pattern. Also, the yarn is a pleasure to knit with. The mix of silk, wool and nylon makes it perfect for spring weather. I have knit up a few for my shop. It’s kind of hard to stop, they go so fast. This pattern is so simple that I feel silly writing it up, but here it is:


The “Filly” – Horseshoe Lace Headband

  • Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool
  • Needles: Size 6
  • Dimensions: 2.75 inches tall X (width varies)
  • Guage: Not critical

Horseshoe Lace Pattern (Slightly modified on the wrong side because I did not read the pattern correctly!):

In Multiples of 10 + 1 extra stitch

  1. (Right side) k1 *yo, k3, sl1, k2tog – psso, k3, yo, k1*
  2. (Wrong side) Purl all sts
  3.  k1 *k1,yo, k2, sl1, k2tog – psso, k2, yo, k2*
  4. Purl all sts
  5. k1 *k2,yo, k1, sl1, k2tog – psso, k1, yo, k3*
  6. Purl all sts
  7. k1 *k3,yo, sl1, k2tog-psso,yo k4*.
  8. Purl all sts


  1. CO 17 stitches.
  2. Right side: P1,K1,P1, knit to the last three stitches, P1, K1, P1
  3. Wrong side: P1,K1,P1, purl to the last three stitches, P1, K1, P1
  4. Repeat rows 2 & 3 once, for a total of 4 rows
  5. Right side: P1,K1,P1, *Work the first row of the Horseshoe Lace Pattern*, P1,K1,P1
  6. Continue working the Horseshoe Lace Pattern, with a seed stitch border, to the desired length.  For Newborns, this will be about 9-10 repeats, or 12-14 inches unstretched. For adult women, this will be about 15 repeats. Basically just stretch the headband across your head to decide when to stop. 🙂
  7. Work two more rows of stockinette with a seed stitch border. End on the wrong side.
  8. Sew that baby up!

ETA: Thanks to a kindly reader who noted that line 7 of the horseshoe pattern incorrectly added a K1. I copied from my terribly scribbled notes. Anyways, pattern is currently updated. Let me know if there’s any other issues!

Modeled by my roommate!




Baby sizes!





Craft, Knitting

Knit: Dexter Fingerless Mitts



I’ve been making fingerless mitts for my Etsy shop with my leftovers from all the hat-making. Finally got around to writing down the pattern. Here are two quick versions, one knit flat, and the other in the round. It’s all “Well duh” knitting for an experienced knitter, but hey, never hurts to have a pattern, right? Enjoy!

  • Yarn: Worsted weight. About 75 yards or under. The pink yarn is Manos Del Uruguay Maxima in Peach MelbaThe brown and blue is Malabrigo Merino Worsted in 259 Charrua
  • Needles: Size 7 DPNs
  • Gauge: 5 sts/inch
  • Dimensions: Pink/Flat: 3 1/2 inches wide and 4 3/4 inches tall. Brown + Blue: 3 1/2 inches wide and 7 inches tall.



Garter Stitch Fingerless Gloves- Knit Flat (Pink) 

  1. Cast on 36 stitches.
  2. Knit in K2, P2 ribbing for 5 rows.
  3. Switch to garter stitch for 3 1/2 inches, or until you’re about .75 inches away from where you’d like your gloves to end.
  4. Knit in K2, P2 ribbing for 5 rows.
  5. Bind off in pattern.
  6. Sew up the sides of the mitts to accommodate your thumb.
  7. Weave in the ends. Voila!


Stockinette Stitch Fingerless Gloves- Knit in the Round (Brown and Blue)

  1. Cast on 32 stitches on a set of double pointed needles.
  2. Join, and knit in K2, P2 ribbing for one and a half inches.
  3. K 1 row.
  4. Next row: K1F&B, K to the end
  5. Next row: K straight
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 3 more times to increase for a total of 4 stitches. You will now have 36 stitches total.
  7. Knit in stockinette until you reach the base of your thumb.
  8. Switch to flat knitting for several inches, until you reach the crook of your thumb.
  9. Rejoin to knit in the round again.
  10. Knit in stockinette until you are about an inch from where you’d like your gloves to end.
  11. Knit in K2 P2 ribbing for an inch.
  12. Bind off in pattern.
  13. Weave in the ends. Wheeee!


Craft, Knitting

Knit: House of Cards Hat



EDIT 10/18/2020: It’s been 6 years since I posted this pattern, and to my shock people are still knitting this hat! To be honest I’d forgotten I’d shared it on Ravelry. Anyways, my original decreasing instructions were terrible and vague as far as how to stay in the pattern, so I’ve edited things to include the exact rows you need to do. Sorry everyone in the past who tried this hat! 😅

Friends may have heard that I wanted to start an Etsy shop. Basically, I took stock of my skills and what makes me happy, and I realized that this was it. I’m a crafter at heart. I like making lovely, ugly, crazy and colorful things. I can draw and create all sorts of little strange useless things, but the most “real world” thing that I could sell would be my knitting. I’m insecure of my drawings and doodles, but proud of my knitting.

So. I spent the winter holidays thinking of different things to make, small things that might actually be profitable. Because that’s really the problem with the whole idea of selling knitting. If you realistically take into account the cost of materials and labor, then you come to a fair price that no one is willing to pay. Most people have been blinded by fast fashion prices and clothes made of cheap materials, and could not fathom paying $50+ for a hat.

Anyways, I kept thinking about it. I knit little coffee cozies. I knit dishcloths. I knit cowls. I scoured Etsy endlessly, noting trends in materials and popular styles. A friend sent me that Wall Street Journal article about arm knitting, noting its “high ROI.” Just 30 minutes to make and they’re going for $50 on Etsy! Not to mention they are UUUUGGGGLYYYY. I tried arm knitting. It was terrible. I purchased a LOT of yarn, hoping to find a happy medium between price and quality. It was a bit overwhelming, although the hoarder in me was very happy to be buying lots of yarn again :).

So my idea had been a bit stagnant for a month or so. Then, over the Presidential long weekend, I decided that I wanted a hat knit in Andalusian stitch. I’d knit at least three of the “Andalutheean knit dishcloth“, and I thought that the slightly nubby texture would be cute on a hat as well.

I cast on while watching season 2 of House of Cards, and after 3 false starts and stops (I was working without a measuring tape, URGH), I had my hat! I loved working with the yarn, but I never wear pink, so I put it up on Etsy. And now I have an Etsy shop . Well, that was simple. I’ve still got a ways to go as far as taking care of the little things, such as creating a proper banner for the shop and fleshing out logistics of shipping, etc. But! I think that this is a good reminder that sometimes we overthink things. Fuck ROI. Fuck market research! Sometimes you have a little fun making something silly and pink, and then you put it up on the internet.

So, here’s my hat. If you knit it, please let me know! I’d love to see pictures.


The House of Cards Hat

Andalusian Stitch (worked across a multiple of 2 stitches)

  • Row 1: Knit.
  • Row 2: Knit.
  • Row 3: *Knit 1, purl 1. Repeat from * across row.
  • Row 4: Knit.

Materials: Worsted weight yarn. Shown in Manos Del Uruguay Maxima in Peach Melba OR  Malabrigo Worsted in Alpine Pearl

Guage: 5 stitches/ inch across, and 8 rows/inch tall in Andalusian stitch

Dimensions: 9 and a half inches across, 7 and a half inches tall. Fits a 21 inch head, give or take an inch.

Needles: Size 6 circulars, Size 7 circulars, Size 7 double pointed needles

  • CO 103 stitches on size 6 circular needles. Join the round by knitting together the last and first stitches. You now have 102 stitches.
  • Knit in K1, P1 ribbing for an inch and a half (about 12 rows)
  • Switch to size 7 circular needles. Knit one row.
  • Start Andalusian stitch. Work for 5 repeats.
  • During the 6th repeat of the stitch pattern, you’re going to start decreasing on Row 4. You’re going to be doing the decreases in pattern, on rows 2 and 4 of the pattern.
  • Row 4: *K15, K2Tog* Repeat until end. Start with 102 stitches, end with 96.
  • Row 1: K across.
  • Row 2: *K14, K2Tog* Repeat until end. 96 -> 90
  • Row 3: *K1,P1* Repeat until end.
  • Row4: *K13,K2Tog* Repeat until end. 90 -> 84
  • Row 1: K across.
  • Row 2: *K12,K2tog* Repeat until end. 84 -> 78
  • Row 3: *K1,P1* Repeat until end.
  • Row4: *K13,K2Tog* Repeat until end. 78 -> 72

Continue in this vein until you get to the row where you’re doing *K4, K2tog* (should be Row 2). Here things start decreasing fast. Follow these last steps:

  •  *K4,K2tog* Repeat until end. 36 -> 30 stitches
  • *K1,P1* Repeat until end. 30 stitches
  • *K3,K2tog* Repeat until end. 30 -> 24 stitches
  • *K2,K2tog* Repeat until end. 24 -> 18 stitches
  • *K1,K2tog* Repeat until end. 18 -> 12 stitches
  • *K2tog* Repeat until end. 12 -> 6 stitches

String yarn through remaining 6 stitches. Pull tight, and weave in the ends. Hat time! I ended up knitting a purple hat as well. So girly. Sheesh.





Craft, Knitting

Knit: In Progress: Top Down Biggo Sweater

I’m chugging away on the Top Down Cozy Weekend Sweater in KnitPicks Biggo, and it’s been fun.

Progress, glorious progress.


Check out that 8 inches of hot cowl action. Boring to knit! But necessary.


And here it is on. I have a bit more done but the needles weren’t long enough to wrap around my shoulders. In truth it probably goes to my armpits at this point.

Thoughts so far on the pattern and the yarn:

The yarn has been pretty fun to work with. It feels good on the hands and the resulting fabric is fluffy (if dense). The only problem I’ve had with Biggo is that it’s the devil to join a new ball via spit splicing. The yarn just doesn’t like it (probably because of the nylon content).

The pattern was 5 bucks on Ravelry, and so far so good. The handholding at the beginning with the increases for the body of the sweater are a little annoying to keep up with, but once I switched to using a highlighter to keep track of where I was on the pattern, things went more smoothly.

I sized up from size 10 needles to 10 and a half, and while I’m getting gauge with the yarn I kind of wish that I’d sized up again to maybe an 11 or so. The fabric is quite dense and heavy, and I don’t know if I like the stiffness. I’d prefer a softer sweater with a more relaxed drape. Oh well. I’m not going back and fixing it now, that’s for sure. Onward!