Tag Archives: HawaiiIRL

Where you rest

November 15th, 2014

Today was your birthday. You would have been 59. I couldn’t bring you a card, or cake, or flowers, so I brought to you your legacy — a little girl with the same turn of jaw and curve of chin. We turned East and drove to that beach where you rest, to those waters that are now your arms, and legs, and laughing mouth, to that sand that is now your hands and feet. I couldn’t see you, I couldn’t feel you, but I prayed to God that you were there.

Moira was a little scared at first, like she is when she meets a stranger. I sat with her at the outer limits of the surf as the waves drifted slowly in and you tickled her toes, wet her hair. You whispered to her quietly, confidentially through the waves. She picked up wet, sloppy handfuls of sand and squeezed them delightfully through her fingers, and I imagined that she was squeezing your hand. She stomped her feet in an oncoming wave, and I pictured her dancing with you. We walked into the water, past the shorebreak, and into the crisp blueness to sing you Happy Birthday, and I imagined your arms around us, holding us. It was the very best I could do.

I opened my hands underneath the waves, closed my eyes, and prayed, much as I have done every time I have visited this place. Let her be here, let her come. Let there be a touch, let me be open, let there be something.

I heard Moira laughing as she played with her daddy in the water. I felt the waves ripple past my skin, warmed and cooled in turn by the sun and the afternoon’s breeze. I waited, but the supernatural evaded me, as it is wont to do.

Closing my hands, I brought them up out of the water, and opened them toward Moira. She smiled in that way that proves she was born for her Hawaiian name — Kealohi, The Light. “Hau`oli Lā Hānau, Meemaw Janis,” I said, sing-song for us both, before turning to go home.

image

Life is crazy.

Shit has been so blindingly real recently that I’ve been swept away on a current of this-must-be-done-now, this-needed-to-get-done-yesterday, and oh-shit-the-baby-has-poop-crawling-up-her-back. In addition to bouncing between tasks like a gormless rabbit with ADHD, my car was towed on Saturday morning, ultimately robbing me of the precious time I had set aside to sit down and write for my poor, neglected blog.

Poor, poor blog. I’m sowwy.

This guy was especially disappointed.
This guy was especially disappointed.

So, what have I been doing to keep myself so exorbitantly busy, aside from overtime, being a momma, and the usual run around? I’m SO GLAD YOU ASKED!

Well, I found this cross-stitch pattern online while searching for more Totoro-themed things to add to the munchkin’s nursery:

Yeah, he's cute, but does he look a little... I don't know... stoned, to you?
Yeah, he’s cute, but does he look a little… I don’t know… stoned, to you?

Now, I know how to cross-stitch, and I’m actually pretty good at it, if I do say-so myself. The problem, however, is that for cross-stitch to be a useful craft, if kind of requires that you also be handy with a sewing machine, too, or else you just end up with a lot of framed cross-stitched patterns on your walls and that’s not a decor theme that I’m willing to submit to.

No bueno.
Good for some, but it ain’t my style.

So I looked at the pattern, and the general dimensions and I thought, “Well, I crochet. The pattern is in squares. Granny squares!” I opened up an Excel sheet and came up with this:

D'AWWW
D’AWWW

Next came planning the structure and build of the afghan. This pattern hadn’t been intended for crochet, so I needed to know how many squares in each color, how large the squares would measure, how large the afghan would measure once assembled, etc. etc. I really need to go back and make up with all of my various teachers from primary school through high school because this stuff was MATH.

So. Much. Math.
So. Much. Math.

In the end, I figured out that motif squares, measuring about 2 inches square, will give me a blanket of about 85″x97.5″ for a grand total of 1,155 squares, not including some decorative notions like stars in the night sky and flowers and leaves on the grass by Totoro’s feet. I’m super-stoked about this blanket, but it’s definitely the most ambitious thing I have ever attempted. Prayers and words of encouragement would be welcome.

By the by, if any of you would like to use this pattern, you are most welcome to do so. I’ll include the specifics in another post once it’s all done, but below is the pattern for the motif squares. Contact me if you want the Excel spreadsheet of the Totoro image.

Since I will likely continue to be on hiatus for long stretches of time this month, I invite you to come find me on Instagram, showing you #HawaiiIRL, or on Twitter and tumblr, where I share daily words of (mostly other people’s) wisdom, art, and advice. And fandom. Oooh, do I get into the fandoms…

Just keepin' it real, y'all.
Just keepin’ it real, y’all.

Crochet pattern for itty-bitty granny squares, otherwise known by the less-adorable name “motif” squares.

As far as I’m aware, these can be done with any size hook. I am currently working with a size H hook, which makes a square that is about 2 inches wide and across.

Round one: make a magic ring, chain two, work 11 dc into magic ring.

Round two: 1 dc into 1st stitch, 5 dc in 2nd stitch to make the first corner. Make 1 dc in the next two stitches, followed by 5 dc in the next stitch (2nd corner). Repeat twice more for corners 3 and 4.

Slip stitch into the top of the beginning of the chains to tie off.

Ta-da!
Ta-da!