Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Define Ray

Eighth grade math. 

I was covering for the special ed teacher of a co-taught class. (He's at home with Covid.) These are generally pretty easy days. The general ed teacher does all the heavy lifting, while all I have to do is help out as needed. 

But it turned out to be a testing day. 

Over the last two years, I have administered this test four times. Three of those times it was just me doing it. I am fully trained. 

This time, all I had to do was assist. Yay! 

So, I made sure to answer as many of the students' questions as possible. 

A girl called me over. 

"What is a ray?

I looked at her question. That was the question on the test, and it gave her four possible diagrams to choose from. 

"That's what the question is asking," I informed her. 

She argued the point. She couldn't possibly answer the question since she didn't know what a ray was. 

This particular test is geared towards figuring out at what "level" the students are at. Each question they get right triggers a next question that's a bit harder. Each question they get wrong triggers an easier question next. So, if they don't know something, they should get it wrong so the test doesn't rate them as having more knowledge than they do. 

She needed to get that question wrong. 

She was not happy about this. I left her to "guess". 

She raised her hand again. The general ed teacher went over to answer her question. 

And... he gave her the same answer I did. 

I mean, I wasn't being cruel. I know eighth graders haven't learned about rays yet. (If memory serves, that's the first week of geometry. For me that was tenth grade.) 

That age. They hate being wrong. But in this case, she really needed to be.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements. 😉

The other day I was in line at the grocery store. Specifically, I was in the "15 items or fewer" line. I had two items.

The person in front of me... had considerably more than that. And so, I got to thinking... 

What if grocery stores imposed a penalty, a "fee", for every item over 15 in the "15 items or fewer" checkout line? 

A couple specifics: This would be something that the register would automatically calculate, not something the cashier would be required to input. The policy would be communicated clearly before being instituted. And the penalty wouldn't necessarily be imposed on 16 or 17 items (there would be a buffer for people who miscount by one or two). 

Monday, August 29, 2022

Of Fiddly Yarn and Unicorn Horns

Last week the shiny yarn that sister-in-law wanted for the horn of her unicorn hat arrived. On Sunday I got right to work...

...Only to discover that the yarn would not work for the horn. It just would not.

I tried. I tried it a couple different ways. I mean, I could have gutted it out and kept going, but it was a mess, and I ultimately decided it wasn't worth the trouble. Sigh. 

But, the horn has a spiral that is to be embroidered on. Would that be enough bling for the horn? 

I crocheted a horn, but in plain white.

Realizing my Friday assignment was going to be one of those where I had not a lot to do, I decided I'd bring this along and get the spiral embroidered on. 

It took me all day. The class was as well-behaved as anticipated. But the embroidery was tricky, at least for someone who doesn't do a lot of it. I ripped it out three times before I ended up with...

Which... Meh. 

The spiral is too wide. And the pink doesn't really pop. I attempted to add a second spiral to this, but I ran out of time. But while contemplating it, I thought, maybe I could come up with something better. 

So, I decided I'd find a yarn that would work but in the right color. And I'd use the shiny yarn held with it. 

And I think I've got it.

I still used the shiny yarn for the spiral (and this time the embroidery went much easier--the practice before helped), and I used the shiny yarn on the horn. I don't think it shows up as well as SIL envisioned, but really, it's the best I can do. 

(The shiny yarn was just as fiddly as before, but carrying it along side a "stable" yarn made using it doable.) 

I'm not 100% satisfied with this, but it'll do, especially as my deadline is fast approaching. (Her birthday is at the end of September, so it needs to get finished and mailed sooner rather than later.) 

All that's left is to attach the horn and to braid ear flaps. Unless next week gets crazy, I should be able to get this done by then. Fingers crossed.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Four Doodles

As it was the first full week of school, the ceramics class hadn't yet been instructed on how to handle clay. Which meant that once they had done some of the intro lessons, there wasn't much more they could do in class. 

So, on Friday, I gave them the Four Doodles assignment. 

This is an assignment he does start the classes with every year. The ceramics 2 class (the group who had this class last year) recognized it. 

It went about as I expected it to. Some of them took the assignment seriously. Some of them half-assed it.

But I mention it because I thought some of you might like to try it. It's a great Zen-out type of mindless drawing. 

You'll need a pencil and a piece of computer or copy paper. Fold it half and then in half again, so you have four boxes each taking up a fourth of the page. 

Each of the boxes should be filled when this is complete. 

In the first box, fill it with circles and circles only. Big ones. Little ones. Varied or not. 

In the second box, fill it with squares made up of horizontal and vertical lines. Like, the first square is made up of only horizontal lines. Then next to it, the square is made up of only vertical lines. The sizes of the squares can vary. 

The third box is full of wavy lines. Start by dividing the box with a wavy line. Then to the right of this line, try to make a line parallel to it. Fill up all the space to the right with wavy lines. Then do the same thing to the left.

And finally, the last box is filled with any random lines you like. The only limit is THE LINES CAN NOT CROSS. The next line can go all the way up to the previous line, but it must not go across it. 

I totally would have created a couple of these, but alas I was busy doing teacher things--taking roll, answering the phone, and the other random things that tend to pop up when all I want to do is stare into space (or play on the computer). 

I hope you all have a peaceful weekend.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Adjusting on the Fly

Because of our new online sub scheduling system, Mr. P knew who his sub would be before his week out started, and he emailed me the lesson plans. 

While normally the classes would be making something with clay (ceramics class), because it was the first full week of school, the students had assignments on the computer. (They were to read the syllabus and to learn about the elements of art and principles of design.) 

I am now very familiar with Google Classroom, so when I saw the plans, I asked Mr. P to add me to his classes so I could troubleshoot any issues. Because I knew there would be an issue.

Thursday. I logged into the computer and double checked the day's assignments. They were scheduled to post... on Friday. Sigh.

Yes, I was very glad that I had access. It was very easy to post the lessons for the day, and the only thing the students noticed was that I had posted the day's assignments rather than Mr. P. 

And this is why I'm glad I insisted on being added to the class. (It's really easy to remove myself from the class after I'm done.) It's so much easier for me to just fix the issue while I'm in class rather than having to try to contact the teacher. (And since I don't know why he's missing class, getting a hold of him might be difficult in the moment.) 

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Repeating the Class

For the first full week of school (school started on a Thursday of the previous week), I accepted a week-long assignment in ceramics. I covered this class before a couple years ago for three-ish (?) weeks (when the teacher fell off his bike and broke his collar bone), so I had a basic idea of how the class was run. 

Because the year is just beginning, the students were given introductory assignments having to do with the syllabus and the elements of art and the principles of design

The assignments didn't take the whole class period. So, I was on guard to make sure the students didn't get into anything they shouldn't. 

It was early into the last class of the day when I noticed that a student wasn't even attempting the assignment. 

Lucia didn't speak any English, so her table mates translated. Lucia showed me that she had done the assignment... in a different period. 

After some back and forth, I figured out that she was in both third and eighth periods. 

Deep sigh. 

Every year, there are mistakes in the schedules. Students are missing classes during a period. Students have two classes during one period. Students are missing required courses. Students get the same class twice...

The entire week new students were starting and other students got dropped. A student who was new to the class wasn't in my attendance software three times (that is, three different students). 

Some students were moved from one period to another. Some just joined the class. 

You really don't want to know what the paper rosters looked like at the end of the week.

I would have thought that Lucia would have caught the error and done something to fix it by eighth period, but the language issue was probably a contributing factor to that slipping through the cracks. (The school is on a block schedule, so third period was on Monday and eighth period was on Tuesday.)

The next day that issue was fixed. Lucia was dropped from third period (to take something else then, I assume). She remained in eighth. At least when she got to eighth period on Thursday, she hadn't already done the assignment. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Big Mad

Speculative fiction has a long history of taking the issues of the day and reframing them in a new context with the hope that people will look at them in a new way. Our "unprecedented" times are bringing all sorts of old ways and old thinking back to the forefront. On Tuesdays, I present "what if?" questions. Previously, the intent was as an idea generator. It still is. But now, I ask that you really think about all the repercussions that these ideas will have. If only these were just thought exercises. 

What if the free-floating anger is the point? (Yes, I'm being vague. Interpret this however you wish.)

Monday, August 22, 2022

In the Meantime

I did not touch the unicorn hat all week.

When my sister-in-law and I started talking about me making one for her, she had a specific yarn in mind for the unicorn's horn. This yarn came from a shop in Denmark. I figured I'd find something similar that I didn't have to order from outside the country. 

I found a yarn, but it wasn't shiny or really, the right shade of pink. But I was going to use it anyway. And that ended up being a big fail. I started the horn with that yarn last Saturday, and I stopped working on the horn last Saturday. It didn't look right.

So, there was nothing for it. I was going to order the yarn from Denmark. I ordered it last Sunday. I was given an arrival date of between August 29th and the 31st. Fair, I thought. 

What should I work on in the meantime? 

I found some yarn in my stash that needed to become a moebius infinity scarf. I looked up how to cast that on again (it's been a while). I searched out a stitch pattern to use. And I started. 

I'm on the second row.

So far, it's going well. 

And then, this just past Saturday, guess what arrived in the mail? 

Yup, that's a week earlier than they said. But cool. That means I can start right in on the unicorn horn. And now I have another begun project that can sit until I need something else to work on. 

Hopefully this yarn will work for the unicorn's horn. 

Friday, August 19, 2022

A Makeshift Birthday Card

In every workplace there is that one person who takes on the emotional labor of keeping track of everyone's birthdays. They remind those around them of the upcoming, and they make sure that those birthdays get some sort of recognition. 

Friday. The second day of school. 

As we got things situated on Thursday, the aide commented that she had never worked on her birthday before. (Our school year is starting a whole lot earlier than it used to.) She wrote her birthday on the calendar. It was the next day. 

Ms. D had been one of the aides in Ms. S's class last year. (This is the class I covered from November to the end of January.) And Ms. D was the one who kept track of the students' birthdays and such. 

It totally slipped my mind that it was her birthday the next day, so I didn't remember to go out and at least get her a card. But I did remember when she arrived, so the class sang "Happy Birthday" to her. 

As soon as she went out of class to do something, I grabbed some construction paper and created a card for her. I had the students sign it. 

Then, quietly, I got the other aide to distribute the card to the rest of the school. 

I wasn't that sneaky about it, but Ms. D seemed surprised when I presented the card to her at the end of the day. 

Because the person who remembers everyone else's birthday deserves to have her birthday remembered. Even if it was kind of makeshift. Sigh. 

I informed Mr. G of the event. I hope he brings in a cake or something for her.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

The Soft Opening

The first day of school kind of feels like the grand opening of a restaurant or other business. Everyone is there. Everyone is on their best behavior. You've got crowds and new things and all the focus is on the beginning. 

The past couple years, I've felt like a brand new employee (with no prior training) on the first day of school. I've moaned about falling into "vacant" classes, that is, a class with no teacher assigned. And while I know that's mostly how one works on the first day of school, I wasn't really looking forward to having to do that yet again.

And then a gig at the adult transition center popped up for the first two days of school. For Mr. G. Who I know didn't retire. 

While I had never subbed for Mr. G before, I spent 117 days at the adult transition center last school year. I've met the students. While I might not know Mr. G's exact schedule, I do have a rough idea of what he usually does. 

So, instead of jumping right into the school year, I'm kind of easing into it, like having a soft opening before the official grand opening. 

Things were a bit of a mess, as the room hadn't been prepped and Mr. G's usual aides weren't there. (One was out and the other got moved to a different class.) But I had Pizza, Leanna, and Brittany. And I'd been around the other three students before. (We were supposed to have incoming new students, but they didn't show up.) 

Not a bad way to start the new school year. And this group was way easier than Ms. L's group. (Although I did get to see many of them as well. I just saw them before and after school.) 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Getting the Job

Most of the school districts in the area, probably in the state, use a computerized scheduling system to fill substitute teacher jobs throughout the school year. The district I work for, however, still used a sub caller--a human being who manually called subs to get jobs filled. Until now.

We have now joined the modern era with a subfinder app. Finally. 

Alas, because the system is new to us, there are a few kinks in the system. 

School officially started on Thursday. The teachers started on Tuesday. They had professional development days. No students.

However, the continuation high school is on a different schedule. They have been in session since mid-July. 

(Covering a couple classes at the continuation high school before school officially starts for the rest of the district is a good warm up for the school year.) 

The prior Thursday, the school's secretary told me she had a teacher out on Monday, but no one had taken the gig yet. I told her the job wasn't showing for us subs. For some reason the job kept popping up as "no sub required". 

The secretary worked the problem from her end. I kept an eye on the app on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It did not appear. 

On Sunday, the secretary called me. She wondered why the job was still vacant. I told her it still wasn't in the system. 

And then, the job popped up. Only, I had been assigned the job with no way to decline. (I had a rough weekend and had planned to not work. Although, once I accepted the job, I could cancel. But by that time I figured getting out of the house might be a good idea.) 

On Monday, the problem was diagnosed. Because the other schools didn't need subs, the system wouldn't let the one open school request any. 

(The secretary had to call the district and get things fixed as she had another teacher out on Tuesday, and the job wouldn't post.)

Problem fixed, I was able to catch the assignment when the teacher I covered on Monday requested another day out. 

It's always something, isn't it? School has barely started, and I've already had three different issues with the new (to us) app. Well, not me, per se. Let's just say I'm kind of enjoying watching the teachers figure out how this whole thing works.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022


Speculative fiction has a long history of taking the issues of the day and reframing them in a new context with the hope that people will look at them in a new way. Our "unprecedented" times are bringing all sorts of old ways and old thinking back to the forefront. On Tuesdays, I present "what if?" questions. Previously, the intent was as an idea generator. It still is. But now, I ask that you really think about all the repercussions that these ideas will have. If only these were just thought exercises. 

As school begins for the year for us...

What if they did away with public schools? (And did what? Either just left a child's education up to their family or turning all schools into private and/or charter schools.)

Monday, August 15, 2022

The Mane Event

I'm afraid I didn't make much progress on the unicorn hat this week. I went from this...

To this...

I blame the heat. And school started up last week, so I went and got busy again. 

I'm going to set this aside for just a bit. I had to order the right yarn for the unicorn's horn, and until it arrives I'm at a standstill. (I bought something local, but it didn't work up right.) But I can find other projects to work on until then. 

The hat thus far:

Friday, August 12, 2022

Word Ladder: Legen-wait-for-it-dary

I don't really know how random this quiz is, as it took me at least a dozen hits of the "random quiz" button on Sporcle before this one popped up. 

(Ones I skipped: sports puns, distance from Praetoria, characters on cartoons, geographic features of Canada, countries close to Brazil, most popular names that start with B, and several others I can't now recall.) 

A word ladder is where each "rung" is one letter different from the "rung" before (and after). So, if the first word is AND, the next word could be END. (This is good for when you get stuck. The next word only has one letter difference.) 

You can do the words in any order, so start with a clue you know. Only answer the ones you know. Then you can go back and fill in if you have time left. (Yes, this is timed. Sorry.)

Word Ladder: It's Going to Be Legen-wait-for-it-dary!

I got 39/42 for 93%. I'm rather pleased, as I never saw the sitcom on which this word ladder is based. 

Let me know how you did in the comments.

Thursday, August 11, 2022


Today is the first day of school. But, I write my blog posts over the previous weekend, so everything I talk about happened last week. 

The only schools open last week were the alternative education center and the continuation high school. It was just a matter of time before a working day became available, this one at the continuation high school. (It has been a while since I was last there, but not much really changes.)

Second period. As the students entered class, I overheard Natasha ask the PE teacher (Coach M) if she could go to his class instead. Coach hesitated, started to say yes if she promised to join in the game, then changed his mind when he realized that she would just sit by, and he ultimately said no.

Twenty-five minutes into class (probably not realizing I saw the previous exchange), Natasha asked if she could join the PE class. She told me Coach said she could. 

Luckily, the PE class was shooting baskets right outside my door. 

So, we both went outside. I got Coach's attention. Natasha asked to join the class. 

Coach said he already had eleven playing the game (perhaps Horse, although I can't be certain), and she'd only sit, so no. Again.

I mean, she could sit inside with the air conditioning or outside in the (muggy) heat. (She wasn't even making a pretense of doing anything in class.) If she just wanted to watch, our open windows overlooked the game.

It must be a boy. Or boys. Otherwise, why give up the a/c? I must be missing something.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

A Small Favor

Could you all do me a favor? If you're on Blogger, could you check to make sure my comments didn't end up in your spam folder?

Lately, I've noticed some of my comments have not been appearing on your blogs. At first, I assumed they were being deleted (as all blog owners totally can and should curate their comments), but it's happened way too frequently for that to be the issue.

And, I'm finding many regular commenters in my spam folder. 

Comment is not spam. Middle icon marks comment as spam.

Comment is marked as spam. Check mark takes it out of spam folder.

So, if you wouldn't mind, could you go and double check. Thanks.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022


Speculative fiction has a long history of taking the issues of the day and reframing them in a new context with the hope that people will look at them in a new way. Our "unprecedented" times are bringing all sorts of old ways and old thinking back to the forefront. On Tuesdays, I present "what if?" questions. Previously, the intent was as an idea generator. It still is. But now, I ask that you really think about all the repercussions that these ideas will have. If only these were just thought exercises. 

What if we do completely run out of water?

Monday, August 8, 2022

Linear Growth in Crochet

Last week I was just getting started on the unicorn hat. (The pattern is here. I don't want to post pics from the pattern due to copyright concerns, so make sure to click on the link to get an idea what the finished hat will look like.) 

Since last week's post, I attached the ears, and I got started on the mane. And the mane... Well, it's a bit, um, long...

It turns out that I've never blogged before about the potato chip scarf (or if I have, I can't find it). It's an interesting technique that produces a spiral. It's the technique the pattern designer used to create the mane of the unicorn. 

The problem? Linear growth. It's what makes the thing spiral. 

For the mane, I chained 107 stitches. It's a lot, but not terrible. The next row, I had to double that. (214 stitches.) And then the next row again added 107 stitches, meaning by row 3, I was working 321 stitches. 

And then there were rows 4, 5, and 6 (428, 535, and 642 stitches). 

Row 1 barely took any time at all. Rows 4, 5, and 6 had to be done over multiple sittings. 

I debated doing the last row in the purple or changing out to a contrasting color. The decision was made for me when I was just about out of purple yarn by the end of row 6.

I like the edging on this. It makes the whole mane pop. But as you can see, after two (or three?) days working on it, I'm still not quite to the end.

After this, I think all I've got left is the horn. After the mane, that should be a snap.

At least the ears are done. 

I might be persuaded to make some of these for sale, if anyone is interested in commissioning one. (Although, I am expensive, so budget accordingly.) 

Friday, August 5, 2022

Which Foods Are Real?

I've got another random quiz for today. (I went to Sporcle and clicked on "random quiz".) And the first one to pop up was...

...something about starting pitchers in the MLB, and as I don't do sports at all, anything I got correct would have been a random guess. Trying again...

Which Foods Are Real? II

This one was kind of fun. There's a list of things that sound food-like, and the trick is to click on the actual edible dishes. 

I got 11/15 or 73%. That's pretty good considering that I only knew four of them. Five more I had a pretty good idea about, but I wasn't certain. Which means two were wild guesses. (Well, I made six wild guesses. Only two of them turned out to be right.)

And as a bonus, here's one of my favorites (but many of you don't like these): Kennections #20. Answer five questions. (I encourage you to cheat.) Then you have to figure out what they have in common. (Which I figured out this time, hence why I'm including it.) Enjoy.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

At Home 13

I've been wanting to do this one for a while, but I've never quite gotten around to it before. I stepped out my front door with my cell phone, and I took pictures. 

The plan was to get pics of all the wildlife. Alas, that is not what happened. The turtles were not at their usual haunt (and when I got close enough to one in the water, it dove deeper). The Canadian geese seem to have left already. The butterflies would not alight anywhere, so I could not get a decent shot. The fish were too dark to see. And the ducks just wouldn't pose right for a good pic.

But, I was able to take pictures of the condo complex, and some of the critters cooperated. All of these pictures were taken on July 28, 2022. This is a Thursday 13. (It's a blog hop. Join us.)

1. The dragonflies were all over the place. This one alighted long enough to let me get this shot.

2. This bird has been around a lot lately. I was surprised it let me get this close, although when I tried to get closer, it made like it was going to fly off, so I turned around and left.

3. Once I realized I wasn't getting the wildlife shots I wanted, it was time to find some interesting plants and flowers.

4. I stopped here to get some pics of the fish. You can't see them, can you? So, I figured the lily pads were a nice shot instead.

5. This is near where the Canadian geese liked to hang out. It's blissfully empty now.

6. Another flower. I have no idea what kind.

7. I stopped here to catch a hummingbird that was feeding, but it was gone before I could get the shot. This looks like a good plant to feed from.

8. I was just walking along. This is the sidewalk we use.

9. Tree and plants. At this point it was just because the tree is interesting.

10. The water trickles around the whole complex. It's a peaceful sound.

11. Another tall plant.

12. This is just pretty.

13. And I totally lucked out. I had been seeking this bird all day, and it finally was there. It even stood still and let me get close. (I think it was asleep. Otherwise it probably would have flown off before I got even this close.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

A Week of TV

As I've been going through and trying to figure out what to talk about on my What to Watch Wednesday, I realized that of the things I'm watching, I've either already posted about it, or I'm not really keen on "recommending" it. So, I'm going to borrow Birgit's idea and just list the things I've been watching. 

These are all shows that I have seen an episode of in the last week. Links either go to the post I wrote about them or to their IMDb page. In no particular order:

The Durrells. I found this on Prime Video. I guess it was on Masterpiece Theater on PBS here. I'm half tempted to do a post on this, but the other half is kind of meh. 

The Orville. I started this when it was on FOX. I followed it to Hulu. It's been kind of hit or miss this season. The first couple episodes were meh, but then a couple after that reminded me why I started this show in the first place. I wish they'd lighten up on the music, though. (Man, whoever is in charge of scoring this show needs to back off.)

Westworld. Yikes. This season is... Yikes. I have this tendency to keep with shows that I started until they finish. Unless something makes it so I just can't anymore. Westworld is getting close to that line, but it hasn't quite reached it. Yet.

Evil. Don't let the name dissuade you. I wrote about this show when it was in season 1 and on CBS. It's now on season 3 on Paramount Plus, and it's one of the reasons I got the subscription. 

Motherland: Fort Salem. This is another one I wrote about during season 1 and it is now in season 3. This has been announced to be its last season, and I can see why. They're gearing up for a finale that's truly an ending. I see from my original post I wasn't a fan. It got better. A lot better.

Renovation Island. They just started airing season 4 on HGTV. I kind of thought they'd be done after season 3, but there are more renovations to do. I do really like seeing these projects from beginning to end. It's kind of like redoing something in your own home, but you don't have to live through the mess.

And I think that about covers it for the moment. I'm still looking for other shows to stream, as I'm getting to the point where I'll be completely caught up soon (probably by the time you read this). The other show that is back that I haven't mentioned is In the Dark. I haven't mentioned it because I gave it up this season. Probably. If I get bored enough...

Do you watch any of these shows? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

A Hot Planet

Speculative fiction has a long history of taking the issues of the day and reframing them in a new context with the hope that people will look at them in a new way. Our "unprecedented" times are bringing all sorts of old ways and old thinking back to the forefront. On Tuesdays, I present "what if?" questions. Previously, the intent was as an idea generator. It still is. But now, I ask that you really think about all the repercussions that these ideas will have. If only these were just thought exercises. 

What if the powers in charge never do anything about curbing pollution to reduce the effects of climate change?

Monday, August 1, 2022

The Big Tangle

As you know, I've been whining a lot lately about not having any yarny projects to work on. I finished niece's birthday gift. Then I did the Autonomy headscarf thing (for abortion rights). And in between I keep plugging away on the Calash scarf

Now (the time after summer school but before the new school year starts) is the time to really get some projects going so I have things to keep my hands busy in the evenings. And I finally started on something new.

The whys of this project take a bit of explaining. It's been in the planning stages for a while, but I haven't yet mentioned it on the blog.

Remember the octopus hats? I had started on them about this time last year (and I wrote all about them on the blog). I got a nice picture with the three nephews modeling them after Christmas. And I thought nothing more of it.

Then, my sister-in-law texted me. She wanted one, too. Could I make her one? Of course.

But, I got to thinking. She's not really an octopus type. I suggested that perhaps she would enjoy a different sort of hat. After going back and forth, she admitted that she wished that a unicorn hat existed. 

I knew there had to be one. It turned out there were several.

I took screenshots of the pictures from the various patterns. I sent them to her. She chose the one she liked best

And it turned out I was very familiar with the designer of that hat. Yup, it's the same designer that designed the octopus hat.

So, why didn't I start on SIL's hat right away? (We had this conversation back in April.) Because she wanted to pick out the yarn, and she was going to send it to me.

I waited. And I got busy with other things. SIL texted me at the beginning of June to ask if I had gotten the yarn. Nope. She realized that she had never ordered the yarn. She told me she'd get right on that.

Not last week but the week before, I was contemplating what to work on next. (Okay, so we're talking not quite the end of July. So, another month and a half since the last time SIL said she would send me the yarn she wanted.) And I knew that SIL was never going to send me the yarn. It was time to figure out how to start the hat.

Looking at SIL's color choices, I realized that I probably had the yarn already on hand. I did. So, I ordered the pattern and pulled out the yarn I'd need. 

I jumped right in.

Which... was kind of a mistake. 

I did not take pictures. I don't think the pictures would have done it justice.

Let's just say that I probably should have taken the time to rewind the clump of yarn into a nice ball to crochet from. I thought the yarn would come untangled as I crocheted. Nope. Starting the hat only made things worse. Sigh.

I started the project on a Thursday. It was Monday before I spent more time crocheting than I did untangling. 

But then the hat part took shape. 

It kind of looks like an old time football helmet with the ear flaps. But this is just the base on which the accessories go that make it look like a unicorn.

The next step is ears...

These get attached to the hat. I think the mane comes after that, but I'm not sure. (I find that reading the pattern doesn't make a lot of sense to me without yarn and hook in hand. If I do each instruction as I read it, things tend to work out.) 

I'm not using the top-of-the-line cushy expensive yarn for this. So, it's kind of a practice run. I'll keep you posted as I progress on the thing.