Brioche beanies and Palmieri

So last week, my sister and brother-in-law came to visit me. But more importantly, some good light came into my apartment, and then this happened:

I know. I thought I was a better photographer, too. I did my best to channel my instaproficient friends, keeping in mind converging lines and the rule of thirds (and subtle indications of a sophisticated literary palette). But, as it turns out, I’m pretty crappy at stylizing. Or I need cooler sunglasses. 
IMG_4523It’s probably the sunglasses.

But anyway! A few years ago, you may remember me toying with the particularly elusive brioche stitch and ultimately making a brioche infinity scarf and writing about it (that post was temporarily redacted while i applied to medical school due to some disparaging remarks about etsy users and also because i ended the post with ‘suck it’). Well, ever since then, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to adapt the brioche stitch to be knit in the round so I could make brioche hats or sweaters. All to no avail, sadly.

Until last month! When I found this post on craftsy with instructions on how to knit brioche in the round. That, in conjunction with purlbee’s instructions on how to brioche decrease (i’m in a bit of a creativity dry spell right now…), gave me just what I needed to knit up my very first brioche beanie! Here’s my friend, Shirlene (a brand spankin’ new american #goamerica), attempting to look as fabulous as the beanie on her head.

IMG_4615IMG_4619Well, she tried.

IMG_4643One of the reasons why Shirlene is so visibly happy (other than becoming the best kind of citizen ever and having someone shake a tree to shower you with flower petals) is because she is both model and owner of this grey brioche beanie. As the fifth installation of my ingenious art swap idea (knitschange? knit for tat? quid pro knit?), I agreed to make Shirlene a hat in exchange for a work of her own.

As it turns out, Shirlene happens to be a pretty fantastic artist, so I asked her to draw me the single (i wish) most undeniably perfect female companion: Jessica Chastain.JC2softlightBtw I’m not usually the type to obsess over people; Other than Ed Sheeran (sheerio4life) and that Indian guy in high school who stole my crossword puzzles, I tend to keep a healthy separation from people not actually a part of my life.

Except for Jessica Chastain.


So as I mentioned earlier, my sister and BIL (brother-in-law get with it) came to visit last week, and they were actually the tail end of a string of family visitors coming to see me. It was great having them all here–introducing them to my diverse friends (in a recent family contest of ‘who has the most white friends’, i won hands down) and showing them around Hyde Park–but it was also kind of weird (and not just because i gave them all the same shower towel to use). Because for the first time, I was able to see myself as who I am in light of who I was, noticing all the things I’ve changed or kept the same since moving away and finally realizing that I actually really live in Chicago now. For like, my life.

And then they all left and I returned to my routine of Microbiology and reading Jessica Chastain’s bio on Wikipedia, but I started seeing the ways I had really made this place my home. I can bike now (debatable), and I know where to get groceries and what an alderman is. I’ve even learned how to play cornhole (as it turns out, i am a cornhole prodigy).


But then there are times when it’s like I just got here and everyone can see the San Francisco on me (hecka awkward). Like when I ate kale and granola with a dozen Chicago firemen (thankfully they were too busy watching ultimate catch to judge me). Or when everyone’s upset when the Blackhawks lose to the Ducks because of how good Palmieri is (i had to google every single proper nouns in that sentence). Or when someone uses the word ‘salad’ incorrectly and my heart gets sad.

I have been in Chicago for almost twelve months now, where it has been A Most Violent Year, but also a most eventful one, what with the start of medical school (and The Debt that comes with it…) and leaving my family (including Mama, et al.) back at home. But with The Help of my new community here, I’ve learned to Take Shelter in the fact that I have less changed than matured, adapting to circumstances and learning from mistakes ranging from minuscule to Interstellar (reading while walking is NOT something you can do here). Because I figure I’m not different, but more than who I was before, growing steadily on The Tree of Life, adding to myself with each decision.

Zero Dark Thirty.

***Jessica Chastain was born in Sacramento, California, and is currently is in a relationship with Count Gian Luca Passi di Preposulo, though prospects look bleak.


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