Monthly Archives: August 2014

My heart isn’t bad. Whew.

Doctor results: heart palpitations aren’t going to kill me.  May have to see a cardiologist, though, depending on lab results next week. Lab tests include thyroid, a1c, liver function, etc. because I need all those regularly thanks to psych meds.  And I have antibiotics for my persistent bronchitis.

I really like the doc I saw today.  The Valkyrie has seen him, and I was there for that and liked him.  My opinion was reinforced today.  I asked him to be my new primary doc, and I told him I’m trans.  He said his BFF is gay, and he lives with BFF and his boyfriend.  I knew he’d be okay with it.  He’s mellow.  This means I’m out to all my medical people — primary, gynecologist, and psychiatrist.  Awesome!

Oh, and speaking of psychiatrists — tonight I start my lower dose of Invega.  If I start acting weird or posting abnormal content, let me know because I need to monitor this shit.  Oh, psych meds, how I hate/love you…

Boytoy feels

There’s this guy I used to be FWB with, ten years ago.  I was seeing him when I met the Valkyrie, and ended it when V couldn’t handle polyamory.  Former Boytoy (FBT to make typing easier) was 19, bisexual, adorable, well-hung, and bratty in the sexy subby way.  But I had already realized I wanted to marry V so I went monogamous.

Fast forward to this last Tuesday.  I had been thinking about FBT for a while, weirdly thanks to LCD Soundsystem videos because the lead singer reminds me a bit of him.  I asked V if she minded me messaging him.  She said no, it was okay.  So I friended him on Facebook last night and we chatted for a couple of hours this morning.  It was both great and depressing.  Great because he’s doing well, he’s happy, and he posts naughty pictures of himself on Twitter.  Depressing because he’s got a community he’s a part of, and I miss having more in-person friends.  BFF is awesome and wonderful, but I’d also like some trans/queer IRL friends.  Even if I have to drive down to Orlando to see them, it would be worth it.

Wednesday I was supposed to go to a trans social mixer but couldn’t because I was sick, and to my surprise it really hurt when I couldn’t go. (I’m writing this in the doctor’s office, actually, for a follow-up because I’m not getting better.)

Maybe I should ask FBT if he can introduce me to some trans people in the area. He knows some, and I don’t really care about people’s fetishes. (FBT is a furry. So are his friends. I am not bothered by this.). Yeah, I think I’ll do that…

The other depressing thing was just being reminded that I’m fat and not sexy and dysphoric. He didn’t say those things. I just felt that way. But the community thing was the harder part. I get lonely.

Back in the exam room now. Messaged FBT. Cross your fingers for me that he’s willing to introduce me to a few people!

Not getting shit done

My to-do list is massive. :( And I haven’t done shit the last couple of days.  Between depression and still having trouble with bronchitis or whatever the fuck this is, I haven’t even wanted to leave the house.  I have left, but did not want to.  I’ve also been sleeping too much.  Sigh.

I did chat for a bit with two old friends on Facebook today, and I made a new friend via Tumblr.  And I joined a trans non-binary group.  So at least there’s that.

Tomorrow — okay, technically today at this point — I have an appointment with my psychiatrist.  I’m going to talk to her about the Invega making me put on 50 pounds in the last 10 months.  I’m not thrilled with changing my meds, but no matter how much effort I put into eating right I’m still steadily gaining weight.  I had lost 30 pounds when I first got on that medication.  This is not normal.  So wish me luck.

3am.  Bedtime, even though I’m not tired.  The babbies will wake me at 8:00, as always…

A weaving problem

In knitting there’s this thing called gauge.  Gauge is how many stitches and rows you get per inch.  Fairly simple.  Well, weaving has an equivalent: picks per inch (PPI).  Every time you pass the shuttle through the shed, that’s one pick.  In a plain weave that’s a strand of yarn per pick.  Got it?

The first two panels of the black and silver blanket were done on the couch, with one end of the loom on my lap and the other on a tray table.  The third panel was done sitting at my desk with the loom clamped to the edge of the desk.  I didn’t think about this making a difference in how my weaving would turn out.  The PPI of the couch pieces is much lower than the desk piece.  Translation: the desk piece is more densely woven than the couch pieces.  ARGH.  This means the “checkerboard” squares don’t match up between the couch and desk pieces.

(Here’s a pic of one of the pieces, in case you haven’t seen the checked pattern.  Also, Instagram is telling me I finished the first blanket square only two weeks ago!  Feels like at least a month.)

So I’m going to ask on my weaving forum if the solution I’ve devised might work.  What I’m thinking is that I’ll sew each end of each piece to stabilize it (normally done when a project is already sewn together) and then throw them all in the washing machine.  Wet-finishing, done either by hand or machine, changes the characteristics of the fabric.  What’s going to happen is that the pieces will shrink a little and the strands of yarn will nestle up against each other to make a denser fabric. 

What I’m hoping is that the looser-woven pieces will shrink a little more than the more tightly woven pieces (I still have a fourth panel to make; I measured and cut the warp tonight and will finish warping in the morning).  Then maybe all four will match up well enough that the differences will no longer be obvious.  If it works, I can hand-sew them all together and the blanket will be done.  If not, I’ll pretend it was done on purpose and remove a little fabric from the end of the looser pieces.  (It’s not a bug, it’s a design feature!)

Like I said, I’ll ask on the weaving forum.  Hopefully some people with more experience will be able to assist.

In other weaving news, I have a project to add to my queue.  First I have to make placemats for my BFF, which shouldn’t take very long because they’ll all be done on one warp.  Ditto with a pride shawl for my niece.  And then I want to try a color pattern I really like.  Imagine three columns: one a dark color, one a medium color, and one a lighter shade.  And then cross it with wide rows of the same colors, so each column has blocks that are equally wide and tall.  Each square will be a slightly different color because of the combination of the column color and the row color.  Can you picture it? 

I just need to decide two things: 1) what I’m making, and 2) what colors to use.  Monochromatic would be cool.  Black with two shades of purple would be nice.  I saw it done online with purple, blue, and white.  (That’s what gave me the idea.)  I’m thinking the block pattern would look amazing as an afghan.  Not that I need another afghan… I guess I could use two greens and a brown for bathroom hand towels and washcloths.  I dunno, I just want to play with that pattern.

I’ll let you all know what the weaving forum says, and how the blanket turns out.  So close to done…

 

Attack of the crazypants

Yesterday I was really tense for most of the day.  The Valkyrie was struggling with depression and accidentally triggered my PTSD, so I was freaking out and she was freaking out and we were both just miserable.  And because I felt so bad I decided I didn’t deserve to take my meds, so this morning I’m a basket case.  Fuck.  I took my morning meds 15 minutes ago.  Hope I feel better soon.  I’m freaking the Valkyrie out too.  Sigh.

Today I have a bunch of packages to get in the mail.  Well, UPS for a lot of them.  I still haven’t sent the Ashford loom out, and I have a couple of Amazon returns to do.  And return some yarn to Paradise Fibers.  And mail some destashed fiber I sold a few days ago.  Okay, need to stop thinking about all that, getting tenser.  I’ll deal with it today, just not right now.

God.  I’m freaking V out so much she needs to not be in the same room as me.  And here I thought I was feeling better…

Samplers and pin looms

I got my pin loom in the mail Thursday.   I made a few test squares with different yarns, then decided to try some sock yarn.  the results have been amazing.

After I made the first couple I decided to do the whole skein and then assemble the squares into a small shawl or scarf.  I’ve made… 25?… so far and I’m really enjoying myself.  I can do a square in 11 minutes and bam, instant gratification.  It’s also very relaxing.

Yesterday I met my family for brunch and gave my sister the wall hanging I made.

A friend on Tumblr said “I LOVE THIS!!! This is stunning. This is the most beautiful woven thing I’ve ever seen. Have you always been able to do this, or is this something new?”  Since I can’t reply to her there, I’ll reply here.

First of all, thanks for the compliment.  I don’t think it’s the most beautiful woven thing ever, but I’m pretty proud of it.  I’d never done any of those designs before.  I have The Weaver’s Idea Book by Jane Patrick, which shows a whole bunch of fancy stuff that can be done with a rigid heddle loom, and I just tried some out while making this sampler.  They were great fun to play with.  I repeated a couple of techniques because they tied the piece together more, and I liked the dramatic look of the openwork.

I want to make another of these, experiment with different colors.  Hmmm.

It never lasts, does it?

Sunday I did pretty well, emotionally.  Monday I started sinking.  Tuesday I spent a lot of time crying.  Today I could barely wake up, and when I was awake I was super-tense.  Fuck me.

I’m doing some cool weaving, though: that sampler for my sister.  I’ll post pics after I’ve given it to her Saturday.  I’ll have it finished tomorrow, and wet-finished in time for Saturday lunch.  It looks amazing and I may have to make myself one (different but similar).

I’ve been hanging out on a rigid heddle weaving forum, and some people got to talking about pin looms.  They were popular from the 30’s to the 60’s.  They’re very small looms, 4×4″ on average, and in 15 minutes you can make a square (or other shape).  Sew them together, and you can make just about anything.  When I heard about these my ears perked up, not just because it’s a way to weave on the go but also because a square takes about 8 yards and I have a lot of tiny skeins of handspun laying around.  Perfect!  I asked about handspun on a pin loom, and had a few people say it’s a great way to use up odds and ends.

The site I linked to above has several scans of vintage loom patterns and weaves.  You can do a lot of different types of weaves using weft floats, twill, and even ribbing of a sort.  So the squares don’t all have to be identical plain (tabby) weave.  There are some that look like right angles and wide straight bits, and I’d love to make a bunch of squares that look like a maze when put together.  the scanned booklets have given me lots of ideas.

So yes, a cheap pin loom will be arriving tomorrow.  It’ll give me another way to distract myself from my stupid fucking depression…

Mini-post about religion

In the past year, a few of my online acquaintances have joined Christian churches after exploring their spirituality.  All of them are about my age, in their mid to late thirties.  It doesn’t bother me or anything; they joined liberal churches and none of them have gotten weird about it (heading the direction of the religious right, I mean), and if it makes them happy then I’m happy for them.  I’m just curious if I’m going to see more friends join churches as we all get older, and if the next generation (the least religious ever, to date) is going to get religious as they reach middle age and older…

First weavers’ guild meeting

This afternoon I went to my first meeting of the semi-local weaving guild.  They were having an auction today (tools and yarns, mostly), and there was a “free but please give a donation” table.  which is how I came home with a 16×24″ Navajo loom.  Thankfully I only need to buy one very cheap piece of equipment to use it.  (A $12 batten, if you’re curious.  I already have a tapestry fork.)  I also got an ebook on the subject and am reading it, and I ordered a bunch of cheap solid-color worsted wool mini-skeins to use in my tapestry.  (Really cheap: $2.50 for 44 yards.)  The loom came with an empty warp on it, and I’m studying it before I try anything myself.  Navajo looms were originally designed for rugs, but this one is a nice size to use for basic tapestry weaving and I’m going to try that.  The only problem is that it’s upright, not at an angle, but I can lean it against the wall or something.

As far as the guild itself goes, the majority of members were older white women, but there were a few people sprinkled here and there that were not in that category.  I felt a little out of place, but most everybody was really nice to me, and they seemed to have a good sense of humor.  (The only person with a stick up her ass was the other visitor, who looked disgusted at having to share the elevator with me.)  The auction was hysterically funny at times, and I had a great time.  I will definitely be returning for next month’s meeting!

The only crafting I’ve done is knitting during the meeting, and about 15 minutes of spindle plying.  But I’m about to sit down at my loom and fix that!

Thanks, dad.

My father (who I’m not on speaking terms with) passed down some lovely genes to his children.  All three of his children (including my half-sister, so I know we don’t get it from my mom) have mental illnesses and PCOS.  Turns out my full sister and I also have scoliosis.  I’ve known about mine for almost a decade, ever since a spinal X-ray for an unrelated problem, but it turns out that Sis has it too.  It tends to run in families and nobody on Mom’s side has it, so it’s another wonderful gift from Dad.  Thanks, asshole.