Category Archives: spinning

Life update, Halloween edition

Lots of stuff has been going on, mostly good things!

Social: I’ve been leaving the house and hanging out with people!  Which means I need to give a few people some nicknames. (Pause…)  Done.  I even made a page for my cast of characters.  Yesterday I hung out with Zelda for like 6 hours.  Her friend Domino joined us for lunch, and we hit it off too, and then the three of us spent like an hour in Joanns gleefully shopping for 70% off Halloween decorations.  Last Sunday I had coffee in the morning with Rose for two hours, and then spend the afternoon with Zelda.  I am such a social butterfly.

Hellooooooo nurse: I’ve been contemplating having a sex life again.  I don’t want love, but friendship with benefits would be awesome.  I’ve even been flirting with people.  Shocking.

Brain Fun: doing fairly well on most days. There was a four-day depressive streak last week during which I only left the house once.  And the week before that I struggled with occasional bursts of impulsive recklessness.  Like, “if I ride my bike down this 65mph highway, it’s not like I’m actually attempting suicide, right?  I mean, it has a bike lane…”  But mostly I’m okay.

Thursday I started decreasing my Lamictal dosage.  I’ve been on 200mg twice a day for years, and I’m fed up with the severe memory loss it causes.  I’ve forgotten almost everything I learned in college.  I don’t remember most of my childhood.  The memories are still there, I just can’t access them.  (Thanks to my psych degree and a stint volunteering in a neuropsych lab, I know a bit about memory testing and have done some.  I store memories just fine; it’s retrieval that’s the problem.)  I consider this to be the best way to lose memories, as it means I have a chance of regaining access.  If I wasn’t storing them when they happened, I’d be completely SOL.

Lamictal is what prevents my mania.  If I start getting manic I’ll just sedate myself and then resume my former dose.  Easy.  I hope this works.

Therapy: haven’t had an appointment since my last update.  I’ll have one tomorrow, though.

Cycling: still doing it, although not as much as I’d like.  That whole reckless thing has made me a little scared to ride much.  I’ll talk to my therapist about it.

I’ve resumed my daily walks, though.  Because outdoor exercise of any kind helps my mental health.

Crafting: two inches left of Nephew’s pillow.  I’ve been spinning a lot.  Nothing else, though.  I’ve been too busy reading.

Reading: alllll the books.  So many books.  Mostly paper ones.  All non-fiction.  Which reminds me, I should update my Goodreads account.

Cello: I’ve stopped lessons until January, so that I can afford school and Christmas presents.  I’m sad, but I’ll be back to it in the new year.

Follow-up from last update: I had to reschedule the dentist, because I’ve been having some trouble with nausea.  The craft fair this last Saturday was fun, although it was just me and Mom.  I got a new journal.  Now I just need to keep up with it.

Upcoming plans: Hiking November 11th!  So excite!

Mid-month update

I seem to be stuck updating biweekly…

Therapy: not as intense as last time, but stressful nonetheless.  Talked about how I dissociate so much, both deliberately and involuntarily.  How it makes me feel safer.  How when I cried happy tears the other day, I had no idea why my eyes were watery and it confused me, and how once I realized I was happy-crying I was even more confused because how could I not know that’s what I was doing?  I have serious mind/body disconnect issues, and I want to fix it.

Reading: Saturday I started reading a book that wasn’t fanfic.  Since then I’ve read four more books and am almost done with a fifth.  The last one I finished was a novel, which delighted me.  I want to read more fiction.  I hope this lasts for a while.  Oh, yeah, and three were paper books.  Maybe I need to switch back to physical books.  Yay for good libraries!

Biking: still at it.  I’m having to take shorter rides now, though, because long ones hurt my bad knee.  I have dual rear baskets now so I can run more nearby errands on my bike.  In a little bit I’ll be riding to my sister’s to babysit…

Crafting: My ex-MIL loved the washcloths I made for her birthday.  I finished the pillow for my nephew, only for him to tell me one of the colors was wrong.  (Never mind that he had picked it out.)  So I’m waiting on new yarn to come in.  I warped for my tunic but haven’t started weaving yet.  I haven’t finished the dishcloth I started a few days ago, because I’ve been reading so much.  I got the yarn for Mom’s birthday present (washcloths that match her bathroom decor) but haven’t started those.  (Gotta finish the dishcloth first, as it uses the same needles I need for the washcloths.)  Oh, and Friday I cut out all the pieces for the change purses I’m making.  Now I just need to figure out how to sew on the zippers.  Haven’t done any spinning in a couple of months.

Mental stuff: much less depressed.  Not napping often.  Not eating junk food.  Still dissociating but not as much.  So, better overall.  I’ve been having more good days than bad.  Never did hear back from Hillary’s campaign.  I should call again.

Also… this is going to sound weird and sad.  For the last couple of years I’ve only had a libido when really depressed.  Like, I only get myself off when I’m miserable, because when I feel better I’m not interested.  What does it say about me, that arousal is a sign of depression for me?  I get anhedonic except for lust, and even then I frequently feel desire without being able to do anything about it.  But today I got turned on while in a good mood.  It felt weird, but I’m happy about it.

Also, watching cisgender porn as a trans person is hard.  Because my private fantasies are always with me in a male body, and so sometimes gay porn is awesome, but then like today I wanted to see my own physiology reflected so I was watching straight porn.  Neither feels quite right, but there’s a lack of good trans BDSM porn featuring submissives whom I can identify with even a little.  Stupid transgender problem #873987984789375…

Upcoming plans: Thursday I finally see the dentist.  (My appointment was rescheduled because of the last hurricane.)  Pride festival is Saturday, and I’m going to go for at least a little while.  Next weekend I’m going to a craft fair with Mom and ex-MIL.  In November there will be hiking in Georgia.  And cello lessons!  I resume those on Nov. 3rd.

Cello, crafting, and other updates

When I made my last post (August 8th, ouch) I was doing well and had some energy and… I hate medication changes.  My Trintellix dosage has been titrated to half of what it was, and I think maybe I need to go back up.

Today (technically yesterday, it’s 1:30am right now) I had my first cello lesson in a few weeks.  I hadn’t played since my last lesson.  Bad Switch, no cookie.  But it was good.  Toward the end we were doing a duet of the Jenny Lind Polka, and my conscious mind was just gone.  It was an odd feeling.  I had been lightheaded, and I just… see note, play note, no thinking.  It’s not like I was lost in the music, but rather the opposite; like autopilot.

Overall I’ve lost ground, and have to have tape for my fourth finger position again.  On the positive side, it helps me get into second position, although much to my amusement I did better at shifting once I stopped looking at my fingers.  Yay for having a good ear.  She decided that since pretty much every piece I’ve played in the Suzuki books lately has been bouncy, I get to do something more legato.  So I’m on the chorus from Handel’s “Judas Maccabaeus.”  I think I’m going to throw in some vibrato.  I haven’t practiced that in a while.

Oh, and last lesson we worked on the Peter Murphy song.  I need to finish it, still.

Crafting: I had started knitting an afghan for someone but changed my mind three balls in.  So I sent the yarn back and have been focusing on the green and black shirt.  It’s going to take a while: size six needles and a 54″ chest.  Yeah, it’s a long-haul kind of project.  Also doing some spinning.  Haven’t used the sewing machine in a couple of weeks.  Too much effort, given my emotional exhaustion.  Knitting is as easy as picking up needles. I keep my spinning wheel next to my chair in the living room, and it requires no other tools.  For sewing I have to clear the place settings off the dining table, get all the sewing gear out, make the thing(s) I want to make, pack all of it back up, and reset the table.  I understand now why people have “sewing rooms.”  I have three projects I want to do, two little ones (zippered change purses) and a big one (tote bag for my mom), and I think I can get all of it done fairly quickly if I can find the energy for setup and breakdown.  But when I spend a week trying (and failing) to get up the spoons to go to the grocery store, sewing is just too much.

Other stuff:

I’ve been disappearing into daydreams involuntarily, even more than usual.  Yesterday it was so intrusive that it was exhausting and I had to sleep just to shut my brain up for a while.  Ugh.  Hopefully I will improve soon.  I’m tired of not being able to focus on anything else.

I had signed up for a college class, like I said I would, but because of money issues I dropped it.  I’ll start putting extra in my savings account so I can try again in spring.

I’ve done the research I need for my novel, but see above re: spoons.

Okay, bedtime…

Loopy post

I had to take a hydrocodone for my hip because I was walking around a lot today and my right hip hates me so much right now.  Fucking bursitis.  Do Not Want.  So I’m a bit out of it.

Speaking of hips, my BFF has a bad hip too, which leads into the next thing I wanted to post about: she and I are hanging out tomorrow afternoon and I’m very excited to see her and give her hugs and figure out WTF I did wrong and hopefully be okay again.  We’ve had some nice chats over SMS and it’s feeling back to normal.  So I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Today I drove the Valkyrie to our gynecologist’s in Orlando.  An hour there and back, plus the waiting room and exam room, plus stopping by Sci-Fi City to get some magazines: pain.  This is why my hip hurts.  At least I can still spin without pain.  Which is good.  I’m a little over halfway done with my commission yarn.  It’s fun to spin, even if I feel like I’m on a deadline.  (Recipient wouldn’t get mad if it took me a while longer, but she bought me wool so I want to get her yarn ASAP.)

I also chain-plied part of the merino/silk blend I was working on last week, just to clear off the bobbin.  I need to wind it into a skein though, so no pictures yet.  Chain plying is not as awful as I remembered it being, and I spun the singles fine enough that the end result is about a worsted.  Sweet.  I can’t wait to see the skein.  It’ll knit up into stripes!

For my birthday I asked for four Lamy Al-Stars to round out my collection of the different colors they’ve come in over the last 10 years or so.  I already have like 7 or something.  I forget off the top of my head.  Check out the Pens page if you’re curious.  Which reminds me, I need to find the missing pen box.  I have like 5 that went missing when I last moved house.  Annoying.  Anyway, I feel bad about asking for the Lamys, because how ridiculous is it to collect a type of fountain pen, what a waste of money, but my family wants me to have physical gifts to open.  I asked MIL for a year’s subscription to Dropbox, since I pay them $10 a month right now, but she wants me to unwrap my presents.  So pens it is.  I feel wasteful, but it’ll be nice to have a full set of Al-Stars.  Worst case I can sell a few of my existing ones should I ever need extra money, as some of the ones I bought in 2006 have gone up in value.  (Not by much, but there have been points in my life where an extra $50 would have meant food for the week.)

I feel sort of guilty for living in a nice house, even if it’s my MIL’s.  Marrying into this family, I went from lower middle class to upper, and I feel guilty for not having to struggle anymore.  It sucks to have to have family support me.  I try to remind myself that I’m actively trying to get to where I can support myself by going back to school, and that for someone with schizophrenia I’m doing pretty well at working towards that goal, but I still feel guilty.  And I’m pretty much at the beck and call of MIL whenever she needs help or companionship or whatever, and being beholden to someone can suck sometimes.  She’s very nice to me and loves me like her own child, but sharing a house with her means less privacy.  At least we get along well, and at least my FIL doesn’t live here.  I’d rather live in a cardboard box than share a house with that abusive douchenozzle.  Asshole.

Anyway.  I’m going to go hang out with the Valkyrie and the Naiad.  Or maybe just fall asleep.  I don’t like it when medication makes me feel loopy.  Ugh.


Feather Fin and Downtown Cowl

Fiber arts update time!

I’m not really thrilled about how this Downtown Cowl came out, but it’s very soft and warm, so my friend Kess (who sent me the fiber I spun and knit into this cowl) will hopefully enjoy it.

Downtown handspun cowl for Kess, finished

This is some Polwarth I traded a skein of finished yarn for.  I love it, and need to figure out something to make myself from it.  The Naiad said it reminded her of a book she read as a child, called Feather Fin.  So the yarn colorway is named that now.

Feather Fin Polwarth

Today I started spinning this merino, in the WishFox Dyeworks colorway “Faire Day,” for someone who actually paid me to make them the yarn.

Faire Day merino braids

And I started a Freesia shawl for the Valkyrie and the Naiad to share, out of handspun merino.  It’s nothing really worth looking at yet, but here is the beginning for posterity.

Garnet Freesia, beginning

I’m not a fan of knitting lace, but this edging is very easy to memorize, and I can look at what I’ve done and see where I am.  And I think it’s going to look cool.  See the above link to the Freesia pattern to see what a completed one looks like.  It’s stunning.

I still haven’t warped my loom.  Must do that tomorrow…

Too-soft merino, and a scarf

I spun up some merino, and I didn’t put enough twist in the singles, so it is too soft even after overplying (which usually makes yarn harder-wearing):

Ali-Cat orchid Falkand, finished

I’m going to beat the shit out of it when I wash it.  That will full it some (make the fibers adhere to each other) and make the yarn stronger.  I’ve never really fulled yarn before.  It’ll be an interesting experiment.

Thursday and Friday nights I spun a merino/silk singles, with plans to chain-ply it.  I spun it thinner than I usually do, so it won’t turn out bulky.

Ain't It Fun merino/silk, singles to be chain-plied

Yes, it really is that bright.  It’s a rainbow of neon colors, mixed with black silk.  The chain plying will keep the colors together.  I hate chain plying, but it’s worth it.  I only spun up a third of the braid, to see what happens.  If I don’t like it, the other two thirds will become two singles that will be plied together.

Right now I’m doing some ridiculously fluffy yellow merino while the other singles rest.

Mellow Yellow merino, ply 1, beginning

It’s odd to go from spinning the really tiny merino/silk to making a big fluffy yarn.  Imagine going from writing with a golf pencil to using a jumbo crayon.  It’s about the same jolt of difference.

In knitting news, I finished the Springtime handspun scarf:

One row springtime scarf, finished

The Valkyrie and the Naiad have claimed it.  They’re getting quite the collection of handspun, handknit scarves.

Tonight I started a cowl from merino sent to me by a friend.

Downtown Kess scarf, beginning

It’s going to be quite pettable when I’m finished.  I think I’m going to give it to the friend who sent me the wool.  If she wants it.

Okay, bedtime.  Maybe today I’ll warp my loom!

Feeling crafty

A couple of days ago I finished some trans pride flag-colored yarn:

Trans Pride handspun v2

And then tonight I finished three projects!

First was some handspun, from Finn wool dyed by a friend.

"Makeup Counter" Finn wool handspun

Then I did the last few picks of the Log Cabin pattern scarf I started weaving in October.  It was meant as a gift, but I put so much work into it that I’m keeping it for myself.  Yes, I live in Florida and don’t need scarves.  It’s going up on the wall.

Log Cabin handwoven scarf

I finished the last few rows of my second Hitchhiker scarf, which is going to Awesome Niece.

Pansy Hitchhiker from handspun, finished

After that I started some more handspun, in some beautiful Polwarth I received in the mail as a trade for some other yarn I’d made..

Woolgatherings Green/Purple Polwarth, ply 1 in progress

And I cast on another One-Row scarf (from the Yarn Harlot’s pattern).  This scarf may be the softest, squishiest thing I have ever made.  I loves it.

Squishy One-Row Handspun Scarf, beginning

So I have been very crafty this evening.  It looks like a lot, but the three finished projects were already very close to being done.  Everything turned out great, though, and I like the way the new projects are proceeding.

Tomorrow or the day after I’m going to warp my loom for a scarf from handspun.  The Log Cabin scarf required color changes every row.  So the handspun one won’t have any color changes except for the ones dyed and spun into the yarn.  I need an easy weaving project after that last one.  As I said, it was going to be a gift, but I think I’ll make something a bit simpler instead.  I will never says never, but I don’t want to do a log cabin pattern again for a very long time.

Kaweco zombie, arise!

I decided to play with pocket pens this evening.  I was dreading flushing my long-dried-out Kaweco Sport Ice (red, EF nib), so I took out my never-used JetPens Chibi fountain pen.  It’s a cute little bright yellow thing that costs less than $3.  I’d never used it.  It came with a cartridge of Kaweco Pearl Black.  I snapped in the cartridge and tried writing with it.  It’s surprisingly nice for such a little thing, and puts down a much finer line than my Pilot Petit1 even though both are classified as F nibs.  I rather like it, but I’m not fond of the ink color.  It looks exactly like I was writing with a 0.7mm pencil lead or woodcase pencil.  Novel, but not something I really want to write with..

So I flushed the Kaweco and wrote three pages in my journal with it.  It’s a nice writer.  I have a Kaweco purple cartridge in it right now.  If that dries out, I have some cartridges of Private Reserve on the way from Goulet — Ebony Purple and Ebony Blue.  If one of them doesn’t keep the Kaweco nib wet, I’m going to give the pen to someone who can maybe get it working right.  I wanted the PR inks anyway so I had something other than Pearl Black for the Chibi.  But the Kaweco did wonderfully in my journal, and my hand didn’t ache after, so I’m hoping I can make it more reliable.  Lots of people swear by the Sport as a pocket pen, and they’re supposed to be incredibly dependable.  Maybe mine will be, too, with a little TLC.

Speaking of things drying up, I finally figured out what was squeaking on my spinning wheel and gave it the oiling it needed.  So I’m back to spinning quietly.  Many thanks to the Naiad for helping me figure out where the squeak was coming from.  It’s hard to stick my head down low enough to tell when I’m treadling, so I needed assistance!  Basically, there is a part of the wheel the manual didn’t tell me to lubricate.  Now it’s lubricated.  Yay for machine oil!

I have some finished BFL I need to skein and post pictures of.  Maybe I’ll do that in the morning…

Saturday’s fiber arts tally

~ 900 yards plied handspun
~ 200 yards singles spun
4.5 feet of scarf woven
1 knitted scarf finished
1 pin loom square made
3 pin loom borders crocheted

Soundtrack/background media:
Dragon Age: Inquisition (played by the Valkyrie)
The Adventure Zone podcast
SF Debris television reviews

Holy hell did I craft my ass off.  Tomorrow I want to finish that scarf and start one with my handspun. And, if my mojo is still going, I want to sew that damn woven blanket together!