Tag 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!

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…

I’m not dead, I promise!

But I am just coming out of an extended, serious depression.  It started in April.  I didn’t get online for three months except to read fanfic.  (BBC Sherlock is my imaginary boyfriend.)  Hell, I didn’t even talk to my mother for two months, and she’s one of my two favorite people in the whole world (the other being the Valkyrie).  I was a wreck.  I started feeling a bit better a couple of weeks ago, but yesterday my doctor had me add Ritalin to my daily medication cocktail and I’ve actually gotten out of bed.  Better living through modern medicine!

So this post is going to be a rather long life update…

Continue reading

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.

Hitchhiker scarf, and garnet merino handspun

The Hitchhiker scarf is done.

Hitchhiker scarf, finished

I greatly enjoyed knitting it, and I highly recommend the pattern.  I posted it to my favorite knitting forum and got two profitable responses: a person who wants to make one out of a different handspun colorway, so is buying two skeins off me, and a person who loves the color gradient so much she wants to buy the other skein of it I made.  I find it hilarious that I get these requests the day after I shut down my business.  Oh well.  If I make a profit of more than $400 (doubtful) I’ll file a new LLC registration.  I doubt it.  And I’m not advertising, just participating in a “show off your finished projects” thread.  I am content with this.

Speaking of handspun, I started plying the pound of garnet merino.  Here’s what a finished skein looks like.

Garnet merino 2-ply

I’m going to wind up with about 1300 yards of sport weight yarn.  I’m enjoying making larger quantities of a colorway, instead of only one skein per colorway.  It means I can make more than just hats and finglerless mitts with it.  Big shawls, or size small sweaters, or multiple things that match.  It’s nice.  The person who wants to buy two skeins for a Hitchhiker wants them in a colorway I did as a one-off:

Faire Day BFL

So I’ve asked the dyer to match the colorway for two more skeins (so they’re the same dye lot).  It’s nice having a working relationship with a dyer.  She’s the one who normally does a kilo at a time for me.  As I think I’ve mentioned before, I generally let her dye up whatever colors she likes and then spin the results.  She gets to experiment with color, and I get beautiful wool because she’s talented as fuck.  The next time I get a kilo, I’m going to ask for jewel tones — really saturated blues and reds and greens.  She can do whatever she wants with that theme.  The results should be cool.

All right, back to plying.  I’m going to try to blog more about what I’m working on.  I do like showing off my work!

Fiber arts update

I have decided to shut down my handspun “business.”  I just wasn’t making any money, and it seems silly to keep paying for a business license when I only made like three sales.  In future I’ll just “sell” it to friends for materials cost and call it done.  I’m going to grad school in the fall, and the idea of trying to run a small business while doing that gives me a headache.  So yeah, if you’re a friend and you’re willing to recoup my cost, let me know.  It’s usually about $15-20 for a skein’s worth, depending on where I got the wool. Usually indie dyers off Etsy.  Shit’s expensive, but sooooo soft and lovely.

Current spinning: Five of my seven bobbins are full, which means I have to stop until tomorrow.  Four of those bobbins are the same batch of fiber and will be plied together.  I’ll be able to ply a couple of them tomorrow because they’ll have rested long enough.  I could spin part of another bobbin (with the same wool that’s on the fifth bobbin) before bed tonight, but then I’d have to stop midway through tomorrow’s plying session to wind off the plied bobbin before I could start a second bobbin’s worth.  (Does that make sense?  I rewrote it like four times and I’m still not sure I explained it right.)  So I’m going to get back to knitting on my Hitchhiker.  It’s a scarf/shawlette pattern.  So far it looks like this:

Handspun Hitchhiker beginning

The yarn is some of my handspun.  I’m not thrilled with the way the colors are coming out, but the yarn itself is very soft and I like it.  this pattern is cool because it looks like it has teeth.  I want to make one with some striping yarn next.

A friend is buying me some wool, because I’ve giving her some of my handspun.  I am pleased with this trade.  I’m getting some purple and green Polwarth out of the deal.  Yummy.

I haven’t mentioned weaving in a while.  I haven’t been doing any.  I did this scarf back in October:

Houndstooth SPG scarf, off the loom

and then started this scarf:

Log Cabin scarf: tonight's progress

and petered out.  One, I hate weaving log cabin.  I didn’t know this until about 8″ into the scarf.  Hate it.  Two, my cats fucking love my loom.  I have to keep a towel over it so they don’t play with the yarn, so I wind up with this:

Babby love. If only their favorite snuggle spot wasn't my weaving loom...

Totes adorbs, but it makes my loom useless a lot.  I am hoping to solve this by getting a loom stand for my birthday next month.  The way the stand works, I could tilt it so the loom is nearly vertical when I’m not using it, and therefore would not be a good cat bed.  (I will be putting a nice cardboard box where my loom currently sits, on my desk.  Yes, I won’t be able to use that part of my desk, but kittens!!!)  Also, if I’ve got my measurements right, I could weave while sitting in my favorite spot on the couch.  (It’s also where I do all my spinning.  Does it count as being a couch potato if I’m making things while I sit?)  Even if I can’t weave on the couch, at least I could weave somewhere, unlike now.

Some of you may remember the black and silver blanket I was working on.  It is completely woven, but I have not sewn the four panels together because I fucking hate sewing.  Note to self: don’t make multi-part weaving.  It will never be assembled.  I’m going to let my MIL put it together with her sewing machine.  She asked, and I’m never going to do it myself, so she can have fun with it.

I think that’s everything I’m currently doing.  To close out, here’s some of my recent handspun yarn, because I haven’t shown it off in a while.

Sodalite Merino

Island Nights BFL, v3

Frutos del Bosque merino

Not too bad, yeah?