Bring on the heat!

I’ve done my bit.  In an insane effort to bring about some warm weather (we’re have a low of 45F tonight, brrr), I’ve finished Caulking because Opus and I sincerely believe that publishing a Fall/ Winter pattern will make the weather change.  This theory only works if you subscribe to the “bring an umbrella to prevent rain” doctrine, but I’m willing to try anything at this point.

So, here it is!  Caulking.  So named (by Opus) for it’s primary function of protecting you against the elements – or, rather, your neck and upper torso.  Secondary function?  It just looks cool.

Caulking

Worn under a coat, it’ll un-expose your neck and collar-bone area…

Caulking-002

Knit from the bottom up, the piece is steadily increased in pattern and buttoned in the back.

Caulking-001

I’ve posted it on ravelry, but haven’t had a chance to add it to the RCK website yet. Sorry. I’ll get to that this weekend, honest – around the same time I finish up Rhea Silvia for my tech editor.

Here are the specs, in case you, too, are freezing right now:

Caulking Pattern Preview.5x11-FIN

GAUGE:

    • 24 sts & 28 rnds = 4”/ 10 cm in Stockinette st

MATERIALS:

    • Approximately 175 y/ 160 m sport weight yarn. Sample shown: Tactile: Fiber Arts Studio (225 yd/ 206 m per 3.5 oz/ 100g skein), in “Beach”
    • Two 1/2”/ 1.25mm buttons
    • Tapestry needle

NEEDLES:

    • One 24-inch/ 61 cm US 3 / 3.25mm circular needle

SIZING:

    • 18”/ 45.75 cm circumference, buttoned up
    • 18.5”/ 47 cm wide x 13.5”/ 34.25 cm from point to collar, laid flat

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate
$6.00 US PDF DOWNLOAD

Now, let’s see some HEAT!*

*This is not to say that I don’t love this pattern and am not proud of it. I am. A lot. I’m also really, really cold and tired of wearing winter clothes in May.

Where’s fyberduck?

All over Portland, really.  I’ve been way too busy of late and have been a terrible blogger as a result.  Though, admittedly, that’s not the whole story.  Long-time blog readers (hey, guys) will know that I have had an ongoing battle with depression (a.k.a. Major Depressive Disorder).  The past several months have been terrible as, somehow, my body chemistry changed almost overnight and I started developing weird side effects (rash, nausea, etc) to my antidepressant.  To top it off, I’m also suffering increasingly frequent migraines (Excedrin is my new best friend) and a bizarre vitamin deficiency, plus some weird metabolic thing.

Super fun.  I’ve seen the insides of way too many doctor’s offices lately.  But, as of yesterday, we have a diagnosis (of sorts – more tests to run!) and are working our way forward.

So, what has the blog missed in the past 4 weeks?  (Apart from the doctor’s offices?)  Here’s a quick run-down, in chronological order…

Sock Summit 2011:

Distracted by the back cover
Rumpled fyberduck & the newly releases Shibui Texture (hey, it was after an all-day class!)

Pointy gold
Switching to the new (sweeeeeet) Signature Needles

Woven Socks class
Houndstooth Socks – the beginning (the afore-mentioned all-day class)

Oak’s Bottom Park, Portland:
Sunflower-hat-1b
Helianthus (hat), pattern coming soon (no, really)

Oregon Zoo, Portland:
DSC_0057
Asian Elephant

DSC_0013
Meloncholy Lemur  (oh, how I know how this poor gal feels)

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, Portland:
Young male Wood Duck
Young male Wood Duck (highly endangered and oh-so-pretty)

Caged tree & ferns
Caged Maidenhair ferns (okay, not really)

And that’s the quick and dirty.

The next few weeks are going to involve fun medical experiments* and some adjusting.  During all of this, I’ve been trying desperately (and failing) to get some Rose City Knits patterns completed.  They’re close (so close!), and the next one, Helianthus, should be out in a couple of weeks.  But, I’m behind schedule and not too pleased about.

C’est la vie, I suppose.

Doesn’t mean I have to like it.  And I won’t.  I’m angry with my body (and mind) and really annoyed at how they’re both being so difficult.  If it were possible, I’d put them in time out.  Since it’s not, I’ll just have to content myself with ranting on the Interwebs and sulking.

It’s a good thing I knit, or we’d be in a world of trouble right now :)

Until next time, where I will DEFINTELY finally post about the cool gizmo I found, they better play nice.

*Well, more like experiments in medication tolerance.

eye candy

Pay no attention to the crazy woman fiddling with code all over the ‘net. Instead, here are pretties to distract entertain you:

felted-cloche
The Felted (Flapper’s) Cloche. Now available for sale through ShibuiKnits retailers (woot!).

adult-spocks
Adult Spocks Button-up Socks. Dudes, we are soooo close to the end of the journey with these.
They are literally being formatted right now. Thank goodness.

child-spocks
Child Spocks Button-up Socks, kneehigh version. Which are slouching annoyingly (to me, anyway).
Same situation as the Adult pattern.

Both the Spocks patterns should be available for sale by the end of February/ early March. I was supposed to nag Don to set up an early purchasing system on Knit Purl’s website (see sidebar, feeling link-lazy right now), but forgot with everything else that’s been going on. That might be available next week. I’ll post when that’s up, honestly, just so’s the inquiries lessen a bit on my end.

Other stuff?  More laundry to do.  Lots of knitting, too.  Need to finish these, so I can use the needles for my next edition of True Plies.  (note to self: really need to get a kick@ss button for that)

Have a spider bite on my chin.  Aack.  Hate those damn monsters.

Think that’s everything important.  Sorta.  Kinda frightened.  I wasn’t able to check my ravelry stuff for a couple of days and when I logged on last night… 200 replies to read on Sockdown: February!!  Oy.  Haven’t even started on those, yet.  And don’t even ask me about by bloglines feeds.

um, where was I?

Is it Sunday evening already? Wow, that was… fractured. I had a couple of really low days there, so not much was done. Other than lying in bed, wondering what I had done to piss off Hashem so badly.

But I’m better now, and have finally admitted to myself that it’s time to buck up and go to a psychologist. The antidepressants are clearly not working. I hate having to try new drugs (friends and family can tell about the horror of me on Welbutrin), but I hate the lows even more.

Anyway. Enough drama. Somehow, I managed to knit a bit. The heels of the Baudelaires took longer than any other heels I’ve knit. This might be due to my own problems at the time, or it might just be due to the fact that the heels are f*cking insane.


Genius. I’m not denying the genius of toe-up heel gussets/ flaps. But insane. Clearly insane. Cookie A. must have some interesting thoughts.

Tonight was supposed to be a Knitting Southies meet-up (ravelry), but I ended up being the only one to turn out. Nice, I know. I forgive Aimee, as she has a young daughter. To make myself feel better, I indulged in yarn therapy. Looking around Mabel’s, I sought the perfect yarn for Mona’s Embossed Leaves socks.

Finally, I spied the Green Mountain Spinnery cubbies. Ah, c’est magnifique. The colourway “Yarrow” immediately made me think of Birch leaves in autumn, so I snatched up two skeins of Cotton Comfort (20% organic cotton/ 80% wool – and machine washable!), to be used as soon as I get some needles free:


Did I mention that I took out Favourite Socks and Knitting On The Road from the local library? No? Hehehe.

Aaand look, more knitting news!, I’m nearly done with the left sleeve of the SBT, now affectionately known as Miss Lizzy’s Spencer:


I’ve always been fond of the character Elizabeth Bennett, from Pride & Prejudice. Designing something with her in mind has been of interest ever since I read the “Jane Austen knitting” thread on Craftster.

In non-knitting news, I applied for 10 different jobs on Friday. I have absolutely no doubt that I will not be hired for any of them. Which is fine, I have tons of yarn to keep me company.

Oh, and finally, ravelry is going to steal my soul. Sockdown: Ravelry is a success. The SKA hyas 740+ members, and I’m losing track of all the forums I’m on. It’s worse crack than Craftster. Someone saaave me. (well, not really, I’m having too much fun)

on the low down

One of the great resentments of my life is my clinical depression. Before it’s onset in my early 20’s, I had much more energy than I do now. I just did more. Now there are good days and bad days. Today wasn’t the worst, but I felt completely useless for most of the day. I’ve taken two separate 1 hour naps to take the edge off. But, the few times I tried to get things done, they were disastrous. I broke one of my favourite earrings and my earring stand – forcing me to back away from finishing unpacking my room for the upteenth time.

Instead – between naps – I tried to help Mum unpack the kitchen, helped Dad with the finances (mostly by keeping him from throwing them across the room), and took Charlie for a long walk (with Mum) at Laurelhurst Park:


The park is quite impressive for it’s size and location – in fact, it made me think of some of the choicer parts of Central Park. There’s a large pond with ducks, geese, and a great blue heron that likes to fly around the lake and be admired. The park also has some off-leash areas, Charlie was pleased to discover.

I took a couple more shots of the flora and landscaping – the entire park is located in a bowl, almost a miniature valley, which is probably why it seems so intimate.



Otherwise? Not much else to report. No news from Journey Wheel, no news from the Peace Corps. No new FO’s.

But, I have been spinning on my brand-new Spindlewood Co. mini-drop spindle and I loves it muchly. It spins forever and so evenly. St M mentioned to me that some spinners she knew had suggested placing straws on the shafts of her spindles – to make removing/ unwinding/ plying the yarn easier.

We’d both had problems with this concept. She couldn’t find the right sized straw, so I decided to go the paper-quill route (Emmos generously donated a piece from her stationary on Saturday for me to make said quill). Unfortunately, the quill kept coming off:

Aargh.

So, this afternoon, I had a brainwave – a rubberband below the quill would hold it on as needed and could be removed easily (unlike double-sided tape, my other idea):


Which meant I got to go back to spinning without worrying about the yarn and quill sliding off of the spindle shaft at any moment. In case you’re wondering – the spindle is made from Red Heart wood and a maple burl. The fiber (1 oz) is a Romeldale lamb/ tussah/ silk noil blend from Crosspatch fibers, called “Lily in the Starlight”. It spins beautifully and makes for a very soft and lofty lace weight.

At the moment I am dreadfully far behind on my Bloglines subscripts – over 149 posts to catch up on, but I’m down from the 400+ count of three days ago. Going without internet for a couple of days = badness. Hopefully I’ll catch up with them within the next couple of days. Of course, all y’all could make this easier on me and not update so frequently ;P

… Just a thought.

a year later

and we are still driving each other crazy.

Mum mentioned today that it had been a year since she had gone into Serenity Lane. I just checked my archives, and found out it’ll be a year in 12 days. Either way, I doubt the situation is going to change much. We’re all too over-extended and emotional right now.

Dad’s talking about a legal separation. Mum mentioned getting her own apartment.

There. I admitted it. I am not twelve, and can accept that my parents are heading towards a divorce. I still retain hope that it won’t happen, but that hope is slowly dying. It’s as if they’ve both forgotten how to compromise. I never thought I would see my parents snipping at each other like this.

It’s so frustrating. And depressing. I’ve been having real problems with my depression in the past couple of days (add that to the amount of Move work I’ve been doing and I haven’t felt up to posting). I made myself work today, and got most of my stuff moved into the smaller bedroom. It all fits, barely, with a little room to spare. We (Dad and I) had to get inventive. I also had to box up half of my stash (weep not for me, we all knew this was coming).

But, despite the smaller room, I like having a regular bed again. The loft was nice for space conservation, but I couldn’t sit and read a book on it it or knit or anything but sleep on/ in it. To ensure reader goodwill, here’s a pic of the progress:

(from the door: my spinning wheel & the new-ish bed with my Gryffindor quilt)

(desk w/ laptop and Lapis, and more new-ish furniture)

Most of my furniture is too big for this room, so we had to rummage around for smaller pieces. It’ll do until whatever happens next. I have my dental appt. on Thursday to deal with my cavity, and then I get to battle a dental surgeon about my wisdom teeth.

I still haven’t called the Peace Corps yet (would you have remembered with this lot around? no, I didn’t think so), but I got an invitation to a Peace Corps going away party for nominees to meet each other before we’re all shipped off. Honest to goodness, that’s what it says. Mum and Dad stopped bickering long enough to agree that this was a very positive sign.

So… yeah. That’s what I’ve been up to. Well, mostly. I’ve also been working on the Charity Swap Blanket (I have! I even bought yarn for it on Saturday), and I’ve read two books in as many days. Terry Pratchett is my one, true love.

I’m onto A Hat Full Of Sky (I never got to read it when it was first released, that was during Uni) and I have Wintersmith sitting here for next – both courtesy of the EPL (my back-up one, true love).

And that IS everything. I’m gonna try and finish that book tonight…

on the down low

I’ve been in one of my “low” periods the past couple of days. Ever since talking to the Peace Corps dentist, if I try and pinpoint it. I’m feeling better now, and finally forced myself to tackle my inbox. I’m sorry if I’m a bit late replying to a message you sent, but I promise to respond soon.

Things to cheer me up? Maura sent me a really sweet and considerate “thank you” package. Including her papier-mâché ducky, to guard my stash. I’ll post pix once I find the bloody AA batteries that the males have hidden from me (they have, I swear it’s so, no matter how much they deny it).

Also, my sister sent me this picture (well, a batch of them) of baby T:

Who is still THE CUTEST baby on the face of this planet.

And, no, I am not biased. The picture clearly speaks for itself. Duh.

Bad news? Well, no, not bad. Just exhausting, really. I feel like sharing this because of CrazyAuntPurl’s post. I was dragged from my room last night by my little brother (who now towers over me, has a beard and grer hair) whilst he had the mental breakdown of the century. He had not only stopped up the toilet but it was overflowing (oh, yes, having an autistic sibling is a joy to behold) and a small lake was forming in the bathroom – and slowly spreading towards our oak floors.

Joy.

He (being OCD about cleanliness) was freaking out worse than I do when faced with spiders. So, I sent him off to find some mythical rags (which were in the wash, not under the sink, snerk) whilst I got to cleaning up the mess. I bleached every single surface I could and got the bathroom clean and dry and smelling normal again and everything.

I made him shower, I showered, and all was declared good and fine. He retreated to his room.

But, hahaha (snerk), he still won’t use that bathroom now. Won’t even step in there.

Fabulous. He’d taken to using Mum’s and Dad’s, but they’re back from Olympia now. I told Dad about this and he just sighed.

Yep. That’s my response, too.

Überdork Strikes Again

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
Samuel Johnson

At least the soda I spilled (all over the bloody table) didn’t stain anyone’s yarn or clothing. Notice that I put the yarn first. Even so, I felt like the biggest heel in existence. This feeling was not helped as I continually made weird comments and just confused people all night. St M was a good person (and friend) and played along with me.

My new charm bracelet helped me distract two of the ladies I nearly soaked. They were beaders and fascinated by it. So, I dutifully handed it over and no more mention was made of my clumsiness. (I got it back, never fear)

The charm bracelet came from the Handspun/ Handcrafts Swap. I received my package today and had to immediately put on the jewelry Miss Violaceous made for me. I took way too many photos to post, so I’m only going to include one of the handmade goodies and just let you check the link to see everything (especially the DIY World Domination Kit and instructions)… Anyway, here’re the pretties she made for me:


Starting at the top, and then left to right:

  • a knitting wrist bag (squee!)
  • an Art Nouveau charm bracelet
  • an herb-filled amigurumi octopus
  • sunflower seeds for the garden
  • stitch markers
  • a “faux” nouveau brooch
  • a vintage cameo
  • and Lady Godiva earrings

I took the knitting bag to Mme DeFarge’s tonight to try it out – it’s wonderful! I loves it muchly (it even has eyelets for colourwork, y’all!). It’s staying in my sling-bag to protect my knitting projects from now on. Monkey likes it, too, the socks were so well behaved in their bag. Unlike the lace stole, which is in bad humor right now.

In other (nonKnitting) news, I got ANOTHER packet from the Peace Corps today. Oh, yes, another. Apparently, the Dental Eval form wasn’t filled to their liking. I need to prove that I’ve had the dental work my dentist claims I “need” (like hell). I am so angry with the physicians around here right now, it doesn’t bear mentioning. But, at least I still am in the running, eh?

And more news. My Weight Loss Challenge. I have lost 4 lbs! I went to a doctor today (verily, I have many) and got on the scale and… yay! The nurse was surprised that I was excited about my weight, but whatever.

Finally, I am a little weirded out. My little brother has, get this, grey hairs! I keep seeing these glints of silver every time he shakes his head. My brother is 19! So weird, and so wrong. I can’t even handle it. I’ve only had one white hair – and Mum said it didn’t count as it was obviously just from a dead follicle.

Again, just too weird.

harsh reality

“When we discover that the truth is already in us, we are all at once our original selves.”
Dogen

It’s embarrassing and uncomfortable for me to admit, but I’m officially obesely overweight. I have 60 lbs to lose to get down to my ideal weight (screw the doctors, I looked wraithlike at their ideal weight). I finally admitted it to myself as I looked in Emmos’ rearview mirror and saw how round my face has gotten. (It also hurts my pride that none of my clothes fit right now.)

Well. *$^% this.

I’ve decided, tonight, to do something about it. I’ve talked Dad around to letting me get the kitchen in order, so I can cook my own meals (I am so *$^%-ing sick of Wendy’s). I’m also joining Weight Watchers Online (mostly because it’s cheaper -> half the price of the meetings program).

So. Well. That’s that, I guess. I’m also posting my Weight Loss Challenge on my sidebar (to mark my progress) just to keep myself honest (the same way I did with the 100 mi challenge). Hopefully I’ll be much healthier by the time we move/ when(if) I go off to the Peace Corps.

In other news, Mum and I got into a series of rows today. I also got a lot of packing done:

(1/2 of my boxes, they’re taking over the empty front room)

I hate packing glass and china – just such a pain. Arg. I’m always so certain it’s not enough, but if I did wrap each piece “enough” I’d probably only get 2 to a box. I also got to pack up (for temporary storage) all the stuff going into The Sale. And I, on a whim, felt the need to take a shot of the strange alchemical-worthy vases Mum has…


And these aren’t even half of them – these are just some being sold! I swear, my Mum’s collection of glassware belongs in Rembrandt’s The Alchemist (which The JSMA has a copy of, incidentally, I always loved to look at it). I feel like I should label them: Elixir of Youth, Essence of Beauty, Shrinking Solution, Polyjuice…

Knitting News? None. I haven’t gotten any knitting done today – too busy arguing, packing, moving shite, arguing, tutoring at Homework Club, and arguing. Wow, lots of arguments there, huh? We’re all so cranky right now.

I’ve got to figure out a way to get to sleep before 3 am tonight… we’re getting up “bright and early” tomorrow to get a ton of work done, buy me some bloody vegetables, find shoes and an iPod skin for Emm’s new pretty. So much to do.

And, of course, we’ll have to also find time in there to argue, too.

withdrawal

Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary

Main Entry: with·draw·al
Function: noun
a : the discontinuance of administration or use of a drug
b : the syndrome of often painful physical and psychological symptoms that follows discontinuance of an addicting substance (a heroin addict going through withdrawal)

I made the idiotic decision two days ago to go off the Celexa cold turkey. Yesterday I felt awful. Today was worse. Mum finally diagnosed me as having symptoms of withdrawal (I actually had cold sweats, y’all). Great. Apparently, Celexa (aka citalopram) affects the body’s serotonin levels rather acutely. So, my stopping intake completely threw my body off-stride and was a very very bad idea. Mum commanded me to taper off, instead.

Which is something the doctor we talked to yesterday said nothing about (he gave me some samples of Strattera to hold me over until my regular doctor returns from vacation and we can apply for the Lilly program). I was simply informed to stop taking the Celexa and start in on the Strattera and report back in a week.

Mum wanted to publicly flog the doctor in question, and scolded me for some time for not asking her.

Oy. This all happened during The Moving of Mum. I hate packing, I hate snippy people, and all other things that come with a large move. I also didn’t have the energy to argue, feeling like I do. The boys actually got on my case for being “lazy”, until they noticed that I wasn’t looking too good. (These two aren’t the most observant creatures on the face of the planet)

So, finally, the boys and Mum left to move her into her apartment (I’ll explain some other time why I didn’t go) and I went to lie in a dark room for several hours. I am feeling better now, hence the blog post.

I even made a pretty picture (okay, overstatement there) using Mr. Picassohead:


I don’t have any pictures of my knitting or spinning. I’m too embarrassed to post pix right now. The reversible brioche scarf is gonna have to be ripped (oy) since I actually dropped two stitches 6″ back and only just noticed it. Gee, I’m observant, aren’t I? Must be rubbing off from the boys.

I have one sleeve onto the wraplan (yay!) and the socks are past the heels. The socks sound fun right now. As does food (first time today). Loodles. And, thank you everyone for your support.