Finally, a sweater!

Spring is finally here, and with it some beautiful color in my yard.

I’ve joked over the years that I’ve had a sinus headache since I was 19. It’s a pretty weak joke, because I have had chronic sinus and allergy issues over the years and frankly, it’s exhausting. So while I don’t love my allergies at this time of year, seeing the explosion of color makes me happy.

I’m struggling with my depression and anxiety lately. It usually starts to become more manageable at this time of year, but for some reason it’s hanging in a little longer than usual. It’s a shitty cycle, too – I’m tired all the time, my legs and back ache, I’m irritable and angry at nothing and everything… and yet, anxious that I’m not doing enough to stay afloat and that everything will go wrong at the same time, that everything will just spin right out of control with no way for me to stop it. Having a headache all the time certainly doesn’t help. I try to grab the good moments when I can, stay somewhat reasonable, and force myself to do things that I know are good for me when I can but it’s hard to do sometimes.

So the bright colors of spring are always welcome, and especially so this year. Bright colors always lift my spirits.

Kind of like the fun aqua color of this modified Flax baby sweater that I finally finished. What I worried would happen did happen: I wore myself out on the project and completely lost interest in working on it. I knew for a week and a half that I only had to do one sleeve to finish the sweater.

One small sleeve. That’s all. And yet, every time I thought about picking it up I made a face and groaned to myself.

I finally forced myself to work on it and wrap it up. I can see some areas that can use improvement (I bet y’all can see them, too). But, y’know, there’s nothing to do but work on that for the next one because I sure ain’t going back and fixing anything at this point.

In other news, I have all of next week off for vacation. I know you’re not supposed to wish your life away, but if offered a trade I’d give up the rest of this week for vacation to arrive sooner. Between now and then, I plan to get ahead of as much as I can at work, study for my Spanish class (I’ve been kinda slack lately; we’re learning irregular verbs and there is so much vocabulary), work on some crafts, snuggle with Rocco, and just keep moving forward.

And maybe listen to more Kylie Minogue, since she’s been in the background as I write this blog post and makes me happy, too.

Until next time,
-Tommy

The end is near.

The end of winter, thank goodness. I always find that the end of February/beginning of March is mentally the toughest time of the year for me. I’ve made it through most of winter and Mother Nature is starting to tease us with sporadic 70-degree days in the Carolinas, but we’re just not quite there yet.

Seasonal Affective Disorder makes this time of the year difficult for many. There are fantastic articles out there about combatting depression and S.A.D., most of which require you to have the motivation to be active, care about your eating habits, take showers, seek socialization, and generally be productive. You know: stop being depressed and do all the things that’ll keep you from being depressed.

Womp womp.

Golly, who knew it was so easy?

I’m hanging in, though. I did manage over the weekend to make a few more blocks for my crazy quilt. Well, okay, fine: I made three blocks. This brings my grand total of crazy quilt blocks up to nine.

Please, hold your applause.

I’m thinking I might make this a quilt as you go project. Traditionally, crazy quilts use decorative stitches and it would be fun to make use of the hundreds of stitch options my sewing machine supposedly has. That’ll mean selecting some fun thread to work with and keeping some bobbins loaded, but I have enough supplies to make that happen. I might also sash the blocks with an obnoxiously bright yellow fabric (as shown in the picture). Yellow is generally a happy color and one I know my mom likes (if I give it to her), but it might be overkill considering how busy crazy quilt blocks already are. Black, white, or gray would probably be a better option.

I also had lunch with Sister Mary Hubert on Saturday and finished a row of my hexie quilt on Sunday. All in all, not a terrible weekend. Now I just have to make it through yet another work week…

Until next time,
-Tommy

Be gone, winter blahs!

I started back on my happy pills yesterday.  

I’ve had (as my doctor once said) “a ‘touch’ of chronic depression” for years, made worse by seasonal affective disorder during the winter months.  Most of the year, I don’t even take anti-depressants unless it settles in and just won’t let go.  During the winter, though, I have to or else I wind up a miserable mess.  

One of the big concerns about our moving to Boston was how the winter weather would impact me.  Last winter, the depression was worse than usual and I wound up supplementing my normal anti-depressant with a low dosage of a second antidepressant.  It helped a lot and once spring arrived, I tapered off of them both.  So far, I haven’t felt like the Boston weather has bothered me too much.

I’ve just wrapped up well, shoveled out as needed, and gone about my business.  

But over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a few of the telltale signs that it’s time to start back on my medications: sleep patterns awry, general apathy, the occasional misty eye for no reason… 

And, you know, being inside so much because of the weather is only part of it this time.  Working from home has meant a lot of time at home with limited social interaction (and I’m a pretty social person).  When we have gone out, we’ve not met many people or felt the places we went were all that much fun and it’s not encouraged us to bother going out more. Plus, not working full-time has meant a lot of free time and, honestly, I don’t exactly feel useful.  Since that’s impacted my income, I can’t even buy supplies to work on projects around the house.  

But hopefully, I’m starting back on the medications before it becomes too much of a problem.  

So, enough of the gloom and doom.  At least the lack of work gives me plenty of time for some crochet and knitting projects, right? 

I received some yarn as a gift a while back and promptly put it away when I saw “CAMO” on the label, but when I came across it again I realized it has some really pretty colors in it.  I’m not usually a fan of variegated yarns, but this one seemed like it had potential if I could just figure out what to do with it.  I tried a stockinette stitch: 

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(I’m not sure why that’s sideways, but WordPress won’t let me rotate it so we’ll just move right along.

I also spent some time trying different variations of slip stitches, just to see what I’d come up with: 

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My, but that’s some professional looking knitting right there.  Don’t judge – I’m new to this!  

I finally settled on a honeycomb stitch.  Of course, I’ve botched it up already but the combination of variegated yarn and the stitch pattern is pretty forgiving: 

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I also decided around Christmas that I’d crochet an afghan for my mom.  My first thought was granny squares, but I’m feeling indifferent toward the granny squares these days… so I decided to go with hexagons.  Being the stubborn thing that I am, I decided to see if I could come up with a basic hexagon and then make it my own.  Who needs a pattern, right?!?  

So far, I’m kinda so-so about them.  Oh, and take a look at the rather interesting color combination I used: 

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Again, don’t judge.  Orange is my go-to (read, favorite) color, I have a ton of white yarn, and the pink was just handy. The actual colors would be different, but this is something to work with while I figure out what I want to do.  It is rather sad to see someone with marketing and graphic design experience abuse colors in such a way, though. 

So, until next time…