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

Hello, carbs!

After I quit smoking, I gained a lot of weight. I then gained more because I ate too much, wasn’t managing my depression well, and wasn’t exercising. So, I started doing keto. I’ve lost a little over 30 pounds and I need to lose a good bit more – I can literally lose 49 lbs and still be considered overweight.

But I’m going to L.A. the first week of April and don’t want to worry about carbs when I go. I haven’t been on a trip in a while and just want to enjoy time with friends. Buying keto-friendly snacks and lugging them around or stressing over keto-friendly restaurant meal options just doesn’t sound like a fun vacation to me. So yesterday, I decided to take the plunge and go off keto.

And let’s be honest: I wanted beer.

So for our semi-weekly Zoom Virtual Happy Hour, I had beer. I also had approximately three quarters of a pepperoni and pineapple pizza. I have exactly zero regrets. God, that pizza was delicious. And today, I had falafel from one of my favorite Charlotte restaurants, Yafo Kitchen. God, that falafel was delicious. I’ll have the leftovers for dinner.

But I need to be mindful of calorie counts and since spring is just around the corner, I might just get out and walk some. The city recently opened up greenway access about a block from my house, so it’s a great place to start. My bff, Sister Mary Hubert of the Ghetteaux Fabulous Sissy Bitches, will likely be recruited to walk with me.

I’d planned to finish my aqua baby sweater, but spent yesterday evening/last night on Zoom with friends. I did manage to finish one sleeve since Wednesday, and will start/finish the second sleeve over the weekend. I can still see some ladders in some areas of the sleeve, but I don’t think they’ll be noticeable once the sweater is washed. If nothing else, I’ll consider buying some 8″ or 9″ circulars for future baby sweaters.

We have no plans for this weekend, so I might finally get a start on my next quilt. I might not. We’ll just have to see how motivated I’m feeling when tomorrow rolls around.

Until next time,
-Tommy

Good morning, AI Overlords.

I’ve adapted pretty well to the “new normal” of life in a pandemic: masks, social distancing, lack of social interaction, work from home, etc. Going back to an “old normal” sure is strange.

I haven’t worked a full day in the office in 354 days. Today, I needed to be on site for the whole day to provide auditors with any gift documentation they might need. I set my alarm for 7:45 a.m. and was awake before it went off (thanks, dear husband and elderly dog). I showered, applied my deodorant and moisturizer, got dressed, made coffee, walked the dogs, and was out the door a few minutes early.

And then the weirdest thing happened. I started my car, connected my phone to the lightning cable, and my iTunes started playing. But Apple Maps didn’t pop up with a route recommendation and estimated time of arrival at work.

My phone no longer recognizes going to work as a normal routine.

I know that technically, it is no longer my norm. Nowadays, my typical morning routine is to roll out of bed around 8:50… ish, grab a cup of coffee, then schlepp back upstairs to work in my craft/office space until coffee or lunch beckons. But c’mon, our phones are telling tech companies everything we do. Wasn’t our AI Overlord paying attention when I told my husband I’d be gone all day? Am I so boring and routine that I no longer interest the bots? Dang.

Craft Updates

Sadly, I don’t have a lot of updates today. I added three more hexagons to my EPP hexie quilt – not even enough to bother photographing.

I’ve made no more blocks for my crazy quilt, because I’m lazy. I considered it, but… nah.

I did finish the body of the baby sweater I’m knitting. If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen this already:

I actually have one arm finished (minus the cuff), but it feels like entirely too much work to get my knitting bag out of the car just to take a photograph. I am loving the aqua color, though – it’s not a color that springs to mind when I think of a baby sweater, but I love that it’s bright and fun, as well as being pretty gender neutral.

By Friday, I’ll do my best to have the sweater finished so I have something to show for myself.

Until next time,
-Tommy

I am a knitting bad ass.

Ok, fine, not really. In fact, I’m a pretty apprehensive knitter. I don’t always know how to fix my mistakes so I get frustrated if something goes wrong. More often than not, I’ll simply scrap the whole thing and start again. I often look on in awe at my friends’ projects because I can’t even manage to knit a scarf without messing up somehow. As a result, I don’t knit nearly as often as I crochet, I don’t always enjoy it, and I don’t undertake large projects.

But I did something big.

Something major for me.

I hope you’re sitting down for this.

I KNIT A WHOLE DANG BABY SWEATER!

It ain’t fancy, but I’m proud of it anyway! The Flax sweater in Red Heart Super Saver acrylic yarn. Color: Frosty Green.

Before I committed to this, I used the almighty power of the Googles to do some homework. I wanted a baby sweater pattern that was beginner friendly, would work with the worsted weight acrylic yarn I already had, and something with a good bit of chatter about it online. My thinking for the last part (which thankfully was correct) was that there’d be ample documentation and helpful resources if I needed them. I finally decided on the Flax sweater from Tin Can Knits, which seemed to be a very popular pattern (with good reason). Besides a fantastic blog post on the Tin Can Knits site walking through the pattern step by step, there are a lot of videos and posts from other knitters about the construction of this sweater.

Is my sweater perfect? Not even close! The areas where I picked up stitches under the sleeves aren’t as tidy as I’d like, my tension isn’t always even, and there’s a slight jog alongside the garter stitch section on the sleeves (though I don’t actually know whether it’s from my own tension issues or working with double pointed needles).

It’s perfectly imperfect, and that in itself is perfect.

But you know what? I sure as heck don’t care. I knit a sweater, I’m learning from it, and I feel like a knitting rock star. Sweaters are useful, practical, and comfortable. I actually wear sweaters on a regular basis, and so I might get some use out of my own dang knitting now.

In fact, I felt so good about it that I started another baby sweater in aqua.

And I don’t know about y’all, but I personally feel prepared to help solve the problem of topless babies if it ever becomes an issue. That’s a definite win.

Until next time,
-TommTomm the Great