WIP WEDNESDAY: Weaving and Depression

Depression man. It’s something that I don’t actually talk about as much as I probably could. It’s definitely gone unwritten in most of my posts, but without looking for it it could easily be forgotten about. I don’t really have anything new or insightful to say on the subject but man am I feeling it. I’ve been listening to a few podcasts that talk about depression and they were helping me, until they weren’t.

There are certain things I know make it worse and there are certain things I could do to make it seem less big. Those usually involve conscious decisions which are difficult to make in the throws of it.

I’m currently in a depressive episode – maybe, hopefully, on the tail end of it. It rained for two straight days. Dishes piled up as I refused K’s help with them and beat myself up over not being able to do them. Yesterday may have been the worst of it when I decided I just didn’t even want to be awake and crawled into bed in the middle of doing laundry.

932a9d45-7b73-432c-9bc2-2a83b451211dI did finally grab my tiny loom from my parent’s basement. It was already warped from a project I barely started so I decided to just play around to get a feel for how this loom weaves. I’ve used a handful of different looms over the years and I’ve noticed that they all have a kind of personality. Maybe each loom takes on a bit of every person who uses them over the years, or a bit of every project. My floor loom, which is still in my parent’s basement, is a cranky old bear of a loom. My school sold it to me at a very low price because no one liked to use it. In my first weaving class I started on a dainty 4 harness Schact loom. Every time I beat the weft the whole things scooted a little closer to the wall until I had backed myself into the corner. It was a beautiful loom, but not the right loom for me. We did a round robin type thing for one project where everyone threaded a warp and we all took turns weaving a bit on each loom. This is where I fell in love with my loom. It’s giant, it’s loud, it’s stubborn, but there was just something about it that I really liked. Long story short, I’ve hauled this thing around for a few years but it just doesn’t fit in my house right now and I’m starting to miss it.

Anyways this little loom was given to me buy a woman who was running a gallery I showed some work at. It was just sitting in a pile of junk and probably had been for a few decades. If it was in better shape I would call it an antique, but it’s kind of just old. It was probably a children’s toy originally, but it still functions as a basic loom. When I got it most of the parts needed replacing, which I did as best I could. The heddles were made of cotton string and were pretty much disintegrated. I made new ones similar to the original – they’re functional but not exactly to my liking. I put in new lead sticks, but they might need to be readjusted. They reed is currently being held on by one random nail and a bobby pin, so that’ll need to be fixed. The whole thing could use a good sanding and some wax but for now it’ll get the job done.

I made a little weaving last night. Nothing special. I was just playing around with the warp that was already there and some wool that was already on a bobbin from a previous project. I don’t see a usefulness for this little weaving, aside from play and familiarizing myself with the process again. I’m trying to find the brain space that thinks play is use enough. I’m not really sure what I want make with this loom. I’m so used to doing giant projects that I feel pretty restricted by it’s size. It also only has two harnesses so plain-weave is all it can do unless I want to hand pick everything. My instinct for play and experimentation is out of practice, but I’m having trouble envisioning a useful object coming off this loom. Only time will tell.

 

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Sleepless & Slightly Miserable

Sometimes I wonder if all I have to write about is whining about sleeping and being in pain, but those are the things that have been consuming me lately. K and I have stayed up during the day for the last two weekends due to social things/needing sunlight and I just haven’t been able to switch back to save my life. I’m back to getting four hour chunks of fitful, unintentional sleep. I can make it until about 4am but then I pass out on the couch or in bed covered in laundry I was intending to fold. This leads to not being tired enough to fall asleep at our usual bedtime so I end up staying up for a few hours and then maybe getting in a little nap before K gets up. Caffeine has almost no effect on me (unless I don’t have any, and then it’s Migraine Town for the rest of the day). I can pretty much have two giant cups of coffee and then fall asleep an hour later. It seems like a pretty mundane problem but ya girl needs her sleep.

I haven’t been knitting much, even though I’ve got two projects cooking in my brain. My wrists have been taking turns bothering me. There’s something pinching in my left wrist that makes my hand go all tingly. I tried heat and ice to no avail. My right wrist is actually burning as I type, so that’s cool. Not really sure what’s going on with either of them but I’ve been trying to rest them as much as I can. I have a toddler sweater to make in the next couple of days though so I might need to just push through it and hope I don’t make everything worse.

I’m probably going to rip a lot of this sweater out. I decided to do a bottom up raglan, which I’ve never actually done before. I wanted to avoid the annoying-ness of setting up the neck and shoulders, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Somehow my sleeves and chest/back pieces are all the same number of stitches as I’m decreasing, which I know is incorrect. I do like the ease of this style though. Starting from the top I always get kind of bored working the body, and then don’t want to knit the sleeves so having all of that done already is kind of nice. I want to get it in the mail by Monday I think so I’d better get to work on it.

 

Long Weekend

I sorta fell off the face of the earth for a few days there, sorry everyone. I’m back now. I switched my sleep schedule back to normal for the holiday and that tends to result in both K and I passing out on the couch at 7:30 pm and waking up at 2 am with sore necks. I’ve been struggling a bit with staying up all night lately, I’m trying to decide if the benefits are worth the troubles. Anyways, hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, or regular ol’ weekend for any readers not in America (as most of you are not).

It was in the 50s on Friday which is unseasonably warm but a most welcome reprieve. K had some secret Black Friday/Birthday shopping to do so I stayed home to rake all the leaves out of the front yard. Not an entirely un-enjoyable task, at least the weather was nice, but my hands hurt so bad from rake. Even now, three days later, the bones in my hands feel like they’re bruised. That didn’t stop me from knitting though. I knit an entire pair of socks these past few days – all that’s left is the kitchener toe and to weave in the ends. It’s my first of five (???) holiday gifts this year.

I also got to see my best friend and her family this weekend. My town is situated conveniently between her Husband’s family in Illinois and her family in Wisconsin. We were able to meet up for breakfast in between baby naps and catch up. Saturday we took a lovely little hike at Glacial Park. I basically spent the weekend trying to soak up as much sunlight as I can for the last couple weeks of Autumn.

I’ll go back the knitting posts tomorrow and finish those off over the next few days.

#WIPWEDNESDAY and New Patterns

I skipped yesterdays blog prompt. I just didn’t have the energy to write anything and the topic seemed a bit redundant and needlessly negative. I feel the same about today’s so I’m going to skip this one too.

img_2548The mice are back. We woke up last Friday to the struggles of a not dead but very trapped mouse trying to crawl back down the hole with the trap. Not exactly a pleasant wake up. Thankfully K was able to deal with it. There’s another one in there tonight trying to eat our left over french fries. It does’t seem to be bothered for very long when I bang on the cabinet. I’ve taped the doors shut because the cat is very capable of opening the doors but maybe not so capable of doing the deed. It can enjoy some cold fries for it’s last supper and I’ll put our last trap under the sink tomorrow. It looks like someone had tried to cover the hole with foaming caulk of some sort but it’s obviously been chewed threw since then. We need to come up with a more permanent solution. I don’t like being responsible for all these mouse corpses.

I’ve been busy knitting away. I finished the snowflake socks and plan on making a matching hat, much like the tree set if you’ve been following along. I wrote a pattern for the tree set and published it a little over a week ago. Happy Trees is available HERE and HERE if you’re interested. I’ve been struggling to take halfway decent photo’s in this house. My parent’s have a nice weathered deck that worked really well for me in the past. I have dingy carpet, wood-like but not nearly floors, and weird colored walls. Outside is old blacktop and a crumbling but not aesthetically so concrete front porch. I’ve been considering building some sort of set to stage my garments because I just can’t get decent images. Another contributing issue is the fact that I’m rarely awake for any significant amount of day light. I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually, but for now it’s really frustrating me.

sept socks grid 2I also was finally able to publish a sock pattern I’ve been working on for months. This pattern was the subject of my very first #WIPWEDNESDAY. This one took a bit of finagling to get right. I decided to have it professionally tech edited which was incredibly nerve wracking but ultimately a good decision. Getting my files back all marked up was like getting a final paper back in college, only somehow worse. After that was all through I had test knitters work on it. This is something I’ve been doing for a while and I’ve been having a string of really bad luck with getting them to finish on deadline – or even at all. This batch was very helpful and gave me lots of feedback though. But anyways, Get a Room is available along with the rest of my patterns on Ravelry and I’d love for you to go check them out. A lot of hands (and feet – haha) went into this one and I’m really proud of it.

 

Autumn Adventures

Yesterday the sun came out for like four whole hours in-between the bouts of endless dreariness and rain we’ve been having. The weather seems to be affecting me way more than I’m used to. I’ve been having a lot more panic attacks and days where I just feel like I can’t/don’t want to do anything at all. The Boy and I decided to take advantage of the sunshine – even though he was going on 18 hours of being awake. We drove over to the local nature preserve  and went for a little hike.

Fall weather definitely fucked us up. In our ongoing game of temperature chicken we’ve gotten used to it being pretty cold all the time. We checked the weather before we left – 67 degrees – pretty much the same as in the house. We left with jackets and scarves… Not ten minutes in we were stripped down to t-shirts and sweating our asses off. Despite the swamp ass we had a nice little walk and enjoyed some nature and then promptly took a two hour nap.

Creative Constipation

sept socks heel detail

This weird thing seems to happen when I finish a knitting project and run out of seasons of a show at the same time. I find when these two things coincide that I suddenly lack any motivation to knit something new or find a new show to watch. It’s not like there’s a shortage of television to watch or yarn in my studio, but some crazy thing happens in my brain where I have no motivation to start anything new for a few days. This time it seems to be lasting for about a week. I’ve had my new pattern open in Illustrator all week- barely worked on; I’ve had my socks blocked and hanging on a door handle- unphotographed.

It’s one of those weirdly bright overcast – perfect for shooting my work, so at least I managed to get one thing done today. I decided today to force myself to sit here and try and finish it (which turned into procrastination via. blogging). I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but it gets pretty frustrating.

What do you do to light the fire under your creative brain when you’re in a rut?