Pregnant Thoughts

I am 30 weeks pregnant right now, which is 3/4 of the way through this experience. I have quite a few thoughts about this ‘condition’ and I figured I’d share them here. Before I got pregnant, I tried to understand from a variety of books what being pregnant would feel like, but somehow the message didn’t quite get through. I’ll caveat this entire post with the fact that I think every pregnancy is different, people experience some/all/none of the same symptoms to differing degrees and what’s true for me, might be totally not true for you. I’ll also add that despite what sounds like a list of complaints, I’m grateful that I was easily able to get and stay pregnant. This baby is very much wanted, it’s just the pre-baby stuff I’d rather not have. Some of this can’t help but be TMI, so consider yourself warned. Here we go.

THE GOOD:

  • I like feeling the little bugger move around in there. It feels kind of like an involuntary muscle twitch, except it isn’t you who is moving. FREAKY.
  • Seeing the baby on ultrasound and watching its little heart flutter gracefully like a deep sea anemone was truly beautiful.
  • The relaxin hormone flowing through my body has loosened up hip and pelvis muscles that I’d previously had to go to physical therapy and yoga to fix. Now they feel fine!
  • As opposed to some people who have oilier skin during pregnancy, mine’s been drier. This has been great for my face (no acne) and hair (less shampooing).
  • No period for months is appreciated.
  • The anticipation is really fun. Planning for baby, reading about baby, imagining life with baby… and it’s brought the Fiasco and me much closer together. There’s a whole new level of tenderness in our relationship for which I am really grateful.
  • Perfect excuse to not do something if you don’t want to, play that preggo card!

THE BAD:

  • I basically feel like I’ve had the flu for months. So much mucus, everywhere, all the time. Enough that I gag on it almost daily while trying to brush my teeth. So much. Thanks, hormones.
  • Fatigue… epic fatigue. I’ve never been so tired. Naps are a survival necessity, and I hate wasting time in naps.
  • Digestive issues. Some women get constipation. Some have the opposite. Many get heartburn. Your digestive tract will basically feel completely foreign to you and mostly uncomfortable all the time. Make sure you like your bathroom.
  • Nausea and food aversions. I thankfully haven’t thrown up too many times, but I was queasy for at least 2 months straight, and still have to force down chicken. The food aversions make me super anxious and frustrated since I’ve spent a long time cultivating a healthy diet and now, when it’s arguably the most important time to eat healthfully, my body flat-out rejects many of the healthy staples I relied on. I literally hate eating. Every meal is a chore. WHERE ARE MY FUN CRAVINGS AND WEIRD BINGES AND EATING ALL THE THINGZ? That just doesn’t exist for me. I get one well-rounded meal in a day and the rest is snacks. This baby is probably 90% dairy products, peanut butter, and apples.
  • Really scary shit can go wrong, so it’s a nerve-wracking time, and everything feels unfamiliar. That is all amplified if you fall into a ‘high-risk’ category. I developed a blood clot and have had to inject myself twice a day with blood thinners for 4 months. I’ve made two unnecessary trips to the ER for normal pregnancy pains because doctors are unhelpful over the phone and it’s hard to know what’s serious and what’s not and WHAT IF IT’S SERIOUS?!?! Other people have gestational diabetes or preeclampsia or other things that land them in bed for the duration of their pregnancies. You just can’t know how it will go until you’re in it.
  • There are a lot of weird pains you wouldn’t necessarily expect: ligaments in the abdomen stretching, foot and calf cramps, sore boobs, headaches, backaches, etc. It’s a fun game of “oooh, what hurts today?” sometimes.
  • I haven’t done it yet, but I’m going to go ahead and add labor and delivery in here. No matter how you experience it or what approach you take to manage the pain, I can’t imagine labor being a particularly ‘good’ experience… it’s hard, dangerous, unknowable, stressful, life-changing work.

THE STRANGE:

  • Hair grows everywhere! I had no idea! My belly looks like a giant peach. I am so much fuzzier than before.
  • Shortness of breath. I get this a lot, but especially in the beginning it was a weird panick-y CAN’T BREATHE feeling that is apparently due to your body tripling its blood volume and it taking a while for the number of red blood cells carrying oxygen to catch up. Weird, right?
  • I’m hot all the time. Prior to pregnancy, I ran cold, with a resting body temp usually around 96 deg F. Now I’m consistently 98-99 deg F and haven’t worn a jacket since February. The poor Fiasco froze his butt off this winter.
  • You really will pee constantly. It’s amazing, especially since you’ll also feel like you are constantly dehydrated. Where does all the liquid come from?
  • Bouts of itchiness, everywhere, but especially on the belly. I had to stop using normal soap because my skin became so sensitive. I use some sort of special cleanser for people with cancer. I also had to start using a super thick, petro-chemical-laden body moisturizer because the natural stuff wasn’t staying on long enough.
  • There are a boatload of ‘old wive’s tails’ that surround pregnancy, particularly with regards to guessing the sex of the baby and PEOPLE REALLY BELIEVE THAT SHIT.
  • You will not do nearly as much knitting as you expect!

TAKE-HOME TIPS:

  • Don’t be like me and think “ok, I will have 9 months left to finish a bunch of things before my life changes” when you get pregnant. Think, instead, “ok, I am dedicating the next year of my life to baby-making because everything changes from day one and there will be minimal time and energy for anything else from now on” because that’s more like it.
  • Be pregnant during the winter, it’ll save on your heating bill, and I can’t imagine doing this in the dead of summer.
  • Sleep when you have to. Just do it. You’ll be happier for it. Forget your to-do list. And when you’re really super duper cranky biting people’s heads off? Put yourself to bed.
  • A maternity support belt is worth it, especially if you’re heavier to begin with. It has helped my sciatica pain to wear the belt when I’m out walking around or exercising. You also need a birth ball. I sit on mine at work and it really helps keep my hips relaxed, the change of position is good, and by the third trimester sitting semi-reclined on the couch is super uncomfortable so it’s nice to have around the house. Finally, I wholeheartedly recommend a  snoogle body pillow for sleeping. That thing is heaven-sent.
  • Surround yourself with people who get it. If you have to listen to the media or well-meaning family talk to you about the ‘joys of pregnancy’ and how ‘it’s all so worth it’ while you’re in the thick of it, you’ll go nuts. Find a support group, a chat board, a friend, anything where you can vent to like-minded people and normalize your experience.
  • Take a birth class, I recommend the Bradley method for natural birth. Even if you end up with a medicated birth or a c-section, the class is longer than the typical hospital classes and it makes you stop and think about the birth on a weekly basis. Mental preparation is half the battle, and the techniques and tips we got from the doula who taught it are helping me feel like I can handle things, no matter how terrifying. Our class also had great tips for soothing the baby and breastfeeding. it wasn’t all birth-related.
  • Find a good, caring, supportive partner for this before you do it. That might seem obvious but I’m grateful every day that I’m doing this with the Fiasco by my side. You will have days where you just freak the fuck out and you need someone there to love and care for you. (And then try not to yell at him/her too much during the hormonal tantrum times. Those happen.)

Those are my thoughts! It’ll be fun to look back on this after the Hatchling is born and see if all of it becomes a distant memory like I’ve been told…

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WIPWed #117:Back in the Swing

After my lack of crafting motivation recently, I’m finally getting back in the swing of things a bit.

Speckled Sockhead:

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BMFA Socks That Rock Mediumweight, rare gem colorway. Click for project page.

I decided to end my Sockhead hat a couple of inches early, as it seemed ridiculously long already. I just need to bind off, block, and check the fit, but I’m not willing to call this ‘done’ until I’m sure I won’t want to add more length.

Christmas Katniss Socks:

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BMFA Tigger Targhee in Gnome for the Holidays. Click for project page.

I finally re-drew the chart and am well on my way on the second sock. These are just a tad bit boring (mostly ribbing) and the colorway no longer feels like the kind I want to be knitting at the moment, but they go quickly when I actually work on them so hopefully I can wrap them up sooner than later.

Sherbet Baby:

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Play At Life Fiber Arts DK in Pastels gradient. Click for project page.

The sweet little rainbow cardi for my Hatchling was zooming along, and then I stalled out when I had to make a decision regarding trim color, because I was waiting to find out the baby’s sex. Well, we found out yesterday:

WE’RE HAVING A BOY!

For some reason, the Fiasco and I had kind of convinced ourselves that we were probably going to have a girl so it’s been a bit of a mental adjustment to imagine myself as a mother to a son! We’re going to have a little dude running around! Ah! So I’ve decided that the trim color on this cardi will be a deep forest green, which I think will go nicely with the turtle-shaped buttons I’ve picked out. Now, to start browsing all the boy-ish knitting patterns on Ravelry and pick out a name… the Fiasco is leaning towards Megatron or Copernicus. 😉

As for reading, I’ve barreled through a few random choices that I had hanging around the house:

I’m now reading Baby 411, which is not super exciting, but probably important, right? Linking up with Yarnalong.

FOFri #45: This Did Not Take 2 Weeks

Friends, I have been in a knitting-blogging-creative rut. I finished the hat I will show you below over 2 weeks ago, and am just now getting a chance to blog about it. All my other knitting feels ‘stuck’ for one reason or another. I seem to have lost my crafting mojo and so have been majorly procrastinating the following:

  • making the pom-pom for my Fidra hat,
  • knitting my current socks because I lost the index card on which I drew the chart and I can’t be bothered to draw another,
  • knitting my sockhead hat because I need to look up how long to make it before decreasing and I feel like I’m almost there,
  • knitting my baby sweater because I need to wind yarn for the trim color
  • winding yarn because I lost an integral piece of my swift when I moved a couple of moths ago and have yet to locate it,
  • organizing my yarn bins, in hopes of finding that piece of my swift, which would also clean up my room, and
  • spinning, because I’m too lazy to not sit on the couch in the evenings.

There are things I want to do, and the impulses to do them are there, but by the time I get home from work, I would just rather curl up on the couch and read or watch TV or sleep. This is not normal for me. Prior to pregnancy, that sort of blatant inactivity wouldn’t happen before 10 pm, and TV-watching was ALWAYS accompanied by crafting. Now it’s happening at 7 pm and I’m feeling too physically tired to do anything crafty, so I’m losing all of my productive evening hours, and going to bed early to boot. I’m just going to go ahead and blame the fetus, but still. I feel like I’m wasting away my last few child-free months of crafting time!

Anywho, onto the hat.

 

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Malabrigo Mecha in Vaa, click for project page.

I started this simple, waffle-stitch hat when my coworker announced that he was moving on to bigger and better things. And since he was my science buddy at work, he got a hat. I used Malabrigo Mecha in Vaa, one of my favorite thicker-weight yarns for gift knitting (the other is Malabrigo Chunky). Mecha is a single-ply, superwash Merino wool that is (in my opinion) thinner than the bulky weight  at which it’s listed (and definitely thinner than Mal Chunky). I cast on 72 stitches and used size 9 needles, which gave me a nice tension and a perfect size, and the hat took me about .

I’m particularly enamored with the way the decreases worked out. Since I couldn’t be bothered to write down what I did, I will probably never be able to replicate it, but I know that I decreased later than I typically would and more often per round in order to get a very fast, concentric-looking decrease.

And that’s all I’ve accomplished lately! My Fidra hat is nearly there, though (just one pom-pom away…) and I’m hoping I can find that swift piece soon so I can wind yarn more easily and get moving on some other projects I have in mind.

What do you do when you’ve lost your crafting mojo? How do you get your groove back?

 

Out Like A Lion

I know that title is butchering the ‘In like a lion, out like a lamb’ phrase regarding March (which feels quite far away), but I think it’s fair to say that 2015 is going out like a lion. We’re having a whirlwind end of the year over here, featuring a rollercoaster of emotions and events.

The biggest news is that the Fiasco and I are expecting a little one at the end of June. We have named him/her the Hatchling. And while he/she is doing well, he/she has caused nothing but trouble for me thus far. It turns out, I don’t like pregnancy very much, and it doesn’t like me right back. I’ve just discovered that I am now in a high risk category due to a blood clot in my leg (a.k.a. deep vein thrombosis). I have to inject myself with blood thinners twice a day for the next six months, and likely after the birth as well. This, friends, is a very unpleasant side effect of pregnancy that I had no idea was a thing that could happen. Also, fatigue. I have thallasemia minor, which is a genetic trait that makes me bad at producing hemoglobin and thus permanently anemic (for which iron does nothing to help) so I’m extra super tired all the time because pregnancy ALSO makes you anemic and fatigued. And then there was the nausea for a while (thank goodness that’s mostly gone) and the general feeling like I don’t know what the hell is happening in my own body anymore.

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If you have to go to the ER, you might as well be wearing great socks.

Sorry to rant a bit, but all of that has been occupying a lot of my attention lately and has greatly reduced my available time and energy for knitting, spinning, and Sweet Sheep-ing. I also think it’s important to provide some Real Talk about pregnancy. Sometimes, pregnant women are painted as these beautiful, fecund goddesses of patience and serenity, when really… it’s hard and can be dangerous. And I think that’s good to acknowledge. Also, as a PSA for deep vein thrombosis, if you feel a strange persistent pain in your calf or thigh that seems like the worst part of a charlie horse cramp but doesn’t go away or feel better when you stretch, get checked out. My first cramp lasted 5 days but my doctor just said to drink more water. Then two weeks later I had a similar pain in my thigh, as well as swelling around my knee, and TA DA! Blood clots can break into pieces that travel to your heart/lungs and become pulmonary embolisms, so it’s important to get treated ASAP.

All that said, we are very excited, and I’m looking forward to knitting some adorable baby things in the near future. Here’s proof of how cute our Hatchling will be someday:

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Proof of tiny human, waving hello.

That was taken a couple of weeks ago, so the little tyke has likely doubled in size by now. And proof that I haven’t totally forgotten how to knit:

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BMFA Tigger Targhee in Gnome for the Holidays.

These are the beginnings of Katniss socks using the brand new Tigger Targhee from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I like it a lot, and will write more about it soon.

Later on I’ll take a hard look about what I made in 2015, but right now, I’d like to look forward. I typically choose a couple of words to represent my goals and intentions for the new year and this year, I think my words will have to be PATIENCE and ACCEPTANCE. In the year that I become a parent, I think they will be really, really important. Being patient with myself, slowing down as needed, patiently awaiting the big events to come. Accepting my limitations, doing just what I can, accepting the challenges thrown in my path with some amount of grace, these are my hopes for 2016. How about you?

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From a recent hike that I took, with a freaking blood clot in my leg. Glad I’m not dead!

Happy new year, folks. See you on the other side.

WIPWed #111: No Knitting

I have not knit a single stitch around here in days. But, the move went well and the cleanup of the old apartment is done and unpacking is in progress and work deadlines are becoming more manageable, so things are looking up compared to my last post.

In lieu of knitting, I’ll write about my current real-life-WIP: the new apartment we’re renting. Please excuse the crummy nighttime cell phone photos, they are all I have.

After painting the living room sage green (instead of poop brown), it was vastly improved. It’s a cozy pace that is a bit too small for the big bookshelf we have in there, so that will probably be moved in order for me to have a spinning corner again. The bathroom required no work, the benefits of moving in to an apartment that somebody owned (versus a complex) is that if they had excellent taste in fancy fixtures, you get to have nice sinks and shelves and counters and things.

The kitchen was a major attraction in this place. Lots of counter space, everything is new and pretty, and it is nice and open, in fact it’s centrally located to all of the rest of the rooms. The main drawback is that the tile floor is COLD! I am not used to tile flooring or a lack of carpets, and my poor freezing feet are suffering. I will need to invest in additional slippers this winter for sure. Not pictured is a little sun room / mud room off the kitchen that will serve as my office / Sweet Sheep headquarters. In one of the pictures, you can see into the second bedroom a bit, which is currently serving as the Fiasco’s Gaming Den.

The main bedroom is one we really like. It’s a good size and the owners had this crazy intense custom closet situation put in that takes an entire wall. That closet is great, but it is the only real closet in the place, besides a tiny coat closet that is also in the main bedroom. Thank goodness we have access to the basement or we’d never have space for all of our accumulated stuff. In fact, I’m still not quite happy that most of my yarn will have to live in the basement, I’m afraid of it getting damp/musty down there. We’ll have to see what we can manage.

And that’s the new place! There’s a backyard with a nice patio, too, that we’ll make good use of during the warmer months. Cold floors and tighter spaces and all, we’re happy to have moved. It feels much homier than our previous place and we’re hoping to settle in there for a good long while.

While I haven’t been knitting, I have been reading up a storm during my spare moments. I finished the first book in the Lord John sub-series of Outlander, but couldn’t access the rest from the library due to moving frenzy, so decided instead to re-read The Hunger Games series which I did in an alarmingly quick 5 or 6 days. Those books are still fantastic. Pickings were slim on my kindle so I read About A Boy, which was a marshmallow fluff of a story that probably makes a better movie. And now I’ve started A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens because it’s there and I’ve never read it. I have to hit up the library soon…

Hope you all are having good weeks! Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday.

Exhaustion Doesn’t Cut It

The past couple of weeks have utterly worn me out. The Thanksgiving holiday weekend was fun but busy with lots of traveling. Then the following week was non-stop work for a very large deadline that is still somewhat looming over my head. Then this weekend we moved. Packing, moving, and unpacking rate very highly on my list of least favorite things, but my Fiasco is a magnificently talented moving master, so it all went smoothly. He and his brother and mom really put the hustle on and made moving as painless as possible. They’re wonderful and skilled in ways that I am not. In fact, my dear Fiasco single-handedly painted the new walls (who thought poop-brown was a good wall color?!) and painted over our old walls (goodbye teal, yellow, green) and cleaned the old place up without a finger lifted from me, as I’m still working on that damn deadline.

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Sage green is SO MUCH NICER than poop brown.

I know, I’m lucky.

Needless to say, my knitting has suffered. I have yet to cast on the mittens I talked about 12 days ago, and the only thing I’ve done is a bit of ribbing for a Sockhead Hat:

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This is the only project of which I’m currently certain of its whereabouts, since it lives in my purse. Everything else is in Tower of Boxes Limbo Land. It’s not a super interesting knit but I am really loving the yarn (a mediumweight Socks That Rock mill end) and it’s going to coordinate perfectly with my favorite bright blue fleece.

It’s interesting to see the split in bloggers’ attitudes towards the upcoming holidays. Some are in full-on confident gift knitting mode, aiming to knit a bajillion-and-0ne-things over the next month. Others are approaching the beginnings of panic mode, realizing that there are only so many hours in day. And still others express surprise that Christmas is less than 3 weeks away. I fall into the latter group, with a heap of ‘bah humbug!’ added in for good measure. I am probably just tired, but with all the running around recently, I can’t even fathom decorating or buying stuff for gifts. I swear, there’s nothing like moving and subsequently having to put away every single item in your possession to make you really, really sick of stuff. Bah humbug, indeed.

So I’m listening to a holiday playlist while I work in the hopes of turning my mood around and I’m actively trying to avoid scoffing at capitalist greed whenever I see/hear/read holiday ads. It’s part of why I didn’t participate in Black Friday or Small Business Saturday or BuyStuffSunday (I’m sure Sunday is called something) or Cyber Monday with Sweet Sheep. It all just felt too… contrived. Meaningless, and pushy, and not-the-point.

What do you do when you’re just not feeling the spirit?

 

 

WIPWed #109: On the Move (sort of)

SO MANY THINGS are happening at Chez Woolen Diversions and one of those things is moving. UGH. We’re only moving a few towns over (to a nicer place with lower rent… whoa!) but it’s still a gigantic, major pain. So I’ve been keeping the knitting super simple lately. I’ve even sorted through all the yarn and WIPs and separated out anything I think I might need over the next month in case the rest of the stash gets buried under moving boxes. Like these:

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Can you spot Darwin?

Onto less disheartening things, like knitting!

Berrylicious Socks:

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BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight, colorway Berrylicious. Click for project page.

These socks are chugging along. I’m near the toe on one, mid-foot on the other. Not much else to see here…

Rotted Days:

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Handspun and a singles yarn I bought at a festival. Click for project page.

A combination of a long car ride and seeing everybody working on their Stephen West MKAL projects all over instagram (#thedoodler), is what inspired me to pick up my Dotted Rays shawl again. Now that I’ve got the hang of the short rows and don’t have to refer to the written-out-line-by-line pattern much anymore, I’m enjoying this garter stitch knit. I think it’ll be lovely once it’s done, and I’m still enamored of my yarn combination. Great use for handspun! I’m really liking the look of all those Doodler shawls, too, so I’ll probably cast one on someday. I’m staunchly anti-mystery-knit-along, though, so I’ll be waiting until I see everybody else’s finished products before I commit. Also, can we take a second to boggle over the fact that there are already 2,955 projects for that pattern?! At $6 a pop, and assuming that each shawl was a separate sale, Mr. West made over $17,700 in about a week or so. I think I’d faint with joy if I ever saw that much money flooding in instantaneously. Good for him.

Sweet Sheep news:

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Sweet Sheep goat milk soap in Chamomile Bergamot

I’ve been hard at work filling some wholesale orders and re-stocking the shop. I’ve added Chamomile Bergamot sheep-shaped goat milk soap, as well as a few sold-out lotion bar scents, such as Cinnamon Chai, Winter Gardenia, Orange Rosemary, Lavender, and Lemon Cake (to name a few). I was supposed to vend this weekend at the Mount Hope Farmer’s Market, but unfortunately, I pulled a muscle in my back that is currently spasming like crazy and has had me flat-on-my-back and out of work for a couple of days, so I’m taking the weekend to recover. (Back spasms hurt like whoa guys.) But, Rhode Islanders take solace: you can now check out Sweet Sheep lotion bars and soaps in person at The Mermaid’s Purl, a great little yarn shop in Wickford! Woohoo!

As for reading, I’m working on The Long War, the second book in a series co-written by Terry Pratchett (one of my epic literary loves) and Stephen Baxter. It’s about humans developing the ability to sort of ‘step’ sideways into millions upon millions of similar-but-different Earths. It’s a super cool concept and I love the (completely fantastical, obviously) idea that there are Earths out there that haven’t been ravaged by us, or that experienced different climactic events, or were not hit by asteroids and still have dinosaurs, or for some reason are populated entirely by butterflies. As an ecologist, it’s a fascinating thought experiment.

Anyways, linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday, and now  I’m off to rest this back. Oy.

WIPWed 105: Monster of a Week

Today, I bought three different cards at the same time: one ‘sorry for your loss’, one ‘get well’, and one ‘happy wedding’ — all for immediate members of our family. To say this week has been a bit of a monster would be an understatement. The Fiasco’s mom is getting re-married this weekend, which will be a nice celebration of hope and happiness. My own mom is currently in the hospital, she underwent major reconstruction surgery to repair damage that was done to her implants from radiation treatment for breast cancer. It was a 10 hour surgery and she’s due to be in the hospital for another few days. She’s recovering quite well but it will be a few months before she’s all healed.

And the saddest event of the week is that the Fiasco’s dear Nana, who is probably his favorite person in the world, passed away.

She was truly one of the kindest, sweetest souls I knew. I’m sad that I only got to know her for the last 6 years, but I’m grateful that she treated me as if I were her own granddaughter nearly from the start, and that she had such a big impact on her warm, loving grandson. She lived a full life and had many wonderful stories to tell about it. She will be sorely missed. It’s hard to believe she’s gone.

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Stray Cat Socks yarn, colorway Are We There Yet?

Thankfully, she was sick for only a short time. When we found out her kidneys were failing and there was nothing that could be done, I impulse-bought some cheerful sock yarn because I knew I’d want something beautiful to work on while I thought of her life and mourned her death. That’s probably a strange concept to muggles, but as fellow knitters, I’m sure you can understand. (The pattern is a modified Geek Socks by Wei Leong of Kiwiyarns Knits and it’s perfect for self-striping yarn.)

Monday began this year’s Spinzilla: a Monster of a Spinning Week. I was hesitant to participate as this week is going to be insane and emotional and I knew I would have very limited free time, but then I realized that taking time out to spin might be just the thing to do. Spinning is calming, meditative, and something that can restore my energy in the midst of what will be a crazy time. So I spun the last of the Polwarth sock yarn I had begun during Amy King’s sock yarn spinning class, and I started in on a big bag of Louet’s commercially-dyed Merino/silk blend that I had received as a prize last year. I wanted to keep the spinning simple and easy, not worry about color management or technique, and the black felt fitting while the silk adds some tactile and visual interest. I’m planning to make a fingering-weight 2-ply for a shawl.

I signed up too late for the Louet team but joined the MadWool team instead, which is a great little shop in Connecticut that I’ve visited a few times, most recently when I was hunting for a spinning wheel. I feel a little bad that I won’t be contributing significant amounts of yardage to the team total, but there’s a lot happening right now and I’m choosing to use Spinzilla as a coping mechanism rather than an added stress, so I’ll just have to do my best.

As for reading, Last Night on Twisted River by John Irving has utterly bored me. It seemed to combine bits and pieces from some of his other books while not making the characters very sympathetic or interesting. Plus, he killed off three important people in the first 100 pages, which seemed a bit excessive. Perhaps I’ll finish it later, but in the meantime I got distracted by another book: Fat Girl by Judith Moore. This one fascinated me, but was horrifically depressing. It’s a memoire about growing up as an obese child in a dysfunctional family. I think it paints an accurate picture of the kinds of negative self-talk and extreme stress and childhood trauma that results from the way people treat overweight kids, but it really just made me want to reach into the past and give that little girl a hug, tell her she is loved, and she is enough just as she is. It has taken me 30 years to get to that point with myself, though, and it’s a difficult thing for a child to learn when they are taught the opposite by family members and society in general. It was not a happy book but it was well-written and I loved the tone.

Unabashedly sassy excerpt from the intro.

I hope you all are doing well and I apologize in advance if my posting will be irregular in the coming weeks. Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday.

WIPWed #94: Back In Rotation

It seems that my recent discovery of The Vampire Diaries on Netflix (so much teen drama! so much like a vampires-instead-of-aliens  version of Roswell! so irresistible!) has lead to me getting a bit more knitting time in, so I’ve actually worked on something other than that one pair of socks. Yay for WIPs!

Camelot Monkies:

WIPWed #94: Back In Rotation | Woolen Diversions

Progress, progress! Click for project page.

I’m nearing the finish line on my Monkey socks! The green one was reknit and is now mid-foot, while the pink one has had the gusset begun. This is going to be a totally fun pair of socks, methinks.

Rotted Days:

WIPWed #94: Back In Rotation | Woolen Diversions

Knitting with handspun! Click for project page.

I’m making rather slow process on my handspun Dotted Rays shawl but that’s to be expected with this kind of short row knitting (for me, at least). All the counting of stitches slows me down and prevents this from being good travel knitting, despite all the garter stitch. I’m also not totally in love with the handspun I’m using. It wasn’t plied tightly enough so it’s a bit splitty and not very lively. The fabric it’s making is still nice, though.

Colinton Cowl:

Like the Spinzilla fiber pack that I was sent for review, Louet also sent me a skein of yarn and a pattern to try out. The pattern is Myra, designed by Trudy Van Stralen, a very simple and airy lace cowl. The yarn is a 100% mohair, 2-ply laceweight called Colinton. It’s really lovely, shiny stuff and I adore what the Rav page says about it:

Yes – it’s mohair. But it’s not at all what you were expecting.

That about sums up my thoughts at the moment, I’ll expand more fully when I write my review.

As for spinning, I finally finished some yarn that I’ll show you on Friday (yay!) and as for reading, I started a new book.

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I swear, I’m not always so self-help-y with my reading but I suppose quarterlife crises will do that to a gal. This book is an interesting follow-up to one I began (but haven’t finished) by the same author called “I Could Do Anything, If Only I Knew What It Was”. The most interesting chapter in that book was about people whom the author termed Scanners, who love learning about (and doing) a variety of different things and who feel frustrated in their search for One Career Path. This book expands upon the Scanner idea and is supposed to help such people view their variety of interests as an asset instead of a liability in finding a career. The author points out that scientists are Divers, not Scanners, because they go deeply into topics. However, I think one can be both a scientist and a Scanner (which might just make me a Frustrated Diver, we shall see). I have many more thoughts about this topic, but I’m reserving them for the science-related blog I plan to start one of these days… I’m remaining skeptical about combining all of my interests into a career, though, because I’m mildly terrified of what a knitting-spinning-blogging-lotionmaking-Etsy-ecology-conservation-science-hiking-music-writing-poetry-kids-plants-teaching-beaches-sheep career would look like.

Scanner much? Yeah. Are you a Scanner or a Diver? Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday.

WIPWed #93: Campfire Knitting

I am (reluctantly) back from my camping trip, it was such a lovely time. We didn’t go far, and we weren’t gone for long, but something about spending the entire day outside and sleeping with just a thin nylon wall between you and the night feels wonderful. It was a tad chilly the first couple of nights, but the sun was warm during the day and we got plenty of hiking, biking, and campfire relaxing in.

My favorite way to knit.

I brought three projects with me (of course) but the only one I worked on was my Camelot Monkey sock. I had the wild idea that I’d have so much leisure time I would totally finish the entire pair… which did not happen. I did make my way back through the leg and heel that I had to frog last week, but it turns out that roasting marshmallows and reading to toddlers is way more fun than knitting (*gasp*). Plus, it gets dark early outdoors which doesn’t jive well with my nighttime knitting habits.

However, that kind of project monogamy is coming to a close. I returned home to a giant box of goodies from Louet, including a Spinzilla 2015 May Fiber Pack and a lovely skein of laceweight Colinton mohair yarn (both of which you’ll hear more about soon). I eagerly ripped into the sample fibers and have begun playing with the irresistible Eri silk. So soft! So shiny! It’s also known as ‘peace silk’ because the silk worms are allowed to emerge from their cocoons before the silk is harvested, which does not allow for the silk to be reeled off in a single strand, but does allow the little insect to live.

I strangely didn’t read a thing while camping (I read nearly constantly at home) but I did finish that Mama, PhD book I was reading last week. I am now working my way through a couple of issues of Ply magazine that have been patiently waiting their turn.

Hope you all had lovely weekends and are halfway through a decent week! Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday.