Body Sharing

I mistakenly believed that at the end of my pregnancy I was going to get my body back. I had shared it with G for 8 months and I was looking forward to more freedom. Little did I know that it would not end- only change.

I still have to be careful about what I’m eating and drinking. No alcohol and no coffee. Even my beloved bananas are gone. G goes crazy if I have a coffee and gets gassy with bananas. Le sigh. Decaf for me still. Also, though I have an okay supply, G is growing at a (somewhat alarming) rate and demands huge amounts of boob food. So I find myself baking lactation cookies and downing gallons of water.

The amount of time I spend hooked to a pump or my child would have shocked and disturbed pre-baby me. Heck, it disturbs me now. Breastfeeding is lovely. But also boring. Just a warning to pre-mums, save up some shows on Netflix you want to watch because you will need many (many) hours of handsfree entertainment.

Because of the C-section I am very limited in what and how much I can do physically. At first it was a chore and a painful experience to hike down and back up from our laundry in the basement. Now I feel much more capable and the twinges sneak up on me and remind me: ‘you just had major surgery, slow the f* down’. The most frustrating thing is no vacuuming or lawnmowing. As the primary (read: only) one who does these chores it has been a frustrating experience. Watching the dog-fur dust bunnies blow by, or wading through the jungle lawn to the compost makes me cringe. Luckily, my sister came to stay for a bit and managed to tidy things up for me.

I am DYING to get back to my pregnancy fitness routine. I miss long walks, Zumba and weight training. I felt so good going into the final months and I really want to feel that way again. Not to mention it would probably help me lift this expanding child without all the back pain.

As G gets bigger and takes more naps not on my boobs I am getting more freedom and mobility during the day. This is awesome. I LOVE my baby more then anything. But I also love knitting. And that needs two free hands. Plus our dinners have become more then cereal and freezies. Yay nutrients! (Another pre-mom tip: make your freezer stash early! I thought I had so much time. Wrong.)

While I somewhat enjoyed this last month of hysterical crying (both me and G, and sometimes hubby) I am really looking forward to having my body back all to myself. To eating what ever I want, to exercising without pain, to use both hands at the same time… its going to be wonderful.

Knitted Onesie

Started this way back when my nesting instincts were nuts. A surprisingly simple pattern with all over moss stitch and crochetted edging. Ending up doing the 3-6mo size so it will theoretically fit bean in the fall.

The piece has a somewhat bizarre tie closure on both sides of opening. Going to try it out but anticipating needing to switch to velcro or snaps or something.

The crochet edging is simple and cute. I’m going to try it out on some matching booties and hats for a complete outfit!

Here is the free pattern on ravelry as “baby talk” if you are interested! Here’s the direct link: https://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=9054&cid=17

A bright spot

I know everyone out there is FREAKING OUT and I will therefore try to not add to the stress. Let us talk of happy things!

  • I am 19 weeks today and the baby is as big as a mango! Can’t feel the movement yet, but I eagerly await that bizarre experience. Here’s a picture from the anatomy ultrasound, apparently bean was moving around the whole time so this is the best pic:
  • The sun is out in full force. No jacket needed for walks and all that gross grey sludge is FINALLY melting. It’s ABOVE ZERO people! Practically summer out there!
  • I am starting this project : https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/b33-30-baby-talk (sorry mom, your sweater is on hold for now. This is time sensitive!) I’ve been gifted some beautiful grey merino to use- thanks to my MIL.
  • My husband’s meetings have all been cancelled/postponed so I get him all to myself! It is so nice. He’s even helping with cooking and cleaning. He says because he knows I am more tired then normal, but I think he’s bored!
  • My belly is officially a belly! I get winded putting my boots on. I haven’t gained any weight, but I feel huge! I am terrified/excited to see if I get enormous like my mom did. It is truly weird to watch your body change everyday and to know it’s because there is a flippin PERSON living inside you!

So those are my happy thoughts for the day! Please send yours so we can all get through this crazy time together!

Frustration

Does anyone else feel that the universe has a sick sense of humor?

For example: I FINALLY begin to overcome my anxiety and panic attacks and can go out into the world and enjoy my life again. BAM. Social distancing and self isolation. So much for that.

Also: After three years of trying to get pregnant we have a minor miracle and conceive a child. BAM. A pandemic strikes putting me and the fetus at risk every time we attend MANDATORY appointments. I live in constant fear of getting sick and having adverse effects on baby.

I know we are all dealing with the same problems, and that we need to get through this as a team, but can I just for a second feel frustrated?

Okay, second over. Put on your fucking big girl pants and get through this shitty situation. Just think of all those little projects you’ve been putting off. Now is the time! OR you could knit to Star Trek the Next Generation re-runs… yay knitting!

I got distracted…

I’m assuming you all forgot that this blog is also about knitting/crafting and not just my random thoughts and experiences.

I know I did.

I’ve been a little distracted with baby crap and actually being able to leave the house and get shit done. Also I’m not going to lie, my knitting project is hella boring.

So anyway here is what I’m working on…

This is a sweet little birth record that I enjoy stitching while watching ‘the great british sewing bee’ on youtube. It’s a surprisingly fun and wholesome show. Plus you learn lots of hot tips. I am also attempting the pattern hoop-less. So far it’s going well! You can buy pattern on Etsy.

This is the sweater from hell. It uses sock yarn and needles. It is knit in one piece from bottom to collar and then sleeves are inserted by picking up along edge of arm hole. And to make it extra fun the two front panels and collar are lace work.

I feel like I have been working on this for all of eternity yet I STILL don’t have the 23″ needed to split the work for arm holes.

Let’s just say the sock weight sweater will NEVER happen again. My mother better wear this thing every damn day.

What are you working on? And any tips to make the sweater go faster?

Fix Anything!

I think all knitters have had that sinking feeling when you finish a project and something is not right. I recently (due to concerns over running out of wool) made the cuff of some mittens way to short.

It turned out my concerns were not warranted- I had lots of wool left. I had knitted cuff up so I couldn’t just pull back and re-finish. I wondered out loud if I could somehow graft new cuffs on. My husband, being knitting illiterate, said “why not?”

Exactly, “why not?!”

Some internet research did not take long to show it was indeed possible!

And it is completely seamless!

I picked up above the ribbing to make it easier. You need to know the number of stitches at the point you chose to pick up so you can ensure you have all of the stitches. It makes the first row easier if you pick up the same side of each stitch, but if your a comfortable knitter it’s pretty obvious whether you need to knit through the front or back of the stitch.

Cutting into the work gave me a little heart attack- it just feels so wrong! All you do is just snip one stitch and then begin pulling out the row below where you picked up. I found a darning needle worked great. I also carefully unraveled the cuff so I could re-use the yarn.

Once you’ve removed the crappy part you just start knitting again using the stitches you picked up. Through the power of black magic it somehow appears consistent with the original stitches and you can not see any sort of join.

Mind blowing.

I am so excited to use this technique to fix my husband’s sweater which suffers from not knowing you need smaller needles to do the ribbing. It kills me this thing I spent hundreds of hours on is not perfect!

Update

Hello and welcome to the jungle.

I know I’m supposed to write wordy and profound things but today I just want to update you on the happenings in my life.

  1. Gluten-free… Utter torture. I have been trying a lot of products and most of them are absolute garbage. I have been introduced to 1-1 flour which works well for cakes and cookies. You can just use your normal recipes which makes things easier. But everything turns our a little ‘gummier’ that’s the only way I can describe it. Gluten free pasta is good if you eat really fast. If it sits in the sauce or (heaven forbid) you reheat it the next day it literally begins to disintegrate. Wraps don’t really wrap- they fold and then shatter. I have gotten to the point where I’m just eating more rice and potatoes instead of fighting with the crap bread available. Unfortunately, I feel SO much better so I’m sticking with it.
  2. Adventures in Anxiety… I went to a bookstore! All by myself. I have also been going to my bloodwork for several months now, alone and with relative ease. I am finding if I PLAN a trip I begin building it up in my mind and freaking out. BUT if I just realize I feel good and scoot out it’s usually a success! I have now been on CBD for several months and I really think it has been helping. I just feel a general sense of calming. Now I can identify when I am anxiety spiralling and sometimes stop it.
  3. Christmas Crafting… My cheap-ass circular needles have broken. Mid-project. It was devastating but I managed to rescue all the stitches with a set of double-points so I didn’t lose all my work. I did a little online research and found that interchangeable needles exist! You get a little kit of different sized needle tips and several different lengths of cable- and then you put together what ever set up you need! It’s fucking brilliant. And hella expensive. But I ordered them as an early Christmas present from my long-suffering husband. 2-4 days shipping. I am literally on the edge of my seat.
  4. Some Other News… I have been called with the date of my breast reduction surgery! December 31st. I will literally be getting new boobs for the new year! Isn’t that amazing? I am so excited. I am working hard to lose a touch more weight before the surgery because that improves outcomes.
  5. Bipolar and Other Demons… I am starting to get a bit frustrated. My mood symptoms feel okay, nothing dramatic is happening anyway, but my psychosis symptoms are still plaguing me. I have good lucid times (like now) and I have others where I stare into space until my husband intervenes. I also have the continual feeling of being watched and tracked. And of course Bill is keeping me company. He likes to hide and just poke his head out scaring the crap out of me. When I’m good these things all seem silly, but when things are bad they’re really bad.

So that’s what’s up. Not much, but mostly good so that’s an improvement. I am very excited that December 1st is approaching, meaning I can spread Christmas all over the house!

And so it begins…

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Tis the season for Christmas crafting!

I love this time of year. I can legitimately knit for five hours straight while watching Christmas movies because I am doing something NECESSARY. My hubby is as pleased as I am to give and receive homemade gifts. Therefore my excessive crafting is a SERVICE. I am ensuring that people get the warm and fuzzies on the 25th.

Unfortunately for you fine folks I can’t post anything yet as some of you will be the lucky recipients and I don’t want to spoil anything. I will post all the pictures and pattern links in the new year.

This year (as per custom) everyone will get an ornament and then something especially for them. I’ve also decided to do the big gifts for the ladies in my life (the boys can have a turn next year). I have taken on an enormous project for my mother. Here is the link to pattern. Let’s just say she probably won’t be getting it until her birthday. Needles this tiny do not lend themselves to speed. I’ve had to shelve it for now until the season passes.

I still have many pairs of socks and mittens standing between me and my Christmas Eve rum and coke. But it’s a happy hurdle. Well, more like a long hike- its work technically, but its oh so enjoyable!

The Zombie Effect

My doctor has increased my antipsychotic to help with the hallucinations and delusions I am barely coping with. It is a relief that I am finally being taken seriously. But it is also a huge hassle. Everyone who has been on these meds can attest that the first few weeks at a higher dose are terrible. You are tired all the time and your mind quite foggy. Many use the word ‘zombie’ and it certainly is a good descriptor.

Since I wasn’t manic but depressed I welcome this feeling. It’s the feeling of the road to recovery. Also not questioning if everything I see and hear is real is a relief. I still have moments where I get really lost in my own mind but I can be coached out of it now.

I wonder if I will ever get to a place where these symptoms don’t plague me everyday. If its not psychosis its anxiety, or depression, or mania, or some horrible cocktail of them all.

Every morning I wake up I crack an eyelid to look at the time. Too early = bad, too late = bad. A whole bunch of too early in a row = batten down the hatches, this ship is going manic.

If I am around the right time I hop out of bed and start my day. Things tick along until I need to go out to get something. Cue the dragon. Can I slay this anxious monster and get my shit done? Or will I be burned up and return home in shame.

I make it my mission to be productive everyday. Cooking dinner counts- though I much prefer accomplishing something real and tangible as proof that the day wasn’t a waste. I don’t know. It just makes me feel better. When I can crawl into bed knowing the house is clean, I’ve eaten well, and I’ve exercised a bit it makes much easier to fall asleep. Mostly because I am not berating myself for being useless all night.

I think that’s why I’ve taken to making socks. They only take a few days and you get something beautiful- and something people appreciate. They also can travel anywhere so those anxious fidgets can be harnessed.

The Christmas knitting has begun!

I am learning how to cope with the way my mind is now. I have all sorts of tricks that I’ve developed to get things done. I hate that it’s come to this, constantly modifying my life just to get the minimum done. But I refuse to let it stop me. I am not Bipolar. I am a writer, crafter and wife diagnosed Bipolar.

Baby Mittens

It’s my niece’s first birthday on the 22nd! That beautiful, happy girl will be a whole year old. Since we can not attend the party we wanted to send a gift. Her mom requested hand-knit mittens for the on-coming winter.

Of course, being me, no pattern was exactly what I wanted. So I made one by hybridizing several from Ravelry. If you’re interested here it is:

Using 4mm dpns cast on 26 stitches.

Start k1p1 ribbing for 5 rows.

Over the next row increase 4 stitches evenly across the 26 existing stitches (which you will knit). You can use any increase you want since the edge of the ribbing will hide a lot of sins.

Knit the next four rows.

Purl one row.

Knit four rows. Purl one row. Repeat 2 more times.

Knit one row.

k3k2tog repeat across row.

Knit on row.

k2k2tog repeat across row.

Purl one row.

k1k2tog repeat across row.

Knit one row.

k2tog repeat across row. This should leave 6 stitches. Run tail end through to gather. Sew end into the inside of mit.

Next slide your yarn needle and some yarn through the front loops of every knit stitch in the upper most row of ribbing. Stretch the opening wide and cut the yarn to the appropriate length to still tie at the max stretch but not be too long when slightly cinched.

That’s it! Well, you have to make a second one obviously.

For the cord I chained 175st using a 2.5mm crochet hook. This part I am unsure of since the actual child was unavailable to me. I would suggest checking it out in your kid’s coat before binding off.

I will update once the mittens reach their owner if any corrections need to be made.