Brand New Start

Whew! It’s been two and a half weeks since I moved in to my new apartment. My old lease finally expired and I handed over the keys, so I’m absolutely done with that nightmare.

Let me start off by saying I feel like I’ve finally come home. This apartment is spacious, beautifully light and everything here works. My old place was missing many key features, my new place is the average, standard apartment with all features included. That means my own internet, tv and telephone, and my own hot water supply for the shower and kitchen. While I can hear my downstairs neighbors (as you can with most apartment complexes), they’re not being obnoxious. No more slamming doors, daily fights, weekly parties and so forth. My days are filled with peace and quiet.

I can definitely tell that having lived in my old place for 5 years has left its marks. I find myself lapsing into ‘worst case scenarios’ panic attacks over small things. If I drop a spoon by accident late at night, my first response is a bad panic attack and preparing myself for a visit from the police or bullying from the neighbors. I’ve even broken down crying twice over my cats playing and making noise, something that really isn’t an issue but that used to be an issue with my old neighbors, you know? It really shows how bad my life was and how terrorized I felt. The weird thing is that I never realized just how bad it was until I got the chance to move out, distance myself from that situation and compare it to what a ‘normal’ situation looks like.

The change of scenery was a bit tough to deal with at first. I don’t do change well, and I’m glad that moving took¬†weeks to accomplish rather than mere days. I had to put flooring into my new place (houses in the Netherlands are usually offered ‘stripped’ – i.e. there is no flooring and there are no appliances, you have to bring it all yourself. It’s common for tenants to lay laminate flooring and then take it out when they move to put into the new place.) and paint a few walls before I could move my furniture over. It was mainly just my dad, me and my dad’s trailer moving all of my belongings over. We’re both cripples on disability with back issues, so we had to be super careful not to hurt ourselves in the process. One or two loads in a day was our max, and then we were done for for the rest of the day.

We managed to pull it off eventually! All my stuff is here now, I have a new bed (a cheap one from IKEA that is surprisingly sturdy and good quality for such a low price), I have almost all the appliances I need and my cats are all settled in as well.

I’m really happy that I’ve socialized my cats so well, too. They adapt to new environments very quickly because they’re used to traveling with me. I bring them with me to my parents’ and friends’ places, so they don’t fuss or get stressed from moving around. The first night, both of them were yowling at the door ‘to go home’, but by the second night they slept through the night without a hitch. That’s all it took for them to realize we live here now. ūüôā

Let’s see, my birthday was last week on Easter Sunday. I had my family over for brunch and cake, just a quiet get together! I was still pooped from the whole moving business so I didn’t really invite anyone else. I got a knitting book from my boyfriend and ended up knitting a bunch of swatches from it!

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First off, I have to say I LOVE the book. I’m sure I can find most of these stitches online, but having them in paperback for on-the-go and in one big collection to flip through is so much nicer than browsing an endless online database and having no real way of bringing that with me. Some reviews on Amazon complain about the way the patterns are written. They’re not exactly conventional, in the sense that the written pattern is usually combined with the chart. You probably need to be able to work with both to make full sense of it.

For example, a chart will have 6 rows. The written pattern is setup in a slightly weird way by saying “Row 1 (right side) and every alternate row: knit like this. Row 2 and 6: Knit all stitches in the manner they present. Row 4: Cable row. These last 6 rows form pattern.” Which essentially a complete pattern, complemented by a correct chart, but it’s not the way most pattern books are written in my experience and it throws people off. However, if you read carefully and follow the patterns step by step, they work out absolutely fine. I haven’t found any mistakes yet and I love the variety in the patterns.

The only thing I’m not too keen on is the fact they include an edge stitch in every pattern, and count this edge stitch in their totals. If you’re like me knitting swatches with a 5 stitch garter edge, it can throw you off when you’re supposed to get to ‘the last 4 stitches, p3, k1 (edge stitch)”. Because I will only have 3 stitches left until I hit the garter border, so my first reaction is “I MESSED UP SOMEWHERE” when I didn’t. But I think that’s also something that I’ll get used to quickly. All in all this is an awesome resource book for knitters, and for its price you really don’t have to leave it on the bookstore shelf.

It also prompted me to knit my first cables ever. They’re something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now but never really felt inspired to get around to. There are so many variations and I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. I picked 3 slightly similar cables to work with and made the above swatches. No blocking because it’s leftover acrylic yarn that doesn’t block well, but it works out!

I wanted to see how cables behave in a fabric, with and without proper borders. Found out that the more stitches you cable (like a cable 6 versus a cable 4) the more they pull. My next swatch will be in the round to see how that works out for socks and the like! I’d hate to ruin a project by guessing wrong so I love knitting swatches.

Somewhere throughout the move I also managed to finish a pair of socks for a friend.

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I ran very quickly out of yarn for these socks for some reason. I’m not sure why, they’re not particularly big ,the gauge is the same as with all my other socks and it’s the same kind of yarn. But they turned out fine and I hope to be able to send them out soon. I might have enough yarn for my frankensocks too, I might incorporate some cables or lace from the book to make something different for once!

What have you all been up to? I’ve been so busy I didn’t really have time to get caught up with my blog feed, I’d love to hear summarized updates!

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One of those days…

Somehow I managed to get a full night’s sleep. When I woke up I still felt exhausted though, probably because of all the vivid dreams I was having. (That generally doesn’t make for a restful sleep huh?) I managed to shower and go to group.

Worked on the legs of my mom’s socks in a 2×2 rib and ended up dropping a stitch. I thought I’d caught it but I was working a loose strand while the stitch dropped farther and farther down. Cursed a lot and fixed that. The group had two nice ladies who were sitting in on a trial day to see if they like our group to join. I don’t dislike them, but they were overbearingly present. They’re also friends from a different therapy group and kept talking over me and others when we tried to speak up. It made this afternoon feel noisy and I felt really excluded from the room because of it after a while. Again, it’s not that I don’t like them, but the novelty of our place and their (very understandable clique-ness) just didn’t make this afternoon nice for me.

I came back home and it looked like everyone chose my street to go home through. One side of the road has parking spaces while the other doesn’t, which means that one parked car forces that side¬†to wait and let the others pass. I park in those spaces. They were all filled up by people waiting to pass and I had to wedge my car into a space I needed to parallel park in but couldn’t. I waited for the road to clear¬†but the fucking cars kept coming and nobody was taking heed of my situation. So goddamn annoying. It took forever to get out of there and I ended up parking farther ahead in a fit of rage.

As soon as I exited my car and shut the door, the side view mirror fell out of its slot¬†(thankfully it didn’t break). It was raining and storming while I tried to force it back. It won’t stick, one small tap on the back of the mirror and it falls out.

At this point I was so frustrated I just wanted to smash in the window with my fist. Or maybe punch a random cyclist off their bike. Instead I just threw the mirror into my car and texted my dad. Asked him if he can come down here tomorrow and take a look, he can probably get it fitted properly again.

It doesn’t really help that my back is very sore from chores yesterday, either. It feels like it’s just one of those clumsy days where nothing goes right and I’m better off tucked in bed with a good book and no obligations. If only life worked that way.

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20151130_013441Gosh, I didn’t get nearly as much done today as I thought I would. All I managed to do was eat, shower and get dressed, and knit the heels on the socks. Not much else happened besides chatting with friends online.

I slept for close to 12 hours last night and remained exhausted when I woke up. It’s easy to forget how big of an impact stress has on your ability to recharge during the night. :/ It doesn’t help that it takes me hours to fall asleep either (or that I procrastinate the torture of trying to fall asleep by knitting until 2-3 in the morning!).

There were plans on my schedule to at least vacuum and sort the drawers in my wardrobe to make room for extra clothes, but so far nothing’s happened yet. I have to do a grocery store run tomorrow cause I’m out of butter and some other staples, and maybe when I get back I can vacuum. I’ve cleaned up the floor a little so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to get to it.

At the very least my boyfriend awarded me with XP for finishing the heels, so I’ve got that going for me! I’m running a little out of steam with knitting; I’ve knitted several hours each day since October 30th, without taking a break. I intend to finish my mom’s socks and then my sister’s well before the 21st of December so I can just do nothing for one or two weeks as far as knitting goes. Sometimes breaks are very much needed to avoid a hobby burnout.

Impulse control (or lack thereof)

I’m back to 120kgs. The good news: I’m not gaining weight beyond this point. The bad news: I’m not losing any either.

Thanks to feeling sickly, I’ve been slacking on my daily routine. I’m sleeping in until past noon, I’m not eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at appropriate times, sometimes I am not hungry enough to eat a full meal. Then a couple of hours later I get so ravenous that my desire to put food into my mouth overrides all my common sense and I just keep shoveling until I can’t anymore.

That’s doing a number on my blood sugar levels too, naturally. :/¬†There’s no real excuse for it, I should step up my game and be better about it. I think it all comes back to routine; food is much easier to control when you control the rest of your day. The moment the rest of your day is in shambles, structure wise, there’s no rhyme or reason to meals anymore either. So my main point of focus, right now, is to get my routine back under control, and then tackle my eating habits.

I’m feeling a bit better but still very sluggish. Hopefully when my court date is over tomorrow, things will smooth out a bit more.

On another note, I’m fighting really hard not to cast on anything new until these socks are done. I want to cast on my sweater next, but the nice old lady who got knitted knockers from me before is still waiting for a new pair, so those have priority this coming week. My mental mantra comes down to “First socks, then boobs, then sweaters”!

My bleary eyes

I haven’t had such a bad week in a long time. I kinda knew it was coming, my depression is like an ocean tide with the occasional, ship sinking storm every now and then. It was really quiet for a long time, and I think the morphine was just making me too tired to be worked up.

I haven’t touched my mailbox is nearly two weeks. My anxiety makes me nauseated just thinking about it; I don’t know what I’m expecting to be in there, but my gut is wrenching so terribly I have to count to 10 and take a deep breath so I won’t get an all out attack. I’m trying to get myself to grab what’s inside tomorrow afternoon, after I go to the farmer’s market for my weekly fish and fruit. If I tell myself I don’t have to open anything yet, just get it inside, maybe it’ll be easier to get past this threshold.

My mood is… very unstable. I have moments where I’m laughing with my friends, and then I remember that one friend hasn’t spoken to me since January and I can’t get a hold of him. I’ve left him messages in multiple places and I can barely keep myself from crying because he’s not getting them. I can’t help but wonder if I did something wrong, and I don’t know what I’ll do if I¬†did do something wrong. I just wish he’d talk to me about it. I feel so forgotten. He’s been there for me through everything while my boyfriend has been deployed and I don’t know if I’d made it without him.

Then the other day, someone posted a suicide threat on this community I’m a part of. This place is not known for this kind of content and pretty ‘safe’, so I was unprepared. I’m still undecided how genuine it was, but that didn’t change the fact it put my mood even deeper into the ground and made me remember all the times I faced potential suicide myself. It’s not a fun place to go, and I was shaken and cried in bed for a while after telling this girl to call a help line. She apologized today, and I messaged her in private to offer some advice, but I could have done without.

To top it off I’m sick as well. I keep sneezing, which hurts my back so much I start crying. A herniated disc and a cold is such a terrible combination, I don’t wish this upon anyone ever. The fun part is that shark week will begin¬†any day now. Isn’t my life a nice bundle of fucking roses right now?

It would be unfair of me to not mention the good that has happened though. Last weekend, my boyfriend was in port in Hawaii. We got to Skype a little bit before our connections had both forsaken us. We texted the remainder of the time and I realized how accustomed I’ve become to not having him around. It’s kind of scary how you just end up… ‘moving on’, so to say. I explained to him that when he fell out of my daily routine, I started to put other things in that space where he was and I will need time to readjust to having him back when he gets home. I’m so enormously grateful that he understands this. There are many who wouldn’t be so accepting.

He’ll be back home soon, and that is pretty exciting regardless of how down I feel. He’s going to get his phone fixed, he’s applying for college, engineering and he’s buying a car from a buddy. He told me to get lots of sleep on Tuesday so I’m pretty sure it won’t be long until he’s home. He’s taking leave immediately after arrival, so hopefully we’ll get to spend a lot of time together.