Thursday, 29 May 2008

I like meat!

The knit

6 balls

My Green Tea is nearly done. I knitted a lot on my trip to my parents' (door to door it's about 9 hours, plus the 3 hour round trip to visit my grandparents). I have finished the 5th ball of Luxury Cotton, and it does feel luxurious. On a side note, the word luxury is very similar to the Spanish word for lust (lujuria), which amuses my father no end.
I did the increases at the hips today while waiting for the doctor but, when I got home and tried it on, it was way too baggy at the back. I looks like I started the increases too early, so I have to undo a good chuck of it!
This much!

The geek
I'm going to the cinema on Saturday, to watch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I can't wait! Teh boyfriend has already seen it, and liked it enough to be willing to come with me again to the cinema. He actually said it was good, better than Temple of Doom. To top it all up, Lego Indiana Jones is being released on the 6th of June, next Friday. Guess what I'm going to do on the weekend of the 7th and 8th :)

And the therapy
I went to my doctor today. He says that I might not see it because I'm in the middle of it, but I look like a completely different person from when he met me; like Spiderman and Peter Parker (his actual words). I have to say, I don't really feel much better, but I don't have the luxury (giggles) of perspective. When I presented my list of problems to him today, he turned them around and showed how they were still there a while ago, but are only now becoming worse problems because I want more. My next steps are decreasing further my propanoLOL, in the hopes that it'll let me sleep better and therefore make everything better, and work on my "I can't", "I'm too tired", "I don't have the energy" barriers. While some of the barriers make sense and are there to protect me, sometimes they overprotect me, and don't let me push the edge towards getting better. I really like me doctor, he is so nice and helpful!

... ... ...

Wait, it's not over! The random!
My boyfriend remarked the other day that my blog title actually said "knit meat herapy". He is not sure what herapy means, but he is fairly amused by knit meat. Mmmm, meat. I was the Queen Carnivore (Chair) of the Meat Appreciation Society (MeatSoc) at uni. It was a lot of fun, and very tasty. The Chair the year after me was a vegetarian. It used to confuse people no end.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Presentations :(

I was going to write a post about having gone to see my family this weekend, which is the main reason I haven't answered any comments, and I'm sorry for that (I didn't want to leave my blog's address in the family computer). However, I'm going to interrupt the normal ramblings of this blog to report on the current crisis:

The company I've been collaborating with has just told me that they are expecting me to give a joint presentation at the European Space Agency on the software I was working on a while back. When I mentioned to my boss here that I didn't know I had to, and that I really didn't want to do it, the opted for the joking way out, saying "oh, don't panic, it'll only be representing the company in front of investors, just people at ESA who know what they are doing, no pressure". While that might work for other people, it doesn't for me, although I don't think he knows that. People around me are trying to make me feel better, telling me that they don't like presentations either, but I don't think they mean it the way I do.

I don't want to give a presentation, I'm not sure I can. Just knowing about it now has accelerated my entire body, and the panic will only increase as the date gets closer. I don't want to stop sleeping and eating a couple of days before the presentation because I am too anxious and my body refuses to rest or get any food. Having to do this will affect all my work output in other areas, make my home life more tense, and possibly making me physically ill on the presentation day.

I have finally emailed the other company back asking them what is the extent of my contribution, and hopefully they will answer back saying that none. I need to hold on to the thought that things end up better than I fear.

Edit: And I posted this too early, so now the title is messed up :( Things like that upset me.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

I am learning waterbending

I am learning waterbending Tai Chi!

As mentioned last post, I am starting Tai Chi. The sort-of-first lesson was on Tuesday. I dusted my tracksuit (and by gods, it was dusty), and made it, despite being terrified.
I had found out about the class online, where it said that demonstration classes were on the 13th, 20th and 27th. What it failed to say was that it wasn't OR, as I read it, but AND, and it was a little three class course, for a small fee. So I turned up for the second class, with not enough money to pay the lesson. I think I started panicking, because the instructor said that it was ok, I didn't need to worry, that I could pay next time. So it was all ok, but I kept wanting to run away for a long time. Similarly, it took me a while to relax when we started the class, although after about 20 min I finally got the flow of things.

I enjoyed Tai Chi. It reminded me of fencing and ballet (both of which I've done), together with waterbending (which I've watched plenty of; see end of the post for an explanation on what I'm going on about). The feet position is very similar to fencing, so I can just default to it without even thinking about it, and the arms move delicately, like in ballet.
It didn't feel like exercise as I'm used to, mainly because it wasn't aerobic and I didn't end up sweating and out of breath (my heart beats stupidly fast, so I get tired really fast). However, holding some of those positions is tiring, and my legs started shaking towards the end, so I'm gathering that's good.

There isn't Tai Chi next week, because it's half-term and the school we do it in is closed, so I'm very glad I didn't pick next Tuesday to try it, it would not have been good for me. After that, the course proper starts the following Tuesday, lasting 16 weeks.
Now that I have overcome the initial fear, I think I'll be less scared next time I go, especially because I know I can do it (both going there and the actual martial art). When I go to the doctor next Thursday, I can finally tell him that I'm doing some exercise and, as it focuses on control and relaxation, it should be double bonus to help me heal.
I just need to be good and don't ask too often when are we getting the buckets of water!

In the cartoon Avatar, some people can control the elements, and people who control water are waterbenders (see them in action!). The bending of each element is based on a different martial art: waterbending is based on Tai Chi, earthbending on Hung Gar, firebending on Northern Shaolin and airbending on Bagua.
I really enjoy Avatar, despite its apparently random schedule, and would really recommend it to everybody. Waterbending is what I hope to achieve with my Tai Chi classes when I get good enough!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

My shinies. Let me show you them.

My Ravelry merchandise got through yesterday. I did manage to tear the package open and try on my t-shirt, before I collapsed in bed from exhaustion and slept a couple of hours straight. This did disrupt my evening plans, which did include taking pictures, but it made me feel like a human being for the bit that I was awake later, rather than some sort of growling zombie.
I have my ravelry pin in my bag, and I have managed to take some pictures, so here is my ravelry gear.

disagree (1), in large
disagree (1)
Daily dose of fiber
Daily does of fiber

The House of Fraser near home is closing down its haberdashery department. While this is a shame, it does mean that they are having a 50% discount on everything, including Rowan, so I moved my lazy ass there today, and bought yarn for future projects. I might not do them yet, but this are project I know I want to do, so it makes sense to buy yarn now. I don't like stashing, I only buy to do specific projects. I got some cream yarn to make this lacy top (warning, link to pdf! rav link here), and some blue to make a möbius. I really want to knit one, and the blue calmer was so soft and looked so husky that I couldn't say no to it, even if it wasn't exactly planned.

Rowan Luxury Cotton
Rowan luxury cotton
Rowan calmer
Rowan calmer

Now I have to go to a (first) tai chi class in 45 minutes, and I'm terrified. The only reason I'm not chickening out is that Alex would get really upset, because I said I'd go, and I don't think I can handle that without crashing.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Tea corner

I have not been feeling very well today. I was a bit down on Friday, then well yesterday, now ill today. It is mostly physical, at least, so I can work on it with painkillers and warmth, and it gets a bit better.

I am at the moment sipping one of my nice teas. Tea always makes me feel better, and this tea is very nice. At the moment I have a tea that is in between green and black. That is, it is only partly fermented, and it tastes very nice.
I have in my kitchen a dedicated tea and coffee corner, so I know where everything is, and can fix myself something warm in no time.

Tea corner

I keep having sleep problems, so I might decrease my anxiety medication further. Despite keeping me a bit calm, it gives me a very interesting and vivid array of non-stop dreams every night, which means my sleep is never deep enough, and I don't rest well, which then in turn makes me feel more depressed, etc. It's so frustrating! I am due at the doctor's soon, so I might wait and talk to him, despite having explicit control over the meds.

In knitting news, the Green Tea has already 2 of the 6-7 balls of yarn knitted into it, and I'm very close to closing for the armpits and continuing with the body (would have done it yesterday, but decided to try it on and realised I need to knit a couple more rows before that).

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The "big project" changes

I am very tired, and I probably look it. I don't sleep well, and today I had a really tiring day at work (there is a release today, so don't tell my boss I've been blogging!). Because I am just a code-monkey, I didn't need to work over the weekend, and instead got some knitting done.

I have started a t-shirt, Green Tea (pattern: Green Gable, by Zephir Style). It is, as the name indicates, rather green, and I think it is coming on quite well. I've already knitted to it the first of the 6 balls of yarn it needs (Rowan Luxury Cotton in cabbage green). I'm really looking forward to wearing this t-shirt. The original name of the project was going to be "Green Tee", but I kept misspelling Tee as Tea so many times, that I decided to change the name. I really like how it's turning, so you can have a picture of the front lace.

Green Tea in progress 4-2
Don't click on it! The image only looks ok small, it's not terribly in focus!

The keen-eyed (or the stalkers) around you might have noticed that I only have one "big" project at a time, and I have started the Green Tea before I posted some pictures of the finished Healing Cardigan. It is, as you can see, still on its way (I've made a little bit more progress since this picture, but not a lot more).

It looks like a cardi

The healing cardigan is currently in a concious break, and with actual reasons, I'm not just distracted by a new shiny (well, I am, but that's not the centre of the question).
I'm not very happy with how the fit it's turning up. I am having trouble getting the neckline to close and not be too wide and, most importantly, I think the sleeves are way too small. Despite the fact that my yarn is at the moment from different dye lots (long story), there is something at the back of my head which wants me to undo the top part, undo the sleeves, and knit them again, wider. I don't really want to do that, so I'm leaving it to rest for a couple of days to clear my head from it. As well as doing the little crochet eggs, I figured I could allow myself to start the next big project, especially as producing something successful will make me feel better.
And it is. I can feel the spring green coming from the knitting onto me. It looks like the fields, the only thing it's missing is daisies. Which I might have to knit soon.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Katamari! (FO)

(I will recommend that you open this video in a separate tab. It's the introduction video to We love Katamari, and it features my favourite Katamari song, "Katamari on the swing". I figured it was an appropiate soundtrack)

Here is my fully-funtional Katamari!
Katamari 3 (action shot!)

What is that?
What is that?
It's getting near!
It's getting near!
It's taken one of us!
It's taken one of us

Nothing can beat a Katamari!

Technical details
Ravelry project page
Pattern: Magnetic Katamari, by Amy Shimel (Amy's Babies) (Ravelry pattern page)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cotton DK, in blue, yellow and orange (yellow and orange are leftovers from the Jayne Hats)
Hooks: 3.0 mm (for the main body) and 3.5 mm (for the nubs) - although I did try 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 when I was being special at crochet; don't use those.
Notes: if you know how to crochet, and do single crochets instead of slip stitches, it is a very easy crochet. Once I got my stitches right, it flew off the hook. I couldn't get the recommended magnets (I couldn't get them online from a UK store), so I ordered some random ones from Craft Bits. The service was good and quick. I placed the order on Saturday morning, and I got a confirmation that the items had shipped on Tuesday. Wednesday evening, when I got home from work, the magnets were in my mailbox (stuck to it, as well!).

The Katamari now lives on the living room carpet, where I kick it every time I walk past, and it rolls wonderfully! It is awesome!! I'm so happy!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Slow changes of temperature

Many animals, including human beings, cannot recognise slow increases in temperature, only big differences. This is why you put live frogs in cold water, and heat them up slowly. In theory, you could boil a person alive, and kill them before they noticed what was going on. The key is to do it slowly.

Macabre as that is, it is easy to understand how it works. I experiment an analogous process many of the times I have a relapse into bad depression. I barely rarely notice when the downward spiral happens if it is subtle. Sometimes it is blatant: something upsets me, or reminds me of something else, and I start rumiating and unintentionally bring myself down. But it is not always that obvious. Sometimes, well, it just kind of happens. What sets me off is so tiny I don't even register, and the downwards path is so gentle that I only notice it when I'm already down, and then I do not have the strength to get up. The depression slowly boils me alive, and I only notice it at the end.

Anyway, this is how I'm feeling at the moment. It occurred to me to link it to the boiling alive situation, and thought I would write it down, in the hope that it will help someone (maybe to understand what a loved one is going through, maybe to be able to explain what is happening to them). I hope it does.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Lace bookmark (FO)

Yesterday was Mother's day in Spain (and in many other countries, but my mother only lives in one). I wanted to make her something as a present, but I didn't want to invest a lot of time and yarn on it, as my mum and I don't get along terribly well. I think I just wanted to show her, for the umpteenth time, that I can knit, because no matter how many times she sees my pictures and my FOs, she has not finished accepting that I can. She just doesn't believe I can do it.
So I searched for a bit online, and decided to make her a bookmark. My first thought was to design one myself, but I wanted some lace in it. I tried some stuff from my stitch dictionary (from The Knitter's Bible), but it was not coming out very well, so I found one online.
It's a very simple and quick lace pattern, it took no time. I haven't ever got my mother a present she liked, so she probably won't like this one either, but I don't care. At least I tried, while she has given up on getting presents for anybody (actually, my family as a whole has given up on presents, at least for Christmas and my birthday).
Anyway, enough complaining about my family (I can do that at great length), have some pictures!

Lace bookmark

Detailed view of the lace:

Lace bookmark, front detailLace bookmakr, end detail

And an action shot!
Lace bookmark, action shot!

Technical details
Raverly project page
Pattern: Diamond lace bookmark, by Sivia Harding, also available in the Knitting Pattern a day calendar 2005, pattern for March 21s (Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze, leftover from Charlotte's 21st birthday scarf.
Needles: 3.5 mm
Notes: Very quick and easy, it works really well for a simple present, and it has taught me that if I ever want to do something big and lacy, I really need to get pointy needles, rather than use my bamboos. The proportions are not quite right. The width calls for one more lace repeat, but that would make it huge! It is already rather wide as it is, so maybe is should have been done in smaller needles (no way!). Oh well, it'll have to do. Also, I'm 100% sure she'll never see this, as my family doesn't know about this blog and I've done plenty of searches of my name, and it doesn't appear within a reasonable number of pages in google, so I'm safe posting this.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Yesterday I was sociable

Yesterday I was sociable! *round of applause*

One of my coworkers had a movie night. When she emailed us about it, I replied saying that I might go, but I had a doctor's appointment on the day, so it would depend on how I felt. She then looked for me, and said that she understood, but it was going to be a quiet evening anyway, and she would be really happy if I could make it. Somebody actually requested my presence! Atiya is really nice. So I went, because people actually wanted me there, and they not always do.

Most of my interactions with friends are dominated and hindered by guilt. Guilt because I'm not a good friend, because I haven't talked to them in ages, because I'm ill. On the other hand, most of my interactions with acquaintances are dominated and hindered by anxiety. Anxiety and panic because I don't know what to talk about with them, because I feel that being ill will spoil the party, because I fear they won't like me and then be nasty to me.
However, because my acquaintances are here, and my friends live further away, I end up interacting with them more than with my good friends, which makes me feel even more guilty.

This is just to get you into context. I spend yesterday very nervous, as my lack of nails can testify, and stammering when I had to say anything that involved any thinking, but at least it wasn't as bad as when I tried to go bowling. I think I just felt much safer because it was somebody else's house, and Atiya is very nice, and has managed to pick up what my "chemical brain imbalance" is, and won't press on it.

The evening itself was alright. The plan was to start watching a movie at about 7, and order food during, but it didn't happened. And plans that don't happen make me nervous. People arrived late, so we talked, and then a Bollywood movie happened to kill some time. I really disliked the main character, as he looked just like an oversize Ken doll, without shoulders. We got food in the end, but it was all very disjointed and not the plan, so I knew rather early on that I would not get to watch the planned movie.
I mean, it wasn't too bad, it was nice to hang around with people, but it wasn't amazing. I had an ok time. I was sitting in a corner quietly for most of the time, petting some of my yarn, but it was not hiding-quiet, just simply quiet in the company of others, so it's a better thing.

I started to make my move out about 9.30, so I could get the 10.00 bus, and be home at 10.30. I think the worst part of the evening was having to explain to people that I needed to go home. That I get really ill if I don't get a full night sleep.
I can stay up late, and I can do "active" things, but they need preparation. I need to have quiet days the previous two days, and then sleep lots and vegetate the next day to recover all the energy spent in being social. However, most people just don't understand this, because socialising comes natural to them. I can only do so much every day (if I go to work, I can normally do only one more "big" thing, like shopping, or cleaning, or sex, and I have to organise stuff accordingly), and I truly needed to go home to sleep, regardless whether it was "just this once".
I don't want to go upfront "look, I have depression, I can't do this", but if I go around it people don't understand, and it is frustrating.

Despite getting home on time, I didn't have the extra rest to compensate for the active, so I feel incredibly hazy today. I spend 5 minutes earlier in the toilet completely zoned out, and I can barely hold my concentration, even when not working. Monday is a bank holiday, so at least I have three days to recover, and there isn't anything else planned for a while. I hope it will get easier with time, and that it will help me regain contact with my friends. I miss them, but I panic, and I feel really guilty. I guess even if not what I'd like to do, everything is a small step forwards.

[[Knitting post this weekend]]