Category Archives: migraines

I don’t know why I thought throwing all the minis into one big basket was a good organizational strategy.

So, I’ve been working on the Life-Long Blanket again lately. I needed something that didn’t take much thinking for evenings after work while we watch TV. I’ve been working on it again for a few nights but then I reached the point where I was down to my last 3 or 4 unused yarns, so I thought it would be a good time to get some minis ready for swapping.

Yesterday I pulled all the yarn out of the basket where the blanket lives. And, well. Hrm.


Now, maybe you’re a better person than I am. Maybe you’re very organized and conscientious about how you work on your blanket. Maybe after you finish each square you wind the yarn back up neatly and tuck it away so that it can’t unravel and so you never run into this problem. I don’t know what you do. Me, so far, I’ve been working on a system where I mostly try to keep the newest yarns separate, usually in the envelope I got them in ’cause most of my supply has been from swaps, and then as each yarn gets used, I toss it in the basket.

Seriously. Just in the basket. For 5 years now. The basket is a foot and a half deep! Sometimes when I run out of new yarns I’ll plunge a hand into the depths of the basket and do a few repeat squares, but mostly it’s just been get new yarn, use it, toss it in the basket. And I never thought about what a bad strategy that was until yesterday when I went looking to sort out some yarns to swap and see if I could maybe dig up a few more new ones that found their way into the wrong side of the “organizational system.”

So, this was how yesterday morning went.

1) Clear some space and spread the blanket out on the couch.


2) Realize how big it’s gotten.

3) Start believing I might see the end of it someday.

4) Pull a ball of yarn out of the basket, untangle its end, wind it neatly, and figure out whether it’s an Unused, Already Used, or Too Small for a Square But I Think I Can Still Do Something Fun With It.

This last step involved all those matching skills I haven’t used since I was 4.


Turns out I’m still very good at it.

5) (THIS IS THE IMPORTANT STEP!) Put all yarns away neatly in such a way that we don’t continue to have a tangle problem.

In the end I have 4 gallons of Already Used…


…one very surprising gallon of Unused…


…and a stuffed-full quart of Too Small for a Square But I Think I Can Still Do Something Fun With It.


(I’m thinking maybe a scrappy scarf.)

Now we only have 1 problem, really. I swear to you — I SWEAR! — I really did believe that if I just went through methodically, pulling out 1 ball of yarn at a time and untangling its loose end, that by the time I got to the last ball of yarn, that awful mess I showed you at the beginning would be gone. I truly thought that giant tangle represented only the loose ends of all the actual balls and cakes and butterflies of yarn that I could see in the basket. I can’t explain why I thought that, except to say that yesterday morning was spent waiting out a migraine hangover, so my cognitive abilities weren’t really what they could have been.

After all of that sorting and matching and untangling, this is what I’m left with:


No, it doesn’t look very different from what I started with to me, either.

Anyways. Who’s up for a sock yarn swap? I think winding up some mini skeins would be an excellent distraction from that mess.

Which I am leaving in the bottom of the basket.

Maybe for another 5 years.

It’s Like All I Do Anymore Is Avoid Homework

And I’m not even avoiding it with knitting most of the time.

So, we all know homework is bullshit, right? I mean, I get that teachers don’t seem to know this, but the rest of us do, don’t we? This is my first school experience in 15 years and so much of it is the same as it was back then that I’m a little disgusted with the world for not having fixed this stuff by now. 15 years ago, teachers would pull me in for a conference near the end of the semester and show me some fancy math they did that proved I would be getting an A if only I had passed in all my homework, even if I hadn’t gotten anything on it right, and they would wonder why I didn’t seem chastened, why I didn’t apologize and say I would do better. I would point out that I thought the point of homework was to help you develop an understanding of the material or practice and improve in your trouble spots and if I felt I understood the material and didn’t have any trouble spots, well, then, I didn’t do the homework. I would further point out that I had gotten 100% (plus extra credit when it was offered) on every test and quiz (except when we read Dickens, ’cause fuck Dickens, seriously) so clearly I did understand the material, so wasn’t my point kind of valid? I would finish with something along the lines of, “And, I mean, I’m finishing this class with a C. C’s passing. Why would I care that I’m not getting an A as long as I’ve shown I understand the material and I don’t have to repeat this class?” I’m sure you can imagine how well that went over.

Anyway, cut to 15 years later and here I am in community college wanting to have the same damn arguments over again. Except I’m doing as many courses as possible on-line, so (1) there’s really no fighting with the teacher unless you want to spend your days sending nasty e-mails and (2) it sort of makes sense to me to do the homework in an on-line class because I don’t see how else the teacher is supposed to know whether I’m even attending the class, so to speak.

This doesn’t mean I suddenly think homework is awesome, though. I still leave it to the absolute last minute. I still complain every second of the way over how pointless it all is. And I still do everything in my power to distract myself from getting it done. (Basically, the only difference between then and now is that now I can drink while doing all these things if I need to take the edge off. And, I’m telling you, it helps.)

I have so many homework-avoidance techniques, you guys. For serious.

I’ve been avoiding homework by reading this Narnia deconstruction series by the amazing Ana Mardoll. I was huge into the Narnia books when I was a kid and there’s still a part of me that’s huge into them now. But I’m also a big fan of breaking down all the ways in which the entertainment we love is also problematic while still acknowledging that we can love it. And if you want to talk problematic, it doesn’t even matter what your brand of problematic is — sexist, conservative, judgementally religious, othering & bigoted, or just plain clueless — let’s talk Narnia. Not that I wouldn’t rather have entertainment options which were not problematic, but considering the world we live in, I’ll take some awareness of this stuff as an acceptable alternative.

I’ve been continuing the unpack-and-organize-athon. I’ve just about got the bedroom closet set up in a way that we can deal with.

We started here...

We started here…

...made a brief stop here...

…made a brief stop here…


...and now we are here.

…and now we are here.

I’m not sure how this closet thing’s gonna turn out, to be honest. We’ve gotten very used to having all our clothes hanging but that’s just not an option here considering everything else we need that closet to store. But anyway. Back to homework avoidance!

I’ve been hanging out at the community garden.


I came back a few days later hoping these would be ripe enough to pick and they were GONE. And I hope whatever bastard animal ate them is satisfied. (I mean, yes, seriously, I hope the hungry animal they fed was well fed by them. But still.)

I’ve been practicing my Italian on Duolingo. I’m really liking the way this is set up and feel like I’m learning the language better than I have with most of the other methods I’ve tried.

But, hey, here’s the good news: I only have until this Friday to avoid homework and then the semester is over and it won’t be there for me to avoid anymore. Of course, in a few more weeks the next semester will start and I’ll have a whole new set of homework to deal with, but that’s so far in the future I can’t even. Plus which, when we finally get around to it, I’ll have new things to focus on to avoid that homework. Like how goddamn huge my (XS!) school uniform is and who ever thought that black-and-white houndstooth pants were a good idea to sell to a migraine sufferer.

Clockwise from top left: I don't want to look at my giant pants because they hurt my eyes; but seriously look how huge these pants are; also the coat is very much what you would call not-small; and I sort of don't know how to move my arms when I wear it

Clockwise from top left: I don’t want to look at my giant pants because they hurt my eyes; but seriously look how huge these pants are; also the coat is very much what you would call not-small; and I sort of don’t know how to move my arms when I wear it

Block Party

1st time blocking lace (awfully fun):

Everything else got the pull/push/stretch/smoosh approach, as the sock blockers have disappeared and I had nothing to stuff the slouchy hat with:










Also, for Xmas, my cat gave me a lesson about laying a black scarf out to dry in the path of a white cat:

But, then, she always has asserted her right to get in my business:

Now to see if I can finish those mittens today. I lost the morning to a mild migraine (turns out, office Xmas party + food shopping 2 days before Xmas + 4-hour show at a noisy bar + walking home well after midnight and well WELL after I’m normally in bed – any time to nap in between = blech the next morning; why am I surprised?), so I’m hoping to make up some time now that I’ve reclaimed the afternoon. I may not finish, but I think my mother-in-law would least be flattered to know that the reason I didn’t finish her gift in time is that it was the most technically complex of all, right? And, actually, we’ve worked so hard this year to get ahead on our debts and not overspend that we were able to purchase presents for everyone on our list in addition to the hand-made items, so I’m not feeling the dual pressures of having no money and trying to finish gifts on time this year, which is really quite lovely and enough of an Xmas present in itself for me.

Long Weekend? Long Weekend!

I’ve taken a long weekend for Dan’s birthday and for mine every year since I’ve been at a job that gives me paid time off (cranky as I get at my current job, I still don’t miss you, Barnes & Noble). I’ve never been huge into birthday celebrations, but it’s a convenient excuse for a long weekend, one that nobody questions, and our birthdays are nicely spaced within the year.

My long birthday weekend begins today at 4:31 and, let me tell you, I could not be more excited. I’ve been in a stress/red wine/migraine/crankiness/crying cycle lately. I’m not huge into those, either. A lot of that is just because I haven’t been taking care of myself very well. So, I plan for this weekend to be a little kick-start – cook some healthy food, do yoga every day, sleep until I wake up instead of until I just can’t stand the snooze button anymore. Sunday I’ll finish off my long weekend teaching my last yoga class until at least the Spring and with a little meet-up with some friends.

Today seems like the perfect day to start a long weekend. It’s gray and rainy. I hope it’s chilly when I get outside. This is actually just the kind of weather that makes me happy.

More later about why Sunday is my last yoga class for now and why I’m feeling pretty all right about that.

Sundays Are For Self-Medicating

I have been out of commission all week. No progress was made on the Giant-Size Man-Sweater this past Sunday, as I woke up at 3 with a screaming horror of a migraine. It kept going away, turning around & coming right back until Monday night. It took a total of about 3 Imitrex, 6 or 8 Aleve, & a Zyrtec to finally beat it back far enough that I could sit up for a whole day. Consequently, knitting was slow the first half of the week. A few rows on a garter stitch scarf were about all I managed.

I’ve made up for it a bit since & finished the first of my July socks.

Why so big, Leyburn? Why?

That’s a Leyburn in some DIC Smooshy in Spring Tickle. This is absolutely the softest, squishiest skein of Smooshy I’ve worked with yet, & the colors are perfect – just varied enough to add interest, but not so different from each other that they distract from the pattern. The slipped-stitch pattern is easy to memorize, & I’m completely in love with this sock. There’s just the tiny little problem with it being way too big for me. I think I trust my math to size down, but it’s already halfway through the month, & do I really want to start all over? No, I really don’t. I have a friend they’ll fit, & if they don’t I’m sure I have another friend they will.

My Summer Of Randilates Begins!

I spent most of mid-week sick and it was not terribly fun. Went home early from work on Wednesday with a migraine. Many hot baths and early bedtimes ensued. But I was well enough for a little yarn store road trip today!  Scored one of the last few skeins of Oceania they had – this is going to be a squishy, nubbly, triangley sort of wrap to keep me warm at work – and some Supersock Select in the Birches colorway I’d been craving for a while.

The spinning progresses:

First singles

First singles (with ergonomic keyboard, Jim Baktus).


First 2-ply (with toes, socks, sweatshirt).

First 2-ply (with toes, socks, sweatshirt).


I think I’m getting the hang of it:

Latest singles (with Jawalker, MODOK).


This is Sereknity Yarn and Fiber superwash BFL top. We’re in love and don’t you tell us that it’s wrong. I have 4 ounces. I split it in half and was planning to spin two separate singles of 2 ounces each, then ply them together. I’m not quite through the first 2 ounces and the singles snapped from the weight of the spindle. I also lost the first big chunk of this because it was just too thick and I had to cut if off. So, I don’t quite know what will happen with this, but my plan is just to continue and see where it takes me.

My spinning is getting much thinner and more even, my spindle flicking technique is getting stronger, and I was drooling over the spinning wheels at the yarn store today. I think I have a new hobby.

In other news, my Friday night yoga class was cancelled a few weeks ago. I’ll miss teaching on Fridays, but I just wasn’t getting enough students to justify keeping the class on the schedule – in fact, the last 2 weeks it was on the schedule, no one even came. The positive side to this is that I now get to take the Friday night Yogalates class. I like Pilates – or any core-focused practice – because it can be very subtle. Yes, sometimes you feel like you’re going to explode while you’re doing it, but more often I feel like I don’t notice what’s being done during the class itself. I really see the benefit the next day, when I can feel the previous day’s class from my hips to my shoulder blades with every move I make. It’s a good reminder of how important the stabilizing work the core muscles do really is.

I’m also going to sub for the Yogalates teacher while she’s away later this summer, so I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to expand my teaching comfort zone. Plus which, I do tend towards “yoga belly” – being so focused on keeping a soft belly for a full, deep breath that I sometimes forget that you need to work on strength for the softness to have its full effect. So, hopefully, by the end of the summer, I’ll have gained some new teaching skills AND be standing a little straighter and breathing a little better.