Knitting a Sweater with a Hoodie

The slowest knitter in the world is knitting a sweater with a hoodie. It would be more practical to stick with a scarf but I went all out and started a sweater. To add to the challenge I also learned how to knit Portuguese style. I signed up for a class with Andrea Wong on Craftsy.com to learn this new technique. It requires the use of a knitting pin

Lacis Knitting Pin Pair
that you put on your shoulder but I use a a Riktig clip from IKEA. I will buy a custom one like this

Purple Vintage Portuguese Knit Pin Jewelry- ID Badge Clip On Pin

since I prefer knitting this style now. Purling is easy and there is less hand movement meaning less stress on the hands. I’m even knitting the sleeves inside out so I can do the easy-peasy purls. But I hate knitting sleeves because they are so boring.

I joined a KAL (Knit Along) for the Alice Hoodie by Kristen TenDyke using stash yarn, Lion Brand Amazing in Regatta. I couldn’t keep up with the ladies. Some of them finish in just a few weeks. I’m still plugging along on it. I will finish someday and I will love it. What knitting project did you think you would never finish?

Knitting a sweater

Knitting sweater with Lion Brand Amazing

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Painsomnia – No Sleep Because of Pain

Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain and the medication (Gabapentin) I am on doesn’t help that much. When I am stressed, I don’t sleep well. The lack of sleep increases the pain and then I can’t sleep because of all the pain. I recently went two days without any sleep and still had to go to work. One day with no sleep makes me grumpy but two days make me deliriously loopy. I have no idea how I was functioning but the pain was so bad, I wanted to cry. And I don’t cry so it’s bad. In a moment of desperation, I grabbed the bottle of Nighttime Nyquil. I was determined to sleep. And I did. The next morning, my pain was much better. I did use the Nyquil the next night and slept like a baby. Now my pain is manageable.

Painsomnia – when you can’t sleep because of pain.

The lesson is dealing with my stress which starts the ball rolling down hill. I’m stating it right here, right now that I will be doing yoga three times a week. No more taking on more than I can handle. I’m using my bullet journal to keep me on task with MY priorities. Right now, that is helping my fibromyalgia, writing, and knitting.
Photo by Remara Photography

Citalopram Side Effects Hell

My doctor prescribed Citalopram to help me with menopause symptoms – night sweats, hot flashes, moodiness, and insomnia. I took 20 milligrams and did well since it resolved the symptoms of menopause I had without side effects at that point. It was nice to get good sleep without the covers on and the covers off. I didn’t feel like I wanted to stick my head in the freezer when a hot flash hit. I like to call hot flashes POWER SURGES. My significant other didn’t miss the moodiness that’s for sure.

The doctor upped the dose to 40 mg because I told her I felt “flat”. I lost my passion for life. Now I know it was the Citalopram making me “flat”.

I noticed I couldn’t smell anything. I couldn’t smell my significant other’s cologne or my essential oils. Or all my lavender plants in my garden. Not being able to smell is called anosmia and makes cooking a chore and a guessing game. It is definitely a safety problem as I couldn’t smell when food was bad. Is something burning? Hell if I know. So I became hypervigilant when I cooked. I grew to HATE cooking.

Then the skin problems started. I itched like a crazy person. I wanted to take a rake to my skin all the time. There was red circular raised rashes on my legs and abdomen that grew and itched. The doctors gave me steroid creams in increasing strengths but they only partly worked. I discovered peppermint oil in coconut oil worked the best for the itching. There were still many nights I was unable to sleep because of the itching.

The lack of passion for life was gone. I went with the flow even when it was not what I wanted. I had no desire to create anything – so out of character. I didn’t express my wants or needs for anything. If you asked me what I wanted to do or eat, I would say “I don’t care. Whatever.” So boring, right? People shouldn’t live like that.

I quit!

I decided I was done taking an antidepressant. You can’t stop taking Citalopram suddenly so I cut the pills to decrease to 30 mg for several weeks. I dropped to 20, 15, and then 10. Cutting these pills into fourths is tedious. It took 6 months, and I was done.

The best part

My skin cleared, the itching was gone, and the relief was immense. Slowly my sense of smell returned. You know, cinnamon smells delightful. I’m cooking again. And I started knitting a sweater!

citalopram side effects hellPhoto by gusset

Bucket List

I was watching Pippi Peterson’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/designfunthings) about her RV life and she talked about a bucket list. I used to have a bucket list but hadn’t thought about it in years. So it gets me thinking I need to look at my old bucket list. It used to be on 43things but alas that site is gone. Fortunately, I downloaded it.

43Things Bucket List

    Write a book and publish it
    Learn another language
    Learn to draw
    Knit a sweater
    Remove silver fillings DONE
    Learn free motion quilting DONE

Not a single travel location which is surprising. I want to see many places and experience different cultures. So I really need a new bucket list.

New Bucket List

    Go to Ecuador and Galápagos Islands
    Go to Italy
    Go to Scotland
    Take a train ride
    Travel by RV and see Crater Lake and Yellowstone
    Publish a book
    Knit a sweater
    Heal my Fibromyalgia
    Sell the business and retire early

1993 Bucket List

I found a notebook from 1993 while I was reducing my belonging. I was interesting to see what I wrote. And there was a bucket list. Here ya go:

    Hike the Appalachian Trail
    Go to Australia
    Go to Disney World
    Meet Robin Williams
    Build a Robot
    Join Mensa
    Publish a Novel
    Run 3 miles without dying
    Weigh 130 pounds
    Get a Masters
    Build a Grandfather’s Clock
    Make a Quilt DONE
    Reupholster a piece of furniture

Photo by Birdman of Beaverton

None of the Above

To be, to have, to think, to move — which of these verbs is the one you feel most connected to? Or is there another verb that characterizes you.

To be doesn’t fit me very well as it confines me. I have been many things — an EMT, a medical lab tech, a soldier, a pharmacy tech, software engineer, and a route sales person. I was never satisfied, really satisfied in any these. There was something crucial missing and I’m still searching.

To have is the opposite of what I am striving for since I find having just complicates life. The more stuff you have, the more to take care of. That takes away from the important things I can do in life. Generally, I make trips to my local thrift store to simplify my life. Less clutter, clear mind.

To think, please, no more thinking. When I spend time thinking, I come up with all sorts of things to worry about. How unpleasant. I am learning to meditate – not think.

To move more when I can get my plantar fasciitis and fibromyalgia under control. Right now, moving is accompanied by a numeric pain level of 1 to 10. I do try to get 10,000 steps in most days because my job involves a lot of walking. But moving in pain is not a thrill. It’s just something I do.

What gets me going is to create. To take an idea from my head and create it in some form of writing, knitting, or quilting is the joy of my life. It is planting a seed and caring for it until it becomes a flower or food for my table. Over-hearing part of a conversation and using it for inspiration for a short story that I can share with others. Knitting a scarf to keep a loved one warm is so satisfying. That is what connects me to the world.

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