Thursday, November 3, 2016

Twenty three hand knit hats

…plus one scarf.

That's what I'm sending to be distributed at the Larkin Street Youth Services Center, where they'll be given out to homeless teenagers.

I hope the recipients will at least have a few minutes of thinking about the fact that I and others do care what happens to them, and want them to have something of comfort.

If you knit hats and would like to contribute to the Hats for Homeless Teens initiative, let me know and I can give you the contact information for the woman who coordinates it. She has a personal relationship with the center through her daughter, whose story is heartbreaking, but she is giving back so much through this project.

Monday, October 31, 2016

When life gives you carrots (recipe)

Well, actually it's when your weekly vegetable delivery service delivers too many carrots, you make carrot walnut muffins.

Recipe

3 large carrots, grated
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk (cow's milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, anything will work)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin tins with paper liners; this will make about 15 large muffins (or 30 regular size ones).

Mix the carrots, walnuts, eggs, oil, sugar, brown sugar, and milk in a large bowl until the eggs are well beaten and everything is well mixed. Add the flour and baking powder and stir until just mixed. It may look slightly dry at first but the moisture from the carrots is going to make the finished muffins very soft and moist.

Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full for regular size muffins or to the top for large muffins. Bake for 20 minutes for regular muffins, 26 minutes for large muffins. Remove muffins from the tins and cool them on a baking rack. Enjoy.

You can add a little nutmeg, allspice, and/or cloves if you like, or a little vanilla extract or vanilla powder.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

I don't look up

I'm knitting, I'm reading, I'm scrolling on my phone. Someone talks to me, someone important to me, my husband, one of my children. I don't look up. I murmur responses while focussing on what I was already doing. If I do look up at all, I don't make eye contact; I gaze to the side of the head of someone I love.

I don't mean to be disengaged. I don't mean to be rude. I don't mean to be dismissive. I don't mean to not value the interaction. I don't mean to be self-involved. I don't mean to not seem to care.

I can't risk being distracted of my focus. If my mind isn't totally focussed on what I've shoved into it, the knitting stitches, the words on the page, the images on the phone, the thoughts shove their way in.

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, if my mind isn't focussed, the thoughts are there. The thoughts deciding which would be the best way to die by suicide. Which would be the most pain-free, the least troublesome, the most accessible. The only way I can stop them, turn them off, shut them down, is to never let them in so much as a crack. The second I don't fill my head with ordered thoughts, those chaotic, destructive, and ever-tempting ones make their way right in.

I love you. I don't ever want you to think I don't care about you, that I value meaningless knitting or books or social media even nearly as much as I value you. I can barely hold on here though, and it's showing in these difficult, dissociative ways. 

Please don't top talking to me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Marauders Shawl

I've been quiet (well, relatively) because I've been knitting up a storm. I cast on at the beginning of this month and tonight I've sewn in the last whomping willow bead. I give you:
The Marauders Shawl

That's right, it features
Owls, because everything magic begins with owls

Moony, in the form of full moons with whomping
willow branches, and crescent moons above

Wormtail

Padfoot
 and
Staghorn cables for Prongs
 While everything begins with owls, everything is surrounded and encompassed by
Sadly it doesn't show well, but it's Lily, a lily of the valley
stitch pattern for the border of the whole shawl top and sides
It's approximately 9'x2'. I might have gotten a little carried away.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Overdoing it again

When I do little, I have a voice inside my head telling me I'm not trying hard enough and I'm using my illness as an excuse; when I do too much I collapse completely and tell myself I'm not trying enough to overcome my illness or I wouldn't be so dysfunctional. I'm trying to focus on the positive, what I've done, and trying to stop myself from doing too much, but it takes so very little for me to have done so much.

So today I'm on edge at this point at 11:30 am. I've gone grocery shopping, unpacked all the groceries, baked brownies and chocolate pastries for Shabbos, planned dinner, and finished another hat for Hats for Homeless Teens, distributed to homeless youth by Larkin Street Youth Services in the winter. This one is stranded knit work, worked in much finer wool than the last two hats.

I still have a doctor's appointment this afternoon, then the kids come home from school. I really need to be done. Jeffrey's working from home so I have his phone calls buzzing in my ears, which hurts my brain. I need to escape.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How long since I baked?

How long has it been since I did any baking? When I went to my folder of loose recipes, the top pile was for Purim hamantaschen (which I would have been looking at in March) and right under that donuts (from Chanuka in December). It's September now, last I checked. I've really been out of it. I can only do simple recipes with just a few ingredients still, but I put some scones in the oven for the kids when they get home from school today.

The last couple of days I had to set aside the Harry Potter themed shawl I've started while I wait for more yarn to arrive, so I picked up some yarn sitting downstairs and knit a couple of hats and a scarf for the Hats for Homeless Teens project which gives out winter wear to youth accessing services at Larkin Street Youth Services.  I think last year was the first year in many that I wasn't able to donate anything. At least now I have a few things ready, even if I don't get more done (though I hope I will). I had won this yarn, about 10 balls of Universal Yarn Classic Shades, from Vogue Knitting years ago, meant to be a sweater's worth, but I hate it for a sweater, it's too fuzzy and heavy. It's perfect for warm hats though, so there may be a lot of blue-green hats in the package I send.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A healing shawl, a painful day


I finished the shawl I cast on last week. It was hand spun lace weight yarn from an art batt, knit in the simplest of triangles. All I did was knit and constantly panic over whether I had remembered the increases on each right side row, which had me second guessing myself every time no matter how conscious I was of having done what I needed. It's finished now and it's large (48"x48"x66") and soft and warm and thick, a wrap in which to hide from the world.

Today I spent three hours crying. Just sobbing, tears down my face, ugly crying. My eyes are swollen and red, and I accidentally let the heavy lid of the medication safe slam into the bridge of my nose which is now cut and swollen too, which happened in the middle of the afternoon breakdown and certainly didn't help my disposition.

I can't break this depression.