On mania.

For me, it starts with a feeling of heightened awareness, and twitchiness. I feel excited; my heart races, I start making plans for things I’m going to do and how I’m going to Change Everything And Be A New Person. My hands itch for something to do.

I felt that twitchy feeling after dropping my nephew off last night, so I went to Meijer on the way home to see if they had a copy of the Pacific Rim novelization. Not finding one, I then checked the craft section- which is directly across the aisle from the books. (I get stuck in this part of the store a lot.) I found some pretty medium-weight yarn that’s half wool, half acrylic, so it’s a bit softer than straight wool, and it was on clearance. I picked up all three balls available and a hook because god only knows where my crochet hooks are in my storage unit.

I channeled a lot of that nervous energy into learning how to do the ripple weave correctly. Thank you, youtube, for always having my back on tutorials, because I flat out cannot read crochet instructions. For example, this is what ripple weave looks like in instructions:

Chain a multiple of 16 stitches plus 2 stitches.
For a 40 inch wide afghan in worsted weight yarn, chain 130.
For a 55 inch wide afghan in worsted weight yarn, chain 178.
For a 41 inch wide afghan in sport weight/3-ply yarn, chain 178.

Row 1: Dc in 3rd ch from hook; dc in next 6 ch, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next 6 ch; *work 3 st dec in next 3 ch, dc in next 6 ch, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next 6 ch; Repeat from * across. End by working 2 st dec in last 2 ch. Ch 2 and turn.
Note: The valleys will probably be shallower than the peaks at this point. Work another row or two and they should even up.

Row 2: Skip first stitch; dc in next 7 dc, 3 dc in next dc, dc in next 6 dc; *work 3 st dec in next 3 stitches, dc in next 6 dc, 3 dc in next dc, dc in next 6 dc; Repeat from * across. End by working 2 st dec in last 2 dc. Ch 2 and turn.

Repeat Row 2 until afghan is desired length changing, colors as desired. If you are using more than one color of yarn, I suggest changing colors every 2 rows.

(from Handcrafting With Love: Easy Ripple Afghan- free crochet pattern

This is what it looks like when someone actually is showing you how to do it.

There is a very significant difference between the hieroglyphics up there and an online tutorial. This is probably why I know a grand total of two stitches by name, and a handful more just in “this is how I make a hat” and “this is how I make gloves.”

So it’s now 7:21, and I’ve not yet slept, and I’m tired now, after my meds, a cup of sleepytime tea, and a nighttime of crochet with very little to show for it that’s worth showing, but I am finally getting the hang of it and don’t have to refer back to the video every three stitches.

I’m getting more anxious about unemployment, though my mom seems to want me to apply for the federal extension, rather than going to work at Wendy’s, probably so I can continue to watch my nephew while my brother gets his life together, without me having a meltdown due to being overwhelmed. Given that I had him for two and a half days WITH help in the form of my ‘adopted’ sister coming over for the afternoons, and my mom taking over in the evenings for the most part, and still ended up manic afterwards? I don’t think trying to do that on top of pulling full time at Wendy’s is going to do anybody any favors.

I really need to ask mom, though, and have a serious conversation about it. We’ve still not managed to talk finances yet and it’s been three months.

I’ll be going to the cabin for part of next week, so that’ll be nice. I’m taking my ‘adopted’ sister with me, and various siblings will be popping in and out at the beginning of the week, and then we’ll leave my parents be for a few days to go do their own vacation stuff. I even volunteered to take the dog home with me when I leave so they will be really unburdened and able to go do what they want.

I still feel like a total failure, but I’m holding on. Now to get some sleep so maybe I’ll be thinking more clearly when I wake up. Hopefully I wake up at a reasonable time so I don’t sleep all day and get my sleep cycle messed up any further….

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