Sunday, 25 January 2015

Special but not in a good way

It's been a bit of a stressful week, mainly due to my own nature which DH kindly deems 'special' but in the past others have not been so kind.  All my life I have been much more bothered by environmental stimuli such as temperature, noise, draughts, perfumes, bright lights, crowds, sudden noises etc., than most of the people around me. Several years ago I found out about research into the trait of high sensitivity and it was like a lightbulb had gone on -  finally there was a name for people like me and I wasn't the only one.

As an adult I can generally manage my exposure to my environment to cater for my own preferences. I've also managed to habituate myself to the stresses of an open plan office - it still makes me uncomfortable but I've learned coping strategies and am able to function, or at least pretend to function (team days, ick!), normally.

But this week I've been subjected to noise that is outside my control and that I can't get away from, which is the worst kind for me. We've discovered there is a recording studio next door to our new house that we didn't know about when we bought six months ago.  And what's changed is that they've taken on additional space in the little Victorian industrial unit next door, and this week started playing amplified heavy metal music in the new non-soundproofed space. It went on until midnight the first day, and most of the second day until I went round to complain.  Since then it's been  much better, although we had one more night where it was going on until 10pm. It will remain to be seen if that overt noise continues, and if I have to complain to the Council.

But meanwhile, now that I know the studio exists, it has explained why we could often hear faint bass music reverberating the windows of our house. We thought it was some pub off in the far distance that occasionally had live bands. Now I know it is coming from the soundproofed portion of the studio right next door and it has been driving me crazy, thudding away just below the level of my hearing, all day and into the evening.  I don't know if they've stepped up their activity suddenly because I never used to notice it this much.  Of course, it's not bothering DH at all because the thumping is so quiet, and I'm sure a Noise Control Officer wouldn't think I had a case at all.  The studio's website says they're open seven days a week until 10pm, so I'm dreading that this is going to become the new normal.  Perhaps I shall get used to it. I suppose it is going to be intermittent depending on what clients they have in the studio.

The other thing that happened this week is that, before the dust has even settled on the last round of redundancies, we've been told at work that there will be more.  The company is still having financial difficulties and we've got a new CEO who has announced plans for major costcutting. It's too early to know yet what the impact will be on my team but it seems likely that we'll be combined with other similar teams and probably have to compete for our own jobs at some point in the next few months. All's we can do for now is wait and see.

The sane world of crafts

Thank heavens for crafting and the opportunity to use our creativity and relax.

This week I decided to paint our hideous dark brown MDF TV stand, that we bought cheap to use in the rental house and now can't afford to replace.  I had just enough chalk paint left over from painting the linen cupboard and hall table to give the TV stand a couple of coats, and I covered the flat surfaces in stick-on Fablon to resist scratching from the electronic equipment. Still not a thing of beauty but at least it looks less like a dark blob squatting in the corner of the lounge.

I found out at my next bobbin lace lesson that the book I was learning from at home was American and therefore I'd learned some incorrect terminology, so I've had to learn different names for the stitches.  She set us beginners an exercise to do a candle shape in Torchon lace.  I brought it home to work on but struggled because the directions aren't very precise and I hadn't thought of taking a picture of the original for reference. So I don't think the 'flame' part has come out the way it should have done, but I'll find out next lesson. I suppose I could have stopped and waited, but I wanted to move on and do some more practicing. I am going to make a cover for my second pillow today, so that I'll be able to work on a classroom project and my own projects at the same time.

On the knitting front, I had to pull out my first attempt at the Mixalot sock because I tried on the Medium and it was coming out huge.  I've started over and cut out a full repeat, and will try it on again when I get to a few inches.

I blocked my little machine knit baby cardigan and then gave it a steam press.

I've been sewing it together the last few evenings and it looks pretty respectable. I just need to press the last couple of seams and put some buttons on it. It's not perfect when you look closely but a reasonable first attempt as I try to get back into machine knitting.  I'm going to knit it again in 'boy' colours for an ex-colleague who is due in March. This is a first size, in a superwash 4-ply pure wool.

I've knit a bit more on the Aran Sampler jumper and have divided for the neckline now. I'm making the neckline deeper than the pattern's crew neck. I'm also halfway up the right front of the Cabled Cardigan, making buttonholes as I go.

On the weight loss front, I've made it back down to 11 stone (134 pounds) so I can now take my body measurements to fabricate the cover for my dressmaker's mannequin.  The idea is that you make a zip-on cover which is skin tight on you, then pad out the mannequin and zip the cover onto it to create your body double.  We'll see.  In the Craftsy video, they do it all with a skilled helper to take measurements and pin fit the cover on the model, which I think may be beyond DH's skill level.


swooze said...

Love that bright pink baby sweater. In the process of your lace making if you have a small piece you would like to donate to my crazy quilt collection I'd love it!

Sorry about the noise. My daughter has something similar but hers are more daily annoyances like chewing noises and silverware on plates. It must be difficult.

More job crap. I keep playing the lottery in hopes of removing the need for a job out of desperation!

Hope things go your way. Like on the weight loss. Good job! Hope you can get your mannequin customized as you like.

Daisy said...

Fingers crossed on both the job and noise fronts!

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