Looooooming Looming Looming Away!

I seriously love looming. Not only do I love looming, I love learning about looming, reading about it, seeing other people’s projects….I love it all. 

I love the feeling of the yarn sliding through my fingers, I love seeing my project growing out the bottom of my loom, I love finishing a project and putting a brand spanking new, unique and comfortable hat on my head. I love just about everything about it. 

No I do love everything about it. I even made myself some custom loom hooks! I’ve just been having a blast. 

I’m running out of yarn! This hobby is turning out to be so soothing to me even when I’m totally tense, it’s the complete repetition of it I think. It’s a soothing repetitive motion, once you really get going you can almost pay half attention to it. I can do it and pay a decent amount of attention to whatever is on Netflix.

I’ve currently got 4 hats going at the same time. It’s kind of nice to switch colors, for some reason it keeps me from getting bored even if it’s the same exact stitch on each one. Right now I’m working on a light pinkish color, a plummy color, a red with sequins and a really pretty fluffy purple and light green and white colored hat. I’m SO excited to get them done, I would say I’m a quarter done on all four. So hopefully tonight I’ll get at least another quarter done on each one and then I get to try a new pattern. I’ll post it when I get started. I KNOW you’re excited to see what it is! 

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Looooooming Looming Looming Away!

I seriously love looming. Not only do I love looming, I love learning about looming, reading about it, seeing other people’s projects….I love it all. 

I love the feeling of the yarn sliding through my fingers, I love seeing my project growing out the bottom of my loom, I love finishing a project and putting a brand spanking new, unique and comfortable hat on my head. I love just about everything about it. 

No I do love everything about it. I even made myself some custom loom hooks! I’ve just been having a blast. 

I’m running out of yarn! This hobby is turning out to be so soothing to me even when I’m totally tense, it’s the complete repetition of it I think. It’s a soothing repetitive motion, once you really get going you can almost pay half attention to it. I can do it and pay a decent amount of attention to whatever is on Netflix.

I’ve currently got 4 hats going at the same time. It’s kind of nice to switch colors, for some reason it keeps me from getting bored even if it’s the same exact stitch on each one. Right now I’m working on a light pinkish color, a plummy color, a red with sequins and a really pretty fluffy purple and light green and white colored hat. I’m SO excited to get them done, I would say I’m a quarter done on all four. So hopefully tonight I’ll get at least another quarter done on each one and then I get to try a new pattern. I’ll post it when I get started. I KNOW you’re excited to see what it is! 

Lovely Looming Ladies Made My V-day Great!

ImageSo yesterday after shaving my head I felt ugly and was very aware of my desperate need of hats. So I knit one, It was fun but you can only knit so much when you have three kidlets, a husband and stuff to do. 

I’m a member of a Facebook group called GoodKnitKisses it’s a great little community and I’ve had fun talking with people who understand my obsession with looms, yarn, knitting and the search for more projects.

I posted my blog post there because well, I like to share my blog and I had mentioned my trich before… I was a little apprehensive about posting it but the response I got was so happy making. 

Three of the lovely ladies offered to send me hats! Seriously these are people that don’t know me and they, out of the goodness of their hearts offered to send me some of their lovely handmade hats. 

There were also some wonderful suggestions on ways to embrace my baldness and some sweet encouragements. 

This came in the middle of more than a month of pure horribleness. It’s like a ray of sunshine that has totally brightened my outlook on the human race. There are good, sweet, giving people out there. Yes there are bullies and people who mess with you but there are also people who just want to do good things. 

So to Christie, Danya, Julie and the rest… thank you so much for doing such a sweet thing for a complete stranger. I don’t have the words to explain to you exactly how much it really means to me right now.

Idle Hands Are a Trichster’s Enemy

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It’s my personal experience that my hands being idle is a bad thing. So I’ve endeavoured to find a couple of things to keep my hands busy.

One of my new hobbies is my blog and the research I do for it. I have always been a major information gatherer and now I’m putting it to a use. I’ve often wished it was something I could do as a job actually, I’ve always been good at ferreting out information. Whenever my family or friends need something found, I generally find it for them.

My other major hobby right now is loom knitting. I would love to be able to knit with needles but I just can’t seem to get the movements down. So I pulled out my yarn and looms that I had put away a while ago and started looming headbands to cover my bald spots. I had some realizations while I was looming, here they are:

  • Looming keeps my hands busy which means they aren’t in my hair
  • I can loom and watch television at the same time which means that I am not pulling my hair while watching TV
  • Running the yarn through my fingers while looming, plucking the loops over the pegs… well it satisfies part of the compulsion I have to pull my hair. I’m pulling and plucking something that is smooth and hair like. 

I’m not a doctor. I’m not a psychiatrist, a nurse … I’m not a health professional so don’t DON’T take anything I say here as medical fact, these are merely my observations, my experiences and my suggestions. 

So my fellow trichsters … pick up a hobby. I of course am recommending looming because it satisfies something in me and I think it very well could satisfy something in other people. If you don’t want to make headbands, don’t worry there are patterns out there for just about everything. Blankets, sweaters, scarves, hats and purses. If you don’t want to make something for yourself? Make preemie hats. According to the research I’ve done many many hospitals are in need of warm, soft, tiny hats for the preemie babies in their NICU wards. 

How satisfying to knit up some hats for some tiny babies that need the extra protection for that part of their body that we so often abuse? I mean really that gives me a great deal of happiness to know that I am producing something to protect a tiny innocent little baby’s head. I’ll have to post up some pictures of the hats I’ve done so far. They honestly don’t take long and once you get going you could probably whip them out and get one done during an episode of Dr. Who or Grey’s Anatomy or whatever show you watch. 

Crazy Life = Mucho Much Pulling

Okay I’m about ready to shave my bloody head bald. The pulling has gotten BAD.

Of course the amount of stress in my life at the moment isn’t helping at all. Just to heap on some more, my husband’s job decided to cut his pay due to a change in shift, we’ll be moving hopefully within the next few weeks, we’re waiting to hear if we’ve been approved for the townhouse we applied for.

Thing is that I know that February is going to be the month from hell for me. March will be way better…. but my fear is that by the end of February…. will I even have hair left?

Trichster Tricks

So I’m learning baldness hiding tips and tricks. Luckily at the moment I still have enough hair in the back that most of the bald spots are pretty well covered, they may peek out now and then but they’re pretty well covered.

The front however is a whole different situation. I’m bald in the front, so I’m learning what to do to cover it. Of course I would rather just have the hair there but, that’s not to be so I’m getting crafty and tricky with it.

I ordered a couple of “fringe” ie bangs, hairpieces from amazon. Now they aren’t the pricey real human hair ones because let’s face it, I can’t afford those and I don’t know if I’m going to like wearing the things. Got a couple of different styles, they were less than $6 each but had good reviews. Apparently ordering stuff like that straight from China or Hong Kong is how you get the good deal. I found it quite hilarious that I could get one for $6 (shipping was free) from China OR I could purchase one from some shop in the states for 3 or 4 times the amount for the exact. same. item. Yeah…. sorry but yeah I’m going with the good deal on this one.

My current project as it’s frickin’ freezing up here is knit headbands. I’ll be posting some pictures tomorrow. Currently I’m doing them on the loom. See I thought the circular loom was only good for one look, nope. There are some super smart, super crafty people out there who have figured out different stitch patterns, how to do cabling etc. So while I am a miserable failure at actual knitting I can knit things. Yeah technology or human ingenuity for the win on this one.

My next project is going to be fabric headbands that will cover the seam between my hair and my fringes. Luckily I am a craft addict and I’m not having to go and get the supplies for these things. Most of them reside in my craft/whatever room. I’m also fortunate that my mom likes to craft so she’s going to help me out with these things and is coming up with new ideas.

So any other tips from or for Trichsters? Anything fun that you’ve tried with your hair to kinda cheer yourself up? Oh and has anyone found anything that de-angrifies your scalp? Mine is reaaallly pissed off.

Hello, I’m Amber and I’m a Trichster

Yeah that sounds WAY cooler than what it actually is. Trichster or Trickster is what people who have Trichotillomania call themselves and each other. What is this Trichotillomania you ask?

Trichotillomania or Trich as it’s often called and which I’ll be calling for the rest of my time talking about it is a compulsive disorder. It’s similar to skin picking, nail biting and other compulsive habits. Trichsters pull out their hair. Usually it’s head hair or facial hair, some do pull out body hair. I personally pull out my  head hair. I’ve always yanked my hair, raked my hands through and pulled some out. It’s something I’ve always done when I’m aggravated. I’ve also always bit my nails, my toenails are nonexistent due to constant picking and my cuticles and the skin around my finger nails is frequently trashed due to picking. So honestly now that I know more about Trich it’s really not a huge surprise that I’ve progressed to to full blown hair pulling.

I also have Bipolar 2 which is a milder form of Bipolar, if my moods aren’t regulated correctly I am prone to extreme anxiety and after a recent massive anxiety inducing series of events Trich reared its ugly head. Which in turn made me have an ugly head. 

I am now missing a large portion of hair on the front of my head and have bald patches scattered around the rest of my scalp. It started in my sleep or that twilight period where you’re almost asleep. I’m not sure which but I do know I woke up with patches of hair missing, then as time progressed I found myself doing it while zoning out watching television or reading. And now? I can’t stop. I don’t even usually realize I’m doing it. I did however promise to be honest about this stuff with you my blog readers so I will admit that at times when my anxiety is at a peak I purposely grab a small section of hair and pullllll on it till it releases from my scalp and it soothes me. 

Sounds sick and weird I know. “Just stop doing it” people would say. Well you know what? I would LOVE to just stop but I can’t. I tell myself to stop, I tell myself I’m not going to do it anymore and hours later or the next day I’m doing it again, whether consciously or not. 

I’ve looked for resources on Trich and there are some out there but there don’t seem to be very many people who talk frankly about their experiences. I can totally understand that. It’s embarrassing as hell to be honest. I mean really embarrassing. It looks bad, it sounds bad and people think it sounds like something a crazy person would do. In reality a large portion of Trichsters are completely normal well adjusted people with no other underlying mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety etc. This is their only issue, and I’m going to guess that it may be even harder for these people to admit what’s going on. 

So there you go. I’m going to try to start keeping track of if I pulled, how much I pulled and when I did it. I’m also going to share what I’m doing to prevent pulling and what methods I’m using to cover up the bald patches. I’m doing this in the hope that I can help someone else.