I went to the yarn store yesterday to buy some stitch markers, looked around at yarn, and this beautiful lilac Cascade Vienzia yarn [link] caught my eye. I’ve worked with Cascade yarns before, and they’ve always been wonderful to work with, though I’ve never worked with their silk yarns.
It feels wonderful in my hands (it’s a blend of merino and silk) and the worsted weight makes it easy to see my work. I tend to work in DK weight or heavier yarns because of my vision problems, trying to work with fingering weight yarns has always led to me ripping projects apart in frustration. The stitch definition of this yarn is wonderful, and the yarn is very easy to knit with.
I’ve had my eye on the Gentle Armour collection [link] for a while now, and when I got home I pulled up Ravelry to see what I had in my library that I could make with 600 yards of worsted weight yarn (yes, I bought yarn without a project in mind.) I ended up purchasing the pattern for With Ease [link], because it looked like it would be a way to stretch my knitting skills, but not so frustrating I hated it.
I’m just getting into the first section, and so far it’s both a fun and challenging knit. I do have to look at the instructions (I can’t read lace charts to save my life) and I’ve had to look up what an sk2p decrease was. However, I’d found that having a lot of stitch markers help, so I mark every repeat of the pattern, and that’s making it much easier.
Today is New Years in Darkness, but it’s a somber day for me. The past few days have been filled with drama among my closest group of friends, and I learned that someone I considered one of my best friends was datamining my practice, and copying my experiences.
I woke up this morning feeling a hug from Jake, and got a download of my Other Self’s activities–He had lit a list of things on fire that He wanted to let go of, as is traditional, and He’d included [my “friend”‘s name] on that list.
I talked it over with Jake, and I did a version of the ritual Here that works with my limited sight. I wrote the list down, but instead of actual fire, I placed the list beneath the candle on my Queen’s shrine [I use electric candles for safety purposes.] I asked her to help me in burning the things I wish to let go of, and thanked her for being there for me through all the awfulness that the past few days have been.
I have some goals for the new year, and I might write about those another time. Right now I’m feeling sad at a friendship lost, but also glad I can leave it behind in the past.
Within the last two years, I’ve taken up dyeing my hair black as an act of devotion to Darkness as a whole. This is not only because it looks pretty, but also as a way of stating “this is where my loyalties lie.” It also helps that I prefer a casual romantic goth type look over any other aesthetic (much to the Madman’s delight.)
Recently I’ve begun to grow my hair out–I still live in a conservative state, and am still closeted in much of my day-to-day life. I decided to grow my hair out in order to “pass” as more feminine at places like job interviews, since I was beginning to worry that my more masculine haircut would mark me as queer right away. Being visibly disabled is a hard enough hurdle to pass over when job interviewing, being visibly queer in a conservative state was becoming something I just didn’t want to have to deal with.
This isn’t the first time I’ve done something with my hair related to devotion. Several years ago, before I knew I was trans, I covered my hair. The Dreamer initially asked it of me because he thought it would make me happy, and at the time I was in an abusive living arrangement, so the head covering would help ground and shield me as well. Eventually, he asked me to stop veiling, because it was no longer helping me (and I later moved out of that house, so the grounding and shielding were no longer needed to such an extent.)
My hair right now is at the point where I need headbands or combs in order to keep it out of my eyes. The Madman has suggested that I style my hair in public, eventually braiding or pulling it back as it gets longer, and keeping it down in private. I really like that idea, and I’ve found it to be comforting.
I actually prefer a more feminine look, which is frustrating when how I want to look, and my gender identity, are often seen as the exact opposite. While I want to transition and live as male full time, I’m also not in a rush to be see as extremely masculine. I feel conflicted about going partly back into the closet (still out to friends, closeted to family and work) because I enjoy some feminine style clothing and jewelry, but despise being referred to as a woman, or with “she/her” pronouns. I know that my safety and ability to have a job comes first, but it’s still really frustrating to have to go back into the closet, when I felt like I was making progress in my gender expression and feeling comfortable in it.
Within these darkened woods you wait, oh Mother of Darkness. Queen of the Hunt, your arrows find all targets, and your knives take down all foes. Mother Death, be kind to me, and lead me on your shadowed path.