Colour, a positive sensory experience

I love colour.

I have just come from the Wool Warehouse online shop where I’ve just been staring at pages of colourful yarns. I’m attracted to blogs and web pages where they are full of colour. I once had a fixation on the Accessorize shop and I would make special trips up to Cribbs Causeway (a shopping mall in Bristol) to stare at their merchandise! That was back in the 90’s. I still have a bag and a scarf that I use that I bought at that time.

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Today we went up on to Exmoor just so that I could stare at the heather.

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I want to jump into colour; to absorb it into my very being.

Think Mexican, Guatemalan, Gudrun Sjoden, Cath Kidston, mardi gra, fiesta, … Such glorious colour.

In my garden I’m happy for colours to be riotous, to clash.

Colour makes me happy. It inspires.. It feeds my soul.

I can’t take fluorescent though, that hurts.

Both neuro-typicals and neuro-diverse people can adore colour and talk about getting a colour fix. But I wonder if there is a difference. Are Neuro-typicals as obsessive about it. What do you think?

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A little update

I would like to thank you all for following me, for your thoughtful and supportive comments and for helping this lonely woman feel accepted in this global community of ours. Actually I don’t feel as lonely as I did when I started this blog.

I’m on my way in sorting out my Facebook problem (see previous post and comments) but suffering from the fall out from that experience. It felt like I was in a crowded room with everyone vying for my attention. I’m sure that’s not the case at all but if you’re autistic you may understand this onslaught I felt.

Moving on…

Lovely Husband has gone into Taunton so I’m sitting quietly working on my grandson’s jumper that he has requested for his birthday. I’m really enjoying it. I think it’s going to be rather large on him for a while!

I’m working on another post but I need clarity of mind to write it.

Bertie is keeping me company.

Bless his little heart ❤

See you soon, bye for now xx

I do not like…

Facebook. Too much going on. Too much in your face. Too much expectation. Too much demand for attention. Too much negativity. Too much insidious bullying…

There. I’ve said it. Now I hope I feel better.

They say autistics do well with social media because it offers friendship. I don’t. I find it heart janglingly unpredictable. One moment I’m looking adoringly at a picture of my grandchild and in the next an animal suffering from cruelty.

I closed one account a few years ago and my main account last Christmastime. Today I reopened both. I wanted to remove friends and family to the ‘smaller’ account and leave the bigger one open to autism, art and craft related people. I miss seeing pictures of my grandchildren. It had got to the point where there are too many people I’ve never met and I worried about security when I wanted to share family photos.

Anyway, I’ve done the rearranging and the inviting. Now it feels just as messy as before and I feel bombarded by stuff and it’s left me feeling yuck. I don’t know how to describe it really. I’m not good at this so I’ll try by just listing some words and hope you get the picture…

Tight, anxious, overwhelmed, got at, sensory overloaded, nothing is worth doing (I struggled to do anything after I shut Facebook down), I want to push the world away, …

It’s not my ‘friends” fault.

Am I too sensitive?

Actually Autistic tag

I wondered about the actually autistic tag as I had not come across it until I started this blog on WordPress earlier this month. Then I had an email from An Autism Observer and I queried this with her. Thank you An Autism Observer for adding yarn and pencil to Actually Autistic Blog List and for sending me the link to Alyssa’s blogpost.

I’ve copied and pasted the entire post but do go and see the original post that can be found here.

Citation: Hillary, Alyssa. “Why actually autistic tag” Yes, That Too. 2 Sept 2014; http://yesthattoo.blogspot.com Accessed 28 Aug 2017

“I got a couple hits from someone searching “why actually autistic tag.” I’m not entirely sure why I got those hits, because there are lots of Tumblr posts that answer the question directly and I haven’t done so here yet. I’m not sure if I did on Tumblr either. But, if people are going to be finding my blog by asking that, I suppose it’s relevant enough for me to try to answer. So. Once upon a time, stuff about autism was generally in the “autism” tag. It didn’t work very well, because much as the autism tag is currently filled with people posting pictures of their siblings and children (often without mentioning that the person is OK with this, which is a problem for a lot of reasons) tagged with autism for no apparent reason, people using an autism tag as an insult for people they don’t like, advertisements for Autism Speaks walks, and people talking about their autistic children and siblings as mysterious. All this is generally very tiresome for autistic people to read and dig through just to find a couple posts by actual autistic people about their own lives. Additionally, when we said things about how the assumption of “mysteriousness” or such othering descriptions were really not cool, if it was tagged “autism,” there would be a pile of angry parents and siblings. Basically, the “autism” tag was really unwelcoming for actual autistic people! It was all other people talking about their autistic relatives, generally in ways that squick autistic people. This is similar to the problems when autistic people tried to organize at conferences about autism run by non-autistic people. They really didn’t like it when autistic people started talking to disagree with them. So another tag started: “actually autistic” or “actuallyautistic.” Both versions of the tag get used, a lot of people use them pretty much interchangeably, a lot of people use one or the other, a lot of people use both on any given relevant post. I don’t know of any pattern relating to who uses which ones, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. That tag is meant as “the person posting this is themself autistic.” Not everything on that tag is immediately and obviously autism related, but it’s usually something that the poster thinks is related to their own autism. Sometimes it might be something that an autistic poster wants other autistic people to see, which is a pretty reasonable use of tags. Organization-wise, Autism Women’s Network (AWN) and The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) both post there, and Parenting Autistic Children With Love and Acceptance (PACLA) sometimes will if the mod who’s making the post is themself autistic (which might be all the tumblr mods?) Autistics Speaking Day and Autism Positivity flash blogs both post to the tags as well- these are autistic-run flash blogs. Having run the tumblrs for both on occasion, I only tag the autistic-written posts as actuallyautistic, generally. But since I’m autistic and autistic people sharing links to relevant things, autistic-written or not, has been a thing in the tag before, I don’t worry too much about the ones where I’m not actually sure if the writer is autistic or not. Anyways: The short version is that the autism tag was and is an unsafe place for many autistic people because folks didn’t get that autistic people were following and reading and might be capable of having opinions on what we were reading, the actuallyautistic/ actually autistic tags are safer for some autistic people, and thus they exist.”

Spinning, an ideal skill for an anxious Autie/Aspie like me…

Spinning yarn is a meditative craft. I think it’s one of the reasons why I enjoy it.

Some people on the spectrum have difficulties processing movement. I do at times but mine is linked with unexpected movement that is sometimes optical as in seeing people moving around me or through my body when in a moving vehicle. I don’t have a problem with my spinning wheel but I bring it up as some people might.

I can be impulsive and how I acquired my wheel is an illustration of that. I was about 18 and still at school when I was befriended by a young mum. She was a very kind and thoughtful person and she taught me a great deal, although I did not realise it at the time.

One day I went to visit her and found her spinning. I had never seen a wheel in use before and I was mesmerized. Sensing my excitement she gave me an impromptu lesson. I was hooked! I wrote down the name of her wheel, (I had to have one identical), and the following day visited our local yarn shop and ordered one. I must have had savings…how remarkable!

I took my Pipy Wendy home and my dad helped me put it together and taught me how to care for the wood. My wheel is made from New Zealand rimu.

I pretty much taught myself with occasional guidance from others. I didn’t spin constantly, sometimes months and even years between bouts of spinning. I took it up more seriously when my children were adolescents. I was living back in NZ and had joined a local group. It was here that I developed my skills further and started to use my yarn to make garments that were/are worthy of being worn. I was introduced to dyeing, weaving and understanding and handling different fibres. Note: many people on the spectrum cannot abide wearing wool, including me. I find it’s mostly ok if I have a couple of cotton layers underneath so that the wool isn’t actually touching my skin. Not all wool is equal… I prefer a soft fleece with a long staple which is far less likely to shed itchy fibres.

Back in the UK I joined a local guild but I didn’t fit in. Looking back now I think the group was too big for me. That was 20 years ago now.

Although the process of making your own yarn is slow it does make it more affordable. I cannot afford to buy good quality woollen yarn. I’m not saying they charge too much for it; the farmer and the mill need to be paid appropriately. I supplement my yarn by buying acrylic and cotton yarn (mostly from Wool Warehouse Wool Warehouse ) or acquiring scrap yarn from charity/thrift stores. I occasionally get offered bags of yarn too. Great excitement when that happens!

If you fancy having a go I advise you to contact your nearest guild (this link is U.K. based but says its international). If, like me, you find it difficult to join a group or leave the house, you could ask the guild if there is someone who could come and demonstrate in your home or a mutually agreed quiet space/place, (do consider personal security).

I mentioned spinning being a slow process. Slow is good! I’ll keep this for another post.

Bye for now xx

Spinning

I’m having a quiet day. I need it. I’m sitting spinning and writing blog posts in my head. I do that a lot! Trouble is i forget them later… So…

Why do i need a quiet day I hear you ask?

Yesterday Lovely Husband took me up to Clevedon to pick up the loom accessories I had ordered from the Spinning Weal shop. We thought the motorway would be ok but what should have taken an hour took two due to congestion and it was similar on the return trip. I was ready and prepared to don my headphones when I entered the store but it was so quiet (being lunch time) that I didn’t. I was fine chatting with David about yarn and guilds until suddenly there was chatter behind me as I stood at the check out. I was concentrating on paying and putting my card away and couldn’t get my headphones out. I really wanted to ask them if they would please stop chattering until my transaction had finished, but you can’t do that, can you?! It wasn’t just that though, it was mostly the lengthy journey, the stop starting etc , it messes with my sensory processing. I arrived home overwhelmed and desperately needing quiet and calm, which i got. Went to bed very tired and aware that my anxiety levels were high. But I’m unable to judge how high. I had one hour of sleep. So today is a quiet day. I’m content spinning.

This is rather a bright orange that I’m plying. I shall over dye most of it to tone it down.

I find it’s pointless worrying about not sleeping so i keep my mind busy usually by reading. Last night I searched and read blogs. That’s how I come to reblog Jasper’s blog post. I find it hard to articulate how I feel or what I think if it’s about myself. I’ve read so many wonderfully written blog posts in the last week or so about other’s experience on the autism spectrum or about someone’s life with sensory processing disorder that have touched me and I’ve thought, yes, that’s my experience too, that I am going to reblog these posts I find. Hey, it will be yet another collection! I love collections 😃

Here’s my hanks of handspun yarn hanging from the beam above my head left to finish drying.

Thanks for dropping by xx