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Nov 5, 2010

Better taste and NO caffeine!

Friends, I'd like to introduce you to New Male Pattern Boldness -- caffeine free, low in sugar, and remarkably gentle in your wash cycle.  Sadly it remains as calorie dense as ever and dangerously high in sodium, but our staff scientists are working on it.

I can't say I'm feeling better after five days off caffeine and sugar because I feel worse.   I'm not sure how much is due to caffeine withdrawal and how much is just plain old stress.  I needn't remind close readers that my brother is getting married this weekend, and tonight starts three days of wedding festivities (his lovely fiancée hails from Mumbai, which explains the three-day thing).  I only hope my brother remembers.  I'm not sure what I'm wearing but whatever it is, it had better be in my closet already.  I think if I felt a little better health-wise I'd be more excited.  Maybe a cup of coffee.

I experienced another night of intermittent ear flapping and I do think it's time we crated those animals at bedtime.  They hang out in their crates a lot so it's not like they'd be in jail or anything.

Of course more stressful than an Indian wedding is dealing with off-grain houndstooth, which brings me to the thrill ride that is McCall's 2242.  You'll be happy to hear that I am nearly finished with the tunic.

Here's a peek at the back:

And here's the front:

I decided that topstitching was not necessary after all; I think it's more elegant without.  It still needs sleeves, but you get the idea:

Sort of Robin Hood meets Valley of the Dolls, no?

I am hoping to get started on the shorts and then the long pants (in the black and white houndstooth) but I am not sure how much sewing I am going to be able to get accomplished between the wedding and my low energy.  Maybe I have low-grade food poisoning (Is there such a thing?) or a mild flu.  Or just post election nausea.

Oh, I also picked up some tricot knit interfacing for the jacket, as well as black bias tape for trim.  I'll have to figure that one out.

Readers, aside from your usual aches and pains, compulsions and phobias, I hope you find yourself feeling well today.  The weekend is upon us.

For those not attending an Indian wedding, I hope you have time to yourselves to do the things you love to do.  And please think of me.

Happy Friday, everybody!


  1. Well, off-grain or not, the shirt is looking stunning, and I'm glad you left off the topstitching. (And I have that same belt... mine belonged to my mom in the late 60s :) ). I hope you have fun at the wedding... a three-day party sounds awesome to me, but then I've never been.

    Having co-slept with my children for quite a while, I feel you on the night-time wakeups. Though I'm also pretty sure it takes more than four or five days to shake caffeine withdrawal, too. Good luck!

  2. OOOhhhhh, an Indian Wedding! have fun!

    I had my own Indian Wedding 10 years ago, and I think I am still recovering. Stay clear of the sweets if you are avoiding sugar, us Indians are not subtle with the sugar syrup in our desserts.

  3. I hesitate to suggest this, but maybe you're a tad too skinny - no reserves for when you're not well. I get the impression that you are happy with your weight, so you could always try the "I am always in excellent health" affirmation. It's been working for me, at least body wise, still working on the depression :-)

    That tunic looks great without the sleeves, maybe a more manly belt and *you* could wear it.

  4. Have you checked the ear flapper for ear mites?


  5. Oooh, nice pattern matching on that zipper!

  6. Agreed, it's better without topstitching. Solves your red-vs-black dilemma!
    Good luck getting through both the wedding and the houndstooth! A 3-day celebration sounds both fun and intense, hope you feel better soon :)

  7. Your efforts so far look great! I would so love to attend an Indian wedding. I think you probably have both post-election nausea (will it last until 2012 or beyond-guaranteed to be exacerbated by the evening news) AND the sugar thing. Did you just drop refined sugar or all carbs. Dropping carbs (whole grains, etc.) made me so sick I missed a day of work when I tried it years ago. You do need sugar in some form to feed your brain, which is probably still hurting from the lack of caffiene. I'm not sure I would have picked the week before an Indian wedding to make these life changing decisions. :-)

  8. First off, the houndstooth is looking awesome/hot. I also enjoy that you had the perfect belt sitting around to pair with the tunic for a photo.

    Secondly, as a coffee lover it hurts my heart to think that you have entirely given up coffee. Go you on the sugar thing, that's great. But seriously, there's nothing wrong with an adult man having around 3 8oz cups of coffee a day if all you're worried about is caffeine intake. I worked around coffee for a long time: I made it, I sold the beans, I even roasted coffee at one of my jobs for about 2 years. Other than sewing I think coffee is the one thing in the world I love enough to take time out of my day to research.
    So I say, drink some coffee Peter! If it's black coffee all the better. And if you're looking for a delicious hot beverage that's not chamomile tea, try some sort of berry tea, they're always super yummy, or berry mixed with mint. Yum!

  9. Peter, I've read your blog for a couple of weeks but not commented yet, so here goes! I gave up caffeine 5 years ago when the detox diets were all the rage, and it took a good 2 weeks for the pounding headaches to stop, so don't give up yet, you'll feel great eventually. Like the commenter yesterday, I drink Redbush (Rooibosh) tea, which I now wouldn't swap for any other drink (wine aside, of course!) The houndstooth top with the chain belt made me smile, only a guitar is missing to to complete the picture of a 70's pop group member

  10. I was a bridesmaid in an indian wedding this summer, and loved how colorful and fun everything was- not a little black dress in sight. I also got a chance to use Indian fabrics to make a Sari blouse to go with my Sari, since the one that came with it was straight from India, unlined and way too itchy to wear. Fun to sew something from another culture that isn't a "costume."


  11. Transitioning off coffee and sugar can take weeks. Go easy on yourself.

  12. I empathize with the post-election nausea -- can't seem to get over mine. Hope you perk up for the Indian wedding -- I love multiple-day celebrations. Life's too short to not go for the gusto when you get hitched. The tunic looks great -- and perfect accessorizing. Abbia un grande fine settimana, bello!

  13. quitting cold turkey, not the best idea you should have tried a gradual reduction. I tried the cold turkey thing but then could not figure out why I felt so bad and had a headache. So when I told the doctor what I was doing and what my daily caffeine intake had been he quickly advised me that I chose the wrong way to do it.. So I went back to the caffeine and slowly reduced my intake to one beverage a day (took about three months total) I am now down to an occasional drink once in a while but no longer crave it.

  14. Thinking of you, Peter, and hoping the next few days go well. I'm also giving up stuff, have a nocturnal pet problem that conflicts with my desperate need for sleep (bengal cat yowling in the most echo-y rooms in the house and clawing at my hair / eyes / mouth when I don't respond - in my darkest moments I'm thinking of rehoming her!) and trying to be happy for others while feeling crap myself. It's all temporary though, things will improve. Unless your health is really suffering, maybe give up the giving up for a bit and just cut down gradually.

  15. I cut down on coffee by starting my day with a cup of green tea with honey. My naturopath suggested I do this before eating or drinking anything else. It worked for me. I savor my STASH Goji Berry Green Tea with organic honey. Cutting down on java juice has reduced the number of sinus infections that I usually suffer from. Peter, I hope you feel better soon. Enjoy your weekend. P.S.-love the tunic and your blog. Thanks.

  16. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who eschews topstitching. Sometimes it's just not right. Right?

  17. You've definitely won over the off-grain houndstooth - your matching at the back seam is perfect. I'm not sure what advice to offer about the ear-flapping kind of hound that is giving you trouble. A three-day Indian wedding sounds wonderful - congratulations to your brother and his bride.

  18. Hey Peter-this may be a bit indelicate of a posting, but....this whole detox thing, and your suffering leads me to jump in. I have done the sugar detox, cold turkey, as well. It can (and did, for me) make you violently ill. Honestly, I thought I was dying, I was so sick. Turns out, you are supposed to do coffee enemas (organic coffee, room temp)to help flush the toxins out, that are being released through the detox process. I know it sounds yucky, works. It is also extremely helpful to do the coffee enemas if you are going through any type of chemo/radiation treatments. I recommend a book, "From the Soil to the Stomach" by Penny Kelly, if you are looking for solid, easily understood advice on all forms of detox and eating healthier. Good luck; I have been where you are, and know how miserable you must feel. Just rest as much as possible, drink lots of water....

  19. Hi Peter,
    Hang in there on your coffee withdrawl. It is ok to ease off instead of going cold turkey. Good luck in any case.
    As to crating the dogs we felt badly at first and they moaned in apparent agony for the first couple of nights. But they just go to their crate now (it is a huge one) and settle in. I think that they just like a bed-time and a bed-time routine.
    Dogs don't really need to sleep the night through the way that people do. We are two different species with different sleep cycles. Plus, they get to sleep all day and don't have to get up and earn a living!
    Have fun at the wedding!

  20. How about a wee nightcap for the ear flapper. Hounds tooth would be cute and appropriate!
    I hope you have some fun at the wedding and your health is restored promptly!


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