Sunday, February 28, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
So what's up? Well, right now I will fully admit that I'm in a bit of a knitting downswing. It happens. Sometimes a girl just needs a break to recharge a bit.
So in the meantime, here are a few things I'm thinking about. Feel free to weigh in and let me know what you think about any of it!
- Akimbo. Do I start over, or repurpose the yarn? On the pro: the colors look great together and it's an easy pattern that I love. On the con: I fell even more in love with the green, and kind of want to use it on its own for something. Also, I hate reknitting things! I'm waffling big time. At the very least, the whole thing will have to be restarted with at least one size needle larger...maybe two. (The pattern calls for a 4, and I used a 6 in the failed attempt. Clearly, Stephen West is an extremely loose knitter!) Yes, I did consider ripping back to the purple and just adding on. However, in the end I don't think that's going to make me happy, AND the greatly increased stitch count might make me nuts in the chevron section. My ambivalence right now is speaking volumes.
- Socks. I noticed this week that some of my socks are starting to show quite a bit of wear and tear. (They are ages old and have had heavy use, so I'm not sad.) The question is...do I just knit up some plain socks real fast or do I finally settle in with patterned socks?
- If I do patterned socks, I'm thinking about doing something crazy....like working all of the socks in Cookie A's book....good idea or bad?
- I find that I'm really wanting to start seriously working on garments for myself...which I had sworn off of until I hit my goal weight. Should I start now...or just wait... It's just so hard to predict what one is going to look like down the road....and my current self-awareness is way out of whack, as if I have no idea of what size I really am...which I don't.
- I might need something entirely new and different to knit. Any ideas? You know the kinds of things I do....
- I - ahem - did some fake shopping at The Loopy Ewe this evening, filling my shopping cart with about $300 in things I loved and then deleting it all. It was fun...but a strong reminder that I have other yarns that I HAD to have which I've never touched. I really want to use up my lovely stash yarns....but oddly I find I need some ideas and suggestions.
- My lace mojo is way down. No...that's not true. Rather, I have two intense, long-term projects on the needles that seem to have eclipsed all other lace desires. This stinks since I have a gazillion shawls I want to make.
- The crochet thing keeps coming up. Any suggestions for resources?
- After swearing off of baby knits after last summer's gazillion baby gifts.....you guessed it, I wish I now had a bunch of babies to knit for. Thank goodness my trainer is pregnant.
- I really need to knit for the girls this year. They haven't had sweaters in a while...and now even the Pixie is old enough to request items.
As always, my reaction to your responses will totally be what drives my decisions...not the responses themselves! (Do you do that? Ask an opinion and then do what your gut tells you in response to the answer?)
I guess what I'm doing is looking for that spark that I need...the one that fires me up again and sets my imagination and my needles free.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
- Look what came off of the needles this weekend.....
- You would think that with a 4-row repeat, the outer band wouldn't have been a big deal....but I had to repeat those 4 rows 120 times
- And it's cotton.
- In theory, I adore cotton!
- In reality, I really don't enjoy knitting with it that often. Nine times out of 10, it's just too hard on my hands.
- I wish it wasn't that way...
- Anyhoo. I have to hide the ends, seam the inside edge of the outer band, sew the outer band to the medallion and then do a crochet edging around the armholes. I imagine that will take another six months.
- Speaking of crochet...I'm oddly thinking about it. I've seen several posts recently with really attractive projects.....Hmmmm....
- I only have 5 WIP's right now - with three of them being acknowledged long-term projects and none of them being socks. That's kind of odd.
- I'll probably finish Akimbo this week.
- Then I should take a break and do some finish work...like the cardi....and the monkeys. Sigh. The pile is building.
- However, I'm sure that what I will be doing instead (in the very few moments of free time this week) is SPINNING!
- As I suddenly find myself with a wealth of fiber in wonderful colors. SOooo much fun!
- I ran 8 miles yesterday. Yay me! I'm still way ahead on the training schedule, and feeling VERY good about it. I have 7 more weeks to work up to 13.1 miles, and now I know I can finish in the 2 hours and 30 minutes I had planned for.
- Nope, never said I was fast!
- However, I am building speed throughout my long runs - starting slow and finishing strong - just the way I like it.
- I'm starting to get antsy about the scales. Good thing one of the other ladies at the gym and I have made a no-scale pact. It does make it easier to know someone else is doing it too!
- Bought new exercise pants yesterday in another size smaller. They are a smidge too tight right now...but as they are from Eddie Bauer I'm expecting them to last at least six months. My last pair of EB sports pants lasted 4+, and only failed when they got so big on me that they started to fall off when I ran. I've been through two pair of Target pants since, and have now sworn off the cheap.
- This week is going to stink. I've always hated it when I have to play single-parent. Ugh.
- The church audit is just going to have to wait. Also, the PEO stuff is going to have to wait as well. The birthday party, and getting the house in order, has to be my first priority this week.
- Also, not going nuts as a single parent. That's important, too. And also the most difficult.
Have a great week everyone!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
First up...I found this apple - an organic Braeburn - at the store last week, and fell ridiculously in love with it. I was oddly captivated by it's beauty as I'd never, ever seen an apple like this before! I HAD to have it, and so home with me it came...where it was then hidden away from the girls until I could take some pictures. (I think I took 30 pictures...but it was just so pretty! ) I hope you enjoy my silliness!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Remember that crazy schedule through the end of the month? Well, because of that - and a really large to-do list - I'm going to take a break from blogging through the end of the month. In the meanwhile, send happy thoughts my way as I try to:
- Complete all of my year-end Presidential duties for my PEO chapter.
- While simultaneously preparing to hand said duties over to the next president.
- Do the church audit. (When I agreed, I thought I was to audit the current year - meaning I would get the paperwork NEXT February.)
- Prepare for the Princess's birthday party on Saturday.
- And also her parent-teacher conference on Wednesday.
- Deal with the Pixie's 4th fever in two-months.
- Continue with my necessary training.
- And try to get the house cleaned up!
All while my husband is out of town on business.
I'm tired just looking at that list!
See you in March!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
- Ok, so really I don't have anything that brilliant to share with you this week. It's been an odd, odd week.
- And things are going to be strange until the end of the month!
- Yep, it's all because of scheduling.
- Moving on....my legs are so sore today that I can barely move. It's been a long, long while since my workouts bothered me this much!
- What caused it? Um....ran 7 miles on Sunday (Yay me!), cross trained on an elliptical on Monday, and then - after confessing a chocolate cake slip up to my trainer - got the workout of my life on Tuesday.
- And the funny part...I've loved every minute of it, and am relishing the achy muscles!
- As of late last week, I'm now living scale-free, and am only supposed to weigh myself once/month. After roughly 1/4 century of an at-least-twice-daily weighing habit (and you think I'm kidding...but I'm not) it's more than just a little bit scary. BUT, I have to admit that after a week or so I'm starting to find it liberating as well. AND, unlike past attempts, I'm not getting nutty about it. (Ask my husband....)
- Why am I kicking my scale habit? Well, first of all my trainer has never been happy about my scale habit, and she's been encouraging me to quit for months now. Second, my anxiety levels were shooting up because of the slow weight-loss/discovery that I needed to eat more food, and I was becoming more and more fixated on the numbers....to the point where the stress was starting to negatively affect my actions and dredge up crazy emotional issues. Finally, I just don't want to be that person anymore...and I certainly don't want my girls to grow up to be her either. Enough is enough.
- I'll be honest...I've been struggling since my trainer increased my daily calorie requirements. It's been what...three weeks? and I've only just managed to get my eating under control. The increased calories triggered a lot of overeating and dredged up a lot of my demons. I'm now back to taking everything one single day at a time....remembering that I need to be patient as well as persistent.
- My husband and I are total Olympics addicts. We've been watching every night...and some during the day as well.
- I finally figured out how curling works this afternoon! During the last Winter Olympics I was extremely pregnant and found myself zoning out day after day in front of the curling matches on tv....but at the time I didn't have the mental energy to figure out what exactly they were doing.
- I may have figured out the what, but I still don't get the why.
- I ditched the Knitting Olympics. I can't watch the Olympics and knit at the same time - especially not on a difficult lace project!
- Having said that, there could be a crazy sprint to the finish. I've been known to do things like that before. Look for a move over the weekend if it's to happen at all....
- My Butterfly Golding came back to me on Monday - with a new brass ring fitted right underneath the whorl to help hold it in place. She's just beautiful!
- I'm still waiting for that last batch of fiber to arrive before I match spindle to fiber. It should be here any moment! Honestly...I'm waiting for the fiber that I was the most excited about...although I must say that the others all exceeded expectations.
- In the meantime, work continues on the blue merino. I'm at about the half-way point on the second bobbin - and I anticipate filling four altogether.
- Which reminds me, I MUST ply the bobbin of suri alpaca because I need to free up the bobbin as I only have six of them. (Fiber being MUCH more fun to purchase than more bobbins...and honestly, there are ways around it.)
- I'm VERY likely to finish my Botanica Medalion Cardi tomorrow. That's very exciting!
- I fell asleep at 8:20 last night...and slept until 7 this morning. Is that weird for an adult? OR Is it just proof that I am my father's child?
Enough for now...I hope that the rest of the week proves to be happy for you all!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
In the knitting world, the Knit Olympics have become a really big deal. Started by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and taken over by the Ravelympics and knitting community at large, the idea is to cast on a project during the opening ceremonies with the intent to finish by the closing ceremonies. The only catch is that it should be a project which personally challenges the knitter in some way.
I've never participated, for no real reason that I can think of other than that it just didn't appeal.
Then my local yarn shop - Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe - issued a challenge. For any knitter who registered her (or his) Olympic Projects with the yarn shop there were 'medals' to be earned. At stake - a $25 gift certificate for a completed project, on down to $5 gift certificates as projects were completed to various levels. My friends and I agreed that it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up....and all of us had projects with Hillcreek-purchased yarn that we wanted to do.
I registered a project that I had been planning for a long, long while - Knitty's Aoliean Shawl. I've had the beads for well over a year, and I had purchased the perfect yarn at Hillcreek's reopening event this last summer. I love that shawl. I love the yarn and beads. Perfect, right?
I find - as the Opening Ceremonies have come and gone - that this feels a bit too much like obligation knitting, something which I've learned to avoid at all cost. SO, here are the pros and cons, and you are all welcome to weigh in and help me decide.
- I would be knitting a project which I've wanted for a long time, and had been planning on doing it this year anyway.
- And it is a really lovely shawl - for which I have the perfect supplies.
- I know I could do this during the available time frame.
- I could easily earn a nice gift certificate.
- It would help me complete another of my planned 12 shawls for the year.
- I'd rather be spinning right now.
- Or working on the Princess. (This is a big one for me!)
- Or finishing several of my other projects which are very close to being completed.
- I don't like knitting because I 'have' to unless it's a reason that comes from my heart.
- I don't really want or need anything from the yarn shop right now...and don't foresee needing/wanting anything in the near future.
- To be honest, I've never been much of a joiner when it comes to online knitting movements. It's just not something that matters to me.
I think these are all of the main points. What do you think?
I finished filling the first last night! Soooo pretty! I know from experience that this will be absolutely lovely when finished - soft and sweet. I'm already debating what I shall knit of it!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tonight was my weekly Mommy's Night Off, and as usual I packed a ridiculous amount of knitting and spinning for a very long sojourn to Starbucks. One of the things I wanted to do while there was to sample some fiber with my wee Tsunami drop spindle. It's the teeniest of my spindles - intended for fine laceweights - and I'd been itching to try it.
First I pulled out some suri alpaca. As suspected, the preparation isn't such to lend itself to laceweight...but I did discover it wasn't as bad as I'd feared, coming from the farm that's provided me with both my best and worst experiences with alpaca.
Moving on, I pulled out some bamboo. As a new-to-me fiber, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect.
It took all of two minutes for me to discover what most laceweight spinners already know.
It is easier - a lot easier - to spin fine threads on drop spindles than with a wheel.
I was absolutely entranced by the fine, even thread I was able to produce, and was even further delighted to discover how quickly I could produce each length of the gossamer stuff. It was like magic! I spun long enough to discover that the only trick I really needed was a background that gave me a high contrast to the thread so that I could see what I was doing.
Finally, I understand why it is that so many of the lace knitters whom I admire so much spin their yarns exclusively on drop spindles. I get it. I REALLY get it.
And I am in love.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
However, here at Chez Green Woman, we beat the second day crazies with an at-home craft camp of our own.
The girls started the day by getting into their Valentine's Day supplies again.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
I thought I would do my meanderings a bit early. We *might* get a lot of snow over the next day or so, and you never know what that's going to do to the schedule!
- My weekend list turned out to be a joke. I didn't want to do the monkeys, realized after doing a bit of math that I had a lot more of the cardi to do than I had expected, and then had a horrendous run this AM - only making 5 miles.
- I'm not too worried about the run today. When I trained for the half back in 2007 (as a walker) I discovered that when I had a really bad - painful - exhausting - think you are going to die - sort of run, it was always followed by a huge breakthrough of some sort. I can live with that. Besides, I'm still ahead on my training schedule.
- I let myself bake cookies and have hot wings today because of the Super Bowl. None of it tasted all that great, and I'm disappointed. Ditto some chocolate dipped pretzels I tried the other day. I used to love all of that!
- The thing about eating healthy is that when you get used to it the things you used to love taste like garbage...which is a good thing 99% of the time. When you want a treat, though...well it did kind of stink. (And I'm pretty sure I'm going to pay for it tonight...)
- I do get to eat treats on my healthy living plan...lest you think I'm all about deprivation. I couldn't live without my near-daily dose of dark chocolate (Currently Green & Black's Dark Chocolate With Cherries or Dagoba's Dark Chocolate With Lavender and Blueberries) I also can't live without my occasional Starbucks. All of these things are about quality, though.
- The good news - I'm starting to feel a lot better now that I'm eating more. I can't believe how exhausted I'd become - or how much denial I was in about how I felt. I had a little bump in my weight for a couple of days, but I'm starting to drop lbs. again, and that's a good thing.
- I'm also fierce in the gym again...and I LOVE that! When you spend (literally) 20 years believing yourself to be fragile because of your depression issues, it's a very, very good thing to discover how strong and tough you can actually be. Honestly, that's more important than any of the other results I'm getting.
- The winter finally got to me...and I spent the last wee bit in my paypal account to buy some new, vibrantly colored roving. I'll share when it gets here! I have a small stash already...but oddly most of it is blue....which is not a favorite color, and definitely doesn't help me get out of the doldrums of late winter.
- Funny how the idea of buying yarn right now makes me feel itchy and wasteful...but I could easily buy fiber with total abandon if I had the funds for it.
- Speaking of spinning, I finally mustered up the gumption to mail my butterfly back to Mr. Golding. Silly to miss it so much when I know it's coming back....
- My daily spinning habit has suffered a wee bit over the last week. Time to get back to it!
- Incidentally, I have two spinning projects that I managed to walk away from for no good reason. That's a very, very bad idea. Why? It's been a very long time, and I have NO idea what ratio I used for either one. I'm not sure what happened. Normally I'm very good at sticking with one spinning project until it's done. No explanation. I'll have to go back through my blog archives to see if I can find pictures to help out. (Edited to Add...I did check my archives and found several pictures of each on the spinning wheel. Unfortunately, the photos were taken at such an angle that you can't see beyond the bobbin. Note to self...perhaps it would be wise to get pictures that include the entire wheel so that I have a record of the specifics.)
- My BKB and I had an interesting conversation about one of our local yarn shops this week. It's been under new ownership for about six months now, and in that time it's moved away from smaller/independent yarn companies towards the big suppliers. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's dulled the store down in my opinion. It's been months since I walked in and felt inspired/excited about anything they carry. The sock and lace yarns - always a treat before - are downright dull. As a result, I don't feel any great desire to go and browse anymore, which is kind of sad. That trip to the yarn shop always used to get my creative juices flowing!
- At the same time, it's a bit of a relief to be freed from temptation.
- It's also nice to not feel any special allegiance to either yarn shop in town. I can shop online to my heart's content and not feel guilty now. In fact, that's my preference these days because I'm finding more and more that the things I want can't be had locally anyway!
- Speaking of my BKB (sort of), she's thinking about doing an Etsy store and has become something of a Jill Of All Trades. She's super-cool, and I love hearing about how much fun she has trying new things. I used to be that way...but now I'm way too obsessive about the knitting and spinning to allow myself the time for that.
- I led my last full meeting as my PEO chapter president this week. (We'll elect, install and pass the reigns along at the next meeting, so I'll start but not finish it.) At the very end as I closed the meeting I got a bit choked up and almost started to cry. As glad as I am to be finishing up my term, it's also been a very good thing for me in terms of personal growth.
- My Mother's Day gift arrived this weekend! I'll share later this week. I also bought myself a little training gift, too, and am very happy with both.
- In a completely random note...I found an Etsy seller who makes custom fit shoes for any size. My strange feet and I are seriously considering it.
- Have I told you how much I love Masterpiece Classic? The last part of Emma is on tonight, and it's become my favorite version of that beloved book.
- Well...I do have an inordinate fondness for Clueless, too.....
- By the way, I watched Nanny McPhee today with the girls. That movie is so beautifully filmed that it makes me drool. I love, Love, LOVE the colors and costuming, and now I feel a need to crochet a granny square afghan like the one in the nursery.
I think that's about enough for now.
Have a great week everyone!
And so, I changed out the drive band, put on the plying head and grabbed the two bobbins of the long-suffering alpaca-silk. I was greatly perplexed, though, with how odd it felt as I began to ply. (We'll discuss at another time why I hadn't noticed before that....) I looked down, and found...
THAT I HAD ALREADY PLIED IT AND HAD A FINISHED YARN!
All I had to do was wind it off and wash it!
If you'll remember, this is one of the alpaca fibers that was something of a disaster to spin...and no, it wasn't a user error issue. The fiber was matted and cut to different levels, and it just wasn't pleasant to work with.
Friday, February 5, 2010
1. Run 6-7 miles Saturday AM.