On A Roll

Earlier this week we had a Winter Storm system move through the North Texas area.

Ice

Compared to the north and northeastern parts of the US and much of Canada, it really wasn’t much.  About 2 inches in many places.  But it was 2 inches of ice (that is sleet in the picture above), not snow, thus our schools decided to close for 2 days and since I work in higher education, I got those 2 days off, as well.  It was nice and relaxing.  I got to watch some movies, chill with George, and work on the NES.

Border Beginning

I made it through the final rows of the feather ring and was able to start on the border by Tuesday evening.  By the end of lunch today, I’ve made some pretty good progress.

Border 2

That is 129 rows with 1023 remaining.  Or, and this sounds much better, 8 pattern repeats and 64 repeats left to knit.  This is my first attempt at adding a border to a project like this.  It is going much more quickly than I thought it would and it’s actually much easier than I thought, as well.  If I am consistent in working on it, I will be able to finish it next week sometime.

My Battle With The Blerch Con’t

Well, for the most part, I have been doing okay.  I have not been as active as I should have been the last few days, though I did go for a 20 minute walk with George one day last week.  (This is a big step for me, you have no idea.)  Part of that is because I have gotten caught up in finishing the Never Ending Shawl.  For the first time since I started it almost a year ago, the end is in sight and that can be a very heady thing.  And for the first time in months, I am actually excited about working on it again.  But that is just a convenient excuse.  I haven’t been active because I have chosen not to be and that is entirely on me.  Admitting that is another first step of sorts.  It means I recognize the problem, now I just need to fix it.  As for alcohol, except for Saturday, I have not had any since last Tuesday night.  The Blerch and I have a deal, there are certain instances where it is acceptable to drink and The Blerch is not allowed to get obnoxious about adding alcohol back into the routine.  Saturday was one of those times.  I had a good time, but sometimes, you just need a little something to get you through certain types of gatherings.  Plus, so long as you drink in moderation, it is not altogether a bad thing to drink occasionally.  Overall, the first week of battle has gone relatively well, considering.  Now I just need to be a little more aggressive in my fight for more physical activity.

And So It Goes…Again…And Again…And Again…

Well, after finding that “issue” in the Never Ending Shawl last time, I seriously did not want to look at it or even think about it for a little while.  But last weekend, I pulled it out of the basket, yet again, and decided what to do about the situation.

Restart

I felt a bit like Inigo, I have once more gone back to the beginning, and it sort of feels like that is where I’m going to stay.  But I persevered and I started a different pattern since I really didn’t care for the feather and fan anyway.  It just wasn’t what I was looking for; way too scrunchy.  But this time?

New Pattern

This time, I think I found the right pattern.  It’s much more open, which is what I wanted.  And it has a sort of “layered” look to it.  Like the ends of feathers on top of the other feathers in each row.  (If that makes sense.  Sometimes I have a slight difficulty finding the right words.)  That right there is about 26 rows into the ring.  It already looks much better and more like I wanted than the 5o some-odd rows of before.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Now, I just need to figure out how I want to finish it.

 

Added after publishing:

After a conversation with my sister, I decided to add this to my post and to try and keep an accurate accounting as I continue to fight against this issue.

My Battle With The Blerch

February 19, 2015

Over the last few years, I have had a major struggle with my weight.  I seem to not feel motivated to exercise, I would drink more alcohol than I should, and eat and drink other things that are not good for you.  Up until a couple of years ago, I would drink multiple Diet Cokes a day, beginning with one for breakfast and continue drinking one after the other until I went to sleep.  That is definitely not healthy behavior.  I have changed that.  For over a year, I did not have a Diet Coke, and I didn’t have much of any coffee, tea, or alcohol.  But this last year, I began to pick up again on soft drinks and coffee and alcohol.  Last week, I decided to cut out the soft drinks again.  And I’ve felt better.  I don’t drag as much in the afternoon as I did last Monday and Tuesday when I had a soft drink during the day.  I had a coworker ask me what I was on because I had more energy and I was more upbeat.  The answer was simply water.  That was the only thing I had changed that day.  The power of water.  It’s much greater than you think.

I have picked up on the coffee, but so long as I don’t drink it all day every day, things aren’t too bad.  It’s also coffee that we make at home with a miniscule amount of milk and sugar added.  I have also picked up on the sweet tea intake.  That needs to stop as well.  As soon as I finish this pitcher I made last night, I will not make another one for at least a week.  I’m hoping this will help to keep me from wanting the tea.  If I really desire some tea, I can make a cup of hot tea, which I actually enjoy and takes more time and effort to make than a pitcher of sweet tea.

Over the last couple of years, I keep thinking, “I need to do something about this.  This is not healthy.  I need to start exercising and making better choices.”  But that little voice of The Blerch kept talking me out of it.  “It’s too cold.  It’s too hot.  That Scream marathon isn’t going to watch itself.  Oooh pizza, we totally need some pizza.  And Pasta.  Add in some of those garlic bread slices, too.  Yum-o.”  The Blerch is a definite Frenemy. He is there to let you know that it is occasionally okay to splurge a little, be lazy for a day, do something just for you and no one else.  But this Blerch is getting too big for his britches.  He is always there.  He is constantly whispering in my ear telling me to do this, don’t do that, you don’t need that, you need this.  And my capitulation has given him this power over me.  I am the heaviest and unhealthiest I have ever been and it has to stop.

Last night, I made the first step in the battle with my own personal Blerch.  I told myself earlier in the day that I would not have an alcoholic beverage at any point that night.  There were a couple of times where I thought that just one would be fine, but that is a trap and I refused to fall into it.  I made it.  I did not have an alcoholic beverage at all last night.  I won the first skirmish.  But the battle has only begun.

So, Yeah

That whole blogging every day has not started off very well.  But that’s ok.  I’ve learned to just go with the flow sometimes.  I have been doing some knitting, which is good.

I have been having some issues, though.

One Ring

I don’t know if you can see it, but there is a mistake in that.  Luckily it’s only about 5 rows from the working end and it’s not that big, but

One Ring Mistake

it is glaringly obvious to me that something isn’t right.  So I felt a little “put out” that I was going to have to tink back over 400 stitches to get to the mistake, so I set it aside for a few days.  Yesterday, I decided I wanted something that wasn’t too complicated, something that I was already familiar with.  So I picked up the orange shawl that I have been working on for almost a year now.  This is now being dubbed “The Never Ending Shawl.”  Part of the reason it is taking so long is because it is eleventy billion stitches at this point.  The other reason is that I become complacent while knitting it and I don’t pay as much attention to it as I should every 4th row.  So I picked it up, started working on it again, made it about 5 rows in when I noticed something:

TNS

About 11 rows from the beginning of this section, the yarn snapped.  Luckily, there is currently only this small hole.  Now I just have to decide if I want to rip it all back again (I’m on about row 53 right now), or just thread in some yarn to connect it all and forget that it ever happened.  While either fix really isn’t too bad, in the grand scheme of things, it was just one more thing that went wrong with my knitting.  So, fed up, I dropped it in the basket beside my bed, rummaged through my stash, pulled out a soft yarn, some size 5 needles, glanced through Ravelry and did this:

Leaf 1 Leaf 2

I really just wanted something that I could finish in an hour or so, something that made me feel like I actually accomplished something.  The designer called it a scrubby, but I’m going to use it as a coaster because it is just the right size for my large cup that I fill with water every night when I go to bed.  It still needs to be blocked, but I finally finished something that wasn’t a Christmas or birthday present.  Yay woo!

It also had the side benefit of reviving my desire to knit things, and I began the process of tinking back the Epic Nerd Scarf.  So here’s to the simple, hour long projects that continuously renew our faith in knitting.

Back To The Grindstone

Today was the first day back at work after the nice, long, 2 week break.  It was pretty quiet, which can be good on your fist day back after time off.  I think most everyone here was appreciative.  But being slow, that means I was given plenty of time to think.  And after emailing with my sister, I ended up deciding I had to start this project I’ve been thinking about for months.  It’s this one.  I know, I’m showing my nerdy side here, but I am a big LOTR fan and I really want this scarf.  So today, I ordered the yarn from Paradise Fibers and I can’t wait for it to get here.  It will be my first foray into double knitting.  I’m looking forward to the experience.  After that, I plan to do this.  Not sure yet if I want to incorporate it into something, or if I want to do it as a stand alone.  But I’ll figure it out.

Good Day

One of my goals for the next month is to blog everyday.  So I’m going to try to do that.  The biggest draw back is having something to write about everyday.  I haven’t done as much knitting as I planned on these last 2 weeks.  Part of that is because I was working on Christmas knitting up until Christmas morning and I ended up getting a little bit of pain in my right hand.  That has definitely slowed me down a bit.  But that’s ok.  I went out today and got a totally new ‘do.  I always feel better when I get my hair done.  Due to financial issues, it has been a few years since I’ve really went and got my hair done.  I’ve had the occasional cut, but this was full highlights and everything.  I’d forgotten how good it felt to have a completely different hair style.  I’d also forgotten how long took.  It took about 3 hours, but that’s ok, it was totally worth it.

Maybe I’ll get some knitting done today.

“Hoppy Neu Yeer”

That’s actually a line from one of my favorite movies Bundle of Joywhich is a remake of Bachelor Mother.  I actually like both versions, they are cute and both Debbie Reynolds and Ginger Rogers do a good job with the character of Polly Parrish.  If you get the chance, you should check them out.

This time of year, people tend to make resolutions.  Some will be kept, some won’t.  I usually am not one for New Year’s resolutions, I feel, if you want to change things about yourself, or your life, why wait until January 1st?  Do it right then and there.  Don’t wait, that’s just an excuse to put it off.  But, the beginning of the year is a good time to set up your goals for the year, plan schedules, that sort of thing.  And I did just that this last week.  So that is what I’ve decided to write about this rainy New Year’s Day.

I decided to utilize spreadsheets this year to try and keep my life organized.  I am one of those people who does well with a routine.  Lately though, as in the last couple of years, I’ve gotten away from having a true routine.  Thus, I end up rushing through things, items on the To Do list fall through the cracks, things end up waiting until the last minute.  Like Christmas presents.  I always seem to end up in a situation every year where I feel like I’m in that scene in The Three Amigos where everyone in the town is readying for the return of El Guapo and all of the women are sewing as fast as they can and Ned goes to an older woman who is hand sewing embellishments and he says, “sew, sew like the wind.”  This year, I was working on a present up to the very last minute.  I finished, thank goodness, and it was very well received, but it was a bit stressful.  And it just shouldn’t be that way.  So this year, I have decided to utilize spreadsheets so that it doesn’t happen again and one of my goals is to actually follow my schedules and spreadsheets.

That is my real problem.  Following the schedules and plans I design.  And a true test for me will be to keep up with them.  But once I get used to the routine, I shouldn’t have any problems continuing to follow it.  Well, that’s the hope, anyway.

On that note, I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Year.

One More Week

Crazy!  I’m definitely still behind, but oh well, not a lot I can do about it now except knit away and hope for the best.

We did get our tree last weekend.  For some reason, almost all of the trees were gone.

Tree

Got it decorated.

Tree 2

We didn’t decorate much of the rest of the house, as yet, but we did get this guy up:

Santa

It just isn’t Christmas without “Nekked Santa”.

I hope the rest of you are in a much better knitting position than I am.  I think I need to actually come up with a plan next year.