Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 Resolutions

For 2009 I'm going to keep things as simple and organized as possible. Of course I have a list. It's broken up into categories based on my main focuses in life:

1. Let Will play outside as much as possible
2. Visit our relatives down south
3. Read to Will every day (not just at bedtime)
4. More date nights with the hubby

1. Complete 3 more squares of the Great American Aran Afghan
2. Knit socks for the men in my life (and me too)
3. Knit up all the projects for Shakespeare in Lace
4. Spin at least one day every three months

Saving Money
1. Eat at home more often
2. Continue to spend less than we earn

Environmental Issues
1. Get reasonable estimates for solar panels
2. Stay active with environmental campaigns and public policy

Getting Healthy
1. Walk on the treadmill for at least 30 minutes each work day
2. Eat more vegetables


Such a good compilation of stuff! Playing outside and reading to my son is easy to accomplish - fun too. The Knitting goals aren't that bad either. I didn't spin a single ounce in 2008 and that just sucks. I'm going to try to take a day off from work once every three months and just spin all day. I'll call it my Mental Health day.

A lot of these are connected with others on the list but the biggest challenge will be getting healthy. I'm just plain fat right now and ugh - who ever says they want to be fat when they grow up? I work from home and have a treadmill, rowing machine, plenty of workout DVDs so I have no excuse. I usually end up working through my lunch break and that's not helping my mental sanity at all. If I can do at least 30 minutes on the treadmill each day my outlook for my job and my life is usually better. Plus, I love listening to Brenda Dayne's podcast. Between her and Lime n'Violet I've got enough podcasts to work out until June at least!

Overall I think I came up with very attainable goals for myself. Good stuff that I should already be doing. I'm hoping that making small changes and sticking to them will actually create a routine and part of everyday life.

Pleasant Surprises

Last week I received a Christmas card from a college friend. She signed her name, her husband's name and then "Baby-to-Be (Feb 09)". I think I almost cried right there in my kitchen. She's been trying to have a baby for a long, long time. I can't believe she's finally pregnant!

I immediately decided to knit this Baby-to-Be a present. It had to be perfect though. They're in a warm climate so it can't be to heavy, plus I wasn't sure if they had a special theme planned for the nursery so it would have to blend with everything. Oh and unisex too because I have no idea if Baby-to-Be is a girl or boy. I thought about knitting up Yarn Harlot's Sam Blanket again and I even made a trip to the yarn store. I wasn't crazy about the colors offered so I came home empty handed.

I went back on Ravelry and tried searching every way possible. Then I found the XOXO Blanket as a free Ravelry download. PERFECT!

To personalize the blanket I went with our college colors of Scarlet and Brown (Caron's Simply Soft in Autumn Red and Chocolate). Not exactly baby colors but I know that she will appreciate the choice. The XOXO design symbolizes hugs and kisses for the baby but even more - the letters XO symbolize the Greek letters for Chi Omega. That was the sorority that we were both members of and by joining that's how we met and became friends.

There's instructions to sew on a fabric backing so I'm leaving all my ends out until I make that decision. I would have to find the perfect fabric in order to do that - also because I've never sewn fabric to anything knitted so that will be a learning curve for me.

It's a quick, easy and fast knit and I should easily have this done by the end of January. I've almost got the second strip of 6 squares completed. Only 3 strips (18 squares) to go!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Knitting

I need a vacation from my vacation! Lots of fun though and I would say it was a great holiday!

Over the last week or so I worked on 3 blankets for the Northeast Oddball Charity project that I'm a member of. I added a section to Bubblegum:

I added two sections to Lavender Satchel and my Mom added a border:

With the empty needles I then cast on for a new preemie blanket called Be My Valentine:

It was so nice to work on these while my family was visiting. Everyone wanted to know where the blanket was going next and where they would be donated. It's a great project to have as a break in between larger ones. Speaking of which, my Mystery Stole 4 got about 10 rows on it and I should be done with Clue 5 if I ever get to knit on it again . . .

I've got 2 projects now with deadlines so they've become a priority. I'll grab pictures of those tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Adding not Subtracting

I have decided on purchasing Alhambra as my reward for losing the first 10 pounds. It's gorgeous and I already have the perfect yarn for it.

I have decided to slowly add things to my daily routine instead of taking things away. So instead of "eat less sweets" I'm going to "eat more veggies". I had all sorts of complicated workouts planned but they'll never stick. I decided to make my mantra "be more active" and using my treadmill on the weekdays and playing with my son on the weekends. Simple and I hope it works.

I think it will be around 2 years to hit my goal weight if I do this smart. So 50 pounds over 2 years is about 25 pounds a year, or about 2 pounds a month or about 1/2 pound a week. That's not too bad. (Except I already weigh one pound more than yesterday - damn you water weight!)

I'm working on another charity blanket this week and periodically on MS4. I love what I'm working on lately and not having the rush of Christmas overwhelm me. I need to do this every year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Motivation for Weight Loss

Last night as I sat down for dinner I came to the realization that I have no idea how to lose weight. I've never done it before and just steadily gained over the years. After having a baby, that weight doesn't just magically melt away with nursing. It stays for a very long time actually - unless you do something about it.

Taking a long hard look at myself and researching the multitude of calculators out there. I have about 50 pounds to lose before I can get close to my goal weight. Based on their figures I would need to be 65-70 pounds lighter but I truly believe that's very unrealistic based on my frame and body type.

50 pounds is a nice round number but it's huge, not an easy feat. I need to get healthy so I can set a good example for my son and be around for a long time for him. High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease . . . and the list goes on and on for problems associated with being overweight. I'm not waiting until January 1st - I'm not waiting another day. It starts now.

So how can I stick with whatever program I choose? I've decided to bribe myself with luxurious yarn and knitting. I've broken up the 50 pounds into 10 pound increment goals to make it more attainable. This way I have something to look forward to in the short range. These would all be for me and not something I would give away:

1. Purchase a Pattern (probably one of Anne Hanson's designs), cost around $5-$10
2. Fancy sock yarn (lots of possibilities here), cost around $20 - $30
3. Cashmere scarf yarn (no clue yet on what), cost around $40 -$50
4. Stole/Shawl yarn (I'm thinking something fancy, Zephyr maybe?), cost $50 +
5. Sweater yarn (no clue but I won't limit myself on cost), cost $100 +

I tried to make the goals increase as I go so that they become better and better. I do have a full physical scheduled next month so I'm hoping to get a realistic goal weight from my doctor. If it's more than the 50 pounds I'd like to have a subscription club be my final prize. Something like the Socks that Rock Club or the Year in Lace would be a great way to celebrate.

It shouldn't be hard to get my husband to buy in on the costs associated with each. He's training for triathlons and definitely understands the need for motivation and goals. The hard part will be changing my routines to actually make this a priority. These goals should help.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

MS4 - Clue 4

I finished knitting Clue 4 on Sunday night and actually remembered to take a picture this time. I really love knitting on big lace projects and it's making me more and more anxious for Shakespeare in Lace to start up in March.

I was sad to see no beads in clues 3 and 4 but I understand that for comfort when wearing the stole they had to be left out. After the theme was revealed it was challenging for me to stay into this project. Serendipity is ok but I like clear themes and "a little of this and a little of that" was hard for me to keep focused. At this point I really don't care though. I'm taking this first stole as a learning project to prepare me for wonderful things in the future.

(I really should take a photography class someday - just horrible lighting on this)

I've started to wonder what I'll do with this when I'm done. With the merino yarn it should be warm but the beads make it a bit dressy for around the house wearing. Plus my 2 1/2 year old would love to just whip it around his head in circles and find ways to chase the cats with it.

For now I'll just be turning out 10 rows or so a night just enjoying all of the yarn overs and the 8 beads to come in Clue 5!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oddball Charity Knitting

I finally have my camera back in working order just in time for the holidays.

I recently finished my section of the Forest Greens Northeast Oddball Charity blanket using Caron's Simply Soft in soft green with a basic woven stitch:

Since all of my Christmas knitting was finished early I stepped up and signed on for 4 of these blankets knowing they would probably make it to me this month. I'm hoping this helps out my other knitters right now!

I love it that this group has gone regional. It's not that I didn't mind shipping to Montana when needed but it's so much cheaper to ship to the Northeast and it's nice knowing that they'll end up somewhere around here. Plus, our group is smaller now so less time waiting for a blanket to get to me. YAY!

We're active in two different websites, one on Knitting Help and one on Ravelry. Feel free to join the group in your location. I've definitely had a great time working on these and meeting other knitters in my general area.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I have already sent in my questionnaire for the International Scarf Exchange 7 swap. Love, love, love this swap. Last time I knit for someone in Australia, got a package from the UK and was completely spoiled.

They have extended the deadline to December 8th for signing up and scarves should be mailed by February 26th leaving plenty of time for people to finish up their holiday knitting. They only accept 200 people each time and there are still spots available.

Sign up and spread the word! It's a great experience and I loved every minute of the last one.