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Forty for the Second Time

I’ve been hovering around this number for a couple of weeks, not really able to get below it because I’m a weak willed individual who really likes to follow where her hormones are wrongly telling her to go, so I figured if I post about it, I’ll have more onus and actually stick to my diet and continue the weight loss.

July 8, 2017. I stepped on the scale and saw 236.5, bringing my down a hot 40 pounds! The pictures I took later in the week proved that I’ve been losing weight and it’s showing, it just takes me some time to figure it out every time I tell people I’ve hit another milestone.

I have to look at myself every day and I see the flaws most of the time, rather than the successes. I know I need to work on the self-talk and make it more positive, and I struggle with that on a daily, hourly and momentary basis. It is only when I see the images put next to one another that I truly notice the difference. Like this one:

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Or this one:

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This was an interesting comparison because I almost never wear the same clothes over a long period of time- most of the stuff I own hasn’t fit in a while or it’s so big that I’ve gotten rid of it, or I’ve worn it so much that it’s ruined; the only exception is the workout tops I have because I like them to be big and unencumbering on me. The picture on the left is from the 2016 Central Regionals. I took a picture with 4-time Fittest Man on Earth, Rich Froning and I thought it was an OK picture despite being all sweaty and gross from volunteering for Rogue all day. Then the day I took the picture on the right, Coach Maggie said “I can’t believe how big that shirt is on you” and I decided to find out just how big it was on me.

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I wore jeans for the first time in over at least two years. I was going through a handful of clothes from home in preparation for moving and downsizing, and I found four pair of jeans. The 14s definitely didn’t fit, the 16s almost made it over Thunder and Lightning (my thighs) and the stretchy 18s fit but required a belt to fit without falling down. I felt pretty accomplished. The jeans also made their way into my clothing rotation.

I have been 236.5 before; Actually I was 234.5 in 2012 when I started paleo and CrossFit, but I’m making the changes again and now I’m seeing much better results this time around than I did last time. This time it’s coming off glacially slow, but it’s actually staying off. I keep myself as accountable as possible and manage to keep myself in check so I don’t fall off the rails every time I eat.

I’m able to get to the gym a little more. Hubs and I bought a house and we close in a few weeks, and our nights are almost always full with something, but it’s nice to know that hubs and I still want to keep CrossFit a priority in our lives. He goes during his lunch hour and I typically squeeze in at the end of the day. The coaches at CrossFit Waukesha and Delafield are fantastic and so helpful and I’m thankful every day I can make it.

I have to remember to drink more water; I’m supposed to drink 100 oz per day but that gets difficult especially if I’m in meetings all day, so I have to be really conscious about it. Currently I’m at just under 60 oz today and have another 40 sitting on my desk waiting for me. Today this is my only goal.

Food has been a struggle for me lately. I’ve been doing Candida and gluten free for a while now and the constancy of salads at lunch is getting really grating. I also accidentally subbed out soy sauce for balsamic vinegar a couple weeks ago and it’s kind of put me off salads. The cafeteria at work is amazing and I’m thankful for that, but then I accidentally ingest some bad Barbeque sauce with a couple brats and I’m running to the bathroom with a stomach bug. It was anything but entertaining. I need to find that balance and manage to find the healthy foods while also managing the expectations of my body in that I need to avoid process sugars (sugar at all, really) and find a way to stay interested in the food options.

This being healthy thing is tricky! I just hope to find what works best for me one day. It’s all trial and error in the end, isn’t it?

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What I’m Obsessed With Today

Surprisingly, despite the fact that I have virtually no time to do anything, I have gotten a LOT of knitting done in the past few weeks! I spend time knitting on the bus to and from work, I get some knitting done while driving somewhere with the husband, I knit at home to wind down from my day and I knit when I should probably be doing something other than knitting. Ya know, like cleaning and doing laundry.

So what’s on my needles?

Linebreak! I’ve already made one of these, but I felt like the custom yarn from Three Irish Girls that I got at the Cream City Yarn birthday party was just meant to become a linebreak. Sprinkles on Top is a short-stripe repeat that is short-rowing up perfectly. I have yet to see a pool and I’m loving every single row. I’m into the fifth (and technically the last) wedge and I can knit about two rows in 45 minutes of my drive home from work, but it’s working up so beautifully that I’m OK with it taking longer than I’d personally like. I just started the second skein so I’m a little worried that I either did the pattern wrong or if I just have that much extra yarn. I may consider making an extra wedge…

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Hudson Shawl! I found this shawl while randomly searching through Ravelry. Someone had knocked off the pattern and was trying to sell it exclusively as a kit using Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok. I just wanted the pattern, not the whole kit because I’ve got a hookup to getting the yarn anyway. Then I looked at the comments and saw that they had ripped off the pattern from poor Shannon Cook. So I found her pattern and purchased it instead, knowing that I simply had to make it out of Woolstok. I did some minor changes to the pattern, especially at the end and I’m so happy with the way it came out!

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Dice bags! I have so much leftover sock yarn that I don’t know what to do with so I am making dice bags. I’ve got a few of these made already, but my DnD group is in need of bags for their constantly growing pile of polyhedrals. I use three strands of fingering weight yarn and a size 8 needle, use Judy’s Magic Cast On and start working in the round right away! When I finish, I thread some ribbon or braided yarn through the live stitches so it closes up really easily.

Georgetown! This gorgeous sweater is my newest obsession and I wish I could work on it more but it takes up quite a bit of space. I started this a while ago after basically finishing a flax light, but hated everything about it, so onto the winder it went. I then grabbed some charcoal grey (That was once a cobblestone!) and decided to put it together to make this scrumptious sweater. I finished the back in what felt like no time, then dawdled a bit on the fronts, finally cranking them out in a few afternoons after a few weeks of forgetting about it. I seamed it up into what I think is my best mattress stitch to date, and then started on a short row sleeve cap which I decided I didn’t like, so I ripped it out yesterday and decided to do it just as the pattern is written. Hannah Fettig knows best. I haven’t really taken any pictures of this, so I guess I’ll have to get on that.

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I’m so close to finishing a Camilla Kid sweater, but I never took pictures of it. I’m sure I can photograph it when I’m finished with it, but until then it’s just sitting in the bag.

 

 

 

 

Randomly on a... · Weight Loss

Thirty

I stepped on the scale this morning and saw an amazing number: 246.5. I’ve lost 30 pounds. In 7 months, I lost 30 pounds. Roughly 4.5 pounds per month.

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On the left: 276.5: September 2016. On the right: 246.5: June 7, 2017

But the number isn’t what’s so amazing: The fact of what I look like is so amazing to me. The last time I lost a ton of weight (50 pounds in 2012/2013), I didn’t see anything change in my body until I hit 50 pounds and finally went shopping. 50 pounds was significant, but I had a lot less muscle definition than I do now. I couldn’t lift, move and function as well as I can now. Five years of CrossFit later and it’s taken a lot more for my body to actually lose the weight, but once I started losing it, I noticed a lot more a lot faster. My clothes are loose on me, I have to wash clothes a lot more often in the hopes they shrink up, my bras aren’t rolling up because they’re too small, my wedding ring fits properly and actually comes off my finger without the assistance of lotion or water and I actually don’t mind looking in the mirror.

I went through a lot of hell to get to this point: A naturopathic doctor who didn’t understand dietetics and how what you eat affects the body so significantly, who prescribed upwards of 56 supplement pills every single day forcing my liver to function at such a high level that I couldn’t sleep and the constant threat from said doctor that she would put me on Phentermine, a drug known to cause Pulmonary Hypertension, kept my stress levels at such a level that my body wouldn’t release anything. As someone with prior pulmonary issues, this doctor completely disregarded my needs and body and was simply determined to pump me full of supplements in the hopes that something would work. When I took matters into my own hands and started researching and applying the Candida diet, things drastically changed and I became shockingly aware of the perils I was doing to my own body and decided to make a change for the better. I am seeing my new naturopath tomorrow and I can’t wait to tell her I’m down 30 pounds from December 1, 2016.

Candida diet is hard. It’s super difficult to avoid all the processed foods in this world, all the bread and cheese that comes with basically everything you don’t make yourself. When Husband and I went to Nashville for Regionals last week, I came prepared with 4 pounds of chicken salad, a handful of jerky bars and a ton of options for snacks. I still succumbed to the chocolate and sweets they put out in the staff area. I suffered greatly for the week following- feeling lethargic and generally crappy overall. For some reason this knowledge doesn’t deter me from cheating and justifying it saying it’s OK, that I’ll just make up for it the next day. The truth is, when I drink enough water, eat Candida-approved foods, take my supplements at the right times and finish the evening with meditation and Castor Oil Packs, I lose weight. You’d think it’d be easier to follow this path knowing what the end result is, but I am a weak-willed individual who has a terrible relationship with food and that’s why I cheat meal on a semi-regular basis. I like to say I only have two cheat meals per week, but really I include little cheats: A sprouted grain wrap, honey roasted nuts, etc. and call them fine.

So it’s taken a really long time to lose the weight. I step on the scale every single morning and am sometimes disappointed, most times apathetic knowing that I did this to myself when I gave in to my hormonal cravings and ate all that chocolate the night before, and occasionally very happy when the number goes down and I can put my new weight into FitBit and MyFitnessPal.

As a CrossFitter, I shouldn’t be focused on the number either, but I have a ticking timebomb here with the potential threat of healthcare reform. Pretty soon I may not be insurable because of my weight, the PCOS and whatnot. Health insurers don’t care about your overall health, they care about the number on the scale and how it relates to your height. If I were simply doing this to get fitter, I wouldn’t worry about it. For now, the scale rules my bathroom.

Bottom line: I’m very happy with the fact that I’ve lost 30 pounds so far. I am officially under the weight restriction for my camp chairs, my trampoline and a whole host of other items around my home. I’m able to fit into a lot of the clothing I wasn’t able to fit into previously and a lot of my more recent clothes are baggy and loose on me, so loose sometimes that I can’t see keeping them around much longer. I am very close to switching to the small band on my fitbit and, with hope, in 6 months or so I can size my wedding band down.

I have 60 pounds to go until I get back to my 2012/13 low weight of 180 pounds. I have 47 pounds to go until I am under 200 pounds again and I know exactly what to do in order to get there. I am not going to just focus on today’s victory and forget about the ultimate goal. I have many more victories to go and I will not let anything get in my way. I just need the willpower to execute the goal and get to the finish lines.

Uncategorized

Just 10 Minutes

I only have a few minutes to post an update, but I want to keep to my word that I will write more often. So here’s a few random notes as we come to the end of the week.

  1. I haven’t knit since Monday night and I finally get to tonight, while teaching a class. The 1999 sweater is in desperate need of a set of sleeves, so I think I’ll get that finished up tonight.
  2. I’ve lost a few more pounds over the last three days; I am officially UNDER the weight restriction for my trampoline and camp chairs. I may have done a happy dance while in the bathroom today.
  3. I enjoyed breakfast probably more than I should have this morning- the Intermittent fast I decided to do last night was really difficult and I was very hungry this morning.
  4. Parking in Milwaukee is very expensive as of late- I have to pay for parking each day I work (Which is 5 days per week) so my bank account is a little surprised, at least until my first paycheck comes in.
  5. I have run out of size 8 needles; I have to pick up a new set tonight before work so I can actually finish the sweater. I can’t figure out where they keep going, but I apparently don’t use 8s as much anymore.
  6. I dropped my phone, face-down, in the bathroom the other day. Luckily, only the shield I have on my phone was cracked and not the phone itself. I stupidly forgot to save said shield and subsequently had to buy a new one. This one is black matte instead of silver, so it looks like I got a new phone, except the leather case is still pretty gross-looking.
  7. I’m looking forward to the day when I can see my husband during daylight hours.

That’s all for today. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I actually have the whole weekend off, so I’m very excited for sleep and working on freelance stuff and then doing a lot of nothing.

Knitables

Oh Hey 2017…

Welcome back! I missed you. I think I’m ready to write regularly again… hopefully.

2017 has been…interesting. Let’s go monthly so we can get back on track with one another.

January: The beginning of the year was tough for us- Freelance work had dried up, though I did get a new gig as a writer for Geek & Sundry, but that work was little and far-between sometimes. My other freelance work was slow-coming and I was starting to feel the monetary hurt. I knit a lot- I was teaching every Thursday and I was also working on cultivating a following for Kettle Moraine. I taught a couple sessions, but they petered out and instead I transitioned into teaching a few of the students on the side whenever we have time to get together. I started a Find Your Fade out of Critical Sheep D10, and it became an obsession for me. Otherwise I just knit away on random things; mainly just easy stuff to keep myself warm throughout the cold weather. I ate pretty healthy all season, worked out about 3-4 times per week, and didn’t lose a single pound. My naturopath upped my supplements to the point where I was taking 56 pills per day.

February: I finished the Find Your Fade! YUM!img_7610_medium2

I also knit up a Hemlock Ring blanket.

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This act spurred on the beginning of many stash-busting projects that have continued throughout the season. I still ate Paleo/Gluten Free, worked out four time per week, took all 56 pills per day and was growing increasingly miserable. I called my naturopath, complained and she didn’t do anything for me. She took some more blood tests and I found out my Candida Antibodies went up recently. She did nothing more to alleviate this, but just kept telling me to eat Paleo and work out and watch my sugars. I still hadn’t lost any weight. 266 pounds. /sigh.

March: I picked up a sweater I had started a long time ago out of Sheepish Yarn Co Merino Worsted and decided it was time to finish the knitting. I made up a Shapely Boyfriend sweater and just needed to finish the sleeves. I have taken absolutely no pictures of this sweater (SHAME ON ME!) so just pretend you love it, ok? It’s blue and pretty. It took a couple weeks to do the sleeves and the collar, but I really like it. I wore it a lot, only to realize that the collar didn’t sit very nicely around my neck. I ripped out the cast-off and did a large short-row shawl collar instead. No real big changes since then. I still need to weave in the ends and wear it one day, but I don’t have much of a need for big woolen sweaters right now.

Near the end of the month I called the Naturopath after doing some research on Candida and how to rid myself of it. I found the Candida Diet; a diet predominantly made up of cruciferous vegetables and white meat, and how it’s main goal is to kill off the yeast that grows in my stomach and perforates my small intestines to penetrate into my bloodstream. After talking it over with the Husband, I decided to give it a shot for a week. During that week I ate a lot of chicken, turkey, salmon and broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, etc. I drank coffee, tea and water with lemon. I avoided red meat and pork, and I made every meal and weighed every portion religiously. I consumed between 40 and 80 grams of carbohydrates per day. Around day four, I tried going to the gym. I became so dizzy while doing a simple workout because my blood sugar had dropped (due to the one prescription I am on that lowers my sugars) into the low (and very dangerous) 40s. I decided to call the Naturopath and explain to her what was happening. I didn’t go to the gym again that week. She called back TWO DAYS LATER and told me she didn’t recommend Candida Diet but essentially recommended everything I was doing on Candida Diet. She told me to stop taking the blood sugar drug because I was finally regulating my sugar by diet.

I lost 10 pounds in 9 days of doing Candida Diet. I became disillusioned by this doctor and I had finally seen the light that it was time to leave her and find someone who actually understood what was happening to me. I didn’t want to keep taking these pills that weren’t doing anything anyway and I was so full from said supplements that I didn’t eat much of anything throughout the day. I did some searching and found a new doctor in Milwaukee. It was going to be a bit of a drive, but I was willing to make it. Husband and Mom agreed that it’s time we change things up and I made the appointment for two weeks later.

I tried going to the Naturopath to get my chart (and to get my last pills from her…) she wouldn’t give me anything more than my labs. No notes, or anything from her in my chart. RIDICULOUS! I filed a complaint with the medical board and put a 1 star review on the doctor’s google page. I’ve heard nothing from her since.

April: Not much knitting of note this month: I have been working on a vest out of Cascade Eco in a dark blue. Nope. No picture of this one either. I really suck at documenting my stuff!

I started a sample for work for the summer session at the Yarn Store and then realized it was too hard to knit and I was able to change to another sweater.

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And I’ve been working on socks for a good long while, though none of them are anywhere near finished.

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Oh and did I mention, I figured out how to Self-Stripe Critical Sheep D4?!

My best friend had her baby, Kenneth Josephine Breeden, and I brought over a wee hat to fit on her perfect little head. Kenneth is a doll, and she’s so little, but I can’t wait to see this little bit of alpaca/wool on her adorable head.

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I anxiously awaited the day of my appointment with Dr. A.. I sent in my paperwork but they didn’t get my records in time, so we went in blind, but I walked in with all my pills and told her what had all happened, and included as much of my history as I could. She immediately threw out 23 of my pills. I could have kissed her. She told me to start with Castor Oil Packs every night before bed, to start Intermittent Fasting 3-4 non-consecutive times per week and she also told me to continue with the Candida Diet but that I could add in a few new things like Greek Yogurt and 1/4 cup berries and grass-fed beef and pork once per week. I am now down to 21 pills per day; three of which will be gone as soon as the bottle is empty (good and useful supplements should not have to go to waste! Oil of Oregano is great for Leaky Gut Syndrome, but my diet no longer requires it, so I’m taking it until it’s gone!). Both Husband and I were so happy to have her on our side that I felt like crying when I felt like she was finally hearing the words I was saying, explaining herself thoroughly and telling me exactly what she expects from me going forward. She even called me the next week (like she said she would!) and checked in on me. I used 8-day pill cases (three of them) in order to make 2 days, and now I can make 5 days out of those same pill cases. I don’t hate taking my pills now because I know these are the ones that are going to really do the best things for me.

May: Knitting! Nothing has been finished as of yet (we’re only two days in, after all) but I’ve been knitting away on 1999 (the class sample that just needs little sleeves!) and Georgetown, a sweater by Hannah Fettig that I’m making out of two strands of Shelridge Yarn Softtouch Heather in Charcoal and Gunmetal Blue (The blue I made my bridesmaids shawls out of ) and it’s coming out beautifully! I haven’t taken a picture of this yes, because it’s just a swathe of knitting, but you’ll get one soon! I’m on the back, about half way through the body. It’s a lot of knitting and it’s in pieces and seamed, but I am so excited to finish it. I’m starting the teaching of a class this week and, now that I’ve started a contract where I work in an office every day, I don’t really see my husband except for when we’re both zoned out in front of the TV at the end of the night.

I’m still eating Candida, and making sure I avoid any and all sugars/grains/starch/gluten (though I do enjoy my cheat meals) and I’m slowly and consistently losing weight. This morning I stepped on the scale and was finally down to 251. Since December 1, 2016, I’ve lost 25.5 pounds. Only 70 or so to go! The Castor Oil Packs help me sleep deeply and thoroughly every night and I’m feeling much better about my mental acuity and ability even though I’m a little spacey when I intermittent fast. I included a protein shake to increase my protein amounts per day so I can avoid starvation mode in my body every day.

I don’t think I have anything else fun to add to this post, which is already super long. I’m looking forward to spending more time blogging and sharing my updates. Every day is a new adventure for me, so I’m excited to see what the future holds.

Knitables · Randomly on a...

Gee. Whillikers.

Is that how you spell that? Oh well. I’m not concerned. I’m just trying to write something that sounds like it would go on this blog. Really I’m just using this blog as a way to write for 10 minutes without stopping and just writing the things that come out of my fingertips. It’ll probably be about knitting, but likely it’ll be about what I ate in a day and if I worked out… Think of it as a mashup between On Skeins and Needles and KnitEatLift. I can’t keep up with one blog, so two is not going to happen!

I’m barely knitting lately. I have been trying to figure out what to make or get for my friends for Christmas and I am completely stumped. Do I make them fingerless mitts that they can wear while driving? Meh. Do I make candles so they can think of me whenever they burn them? That requires me driving downtown to get the supplies. Meh again. Do I get them gift cards because I feel like they aren’t going to like anything I made them anyway? Bad idea. sigh. I don’t know. Knowing me, I’ll end up cobbling something together at midnight the day before we’re supposed to get together and I’ll call it good.

It is currently very cold in my apartment. I’m sitting in the office with no music or sound around me but the sound of the typing keys. I know I should get up and make some lunch but something about the whole ‘stay on your ass for 10 minutes’ thing is keeping me here.

I switched gyms about 6 months ago and I’m very happy with the results I’ve had; only problem is my body is fighting me to lose weight. I eat healthy- only 2 cheat meals per week and I eat clean. I don’t consume dairy or gluten (unless it’s part of said cheat meal) and I drink water when I’m not drinking coffee in the morning.

Hang on… siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip here lies medical crap…skip if not interested.

Yet the weight still won’t come off. I know it’s because I battle with PCOS and insulin resistance and a whole host of other things, but I didn’t know how to fix it myself, let alone naturally and without harsh chemicals that will make me feel sick and not happy with my body. So I found myself a naturopath; this is also after my mother tried to talk me into seeing an endocrinologist. I didn’t want to see any old doctor who would tell me the same thing that I’ve been hearing for years, so I found a naturopath who would look at me as a person, and my whole body, not just my uterus. She spent 90 minutes asking me question after question and I left, exhausted yet hopeful, that this new plan would be helpful to me. I now take 26 pills per day. I feel like a geriatric who needs one of those giant pill cases, but I like to think it’s starting to work. While I’m not down much weight (I think the last time I checked I was down 1.5 pounds), my energy is up and my digestion is much better. I see the doctor in about 20 days and she wanted me to be down 20 pounds by then. Don’t worry, my appointment was at the beginning of the month.

I don’t need to hear that ‘slow weight loss is good weight loss’ and all that BS. I have 100 pounds to lose, get off my back and let me stay positive about this!  

Alright. done with the medical stuff!

The Workouts!

I just finished with workout number two of the week; I’ve been down with a cold for most of the past 7 days, so I’m very sore now and very much looking forward to my shower this afternoon. So here’s my WODs in a week:

Monday, December 5:
I was laid up sick for most of the day but still wanted to move around so I did some rebounding for about 15 minutes. This always makes my calves burn like the dickens but I am noticing that the strength of my legs is much better and I always feel better when I step off the trampoline.

Wednesday, December 7:
Strength: Snatch 5-3-1 up to 95%. I guess I’ve never written it down but I think I PRed my Snatch: Went up to 85 pounds and it was easy!
WOD:
AMRAP 4 minutes pull ups (I did ring rows) (75)
rest 2 minutes
AMRAP 4 minutes Burpee box jumps (25)
rest 2 minutes
AMRAP 4 minutes dumbbell snatch (55)

Goodbye shoulders! I woke up this morning with lots of soreness; posterior chain, traps, those long muscles between my shoulder blades. My shoulders were pretty shot too. I knew that working out today would be rough, but that my recovery would probably be better once I worked out again. It’s weird how things work like that.

Thursday, December 8
I went to the sister affiliate today to hang out with the owner and my favorite coach, Maggie. She and I are very alike in manner and we get along so well! Naturally, I showed up 15 minutes late because I can’t read a schedule. Did a quick warmup, and was ready to go with everyone else!
Strength: Push Jerk: 5-3-1 up to 95% of 1RM. I did 85, 105 and 115. The 115 was a little rough and I had to fight it up, but it worked! It’s also a 3RM PR, so that’s even better!
WOD:
AMRAP 8
3 HSPU (I used a box, like I always do… getting better at this though!)
3, 6, 9, 12… Cleans, increasing the number of cleans each round.
I did 85#; it was tough, I don’t think I’ve ever done a workout with that much weight on the bar, but I was able to keep moving with it and that’s what mattered to me. I finished with 52 cleans, so halfway through the round of 15.

It was quick and dirty- and I liked it. I work all weekend slinging the yarn, but I’m looking forward to going three times next week before heading off to vacation in Vancouver for a week with the Hubs, brotherman and Mamabear! We will be hitting up three gyms (hopefully) and I can’t wait to workout with my man again!

What I ate this week:
Usually we plan our weeks really well, prep food and put it in the freezer and I make the magic happen during the day, but we have totally fallen off the wagon with that regard. We didn’t even eat a single thing that was on the menu board from last week, so we decided to do it over this week.

Monday: I had to make a weird concession Monday because I was doing a hormone test panel and couldn’t consume garlic, onions, coffee (I quarantined myself so no one died) and a whole host of other things. I was also sick. I ate eggs and bacon for breakfast, soup for lunch and sliders and fruit for dinner. Dessert was NyQuil and sleep.

Tuesday: Breakfast again was eggs and bacon, Lunch was leftover chicken and sweet potatoes, Dinner was shredded buffalo Chicken and sweet potato fries.

Wednesday: Breakfast was two hard-boiled eggs with salt, a banana and an apple, lunch was a subway flatbread sandwich that was more vegetables than anything else, dinner was chili that hubs and I threw together in 20 minutes after church.

Thursday: Breakfast was leftover shredded buffalo chicken and triscuits. Lunch was a salad kit from Fresh Express, with thousand island dressing instead of the dressing packet they put in the kit. Dinner is unsure, as we will be out caroling and then attending a party afterward. Very likely to be a meat of some sort and fruit and veg. I’ll keep it simple.

Friday: Tomorrow I plan to eat a 3-egg scrambled with Franks Red Hot, 4 slices of bacon, strawberries and a banana for breakfast. Lunch will be another salad kit, again trading the dressing out. Dinner will be a chuck roast that will shred up nicely to make tacos in sprouted grain wraps with shredded goat cheese and hot sauce. Yum.

It’s snowing out, my 10 minutes are way over and I’m starved for lunch. Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week!

Knitables · Uncategorized

Sampling Samples

It’s been a long couple of months since the last time I updated anything regarding this blog and it’s been a couple of months since the last time I had a finished project! I have been insanely polyamorous with regard to my knitting and can’t seem to dedicate myself to finish a project as long as the heat is as bad as it has been here in Wisconsin.

However, I am a teacher and need to make samples to show off and sell my classes this season so I have forced myself to buckle down and work on knitting only these samples until things are done and ready to show off…even if it is hotter the the devil out there. I’ll be safely chilly here in the Shaw with my strawberry lemonade and my Air Conditioner.

First things first: Hitchhiker shawl by Martina Behm. 

I’m knitting this beauty out of some worsted weight yarn. This class came along as a whim because I was actively knitting (and totally obsessed with) knitting the shawl so I chose to put it to some good use.

Working at a yarn store is awesome, but it’s also insanely hard: I want to buy one of everything. Literally everything. Especially since the shop carries my favorite yarn in the entire ‘verse: Malabrigo Rios. It’s a workhorse yarn that doesn’t pill or bleed, holds its shape really well and doesn’t wear out over wearing through the entire season. This year, Malabrigo launched their “Anniversario” colorway; a beautiful kettledye in honor of their 10-year anniversary. We got tons of it and, there were two skeins leftover with two different dye lots. I didn’t think anything of it until I saw them myself:Rios 1

Well… that’s some quality control issues going on there…

I bought the skeins anyway, knowing that I could just alternate rows on this shawl and end up with something gorgeous. The wonderful thing about Rios and Malabrigo as a whole, is their yarns have a tendency to blend gorgeously. I have frequently thought that colors would be completely disparate only to find out it blends so beautifully and looks like one skein. I looked at these two skeins and saw similarities in the vibrant pinks and the blues, but that’s pretty much where the comparison stopped. I kept knitting on though, and pulling the strands up along the side where the increases sat made things nice and smooth on the edging.

Rios 2The original pattern calls for a skein of Woolmeise, a fingering weight, but I thought I’d give it a shot knowing my shawl would basically be the same length, if lesser on the teeth. I got 36 teeth with 440 yards of Malabrigo and just barely won the yarn chicken. Ends need to be woven in and the shawl needs a good blocking but it’s beautiful and I can’t wait for the weather to get cool again.

Next up: Gramps Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

I love teaching these versatile classes: Students will be able to pick a size between newborn to 4XL (I call this size redwood tree). For the sample, I chose to knit a 2-4 and I picked a gorgeous combination of lime green and charcoal grey from Rowan’s Purewool Worsted Superwash line.

Photo Aug 03, 2 36 12 PM

I wanted something bright and cheerful but also fit for a boy: I see a ton of sweaters that are adorable for little girls but I love knitting for little boys. I cast on this project a few days ago while the Husband and I were re-watching Kingsmen: an amazing movie I highly recommend (not family friendly, though)! Samuel L. Jackson with a lisp is hilarious. I kept knitting through the next movie and, by the time the night was over, I had increased all the stitches for the raglan and I was finally to the underarms. I took a couple days off from knitting it so I could finish the Hitchhiker, so now I’m back to it with a fervor. I love little man cardigans so they look like grandpas or they look like they have little smoking jackets on. Husband calls them “Baby Hef” jackets.

Next: Follow Your Arrow KAL Shawl by Ysolda Teague

I don’t have many pictures of this at all because I messed up and had to rip back so Its kind of on time out for the time being. This sample is already made for the store so I was able to make it out of whatever yarn I wanted, but I just wanted to make sure I had an idea of what I was teaching the students. This shawl is a really cool option for someone who wants an extremely individual shawl from everyone else since there’s 32 different options for your shawl to look like. I started with clue 1B and went on to 2B. I started on 3B only to find out that my stitch counts were off, which is such a bummer and I had to rip out the short rows so things would match up again. grr. I started this shawl on the 4th of July while we were at the parade and I decided to take a cute photo before we left for the day.

Follow 1The yarn I’m using is Shelridge Farms Soft Touch heather fingering weight. I have a 3+ pound cone of this sand colorway. This is the same yarn I used for my Bridesmaids shawls and I’m currently working on a Flax Light from Tin Can Knits out of that same blue. I’m mildly obsessed with this yarn- if only it weren’t so expensive to get from Canada. Worth it, though. I tell ya.

Finally: Critical Sheep samples! 

I haven’t really talked too much about the work I’ve been doing with Critical Sheep but I’m going to be a vendor for Maker Faire Milwaukee this year in just a mere 2 months! In preparation, I have dyed almost 45 skeins and I have been knitting away on samples; most notably, I’ve finished three little samples: two hats and a crochet swatch.

From Left to Right: Bloodraven, Phantasm and Flutter. The hats can be made with just one skein of D4 Fingering and the little swatch used a mere schnibble of yarn.

I love writing out my final projects: It really puts into perspective all that I’ve done over the last months. Here’s hoping for even more productivity this month! And hopefully some more writing mojo!