Uncategorized

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:

d1280b7b-69f4-44c6-9873-bdfcac2f0c77

Or this one:

d1c12da2-2cca-4441-9905-c830b423a035

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.

img_8247

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?

Uncategorized

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…

img_8140

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!

img_8208

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.

img_7899

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.

 

 

 

 

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 · 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!

Uncategorized

Mondays are Terrible

I have the hardest time getting up in the morning. It’s always been like this- I’ve never had an easy time getting up at 7 a.m. with an alarm or…at all. 7 a.m. is just too damn early.

Today was a tough day to leave the house and go to work. It’s gorgeous outside; the sun was shining right away and there’s just the hint of a breeze to bring in a little bit of coolness to an otherwise warm apartment. The sun blazes in the afternoon and heats the apartment like an oven. Have I mentioned that I like it cold? The windows were all open and we put a fan in the window last night. Anything to get the blankets used. Husband thinks I’m weird, but I have to have a blanket on me, even if it’s just covering my butt and nothing else, I have to have something on me.

It’s been a long while since I posted last- I’m having a really rough time in my professional life and I feel very out of luck when it comes to finding a good job where the people I work with respect me and don’t treat me like crap. Now I’m about to rant. I won’t rant. I promise. Bottom line is I think, if things go the way I think they’re going to go, it might be time I step out of the professional world and go to work for myself. Lindee Brauer would be proud.

On the knitting front? Lots going on! I’ve been knitting samples for my classes at Cream City Yarn. I finished an entrelac wrap, which was such an undertaking and took me forever to finish. I powered through on a drive up to Minnesota for the Family Easter weekend, and managed to finish it a few weekends later when I spent 10 hours over two days knitting non-stop. I may or may not have had a cramp after that.

12826005_245432832456990_351579807_n_medium2

Three skeins Cascade Tangier, size 9 needles, lots of patience.

I’m also working on a Clockwork shawl by Stephen West for another class at Cream City Yarn. This one is fun- it’s a lot of stitches and a lot of paying attention to where I need to increase, but otherwise I picked really pretty colors and it’s lovely.

12445830_849773658481554_70958646_n_medium2

One skein each Tosh Sock in Big Sur and Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in the beige color way, name of which eludes me right now.

I’m still working on the Bifrost scarf. You’ll recognize this from my wedding photos as it’s the project I had going twenty minutes before tying the knot (six months ago)! I’m almost done with it and can’t wait to wear it soon! I’m planning on grafting it so it’s a cowl, not a scarf. Scarves never stay up for me so I’m going to have to bite the bullet. There are two mistakes in this scarf, but I really don’t care.

image_medium2

I’m working, very slowly, on a pair of Turkish Bedsocks out of my own D4 Fingering yarn. This is color way Tradewinds and it’s knitting up beautifully. I am only through half of one right now but I can’t wait to have them both finished!

image_medium21

What’s up with Critical Sheep? LOTS! I’ve been posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Ello (still not sure how I feel about this network) daily with funny quips and pictures of the yarn colors. I’m running out of funnies, but I can’t wait to sit down with a pen and paper and create many more! I’m also working on creating a kit out of D4 Fingering for a beautiful rainbow cowl. I’m brainstorming the pattern and need to get supplies ready before creating a test knit but that’ll be in the shop within the next two months. It’ll be a lot of winding of mini-skeins, now called Tribbles, but in the meantime you can still get skeins on my Etsy shop!

In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite posts for Monday. It sums up the feelings I have for the day pretty well.

image_medium23

Uncategorized

A Tale of Slippers

If you live in  Wisconsin or the midwest or anywhere with…weather, you’ll know just how cold it’s been lately. It’s so cold that your hands are always chilly, the hairs in your nose freeze from the moment you stand outside and hair has a special static going on with it.

My feet have been cold constantly since this snap occurred a couple weeks ago. They were especially cold the other day and I didn’t feel like knitting my sweater again. So I decided to look for clogs or slippers that were a.) Free or in my library and b.) cute and easy. I decided to give the French Press Slippers a try…again. I’ve made these three times now and have hated them every single time so I’m done with them.

Time 1: Finished them pretty quickly out of purple Cascade 220 and 220 Tweeds, sew them up and put them in the top-loading washing machine three times to felt them. Upon being fully felted, the slippers would have fit Sasquatch. They were thrown away immediately after many grumblings and Mom laughing in fits of hysterics over how large they were.

Time 2: I made lime green slippers thinking they would be so freaking adorable. I hand-felted them which was such a bad idea. After three hours of flapping the yarn around in the water, beating the crap out of it and finally wasting $3 to put it in the washer with a couple dirty towels, they didn’t look anything like slippers but more like open wine bottle cozies. They went in the garbage.

Time 3: I gambled again and started these slippers again with 2 strands instead of 3 and I did them exactly like the pattern called for. I seamed them up and put them in the washer for two full loads of wash, then threw them in the dryer until they were dry, got them wet and then put them through the dryer again. The felted bits were VERY felted, but there were pills EVERYWHERE and they fit me really loosely… They fit husband though… Because that’s just my luck. They went into a box and will go to my friend if she wants them but I won’t be heartbroken if it goes in the garbage.

So French Press Slippers: YOU WIN. I’m done ruining more yarn for you to just end up in the garbage. I am moving on. I’m breaking up with you and your stupid adorable face. I hate how cute you are in other people’s project pages; it’s like you’re mocking me in all your cuteness and it makes me feel inept and like a terrible knitter.

I’ve moved onto a cute pair of slippers that are a turkish bedsock style. I’m also making these out of handspun Ashland Bay Merino in a inky black with shocks of blue, red and purple, so I’m much happier now that I have a pair of slippers that will actually fit when I’m done knitting.

Uncategorized

Monday Madness

 

I made an amazing Buffalo Chicken casserole last week for dinner. The grocery store had no spaghetti squash so I picked up some flax angel hair pasta and they also didn’t have ground chicken (c’mon Sentry. get your shit together!) so we did ground turkey. It is so good I’m already anticipating the day when I can make it again…I think this picture makes it look horribly unappealing, but it was seriously one of the best things I’ve made in a long time.


I started the Flax Light last week night. it’s this awesome pattern by TinCanKnits and I’ve pulled out my Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Heather from the Bridesmaids shawls that I am deeply in love with. I’m also using the ChiaoGoo needles that Husband got me for Christmas. Can’t wait to get into the meat of this sweater. It’s my first fingering weight sweater so I hope it turns out really cozy and flattering on me.

I’ve been taken over by monogamous knitting now that I’m under the deadline to finish the baby stuff for my cousin’s shower this weekend. I’ve gotten one thing done and I’m close to finishing the first part of the second. I basically just have a lot of knitting to do and then it’ll be done. Hopefully in time. I may end up working on it on the way to the shower, as I do.

I am beyond tired today- I fell asleep on the floor of the living room last night. I was on the floor because my back really hurt and my sciatic nerve kept spasming, so I got into a really odd-looking position and cuddled up under a fleece blanket and crashed. Hard. Husband told me this morning that I fell asleep at about 9, he woke me up a couple times because I was snoring (in my infinite wisdom, sleep me decided it was a good idea to bury my face in the pillow) and then finally woke me up to go to bed. I slept straight through the night, other than to pry blankets out of my loving husband’s hands because he is a blanket thief. I then overslept and didn’t have any coffee before driving to work. Only one workout and a little bit of knitting with the gals and I’ll be going back home to a shower and more sleep. I slept for 10 hours last night and I don’t feel like it was enough. I could have totally kept going. Shows you just how tired I am lately.

I’m publishing this from my car, on my phone. Because I make it to the gym ridiculously early for the workout and I feel like a weirdo wandering around ‘warming up’ for an hour, which is really just me laying on the foam roller trying to get my back to release. Details.

So I suppose I should put an image in this post- you all like pictures, right? I guess you can see the ‘small and nondescript’ shots of the blankets I’m working on. The crocheting was super cute on the first one I finished and now I’m knitting like a madwoman on another.

  
That’s all for today. I really can’t wait to sleep tonight.