• All about hats!

    I am all about hats right now. Probably because my attention span is pretty weak these days and hats are perfect for it.

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    I just finished my new favourite hat. I bought a neon pink fun fur pom pom on our family trip to Minneapolis at StevenBe (which you should go to if you are ever there. So many pretty things! It’s my fav yarn store that is not mine) and needed a fuzzy grey hat to go with it. I had a ball of SUPER SOFT Rowan Angora Merino in a gorgeous kitten grey. But I wanted something that knit up faster. So Friday when I was at work, I grabbed a ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse for some extra sparkle and a ball of Rowan Pure Wool DK for a bit more body (because the pom pom is pretty heavy and I did not want it to overtake the hat!) and knit a hat holding all three together. It is so soft! And the fuzziness of the angora makes the sparkle a bit subtler. The greys match up pretty much perfect! I followed my fav basic slouchy rib hat pattern to make this. I cast on 70 stitches with a US7 needle, did some K1, P1 ribbing for an inch or so, then switched to a US 9 and continued the ribbing til it was as long as I wanted it to be (the decreases are fast, so getting a good height is important). Then I P3tog after 7 ribbed stitches for a round, then 5, then 3, then 1, then k2tog around. Hat! B is patiently modelling it for me.

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    I also finished this super cute fun cabley hat. SMC is doing this My Mountain thing with a bunch of fun yarns and patterns and we have them in store in spades. And I have been having fun making sample hats. This one might be my favourite and might have trouble making it to the store. I used Lova which as fun bright splashes all over. Now I am working on another My Mountain Hat, Kilimanjaro in grey with some BRIGHT green stripes. And a green giant pom pom. Ha. I

    7fc754c4375111e3b5fe22000aaa0750_7Tomorrow my new medication is in. Yikes. For the amount it costs, those syringes better have rhinestones on them is all I am saying. And today is Zumba! Cara and I are trying Zumba together at the community centre nearby. It’s pretty….. enthusiastic. Which, if you know me is a bit of a stretch. Last night I was telling Ryan that I needed a yoga studio where you listened to hardcore instead of hippy music and envisioned punching things as that would be relaxing. He said I should try MMA. Mayyybe when the old ladies at the Y are not out chest pressing me. I’m making a switch from lots of cardio over to mostly strength training and a bit of interval cardio. I find that I can’t do a lot running wise (and I HATE elliptical machines) before the nerves in my legs get all wobbly (which is the worst, because I just can’t do anything to stop it from happening except not running) from my core getting heated up (maybe 3-4m), but interval cardio works great (2m fast walk, 1m run as fast as I can, repeat a bunch). And strength training makes me feel so much better. I can walk better and my legs feel a lot less lead filled. I hurt a lot less to. I mean, I still hurt, but it’s mostly of my own cause (sore muscles) instead of the stupid hot dog on my spine which is a lot more posi. It’s all about the posi.

     

  • So now what?

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    So before I got sick…

    Sidebar – Which apparently isn’t totally accurate, the doctor said based on my history I’ve been dealing with MS for at least 5 years due to some specific nerve based pain I had to deal with then (trigeminal neuralgia). Which is actually super encouraging because between then and 3 months ago, my life was mostly normal.

    …I was working really hard at bettering myself physically (which also has mental effects, duh). I went over this before, but I was eating well, exercising and all that junk. Over the course of 8 months I lost 60 pounds through hard work, was able to run 5k and was working on strength training junk. I was focusing on mostly eating well and all that jazz. And then, as I mentioned, I couldn’t walk. And I was in the hospital for a few days. And slowly I’ve been getting back to normal. Unfortunately it’s all about waiting and seeing, which is not something I am good at. But I can walk and run a bit now. I do get tired really easily still and I can’t wear heavy shoes without getting totally tired of walking. My legs feel like lead if I don’t take it easy (which I suck at) but I am managing. It’s just still hard telling people when I need help. I look mostly fine now, but I am not there, and because of the nature of the MS related complications I am dealing with the complications are less visible. And the fatigue. Oh my gosh. It is horrible!!!! I trying to deal with it, but it is so hard. All of the physical difficulties I have are so much easier to deal with, but fatigue is impossible. No matter how much sleep I get and how easy I take it, it’s just there, sucking everything.

    So now what? I’ve slowly been getting back to the gym and eating properly, but without the structure I had before it was just not working. So this week I am getting back to it for reals. I’ve planned it so I get to the gym at least three times a week. And I’ve been working on Wii Fit balance stuff and making sure to get some sort of exercise every day. I use SparkPeople to track my food/exercise to make sure I am eating balanced meals (and getting enough calcium and not too much saturated fat as advised by the doc – I love that I can track specific things!) and keep track of how well I am exercising. I like that it’s super easy and all in one place. I am a numbers person – I need numbers in front of me to make things real. I can see how I am getting stronger and tougher by the amount of weights and reps I do and how much I walk and run. I kind of feel like maybe I should do a few sessions with a personal trainer just to help create a routine, unless anyone has any advice on that.

    So of course today, my first “real” day at the gym (I’ve been going on and off for the past few weeks, but not with any sort of plan or goal) I woke up sick. I spent most of the day on the couch feeling ugh. We even ordered pizza (garden veggie no cheese!). But I made myself go to the gym and actually had a WAY better workout than I thought. Yay! Because even if I had gone and crapped out, it would have still been better than not going at all. I feel like I am getting back on the pre-spine-hotdog-me track which feels sooo good. I can’t even explain how amazing it feels to run, even just for 5 minutes when I couldn’t walk 3 months ago. Seriously.

    And now I am going to spend the evening sitting and working on a sweater for me (Alderbrook in Malabrigo Mecha, OMG NICE!). And I just got a stack of awesome books from Interweave to review that I am going to talk about in coming days. While I am still all about knitting (I mean, hello, it’s my job!) this blog is also going to be about health stuff, which is a major part of my life now. And good food. Because good food is awesome.

  • Finishing Finishing

    1f5b908afeb411e2904b22000a1f8c1d_7Today I need to finish some things. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been tired/sick/not up to much so I finished the knitting part of these sweaters, but now they all need a million ends woven in and buttons and zippers and all that. So that is what today is for. It’s knit night down at Wolseley Wool tonight, so I think I will bring them along.

    I just finished the knitting on the sweater on the bottom last night. It’s a White Buffalo pattern-inspired sweater for Ryan. The other day I was working on a sweater in the store and an old man asked me what it would take for me to knit him a sweater. I replied that I’ve been married almost 9 years and I am just knitting my husband a sweater, so it would be a while to which he laughed. He’s been asking for a sweater like this and swayed by the Country Roving I gave in. I love this yarn! It’s so wooly with all the grass bits and the wooly smell. And it knits up so fast! I made up the pattern based on a bunch of old White Buffalo patterns I looked at. He liked this Granted sweater a lot, so I based it on that. It knits up really quick, but the intarsia in the middle was a pain! All that yarn!

    The green/yellow/pink/orange sweater is Chickadee by Ysolda. In the spring we had all those colours of Manos Silk Blend in a basket and I had to find a pattern where I could use them all together! It kind of reminds me of Fruit Loops. I love it. I made it a little shorter so it’s a good dress/skirt sweater with 3/4 sleeves. The edging is a little big, I am hoping I can block it out instead of taking it out and knitting all around the sweater again with a smaller needle. JUST TELL ME IT WILL BLOCK OUT!

    The blue/green striped sweater is Little Sperry. This sweater has some cute finishing details – the i-cord edge around the split hem is so nice. I am just dreading weaving in all those green stripe ends – it was just too long to carry them up. I used Berroco Weekend DK which was a great choice – the sweater is not too warm and has a nice crisp look. This sweater is for B who is off to kindergarten this fall. I want to knit him one more sweater – he wants a red cardigan. I was going to knit him a sweater vest, but he insists on a cardigan to go with all his shirts. I have some Sweet Georgia Worsted, I just need to pick up an extra skein. Finding a good boy cardigan that is not an old man shawl collared one is hard. I might just end up using a more feminine pattern and going by measurement and take out any really girly details if I have to like I did with Little Sperry.

     

  • Touring and Coloring

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    So the Tour de Fleece is over and I got a lot spun! 11 yarns done, ranging from sock to super bulky. My favourite one is the bottom leftmost skein. It’s two braids worth of SweetGeorgia Panda in Tumbled Stone spun thick and thin and then chain plied. It’s so soft and and has amazing rich colour for an oystery neutral – it’s going to make a great super bulky cowl or scarf. Or I can just squish it. I was originally going to try this technique with some rough white fiber I have around, but I am glad that I convinced myself to break out the good stuff for some luxe super bulky yarn. Now I need to get knitting!

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    I already started some socks with some of my handspun. It’s the superwash merino from Wound Up Fiber Arts. I am loving knitting these! They are in my bag for a good on-the-go project. I don’t usually knit socks, but handspun socks might be something I can get behind. I am an inch away from the heels now. I think I am going to do an afterthought heel on these with some stronger yarn just so that if it wears out I can just redo the heel. And so I have more yarn to make these socks as tall as possible.

    colorOn the weekend, B and I went to Color Me Rad. I had originally planned to be running, and a couple of months ago, I was so ready for it, but life got in the way. I was still registered though, but unable to run. Last week I did some trial walks to see if I could maybe walk 5k. It was rough as my muscles get crazy tense and my leg strength and balance is still pretty weaksauce, but I was able to at a comfortable and normal adult walking pace. So B and I got our shoes on Saturday morning and walked 5k. I felt crappy that I could not run it, but going with B made it so much fun! Every km or so there is a colour station where you get colour sprayed or thrown at you and he would get sooooooo excited when he saw them coming. It was also really nice to just spend that time hanging out with B one on one. He’s such a fun kid! And while all that walking made me super tired (which I feel like a giant baby wuss saying because I know that I am capable of more but it’s true) it’s really helped in getting better. I feel ready to start getting back to a more regular exercise routine and strength training and the like. I actually did a tiny bit of running this week (4 minutes according to my Nike+ watch) as part of a longer walk and it felt so good. I probably looked ridic because my knee doesn’t quite bend right but the more I do the easier it gets!

     

     

  • Sweet and Low

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    Last night I finished plying some yarn for the 12th day of Tour de Fleece. It’s spun from a braid of All Wound Up Fiber Arts superwash merino in Sweet and Low. I ended up with 398 yards of sock yarn that has so many colours mixing together I don’t think it can be anything other than socks. As I mentioned, to get all the colours all mixed up, I split the roving down the middle and then rolled them into two fluffy bundles so that each one would start from a different end of the roving. This way the colour sequence would not line up. If I had spun them from the same end, it would be a much more matchy ply and that was not what I wanted. And it worked.

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