Tag Archives: knitting

Time to refocus

1 Jan

Happy new year!

Here we are again. As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of resolutions. But I know I’m not perfect, by any means, unlike Calvin:

calvin-and-hobbes-new-year

(I love that cartoon.)

So looking back at what I wanted to focus on in 2013 and setting the focus for 2014…

Physical health
I did get back to the gym on a regular basis. I certainly ran more. But then I broke my foot. I was in such great shape prior to that, and it’s been hard to get back into a regular routine with any sort of endurance. But this week has been good. So for 2014 I’ll keep working on going to the gym regularly, building endurance, and running more.

Food
My eating didn’t change much this year, although I somehow got a little sugar addiction lately. Boo on holiday food. So let’s refocus on that for 2014: more veggies!

Writing
My writing was definitely done in waves. I had stretches of lots of blog posts, and then nothing. (See: lack of posts in December.) So there’s the focus for 2014: more consistent blogging.

Dancing
Breaking my foot really made me appreciate dancing. Prior to that, I was going to more groups and practicing on my own. After I broke my foot, I practiced a lot because I was working on checking out. But since then, I’ve struggled to get into a routine. So after the holidays, it’s more group classes, more practicing on my own, and still appreciating it.

Creative hobbies
I stopped baking for a while in the last few months for various reason. I packed my grandma’s recipes, so I can’t go through those until after July. But I’ve baked more this week and will continue to do so. I did learn to crochet but didn’t practice, so now I need a refresher. I certainly knitted more this year and will continue to do so for 2014!

Relationships
No movement there. Meaning no action taken on my part to have anything happen. Stupid Mr Big still in my brain. But steps have been taken this week…more on that soon.

Money
I’ve made some progress towards my financial goals, although Christmas was not planned for as well as it should have been. Oops. So I’m going to take the first six months of 2014 and refocus on money.

Mental health
This year, I realized that my issues are like a chronic condition. I will always have them; I can only cope with the flare-ups. And I’ve done a better job of that lately. This will always be a focus for me though.

At the end of the day, I still strive for this:

peace

And hope to remember this:

light of your being

I hope 2014 is everything you want it to be. Happy new year!

Weekly roundup

28 Oct

Last week, I…

*Blogged more than once! Woo hoo!

*Celebrated my dance anniversary. Four years! And what a great four years.

*Had an amazing chai cinnamon roll with coffee while catching up with my cousin at a great new coffee shop.

mmm cinnamon rolls

*Bought a very big bag of cough drops because of my bronchitis WHICH I STILL HAVE.

big-ass bag of cough drops

It’s getting better though.

*Told you about the way I listen to music and the podcasts I listen to.

*Got the lamest fortune cookie. It’s not a fortune cookie, it’s a cliché statement cookie.

fortune cookie

*Had four dance lessons! In one week! It was great – too bad I can’t do that every week. But at least I can do one a week at a minimum.

*Ate dinner with MK, which hadn’t happened in far too long.

*Finished knitting another hat for a friend of mine. Then I went through all my leftover yarn. The yarn bins are bursting – so new rule: all new projects must use yarn I already have.

(And happy birthday today to my dad!)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

29 Sep

When I went to log in to my blog site just now, first the bookmark wouldn’t work. Then it made me reenter my ID and password. Yes, WordPress, I get it…it’s been a while since I’ve been here.

Like I’ve mentioned before, it’s been a rough patch. And I was frustrated by having another emotional rough patch. But my therapist reframed all that in a very helpful way. I will never be the person who doesn’t have these issues; it’s part of my genetic makeup. (That wasn’t the helpful part.) But if I look at it as a chronic condition, these episodes are just flare-ups. And I can learn to cope and mitigate a flare-up. (That was the helpful part.) So it gives me permission to not try to “cure” myself, which leads to extreme disappointment and frustration when the next episode pops up. Instead, I can simply realize that it’s just a flare-up and deal accordingly.

But I’ve missed writing!! So I’m glad to be motivated to do it again. I’ve been generating a list of ideas for posts that are not (for once) about my trials and tribulations. I KNOW, RIGHT? I appreciate you all letting me go there when I need to. Lately I think I’ve been stuck there, so I’m going to not go there as often.

I totally just jinxed myself, didn’t I? Sorry, fate, I didn’t mean it!

On the plus side…

I finished a baby blanket and hat for a friend of  mine who had a baby last week. Once again, I cut it close to the due date, but they got the gift before the baby was born!

baby-blanket
The colors aren’t right in the photo but you get the idea.

Oh, and I checked out of my level for dance! Bronze III is done. Woo hoo! Time for Bronze IV – bring it!

Weekly roundup: staycation edition

19 Aug

Last week, I had a staycation. I took the week off from BOTH jobs – haven’t done that in the four years I’ve been working two jobs. My goal was to not be a sloth and just sit on the couch all day every day. I wanted to be deliberate in what I did each day. I also wanted to try to break my TV habit.

I set out a plan of things I would do every day: Run, yoga, read, knit, and dance practice. Then I figured out the other things I wanted to do. Because I’m nerdy, I made a list.

staycation-list

So what did I do?

*I ran four out of five days. Including my first two-mile run without walking since I broke my foot!

*I did yoga four out of five days.

*I read. A lot. All I have left on my reading to-do list is finish “A Passage to India” and reread “Anna Karenina”.

*I purged. Took a bag of books and bag of CDs and DVDs to Half Price Books and made $30 on it all!

*I packed. My parents and nephew came over on Wednesday morning and helped. My mom packed my kitchen, because she ROCKS at that. My nephew (with some help from my dad) hauled everything out of the basement for me. I was afraid to do that because hauling my bike out of the basement is how I broke my foot.

half-packed

*I finished packing everything I own except my clothes, my bathroom stuff, and my furniture. This is everything:

all-packed

I’m trying to decide if that’s still a lot of crap or if it’s a minimal amount of stuff to own.

*I practice my school figures for dance. A LOT. Sometimes I went to the studio, sometimes I did them at home. But I practiced. Four dances down, six to go! (Six? Seven? I can’t remember. That’s my teacher’s job.)

*I listened to podcasts. I was so far behind on mine. I added it up (again, because I’m a nerd), and it was about 20 hours of podcasts. I still have 3 hours left. But I used the podcasts instead of the TV all week – yay!

*I caught up on Game of Thrones. I had watched season one on Netflix. A very kind friend gave me her HBO log on so I could watch the rest. And I did. OK, so I did watch some TV.

*I knitted. Again, I’m up against a deadline, so I’m frantically trying to finish this. I’ll show you it when it’s done. But I made great progress on it!

*I did some strength training on two days.

*I biked. Twice for fun, but four or five times as a mode of transportation around the neighborhood. I biked to meet friends, I biked to the studio, I biked to the co-op.

*I had breakfast with LS, lunch with NA, dinner with MK.

*I purge my closet and took a garbage bag full clothes and shoes to Goodwill.

*I refinished some toddler chairs I had.

refinished-chairs

*I did NOT look at my work email. Not once. I kept the notifications on, so I could see if anything came through that needed my attention. But nothing looked like it did, so I didn’t open it ONCE. Proof:

emails

Yep, 88 unread messages. Sweet. Only about 30 of those are ones I had to deal with when I got back today. Thank you, awesome boss man, for dealing with the rest! I know it’ll be payback when he’s gone for two weeks next month.

*I lost three pounds!

*I got a cold. After all that, a summer cold showed up Wednesday night. Luckily it’s a minor one, so I feel OK. Just a little coughy.

All in all, it was a great week. I feel refreshed and rested and ready to resume my crazy schedule!

Weekly roundup

2 Apr

In the last two (sheesh, I’m behind) weeks, I…

*FINALLY shared some of the amazing recipes I’ve made lately, including a super one for homemade peanut cups.

IMG_0675

My friend LG read about them and tried them the very next day and loved them.

*Had a book club meeting where we finished “The Count of Monte Cristo”. It was a loonnnnggg book, and I had the abridged version (by mistake.) I’d like to go back and read the full version someday because I do feel like I missed some details. Someday.

*Went for coffee with my niece LB who was home from college for spring break. So fun to see her!

*Enjoyed a very lovely day off, including a long run outside. Well, long for me…about 2 miles. Slow (about 10:45 per mile), but still, I ran them all!

*Was all fancy and had dinner with my friend SH at a private club in St Paul. So posh.

*Saw the hand surgeon about my wrist. Surgery is scheduled for the end of May.

*Had dinner with my friend SP. And we tried a fantastic place for dessert. SO GOOD. And I could feel the diabetes setting in just walking in the door.

*Practiced at the studio. I do dance homework at home, but some things you just need the studio space for. But I hate practicing at the studio. Which is silly and ridiculous but true. My friend SH feels the exact same way, except I don’t think she practices at home. So we made a pact to meet at the studio once a week to practice. We did it last week for the first time, and it was great. Like having a workout buddy but with dance.

*Caught up with the fabulous KB over coffee. Alas, it was way too short – we didn’t cover everything!

*Took a knitting class with DF. It was great because she had never knit, and I learned some basic things (cough cough cast-on) that I never really learned properly.

*Had Easter dinner with the family.

Crafting for Christmas

24 Jan

Well, look at that. I never told you all about the crafting I did for Christmas. Meaning the stuff I made to give as presents, not stuff I did for decorations in a Martha Stewart way. Because we all know that’s not me.

Because I knew I was making things for presents, I started early. Like July early. And even then, it was a bit of a scramble to get it all done in time to give as presents. Maybe I was a bit ambitious. Maybe I was just slow. Who knows. And really who cares…it got done!

Remember those friends of mine who had a baby? Well, I decided to make a little sweater for said baby. I have an awesome knit-down, no-finishing pattern that’s super easy. And it looks adorable.

baby sweater

It’s really a purple color with grey trim. For some reason, the colors on my iPhone get screwed up. I should really look into that…anyway, I was happy with how it turned out. I think the parents of said baby were too.

Next up…a scarf for a friend of mine. Most patterns are kinda girly and this was for a guy. So I went to my local yarn store and asked them. They had a great pattern (I think they called it a “rugby scarf” but I call it a “manly scarf”. Tomato, tomahto.) Got the pattern, got the yarn, and started knitting. And knitting. And knitting some more. AND KNITTING. I forget how long scarves are, especially when the recipient is over six feet tall.

manly-scarf

But it turned out and I’m happy. I didn’t quite block it enough; the edges curl a bit. But meh, close enough, it was fine.

Scarves for the ladies! I found a great cowl pattern on Ravelry upon recommendation of the fine sales people at the yarn store. And it was free – even better! I got some great wool blend yarn that’s quite soft. That pattern was just K1 P1 in the round, so it went fast.

finished-cowl

I should do the pen in the photo for reference, like in science films. Anyway, I made three – gave two and kept one for myself. But I’m not sure I’m stylish enough to know how to wear a giant cowl. Luckily my friend SP has one and will guide me.

Last up, for my dear friend and roommate SR, hot cocoa mix! She LOVES her hot cocoa and who can blame her? Especially with the winter we’re having. I was a bit nervous about it, because she usually adds sugar to hot cocoa because it’s not sweet enough for her. But I found this recipe on Brown-Eyed Baker that I thought might just do it. And psst…it’s so easy! Sugar, chocolate, powdered milk in a food processor and blend. Done. While I was at it, I made some for other gifts too. One batch filled about 8 of these jars.

hot-cocoa-mix

And you know what? SR loves it and says it’s sweet enough. No need to add sugar. Yes! Success!!

2012 roundup

31 Dec

2012 was a good year for me.

*I moved out of my parents’ house and back to my beloved city.

*I went to my first Dance-O-Rama. It was a great experience, although difficult at the time, and I can’t wait until I can do another one.

*I had a rhythm dance dress made for me.

*When 2012 started, I was 3 weeks into a new job, which I really liked. And I still like it a lot, and I’m still learning a ton.

*I started knitting much more. And have made some nice things.

finished-cowl

baby-blanket

*I started running, and ran two 5Ks, including this one.

*I found an old cocktail book and have been making great old cocktails from it.

burkes-cocktail-guide

I did the same with some recipes from my grandmother my dad found.

*I made some crafty things, and they turned out OK.

jewelry-holders

wall-quotes

hair-dryer-storage

*My dancing has improved A LOT this year, especially in the last three months.

***
In terms of the goals I made at the beginning of the year:

*Better physical health? Yep. I lost more weight, getting within 10 pounds of my goal. (I have gained 5 in the last month, but we won’t talk about that yet.) I was eating a lot better (until the last month, but we’ll ignore that for now.)

*Better mental health and a most positive outlook? I think so. I’ve tried to be more positive and to not go thinky. A few people have commented that they’ve noticed a difference in my attitude.

*I went to a Dance-O-Rama, I’ve not been as thinky about dance, I’ve done more creative things like baking and knitting, and I’ve continued with my blogging.

***
Speaking of my blog, here are some interesting stats.

*In the past year, most of my views came from the US with England, Canada (Hi DG!), and Australia (Hi KP!) next.

*My most viewed post is one I did on Quicken vs Mint.com, followed by infusing vodka, and pear chocolate cake. Money, alcohol and food.

*The most common search term used that drives people to my blog is “mint.com vs quicken” (or some variation of that) followed by “pear chocolate cake”, and “handle of Svedka”. Money, food, and alcohol. Sense a pattern yet?

***
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you what my goals for 2013 are. Til then, be safe tonight!

Leftover yarn project

30 Dec

Last weekend, I was out of knitting projects. I had finished all the ones I made as Christmas presents – I’ll show you those soon. But I had nothing to knit. And I have found that I really need to be knitting when I’m watching TV or sitting around – otherwise I get antsy and my hands have nervous energy.

So I started digging around my yarn stash, which doesn’t have a lot of great yarn. I have a little bit of a bunch of nice yarn, and whole skeins of some rather crappy yarn that I’m not even sure where I got it. But I had a little bit of two nice yarns that went well together and were the right weight, so I started a scarf. I”ll show you this when it’s done.

Turns out, I didn’t have enough yarn. I ordered more, but UPS hasn’t delivered it yet. According to the tracking, it’s in Minneapolis. I’ve been praying to the yarn gods that it gets delivered tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I am once again without a knitting project. So I dug out one of the not so nice yarns (it’s acrylic, people – acrylic) and started knitting fingerless gloves. I finished one today; I just need to block it. I’ll do the other one tomorrow and Tuesday.

And then probably give them to Goodwill, because I don’t think they’re great. It’s all in the yarn, I’ve learned.

not-great-yarn

Yes, the picture’s upside-down. Such is life. Deal with it – I did.

Feel free to pray to the yarn gods for me too. I really love the scarf I’m making, so I hope hope hope the yarn is delivered tomorrow.

Weekly roundup

3 Dec

Last week, I…

*Got back to doing yoga in the mornings. OK, so it was only 3 mornings. But still, that was more than the few weeks prior to that. And it felt good, so I’m going to try to do it more this week.

*Realized that for me, dancing is so much more than just dance.

*Started getting excited for the holiday season.

*Watched “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

it's-a-wonderful-life

And cried. Again. Don’t judge.

*Started working on a new header for my blog. Stay tuned!

*Got stood up by two friends on two days. Both for good reasons, but still. Oh well, at least it was a cheaper weekend as a result.

*Made an egg bake for dinners this week with an ingredient I haven’t used much before…chorizo!

egg-bake

It’s fantastic.

*Made great progress on knitting for Christmas presents. But I can’t show you those til after Christmas. Wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise!

*Finally saw the Gangnam style video. Yes, I’m way behind the times. Just call me old and out of touch, thanks.

*Made those chocolate-covered pretzels again. And haven’t eaten TOO many of them…yet.

*Read. I finished “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” for book club and “The Lost World” just because. Now I’m on to “Jane Eyre” and “The Alchemist”. I love reading.

*Went to my first dog agility trial. A friend of mine and his wife run their two dogs – miniature poodles – so cute! Their dogs are really good.

That’s a random shot of the course. Sorry, IPhones aren’t real great for taking action shots. Or close-up shots.

dog-agility2

The black blurry ball in front of the tunnel? That’s one of their dogs. It was a very interesting experience and tons of fun. Because at the end of the day, it’s still a dog event. And how can that be bad?

*Had two great dance lessons. Huge progress being made here, people!

*Received what might be the best text message ever.

If you don't watch TBBT, you don't get this.

If you don’t watch TBBT, you don’t get this.

Made me laugh out load and almost spit out my coffee. Thanks, AD!

Weekly roundup

29 Oct

Last week, I…

*Joined a church. And told my parents I was now going to an Episcopalian church, not a Catholic church.

*Pondered what a difference punctuation can make.

*Got my hair cut (overdue by about 2 months) and colored (on schedule) by my fabulous stylist.

*Made progress on the knitting projects I have to get done for Christmas.

*Had my dance anniversary!

*Caught up with my friend KC and heard about her new gentleman caller.

And ate good food.

*Was told that I was a well-rounded person which caught me off-guard.

*Made some apple strudel that did not turn out so well. Stupid phyllo dough.

*Took the week off from the gym to let my shins rest up. I tried to ramp up too much too soon.

*Took  a trip to the thinky place.

Yep. But then…

*Had two FANTASTIC dance lessons after leaving the thinky place. I’m getting set for Showcase!

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