Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Today is a blustery day. I like that word; blustery.

I seem to be full of some kind of vague Spring angst. I'm irritable and frustrated at stupid things. I can't seem to form coherent sentences.

Lately it feels like my Get Up And Go has gotten up and gone. There's a growing pile of MUST-BE-DONE-SOON things that doesn't ever seem to diminish. I know I'm going to regret this soon and I already regret the regret.

It's about as much fun writing all whiny like that as it is reading it. And everything else ends up sounding sickenly earnest or twee. So, I stick my tongue out at you. BLEH!


I like the letter G, we have a kind of sympatico. G is a little hard around the edges, a little teutonic. Gigantic, gargantuan, gorilla, gibbous, gestalt. Gesticulate! Ha, I guffaw at you! ha ha!

Spring and I, we really don't get along. Too much transitional, too many cute 'n' fuzzy bunnies? I don't know, but I am always impatient with Spring. However, I sure do enjoy all the little sprouting things. So my chosen G word? GREEN.

P.S. Booties are done. Pictures coming soon.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

F is for Fabric Depot

I'm a little sad (and envious) tonight, because earlier I took the Love Monkey to the airport to leave for a week-long business trip to London. Yes, that London. It's his first time, and unfortunately he'll be mostly tied up in meetings. I don't care if it's silly or clingy, I miss him when he's gone, even just for a few days.

I thought about F for Fat or Food or some other loaded topic, but frankly I'm tired of obsessing about those particularl things. Instead:

F is for Fabric Depot!

Fabric Depot is ENORMOUS fabric and craft store here in Portland. Behind that unassuming brown facade lies a wonderland of quilting cotton and sewing fabric. (the pictures are surreptitious so not all that great, sorry.)

I can't quite describe how marvelous this store is to non-quilters; but to give you knitters some analogy, Fabric Depot is like the sewer's version of WEBS. This picture is looking toward the several rows of batiked and hand-dyed cottons. What you can't see are the the aisles and aisles and aisles of printed cottons, and this is just looking to the left half of the store.

I have a serious addiction to the remnants section (60% original price) and I admit to getting repeatedly sucked into the bi-monthly 40%-off-all-fabric sales. Michelle and I hit "The Depot" this weekend; me in search of baby bootie buttons. I had mighty self control but still came home with about 8 packs of buttons.

What? I'll use them, I'm sure. 4 of them are already sewed onto baby booties.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Recently I got the uncontrollable urge to knit a toy; in particular, a toy rabbit

That looks like a rabbit, doesn't it? DOESN'T IT???

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

New Niece!

Thanks for all the comments about exercise. I should emphasize that I would NEVER, EVER have thought that I'd get to a point where I would like running for FUN. Not ever. A tiny corner of Hell must've frozen over.

I'm still catching up on answering you all, but I wanted to post this now: I'm an aunt again!

I like this aunt thing: all of the cute and none of the pain.

This makes us a triple-niece household. Here's baby girl and her sister (a few months shy of 2 years old)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

E is for Exercise

This is an unusual E, especially for me. This post in honor of my being able to go to the gym this weekend for the first time in a month. I have trouble expressing how wonderful it was to be able to move again. My back is healing, but I'm being very cautious. I never thought I would actually *miss* exercise, but there you go.

This is my exercise story.

I was your usual active little kid. I played soccer, basketball, softball; I swam during the summers at the neighborhood pool and biked around. I was even on the track team in Jr. High, and swam with a swim team.

But, I wasn't ever any good at it. I'm not all that coordinated and I don't have a lot of natural upper body strength. I wasn't able to do a pullup or a handstand or climb the rope in P.E. Having mostly typical physical education teachers, I pretty much learned:
a) the rudiments of American popular sports, and
b) to despise my body for being slow and weak.

I wasn't ever a pudgy kid, but I've never been skinny. When puberty arrived, the hormones hit my metabolism hard, and I've been overweight to obese ever since then. This made me even less likely to want to get into gym shorts and t-shirt. By high school I had pretty much stopped exercising altogether.

It was all just a huge source of embarrassment -- I was big, I was bad at sports, and I couldn't even run all the way around the stupid track. I associated physical activity with shame, and wished I could just make my body go away. I had to take PE classes in college, so I took badminton. At one point near the end of college I tried out the exercise thing again by taking an aerobics class. I couldn't do as much as the other people but I did lose a bunch of weight in that 2 months. I still got a C in the class, since they graded on attendance (A+!) plus how many pushups and situps you could do (F) (never mind that the aerobics class didn't actually DO any pushups, situps, or weight exercises at all. Still grumpy about that).

About 8 years ago, in my twenties, I saw a picture of myself and something inside snapped. I put myself on a diet: low fat, low sugar, low calories. I don't eat excessively, but I do have a sweet tooth. I dieted all the way through Fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and beyond. Yeah, no Christmas cookies, rolls, gravy, or candy canes that year. I dropped some weight, but then I hit a plateau. For months.

After weeks and weeks of no change, I finally sucked it up and walked into a gym.

I don't really know how to describe how much of a leap that was for me. I DESPISED exercise.
I specifically chose a gym that was immediately across the street from where I worked, so that I would have no excuses about it being too far away.

I had NO IDEA what I was doing. The nice man who was quite happy to sell me the gym membership recommended I work with a trainer. It was really the best thing I could have done. Maybe I just got lucky. She was great, fantastic; helpful without being accusatory. I told her I wanted to be healthy and weigh less, and I'd do whatever she instructed to get that way.

She showed me how to exercise. It sounds absurd but I just didn't know how to use my body. Instead of getting on a treadmill and running hard until I fell over (in about 2 minutes), she showed me how to start out jogging slowly, then walking after that got to be to much, then jogging again, all the time working to increase the running times. She showed me how to use the weight equipment and pay attention to what my muscles were doing. She designed all different kinds of exercise programs for me so I wouldn't get bored (well, too much. I have a short attention span).

And over the next 6 months, I actually got fit. I had muscles. The little flabby bits under my upper arms went away. I got so I could actually jog for 40 minutes WITHOUT STOPPING. I felt great. I was exercising 50 minutes a day, 6-7 times a week, and lifting weights 2-3 times a week. Oh my, was it a timesuck. I got down a size 12, the smallest I've been since before puberty. I learned how to enjoy my body and using it effectively.

Then the whole knee thing happened and physical therapy and blah blah blah. It involved some ripped up cartilage and some unfortunate genetic revelations. Since then I haven't been able to do all that I used to do. The weight has slowly crept back up again, since I've slacked off the weights. I sure do miss the running (although biking is almost as fun).

But the exercise, it is a good thing, truly. I really do feel better when I'm doing it regularly, as much as it often bores me. I never, ever, thought I would actually enjoy exercise. But now, it really just feels good to move. Just to walk the mile to work without pain is little miracle. Even during my careful, reduced-impact gym sessions, it felt like all my muscles were singing. It's wonderful to feel so much more at home in my own body. Not that we don't have our little differences, but we're kind of stuck with each other.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I never get anything done

I like to read blogs and all, but honestly? Not so much lately for people I don't know, because everyone seems to Get Stuff Done except for me. I just looked this one blog and she's got a pile of stuff in her "Finished for 2008!" list. I've got a pile of half, mostly, and nowhere-near finished stuff and I only seem to keep adding to it. It's not as if I am having a mad cast-on Spring fling, it just feels I unknit more than I knit these days. It's true I am often distracted by the Shiny and New, and also I have to have an easy travel knit ready at all times or I might die of boredom on the train, but that doesn't explain the enormity of this pile.

I can't get it together in other bits of my life either: do I have pictures to show you of all these supposed knitted things? No, I do not.

Darth Socks: reworking the toe for the 3rd time now.

Obsession Socks: ran out of yarn halfway through the second foot. Nowhere near the toe, so I can't just fake my way with some different-colored toes. Not enough yarn even if I pulled out the first sock's toe.

Clown Socks: waiting for measurements. Mostly done with first foot.

Lace stole: on hold since forever. Newer shinier things appeared.

Cardigan o' pinkness: got bored. Fearing it is too fugly.

Knittin' for the new niece: I did design and finish a hat. I have no idea whether it will fit a real baby. I can't find a grapefruit of the appropriate trial size. But the accompanying baby booties are stalled out at the straps because I can't figure out how to do them so they look the same. grrrr. About 4th or 5th reknit on these.

2 ideas for niece baby sweaters floating around my head that I want to cast on for RIGHT NOW: on hold 'til I get some measurements, since niece #1 was MONSTER BABY and fitting into size 1 clothes when she was 6 months.

Cassidy's handspun beanie: needs ripping out AGAIN because it's just a smidge too short. And it's got an unfortunate nipple top.

In the midst of all this, I think I want to make a toy rabbit, one that has a stranded colourwork dress. I have never worked stranded colourwork. I'll let you know how it goes.

First though, I've got to figure out something on those booties and get them out the door. SIL's due in a couple weeks so she could pop at any time.