Category Archives: health

Staycation days 2/3

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Day 2 involved some housework, because I like to feel I’ve done something domestic before settling down to crafty pursuits.

Once the vacuuming was done and the bathrooms cleaned, I went back to the sashiko stitching. I spent so long on it while watching Netflix that my right hand ached later in the day.

Tuesday evening we had a yoga class so that was the exercise of the day.

Day 3 started out with a 9am Bosu Blast class. Eek, it was a challenge for this lazy girl. I sweated a lot! We did burpees, planks, dumbbell work and more on a timer and I couldn’t keep up with it all but I did my best.

After that, I went and bought food to stock up the fridge and popped into the dreaded Wal-mart for a nose around. The staff were restocking the yarn department and it actually looks better than it has in ages. I didn’t buy yarn but I did get a few T shirts for work/the gym.

After dinner, I met a friend at the beach. It was a cooler day, with a maximum of 29, and by 7pm it was 25. With the wind coming off the lake it actually felt cool (for the first time in a month) and I spent some time adding to my sashiko pieces.

There weren’t many people about but we did share the beach with about 50 Canada geese.

It was such a relief to have have a cool evening. I even pulled out a knitted wrap to keep comfortable while I continued to read my massive library book before bed.

Today the plan is to decide on a crochet or knitting project for the Ravellenic Games (Ravelry’s equivalent to the Olympics) because it starts tomorrow. And I should be able to finish the sashiko stitching so that I can move on to making something out of it. I also have a small additional sewing project in mind. I’ll update you again tomorrow.

Staycation!

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Before inventory at work, I booked a week off. I knew it’d be something to look forward to, after the extra shifts and overtime, and now I’m appreciating my good planning.

Day 1: I looked at the week ahead and booked myself into some gym classes. Monday, I just did a regular self-directed workout, with some treadmill time and some weights machines.

I did laundry, cleaned up the kitchen and mopped the floor, and then treated myself to a few blissful hours in my sewing room.

This is another boro/sashiko project, probably a bag, but this time I’m covering the whole surface with stitching. I’m not rushing it, just stitching away while playing YouTube videos or Netflix, and it’s very relaxing.

The weather has been in the 30s every day, and even in the basement it’s been uncomfortably warm. Add to that the hot flashes that I’m getting every day now and sometimes I’m mopping my face as my glasses slide down my nose.

I’ve been reading a series of novels by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling) which are detective novels. I read the fourth one in the series first, because I picked it up at the library not realising it was part of a series. And I only realised that J K Rowling was the author once I’d finished it. So I requested the rest of the books from the library and quickly devoured the first three.

The book above is the fifth one. Admittedly it’s a large print version, but still, it’s huge compared to the others. If you’re interested, the first book is called The Cuckoo’s Calling.

What do you think of this adorable pincushion? One of my co-workers left this week, and I gave her one of the bags I’ve made as a leaving gift. She gave me this with a lovely note.

I’ve been eating quite a few apricots this week. Our tree produced a fair few this year, and even though some fell on the ground before I could get to then and others were occupied by earwigs, I still got to enjoy those little packages of edible sunshine.

Our valley has been hit by smoke again this summer from the numerous wildfires around the province but I am grateful that we are only breathing smoke and not having to deal directly with fires in my neighbourhood.

Take care, everyone.

Nothing says spring like…

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…bunnies, lakeside walks in the sunshine and hot cross buns!

I made a fun gift for a co-worker. My Ravelry project page is here if you’d like to check out the details and pattern. It’s a cute pattern that I found on Ravelry, of course.

Earlier in the week I met a friend for a walk and tested out the photo capabilities of my new phone.

It was a beautiful day though the wind was really cold. Today I went for another walk and the temperature was in the double digits and I was warm in just a T shirt.

As Easter is imminent I just had to make some hot cross buns though mine don’t have crosses. I completely forgot to add them just before baking. It’s not the first time I’ve done that! Still, they taste wonderful. I used a vegan oil-free recipe from here.

I confess to having scoffed a couple when I returned from my walk and now I just feel sleepy, but I’m cooking dinner so I’m having to keep my wits about me!

I hope your week is going well. I’m working the next two days (yes, I work on Good Friday but at least I get stat pay) and then I have the weekend off.

Back from being pampered, and some FOs

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Well, what a week! Mr Fixit and I enjoyed a lovely break away from it all in rural British Columbia. We were served gourmet vegan meals three times a day, took twice-daily walks in the woods, had three spa treatments each (mine included a pedicure, a facial and an all-over seasalt scrub), sunbathed (because the weather was amazingly warm for the time of year, and windless), and took a complete break from social media. We even swam in the nearby lake, which was cold enough to make you gasp and even go a little numb when you submerged yourself.

No photos for you, I’m afraid, as I only switched on my phone or iPad to check for messages from the boys at home. But if you want to check out the place, go to silverhills.ca and you can see for yourself.

I took the Habitat Cardigan project with me (link goes to my Ravelry project page) and finished it partway through the week.

It’s soft and drapey in the Loops & Threads Serpentine/Meandering Minis. Perfect for this time of year.

The construction is easy – just a rectangle, to which you add an extension to make it cover your bum and then a collar and cuffs. Pattern is by Jess at Make & Do Crew.

With that finished, I picked up a skein of the other yarn I took with me on my retreat, Berroco Espresso, which is a chainette yarn in acrylic/cotton. I whipped out a quick basket with an 8mm hook in a couple of days.

I have a second skein of this yarn and am in the process of making a pumpkin with it. It should be finished quite soon.

I’m excited about my birthday present to myself. My birthday was back in August, but I waited until Labour Day as I thought that there would be no lake swimming after that (I was wrong)! Then I got the massive toothache and waited until I had that dealt with, and by the time those aches and pains had gone I was out of town. No more excuses left, I went to the piercing place today and now have a new titanium helix stud.

My plan is to wait for it to heal and then get a cuff to put in, in place of the stud. And buy three extra pairs of studs to go in the old piercings.

Gosh, look at all that natural grey/brown hair! For the first time in ages, I don’t have any colour in my hair.

The fall weather hit properly yesterday, with the temperature dropping below 20 and the rain starting. I do love this time of year, though I’m glad the rain held off until this week.

FOs: sewn and crocheted

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FOs: sewn and crocheted

G’day all! I hope I find you well.

My 4S program is really helping to keep me moving. The Strength part has been a circuit that I’ve set up downstairs, with some music, and various exercises with dumbbells and bands and things. The Stamina is mostly walking, with some gardening thrown in. The Stretch is yoga, and the weather has co-operated so that I could enjoy some Sunbathing, in my swimsuit no less!

Some days, I’ve managed three out of four, though my goal is two.

I just realised Sewing is another S that I enjoy, and I did finish a couple more things today. These shorts…

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…are not something that I would be seen dead in in public! However I had this remnant and thought I’d try the “make a pair of leggings from a pair you already own” as per the Crafty Gemini tutorial. I made them as shorts because (a) it was just an experiment and (b) I only had a small piece of fabric. I must say, I was surprised with how well they worked out. My new sewing machine has a bunch of stitch options and I used a couple of the stretch stitches to put these shorts together. If this fabric was a lot sturdier and held in the <ahem> wobbly bits a bit better they would work as swimshorts and I could make a bikini top to go with them.

At least my old fear of sewing knit fabric is waning!

An old interest has been sparked again recently. I pulled out my quilting books, some of which are full of templates for foundation piecing. What this involves is tracing the outlines onto a sheer fabric, interfacing or tracing paper, or you can photocopy them from the book and use that instead. Then you place small pieces of fabric behind the paper outlines and sew them together, through the paper, in the order of the numbers on the paper. The paper is torn off at the end.

I thought I’d have a play with this rat block, to which I added fabric top and bottom and then turned it into a zippered pouch.

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This is a pretty sloppy effort! I’m not proud of it. The zipper seams are not perfect, the quilting lines didn’t stay in the ditch, and the part on the top of the head where it meets the ear doesn’t match up. I could blame getting used to the new sewing machine but I should probably just suck it up and take responsibility!

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I am happier with this result – the Loops & Threads Barcelona cowl/snood. The colourway is Lapis. It’s very muted but I do like the variations. The circumference is 29″ and the length top to bottom is 21″, which is long enough to be able to wear it as a hood.

And my other crochet FO:

Four little nesting pots or bowls, for which I have no plans at the moment. They could be used as mini yarn bowls, plant pot covers or just catch-alls for random bits and pieces. These used up some of my miscellaneous DK yarn that I’d wound into cakes using odds and ends of different colours. By using two cakes at a time and holding two strands together, the colours seem to work! And I like leaving the ends hanging, trimmed to a uniform length, for added quirkiness.

Well, I think that’s us up to date. I need to get a daylight photo of my knitted blanket to show the progress. Tomorrow, if I remember. Take care!

 

 

Tuesday Tea

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I don’t often make it to my favourite tea shop on a weekday. Usually I’ll go on the weekend with Tai Chi Man, when I’m not working. But today I did, and I enjoyed this lovely green Raspberry Matcha Latte which just happens to coordinate beautifully with my Espe (vegan leather) wallet.

It was a day off for me, and I was awake early, even without the alarm. So I was out walking after breakfast around my neighbourhood. These pics are from a few days ago but the weather was the same – cool and sunny.

After lunch I was feeling antsy and ready¬† for another walk. Very unlike me! I didn’t want to go to the gym today because my shoulder has been more sore than usual, plus I have yoga tonight. So I went to a local mountain which gives one a good workout on the steep trails and walked up for about 25 minutes, and then down again, so that made two walks of around 40 – 45 minutes today. Then I met Tai Chi Man for tea. And of course I had my crochet blanket with me.

It really is so lovely to have crisp sunny fall days. We had a heavy frost this morning, but even so it wasn’t that cold when walking, because you make your own warmth.

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This cheerful little snowperson is a side project (because when I am stuck in large projects I have to have little distractions) which I am going to take to work to keep on display for a while. I found the perfect little stick arms while out walking. I probably should have made the rainbow scarf longer but it was fiddly and I’m not making another one.

The thing with working in retail is that you can’t avoid all the “holidays” and any reason for having a “sale” – I changed out the front table on Friday for a Christmassy look. Of course, here in Canada we already had our Thanksgiving in October, and Halloween is now past, so it’s all systems go for Christmas!!!

WIP Wednesday

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WIP Wednesday

Hi peeps, how’s it going? Time for another WIP Wednesday. Seems like no time at all since last Wednesday, and it feels like I haven’t made a whole lot of progress.

The Party Cardi hasn’t been touched so I won’t bother with another photo of that. However I’ve started my Moe of Change…

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This is going to be a pretty blanket. It will be baby blanket size as it only uses two cakes of Lion Brand Mandala but it’s good to have at least one project where I have to concentrate on stitches and counting.

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The granny blanket with the Red Heart With Love has grown quite well though the colours are going to be a bit predictable from now on. The centre used up small balls of leftovers and now I’m on to the big balls, of which I have only a limited number. The plan is to repeat the white/black rows after each set of colours, and I hope it’s going to look ok with the different colours in the middle.

The knitted blanket has grown a tiny bit. I have added a few rows but they are so long that it’s going to be a slow project.

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That cake is one I wound up with my ball-winder when I first bought it and wanted to wind every scrap into a cake!

I also have a Finished Object – a very small one!

I needed ears for my Hello Kitty outfit for Halloween and found this hairband at the dollar store. It’s perfect because I crocheted the ears and slipped them over the plastic ear-shaped bits on top, sewed them on, and they won’t flop.

So I’ve been a good girl this week and got back to the gym. I had two weeks of holiday followed by two weeks of sloth (except for one yoga class). On Sunday, Tai Chi Man and I went to the gym in the morning and I did a 40 minute workout (20 mins treadmill, 20 mins weights machine circuit) to get me back into things. On Monday, I was back for 30 mins of treadmill plus a 30 minute upper body workout. And Tuesday, we had a challenging yoga class with lots of downward facing dogs and OMG my shoulders today are SO painful. But it’s a good kind of pain, I suppose, because it means I did some work! Couldn’t face another workout tonight after work, but I shall see what I can fit in tomorrow around my social commitments. Maybe a ‘leg day’ in the afternoon so that the shoulders get a break.

I have Maui in December to keep me motivated!

Blanket WIPs

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Two, yes, two blankets are under construction!

Part 5 of the Scrapsrific Rainbow Blanket CAL is now complete, and Part 6 came out today. Here are my rectangles and blocks (the 3″ squares joined into fours) for Part 5.

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I foresee some fudging in my future, because the rectangles are 18 x 6 inches and are supposed to start with 84 chains. However my first one was 4 inches too long, so I reduced the chain by 16, and now the size is perfect. Surprisingly my row gauge was spot on. So whilst the size is right, the stitch count is off.

I decided to mix up my small squares a bit when joining them into larger blocks. So that’s done, and now I need to get on with Part 6.

My other active WIP is a new one, just started a couple of days ago. I love the Daisy Charity Square (available for purchase – see this Ravelry link) so much, since I incorporated it into my Groovyghan last year, and have been thinking of making a blanket with just daisy squares. It is now a reality.¬† I’m using Red Heart With Love in various colours, along with a 6mm hook, and the squares are coming out around 8.5″. I have three finished so far.

I’m using three colours per square, repeating the centre colour for the border. These are really thick squares, as the colours travel behind each other for the flower petals. And it’s a little tricky too. The pattern is VERY wordy, and even though I’ve made some of these before, I still messed up and had to frog more than once. I definitely recommend the accompanying video. I will see how far my yarn lasts – there are no definite plans for a finished size.

We won’t talk about the socks, once again languishing in their project bag. The ones I recently finished have been worn, but it made me realise I did make them too big. Maybe it’s the yarn that is missing some spring and stretch, because my gauge was right. So I may frog and restart the new pair with even fewer stitches.

It’s been an active week for me, with an hour and a half elliptical/weights workout on Monday, a treadmill/weights workout on Tuesday, yoga Tuesday evening, work on Wednesday, and 45 minutes on the stationary bike tonight. Work tomorrow, but I shall plan to do the gym Saturday and Sunday too. I am mixing things up because I still have to be careful not to overstress my right wrist/forearm, even though it’s been 15 months since the fracture and surgery. I like to focus on upper body/lower body on separate days if I don’t have a rest day in between.

I’ve been a member of the gym for about a year and a half now and I’m noticing the difference in my muscles. I sometimes get annoyed that I had that setback last year with the broken wrist, and the limitations that it places on me now, but it’s better to focus on what I CAN do, rather than what I can’t.

How do you keep active/fit/healthy? Let me know in the comments.

 

International Crochet Month

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International Crochet Month

There is a party going on in Ravelry. It’s in a group called, most appropriately, Party! International Crochet Month, and you can find the group here.

There is lots going on, with games and challenges and stuff, and I am participating in a few of the threads in the group. There’s a word game, a pattern finding game, a scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt gives you points for completing different challenges. The Everyday WIP challenge gets you working on a current project, which has been a boon to me because I pledged to knit at least one garter stripe on my Wayfarer Wrap every day, before allowing myself to knit or crochet on anything else. And there is an Inner Beast crochet-along (my Rav pattern page here with link to pattern) which is a fun toy where you deliberately make him/her as wild and shaggy as you like, with multiple colours, ends sticking out, wonky eyes, horns and funny feet.

The result of all this motivation is this…

My wrap has grown by a few inches in just a few days.

All those tails along the long edge have been overhand-knotted in bundles of ten.

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And the grannies have been seamed in two strips, with one being sewn to the cast on end. I still have to knit a few more inches on the other end. I will also be trimming the fringe to make it look a bit tidier.

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And this is the result of the Inner-Beast-a-thon. The idea is that you make a magic ball with lots of short pieces of yarn, and carry it along with another yarn. I used a multicoloured cake that I had wound up from scraps some time ago, and wound up a second cake with other teeny balls of DK. As you reach a knot, you just let the tails hang; the more texture the better. The sections of colour were a bit long really. I don’t have that many bits sticking out. But the fun part was not being too picky when sewing on the head and arms and horns, because wonky is good, and the tails from the seaming were brought to the outside to add more interest. The eyes are just two mismatched buttons, and what a great way to use those up!

I can definitely see myself making another of these. They are quick and ultimately customisable.

I am on the last day of a stretch of five days off, because that’s just the way my shift scheduling worked, which has given me lots of time to knit, crochet, have a potluck with friends on Saturday night, and cook decent dinners.

My series of five acupuncture appointments are now done. Yesterday’s was the most uncomfortable of the lot, with many of the needles hurting going in and coming out, but also causing some aching in my legs while I lay there on the massage table in the darkened room. It’s very relaxing though, as it forces you to just be alone with your thoughts without distractions, and by the time the acupuncturist returns to remove the needles I am thoroughly chilled out.

So that is what my crafting looks like for this week, and I am definitely motivated to finish this knitted wrap this month. I started it in November, I think. A little competition, with myself or others, tends to spur me into action, and I want to (a) wear it, and (b) log the yarn I have used as an OUT for stash for March, which will look great on the Bash your Stash thread in the British Banter group. Whilst I am not on a yarn diet, I do have a goal of “more out than in” – so far, so good.

 

WIP and health update

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WIP and health update

Hey everybody, how’s it going? I’m enjoying a day off with very few commitments. I’ve been to the gym, put on some laundry, loaded the dishwasher. Not very onerous.

I have been having some heel pain lately. I will be sitting on the couch, get up, and get a nasty pain in the bottom of my right heel making me limp to the kitchen or wherever. Now, I know that Googling one’s symptoms often results in a lot of false hits, but this time I think I found the cause. It fits with plantar fasciitis. I assume it’s caused by my longer times on the gym treadmill including the running segments in addition to walking. Of course, I am also on my feet all day at work, on a concrete floor.

Apparently the best treatment for this is a combination of stretching, arch-supporting footwear and ice. I bought some insoles yesterday especially for this condition, and have taken to wearing my indoor gym shoes in the house as well. Friends say I should keep shoes on any time I am not in bed! Felt kind of odd at first, but now I’m finding it very comfortable.

Last night, Tai Chi Man and I went to the gym and I just did weights, but I went again this morning for some cardio and decided on the low-impact option – a stationary bike which is a recumbent style and has a very comfortable seat, unlike the ones with a standard saddle.

Onto yarny matters, my Wayfarer Wrap is growing at last. Picking it up when I watch Netflix certainly helps, and it is now 33″ long. “Only” 17″ to go.

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The billion ends along the edge are being left as a fringe, perhaps in bundles tied with overhand knots. I haven’t finalised that part of it yet.

Yesterday I met a friend for tea in the morning, then hit Costco for a bunch of food. I had plenty of time before I had to be back at home so I stopped in at my favourite tea shop on the way home for another cuppa and some crochet time. I like to make sure I have something portable with me when I go out. You never know when you might need some emergency crochet!

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This is what I worked on while I was there. I added a little last night. I think it’s deep enough, but I’d like to add some sort of edging. This is a moebius cowl similar to one I made last year, where I start with a row of foundation stitches rather than chains (I used half double crochet this time), give it a half twist, then join and start working in the round. You end up with a true moebius which makes for a really comfortable cowl as the place where it twists is lower and fits perfectly under your chin.

It is also using up some stash yarn that’s been hanging around for some time.

After my last post in which I showed you more hats, I had quite the stack, so I filled a bag with about a dozen beanies and took it to the local Food Bank. Hopefully they will give them out to whomever wants them and someone will be warmer as a result.

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Finally, I found some lovely soft flannelette at work that’s a bamboo/cotton blend. It has a fun tea/coffee cup print so I bought some. I figured I could make something nice for the tea shop owner as well as for myself.

And with that, it’s time to say Goodbye for now. Hope you have a great weekend.