Category Archives: waffling

Vegan Side Effects: Healthy Brain & Healthy Heart

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Thanks to Boats of Oats for a succinct but comprehensive post on the benefits of Veganism.

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Vegans are typically health-conscious individuals who, after cutting meat and dairy products from their diet, also choose to eliminate highly processed foods from their diets, even if those food products are vegan (like Spicy Sweet Doritos, for example).  The benefits of following a healthy vegan diet (it’s okay to cheat on your diet with vegan guilty pleasures every now and then) are many, but the most impactful benefits are the benefits to your heart and your brain.

Heart Benefits

  • At least 25% reduced risk of mortality from ischemic heart disease (Source)
  • TMAO, which increases the risk of heart disease, is lower in vegans/vegetarians than in meat eaters (Source)
  • Reduced risk of Left Ventricular Diastolic Dysfunction and Stage B Heart Failure Burden (Source)
  • Reversal of existing coronary artery disease (Source)

Brain Benefits

  • Reduced risk of Parkinson’s Disease (Source)
  • Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (Source

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Looking at the Menu

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A great post by Boats of Oats which I feel I must share!

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The world has changed a lot since 2011, a time when being vegan/vegetarian meant you were forced to stick to the appetizer and sides menus at restaurants. In 2017, nearly every restaurant I go to has at least one meatless entree item and choices that accommodate the dairy-free. When I went to this restaurant called Earls a few weeks ago, I ordered a vegan burger which prompted the manager to come by our table just to tell us that they offered a vegan alternate to every item on their menu (side note: Earls has the best vegan sushi rolls I’ve ever tasted, which the manager gave to us on the house).

If I’m out to dinner and there’s someone at the table I’ve never met, one of our mutual friends will undoubtedly make my diet a topic of conversation before the waiter comes by to take our order. It usually starts off…

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A new look

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In my last post, only published about half an hour ago, I mentioned that my blog needed a facelift. Well, I did it. But even though I was careful to choose a new template with a similar layout, and click Preview to check how it would look, when I went ahead and clicked Save on the new template it lost my old widgets. I found them in edit mode, now inactivated. WHY does it do that? Now if I want my old links in there I guess I’ll have to re-enter them all, one by one.

Oh well, a fresh new look for 2017, with a few widgets added back in and updated in the sidebar. But no links to my free patterns, recipes, other people’s blogs. Nada!

I do like a clean look though, and the header is pretty. Do you like it? Are you reading this in your email programme or do you click through to my blog? Either way, take a look and leave me a comment if you like.

 

 

Ta Dah!

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OK, I confess it doesn’t have buttons and it hasn’t yet been ‘blocked’ i.e. machine washed and dried, BUT it’s wearable AND I wore it last night to go out into the cold dark night! Well, it was just a visit to someone’s home – this coat wouldn’t hold up to any sort of windchill!!

 

It took about a week just to sew in the ends. Yes, next time I would do it as I went along.

The sleeves are only just wide enough, as I was wearing it over a sweater last night. I thought it would end up more roomy overall, but actually it fits just right.

Evening photos in artificial light…

 

And so another project is (almost) put to bed. I love finishing things!  How about you?

 

A distraction from the current WIP

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I think I’m safe to post this here as my Jersey (British Isles) family doesn’t read my blog (except maybe for my mum and she won’t tell).

I had a Michaels email yesterday – my usual routine when those arrive is to keep the most recent one, just in case I find myself in need of a coupon, but this time the info was somewhat more interesting. All yarn on sale? Hmmm, have to check it out.

When I arrived, the employees were frantically opening towers of cardboard boxes and stocking the shelves, and at first I thought I might get Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice because it was about half price. However they had no white, and I need white for the main colour of my next project.

I went off to Costco and when I came back there was still none, so I looked at the Loops & Threads Impeccable. A similar 100% worsted weight acrylic, not quite as soft as the Vanna’s, but less money and more yardage per ball. The colours are white, four shades of green, yellow, purple, orange, royal blue and cherry red. The purple looks blue in the photo for some reason. They are 4.5oz each, so bigger than the usual 3.5oz put-up.

That haul of 12 skeins cost me $30, which I think is a good deal as I will have enough to be able to make this blanket AND this cocoon/hat set (Ravelry links). I already bought the board book and I feel that this combination will make a nice newborn gift for the new parents. I will need to have it all finished by February to allow for snail mail, so no rush for the deadline.

The Coatigan continues – I think I have 31 squares made so far, so when I get to 36 I’ll take another photo. (Oooh, I just realised that 31 is halfway there.)

It’s been a gloriously sunny day here. After my piano lesson I met a friend for tea and we sat outside the coffee shop for an hour, enjoying the rays. Not bad for November, eh!

 

FO: Demelza

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TA DA!

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Yay! She’s done. Demelza is officially moved from the WIP category to the FO category.

(I actually have no Works in Progress now, but you know that won’t be the case for long.)

Even though we had heavy rain last night, we had a dry day with some sun and cloud and right now it’s absolutely beautiful outside. It’s so mild I was down to a T shirt when I went walking along the lakefront earlier. I laid Demelza on a blanket to get a photograph. The ground is a bit lumpy but the lighting in the shade of the lilac bushes is quite good.

I am not 100% convinced that the gold border was the right choice – maybe green or petrol would have looked better – but heck, it’s done now and I’m not ripping it out!  In real life, the contrast is not quite as stark as it is in the photo above and it blends better.

I weighed my yarn at the end and used approximately 3150 yards of the Stylecraft Special DK which is about 9.75 skeins in all (in 15 colours). Lots of leftovers to enjoy in the future. Hook used was 4.5mm and I obviously had a tighter tension than the designer as my blanket came out around 45″ square. It took 7.5 weeks to make. If it hadn’t been for the Crochet-along, I would probably have taken twice that long.

So, what’s next for my hook?

Well, I just received those ten balls of black Stylecraft Special Aran from Wool Warehouse which I plan to use for the granny square coat. There is a pattern, I just can’t remember the name of it right now, but it’s the one that takes its inspiration from that $3000 one that some celebrity was seen wearing. I have to put away my Demelza leftovers and pull out my Aran colours and figure things out.

Time for dinner now – need to blend the butternut squash soup we can eat. Happy crocheting!

PS: If you follow Stylecraft on Facebook, you will see there is a blog tour happening right now where a different blogger each day shows off what they have made with the new colours of the Special Aran. There’s a draw every day to win a pack of the yarn.

 

 

 

 

WIP: Peacock Tail Bag

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Part three of the bag is complete. There was one row in there when I had a moment of ‘OMG what have I done!’ because I reached the end of one of those more complicated rows and was one stitch short. Turns out I was supposed to start in the first stitch of the row (some are started in the second) and I think it was more my imperfect vision that caused the error rather than me forgetting which stitch I was supposed to be starting with.Had to rip out that row and redo, but it’s all good now.

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These beautiful colours are from the Stylecraft Special DK Cosy Pack that has been patiently waiting for me to pay attention to it. These will become the Demelza blanket. The CAL on the Ravelry group started on Thursday, September 1st, but I had to finish part 3 of the bag first. The central square of the blanket looks like a doozy with plenty of challenges (it has a 3D flower in the centre) and I really hope I can keep up with this CAL. The time limit is self-imposed – if I don’t manage to make 8 squares in a week then it doesn’t really matter but it would certainly be nice to have the project finished by Christmas. (I actually have some extra raspberry and lime, as you will see from the photo, as I had some of those colours in the turquoise colour pack.)

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I participated in a Colourful Anniversary Swap in the Colourful KALs/CALs group – you may remember me making a water bottle holder and a dishcloth and sending off a parcel to Chicago, where my swap partner lives. Well, she seemed to like her parcel of goodies, and now I have received one myself. From Hamburg in Germany. All of those who participated in the swap posted their likes and dislikes to the forum thread, their hobbies, any allergies, other interests. I received a lovely package from Debby which included all the lovely swag in the above photo. Below is a goofy photo of me modelling the scrappy hat!

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Since then, I had my hair cut (why does my hairdresser rave over naturally curly hair then blow dry the heck out of it and straighten it out)? So now I am going to have some fun with some pink hair dye. See ya later.