Thursday, 26 January 2017

Skinny Single Knitster

My knitting has taken a slight nose-dive.

For some reason I am obsessively compulsively exercise-focused at the moment,which involves getting up at 5.30 am to be at the gym by 7 and at my desk by 8.
Even though I don't actually have to be there until 9am.
Insert here:  quizzical expression at my own reflection in the mirror.
Add a raised eyebrow for good measure.

Two evenings a week I am at Jazzercise.
I am asleep by 10 pm.
And on Saturday mornings I am at Sh'bam, which is the happiest hour of my week.
True story!

That's a lot of lost knitting time!

So having whizzed through my first Swedish sock:  the Fladerblom from the Tantulltussockor book, sock two is not even cast on.
I'll get to it.
I certainly want to wear the pair!

At the start of January, I threw myself headlong into casting on the Shusui Shrug, using Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Twinkle Toes (a speckle-tastic club colourway) and Skinny Dip (mint green), set against fluffy grey Guthrie Gotland two-ply from Hooligan Yarns.

I bashed my way through the first ten repeats without blinking... and then it all went a bit pear-shaped and I started making mistakes.
I can't even seem to count the stitches between markers without getting it wrong.
23 is not such a difficult number to count is it?
Apparently it is beyond me right now.

And meanwhile, the second mailing of the Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles club has arrived.
I loved the first pair of skeins and had to cast on straightaway - witness the Shusui Shrug above.
But the second set is beyond-my-vocabulary-gorgeous!
Just... wow.
I can't show you a picture as club members overseas won't have received their parcels yet.
Hand on heart, this is the most successful Yarn Club decision I have ever made.

I don't have a clear plan for these skeins yet... but there is a twinkling of an inkling in the back of my mind that I would like to make myself a stripey ballet-wrap-style cardigan.
Something like East London Knits' Takumi?
With more Guthrie gotland?
Oh yes please!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

On joining the SAS (Not really)

Window wide open, breathing cold frosty air while the sun blasts across my desk.
Still euphoric.
But I can't feel guilty about this.  It is what FL would have wanted, this renaissance of Roo-ness.

I have been to an exercise class or the gym almost every day this year, twice on Monday!
And no, mum, I am not "overdoing it".
Children:  don't wait until you are as old as me to find your energy.
Just saying.

The workplace had a "Health and Wellbeing" day.
I declined the invitation to run 5k in the lunch-hour, because I have many skills but running is not one of them.
It was a wise decision.

Instead, I attended a Resilience Workshop.
After completing the questionnaire, I was informed that my score made me eligible to join the SAS.
Further analysis revealed that I had the highest score for "commitment", slightly less for "control" and was just plain average for my response to "change".
This does not surprise me.  Once I set my mind to something, I go for it full tilt.
But I remain risk averse.  I am still protecting myself from the unknown, even though it could be an opportunity rather than a threat.
I accept this.  It is fine.  I am doing fine.

I am now applying what I have learned.

I am having a blast analysing the characters of Hamilton according to this methodology

Eliza?  She is "helpless", she says so herself.  She starts the musical with pretty low resilience, but as she gets older, and experiences a few hard knocks (unfaithful husband, death of her son) she gets stronger and "takes control of the narrative".

Angelica?  She recognises her position in society and the requirement to "marry rich".  She knows she will never be "satisfied".  But she is no pushover.  She knows it would be a mistake to marry Hamilton, even though she loves him.  She takes control of her destiny and "keeps his eyes in her life".

And thinking of my current audio book... Jane Eyre is a fascinating case study in resilience!
She is a great example of someone who develops resilience as she gets older.
Though she still makes some questionable decisions.
Different times?  Maybe.
Fiction?  Certainly!

If you want to know more, I found a simple questionnaire and introduction to  resilience here.

Now if you will excuse me, I am off to the gym.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

2017, Let It Flow

All the cool kids are setting goals and choosing words to define them in the New Year.
I feel the need to be more flexible, open to new things and I want to try letting myself go with the flow.  Not to abdicate responsibility for my own actions, but to recognise that I have choices, to consciously decide and then follow through.
And sometimes that might mean revisiting decisions I made in the past, reassessing my position and admitting my mistakes.
Not just the Big Stuff.
Little things - like knitting (it always comes back to knitting!)

Last night I ripped out my Barley Hat from Knitting in the North.
It had a mistake in it.
It was cream.
Cream?!  What was I thinking?

I also faced up to a serious error in my Nordic Arrows Shawl.

I had been two stitches out for several brioche (double) rows.
I tried to ignore the numbers, thinking I could make it work.

But as I started to add in the third triangle, the problem got worse and I realised I was probably performing the slanting decrease in the wrong way.
And glaring at it didn't help.
Neither did a glass of cider.
Or coffee.
Or apple cake.
Or dancing round the kitchen to really loud music.
That's my entire arsenal of mitigating actions depleted.
Rip it, Roo.

Which leaves me with: one happy sock, one suicidal sock and two abandoned blanket projects.
So, really, just one sock.

I can knit whatever I want!
Who makes the rules around here?

And it would appear that I have enough yarn in the stash to knit 11 me-sized garments.
(Not the four or five I imagined.  Oops.)

And socks!  Let there be socks!
Heaven knows you've got some lovely sock yarn in the house, girl.
Soddit, Roo, buy that Swedish sock pattern book you have been ogling for flipping months!
If Santa was real, he would totally have left it under the tree for you.

Now stop buying stuff, woman.
You have enough.