Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Resolution brainstorming

Tis the season to start dwelling on the things we could have done better last year, and the things we will change in the next. I have been thinking about my past resolutions for a couple of days now. Some of them succeeded, some did not.

The notable stand outs were quitting smoking in 2003, finishing a triathlon in 2006, and losing a bunch of weight last year. The thing they both had in common was that I had support for them.

For quitting smoking I used Quitnet. Which I have bragged about before. I logged in today and learned, since my quit date (January 22, 2003) and based on the number of cigarettes I smoked before I quit (at 2003 prices):

Time Smoke-Free: 2169 days, 3 hours, 8 minutes and 16 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 43383
Lifetime Saved: 11 months, 1 day, 9 hours
Money Saved: $8,350.65

I joined a training group with two good friends of mine to finish the tri, and three years and a total of 6 triathlons later, I have to definitely count that one a success.

To lose the weight, I joined Weight Watchers. It seemed so cheesy and dorky at first. Not that I am so cool or anything, there is just something embarrassing about saying it. Remember how it used to be when you said you bought a piece of clothing from Target? You could tell some people but not others? Anyway... I digress. The point is, that WW helped me lose 40 lbs last year, and I only have about 20 to go. So I am glad I did.

So, for me the answer is accountability and community. I have been thinking about a "resolution buddy" idea. Just like a secret pal or workout partner, this person would know what my resolutions are and why, and remind me from time to time. Or be an ear if they aren't going well, or a megaphone to help shout out my successes. Is this a crazy idea?

I have also decided to create 12 resolutions, one for each month of next year. That way, I can take things in smaller chunks. And like Project Spectrum, or Sock of the Month clubs, it will keep things fresh and moving forward.

If you care to join me, give a mention in the comments. Maybe we can create some resolution-buddies and some goals for the year together. If anyone else wants to try the goal-a-month, maybe we could swap buddies each month?

Here's my list (so far):

January - Submit 3 essays to lit mags/writing contests
February - Major Purge (this includes a garage sale or two, and donating the rest)
March - Those last 20 lbs
April - Move to NYC
May - Take GRE for grad school application
June - Summer Spanish class
July - Summer dance class
August - Roadtrip
September - Holiday knitting!
October - Cut debt by half or more (less than 5000 owed)
November - Write 5 handwritten letters to friends
December - Apply to grad school

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Non-knitting FO

I am having a tough week. I'll leave it at that.

In the meantime, that sewing machine I got for xmas LAST YEAR finally got busted out, and I can safely say that I have added a new craft (or an old craft, newly revisited) to the repertoire.

Spaceman Spiff PJ pants!
[fabric closeup: space, flannel, blues... what more could you want?]

cutting out the pattern
[cutting out the pattern]

[stitching that shizz UP]

Dancing in my new PJs
[dancin in my new Spaceman Spiff pajama pants]

Today will be another homebound day. I am going to try to bake some bread and sew some PJ shorts from this cool polka-dot fabric I got last year as well.

I hope everyone out there has a great holiday or day of peace, whichever you prefer this week. xoxo c

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A sleeve!

Yeah, that's right... days and days of knitting, and I have a sleeve to show for it.

We have a sleeve!

Here's a close up:

Sleeve on size 4s
(teeny tiny little stitches)

The nice thing is that I have nothing better to do than sit on the couch and work on Coraline. The unfortunate thing is that I have no motivation to do anything but sit on the couch and knit on Coraline.

So far, in addition to one full sleeve, I also have about 6 inches of body and about six inches of sleeve number two. I have been working the body and sleeves as alternating balls (*finish a ball on the body, work a ball on a sleeve** repeat from * to ** overandoverandover). This breaks up the monotony of endless inches of carmine stockinette on size 4 needles. I cannot WAIT for the smocking!

Today I went to see Bolt to cheer me up (it did) and got home to find that The Killing Fields had shown up from Netflix. I have no idea why in the world I ever put that in my queue. Needless to say, the movies sort of canceled each other out, and now I am back to slightly bummed. Tomorrow may be a day for a My Name is Earl DVD marathon.

Hope those of you who can are enjoying the snow!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Some underreported FOs

In October I went on several trips. I went to watch one of my best friends get married in Vegas, I went to NYC to meet with friends and go to Rhinebeck, then I turned around and went right back for Halloween with a really good friend from college.

Then, on November 4th, when everyone was voting, my Stepdad's heart stopped while he was in line at his polling place in Phoenix, AZ. He was resuscitated after nearly an hour. I flew to Phoenix that afternoon and spent the next three days with my mom and sister in the ICU while he was completely unconscious. I would be there for a total of nearly 2 weeks while he drifted in and out of heavy sedation. We weren't sure if he even knew who he was.

He is better now. Still in ICU, but in the process of rehabilitation. I got to talk to him on the phone last week, which was pretty amazing. He won't be home in time for Christmas, which really breaks my heart for my mom.

Anyway, needless to say, while I was knitting, I wasn't really blogging. So here are some things I got done in October and November:

Another Queen Anne. Done on the flight to Chicago
I finished another Queen Anne's on the way to NYC and gave it to my girl Corrie. This one is out of Colinette Fandango, one skein.

Making mom a Queen Anne scarf
Yet another Queen Anne, this one for my mom on the flight to Phoenix. Out of another skein of Fandango from the stash.

While in ICU for days and days, I finished the diagonal crocheted blanket that has been lingering for YEARS
Critical care blanket

And I made some pretty good progress on some lovely green socks.
Lil green sock in progress

Currently, I am throwing all that my sniffly, sneezy, coughing, aching, self has into finishing another sweater. Coraline. On size 4s... I mean, really?!
Coraline knitted hem
(This is the body, luckily knit all in one piece. I am almost done with one sleeve as well... after THREE DAYS stuck on the couch. Sheesh!)

Still no job. Still want to move to NYC, though... I won't even say it. I just hope I find some good work soon. Think good thoughts!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Finished object!

The stashbuster, she is complete.

Stashbuster complete!

Pattern: Made up as I went along, with initial guidance from Knitgrrl on the knitting cruise back in...awhile ago. It's a basic top down raglan.
Yarns: from the stash... some Brooks Primero, Blue Sky Alpaca alpaca dk, Rowan Kid Classic, Patons wool
Ravelry link

Stashbuster complete!

What I liked
Using up all this stash AND making a sweater I actually like. The fit is nice, it buttons and it is sooooft. Plus all the dreamy gray blues make me melancholy in the best possible way.

Stashbuster complete!

What I would do differently
The neck is a bit high. This will take some muddling through. Also, just adding stripes and fair isle rows using my scientific method of "whenever" resulted in a few stripe situations that I would do differently were I too again... but overall, doubleplusgood.

Things have been rather ooky around here lately. I am trying to stay optimistic, but the news abroad and in my own living room just isn't the best, you know? Add to that, the process of "lightening" my load of possessions is a slow and sometimes difficult one. But this is part of why I want to make such a drastic move. I am drowning in things, and they have failed to make me happy. OK, except for my iPod and my biker boots. But other than that, what's it all worth? (Nothing if you ask the jerks on craigslist.) Anyway. Enough whining, I am trying to enjoy my new wooly. Next up for my almost undivided attention: Coraline!