Frippery.

20120701-115848.jpg

Should I be worried about how pleased I am that my nail color coordinates with my knitting?

Happy Sunday everyone!

7 Comments

Filed under Knitting, Life's mysteries

Ten Minutes.

20120529-060003.jpg

Reading. I’ve recently enjoyed Defending Jacob by William Landay. A little disturbing for parents of teens but still a well-done mystery. I also read Divergent by Veronica Roth. Another YA future dystopian thrill ride. The author is only 23! Did I like it? Well, I ordered the second book from the library!

On a related note, I don’t really understand readers who won’t use the library. Of course this doesn’t apply to those who do not have ready access to a library, but I’m amazed by the number of people who live literally within a few blocks of a local branch yet never set foot there, instead choosing to buy all of their books. At the rate I go through books, I would be bankrupt within weeks. It is so tempting, when I really want to get my hands on something, to buy it and have it on my iPad in seconds rather than waiting on a library hold, and sometimes I do for a treat, but I really try to be patient.

The Back. I have been swimming a few times a week, since that is the only really vigorous exercise I can do right now. Well, other than the elliptical, which I detest. It really is a good, very efficient workout. The pool at our club is not chlorinated, but instead treated with an ozone system, so it is very pleasant. The downside is that swimming is just me and my brain. Scary.

Knitting. The Madison contingent got together Sunday for a lovely few hours of lunch, chat, and knitting. I made the trip and it was so worth it. What a wonderful group. One of our number was destashing and I wound up with the most generous gift of a sweater’s worth of merino cashmere in a glorious purple. I did not accomplish much. I cast on a sock and screwed up the ribbing, because apparently I can’t knit and talk at the same time.

That’s more than 10 minutes, so off I go. Enjoy the day!

6 Comments

Filed under Lifebits

Stripe Study and Other Business.

20120521-054411.jpg

I finished my Stripe Study shawl sometime in mid-April, and here it is nearly Memorial Day. How does that happen? All the deets are on Ravelry. This was wonderful to knit. Simple, forgiving, and oddly compelling (one more stripe…). Better yet, it is wonderful to wear. The asymmetric shape lends a modern feel. The only reason this is not an ideal knit is the need to juggle two balls of yarn.

I started a second one, this time using three colors. I still have a ton of the green Ultra Alpaca Fine, and I’m making do with the rest. The only drawback is that with more than one contrast color you can’t really carry the strand up the side. This means ends to weave in.

In other news, it’s spring! Hasn’t it been glorious? The migratory birds have already been through. Orioles, rose breasted grosbeaks, indigo buntings. So cool. We hiked the other day at a park a bit further north, and we saw a bobolink. They are native to Wisconsin but I don’t recall ever having seen one. We got our annuals and vegetable patch and basil planted over the weekend. I did some major deck sitting. All good stuff.

Hope you have a good Monday!

7 Comments

Filed under Lifebits

Spring Socks.

20120409-104253.jpg

The weather has been wacky, but it is still cool enough for hand knit socks. Finished this pair this morning (yes, there are two, but I managed to lose the photo showing both). This is your basic 64 stitch cuff down sock, knit in broken rib, with a slip stitch flap heel. The yarn is Trekking XXL. I have a crap ton left, as I always do after knitting two socks.

I have another ball of the same, in crazy springy colors, ready to cast on in my quest to keep the sock drawer topped up.

My last post never hit google reader. We shall see what happens with this one. Hope you all had a nice weekend!

4 Comments

Filed under Knitting

Stand up!

You have probably seen this scary infographic at some point in recent history. It depicts the extreme toll on our health taken by sitting all day. This is true even for regular exercisers. The ugliest statistic: Sitting six or more hours per day increases your risk of dying within 15 years by 40%.

Ouch.

I sit. I get paid to sit. I sit at a desk or computer when I am not sitting in meetings. I sit at lunch. I sit in my car. I sit in my comfy chair in the evenings. I knit. Therefore… I sit.

Yes, I exercise. But apparently that doesn’t count because … I sit. A lot.

I shared that I have been having some low back problems. I don’t believe these issues are as related to doing mountain climbers and burpees in boot camp as they are to sitting. Sitting shortens your hamstrings, freezes up your hip flexers, and does who knows what else to other muscles involved in pelvic stability and core strength. Sitting is bad sh#t, people.

I’ve been thinking about how I can sit less, move more, and try to counteract 20 years or more of being a desk potato. Here are some ideas. I’d love to hear yours, too.

1. Arrange your space so you can work standing up. In my office, I have an adjustable height computer table that I can raise to standing height by pushing a button. I try, I really try, to stand at the computer for part of every day. On a good day, I do all my computer work standing, but that doesn’t happen often enough.

2. I also have a lectern that allows me to read standing up. I don’t do this very frequently, because, well, I’m lazy. But I can and I should. My wireless headset also allows me to walk around my office when I’m on the phone. Another thing I don’t do enough.

3. A friend loaned me something called a dyna disc to sit on while at my desk. It mimics the act of sitting on a Swiss Ball, which is not really feasible in an office environment (as Dwight Shrute learned when he attempted it) and forces you to keep your core stable. It really helps with my back pain and I do use this almost all day.

4. Stretch. I take a lot of stretch breaks and it really does make me feel better. Yoga helps, too.

5. Take walk breaks. Duh. But do I do this? Not so much.

Any other ideas??

Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone.

6 Comments

Filed under Lifebits

WIP Wednesday

20120328-061413.jpg

This is the Stripe Study in progress as of a few days ago. I did take out my initial effort and restart it using a garter tab cast on and kfb increases rather than the M1s called for. It seems much tidier to my eye now. I agree with the masses who have declared this a very compelling knit. There’s enough going on to be interesting but not so much that you can’t have part of your brain somewhere else.

My colors are subtle, and I’m thinking I’d like to add one carefully placed two row stripe in a very bright yellow or poison green. I’m hoping one of my friends with sock yarn issues might have a few yards of scrap yarn to help me with that.

That’s all from here. Does anyone else feel like this week is crawling?

7 Comments

Filed under Knitting

Fashion Friday.

When my girls were younger, we watched What Not to Wear every Friday night. Then, I soaked in many of the sensibilities embraced by Stacey and Clinton. Things like, a heel and a slightly pointed toe in a shoe make your legs look longer. Pants that taper at the ankle make you look like an ice cream cone (and not in a good way). Fitted clothing makes you look thinner; wearing a sack adds pounds (which seems counterintuitive to many).

I haven’t kept up with the show lately, but I religiously follow Corporette, and I also enjoy several other fashion blogs, including faux fuchsia , extra petite, and amid privilege.

These bloggers vary widely in age, size, personal syle, and background. What they have in common is knowing very definitely what they like and what works for them. They all look great.

I would love to have the time, money, and expertise to create my own perfectly curated wardrobe. I don’t. But since I started paying attention to this stuff, I have become much more thoughtful and careful about my clothing purchases, and I have developed a core battery of items that I would say characterize my personal style. I thought I would share some of those things today, and another time I will share my personal list of fashion “dont’s.”

Cardigans. Store-bought. Hand knit. Cashmere. Cotton. Black, print, brightly hued. I love cardigans and I wear them all the time. I buy them in multiples when I find a brand I like.

Tanks and camis. To wear under all those cardis. I also like them under jackets.

Pencil skirts. Classic, unobtrusive, and well fitting. Love them with tights and boots in winter or a pump in summer.

Pant suits. Not much to say here, other than that I prefer a pant suit to a skirt suit. Most of mine are from Ann Taylor. Single breasted, dark neutral tones.

Pearls. Some real, mostly faux. I have a choker, a long strand, a triple strand, and a bracelet, as well as some necklaces that incorporate pearls with other materials. I wear them nearly every day.

Earrings. I am not dressed unless I’m wearing earrings. I like dangly, arty ones, almost always in silver I don’t match them to my other jewelry.

Shawls and scarves. I wear a lot of black, so my brightly colored hand knit shawls, as well as various scarves I’ve collected, add a nice splash.

I shall stop here. Tell me, what clothing or accessory defines your style?

8 Comments

Filed under Lifebits