Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wednesdays are good days for snow

'05 Yarn Crawl scarf and hat
Originally uploaded by skionski.
And snowy Wednesdays are good for chili. Skyline chili. I didn't work today which was nice. It felt good to see the snow and to be out in it for awhile, but then to finally snuggle up on the couch with a book and cover my toes with a blanket.

Good thing I finished my Yarn Crawl scarf and quickly made a hat to match. I would like to acknowledge that this scarf and hat may be my quickest-to-be-finished projects to date and that I am beginning to understand why bulky yarns are so popular. In fact the hat was knit with worsted weight Lamb's Pride so maybe my problem is just choosing too many sport-weight projects. The hat only took two evenings! (Using patterns and recommended yarns helps a lot!)

I am still working on my baby sweater which never seems to end. Elinor must knit much faster and more often than I because I feel like I've devoted significant time to this cardigan and it is still less than halfway completed.
Now that I am beginning to understand how all of this fancy blogging works, I will soon add a Works in Progress link to pictures of the cardigan, the "I'll make my own glove pattern" glove, the almost completed maybe poncho/maybe shrug and the sock I started last Spring. Yikes! Though when I think about it, if I didn't start anything new and only worked on these projects, I could probably have them all done by the end of the month.

But wait! There is Christmas this month. From my brother's chuckle/groan, I'm guessing he doesn't want the winter hat I offered to make for his Christmas present. This is my first Christmas to really know how to knit well and it seems like a great idea to make something that will be loved as it is knitted to be given thoughtfully to someone I care about. But my completing rate is deplorable. We'll see if its practical at all. Are you choosing to knit the majority of your Christmas presents this year? What are you making? If you have wisdom for a new knitter/gift-giver, please share (unless its "You should have started 6 months ago" -- that I can figure out for myself)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Knitters make good friends

In fact, knitters are just good people. Anyone who uses their hands slowly to make things that give comfort and warmth must be good people. Have you heard of a mean or dishonest knitter? I bought some yarn once that was advertised on Knitswap (a Yahoo group) and the transaction had none of the guarantees that ebay has. I just PayPaled some money to an email address and waited for the yarn to come in the mail. And of course it did and was exactly as she described it. I knew it would be.

I say all of this because in the past year, I have lived in three states and in each have found knitters who became my friends. You join a knitting group and voila, there they are, your friends. In this season of thanksgiving and family and holiday, I am thankful to have my KnitLawrence friends to share coffee with at Milton's.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Thanks Atkins

I tried the low-carb diet a few months ago for the second time. Again no results. I was fine with the changes - didn't necessarily miss the carbs and sweets, but after three weeks, I had lost three pounds. Not exactly the results you want to see when everyone else you know who has done this diet loses 10 pounds the first week and keeps losing.

So I decided Atkins wasn't for me. My body didn't respond to it. I thought maybe there was another diet out there that would be better suited to my body. I started checking out books from the library and voraciously consuming no fad, raw food, and perfect fit diets. And I always came back hungry. So often they offer some seriously good advise along with quackery, guesswork, and intuition.

I'm currently working through The Second Brain, Sugar Blues, and the Food Doctor. I read the Elimination Diet book today and will be starting it probably this week. (More details on that later).

None of these books can tell me what I really want to know though. I want to know what my body needs. I want to know how much calcium I need, how much vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber. I want to know how monthly fluctuations in my hormones affect my needs. And, honestly, I don't believe what the "experts" say about these needs anymore. They can't know what MY body needs. They can, at best, guess based on norms and averages. We won't talk about what they do at worst.

In a rare moment recently when I was undistracted, I had a breakthrough - there is only one person who can possibly know what my body needs. My body. The cells of my body are organic and living, and like all other living organisms, do exactly what they were designed to do, for better or worse. If I listen to my body, I believe I can understand what I need and what I need to avoid.

A few years ago, I ate sushi at least once a week for a year. One day, about 6 months after not eating sushi for a long time, I had craving for salmon that was so powerful, I literally believed if I did not eat salmon, I might die. I could only think of salmon for days, until I satiated the craving. Now, I totally believe I was deficient in omega fatty acids, something I had previously been consuming a lot of because of the sushi. My body made it clear that it needed something.

I am going to go on the Elimination Diet as an introduction to this kind of food/body awareness. I know that at this stage, I can probably only recognize gross reactions - like cravings that make me think that I might not survive the lack. I want to work through those, learning in the process which foods I need to take a break from (I don't believe that there are very many foods that a normal, healthy person needs to eliminate forever) with the goal of becoming sensitive enough to recognize fine reactions.

My mind is on my body.