Did you know that last Monday was called Blue Monday? Supposedly, the combination of poor January weather, Christmas being a dim and distant memory, credit-card bills arriving showing our pre-Christmas indulgences and dwindling motivation to stick with New Year’s Resolutions all combined to make for the most depressing Monday of the year. Of course it’s all tosh, but last Monday was particularly sweetened for me by reading this tweet from @Puddleduckjam:
blue monday. not here today i have created one whole job. my new employee is officially on the books. happy mondays
Isn’t that fantastic? PuddleDuck Produce, owned by Clare Hamill, is an artisan food maker, making and selling home-made jams, chutnies and much more. She was my down-stream pal in the @Knitmas Swap before Christmas. She has recently opened up her own unit in Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan. So with this news of taking on staff, she seems to be going from strength to strength. I’m delighted for her. I think you’ll agree, this comes under the heading…
Gems from the Web
My resolution this year is not only to blog more regularly (see! three weeks in a row – so far, so good) but also to read more blogs, and more regularly. Under this heading I’ll note anything on d’Internet that tickled my fancy during the week. Such as Limmster’s F*cket List. I love this idea – “Similar to a Bucket List but with an air of ‘Oh f*cket, I’ll just do it’. No humming. No hawing.” All too often we find reasons NOT to just give something a try. It seems like a great way to live your life: stop talking yourself out of things and actually getting stuff done. I especially like her plan to go somewhere every Sunday. I’ll be copying her on that one.
Tomorrow, 23rd January, is Chinese New Year. It’s not looking good for achieving WIPdown by then, I’m afraid.
Heartfelt thanks to all of you who commiserated with me on the Hideous Dress of Wrong in my last post. Of particular note is KnitInc encouragement to let the yarn go. Considering WIPdown is her invention, she gets to set the rules of WIPdown and is quite vehement that ripping a WIP rather than making it a FO is nothing other than “Wimp-down”. So it says a lot that I have her absolution to rip The Hideous Dress of Wrong – if it comes to it…
There is a slim chance for its redemption, that I’ve yet to try. If that doesn’t work out then I’ll put it away until I can face ripping it and restoring all the yarn again.
In the meantime, my Petals Wrap Cardigan has hit (yet another) snag. I started one of the sleeves and it’s just too tight. To remedy this I should either add an extra pattern repeat to the sleeve circumference or I work the sleeves in a larger hook size. I’ve put it down for a little bit because I’m completely obsessed with my project for…
Lacealong2012 and 12in12
Oh my! I’m just soooo in love with my Laminaria. I finished the transition chart at knit-night on Thursday and have started the blossoms. Aren’t they so pretty? It’s just intoxicating watching them emerge.
I had a few hiccups along the way but nothing too upsetting thanks to life-lines and being able to read my knitting and tink back. I made a mistake at lunchtime last Thursday and felt really “hardcore” when I was able to sort it out while chatting at knit-night that evening. Lace is so addictive. It’s all I want to do. I hardly want to put it down to eat. I even skipped a run the other day – that’s saying something considering how addictive I find…
I learned about Nike+ GPS from one of my knitting buddies, @OrlaMcGann. I started using the iPhone app last September and it has completely changed my motivation levels. You can just use it to record your runs and it will not only show you a map of the route you took, but also track your pace over that route. For an information junkie like me, that’s really fun in the first place.
But then, you set goals for yourself to run further or faster or harder or more often. When you achieve your goal it gives you a medal. I know it’s not a physical medal but it’s still shiny and makes me feel proud of myself. Better again, you can sign up for challenges. This is where you pitch yourself against other runners using the site to run more kilometers or at a faster pace – depending on the nature of the challenge. When you win one of these, you get a trophy. Ooooooh! 😀
It also has a coaching programme. I signed up for the 5k programme and have improved my pace by 14% since last September. Since running 10k in under an hour – unexpectedly – in the Women’s Mini-Marathon last June I have had this as my target ever since. I’m delighted that I’ve made such great progress over the Winter.
In fact, I can’t believe I kept running through the Winter at all. Granted the weather was in our favour this year, with hardly any snow or frost. But mostly I kept going out in all weathers because of the goals and challenges I set up in Nike Plus.
It’s all to do with the games we play to motivate ourselves and overcome inertia. For example, a woman I met through #Twilting realised she loved her cigarettes as much as she hated doing her laundry, but she wanted to motivate herself to stop smoking. So she used the money she saved by not smoking during the week to pay for her ironing to be done. Getting her freshly ironed laundry back was her weekly reward for staying off the smokes.
Which brings me to talk about…
The term “Twilting” was first coined by @MaryLD for the first quilting workshop she gave, which had been organised through Twitter. Yesterday was one of the days on my Twilting course. We’re learning the stages and techniques behind making a quilt and yesterday was all about making up the sandwich – pieced top, wadding or batting, and the back – and then quilting it (the decorative stitching that holds the three layers together) and finishing it off with a binding. I’m really enjoying the course and am getting a lot more out of it than the brief mention here can do justice to. I’ll have to dedicate another post to #Twilting, I think.
This week my cake of laceweight weighs 91g. Which means I have knit 200m of Ivy Brambles Romantica Merino Lace. So I’m ticking along nicely, though I have been knitting for more than 5 days so obviously I’m not keeping up with my 40m/day target.
Ummm… did I come clean about an aquisition I made since the beginning of the year? It’s LHogan BFL Lace, which I picked up in This Is Knit when I was meeting up with Viola and others in early January. It’s 795.5 m of pure beauty and I’ve already queued Winter thaw by Beata Jezek of Hedgehog fibres to be done in it as part of Lacealong2012 and 12in12. I think I had uploaded this to my Ravelry Stash when I blogged about my totals so, technically, I have not added to stash.