Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday quote

“He knows not his own strength
who hath not met adversity.”
Samuel Johnson

No one enjoys trouble. [Although there was a time in my life when I was more comfortable with chaos than calm, I still wouldn't say I enjoyed it.] But without a hill to climb or a hurdle to leap, how would we learn our capabilities? Our creative solutions to the roadblocks of life make us stronger and more confident. The success we experience overcoming a difficult situation makes it easier for us to face the next one.

And there will be a next one.

Take knitting, for example. [Hah! You thought I was going to get all serious on you, didn't you?] To the right are the fronts and back of the Seville Jacket, wet-blocking on a handy plaid sheet in our spare bedroom. I was able to block it to the correct width; the addition of a braided edge all the way around the neckline and lower edge will fill in the gap at the fronts.

You can't really see where the shoulder seam is, so here's an extreme close-up of the adversity with which I am faced today.

The brackets illustrate the amount – two and a half inches – of ripping back I will need to do on both fronts. Which, of course, means I will have to take the semi-completed jacket apart at the shoulders. I used a three-needle bindoff for those seams, so it won't be all that hard, but still! No knitter I've ever met enjoys ripping perfectly good knitting. However, I would never wear it if it weren't right, and it's going to be a lovely, classic piece to add to my wardrobe, so I might as well make it right before I put the sleeves in.

Helpful hint: The plaid sheet helped me see the error of my ways as soon as I started pinning the pieces into shape. So if your sheets are basic white or feminine floral or anything other than plaid, I suggest you run right over to Bed, Bath and Beyond to stock up on sheets that go above and beyond their intended purpose.

The sleeves are more than a third finished. It's hard to say, exactly, as the rows get longer as I move my way up from the cuff to the shoulder. I have about seven inches to go before I can begin the underarm decreases.

I had intended to find something classy and dressy to wear with
this jacket for a family party Mr. Shrinking Knitter and I are having in less than a month – yikes! – to celebrate our marriage. But I got sidetracked on eBay yesterday, and bid on a beautiful cocktail dress which would look kind of silly with a handknit sweater, no matter how lovely it is. The auction ends tomorrow, so I still don't know what I'm wearing for the party.

Nothing like livin' on the edge.

[By the way, if you're one of those who thinks you win things on eBay, I offer this, from Jenna:]
"You don’t win yarn on eBay. If you “won” yarn, you wouldn’t have to pay for it, would you? What you did win was the legal obligation to give someone money in exchange for goods. Congratulations."
So. What does all this have to do with fitness and weight loss and crap? Well, a lot of our struggles in this area are of the two-steps-forward, one-step-back variety. Adversity? You betcha. I hope you're learning what works for you, as I am, and you'll continue to do those things. I hope that if you've lost weight in the past, as I have, you'll draw on that success to bolster your energy and motivation during the almost-inevitable one-step-back times.

I hope you've armed yourself with knowledge, wisdom, experience and fresh fruits and vegetables to get to your own personal finish line, strong and fit and healthy.

And maybe wearing pink!

P.S. Do take a look at the New York Times article Greta mentioned in yesterday's comments. And to Donna, you're welcome! DJ Steveboy gets me through two or three of my daily walks every week. As for Pilates ... I've tried it, felt it was too difficult for me at this stage, and hope to try it again at some point. Thanks for the DVD recommendation.


loretta123 said...

I know it won't make you feel any better, but I'm ripping back a sock heel on size 0 needles cuz I just wasn't happy with it. Keep reminding yourself "I get to knit with this fabulous yarn all over again!" Attitude is everything!

Greta said...

I love reading about your knitting even though I don't knit! great idea with the plaid sheet!

I am off for a weekend in St. Helena in the NapaValley wine country! "See" you Sunday evening or Monday!

denise said...

I'm so envious of people who can sew/knit/make clothes. I never really caught on to it. You might just as well have written the first few paragraphs in German for all I understood! :-(

Just read some of the comments on body shape. Had an interesting conversation with my GYN at annual checkup last week.

She said in our younger days, women tend to carry more weight on their hips and thighs - the whole preparing for childbirth thing. While men tend to develop the classic "beer guts."

As we go into the menopause years, we experience higher levels of male hormones - particularly in proportion to the declining production of female hormones.

This often results in women then developing their own "beer gut"-like stomachs - in other words, we start to put on more girth around the waist.

I know this has certainly been the case for me - although as far as I know I'm still technically in "peri-menopause."

Anyway, it does seem to make sense and may explain why in our later years we are seeing different "melt" patterns for the weight...