Monday, November 20, 2006

35 days until Christmas

For me, that means 35 days of knitting!

Unlike many knitters, I love having a deadline. Figuring out how many inches of fabric I can produce in a day, and translating that into the number of days I need to complete a project, is fun in a geeky kind of way. When I don't have a deadline, I'm liable to spend my idle hours reading beading scrapbooking playing computer solitaire.

I started my granddaughter's sweater, the lovely Climbing Jacket, over the weekend. The pattern was designed by Janet Szabo, who, in addition to publishing books, also writes a quarterly newsletter called Twists and Turns.

Unlike Janet's daughter, for whom the jacket was designed, my granddaughter would never wear blaze orange. I'm using a DK weight acrylic/wool blend in a more traditional cream color dotted with random flecks of grey and rust.

And I've already ripped it out once. Because it was too big! Even when I knit and measure a gauge swatch – and with this sweater, which is worked all in one piece from the lower edge up, it was necessary – it was quite roomy. So roomy that she wouldn't be able to wear it until she started middle school, probably. [The reason it was necessary is that one wants to prevent, at all costs, ripping out the back and both fronts of a sweater. Fat lot of good knitting that gauge swatch did!]

The beauty of an Aran sweater for the knitter is that there usually are several inches of filler stitches which can be reduced without compromising the design. The beauty for the wearer is self-evident, in my opinion.

At any rate, I was able to knit five inches on Saturday and Sunday, which tells me that I've got plenty of time to finish this one and another, different child-sized sweater which also is due before Christmas.

I ate well yesterday, but didn't exercise at all. I should have, though. I kept thinking any minute we were going to have rain and/or snow, but it never happened. Today? There's a light dusting of snow and it's probably 20 degrees colder than it was yesterday. Harumph! I'll hit the treadmill and rowing machine indoors today. Probably ought to hoist a dumbbell or two, as well, as it's been a while.

To get back to the idea of deadlines … as all 17 of you regular readers know, I started my weight-loss plan in January, 2006, intending to reach my goal by January, 2007. And, as you also know, it's Not. Gonna Happen.

In addition to the plantar fasciitis, which tripped up my workouts, I hit what can only be called a plateau this fall, causing great discouragement and much whining. I've been so discouraged that I've stopped weighing myself because that number, which is simply information, was affecting me as if it were a judge and jury. I've probably gained five or six pounds back from the lowest weight I'd reached, but here's what I've learned.

It will come back off.

The big enlightenment for me this year has been that exercise is vital. I really wish I could lose weight without sweating, but I can't. I could when I was in my 20s. Now that I'm firmly planted in middle age? Not so much. I worked out like a maniac when I lost about 50 pounds 10 years ago. As I reduced my intentional activity, and slipped away from more healthful eating habits, all of those pounds and more came back. What an old song-and-dance, eh?

So that experience, coupled with this year's long standstill, has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that my body likes to move it, move it.

My head, though? We'd rather be knitting.

No comments: