Friday, August 27, 2010

Thunderbirds are... um... waiting until Thursday

So, we're not moving today. Hence blogging is happening.

We might not have a phone line after today, we're not sure.

We're still moving though, it's all (currently) still on, but we have to wait until our buyers get their mortgage sorted out (Yes, I agree, they should have done that well before they did, but sometimes people don't realise these things and I'm trying to stay positive!)

So, I've cast on something new, to help take the edge off still not having my stash: a scarf for the "Knit the York Walls" campaign (Ravelry Link to Ramshambles Group) in lovely pink yarn provided by "Wannabe18". It's Rowan Pure Wool DK (same stuff I made fiancé his jumper from)
I'm doing a simple garter and drop stitch pattern, which is actually growing reasonably quickly. Though knitting at home while off work sick has helped!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fan girl

So, I cast on for some socks about a week ago. I fancied something a bit different, so I was making up a wavy pattern using short rows. It looked quite nice for the first two repeats, but after that there was some unpleasant pooling, and the sock was also a little loose. On top of these things there were some little holes where the short row turns were, and I decided that these weren’t the socks I wanted. So, I frogged the socks and put the yarn in my bag.

We took a trip to Edinburgh on Saturday, so on the train in the morning I cast on for both socks at once. I’m making the same socks that Yarn Harlot just made which are her vanilla sock with some ribs continued down the leg. It looks like she’s done a short row heel, but I’m currently undecided about that. If I do short row heels I usually do them over more than half of the stitches, which would mess up the pattern. So, I will probably stick to my usual heel flap and turn.

Edinburgh was a full on day – I’m afraid I can’t recommend travelling to and from Edinburgh in a day on the train, and fitting two shows, lunch, the Scott monument and the K1 yarn shop. It’s too much! The main reason we were going up was to see some plays that Fiancé’s brother (FBIL) was in or wrote. He’s part of a group called Gomito. (Google them, go see their work, they’re good!) Those two plays book-ended the day.

After lunch we went to the Scott monument. I went up the first set of stairs, but those of you who know me will know that I’m not a fan of twisty staircases, and I’m not a fan of heights, and – well – I didn’t go any higher.
 Funky Architecture

We also called into K1 yarn shop. It was a tiny crafty bubble of calm in the throng that is the Edinburgh festival. I could have spent hours in there. I bought some linen and cotton laceweight, and some Zitron Trekking hand-painted sock yarn.

The linen/cotton lace is a nice pinky colour, quite delicate. With 700m it’s not massively long for lace, but I’m sure I can make something nice from it. (I have a lacey shrug in my mind, or bolero). I want to do something exciting with the sock yarn too – it’s a lovely red-orange-black fiery combination of colours. Perhaps it will become a hat, or hat and gloves (depending on how much yarn the hat takes!) I need to think about it.

And, of course, when we move on Friday I will (all being well, subject to meeting the removal man tomorrow) be getting my yarn back.

Friday, August 20, 2010

All Go (hopefully)

So, we’re due to exchange and complete on our new house on Friday next week.

Exchanging and completing on the same day is making me nervous, I’ll admit. I’m one of those people who like to know what’s happening for certain, and plans stuff. I find I’m not very spontaneous these days (I like to think I used to be, but it could just have been circumstance)

Well, anyway, we’re making plans based on the exchange and completion happening together on the Friday. Everyone involved is keen for this to happen, so it should be fine.

That means we’ve been booking the movers. This has turned out to be more taxing than I expected. The movers we were going to use are fully booked. So my fiancé has had to ring round to find someone. We decided to go with the people who answered the phone, who could fit us in, and who don’t cost an arm and a leg (though I suspect that the cost element might be the one we have the least control over!)

Now we just have to explain that we have a bunch of stuff stored at some friends’ house and we’d like that to be picked up too. We’ll see what he says when he comes to look at our stuff on Tuesday.

I guess we’d better tidy the house some more!

In knitting news, the socks I have been designing have been frogged. I liked the way they were looking, until I got onto the 4th repeat when the colours started to do weird things. So I’ve decided that they’re just going to be plain old vanilla socks. Yarn Harlot’s recent pair where two of the ribs continued down the leg were nice, perhaps I’ll do that (I’m such a fangirl)

Another workout today:
dead lift – front squat – push press, 20kg, (20, 10, 5; 20, 10, 4; 20, 10, 3) (that’s an improvement!)
bench press – sit ups, 20kg/bodyweight (12, 20; 8, 20; 7, 15)
kettlebell swings – kettlebell rows – kettlebell curls, 12kg/12kg/8kg (10, 8/8, 8/8; 10, 10/10, 10/10)
I didn’t do the jammer press, I think I’m going to ask for an alternative when I see my PT on Wednesday. I have been shown how to do a hamstring stretch on the “power plate” which is cool. (if you’ve never seen one, a power plate looks like those really old fashioned scales, but the floor plate is wobbly and vibrates. It’s odd)
I did do the X-Trainer again, 3 mins between each superset.

I reckon, if I keep improving on the dead/squat/press I should be able to manage the full 5 push presses with 20kg for all three sets soon, and then I get to put the weight up! Woo!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It could be 10 days...

...Until we move in to our new house.
Or it might not.

We will not have a firm date until our solicitor organises the exchange of contracts.

Despite this, we’ve gone ahead and ordered a fridge (we can always push the date back if needs be, we’re thinking positive!) and after getting a call from BT asking about our buyers taking over the line we’re now signed up for a BT line in the new house. (This is a bit of a sore point, actually. We’re going to be writing a letter to customer services at BT.)

Otherwise it’s still a bit limbo-ish.

I did finish the shawl I’ve been knitting, though I still don’t have any action shot photos of it!

Here’s the knit down:

Pattern: Citron by Hilary Smith Callis
Yarn: Abstract Cat Merino/silk laceweight in the Dragonfly colourway
Needles: 4mm circular
Modifications:Knit to pattern except for a slight amendment to the cast on (which I can’t remember) and knitting the last 4 rows in garter stitch rather than stocking stitch. That’s both prevented curl and also made the ruffle more ruffley as garter is fatter than stocking stitch!
Verdict (New!): I mostly enjoyed knitting this, and the end result is very good looking. The main problem with it is that as it’s a semi-circular shawl the number of stitches on the needles increases quite drastically per repeat. By the end there were over 500 stitches per row, which is a lot!

Shawl - blocking
the shawl while blocking

Oh, I should mention my brand spanking new workout program! Since I last wrote about the program I’ve continued my “diet” which is working reasonably well for me (except today, I had a bacon sandwich. It happens. I’ll be better tomorrow)

Anyway, I spoke to my PT, explained the issues I was having, that I’d recently changed the way I was eating, and that I wanted a program I found more fun.

He’s sorted out a much more weights based program for me. There’s still a bit of (low impact) cardio for me in the form of the cross trainer, which is okay I guess. But the weights! Oh, they’re fun. Not mega-super heavy, but y’know, good.

Here’s today’s lifts:
dead lift – front squat – push-press, 20kg, (20, 10, 5; 20, 10, 3; 20, 8, 3)
bench press – sit ups, 20kg/bodyweight (8, 20; 8, 15; 4, 15)
kettlebell swings – kettlebell rows – kettlebell curls, 12kg/12kg/8kg (3;8e/s;8e/s) (Had a hamstring issue here, so stopped. Will do better next time)
jammer press – straight leg sit ups, 13kg/bodyweight (5, 15; 10, 15; 4, 16)
with 3 mins on the X Trainer between each set.

It’s so much more fun than the previous programme! Okay, it’s new, and I was enthusiastic (well, a little sceptical too) about the last one. But this one – I was looking forward to going to the gym on Monday and today. That is a result.

We’re going to start going every morning again, and swimming on the off days. Worst case, if the swimming isn’t happening (tight muscles, just too tired, whatever) I can sit in the Jacuzzi or the sauna for 20 minutes instead!

Edit: I just wanted to add that I’ve been having an issue with something called an IT Band (nothing to do with the computer, everything to do with my thigh) which has been causing me pain. My PT has got me doing foam rolling (which was in my Fit Female bible too) which is very painful to do but seems to help. I'm considering getting a foam roller for at home and also thinking about getting myself back to the Tuina guys for a pummelling!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

RIP: Aran

Aran's Photoshoot

Our hamster, Aran, died in the night.

He was about 2 years old, which is good going for a dwarf Russian hamster.  He outlivd his brother (Rowan) for some months. Since Rowan died, we've been giving Aran extra treats, but not handling him as much (he liked to bite) so as not to stress him too much.
We've really enjoyed having Aran as our pet and he will be missed.

Monday, August 09, 2010


That’s how I feel at the moment, like I’m somehow held in limbo.

The house move is probably going ahead, there’s no reason for me to think it isn’t. Even so, we don’t have a confirmed move date (though I’ve speculatively booked a day off work when it’s meant to be!) nor do I know if we’re waiting for anything further.

I’m still looking forward to the move, and settling in to the new house. If all goes to plan we’ll be moving on the bank holiday weekend. Obviously that’s great from a moving in perspective. I hope it works out from a buying appliances perspective too! However, if all we manage to sort out is a fridge then that will be fine – we’ve got a week off not long after to tidy up all the loose ends! Hopefully we’re visiting my sister in the weekend there too, with a trip to Costco, which will mean that if we do have a chest freezer by then (here’s hoping) we can buy some stuff to fill it. Woot!

The wedding is definitely going ahead (ahaha) but there are a whole bunch of things that I can’t do until we’ve moved house. I’m not setting anything in motion until then either. That means that after the move I have to visit the dressmaker, visit the registrar, confirm our new address with the photographer, the venue(s), and anyone else, and make invitations for everyone. I’m actually quite looking forward to making the invitations. It’s a nice excuse to spend a few (!) hours in my craft room making things. I’m less looking forward to sourcing addresses for people I don’t have addresses for!

Fiancé has sent off his passport to be renewed, well in advance of the honeymoon. It may or may not get back to us before we move. In either case we’ll be redirecting our post for a few months – an annoyance but a requirement. Until I have the confirmed move date there’s not much to do other than sit and wait! We’re still deciding on where we want to go for the honeymoon. I’m quite keen on a twin centre holiday with a first week of doing stuff and a second week of doing nothing. My favourites so far are Mexico and Sri Lanka / Maldives (or Thailand / Maldives I think is also available). Fiancé hasn’t expressed a preference yet. Still, that’s something else we want to get started on sorting out soon.

The shawl is coming on nicely. It’s one of a small number of things I’ll share in their entirety with the blog because it’s lovely. And it’s not really a key element; it’s just to keep me warm. I’m not sure whether I’ll knit any other semi-circular or circular shawls – the number of stitches is phenomenal. I’m in the last section now, but one row is taking almost an hour!

(Picture to the right is from - more information about the pattern there.)

And the gym, that’s also in limbo right now. I’ve not been getting on with the program that my PT left me before he went away, and then the car broke down so we didn’t get to the gym, and I just haven’t mustered up the desire to go back. I have another session on Thursday, so we’ll see if he can come up with anything else. I haven’t enjoyed the “weights as cardio” thing in the program – I know that’s what turbulence training is all about, but it’s not for me. I enjoy lifting weights. I appreciate that I need to do some sort of cardio to get the results I want, but the all cardio nonsense I’m doing right now is just depressing – and it’s not giving me any results. Honestly, I’ve lost more weight in the two weeks I haven’t been able to get to the gym (but have been dieting) than I did in the two weeks where I did this program three times a week. Either I’m doing it wrong, or it doesn’t work. And I suspect it’s the former – even though I’m killing myself to get round fast, I must just not be going fast enough for long enough.
I have been for a run twice while I couldn’t get to the gym. Neither time was especially pleasant, but I made it round my 2 mile course in less than 30 minutes. No, that’s not fast. I think it might even be quite slow.