Monday, January 27, 2014

Current project

I'm currently working on the New York Cardigan (  I had ordered 7 skeins of DK weight yarn intending to make a sweater out of it, but didn't have a pattern picked out for it.  Now I'm running out of yarn! :(  I had decided I liked the look of a tighter knit, so made it on size 6 needles instead of the size 9 the pattern called for.  Now I'm regretting that decision because a larger needle would make the yarn go a little further.  Is it totally crazy that I'm debating reworking an entire sweater so I can avoid ordering more yarn?  Gah! I'm not even sure if it would be enough to make the difference I need, but I'm still considering it anyway.  I think I will swatch up a piece tonight with size 8 or 9 need and see what I think of the drape.  As usual, I should have done that before I jumped into the project, but that's the great thing about knitting, you can almost always redo it!

Designing knitwear

In the past year I've started on a small side venture, designing knit wear.  It all started after I had Matilda and met my wonderful baby photographer.  I had brought some knit shawls in for the baby to be photographed all wrapped up in.  She later asked if I could knit her some baby items to use as props in exchange for future photo sessions.  I couldn't find a pattern for what she requested, lacy baby pants, so I designed one myself.  We were in the yarn shop and the owner was saying she could surely sell such a pattern, so I should write it up and give it a try.  So I did.  And it sold!  Ok, not a lot, but some anyway.  It's a great feeling, putting my expertise to use to create something new.

Since then I have created a few more patterns and it's interesting to see what sells and what doesn't, though I haven't put much effort into ads or self promotion.  I have a whole list of things that I want to try my hand at designing, either because it's an interesting pattern, or something I want for Matilda to wear.

Some designs that I've been thinking about:

  • Pants with patches on them, hearts and ovals.  Maybe the patches could be little pockets?
  • Entrelac heart banner.  A good way to use up odds and ends.  Could I make it all in one piece?  Most people prefer less sewing up at the end.  Another idea is to crochet the cord to desired length and add the banners every N stitches.
  • Pants with a skirt/ruffle.  Tilda inherited some RTW pants with a skirt on them and I love that look, so cute!  There are lots of possibilities here: lacy, ruffly, garter, color combos, stripes.

What I came here for

I picked the blog name Threadscapes because it relates to knitting, my favorite past time and forever obsession.  I'm not sure exactly what it is about it, but I can always find something new to excite me about knitting.  Endless colors, yarns, patterns...the choices are infinite!  I can spend an entire day knitting and not be bored.  And yet, not a single post so far about knitting.  Interesting.  There are lots of other topics I'd like to write about as well, but it's easiest to think about writing things related to knitting because I have some sense of accomplishment and mastery there.  While some may judge my style or color choices and I could give a rip about that, it's far scarier writing about real life and all it's challenges.

Anyways!  The next couple of posts I have in mind ARE knitting related, so let's get to the good stuff!

A most excellent day!

Today was amazing!  I woke up with so much energy and got a ton of stuff done.  I felt like I could just keep going and going and going...did someone put crack in my breakfast or what?  We cooked a lovely breakfast of pancakes and eggs with feta and veggies, and had some nice family time.  Tilda was so cute wandering around munching on a tiny pancake.  Rocky tried to steal it more than once, but didn't get it.

When Tilda went down for a nap (and stayed down for 3 hours, woo!) I decided it was time to do laundry and get some cooking done.  I made butternut squash soup, this time with cloves as the recipe calls for but I usually don't have.  I'm not sure I liked that addition.  I also burnt the onions just a little, so not sure which threw off the flavor.  

I also washed and chopped the rest of the veggies in the fridge, so now we have butternut squash cubes, cauliflower and broccoli, as well as all the salad veggies ready to be used.  It's nice to be prepared.  I don't mind cooking most nights, but it's tough to add all that prep time on a weeknight.  

Matt had band practice, so I took Tilda to the Wilmot gateway park.  She wasn't too into swinging today, mostly just wanted to stand and watch all the big kids playing.  She's so interested in other people, it's really cute to watch.  I took her down the slide a few times and she seemed to like it.  Then we took a nice long stroll along the Sammamish River Trail.  So pretty out there.  It was in the 50's and sunny in January, I love living in Seattle!

Next we ran a quick errand at the mall (argh, they forgot to take the security tag off my sweater) and hit the grocery store.  I dawdled there a little too long and Tilda hit meltdown city as we checked out.  Need to be packing more snacks!  Now that she's eating solids more at least we can get snacks on the go if we have to.  I got some frozen halibut filets at the store and made fish en pappillote for dinner with a salad and potatoes.

I don't know what got into me, but I like to think all this energy comes from the heathly eating and exercising lately!  It's a good reminder that taking care of yourself really does pay off.  Tomorrow I am going to take the day off for this week, so I can go to bed dreaming of what I'll have for brunch, and we're going to see a movie at the fancy iPic theater in the afternoon, popcorn time!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Game On!

Yesterday I started a competitive diet called Game On with some coworkers and their group of friends.  The idea is to give a point value to eating healthy and other good habits and keep score that way versus just pounds.  Contestants are split into teams, and the team with the most points at the end takes the winnings to split equally among members.  The buy in is $100, so it's a fair amount to lose, but not so much that it really hurts.  Just enough  to keep motivated (hopefully!).  Every day people post on the group FB board with recipes, tips, workout advice...all kinds of goodness.  So far I am really liking it!

I am also starting my food tracking again, with goal intake at 1800 calories.  That's what has worked for me in the past to lose weight, so I think that combined with additional support from my fellow Game On-er's I will finally get those last few pounds off!

One other fun feature of the game is picking a good habit you want to start, and a bad habit you want to stop to track.  It's really tough to pick something that you can do every single day for 5 weeks!  After much hemming and hawing I went with:

Good: Read at least 15 minutes a day.
Bad: Stop leaving the living room all cluttered at night, pick up baby toys before going to bed.

They are small changes but both are easily accomplished, and help me feel better about my day.  And it contributes to my goal of reading one book a month.

Now off to eat and log another snack on!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Goals and Resolutions

New Year's resolutions are silly things, usually tossed away before even February arrives. But if there's one thing I'm sure of about myself, I am motivated by a goal. I always have lists. To do lists, shopping lists, things to think about for the future, recipes to try, on and on. It's my go to organization strategy for both work and personal progress. It's the only way I can keep track of all the things rattling around in my head without going crazy. And so often, nothing feels better than crossing items off those lists, so why not do it more?!

For some reason though, I have never made New Year's resolutions. Well, not since the half-hearted "this is the year I quit smoking!" from so long ago (that was so long ago, it feels like another life time). 

Lately for work we are doing the yearly review and goal setting process, and I thought that when done right, it's so helpful. Why not try something similar for personal goals? 

With that, here are my goals for 2014: 

  • Workout/run at least 3x a week. Barring sickness of course, which we have had a lot of lately. I have been doing this consistently for a few months now, so just need to stick with it. 
  • Mother's Day Half Marathon - just finish! I kind of can't believe I am really going to do this, but I think if I can follow the training plan I will be just fine. Walking is ok, just want cross that finish line.
  •  Lose the baby weight - get back to 150. I have been really slacking here. I was letting myself have whatever I wanted while breastfeeding, and now that's over I don't need all the extra calories. It's just 10 pounds. It doesn't seem like that much, but it really brings me down sometimes.
  •  Cooking - cook more meals at home and plan ahead for the week. I need to come up with a more specific goal here, but this is one that's been nagging at me bad lately so I'm including it anyway. It's even more important now that Tilda is cramming solid food in her mouth left and right. Nutrition is important, and I want to teach her healthy eating habits from the beginning. 
  • Sewing - clean and organize the craft area, finish the blanket and top in progress, start using up fabric stash, sign up for sewing classes. I think about sewing a lot, but procrastinate out of fear and laziness. Knitting is just easier so I never get up the energy to move my butt off the couch and into the craft room.
  • Reading - one book a month. I don't set aside much time for reading, so maybe I need to schedule it. 

I think all of these things are reasonable if I keep focused. The last year has been all about baby, and that's ok. It's how it should be when they are so little. Now though, it's time to get back to other things I love, that drive me and challenge me. I'm excited to see how tracking them will help!  I'm ready, let's do this 2014!!