Saturday, February 25, 2006

feeling like a milion dollars, not a million dollar baby

Ah poor blog. I haven't been keeping up very well. It's not because I have been too busy. I just haven't had the heart to write. I don't want to TMI anyone, but my personal life (read 9 year relationship) is falling apart. I have been very upset and haven't had the heart to really knit either. Sometimes when I am unhappy I turn to knitting. Sometimes I feel paralyzed. This has been about paralysis.

Not only has my knitting suffered, but the other half of my blog, Kung Fu, has been kaput lately, too. I love kung fu. I love learning it, practicing, sparring, weapons. It rocks. And the people at my school are awesome. I really don't think I could meet funnier, more interesting people with fantabulous personalities in Ithaca. But things have been happening that have upset the equanimity of the kwoon.

There was a couple that both attended, but their relationship is now over. During the time that the gal was thinking about breaking up with her other half, she spent most of her time with my kung fu teacher. Whether or not anything happened then is moot because they are now officially seeing each other and she's got poorly concealed hickies all over her neck. You can imagine how the guy feels. And how this creates a bunch of tension in a formerly tight-knit group. Not to mention the fact that I am not getting any teaching time. Most of the time my teacher devotes to individuals has been devoted to one individual. Take a wild guess who....

So home life has sucked, knitting is nonexistant and kung fu has sucked. It's all so depressing and I don't think I could really continue to function on my normal level if it were not for boxing. Dear, lovely boxing. Everytime I come home from the gym I feel like a million dollars. I am happy. I feel like I have made progress. I feel like I have shed the grief that followed me around all day. My toes are actually lighter, I swear.

And really all that I have done is shadow boxed and hit a heavy bag. Granted, I hit it as hard as I can for as long as I can. And when I get to hit focus mitts with the boxing trainer I really find my physical limit. He pushes you there, and keeps extending it. And I love hitting the speed bag, the rythmic sound it makes, the trance-like state that you can find yourself in. It's a one-ness with the little bag. It's all so simple and so good and so very therapeutic.

And the people there are so kind. Mostly it's guys training there and I felt a little intimidated at first. But now I can't think of another place that I have been to lately where strangers will just walk up to you and help you. Explain how to do what your doing better. It's just so nice, especially since I am a gal.

It's the people, the activities, the training. I am really glad that I found boxing when I did. I wouldn't be having any million dollar moments in my life otherwise right now.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that I lost 10 pounds?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Long Forgotten Panta Set

I would just like to say that if I rated all the items that I have knit with regards to usefulness, then I think the clapotis comes in on top, even above socks. I've been wearing it all the time around the house to keep my shoulders warm. And now I know why people wear shawls. It totally works. My whole body feels a bunch warmer with it on. Then of course, I like to wear it out, too. So it's getting it's worth of wear there as well.

And I need to catch up on some knitting pictures. I forgot to post these after the holidays. I made this set of fingerless mitts to go with the panta for my sister for Christmas. I finished them really quickly but let them languish for a month in need-to-seam-land. I just kind of winged the pattern and it truned out pretty well I think.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

FO: Silkgarden Clapotis

finished clapotis On Saturday I finally finished my January knitting project: A Clapotis in Noro Silkgarden #84 (6.5 skeins). I increased to 95 stitches, did 17 straight repeats and used US9 needles. The finished dimensions (unblocked) are ~6/1/4 feet by 1.5 feet. If I stretched it out flat the width would be greater.

This was a great pattern for mindless or easy social knitting. It was entertaining to watch the color story unfold using the Noro yarn. I don't know if it would have been as satisfying a knit if I had used a solid colored yarn. In gerneral, I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out. In the picture it's purl side up, like on Knitty.

Me in Clapotis And One of the best things about knitting this pattern is that once it got pretty long, I could wear and knit it at the same time. So I had such lovely warm shoulders while knitting.

Yarn from italy My BF came back from Italy last week and brought me a few knitting suprises. The first is the yarn in the picture to the right. He was in Venice part of the time and went to the Yarn shop near the Ponte Vecchio. He talked with the gal working there and ended up choosing this yarn. It's called Snow and is about 95 percent wool. Doesn't it look a little like LB Homespun? It's ubersoft though and I don't think it will handle anything at all like Homespun does on the needles. It's definitely not a yarn that I would have chosen on my own, but it's quite cheerful and will make a nice floofy scarf, don't you think?

New knitting bag He also brought back this lovely bag. It's gift from friends of ours living in Venice right now and he thought it would be perfect for holding my knitting. And it is a great little project bag. I took it to my stitch'n bitch last week and it held everything I needed.

In an effort to catch up with my blogging (it's been a rough couple of weeks for me in my personal life, but this is a knitting and kung fu blog..), there is something that I need to respond to. The talented Teyani at the Intrepid Fiberwizard tagged me with this playful meme a couple of weeks ago.

4 jobs you have had in your life
* High School Science Teacher
* Administrative Assistant
* Retail in clothing
* Retail in (I can't tell you it would ruin my rep)

4 movies you could watch over and over
* Hero
* Matrix
* Legally Blonde
* Blue

4 places you have lived
* Miami, Florida
* Frankfurt, Germany
* Tucson, AZ
* Missoula, MT

4 TV shows you love to watch
* The Ultimate Fighter Reality TV show
* 4400
* Chapelle Show
* The Surreal Life

4 places you've been on vacation
* Italy
* Davos, Switzerland
* San Carlos, Baja
* Barcelona

4 websites you visit daily
* Knitters Review
* My weather site
* slashdot
* Webmail

4 of my favorite foods
* Kee Mao (Drunken or Spicy basil noodles)
* Pho
* Spaghetti with meat sauce
* Chocolate Souffle with real whipped cream and hot chocolate sauce

4 places you would rather be right now
* On the beach in Miami
* Asleep
* In Tucson on a hike
* In Seattle (my hometown) hanging with my sister

Boxing has been going great! Get this, I have lost 10 pounds since I started!!!! And I have decided that it's not all water weightt because it's stayed off for 5 days now. It might also have to do with stopping the dairy as well. ;-)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Pink Fists of Fury

Check out my pink wraps! I haven't had a lot to say this week because it's been rather tumultuous and I tend to get pretty tight when I am upset. Things in my personal life have been topsy turvy and my man, mr. fortran, has been living it up in a different country. So I haven't had any support on the homefront. But there have been a few bright spots.

First, you know you're having a good Tuesday when someone comes up to you and says, "Hey I haven't seen you in a while. Your butt has gotten a lot smaller!" Now that just makes you go woohoo! inside. Since starting kung fu I have gained 20 pounds. Now of course it's muscle, but I still haven't lost a lot of the fat I had on top of the muscle. So all in all I have gotten bigger and very frustrated. But I think I am finally at the point where the body fat I am losing is beginning to show. Yeehaaw!

Second, I went to the local boxing gym this week to check it out. For a while now I have been wanting to go because I feel like I need to work on my punching. I don't hit very hard and my fist is wrong. But I have been feeling a little shy about it and busy, too. And I can say now that it's too bad I waited so long. The guy who runs it rocks.

There are 3 other gals I have seen training there. 2 just started and the other one looks really hard core. I can tell that there are also some kickboxers and muay thai fighters training there, too. The people were really friendly and it's one heck of a workout. I went 3 rounds punching mitts and nearly died. My forearms were so spent. But it was so fabulous. I felt like a million dollars when I walked out of there last night. (then I went to kung fu. I am officially insane).

As for knitting, I am still working on my clapotis. I just have 4 more rows of the last straight repeat and then I am moving on to the decreasing section. I also restarted the Pomatomus sock for the third time. This is supposed to be the charmed one, right? I just don't like magic loop. Give my my DPN's!

The other knitting thing I have been doing lately is putting together a lace scarf pattern. I've been swatching and swatching. I still don't have it right.

Knitting special olympics I've also just joined up with the Knitting Special Olympics (which I apparently forgot to bookmark. Doh!). I will be working on Eris again. The whole Yarn-Harlot-knitting-Olympics-thing really turns me off. I don't enjoy knitting under a deadline. All in all it's not my cup of tea, but I've got nothing against those who are super enthusiastic about it. More power to them! This is just more in line with my knitting personality.

And Congrats to Beth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!