Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fully recovered

It feels good to be pain free. Today, I didn't even feel the tiny point of the origin of all the troubles at the back, so I can really say I am fully recovered. Workout routine has been interrupted for the last 2 weeks. It is great to be able to work out to my full capacity again. Since summer has officially started, I am alternating laps in the pool with time on the treadmill too ... hoping this would help the back.

The last row for the afghan is almost finished. I don't remember knitting so fast on sample squares before. I finished 3.5 squares during the weekend! These 2 are from The Great North American Afghan pattern book:

I certainly had fun working on them. And needless to say, I am definitely going to make the GNAA. :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Came out too short

All the squares have been sewn and I am indeed very happy with they way they came together:
I've seen other afghans with different choices of colours. But I am glad that I chose to minimize the number of colours used.

The only problem is the afghan came out a bit too short. I would like it to cover a whole person. With the sewing and the inevitable shrinking of the squares after blocking (the yarn is largely acrylic, you know), it is now 53" long. So I decided to add one more row. I would be choosing some squares from the Great American Aran Afghan and the Great North American Afghan that would go well with this one. These 2 are from the latter:
Got to start knitting again. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I have so much to share with you!

Right after my last post, I hurt my back practising the piano. It was ridiculous, I know, and I would spare you the details. The fact is I've been hurt and spent every ounce of energy figuring out whether I should sit on the sofa, on the swivel chair or stand to make myself more comfortable. For the first 2 days, bending forward was an impossible posture. I did see a physician in the urgent care center; but as we all know, there is not much a doctor can do to most back pains other than telling you that it would get better with time and be careful with your postures; or prescribing some heavy painkillers. I was happy to know that the physician I saw was not one easy on doing the latter. I really don't like that.

I am doing much much better now. The pain is almost completely gone. With the help of a back brace belt, I could even vaccuum with relative ease (never felt so happy doing housework before ... hahaha ...)

During this painful week, I only worked solely on the afghan. Since one square didn't work out for me, I think it would be a good idea to have a signature square. I got the inspiration from one knitter who did a similar square for her Great American Aran Afghan (but I couldn't remember who). And I want to make the signature with my Chinese name. So, I found this very cool Chinese calligraphy editor and chose an ancient style:
The next step would be to transfer the above into a chart. For this, Chart Smarter from knitty Spring 05 is a wonderful help. In order to go ahead with the charting, I needed to know how many stitches and rows would make up a square of the desired size. Luckily, the previous square I worked on was this:
It is basically a plain square with 3 tree appliques. After much calculations, I got my charts:
After printing them out, I had to clean up the year chart a little. Then the knitting was the easiest part:

Now I am doing the unpleasant task of cleaning up the loose ends. I swear I would take care of the loose ends after finishing each square from now on. I swear!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

May hasn't been a good month

May hasn't been a very good month for me. Nothing serious and certainly nothing tragic ... just little things here and there that made me pause and appreciate when things were good.

After serving me for almost 10 years, my Nike Air shoes fell apart into pieces. I hate wearing new shoes, especially sports shoes. But a nice salesman recommended a new pair to me that fit like gloves and didn't feel like new shoes at all. So, I am happily jogging on the treadmill again.

I have been feeling pretty good ever since I started working out. However, there were several days in May when I knew I was not in good shape ... not sick, just not well. So, I listened to my body and took things easy. :)

Then the knitting did go that smoothly. I am just happy that I got over the hurdle of the corner-turning dilemma. Now all I need is the perseverance with working the thousands of rows! The sock mojo has been come and gone at her own wish. After much search and try, I finally landed another lace pattern for my next pair.

MAY:
Knitting:
  • as usual, 1 pair of socks (but I haven't made up my mind yet this time) DONE (the VK Lace Socks)
  • finish the Unst Lace Stole NOT DONE (far from it actually)
  • 1 GAA square (there are 4 left) DONE
  • swatch and cast on for another sweater project (I really like the Akomeogi Tunic from the latest IK) HALF DONE (I did the swatch but not start the project)
Sewing:
still the same ... but since I have started the cutting, things should look better this month ... hahaha ... STILL NOT DONE (but I did get things going)

JUNE:
Knitting:
  • 1 pair of socks (I have started Vine Lace Socks from Socks, Socks, Socks)
  • finish the Great American Afghan (only 2 squares left ... I optimistically think it is doable)
  • continue working on the Unst Lace Stole edging
Sewing:
Really ... I should get those bookcovers done!

Exercising:
I think I have successfully integrated exercising into my daily life. So I'll just keep it going.

Oh, I also wish to be able to exercise better self control and not waste so much time playing Scramble on Facebook. But this little game is soooo highly addictive. :)