Monday, September 27, 2010

Living Up To The Grumpbump Name

I am so hungry.  I started Weight Watchers on Wednesday, September 22.  My plan is to use the Weight Watchers online tools to help monitor my weight and eating, not this blog.  However, I will make sure celebrate any success I have with the program here without getting too specific.

I never realized how poorly I ate and how I have developed the worst eating habits, regardless of my weight.  I know I should have made the connection but I am really good at justifying my behavior to myself.   No crisis of conscience for me when there is a brownie in my sights.   This past week I have really adhered to the program and recorded everything I've eaten.  I've also turned my food intake upside down - I now eat more vegetables than anything else (thanks to a visit to the Farmer's Market on Saturday).  I'm trying hard to incorporate more fruit as well.

One of my worst traits is my quick submission to my cravings and weekends bring out the worst in me.  I added as many vegetables as possible to my meals to fill me up but it was not easy.  My saving grace is that I'm not a very picky eater, so the options available to me are varied.  For example, I made a vegan burger for dinner, with red onion, tomatoes, cucumber slices, and bread and butter pickles.  I use sandwich thins for the bread and I splurged with a teaspoon of mayo on the bread.  Very filling meal and I still have a few points left to eat some yogurt and fruit or even to enjoy some Weight Watchers ice cream.

In order to keep myself busy, I started a new pair of socks - this time using a variegated yarn.  It is so hard to find a pattern for variegated yarns because the changing colors can overwhelm most stitch patterns.  I started the same sock at least four times, each time making it about 20 rounds before I decided I hated it.  My knitting tends to be tight, and on top of knitting with small needles, projects that require you to knit into stitches more than once really have me pulling my hair out.   I'm going to start again tonight.and this time I'm going with something very easy and simple and I'm going to jump up one needle size. Variegated is pretty but not as fun as a solid.

Macy knows what you are thinking!  Shame on you!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hoping For A House

I finished the second sock!  It took me no time to get that one done, even though I realized my notes from the first one were not as complete as I needed them to be.  So I did a lot of holding up the first sock to compare it to the second one in progress.

From Steve's View

From My View

I am joining Weight Watchers starting Wednesday.  I am not looking forward to this, but when the commercials for Jenny Craig and NutriSystem actually start to look promising, I know it's time to do something about this problem.   I started exercising in the mornings - not of my own free will and not even because Steve has been on my case.  It is because the cats start screaming at me for food starting around 6:15 a.m.   After making sure that Delilah and Macy are eating (separately) and they have clean food and litter, I turn on the television and look up the OnDemand exercise channel.   The selection is varied but I've only been doing the cardio workout.  

I wish I had good news about my house purchase, but everything dealing with short sales is hurry up and wait.    I have a contract on a really nice house but I'm waiting for the seller's bank to approve the contract.  It is really hard not to put all my faith and hope into one house because the reality is that there are too many variables in short sales.  The key is to be patient and have lots of offers and options out in the market.  I was patient for, let's face it, about ten days.   I am going to start a new pair of socks to provide me with a distraction so I don't yell at my realtor (again).

Don't Mess With Me, Delilah!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Actually Did Things This Weekend

I completed two projects this weekend.  The aforementioned patchwork cat blanket and now, Sock One of Two, which was started more than a month ago.  Here's hoping that I can get Sock Two on the needles tonight.  It always seems that the second sock of a pair goes quicker than the first.

I still have fit issues. I understand the mechanics of sock knitting but do not have the patience or the fortitude to adjust the pattern for my feet.  Instead, I just strictly knit the pattern as-is.  Although, this pattern calls for size 1 needles, but I just could not get those to work for me.   This sock was knitted on size 2 needles. (Hint:  If you click on the pictures, you can get a closer look.)

No cables, but the look is intricate

I'm not sure I like this heel

Macy said I did a good job.

I have a ton of sock yarn in this colorway (deep solid purples, blues, and pinks, with variegated versions too).   I'm leery to do a cable pattern because I have problems with knitting cables on such small needles and cable patterns are a lot of damn work!  Socks can be nice when they are a quick knit (comparatively speaking).   I'm the type of knitter that is okay with taking time on a project when the pattern is easily memorized.  My cat blanket took me longer than I normally like, but the pattern was so easy to do and also to put down and be able to pick back up at any time.  Cable patterns....not so much.

Sunday nights are my favorite at this time because it means Mad Men, even though Monday morning is right around the corner.   I'm going to get my Sock Two on the needles right now so I can feel I had an even more productive weekend.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Things That Distracted Me

I missed a whole month of posting due to my  preoccupation with (i) work; (ii) my favorite television show, Mad Men, and the newest season; (iii) knitting; and (iv) everything else that interferes with sitting in front of the laptop.

As you know, I adopted another cat.  I have promised myself  that I will stop at two.  No more pets; I haven't even told my mom about Macy yet (she's severely allergic and Delilah was not a welcome addition for her).  Macy is doing better these days - we've had her since July 30 and now, almost 7 weeks later, we see definite improvements with her.  She is much more relaxed around us and she frequently joins me on the couch.  Also, she is much more playful than Delilah Bug and I try to make a habit of engaging Macy with one of those cat teaser toys.  Macy also gets a kick out of messing with me while I'm knitting.  The movement of the yarn makes her jump at it and that's when the cat teaser comes out so I can distract her from my yarn.  

I knitted a mat to use underneath the litter box (using up my scraps of cotton yarn) and then got an idea to knit a blanket for Macy to use.  So I got more scrap yarn together and made a mismatched, patchwork blanket using a Quaker Rib Stitch.  I made a real effort to get it done quickly, and every day I would find Macy laying on top of the work-in-progress.  Today, I finished the blanket, snapped the obligatory pictures, and handed it off to Macy for her total use.  Of course, she wants nothing to do with it now.

Maybe I need to wash it in catnip
It's hard to see the stitch pattern in the picture and some of the yarn I had really shows it off nicely.  I ran out of the chunkier yarn so I started using two strand at a time of the thinner yarn.  I'm glad to be using up my stash because then I can buy more yarn - Steve will not let me buy new yarn unless I make a serious dent in what I have already amassed.

I need to figure out how to make my edges cleaner looking.  The cast-on and bind-off edges are fine, but the selvage is a mess of weird bumps.  Perhaps I need to just slip my stitches at the start of every other row (when knitting flat).  I am considering knitting a nice afghan for my mother for a homemade gift, so I want that to look as finished as possible.

Finished Product
My big news is that I finally decided to start looking into buying a house.  This process requires me to be secure in my job and to have a generally positive outlook on life.  Therefore, you know this will be a challenge for me.  However, I don't want to jinx my plans already in progress, so I will not be saying anything specific until I actually have closed on a home.   

Finding My Treasure

Now that my shawl is complete (yarn purchased during the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl in March), it is just hanging out in my foyer until I de...