Saturday, January 14, 2017


...on so many levels.

New Glasses...

I got new glasses. A new prescription and different frames. I love the frames. They're a radical departure from what I've had, and they're a bit larger. So there's more real estate for the Varilux lenses. Swarovski frames, believe it or not... Here's what they look like. I was trying to move away from the purple, only to see that these are called "violet." Guess I can't get too far away from my favorite color, even on purpose!

And I can't find the sweet spot. I can't see in the middle distance unless I tip my head far back. Which we know is unsustainable, right? 

So I can't see my computer screen. I can only see the laptop screen (upon which I'm typing as we speak) unless I tilt IT back farther than normal - to keep my chin level. 

I noticed something odd the Saturday I got them; I went to a workshop and wondered why things didn't feel right. Then I knitted a lot - see below - and I looked up every 40 minutes or so, and thought, "What??" Maybe I'd been knitting a long time. Maybe I just need to adjust my gaze. After a week, I came to the conclusion that I need to go back to the eye doctor. 

Anyway, I'm set to go back to the eye doctor on Monday. I tried to work around it because I thought, "maybe the Rx changed enough that I have to get used to it." I could see in the doctor's office, but even though they made me read a little card, I should have thought about looking at a computer screen. 

Hopefully, she can fix what's wrong. Note to self: Don't forget to bring your old glasses!


...and I was at the BIND-OFF on the Shape-It scarf. Then this happened. I swear, I don't know. I don't think I dropped a stitch. Two knitter friends said "just pull it back together with a crochet hook and anchor it with extra yarn." I'm not ripping it all the way back. But I'm unsure how that's going to look when it's blocked. 

Crap. Crap. Crap. 

I think I might have pulled something. I don't think it's dropped, because when you see the rest of it, there's no "runner." It's not like a dropped stitch fixes itself. 

My biggest worry is the blocking and the potential for popping an already weakened area. I've read enough knitting blogs to know the "disaster in waiting" which could happen if it's not blocked properly. Or if it's not fixed properly. 

And as with all good knitting - right now, it's in Time-Out till I can wrestle with a solution. I haven't even bound it off, though I suppose I should do that part, at least. Then I'd at least have a "partial" F/O to work with. 

Oh well. It gives me time to figure out how in the heck I'm going to block it out, too. The rubber tiles are going to take up some room. 

This is its replacement. Another sock! It's a Vanilla pattern, but with a nice variation: 2 sets of 3-column ribbing along each ankle, which keeps the socks from slouching. 

This is kind of an experiment for a couple of reasons. I'm using my 1.5 Cubics DPNs, and Sirdar's "Sole to Sole" which seems a little rough to me. 

The colorway is SH0052 and Lot No. 163089. This yarn is a little rough - much like Opal when you're knitting on it. But I believe it's going to soften up once it's washed and blocked. 

It's a nice self-striping colorway and I think it's going to fit this pattern quite well. The pattern is "Vanilla Socks!" from My Knitted Heart. You can find it here. As you can see, she uses a self-striping yarn as well. 

I'm doing my "patented" (ha) 4-knit roll on the top. And part of the experiment (aside from a new yarn I've never used before) is that I'm doing these at 64 stitches. 

The Sweet Georgia sock was done on 72 stitches, and it's a little too slouchy. So here's the experiment: Is this sock going to be too small? Is it going to fit well? 

I can tell you that my tension is a little...tense. I don't know why; I'm deliberately trying to loosen up. And I think that as I get farther down the leg, it may loosen up. I'm hoping for a 7" leg - maybe 7 1/2" - not sure yet. Depends on if I get bored. I need at least a 7" leg for my own comfort. 

I always panic. I get itchy thinking that I'll "run out" of yarn when I know full well that a 7" leg isn't going to do too much damage with 400+ yards of yarn! But it still freaks me out a bit... This time, I'll try to have more patience. 

Maybe you can see why the 64-stitch size kind of freaks me out: the first few rows looked awfully small! But I think it'll be ok. I've done a couple on 64 stitches, and they've fitted ok. Nothing to do now but press on. 

Essential Oils and Sole...

I'm trying to be a bit more consistent with my use of Essential Oils, and I'm also trying to incorporate a sole (pronounced so-LAY) - a salt detox.

It sounds funny, but sole uses Himalayan salt - with lots of trace minerals. Those trace minerals are often missing in our diets. But replacing them can be daunting. The sole uses water that's infused with this natural salt, and you take about 1/2 tsp. in a glass of water first thing in the morning. Helps for hydration, regulating blood sugar and balancing out the pH in the body. I tend toward the acid side. I can take the finish off a sewing needle, and I have to be careful of the metals that I'm in contact with. 

We'll see how this works. I just have to remember to do that BEFORE grabbing my morning tea. And I admit: I'm a creature of habit. I stumble toward my steaming mug of tea each morning, so I have to make a slight side trip. 

As far as the Essential Oils, I've been diffusing Eucalyptus Globulus in my room every night. It not only adds more humidity (and my nose says "thank you!"), but the properties of the Eucalyptus include improved breathing. 

And every morning, I like to add a little Tangerine to my water. When using essential oils in water, you need to use a glass container. Really good - therapeutic grade - essential oils will mess with plastic. So use glass. Reusable, can be recycled, and doesn't hold a "taste." Sometimes, with my plastic bottles, they hold the flavor of whatever I have in there; whether it's tea or water with a cucumber or lime slice, it never seems to come as clean as it could. Glass cleans up much more nicely, too. 

If you're going to use essential oils internally, please seek out a qualified aromatherapist or practitioner. Not everyone should use every oil. Some oils affect people differently, and there are oils which should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Be careful and do your research, with the help of someone who knows what they're doing. 

Just Breathe Yoga Studio...

So we've been doing a little updating at the studio. We took off the old plastic film on the windows, put up new, light-blocking curtains, and got a lovely salt lamp for the space. 

We also have a booster for the cell signal, but we have to ask the landlord for permission to put it on the roof. The reception, when it's inside the studio, isn't much better than "no booster" and we need a stronger signal. 

Oh, and we have a new screen for the front door. That screen is the "signal" that a class, a private session or a workshop is going on. We have (as you can see) no "vestibule" and no "waiting area" - you walk in, you see the entire space. 

It's been fun to see the expressions of some of the students. Much like when we repainted, they come in and look around and pause... "Did you do something different here?" Yep. We did. It's nice to have curtains you can open again, and as you can see from the transom area (above the door), the film has a bit of a haze on it. It's like a greenhouse film, so the condensation will be minimal - if any. And that means the teachers can open the curtains on a nice day and let in a bit of natural light. 

The Burning...

I thought about a Burning Ritual for the New year. I took apart the numerous "weight loss" notebooks. Grabbed a tin tray, a little bit of dirt, a candle and a book of matches. 

The dirt is a safety measure. The candle is in the center of the dirt pile. The tin contains the fire - since I don't have a fire pit or other kind of container. 

Found a spot outside, away from the wind. 

Then I sat down and thought about it. What do I want from 2017? What do I need to release? Am I nuts? 

It took me about 10 minutes to think about it. 

Then I wrote a bit. I arranged my various bits of paper in a stack and tried to get the matches lit. It's not that it was all that windy. Maybe it was that the matches were old. Maybe I've lost the skill of lighting an actual match, now that we use "flame sticks" more often!

Anyway, I'm sure my neighbors thought I was slightly nuts. It was hard to get things going, but the candle did help. Once the candle was lit, it did help the papers catch. I layered them, with twigs, to keep things going. After the lists were burned, as I watched each weight, each step, each measurement - as they folded up in the flames and turned to ash, I thought about the "release" part of it. 

I thought about those bits of paper turning into pieces of carbon, which I dumped into the garden for next year's tomatoes. I thought about what those pieces of paper represented. My ambitions at the time. My efforts. Sometimes the futility. Often, the disappointment. The valuation of my Self as a number. Reduced to the fact of my weight and the number of steps I took. Summarized by the digits on a tape measure, faithfully written down and preserved for posterity. 

Are those things me? They were. Are they me now? I'm not sure. I consciously burned the papers. But did I internally absorb the actual action of burning - of shedding - of releasing the compulsion to document my life in the framework of my weight, my exercise. My concentration on my own physicality. My own obsession with my outward self. 

Not my inner self. My inner self which can be incredibly self-critical, demeaning, judgmental -- all toward my outer self. 

Why do we do that to ourselves? Seriously, I blather on about not dyeing my hair, about not wearing make-up, about not being vain. I'm not a style maven. I'm not even inclined to regard the latest fashions as anything I'd put on my body. 

But not often because of the styles. Often, it's because I think, "Oh, I'm too fat for that." Or "I'm too old for that," though there's some validity in not being mutton dressed as lamb... 

I've thought about what that burning represented for me. I've already re-purposed one of the "Exercise Logs" as a knitting notebook. But I still cogitate - I still roll around in my head what I'm learning about myself, what I feel as I stare down the fast-approaching 60th year of my life. 

I'd recommend doing a burning ritual once at least. Try it with something you need to release. It certainly has stuck in my head and has given me a lot to think about. 

Random Picture & Political Commentary...

Raisa. When she hears the Cheetoh Troll. Just kidding... She does this quite often. 

Though I'm really not kidding about the Cheetoh Troll. That scares me. I'm not sure where our nation is headed and I'm not liking what I'm seeing so far. From the number of people who don't know that the Affordable Care Act actually IS "Obamacare" to the dismissive and dictatorial way the Cheetoh Troll handled the first-ever press conference. To the refusal to release tax returns. Twitter. The outright, blatant and accepted lies. The obvious, salivating, nearly-wetting-their-pants eagerness of Congressional Republicans to repeal the ACA and cause untold damage not only to our economy, but to the lives of the millions of people who are covered. 

The oldest, whitest, most male Cabinet in history. Or as my mother calls it, "The Cabinet of the Walking Dead." 

The specter of the disappearance of everything we as a society have fought for. That some have died for. That the young women coming after us will not have the rights and opportunities we've had. 

I'm not going to "get over it." And I'm not going to "give the benefit of doubt" to a pathological liar with obvious urges to be Dictator-in-Chief. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do yet, but I can no longer sit on the sidelines.

Or hide my head in the couch. Can you?

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