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Thursday, 8 December 2016

And this is why it doesn't do to get cocky...

So, I have various socks on the go, as always (I'm not going to to admit how many pairs!), and most of them I'm just knitting plain, as I do for most of my socks.  The more pairs I knit, the more I know about what I do and don't like.  I've learnt that I prefer flap-and-gusset heels to short-row style heels.  I know that although I like TAAT, I find it a bit slow and cumbersome.  I know that although I prefer toe-up if I really love the yarn and want to use all of it, by and large I knit cuff-down.  I've learnt that although I like magic loop as a method, I really like DPNs, because they're quick and easy and so much better for doing my preferred heel.  I never thought I'd be a DPN sock-knitter; I have no problem with them, but magic loop seemed tidy and simple and easier.  Now, I'm pretty much a total convert; I suspect most of my future socks will be done on them (although the sock circular has its merits, too).

So I'm slowly evolving my own perfect sock style.  Although I do like patterned socks, I generally knit plain ones; maybe because I favour wild colours, like my dad, and patterns often don't go well with crazy yarn!  I'm trying to become the sort of knitter who can just knock out a basic sock without even really thinking about it - not needing a pattern,  just doing it.  I'm getting there - I know my cuff will either be k1p1 twisted rib, or a folded picot, and my leg will be as long as I fancy.  My heel will probably be flap and gusset*,  and I'm slowly getting the method of that firmly stuck in my knitting memory.  I thought I'd got it this time, I really did - heelflap over half the stitches, same number of total rows as stitches (so 32 for me), pick up 16 stitches down each side, and start the decreasing.  Sorted!  I was so chuffed, and maybe a teensy bit smug, as it all went perfectly.  See?

Yeah.  Bit of a cock-up there.  I hear it helps if you actually, you know, turn the heel during the process...  Ripping out time for me!  (Again; I already redid the heel because I decided I really didn't like the short-row one I did first).

*Although I'm about to delve into the mysteries of the afterthought heel, so we'll see whether this remains the case!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

What does it take?!

I've been on a bit of a drive recently to try and do more exercise and make healthier choices in general; some days are more successful than others, of course, but overall I'm pleased with my progress.  I'm mostly doing it in the hopes that it will help to combat my health issues - exercise and fresh air are meant to be very good for helping to manage anxiety and depression - and, of course, it won't do my waistline any harm!

I've bought a rowing machine - a bit of an extravagance, perhaps, but I was paid for a load of overtime, and then found this one fairly cheaply (and then it was even cheaper; I still haven't worked out how, but I'm not complaining!).  I love rowing machines, though; I find them very soothing in terms of the motion, and I actively enjoy using them, so I know it'll get good use.  Plus I believe it works most of the body, so that's a bonus!

The other thing I've really been trying to do, aside from eating more healthily, is trying to hit that magical 10,000 steps a day, as recommended by all and sundry.  I have a pedometer, I do a fair amount of walking anyway - how hard can it be, right?


Seriously.  I have yet to hit 10k since I started this.  And it's not like I'm being a massive couch potato all the time.  Take Sunday, for example; we went into London to meet up with some friends for our annual pre-Christmas get together and present exchange.  Normally we go to a museum, but this year we were wandering around a Christmas market at Southbank.  Lots of wandering around.  Result?  Just under 6500 steps.  How?!  And yesterday - I walked to work, I vacummed the office, I then went round and dusted the office, I nipped out to Waitrose and back, and later to the Post Office and back.  I wandered around town doing a few errands before then walking home and pottering around the house a bit.  Result?  8800 steps.  Seriously.  WTF?!  I have no idea how anyone manages to hit 10,000 steps a day.  All the advice tends to be stuff like park further away, or get off the bus a bit earlier, or take the stairs rather than the lift.... well, I walk to and from work, and there isn't a lift so I have to take the stairs!  And somehow it still doesn't get there.

Anyone have any tips on this?!