Wednesday, 31 July 2013

WIP Wednesday #5


 

I finally finished the ginormous cardigan and returned it to it’s rightful owner! An important lesson has been learnt here – never take on a big commission again. It really reminded me of the old days working for the yarn companies when I was expected to churn out huge mens sweaters to ridiculous deadlines for very little pay. At least I got paid a fair amount for knitting the ginormous cardigan. Never again though.

So this week has been quite exciting as I’ve worked on some projects that hadn’t been out in a couple of months, due to cardigan-related guilt. I found a couple of knitted creatures in various states of progress. One of them I finished completely (photo on Friday). Two of them are loitering on the bookshelf, not quite finished.

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This little teddy bear guy has no eyes. I tried to embroider his eyes, but was not happy with the result. They were too small and he looked too much like a cat. He shall sit here until I finish pondering.

 

 

 

 

 

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This cat has no ears. I found all the pieces of cat in the bottom of one of my canvas knitting-on-the-go bags, but when I made him up I realised I had neglected to knit him any ears. He is sitting patiently with teddy.

 

 

 

 

 

I also decided to reward myself by starting my long-awaited Betty Mouat sweater by Kate Davies. I’m using Artesano 100% alpaca. I’ve already managed to muck up the first cockleshell repeat, and I have no intention of redoing it. I’m such a rebel!

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This post is part of WIP Wednesday over on Tami's Amis. Hop over and check it out!

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Juice Fasting


13 years ago, I gave up work and had my third and final baby. Happy though I was, I piled on the pounds. Here is not the place to confess my previous weight. I took the bull by the horns, joined Slimming World, got a dog, and after 6 months I managed to get my weight down to around 11 stone. My goal weight was 10 stone, but I plateaued and after another 3 months I got discouraged and gave up. Then I started home educating, and suddenly I had no free time! My morning jog with the dog went first, and gradually I moved around less and snacked more. I put over a stone back on. In the last 5 years I have tried, to no avail, to get rid of the this extra stone and lose the original stone to get to my goal weight of 10 stone. It never works. I get to 11 stone 2lb EVERY TIME and then my weight loss stops. I get discouraged and bored, and my weight creeps back up again.
A few people have said to me, “maybe 11 stone 2lb is your body’s ideal weight/natural weight/set point. Your not that fat, you don’t need to lose weight. Just accept it.” NO! If this were true, then why did my natural weight used to be 10 stone? I was 10 stone until I turned 27, and this is the weight I felt comfortable and confident at. Why am I not naturally this weight anymore? My perception of my weight is more important than your perception of my weight, and I refuse to accept it.
But I was tired of menu planning, and calorie counting, and restricting what I ate. So in January I started the 5:2 fast diet.  
The 5:2 Diet Book: Feast for 5 Days a Week and Fast for 2 to Lose Weight, Boost Your Brain and Transform Your Health

When I started I was around the 12 stone mark (again). After steadily losing 1lb a week for four months I was – you guessed – 11 stone 2lb. Don’t get me wrong, it came off nice and easily, I had more energy than I’d had with other diets, and my body seemed to have remodelled itself slightly. My permanent muffin top was gone. Great! But here I am again, stuck at 11 stone 2lb. Some weeks I gain a couple of pounds, the following week I lose them again. So at the beginning of June I bought The Gabriel Method.
The Gabriel Method: The Revolutionary DIET-FREE Way to Totally Transform Your Body
What a fantastic book! My weight loss problems suddenly made complete sense! It completely explained why I keep getting stuck. So I downloaded Jon Gabriel’s evening meditation, and I’ve listened to it every night for a month. Jon suggests adding in some extra protein and omega 3 to your diet, which I’ve incorporated. I stopped weighing myself every day. I started juicing at breakfast, and on my fast days to cram in extra nutrients. This book has really helped shift my attitude towards food. I’m definitely eating healthier without really trying.
Now the weather is hot though, I just don’t wanna eat, and don’t wanna cook! I’m also feeling sluggish, like I need a good detox, something I used to do regularly, but haven’t embraced for over a decade. I would also like to see if I can break through the 11 stone 2lb barrier. Today is the 1st day of my 14 day juice ‘fast’. It is not a fast in the strictest sense of the word, as I’m not bonkers enough to enjoy drinking juice for 14 days straight. I’ve cobbled together my own plan from the book ‘Juicing for Life’.
Juicing for Life: A Guide to the Benefits of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Juicing
I’m juicing 6 times a day for the first 5 days and allowing myself a light supper in the evening if I feel I need it. Then I’ll try and do another 11 days juicing 4 times a day, with a normal breakfast and dinner. I’m also going to weigh myself every morning, just for the sake of curiousity.
Starting weight on the dodgy bathroom scales: 11 stone 6lb.
I’ve gained 4lb since the beginning of June. The first day has been ok, with the exception of having green pee, which apparently isn’t that unusual. I had a small portion of homemade lasagne at dinner time – I am ridiculously hungry, yet feel simultaneously nauseous. Also I have a headache and I’m tired. Pretty much what I expected from my first day, so okay so far.

Part 2
Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Calling all bold, boisterous bohemian souls!


 

Marney Makridakis from ArtellaLand.com is presenting an all-new, soulfully whimsical FREE teleworkshop happening on Wednesday, July 24: "Creations, Completions, and Cupids Falling in Love with Your Unfinished Projects!" Play with creative games and activities to identify and be inspired by the next steps to bring your creative dreams forward.  I can’t wait to get started! I’ll try and share some of my progress over the coming days, feel free to join in and link to your blog in the comments! 

Get info here!

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.