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So last Friday, I announced to the known universe that I was going to try Something New on Monday.  And I wrote about the Before-Photos I took in preparation for it.  Yes, I know today is Tuesday and I haven’t provided The Report yet.  But bear with me.  I have My Reasons.

Frankly, I partially wanted to make sure the New Thing didn’t kill me before I started telling everybody about it here.  And here’s what happened.

I did try the “New Thing” on Monday.  And it was pretty hard.  Some of it had me muttering not-so-nice-words at that little pixie on the TV.  But I did survive it, and it certainly wasn’t as hard as a 26.2 mile marathon.  Or a 30 mile ultra.  Or even that crazy race I did a couple weeks ago

And it sure didn’t take as long. 

Seriously–it was a fanny-kicker.  But as a distance runner, used to spending hours on my training each day, so based on the short time it took to complete it, it almost felt like I was cheating.  

Enter:  Tuesday.  On Tuesday, I had a wee bit of a problem springing staggering out of bed.  I did not feel like the exercise program from the day before was cheating.  In fact, what I really felt was, well, pain. 

But this pain was a hurts-so-good, kinda pain.  The kind where you know you’ve really had a good workout. 

For me, the pain was a reminder that there were muscles in certain parts of my body that I’d really not thought much about.  Certain areas of my legs, rear end, upper back, and armpit area.  Yes, armpit area.  Turns out there’s a lot of muscle groups that kind of powpow there to accomplish of lifting your arm at your shoulder joint.  Areas that you really don’t think about unless they are sprained, broken or otherwise injured. 

So why am I putting myself through this? 

Well, because in almost a year and a half of running, I’ve become much healthier internally, but STILL have had a heck of a time shedding the weight.  The diet and type of exercise of a distance runner are WAY different from the traditional population, so what works for lots of folks doesn’t necessarily work for us. 

And here’s the difference between this New Thing and the bazillion other New Things out there, at least for me:

I was introduced to this program by distance runners.  My kind of people.  People who have very, VERY, similar stories to my own.  (Sometimes scary similar.) 

And this New Thing actually WORKED for them.  Not just in a little way, but more in a:

“I went from a size 12/14 to a size 6 in 90 days without starving myself or being some kind of diet freak”

kind of way. 

Now I’d seen moronic claims about this stuff before.  Everybody has.  But this was different, because I actually KNOW the Human Being that made this happen for herself.  In fact, I know a couple gals who’ve made this happen for themselves.

So I’ve decided, I will try this New Thing.  I will do what these ladies have done for themselves.  It can happen for me too! 

I have NOT stopped running or training for races.  But I am incorporating the New Thing into my current training regimen. 

And at this rate, I should start the new year, minus the weight-and-body-mass equivalent of a toddler attached to my legs and hind end. 

Which would be a Very Good Thing. 

[And just WHAT is the New Thing of which I write?  Well, I’ll give you the details tomorrow.  And I’ll keep posting my progress (and ongoing commentary) on this blog until I reach my goals. 

But I’ll spare you the Before Photos.

I’ve entered the world of Pattern Improvisation. 

My friend Kari is amazing.  She can improvise almost any pattern.  And she has a great attitude about it:

Don’t have that kind of yarn?  Who cares?!  This is pretty–let’s try it.

Only seem to find a different size needle?  No big deal, use it!   It’ll all work out. 

Did that pretty green hat end up too big? 

The Green "Hat"
The Green “Hat”

No problem, let’s just make it into–oh yeah–a hula skirt for the husband.  Yes!  That would work just fine. 

Counting stitches?  Excuse me what did you say?  Counting?  Huh?  Hmmm.  HA HA HA HA!  You were joking weren’t you?  Where’s the fun in that?  Ooh look, there’s something shiny over there…

She’s one of those knitters–those carefree knitters–happy happy happy.  (And incidentally, I think she’s awesome, even as I tease her!)

Happy Kari
Happy Kari

Now, me on the other hand, I’m a Type-A, by-the-book, follow the pattern, rip-it-out-if-you-made-a-mistake-ten-inches-ago (I’ll know that mistake is there!), tight-gripped, jaw-clenched, do-the-math, get it right, perfectionist, kind of knitter. 

Let’s just say, we’ve balanced each other out…

So Kari, bless her widdle heart, will be thinking, well how nice for you, Shannon, that you’re finally relaxing a bit with this knitting adventure. 

But to me, improvising is mucho stressful.  Did I say Mucho? 

It all started when I lost , misplaced, surely my husband is somehow to blame for the fact that this book is not where I remember it–my World’s Greatest Sock Book.  I love this book by Ann Budd.

getting-started-knitting-socks

I learned to knit socks using this book and every time a sock pattern seems kinda squirrely, this is my go-to book of help. 

So when I started knitting N’s socks on the magic loop, you know, the ones I started five times, I figured I could get details I needed from my Awesome Sock Book.  I needed the help because I was using different yarn and size needles than the pattern called for (very rare and scary for me, but I am under the mandate of No More Yarn!  So I am using what I have).  Now the Awesome Book doesn’t really help with circular knitting, but it’s great about explaining the heel flap and heel turn very specifically.  I figured I could figure out the ribbing, but once it came to that heel turn, I’d need a bit of a primer. 

So, fearlessly knitting away, I work on my little sock, getting ready to head into the flap and the infamous heel turn and–wouldn’t you know–I couldn’t find that stinking–I mean awesome–book ANYWHERE.

Complicate this with the fact that we had to head out of town, so I had no Awesome Book, no internet access to knittinghelp.com, no lifeline to call.  All I had is the pattern with the Way Wrong Information, and some folded patterns in the bottom of my knitting bag. 

Just before despair set in (if I didn’t figure this thing out I was going to be sitting for HOURS in a hospital waiting room with NO KNITTING–subject of another post), I got Determined not to let that stinking sock beat me! 

So I MacGiver’d parts of several patterns together and with my own considerably puny expertise, managed to turn that heel without an Actual Pattern or Actual Instructions!  I do have photos, but my camera has pooped out, presumably due to sympathy-stress from my Improvisation Ordeal, so the photos will have to wait until we’re both recharged.

But still–WOO HOO!  Very exciting to have crossed over into the world of Improvisation Knitting.  Not necessarily relaxing and enjoyable the way Kari would do it–but exciting to rise to the challenge nonetheless. 

Confession:  I’m relieved to be back to the pattern now, however.  Enjoying myself much more, and really looking forward to that Kitchener stitch at the end.  (I have issues.  I know.)

 

 

 

 

 

Wow!  I’ve received so much feedback from my first post back into blogland, that I am tickled pink!  N is very encouraged and, of course, I’m sure that Linda is secretly planning her autograph signing party for her new found fame! 

I have a sneaking suspicion that more than a little of today’s traffic has been from the Treadle On Angels themselves (my name for them, but I do say it sounds very cool and is quite fitting).  I wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to know just how to reach these folks. 

Official flag of the Treadle On angels

Official flag of the Treadle On Angels!

You can hit this link to go to their organization’s homepage, which is a treasure trove of information, friendship and sewing lore.

And, just for fun:

Enjoy!

Okay, I know it’s been, well, months, since I’ve posted here, but believe me, I have some very good reasons.  Between hospitalizations, a vacation, the holiday frenzy, and lots of other assorted stuff, I’ve been well, Indisposed.  But now, we’re back and I’ll try to pick up (at least slightly) where I left off, craft-wise.  (I’d have to have gotten back to business eventually, as Kari has shamed me into writing again!)

One really big area where I was remiss in not posting was the incredible, awesome TOGA party that N and I went to back in October.  My friend Linda and her incredibly creative sister, Sharon, invited me to this gathering of sewing legends who are (seriously) experts in treadle and handcrank sewing machines.   Linda and Sharon’s sister, Frankie, was part of the party too, with her creative crocheting self.   Well, My daughter, N, and I went and we had a wonderful time! 

As you may recall, my daughter N, took a liking to sewing  and was sewing on a chainstitch TOY machine.  Enter, the Treadle-On Angels. 

We simply CANNOT have sweet little N sewing on that toy.  (Seriously, I knew no better, but N was happy, so who was I to interfere?)  Yet, these amazing men and women literally took us in, taught N to sew and (for real) gave, seriously GAVE,  N an antique hand-crank sewing machine.  (Very special thanks to Karen and her very special guest, Iz).

I cannot thank these incredible folks enough for the hospitality and generosity they showed us.  More importantly, as a mama, I can’t thank them enough for the huge round of applause they all gave N as she finished her very first real project!   WOO HOO!  Oh yes, she’s got the sewing bug now.   And even though our opportunities for any kind of new crafting have been minimal with our family’s recent illnesses, N’s still chomping at the bit to get back in there and crank that machine.

These people are the real deal.  They blessed my daughter and me more than they could possibly realize.  I am so grateful for the chance to attend their get-together.  Whether they knew it or not, it really was a life changing event for N.  Which always makes me happy.

Here are some neat pictures of the event:

 A quick PS to Karen:  if you’d like me to post the photo of Iz with the machine here, I would be happy to do so.  Just want to make sure it’s okay with you.  Also, if you would rather I’d just send the photo directly to you, just let me know.   🙂

(And I promise, more updates from other crafty-type things will follow soon!)

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