A pair of these were always going to be made for Christmas, but I didn’t expect the time for them to be knitted would come so soon. Such is the way of Christmas, I suppose. So here’s the start I made yesterday evening. I’m using Rowan’s Tapestry in Pot Pourri.
I plan to cast on for this today. It’s the Gaiter pattern from One Skein (love that book!).
These two knits are my Christmas Push, because I have got to get them finished for the last posting date for the States 🙂
In other news, I continued to puzzle over my aran design last night. I re-read the first chapter in EZ’s Almanac about aran knitting. Her opinion is that you measure your gauge over st st. Then, take half the sweater (eg the front half) and knit it as a hat. If it measures half your desired width across, then your combination of motifs is good. If it’s too narrow, you can stick in more purl stitches between motifs by using your st st gauge as a guide, and vice versa if it’s too wide. I’ll probably have to knit a few hats :}
I think my welly sock is a bit too big. I am going to finish off and then try it on to get a better idea. It’s hard to tell when it’s on needles, and it’s too much effort for me to string all the stitches onto a bit of wool, try it on, and put them all back on the needles.
I’ve decided to get fit for Christmas. It’s around this time of year that everyone starts eating crap, takes no exercise and gets sick. I don’t enjoy being sick for Christmas. I got back into my running in September but then I had that period where I was just constantly sick and exhausted, and I turned back into a blob. By “running”, I mean jogging very, very slowly. People out walking usually pass me out. If you, too, would like to get into shape for Christmas and feel smug about it, I recommend jogging as the cheapest, most rewarding method. I took it up to lose a lot of weight I’d put on (about 10kg) and I found it really worked. If you like the idea, but are a bit reluctant, here are some tips.
* Start off by just running or jogging two or three minutes. The best way to do this is to go out for a walk, and then near the end, run the last bit. When you’ve built up to about ten minutes, try and do a 15 minute run. It’s not about speed, it’s about making it to the time. Remember that a 10 minute jog is worth about an hour’s walk both in terms of using up food and cardio benefits.
* By the time you’ve made it to 15 minutes, you will already be looking really good. In my experience, it takes about a week for a change in exercise and eating to show on the scales. This means that if you ate half a packet of biscuits with your tea yesterday, you can cancel it out by doing a run the next day. Seriously, this works!
* What goes in must balance what is used up. If you eat too much, you’re going to have to work harder to use it up. This is something I try and think of when faced with chocolate cake. It’s easier to say no and not have to use it up. Or save it to have the day you know you’ll be going for a walk or a run.
* If you’re looking to lose a lot of weight as well as get fit, be prepared to get stuck at a certain weight for a while. Fat is stored in layers and the longer it’s been there, the harder it is to get rid of (this means that if you’ve recently put on a bit, like I have, it is easy enough to lose). When I was plugging away at losing that 10kg, I got stuck at 65kg for at least three months. It was infuriating. I eventually lost the last five by training for a fun run.
* Running’s not for everyone but it does take perseverence. It helps if you’ve got someone to encourage you when you’ve had a bad run or feel like you’re not getting anywhere. If you can get this person to come run with you it’s even better.
* Lastly, you can’t be superfit all the time. Things happen, you get busy, and you don’t always have the time to exercise. You might go two or three weeks without taking regular exercise. The funny thing is though, if you built up any level of fitness before you took a break, your fitness will return very quickly once you go back to it. I’m always stopping and starting and I find that each time I go back to it, it’s that bit easier.
* All you need is a pair of runners – which you probably already have – and a good sports bra – which is worth investing in. Branded sportswear is overpriced and over-rated. Not sure where to look? Arnotts and M&S do good sports bras for about e30. You’ll get an excellent pair of Asics runners for about e30 too if you don’t have a pair. They won’t be too snazzy looking but they give great support and are really comfortable. As for the rest, I can’t recommend Penny’s and Dunnes Stores highly enough. Comfortable and cheap.