Tag Archives: swatching

Moving More, Eating – well, just about the same…

fat bike signWhen Andy (née Hannah) was a baby the Rosie O’Donnell Show was one of our favorite mommy-baby morning routines.  One year she promoted a campaign to “Move More, Eat Less” and it was a good thing for a lot of moms like me, with new babies and brand new areas where fat had appeared.

I’ve never been thin, but I’ve been thinner.  Actually, there was one time in 1984 when I was a size 10 for about 32 minutes, but that is long gone.  Amazing, though, how many pieces of clothing one can buy in a 32 minute time period…

I’ve always fought my weight. I’ve dieted, not-dieted, starved, binged, exercised like a dervish, sat on the sofa for weeks on end (my “Gilbert Grape period”) and, although I have to admit there were differences in weight, nothing was permanent.

At this point in my life I’m not expecting to every be thin, but I’ve been striving for the past 5 years to be HEALTHY.  My benchmark is to be able to ride my bike for 7 miles a day. This seems to be the magic mileage that allows me to have good movement and reduce the Fibromyalgia pain, and it’s very doable.

My bike, my man, my dog and a new haircut!

My bike, my man, my dog and a new haircut!

If you’re someone who doesn’t ride a bike, you might think that 7 miles sounds like a lot. It’s not – really! I worked up to it. I remember when riding 2 miles to my son’s baseball game was a challenge! But it only took about 2 months of daily riding for 7 miles to feel like a walk in the park.

And, since bike riding is seven times more efficient than walking, it IS like a one-mile walk in the park!

I’m fortunate that I live in an area where biking is encouraged. Our city & state government here in St. Paul, MN, is behind directives to promote ALL kinds of physical movement. We have an excellent ‘nice ride’ bike share program, and our bike paths, share-ways and greenways are legendary! Yeah, riding in the winter can be cold, but once you’re well covered (hands & faces are the most important) then a winter ride is really VERY nice! Just watch out for that ice!

However, since starting ModeKnit Yarns with my partner, Kathleen Pascuzzi, I haven’t made the time to get out and ride as much as I used to.

I get overwhelmed with the amount of physical work involved in dyeing hundreds of skeins of yarn, and I talk myself into believing I don’t have the time for cycling. Add to that my inability to get my Xolaire shots for 3 months this Summer (Damn you, Health Partners!) and there was a huge period where riding my bike was NOT as accessible as it had been before.

Spessartine Flow

But I’ve made a promise to myself that I will increase my cycling (and I’m back on the Xolaire…)

Being on my bike makes me happy (ENDORPHINS!) and it really does help decrease the amount of muscle and nerve pain that haunts me on a daily basis. It’s non weight-bearing, so I can bike without wrenching my knee

(Damn you, high school basketball!)

Now I just have to keep convincing myself that the hour-a-day I take from my busy schedule is WELL worth the time. It’s really true – when you run a business, it’s very hard to take time for YOU!

A Bolero Sketch from History On Two Needles (based on a Tissot Painting)

A Bolero Sketch from History On Two Needles

So it’s Submission Season, which means a lot of swatching, sketching, and a whole bunch of thinking. As much as I feel guilty when I take time from the dyeing biz (see above) I know that getting a good submission pack together is important for several reasons;

  • I need to stay visible and pertinent as a designer
  • I enjoy the income from designing (Damn you, mortgage!)
  • When I’m permitted by the magazine to use ModeKnit Yarn, it’s a great editorial benefit to our company.

Win, win, win!

But, like the cycling, I need to take time out to actually DO the knitting, swatching, etc. It’s so easy to just put my head down and work, work, work; endlessly dyeing,  skeining and updating the website. But if I don’t put in the non-dyeing time, the business ultimately suffers.

Who knew that at age 54 I would be able to learn so many lessons about using my time wisely!

Well, Let’s Hope So!

Friday, February 4, 2011 By Rick Levine


Virgo
(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You are motivated to get a lot done at work today with the Sun-Mars conjunction activating your 6th House of Employment. The cluster of planets in futuristic Aquarius encourages you to set pragmatism aside and take a risk for what you want. And although you might not be seeing everything clearly now, it’s smarter to trust your intuition and do what makes sense to you rather than wasting your energy trying to persuade others to share your point of view.

It’s no secret that I love my Rick Levine horoscopes (even though I’m not sure if I’m a Virgo or a Leo these days…) because I find them eerily fitting to my current life.

Or perhaps I’m just eerily hopeful that the good ones will pan out for my day!

After Max’s Bar Mitzvah I took a few days to recover (OY!) Well, who wouldn’t need to recover from THIS?

Knitting note: For those who enjoy Candace Eisner Strick’s work, her
sister, Judith (on violin) is the leader of this Klezmer band, Klezmorim.

Killer Cold

And as soon as my recovery seemed complete, Max came down with a croupy cough (he’s prone to those) while leaped to me, then to Hannah, and then to Gerry.

Max is great now, he’s gearing up for a weekend retreat with his B’nai Mitzvah class where they will discuss the facts of life.  We joke that it’s going to be two days of guilt training.

Hannah’s well enough to go to school after 2 sick days.  It’s the start of the semester and she LOVES her classes and hates to miss them.  Besides, today’s a half day, so it gives her a chance to touch base, pick up assignments, then return home and rest for a few days.  She does seem much better, just tired.

Gerry’s hit hard – he’s sleeping right now, and missed his photoshop class last night (he’s training with the hope of finding work doing web video stuff, it’s through a program for disabled Minnesotans).

And me?  Well, any chance my lungs have for a bender is all they need to go nuts for a week.  Laying down is insanely hard, sitting up is tiring, but complaining makes it ALL BETTER.  Wah, wah, wah.

Swatching

Seriously, though, I’ve been getting a lot of swatching & pattern writing work done, which is great!  I can’t show images of my sketches because they’re currently in contention for some mag issues, but I’d love to share some of the swatch highlights…