Solstice Joy part 1

Well, I’ve finally landed at home. There was a bit of an adventure at my parents’ country house: in the two weeks that they’ve been gone, it has become mouse-ridden and our water froze. Not so awesome.

And then we came back to my childhood home, which was a really good place to land. I’ve been in limbo since Wednesday, so I as desperately needing a home base.

I’ve been thinking a lot about rather depressing topics lately, and as it’s a holiday season, I figure I really need to stop that nonsense. Today is the winter solstice; I’m supposed to take my mind OFF things like that today. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing for the solstice. It’s today, so I should come up with something. I’m thinking I’ll do some sort of vigil, meditation, baking, coffee, something to make me stay up late. If I don’t stay up through the night, I’ll probably get up really early to watch the sunrise.

One traditional thing to do on the solstice is just to craft. Which means I’ll probably spend most of the night knitting presents for people.

Mom and I are making a solstice dinner tonight as well – probably something Scandinavian, as we are very Norweigian. Recipes for that to come.

We’re also going shopping today for Christmas presents. I’ve run out of time to knit the things I was going to, so I have to find some presents for some of the people on my list.

In other knitting news, I’ve determined that there are some things I really, really need this winter that I could knit for myself.

1. A Scarf (or two)

Based on the scarves worn by some trolls in a Norwegian Children's Book.

Ravelry link to this scarf here.

This is a good, plain old warm scarf.

Ravelry link for this pattern here.

2. Hand/Armwarmers!

Ravelry has some really beautiful armwarmers, and I could definitely use them. I mean, I’ve finished weatherizing my room (finally), so hopefully it will be a little warmer than it usually is, but I could still use some hand/arm warmers to bundle up in.

Red Right Hand

These are pretty simple, and within my level of talent with knitting. But here are some other armwarmers I’d like to make as I get better at knitting:

Aran Gauntlets

Lyra's Wristwarmers - Gorgeous, but I'm a little scared of colorplay

Nereid Fingerless Gloves

All patterns can be found on ravelry, mostly free, and I’ve helpfully provided their titles.

So, clearly I just need to get a lot better at knitting to make these gorgeous wrist/hand/armwarmers.

More babble about knitting coming later. Plans for cowls and hats! It is definitely the season for knitting, that’s for sure.

I will also post a recipe for the Norwegian dinner mom and I make tonight. It will be wonderful.

(Yes, being on break means that I post here more often. What of it?)

Mission: Slim and Sassy update

Happy Fall Equinox! It’s been a very, very good equinox for me. Attended a public ritual put on by the Tree and the Well, and then had a very, very lovely dinner with my parents.

Time for sleep now. Among equinox/parental activities, I also read 90 pages today for homework. Didn’t even get everything done, but I’m in a good place to stop.

Post on the Hangar Dance to come, as well as some project-updates and general think-space on more serious subjects.

**

I guess I haven’t really stated it here, but I’ve been pseudo-dieting for the past two months. Well, month and a half I suppose. It’s mostly just consisted of me being smarter about food (as in, not eating because I’m stressed, and trying to eat a balanced diet), and also working in some exercise every day.

I now do yoga every morning, and go swing dancing at least once a week.

Here’s a brief look at my weekend’s exercise regimen:

Saturday

Did a quick vinyasa routine in the morning. Got dizzy (strangely), and so decided to stop.
Went to a swing dance and danced for 2 1/2 hours!

It was a really cool swing dance too. It was WWII themed, and took place at the airport where they still keep the WWII bombers. Everyone was dressed to the nines in their 1940s garb, and there was a live band playing with Andrews Sisters look/sound alikes. Absolutely fabulous! (More on this one to come later)

Sunday

Did an extended yoga routine.
8 Sun Salutations.
Balance poses – but grounded balance poses, so there was boat pose, cobra pose (very proud of being able to do this one), standing splits, and warrior poses.
Also practiced handstand and seated forward bend, with great success.

Side note: it’s one of my goals to be really flexible. Like, when doing seated forward bend, I want to be able to touch my nose to my knees. I also want to be able to do the splits sitting and standing. These flexibility goals will take me a while, I know, but they’ll be really worth it once I’m done with school and can go into teacher training for yoga.

Biggest news of the post:

I may have reached my goal weight of 125 pounds! I finally weighed myself in just a towel this morning, and that’s what the scale said.

EDIT EDIT EDIT: I did not actually reach this goal, I was just really excited to see 120 come up on the scale and forgot my scale is ten pounds nice. DAMMIT! Oh well; so I’ve got ten more pounds to go – those should be fairly easy! And I wasn’t planning on changing the diet much anyway, so I’ll just keep dieting to lose for another month. No big deal.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

1. I’ve really started to listen to the body. If it’s not hungry, I don’t eat.

2. I’m not depriving myself of anything, I just make sure it’s balanced. If I have pasta for lunch, I’ll have a salad with protein for dinner.

3. Exercise every day. At the very least, sun salutations in the morning.

4. I don’t eat late into the night, unless it’s fruits and veggies.

5. I don’t stock the things that I know I’ll eat too much of. Like chips. Hide them away, nothing to eat here.

6. I allow myself one day off a week. Not to binge, but to eat some things that I like and celebrate how well I do during the rest of the week.

That’s pretty much it. Nothing too fancy, and I feel so much better about my body. I will lose those last eight-ten pounds! And it will feel wonderful!

**

We are the kiss between heaven and earth,

we are the song between sky and ground,

Loving the world that we are making,

nothing is lost that can’t be found.

In which Abbie talks simultaneously about school, knitting, sewing, and herbology. E-gads!

Ugh.

ughughugh.

The semester officially starts tomorrow. Who’s not ready? That would be me.

Thankfully this fall I’m taking a lighter load. Only 12 credits, rather than my usual 16. I’ve been dragging my feet much more than usual this year, but I think that has a lot to do with not having much of a break this summer. I was just gettin’ my groove on! Getting projects completed/started!

I think, next summer, I’m just going to do Summer of Solutions. And maaaaaaybe a class. Maybe. If I really need to do it to graduate on time. Or to maintain my sanity in the spring semester.

At least I’m starting the semester off with the one class I’m really excited about – the 21st century novel. I’m going to spend the rest of tonight finishing the first novel for that class, and maybe getting a dent in the next one. I definitely suggest Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem to anyone looking to spice up their reading list with something really reminiscent of the noir genre.

My other classes are a science class, Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, and one for Social Justice, From Development to Globalization. When/if I go to India, I’ll be studying development issues in-depth, and this should be a good way to get started thinking about that.

We’ll see how I feel at the end of the week, once I’ve got more fully into my classes.

**

So I’m almost done with that white dress from a couple of posts ago. I’m wearing it right now, and it’s incredibly sexy. But there are some issues with the construction of it that I need to fix goddammit because they’re going to bother me from now to eternity.

I think this dress might be an exercise in patience. Unfortunately, I got my patience from my mother, who is a hot-blooded, red-headed Norwegian. And I believe a Taurus Scorpio. Yeah, you can imagine how much patience that leaves me with.

But if I am considering, at all, selling home-made clothing for any kind of money, I need to learn to be patient and crank out really good products quickly. And right now, while it’s a flattering dress, it’s not made as well as it could have been.

Here’s a teaser picture for you all before that dress is done:

013It’s not a terribly good picture, but you get the idea. I should really find someone who would be willing to photograph me wearing the things I’m making after they’re done … there is always the roommate, but I’m not sure if she’d like doing that. For now, we’ll just have to make do with my self-taken photos in a full-length mirror.

*

Thankfully, the knitting is going much better than the sewing these days. Which is strange, because knitting takes much more patience (just because it takes infinitely longer). But the sweater I’m working on is really coming along. A couple more movie nights, and I should have the body of it done. I’m probably about half done with that. Still have a long way to go, though – there are the sleeves, after all. But it’s definitely coming along, and resembling something I would wear on my torso.

Here are a couple of pics of the progress so far:

011

I particularly like how the flash played with the colors for this picture.

Best picture of the buttonholes I could muster.

Best picture of the buttonholes I could muster.

Oh, and I almost forgot the exciting bit of this post! A friend of mine saw my jean skirt, and she liked it so much that she commissioned me to make her a skirt out of a pair of her old jeans! We went and bought fabric the other day, and I think it will be super cute. It won’t be the same as my skirt, but now that I’ve done it once I feel like I can take some creative license with it.

There will be pics of that skirt to come later, and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind posing for me in it once it’s done.

I’ve also been a very good scavenger lately. This past weekend, I found some fantastic used fabric for dirt-cheap. I’ll buy some vintage patterns to go along with it, and post some pics. Yesterday, Goodwill was having a 50% off sale, and I went and found some amazing things. Mostly kitchen things, but I found a book on natural healing that was quite exciting and a Brita filter for a friend. If only I’d found some more fabric or some patterns! But alas, we can’t always have such luck.

Due to my using a lot of herbs for cooking, witchery, and other various uses, I think I might start an herb container garden. More coming on this later, but know that it’s coming. Most likely. I need to gauge how expensive it will be to start up an herb garden, and how well the herbs will take to growing inside. I also need to have a more final list of plants I’m going to grow, and for what purposes. Anyway, more on that later. I have things to do other than post this entry!

I’m off to finish reading my book.

Ta ta,

Abbie