100 Days to be Happy: Knitting

Knitting Crazy…

Well… okay maybe I’m not this crazy about knitting… but I do love it.

I don’t do it a lot – I tend to work on one project at a time, ever since I had nine different craft projects going on and didn’t finish any of them when I was meant to.

I’m working on a third jumper for Grandmother-in-law at the moment. I’m using a lovely cream dk yarn with green-brown flecks on cable needles and following a top down pattern from one of my favourite books. It’s going fairly well, despite the constant interruptions from PW (she likes to play with the yarn, very much like a kitten…) and I’m anticipating finishing it by September.

The reason I like knitting is that it relaxes me. When I have a lot of one stitch without too many shaping stitches or any cables to deal with, I can let my hands do the work and let my mind wander. It’s very meditative.

I’ve come up with a few story twists that way.

It also gives me something to do with my hands that doesn’t involve food – I put on a lot of weight when I’m baking a lot… *looks guilty*

All of this adds up to me feeling more relaxed, so when the kids start acting up (which is a lot) or I’m feeling anxious & upset about something, knitting soothes me and allows me to deal with it calmly.

I can’t do long periods of knitting though. I have Carpel Tunnel and the repetitive motion of knitting makes my hands ache and go numb if I do it for too long, so I tend to alternate between knitting and writing.

So that’s Day #5… Knitting. If you’ll excuse me, I’d rather like to get another couple of rows done on the yoke shaping…

Image Change Experiment – Week One

On TV, Gok Wan is always going on about changing how you look at yourself.

The people he works with start out looking and feeling fat and frumpy (for example) and after eight weeks of education about clothes and body shape (not to mention a top hair stylist and makeup artist), they have blossomed into a shapely, feminine figure who feels great about themselves and looks fabulous.

Click Image to go to the How to Look Good Naked Page...

I am mid thirties and having had two children and several crises in the last ten years (I comfort eat), I am carrying about two or three stone too much weight. I have a definite hourglass body shape (that plays havoc with buying clothes), my skin is pale and doesn’t like taking a tan. I have thread veins all over my legs and even when I wax them, because I have dark hair, I have thousands of dark little dots on my legs…

And don’t even mention my hair…Okay… I will mention my hair. Normally, my hair looks like this:

Is she 30? She looks 50...

Granted, that’s not a brilliant picture of me – I call it my “Mad Woman with Cats” portrait (no sniggering in the back there) – but my hair is normally a dark brown with red streaks in it from the sun and you can see that in this picture.

I’m also rather lacking in the wardrobe department – plenty of clothes, I’m just not sure if they are what I should be wearing

Today, because it’s so grey and un-summery, I was feeling a bit grumpy and down, so after I had dropped the kids at school and shoved TOH out the door for college, I decided to do a little experimentation with my hair colour.

Now, don’t get too worried, I never go that far with this sort of thing. I tend to stick to colours that only change my hair a little. I think the brightest my hair has ever been was a deep purple colour that washed out after six weeks.

The colour I chose was one that I won from John Frieda – a dark Red Brown.

Having followed the instructions to mix the colour:

  1. Open Developer bottle.
  2. Open Colour bottle.
  3. Pour Colour into Developer.
  4. Gently tilt the bottle several times to mix the liquids.
  5. Change the screw cap for the foamer cap.

…I slipped on the pair of “professional” Colouring gloves. Black rubber, very kinky looking (and a little too tight – I have big hands) and started applying the foam to my hair. I had ¼ of the bottle of liquid left when I decided that I had enough. I don’t think I put enough foam on though; when I compared the picture in my mirror to the one on the leaflet, I didn’t look foamy at all…

I spent the 20 min developing time playing Puzzle Quest. The Arke Liche had defeated me four times by the time the clock rang.

Washing it out was as easy as shampooing my hair. The dye left my scalp cleanly and the conditioner provided smelt quite nice. I decided to style my hair for a change, so about twenty minutes later, after wielding brush, hairdryer and straighters I looked in the mirror and blinked.

The colour had definitely changed and when there’s light on my hair, you can see that the colour is there. It’s just rather subtle.

Strangely, I feel different.

I’m not sure if that alteration in emotion is because I did something for myself, or because I’ve changed my appearance slightly.

What Gok does isn’t just changing the clothes of the woman he is working with; it’s about changing the attitude of the person to herself. The clothes are almost a symbol of that change.

Gok throws out the wardrobe they have at the beginning and replaces it with a brand new one that suits the personality and body shape of the woman. By the end of the show, the woman (or man, sometimes he does men) has transformed and I am green with envy.

I’ve tried hard to change my attitude to myself. I’ve gone from looking at myself in the mirror and seeing a fat, lumpy, old woman to seeing a thirtyish woman with a great body shape, gorgeous eyes and lovely hair – the flabby arms, rolls of fat, saggy boobs and bloated belly, mar it though.

And no, I am not posting pictures… I wouldn’t want to make people feel sick.

Sometimes I can see the woman I should be in the mirror. I saw her this morning after I finished doing my hair. However, she doesn’t stick around for long and I really wish that instead of getting that glimpse, I could see that woman all the time.

So what is next on the experiment agenda?

I just checked my stats on the Wii Fit. I’m back to being almost 14 stone. It’s an unhealthy weight, especially as I’m getting older rather than younger. So that needs to be sorted… and the easiest way of doing that is to get into an exercise habit.

And as normal, I just had to set up a timetable.

However, this time I am going to take it a week at a time and not plan an entire month’s worth in one go – it always makes me feel bad when I don’t achieve what’s on the timetable when I do that. I’m going to do exercise that I find fun, uplifting and that I can fit into my life, rather than try to target a particular area or anything like that. As well as getting into an exercise habit, I need to get out of a failure habit. I have to motivate myself – I can’t rely on anyone else for that, it’s an attitude adjustment.

Right, here we go.

I am going to take this uplifted feeling that I got from colouring my hair, and use it to spur myself on for this week’s exercise. At the end of the week (well, beginning of next week) I’ll weigh myself etc again and report, right here on my blog. Then I’ll plan the next week’s exercise and carry on from there.