Jan 142017
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Sunny Socks: der erste ist beim Zwickel
  • Vine Leaves: fertig gestrickt, Enden vernhäht, muss gewaschen werden und braucht Knöpfe
  • Windschatten: Silvester angefangen, der erste Socken ist fertig, der zweite angefangen

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • rot/schwarz BFL/Seide für Pi-Tuch weiter gesponnen
Gehäkelt habe ich:
Gewoben habe ich:
  • Brettchenwebband
 
Genäht habe ich:
  • gar nicht

 

Faserverzückter Jahresrückblick:

1. 2016 – dein Craftingjahr:

  • die Highlights: nicht wirklich Highlights, aber das vorherrschende Thema war, dass ich Jacken aufgeribbelt und neu gestrickt habe
  • Neues ausprobiert/gelernt? Das erste Mal gefärbt.
  • die schlimmsten Reinfälle: Beim Färben 500 Gramm Merino verfilzt.
  • Deine Lieblingsteile 2016: die beiden Swing-Kleider

2. Der Stash 2016

  • Zu- oder Abnahme? Weiß nicht, etwa gleich, schätze ich
  • Deine (Garn)Vorlieben 2016: Auch dieses Jahr habe ich vorwiegend handgesponnenes verstrickt. Ansonsten bin ich wieder zurück zu Merino gekommen. Weich ist halt doch am besten. (Außer, es verfilzt.)
  • Neuentdeckungen? Nicht, dass mir da gerade was einfällt.
  • Was ausgemistet? Mottenverseuchte Seide und alles, was ich eh nie verspinnen werde

3. Events und Aktionen

  • deine Highlights? Ich habe sowieso nur an der Tour de Fleece teilgenommen
  • neue Leute getroffen? Ja, ich habe Besuch aus Amerika gehabt, den ich über Ravelry kennengelernt habe (AlisaB)
  • weiteste Reise zu Craft-Events? (falls du gereist bist) keine Reise

So, und jetzt noch ein paar allgemeine Fragen zu eurem 2016, die nicht unbedingt aufs Handarbeiten bezogen sind. 🙂

  • Song des Jahres? Nö. Aber ich höre wieder die Red Hot Chili Peppers rauf und runter.
  • Buch des Jahres? Auch nö. Hier ist eine (bis jetzt unvollständige) Liste aller Bücher, die ich gelesen habe. Insgesamt etwa 120.
  • Drei Dinge, die du nicht hättest missen wollen?
  • Drei Dinge, auf die du gut hättest verzichten können? monatelange Hüftschmerzen
  • Was hast du 2016 neues begonnen? Färben, Zehnfingersystem fürs Tippen, Fingerübungen am Klavier machen, mehr auf tägliche Gewohnheiten achten und dadurch mein Leben verändern
  • Wovon hast du dich 2016 getrennt? von recht viel Kleidung und Büchern
  • Hast du ein Motto/Vorsätze für 2017? Und wenn ja, welche? Nein.
  • Wenn du sowas hattest: Wie hat es mit deinem Motto/deinen Vorsätzen für dieses Jahr geklappt? Hatte ich nicht. Neuroplastizität finde ich aber immer noch hochspannend.

 

Erwähnt wurde:

Jan 112017
 

I could say that getting more done on the projects that matter to me is a New Year's goal but then I've had that goal for ages, and remember that back in October I decided that I really need to spend more time on writing novels because otherwise I'll never get them finished.

Which is why I seriously buckled down in November, and found that even spending an hour a day on writing was seriously hard for me.

Now I should have lots of free time. I only teach about four hours per day, often less, I don't do much on weekends, I don't commute, I don't do a lot of housework, and so there should be a few hours per day free for things that matter like writing, and blogging, and podcasting.

Now I am still exercising quite a bit, about 45 minutes per day on average. That means on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays I don't schedule anything big in the morning because that's when I go walking/running, and on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I block off between twenty and forty minutes after work to do strength training.

Still, I'm usually done with breakfast by 8, I don't really cook, just help my husband cut a few veggies here and then, and eat lunch at 1. That's five hours of time, and even with housework and building a fire in the woodstove, and talking to my husband for an hour while he has breakfast, there should be an hour somewhere in there to work on something creative.

So I started writing down what I did in chunks of 15 minutes. I did start last week when it was still winter break. Even though I only did it for a few days, and even though I sometimes forgot to write it down that exercise was eye-opening.

After breakfast I'd sit there, knitting and reading, for three hours. Three hours! And then I went to my computer and spent an hour on the internet. And after lunch I went back to knitting and reading and surfing the web, and then I barely managed to do a minimum of piano and singing practice before squeezing the strength training in, then there was dinner, watching some show with my son, and then bed.

The first day that I tracked my time I spent six hours knitting, reading, and surfing the web.

Well, I like doing all these things but six hours is a bit much.

Now I'm teaching again, and of course the numbers have changed a little. Because I'm spending most of the afternoon teaching. As I should.

But still before or after every single thing I do, housework, practice, or teaching, I check e-mail, instagram, twitter and blogs. It is a bit embarassing, really.

Now I don't want to stop these things completely. I really like blogs and ravelry and instagram and books and knitting. I still want to do other things as well, like sewing, and weaving, and writing.

So I think I need to change things up a bit. Limit my time online. Not give in to check instagram and twitter quickly before starting something else because quickly is always half an hour or more.

I don't really want to use one of those programs that block your internet access. I've tried that in the past, and I always get around it in some way. It does help that right now I'm sitting in the kitchen (right after breakfast) and the wifi is still turned off but in the long run I will have to find a way to build new habits. Like leaving the studio five minutes after the last student, and not half an hour. Like not spending every single minute between students checking social media.

And most important to actually write and sew and weave and spin when I have thirty minutes here and there.

How are you spending your time? Are you happy with where it's going or do you wish you had more time to do what's important to you as well?

Dec 272016
 

And yes, I know I'm almost too late.

Still I wanted to let the people who are still watching this space know that I'm thinking about them often. It's only that not writing has become such a strong habit that writing this feels weird. Which it shouldn't.

Interestingly this advent has been the least stressful in ages. I'm still thinking about why that is.

November was crazy busy and at times rather stressful because I did NaNoWriMo again, and I also did the sweater knitting thing. I had to knit the sweater twice because the first time it was way too small, and while the writing went well it did not go as smooth as I had hoped. Still I think doing both events was completely worth it.

Then Decenber came around, and I went to see a few people for brunch, and afterwards I just knew that that had been the one thing too much.

And I canceled everything for December. No meetings, no appointments, no concerts to watch, no parties to go to, I even canceled the spinning meeting that I really had looked forward to. And our son decided that he didn't really want a birthday party. And I got all the presents rather early and sent them off pretty early as well.

And then I started decluttering the house. I spent two weekends going through all my clothes and books, and I'm planning to tackle papers next. I'm doing it by the KonMari method, mostly.

And while that did add a bit of stress, and quite a bit of work, it also made me feel like I had more control over my life, and that felt really good. I'm completely fed up with all the piles of things everywhere, and my options are to either get lots and lots of new shelves, build another annex, or get rid of stuff.

I don't want to end up living in something that looks like a warehouse, and there is a lot of stuff around that I neither need nor want, and so I am letting go of it, and it feels glorious.

I actually reduced my clothes yet again, something I wouldn't have thought possible, and there still are a couple of things that will go next year once I have bought new things that actually fit me. And I got rid of about 200 books. All books that love but I am completely sure that I will read none of them ever again. And I don't need the physical book to remind me that I used to love it when I was fourteen.

So apparently the key to having a stressfree advent is to not do anything, and make sure to get enough sleep if possible, and to meditate every day, and to focus on the things that you're able to control.

Now we are right in the middle of Christmas break, and I'm planning to make these days as normal as I possible can. Work on my writing, do the housework on time, go to bed early so that I get enough sleep, and exercise as usual, maybe a little more because there are still all these cookies and chocolates to eat.

And I'm planning to continue the decluttering. We'll see how that goes.

I hope you all have a peaceful and relaxing time as well.

 

Dec 112016
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Black Rib: Socken aus anthrazitfarbener Regia Silk für mich, der zweite ist bei der Ferse, aber wahrscheinlich stricke ich den ersten dann noch mal
  • Sunny Socks: hatte den ersten bs zur Ferse fertig, war zu lang, also noch mal
  • Armande: fertigIMG_1802
  • Vine Leaves: wird heute angeschlagen

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • rot-weiße Merino-Seide: auf dem Victoria für Armande 500 Gramm gesponnen
Gehäkelt habe ich:
  • Jehanne zum zweiten: Vorder- und Rückenteil fertig, eventuell zu klein
Genäht habe ich:
  • gar nicht
Erwähnt wurde:
Oct 302016
 
  • This is the first, well, second really day of fall break. As usual I have been looking forward to this for weeks, as usual it is only one week anyway, and will go by very fast.
  • Nonetheless my husband suggested opening a bottle of champagne for lunch to celebrate, and I was happy to join in. Never mind that I don’t usually get anything done on days when I drink at lunchtime.
  • I am about to embark on both NaNoWriMo and NaKniSweMo in November. It is pretty nuts but then I am knitting a sweater that has less than the required 50,000 stitches. I am writing a novel that I have written before, and that was so jumbled and messy that I decided starting over would be less work than revising what I had. We’ll see how that goes.
  • This is actually my ten-year NaNo anniversary. I heard about it for the first time during November 2005 when it was too late to join in, and participated for the first time in 2006. That may have changed my life, and made me meet quite a few very interesting people. Also I finally managed to actually write fiction instead of only wishing I wrote fiction.
  • In the past few weeks I actually started doing piano exercises. Like the ones my teachers had always wanted me to do, the ones I never could be bothered. And it is kind of fun. Who knew.
  • Of course now that I’m so extra busy with the writing, and the spinning of the yarn for the November sweater I have completely failed to do any sewing, embroidery, or weaving. Last Friday I didn’t even clean the house. Bad mother, no cookie.
  • Since I’m talking about cookies, despite not eating any for weeks and weeks (cake doesn’t count, does it?) I managed to gain back a whole kilo instead of losing the last 1.5. It is appaling. But then it seem that the siren call of „yet another beer“ and „just a bit more chocolate“ are really strong at the moment.
  • That might also have been due to the fact that I didn’t manage to get enough sleep for two weeks or so. But for the last few days I did sleep enough so there might still be hope.
  • I am already feeling bad for not having done anything to prepare for Christmas and the November to January birthdays in the family yet. On the other hand there is still time, isn’t there?
  • I have made a pledge to not buy any more books (well, mostly). You can read all about it on my „official writer biog“ that still looks a bit raw over here.
  • I hope you all have a great weekend as well.
Oct 182016
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Seidensocken: fertig
  • Spinach gone crazy: fertig gestrickt, Enden vernäht, muss noch gespannt werden und Knöpfe kriegen
  • Stripey socks: Geringelte Socken aus Regia Sockenwolle für meine Mann sind fertig
  • Black Rib: Socken aus schwarzer Regia Silk für mich, der erste braucht nur noch die Spitze
  • Sunny Socks: angefangen, bis jetzt habe ich aber nur die Spitze des ersten

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • grüne Merino/Seide auf der Bosworth Featherweight weiter gesponnen, das vierte Achtel weiter
  • Targhee von Etherische Öle auf der IST Crafts Kreuzspindel weiter gesponnen
  • braunes Ashford Merino: auf dem Victoria Probestränge für Armande gesponnen
  • rot-weiße Merino-Seide: auf dem Victoria 88 Gramm für Armande gesponnen
Gehäkelt habe ich:
  • Bolt: Enden komplett vernäht, muss noch gespannt werden
Genäht habe ich:
  • zwei Paar Leggings zusammengenäht, kein lila Garn gehabt, lila Garn besorgt, Gummis zu lang zugeschnitten, erst Mal aufgegeben
Erwähnt wurde:
Sep 262016
 

So it’s been the first few weeks of the school year and I feel like I’m coming up for air again. And the things I thought about in the last post really helped as well.

I’m pretty much weaned from sugar right now, and on Saturday I found that for the first time in the whole week I started feeling that deeply sad feeing again some time around 11. And then I thought about my habit of eating white bread with almond cream for breakfast on the weekends instead of the müsli I eat during the week. And then I ate müsli for breakfast and Sunday and poof! no more feeling sad.

I’d say eating nice müsi with fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt is not too big a price to pay for not feeling completely bad.

I’m still glancing longingly at the gummy bears in the supermarket but then I remind myself how I feel when I actually eat them, and that I can never stop eating them, and then I’m good.

I am also back to doing most of my self-improvement routines, and I guess that’s another reason for the big grin on my face. I’ve sat down and worked a little on novel revision every day, and even though I don’t actually enjoy doing it I always feel better for having it done. And I’d really like to have a finished story some time.

My days are so full that I’m completely exhausted by dinnertime but then that’s not really a problem. All I do at that point is get ready for bed and read a bit. And then I sleep and the next morning when I wake up I’m full of energy and plans again.

And that makes me happy and productive. Win win.

Sep 182016
 

I am usually pretty much on the side of intuition. Like when making decisions they're usually either so irrelevant that it doesn't really matter or complex enough that you can't consciously look at all the variables and so I usually go with my gut feeling with very good results.

But then I found that some of my feelings are not “real” feelings at all.

It's a bit like waking up at five in the morning with a burning certainty that life is crap and you're a worthless person. That feeling usually vanishes once the sun is up and you're in the middle of your normal life again.

So for the past few weeks (during summer break) I have basically felt very depressed and paralyzed and overwhelmed and helpless. And I knew that that was neither true nor in any way helpful but I couldn't help it. I have learned not to trust these feelings a long time ago – I mean, even if I were a useless loser not good for anything, and my life bad aand hopeless it wouldn't do me any good to dwell on that and not try to make it better – but still it is no fun to feel like doing the dishes is a task that leaves you drained and unable to do anything else for the rest of the day.

I thought it must be hormones again. I also didn't manage to get enough sleep most of the time which was ridiculous when I could go to bed when I wanted and sleep as long as I liked but it seems my body has become unable to sleep past 7.30 in the morning (or 6 on a bad day), and so the only way for me to get enough sleep is to turn the lights out at 9.30 and I don't feel like doing that every night. (I know. Lame excuse.)

I became profoundly unhappy and unable to change anything about it. I tried to get enough sleep (with mixed results), I was exercising almost every day outside in the sun, I was watering and feeding myself adequately but I just felt awful.

I thought I might feel better with the start of the school year and with being back to my routine but instead I felt worse.

On the second or third day of teaching I felt so awful at night that I decided to binge-eat some chocolate to feel better. (I know that's silly. I still do it.)

And it worked. I felt better immediately and it kept helping until some time the next day. Huh.

Now eating chocolate all the time to feel better is not the worst thing one can do for sure but on the other hand I had gained some weight during summer break and I wanted to not gain more. Also when I start eating sugar I have a really hard time stopping to eat sugar which is why I try to limit my sugar consumption.

Now I think I have found out what went wrong. Some time around my birthday I reached my goal weight (almost) and I decided that I could have some sweets and a few more potato chips than before and the occasional extra glass of wine or beer, like, almost every day.

And so during summer break there were many, many days where I would eat loads of gummy bears and licorice and chips and I would drink beer and wine every single day, and funny enough, around the same time I started feeling really depressed again.

Which of course meant that I needed to eat more sugary things and drink more beer because I felt bad and eating and drinking those things makes me feel better.

Right.

Now at the moment I am slowly weaning my body from wanting all.the.sugar. If I don't eat enough I feel horrible but if I eat too much I feel worse. I'm hoping to get myself back to only drinking one beer per day max on weekends and to only eat very small amounts of dark chocolate. Without feeling constant despair.

So. Right now when despair raises its ugly head I eat a small piece of dark chocolate, and then I ignore it as much as I can.

Because in this instant those feelings of mine are not telling me anything about me that is worth listening to, they just tell me my body chemistry is out of whack.

Duh.

 

Sep 182016
 

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • grüne Merino/Seide auf der Bosworth Featherweight weiter gesponnen, das vierte Achtel weiter
  • selbst gefärbte weinrote Merino auf der Bosworth Mini: etwa 50 Gramm verzwirnt
  • Targhee von Etherische Öle auf der IST Crafts Kreuzspindel angefangen
Genäht habe ich:
  • drei Paar Leggings zugeschnitten
Erwähnt wurde:
Sep 112016
 

Yes, I am perfectly aware that I haven’t posted for two – counts on fingers – okay, make that three months now. Interestingly nothing major happened. It was just one small thing after the other, and then, after a few more weeks blogging feels weird and you don’t do it.

Also I seem to have a pattern where when I’m revising a novel (or rather procrastinating about revising a novel which is even slower) I don’t write anything, not even blog posts. Writing seems to generate more writing, and not writing generates even less. Although there can’t be less than nothing, can’t there?

So. My hip hurt and I went to the doctor, and it seems it was from running too much. It seems I am doing something wrong when running which puts strain on my right hip, and then it hurt so much that I had to stop walking for a few weeks as well. Only the problem is not the hip joint but a nice little tendon atached to the hip joint. I got really strong painkillers, and and a few weeks later it was so much better that it didn’t show up on a MRI.

Only the bad thing is that it still hurts.

As long as I don’t run I can exercise all I want, and walk around, and I feel better but when I sit down for more than an hour or so I still hurt. Fun! I thought I was all better and start doing a Couch to 10K again but that was a bad, bad idea.

Then there was summer break, and we had a wonderful guest who came all the way from the US and stayed a week, and then my MIL had a friend stay at her place (which is just upstairs from ours) for the week after that, and then we had another house guest and a couple of rehearsals for the concert my husband is planning for next year, and then our son and I went to a family reunion, and then my husband went to Italy for a week, and then he was home again for a few more days, and then he went to Salzburg for yet more rehearsals, and then was now.

Phew.

Of course I had big plans of sewing all.the.things and finishing that damn revision, and do about a hundred other things but they didn’t really happen.

And I’m a bit sad about that but then I also try to keep in mind the things I did get done, and now I am almost happy for school to begin again on Tuesday. Maybe I’ll get some sewing done in between teaching and exercising, and running errands, and housework.

So. How was your summer?