Friday, January 11, 2013

New Year!

I know its 11 days into the new year and I am just now posting a new year post, why?  Because its all the same, I don't make resolutions, I just keep my promises to myself that I make and treat each day as a new opportunity.  The only thing that ushers in the new for me is a new round of Tai Chi and yoga classes.

This year I have added a core/yoga class in addition to my chair yoga and regular weekly yoga class, and I am learning two new forms in Tai Chi: Yang 24 Forms Simplified and Tai Chi for Energy.  The 24 form I'm told is the most popular Tai Chi form that most people practice, Yang goes up to 108, so after learning the 24 simplified and I can still learn more. Then after that, I can learn Yang with a fan, or a sword!  Watch out people, I can defend myself, veeeerrrry slooooooowly.

What I like about Tai Chi for Energy by Dr. Paul Lam, is that it is a combination of Chen and Sun styles, so it has fast, spiral energy moves coupled with long, smooth Sun style, it really is fun.  I am very motivated and energized just learning the two new forms.

The last Saturday in April, which is April 27, is World Tai Chi Day.  All around the world at 10:00am, people will be doing Tai Chi.  How cool is that?  Its like sending out healing and serenity for 24 hours around the world. Tai Chi has gained me a benefit, my blood pressure has come way down, which is awesome, with very little effort other than going to Tai Chi class twice a week, and running through my Tai Chi for Arthritis/Health form once a day, which takes all of 6 minutes.  Think about it, the amount of time it takes to boil water for my teapot, I can run through my form and keep my blood pressure down, how easy is that?  Much easier and more effective than running or walking and takes less time.  Lets hear it for self-care!

I haven't started any new knitting projects, just finishing up the ones I started last year.  This is Saroyan by Liz Abinante.  I used Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Wicked.  My picture is crappy, but there is border of leaves on the edge of this shawlette.  It was very fun to knit, and I will knit it again and add beads to the center of the leaves.

I am ten rows from the promised land on our second Knit Along project Magrathea by Martina Behm.  Its name is taken from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,and it is a scarflette, shawlette etc.,  This is the very beginning set up rows, and actually, I think I ripped these out and knitted them again, but anyway, I am ten rows from casting off so the finished product  which of course, is much bigger.  The yarn I used is Wollmeise sock in Auf Dem Roten Teppich, what a name eh?

My other shawlette/scarflette is Hitchhiker again by Martina Behm and again taking its name from the book.  I love this pattern because it really accents a variegated yarn, especially if the yarn has alot of color changes or goes from one end of the color spectrum to another extreme end of the spectrum.  Not many patterns can make such good use of that array.  The yarn is Kickapoo Sock in Pitcher Plant by Ewetopia Yarn.  It was a gift from my friend Jenni, she knows me so well and she has good taste too, I love this yarn!  I am at the halfway point, a bit further along than when I took this picture.  When finished, it will have 42 "teeth", and as we all know 42 is the answer to the Universe and everything ;)  It is an asymetrical crescent, just garter stitch, but a fun one to knit none the less.

One of my finishes is this cowl, the pattern is Fern Lace Cowl, basically a feather and fan pattern.  I used Noro Aya, which is a silk, cotton and wool blend, this is soft and the pattern was super duper easy!  Noro yarns, once washed and blocked, will turn very soft and the color gradiations soften into each other too.  I like Noro, it can be fiddly to knit with, but I like the results.  I see a stray yarn, I hadn't blocked or woven my ends in this picture, Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa.

I have other projects I am working on, two other cowls (one is our first knit along, which I haven't finished yet), another Fern cowl, lots of socks on needles, more tiny sweaters etc.  I like having a variety of projects to work on so I don't get bored.  I need to get back to quilting, and I am feeling better about that since my unfortunate quilting retreat experience.  My subsequent knitting retreat with the most awesome knitters on the planet helped me feel better about hand-arts and groups in general.  But we need more men knitters and men quilters to join us on these retreats, way way too much estrogen in one room for too long!!  Need to balance it out!

I am not the greatest knitter, but I enjoy myself.  The knitting police will NEVER recruit me, nor will the quilting police, the yoga police or the tai chi police.  I believe in enjoying what you do and haters be damned!

Do what you love, enjoy it fully, totally, humbly and sincerely!  I do what I do for my enjoyment, not to make others happy and if another's happiness results, well good for them!

Remember, what others think of you is none of your business.