Sunday, April 28, 2013

Damn the scale! Onward!

Despite near- saintly efforts at diet and exercise, the scale refuses to move.  Oh, it went down daringly the first week of my strained efforts at diet and exercise, but popped right back up within  a few days, despite doing everything right.  In fact, it's been popping back and forth for the past few weeks and Friday, I face my first weigh in and measuring in a month and I'm afraid I won't have much to show for all the work.  If a pound comes off I will be amazed.

Glittery roving--the calorie free treat.
 Of course, muscle weighs more than fat. Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight has certainly heard that bit of advice ad-nauseum.  That's one of the numerous irritating diet sayings I want to address today.  Yes, muscle weights more than fat but not THAT much.  And I will know just how much is muscle and fat this Friday since my trainer has a gizmo that will do just that.  Even if I gain a pound of muscle, if the scale doesn't move, I will be annoyed.

Annoyed in a good way, though.  I'm accustomed to this kind of behavior on the part of my body, which seems to love being slathered in lard.  I will just have to soldier on through the disappointment and redouble my effort to convince my body to let go of it. After all, I signed up for a year's worth of personal training so there has to be a time when my body will be willing to let go.

And yes, I will be deprived.  Don't you hate people who say "Don't deprive yourself" when you are on a diet like you were a little kid who would have a tantrum just because you can't get a piece of candy?  Apparently that is a problem with dieting, and if that is my problem I have to really deal with my inner psyche and re-evaluate what is important in my life.  Like making my luxuries not about food. 

How can I feel deprived when I have enough wool to last a lifetime?
How can I feel deprived when I have enough wool stashed to last the lifetime of me and my closest friends?  When I have two looms and four spinning wheels?  And of course I have a great husband and a comfy home!  I am definitely NOT deprived.  Perspective, dear reader, is everything.  And when I'm feeling "deprived" over some unhealthy food item I need to do a reality check over my priorities

Deprivation is good for the soul, as well as the the BMI.  The true deprivation is the years of life I would lose by not "depriving" myself of that so-called "treat".  I am far from ever being deprived and if the whiny part of me starts up, I need to be big enough to shut it down or I will never reach my goal. And believe me, my goal is not to be some inaccessible "ideal" weight from a chart.  It's just to get down to something comfortable--a size 14 say.  I'd like to dump the 60 pound butt pack.

Along with naval gazing advice on deprivation, I can't stand the word "treat".  It brings to mind atrificial ingredient laden 100 calorie "treat" bars at $2.00 a pop that would leave me craving more, so I'd eat the whole box of four and still be hungry.  Once off the "diet", I'd still need the kick from whatever they were and yes, the non-diet ones are regular candy and before you know it I'm back to being chemical lardo.  Being addicted to these easy foods is part of my problem so I'm glad to "deprive" myself of all of them.
My goal is to be healthy and live long to enjoy my life fully--that's NOT deprivation!

No "treats" for me, just good food.  I don't need gimmicks to confuse my food regulating system.  So I am into whole foods like multigrain bread with almond butter.  Now that is delicious and satisfying and I don't need the whole loaf/jar.  And it's not loaded with artificial ingredients.  And then there's plain Greek yogurt with a dollop of all fruit jam and maybe some frozen organic berries. I've rediscovered my love of strawberries which long preceded the chocolate thing.

So Damn what the scale says!  I will continue on this route of exercise and healthy eating and plod along with getting up early and going to the gym, eating healthy food and forging forward despite how long it might take!



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rain, rain go away

Freshly plied tiger-lily dyed Romney
Torrential rain saturated our yards and flooded the streets this week--the Chicago area had two whole days of heavy rain.  I woke up early on Thursday to a thunder-laced downpour.  Another one, at about the time to leave for work, was so heavy and fast it pushed debris off the law and clogged the street drain.  I was out in my Wellies in a foot of water with a snow shovel (the handiest thing in the garage) clearing debris away.   Once open, the street drained in a gushing whirlpool.  There was a good foot of water up on the sidewalk, so the lower street was even deeper.  It took awhile to clear the street, but it drained and so did the little river forming along the property line with the neighbor.
Whirlpool going down the drain.

With all that rain, it was a good time to get a little spinning done.  I finished up a couple of spindles full and did some plying.  I'm quite proud with how the Romney I dyed that Tiger Lilly orange came out.  It's quite sparkly and nicely plied.  Not so with the merino/alpaca blend.  It is very poorly plied and I will need to send it through the wheel again.
Poorly plied yarn needs to be redone.

I'm a little annoyed that I went ahead and skeined that yarn, because now I have to wind it in a ball and send it through the wheel again.  I'm not really happy with how the Lendrum's big bobbin works.  Yes, I get a nice big skein but there's not enough speed to get a good twist on the ply.  If I were to design the perfect plying bobbin it would be big but capable of blinding speeds.  I have also discovered this wheel is happier working on hardwood floors.  Carpet can make it clumsy to treadle.  But it is still a good wheel--just not fast enough for me when plying.

The orange Romney, by the way, I did send through twice.  I think I was too glad to have two big skeins to show to notice how bad the merino/alpaca was until I went to take a picture.  So I say, "Darn!" and get ready to prepare the skein for replying.  If I'm lucky, I may be able to do so right off the swift.

And on a positive note, we've had a lovely weekend--warmish weather and blue sky!  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fleece calls

Dark fleece in an interesting Corriedale X Shetland/Coopworth
Beautiful fleece has a glow to it, and a really pretty one I can spot across a room.  This one was the first thing I saw as I walked into the vendor hall at the Stephenson County Fiber Arts Fair in Cedarville, IL on Saturday.  It perched in the main room glowing a lovely charcoal black, untouched all morning.  I had to come in for a closer look wondering how it had survived so long unsold.  It was well into the afternoon when we got there and I couldn't believe such a lovely fleece still remained. My husband must have read my body language as he immediately volunteered to go find an ATM.  I had, of course, planned not to buy anything, but this was too pretty to pass up!
The flash cut down on the blackness of this fleece.

It has an interesting heritage being a Corriedale crossed with a Shetland Coopworth.  My photos don't do it justice as the flash lightens it too much but it is lovely and I am going to make myself a really nice sweater with it.  And I'm going to start working with it right away.  This won't be going into my stash.


I tried taking some without the flash but it didn't focus well
 I purchased the fleece from the Shepherdess at Psalm 23 Farm in Kiel, Wisconsin. She had some really gorgeous roving too, which I guess is what most people buy.  Which is why this fleece was still there.  My friend Beth shakes her head sometime at my fleece buying.  It does add hours of work to each project, but there is something about experiencing the project from raw fleece right through to finished object that is special.

Pretty caramel alpaca.
Spring Valley Farm happened to be having a sale on their alpaca, and I have a hard time resisting that.  I like alpaca for spinning and weaving into throws, so a sale is a good thing and they had some colors I need.  Especially the rose gray show below.  I want to use it in a gift for my sister.
Some rose gray alpaca
My sister is decorating her new house in warm grays, purple with bits of green and rose so this gives me a nice pallet to work with.  You'll see me spinning this later in the summer and with it I can make something lovely grown, processed and woven right here in Illinois.

Merino X BFL
No trip to Cedarville is complete without a visit to Floya's booth!  She had this intriguing Merino BFL cross that I couldn't resist!  Yep, it's just one of those things, I suppose.

 I know, I know. I was going to be good and use up what I have and not buy anymore, but there are times when fleeces just call to you from across the room.  And I did show some restraint. Floya had the prettiest moorit merino which I resisted as right now I am carding a hug rose gray merino  I purchased from her mom some years back.  Yes, there were quite a few great fleeces I left behind.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Slow going

Not much spinning happened this past week.

As I've ramped up my focus on diet and exercise, crafting has suffered.  Yep, there was a lot to think about and do as I started getting up early to train.  I had plenty of energy, but most of that was spent on meal planning and in the grocery store studying labels and trying to figure out what would fit into my healthy diet.  No more junk food for me--all whole grains and lean protein.  Of course, I've been eating whole grains and lean protein for quite some time--I just won't be letting the "bad" stuff sneak into my grocery cart anymore.

I discovered Greek Yogurt this week and that is a treat.  It's like icecream but healthy.  I mix the plain stuff with fruit and that cuts the tartness and yum!  Dieting has never been so good. I can't wait until berry season starts to try this out even more.  Fortunately, I have some frozen berries left from last berry season--one of the advantages of sustainable living.

I hope to get back to weaving this week.  I guess I can't do everything--but with all this new found exercise energy, I should be able to catch up!