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New Year’s Resolutions 2011

January 9, 2011

I decided to try to write more blog posts this year. I just downloaded the WordPress app for my phone and I’m testing it out right now!

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I’m Not So Big-Boned Anymore Either

July 16, 2010

I forgot I wrote that post about gaining weight. Just to follow up, I have since lost over 10 pounds since then. Last week, one of the days I was actually down to 151, almost 15 pounds lighter than 4 months ago. My weight has been fluctuating between about 151 and 155, usually around 153. I think I am about at my limit for losing with weight with diet alone. I would really like to start working out at the gym again. I have had a membership to 24-Hour Fitness since I was in high school and I have always loved to lift weights. Last year, when I weighed about 175, I tried working out again. It was awful. I remember thinking, I used to really enjoy working out and lifting weights and now it just feels like a total struggle. I didn’t get the energy rush like I did before. It took everything in me just to get my ass on the eliptical machine for 20 minutes. I couldn’t push myself or get any of the drive and motivation back that I used to have. I think part of it was that I just didn’t have any engergy because at that time I was very un-motivated. I had a hard time doing pretty much anything that involved me getting off the couch. And I think the other part of it was that I was so out of shape, I was too far gone physically to get back into that zone I used to be in.

Anyways, I think I am going to start hitting the gym that is by my work. There is a 24-Hour fitness about 2 blocks away from my job. So I think I may start going there a few nights a week, the days I don’t go see Dev, and see if I can lose the last 10-15 pounds and get freaking RIPPED! The other day I was telling Devon about how I used to be ripped and he was all, Yeah right mom and my mom cut in and said, She used to be really ripped Dev. When you were little she was ripped! His eyes got all big and he looked and be all funny and he had this look on his face like, your fat ass used to be ripped? Yeah, and I’m freaking sponge bob. He must have been too young to remember!

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I Want to Yarn Bomb Too, Please

July 16, 2010

So there was a story on 9News the other night about the Ladies Fancywork Society. They are getting legitimate work through the city and are putting up an installation of crocheted floweres on a construction fence downtown. It looks really cool.

Ladies Fancywork Society - Flower Installation

I guess they are having an open night for everyone to come contribute to the work on Saturday, July 24th at 5:00. Here is a link to their blog post with the video of the  9 News story and here is a link to the 9 News site. I can’t wait to go! I’ll post pix if I end up getting down there.

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Modified Tornado Pattern

April 30, 2010

Click on the following link for a PDF version – Thrift Stick Mitten Gloves Pattern

Thrift Stick Mitten Gloves Pattern - Page 1

Thrift Stick Mitten Gloves Pattern - Page 2

Thrift Stick Mitten Gloves Pattern - Page 2

Thrift Stick Mitten Gloves Pattern - Page 3

Thrift Stick Mitten Gloves Pattern - Page 3

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Baby Blanket Pattern

March 30, 2010

This is a scan of the pattern I used for the basketweave baby blanket.

Basketweave Blanket Pattern

Basketweave Blanket Pattern

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I’m Not Fat, I’m Just Big-Boned

March 19, 2010

I just read an article about this lovely lady who is trying to be the world’s fattest woman. If she cannot acheive that lofty goal, she has instead decided to go for world’s fattest mom. This other lovely lady now holds that title. Wow! After reading that article on Ms. Salt I think I wanted to vomit. And then laugh. Then maybe cry. But all that emotion and thinking reminded me of . . . me! I am still struggling with my weight. Obviously nothing like either of those women, but about four years ago, when I started a heavy duty medication regimine, I put on quite a bit of weight. Probably about 50 pounds all together, from skinniest to fattest. Lucky for me, I have lost about half of that so far. I am now down to 165 as of last night! Yea! It has come off slowly – VERY slowly. But that’s not what matters. What matters is I am losing it. Over the last month and a half it has been coming off at an average rate of 1 pound a week. I think I put the weight on over the course of the first year. Then I stayed at my heaviest for about another year, then the last two years it has been going. It seems like I will lose a few pounds, keep it off for a while, then gain part of it back, but then lose more. So far it has steadliy been going down.

Also, since last summer, I completely quit taking the medications that had originally caused the weight gain. And since then, it seems like it has been MUCH easier to lose it.  So, I thought I would celebrate by documenting the occasion on my blog! It also reminded me of something screwed up though. In the article about the world’s fattest mom, Ms. Salt, it said something about her having a thyroid problem and that was partially to blame for her weight gain. At the end of the article, there were also some comments and one of the readers said something about also having a thyroid problem but she didn’t weigh THAT much. And so I was reminded of a similar situation that happened to me.

When I first put the weight on, I was going to a clinic at Federal and Colfax. Since I was on Medicaid, it was basically the only place I could go for low cost health care. It sucked. But since I could get my birth control shots there for $20 a pop, I didn’t have much choice. One day I was in there getting my depo shot and one of the providers came in and started talking to me about my weight. At this point in time, I was definitely overweight. Technically, according to my BMI, I was considered obese. In my defense, I have NEVER been overweight. Growing up, I was always short and thin. I was a tiny girl. I was always in the bottom percentile for weight and height for my age. During high school I was pretty thin and after graduation I lost more weight. Even during and after my pregnancy (I got pregnant very young, at age 19) I was skinny. Then I hurt my knee and being on pain meds for almost a year put me down to about 110 pounds. After recovering from surgery I started lifting weights. I actually put on a few pounds but it was pure muscle. My average weight through my early 20’s was about 130 but I was in excellent shape. So when I started taking my new medications and I put on a few pounds, I didn’t think much of it. I have never had problems losing weight. However, 20, 30, then 40 pounds later, I started freaking out. I tried to diet but even if I ate healthy, I was so hungry all the time, and I was eating so many calories every day, it didn’t matter if they were healthy calories or not. There were just too many of them. I had talked to my psychiatrist about it and she said that the meds I was taking actually affect your hunger responses. It make you feel hungry all the time. It is a scientifically proven fact that people taking this medication do not feel full after eating a typical meal and it was shown throughout their studies that patients gained a significant amount of weight.

Anyways, the provider came in and was telling me that I was overweight. Duh! I tried to explain to her that my medication had been affecting my eating habits and I had just recently gained the weight and that I was trying really hard to take it off. She suddenly interrupted me and asked “Is the medication putting actual fat cells into your body?” I answered, “No, but it makes me really hungry and. . .” She interrupted me again and said, “So then your medication is NOT making you fat.” Wow. I sure have had the wrong idea this WHOLE time about how your body gains and loses weight. See, I thought that when you ingest excess calories, even if they are not composed of fat molecules, you gain weight. And I also thought that since some chemicals, especially psychotropic medications, affect your hunger function and cause you to eat more and not ever feel full, that those chemicals were contributing to the weight gain. I also thought that your metabolism can affect how quickly you burn those calories, even if they are not composed of fat molecules, and if there are too many you will gain weight. BOY WAS I WRONG! Apparently, the ONLY way you get fat is by ingesting actual fat molecules. All you people out there with thyroid problems, or taking birth control, or have just quit smoking or anybody who has recently gained weight from a medication are really just lazy stupid people who are mistakenly excusing their weight gain on an imaginary chemical reaction that is not really taking place in your body, even th0ugh the scientists and doctors that created those medications say they are. You are all just eating TOO MUCH FAT! So then this bitch goes on to say that all I have to do is eat only 1,200 calories a day and excercise an hour a day. Oh, that’s all. So even though I was eating about 2,500 calories a day and still feeling like I was starving, I just had to eat about half as much and be ok. Then, in my already over-scheduled day, I just had to find one tiny hour to spend exercising. Ok, so the best part about all of this was that this woman was fat! And not just a little chubby, she could easily be classified as obese. She had at least a good 50 punds on me. She was shorter than I was and weighted at least 200 pounds. I think my mouth may have dropped open and I think I said something like “Are you fucking serious?” or something like that because she went on to tell me that between all the fat bitches that work there, combined they had lost over 100 pounds. I almost punched her in the double chin. I looked her straight in the face and asked her, “So you’re telling me you only eat 1,200 calories and excersie an hour a day and you still are that fat?” And she said, “Oh, yeah I’ve lost weight.” BULLSHIT. I couldn’t take it any more. This fat fuck was sitting there telling me according to my BMI I am obese and she has a way higher BMI than I do, and tells me I have to cut my calories and exercise and hour a day when obviously she has done none of those things. And, to top it all off, even though I have never been fat a day in my life, I just suddenly happen to gain a third of my body weight at the exact same time I started new meds but that is definitely not causing the weight gain, even though my REAL doctor says it is, because my meds are not made of fat, even though every legimate source of nutrition directly contradicts that bit of advice. Because some tubby little bitch that works at an under-funded public medicaid clinic who doesn’t even have a medical degree knows more than nutritionists, dieticians and even the FDA. News Flash! Apparently the ONLY way you get fat is by consuming fat molecules. Not by consuming too many calories, or having a weird metabolism or any other physiological or psychological problems. Wow, I sure needed to be set straight!

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Crochet Revolution

January 27, 2010

Ok, I have been slacking. I haven’t done any posts for a few months. But my life has been boring lately with nothing going on. (NOT) Anyways, I had the most wonderful/awful experience this weekend with my latest experiment, crocheting. Or as this woman (mis?)spells it, “crotching.” I have been working on a baby blanket for a charity. They insist it must be crocheted, not knitted. I don’t understand why you can’t knit for this particular charity. But they were insistent that it must be crocheted and absolutely NO KNITTING. I am comitted (not completely by my own free will) to completing this so-called baby blanket by January 29th, 2010 which also happens to be my golden birthday! Is it a wonderful birthday present to be released from these bondage chains of volunteering by being freed of my eternal damnation, err “commitment”, by finally turning in a blanket which will be unknowingly bestowed on some poor infant who must endure the torture of being trapped in it’s carrier under two pounds of Love crocheted into some horrid contraption designed to be a cross between a saddle blanket and a gunny sack? ABSOLUTELY!!!! That is the best present I could ever ask for. Anyways, I’ve been procrastinating on this thing for two months. I had to wait until after Christmas was over so that all my gifts were done (a miracle in itself). Then since I got my Denise interchangeable needle set from my Grandma, I HAD to make just one small project with them before I subjected myself to crocheting. So I ended up with approximately 2 weeks to complete a blanket with 165 rows and a 4 row picot-edged border that calls for 3,200 yards of yarn. That works out to 3 Pounds of Love. The Lion Brand yarn Pound of Love really does weigh a pound. I don’t know about it really being made of love so the name is only half true. But can you imagine a baby being under a blanket that weighs 3 pounds?!? Considering the average newborn weighs about 8 pounds, this blanket is over 1/3 the gross weight of a baby. Yeah, no wonder this is for charity. They have to give them away for free because if they sold them, they might be liable for any suffocations that most likely will occur. So, if I had 15 days, I would have to crochet 11 rows a day.

When I signed up to do the blanket, I had never crocheted before. I had a really hard time reading the directions in the books I had so I looked on Ravelry.com and found some links to tutorials on youtube. I had actually tried to crochet when I was first learning to knit but I couldn’t quite figure it out so I focused on knitting. So I kind of knew what to do and after watching the videos it didn’t look too bad. I did the first couple rows back in October and then it sat until two weeks ago. When I picked it back up, did a few rows and re-read the pattern, I realized I was doing it wrong. I was supposed to do all the stitches facing the front on the first square, then the back on the second. I was alternating them each row instead of them facing all the same way. So I ripped it out and started over. I even paid attention the second time but I still got it twisted. The THIRD time I started over, I finally knew what I was supposed to do and was able to get it started. FINALLY. Or so I thought.

The picture on the pattern is crappy. It’s a photocopy, probably of another photocopy, of a 2 inch black and white picture. So it’s pretty much impossible to use it as a reference as you are working. Even so, from what I was seeing of the picture, my blanket didn’t look right. I tried a few different variations on the stitch I was using but nothing seemed to look quite right. So I just kept going. It was close and I thought maybe the picture is so bad, I am just imagining things. So I got about a third of the way done.

Saturday morning I was sleeping in. There is a show on the public access station called Knit & Crochet Today. I have heard about it a few times and I have wanted to watch it but it’s only on in the morning on weekdays so I haven’t seen it. But Shawn knows I have been wanting to watch it and apparently it came on. Since it was pushing 10:00 he went ahead and woke me up to watch it. Side note: The tall blonde bimbo host that crochets on that show is the biggest dingbat. I really wanted to watch the knitting part but the crochet part was on first. So as I watched it, the lady started talking about how to make a granny square and she said something about doing some double crochets.  As I watched her do them, a sense of horror began to dawn on me as I realized she was doing them a different way than I was. The basketweave crochet pattern of the blanket is done by alternating sides of  double crochets around the posts of the row directly beneath. Basically, it’s an entire blanket of double crochet. In my defense, deep down inside, I kind of knew I was doing it wrong. First, it didn’t look like the (crappy) picture. Second, I was lifting the middle loop up with my left hand as I pulled the yarn through. I thought it was weird that I had to do that because I thought you were supposed to be able to pull through all the loops with just one hand. I have never crocheted before. Third, it was HIDEOUS. It was so thick and stiff you could barely fold it. And it was super itchy. Shawn told me it reminded him of a saddle blanket or a gunny sack. And it looked stupid. Without the extra width of the third loop, you could barely see the difference in changing the direction of the stitches. Lastly,it was taking an ungodly amount of time for me to do the stitches. The pattern estimated it should take 50 hours to complete the blanket. It was taking me about 45 minutes to do one row. With 165 rows, it would have taken me approximately 123.5 hours.That doesn’t add up. So I kept watching her and figured out I was only pulling through 2 loops instead of three.

Now I had already put a significant amount of time into this monstrosity. And only having 6 days to finish and turn it in, there was NO way I was going to start over. The problem though, was the stitch looked different when I did it the right way. Not totally different, just kind of different. Different enough I could tell, but hopefully not different enough a non-crocheting person could tell. (Fortunately for me, the lady who I am giving to at the charity has NO idea how to crochet so I think I am ok.) So I went ahead and changed techniques at the end of the next row. In retrospect, I should have waited until the next block, when the group of rows reverses sides, but also in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have made this thing in the first place. So, now I am 2/3 finished with a half Quasimodo’s donkey’s saddle blanket half semi-decent hand-made looking baby blanket. Like I said, it’s a good thing they are not trying to sell it. Another problem is now the squares are a different size. Since there is now some give to it, each square is about 1 1/2 times larger than the first ones. So the blanket is not rectangular. It’s more like a trapezoid. And speaking of shape, who the hell makes a baby blanket thats 3 1/2″ by 5″. That’s not a baby blanket, that’s a snuggie. Fortunately, it’s going a lot faster and a lot easier. I also figured out a better way to hold the yarn and the hook in my right hand. It’s kind of like how I hold the yarn when I am knitting, over the middle finger and under the ring and index. I am now down to 20 minutes a row.

I think this would be a nice blanket if I had done it right from the start. But I didn’t. I am really anal about my knitting projects. If there is a mistake, I always make sure I go back and fix it, even if I have to rip it out and do it over. That’s one of the things I don’t like about crocheting. Since the stitches aren’t live, you can’t drop just one back and fix a stitch, you have to rip it all out and do everything over back to where the mistake is. Also, I didn’t allow myself enough time. I guess I can always tell myself this was my first crochet project and I can blame the fact that I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. But in the end that just makes me look like an idiot because why would I agree to something I didn’t know how to do? Learning experience!

Yes this blanket is full of life lessons.

  1. Don’t ever buy a ball of yarn that has either “Pound” or “Love” in the name.
  2. A horse blanket CAN be used as a baby blanket.
  3. So can a gunnysack.
  4. If you are crocheting something crappy, make sure you give it to someone who doesn’t crochet. They will not notice the difference.

There are probably more, but I need to finish this blanket before Friday. So, whip! whip! BACK TO WORK!