The New Year

Time for that yearly cliche, the New Year's Resolution. I have a few pounds to get rid of that arrived without an invitation and have unpacked their bags. Well, they've outstayed their welcome, and it's time to get a move on. This, however, is not my Resolution. That's just routine maintenance, and I'm already doing what I need to do by exercising and watching what I eat.

I'd love to say my Resolution is to knit more, but that's like saying that I resolve to breathe more! It's just not necessary. It's easy to find time to do the things we love to do; what's hard to do is establish a new habit that's challenging, or different from what we're used to, or somehow doesn't yet fit in with our image of ourselves. ?For example, if I see myself as a fit person who makes exercise a priority, then I'm much more likely to have a fitness routine that I stick to than someone who sees herself as someone who is too busy or too tired to commit to a routine.

We all fall into certain patterns, and these patterns can be as small as settling in to knit while watching a favorite show in the evening, or as deep as our relationship dynamics with others, or even our very identities. What a great time of year it is, now that the holidays are over and the New Year is upon us, to reflect upon the things that make us tick, to establish healthy new habits, shed unhealthy ones, and to really dig deeply into ourselves. Find something that you take for granted in your own life, and challenge it. Ask more questions, think longer and harder, go deeper. If we can start to change the way we see ourselves and the world, opening up to more possibilities, that is everything. And you can still knit in front of the TV if you like. ;-)

A Multilingual Merry Christmas!

I wanted to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope this holiday is full of love, joy, hope, and peace for all.

Picture made by Yours Truly, the Home Economist

(How many languages do you recognize?)

The Casper Pillow

When I saw this decorative pillow pattern on several months back, I immediately added it to my queue of future projects. Not just because it bears an obvious resemblance to my kitty, but because I thought that it would be an easy intro to Intarsia knitting.

Hard Work Never Killed Anyone...

... but it sure makes me sneeze! I'm on a mini cleaning/ organizing kick today. I guess I felt that Spring Cleaning was just too far off in the future! Ever since returning from my trip to India, I've been meaning to do a few things around the house, which I'm now finally getting around to. Things like putting the last several months' worth of magazines in piles to give to the library for whoever wants to take them home; storing away my summer dresses to make more room in the closet and pulling out my winter sweaters; reorganizing my desk/ craft table. I don't mind this kind of work; actually it's very satisfying to get these things done. I do, however, think I must be allergic to it. Whenever I spend prolonged hours toiling away, I get a runny nose and itchy skin, and have to take an antihistamine. Blah!

On a related note, today I was reading my new January issue of Real Simple magazine, and I found two excellent lists I wanted to share. The first is the Ultimate To-Do List, a great place to organize your plans, big and small. With the New Year quickly approaching, many people seem to be up for this sort of thing. The only New Year's Resolution I've made for the past several years is to get regular haircuts... which I've finally succeeded in doing. Check. However, I have just rescheduled my next haircut for the second time. It was originally in November. Now it's in January. I'm growing out my bangs though, so I have a valid excuse.

The second list worth printing is the Weekly Meal Plan and Shopping List, which is organized in a very handy grid layout. Down the first vertical column you write down what you'll be making on any given day of the week, and in the horizontal boxes to the right of it, what grocery items are needed for said dish, along with any sundries.


Quiche me, baby!

Sometimes I like to share recipes that were real winners. The Spinach, Feta, and Tomato Quiche from Vegetarian Times is just such a recipe! It only has 218 calories per slice, yet every bite is just amazing! When I made it, I used a pre-made pie crust instead of the phyllo dough. I also used fresh rather than frozen spinach, which I wilted in a pan on the stove. Squeeze a little lemon juice on it when you do... somehow lemon juice just adds that little je ne sais quois. Enjoy!

photo from Vegetarian Times

Merry Christmas, Kitty!

The tree wasn't up for 5 minutes before Casper planted himself underneath. Cute!

A New Technique

I like to keep expanding my repertoire of knitting techniques, so now I'm tackling Intarsia knitting. This is a colorwork technique that allows for blocks of color that don't have strands of yarn carried across the back. It's going pretty well so far, but since you need a separate ball of yarn for each section of color in a particular row, they tend to get kind of tangled and twisted, and it gets a little chaotic. For instance, in this cat pillow I'm making, I need a pink ball of yarn, an ivory one, and a second pink one . This looked like an easy pattern to learn from, because it is pretty much just a big circle of ivory in the middle.


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