Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Another Knitting Injury

Yes, it's happened again, not my shoulder this time, but in that same general area. And this time I'm blaming it on KIPing. Yes, this too.

I have one perfect chair in which to knit:

When my grandparents moved to Austin I appropriated this chair. It's perfect for me. It rocks (literally, it's a rocking chair). It is low to the ground so my feet can firmly and completely rest on the floor. It's cushy, though threadbare. And it has short armrests.

The armrests are the key, I think, to comfortable stitching. When I KIP, there are generally no armrests, thus adding strain and causing pain. What's a KIPer to do? On with the arnica and the Advil PM, and stitch some more.

P.S. Yes, that's another, bigger baby modeling a larger hat.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why I Have WIPs

I didn't used to have so many Works In Progress. I had one project which I worked on until it was finished, then I started another. Of course, in those days I could only afford one project at a time, but still, it didn't occur to me to begin another before I had finished the first.

I also didn't used to have stash.

Until last year I was unaffected by those WIPs; they came out of the box whenever the whimsey (sic) took me, or they staid out of sight, quietly waiting. No one noticed. No one pointed at them, shaking their heads at my sloth. No one sighed when I bought more yarn even though a project was still quietly waiting. No one even cared if I had to buy more needles of the same size as the pair in the quietly waiting project.

And then came Ravelry. Yes, it's a fabulous website, blah, blah, blah. Every time I log in, however, My Notebook confronts me with those WIPs. I can't just stay away from my notebook, because I'm addicted to those hearts, and I must check often for new ones (hint, hint).

So how and why did it happen? I've chosen to blame KIPing. Yes, that's right, the need for social interaction. I cannot reliably follow a pattern while making scintillating conversation (no, I don't engage in any conversation that doesn't scintillate). Most of my WIPs are complicated, and require mindless television as the simultaneous activity. I KIP Tuesday night, all day and night on Wednesday, Thursday night, and all day Friday. Often there is KIPing on Saturday, and there is definite KIPing on Sunday afternoons.

I am thus compelled to begin other projects which don't require much thought or attention. Or else RogueKnit pretends that I've issued a challenge, and I am further compelled to begin a project to answer the challenge I didn't issue! If you doubt the veracity of this, you should take note of all the hats completed between us, though she wins the prize, I'm still in the game.

Lest you think I'm casting aspersions at her, think again. Thanks to RogueKnit, I may soon be taking one of my projects out of hibernation and back into the active phase. Of course, that gives me another WIP....

Enough words, I have a beach bag to finish.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The President's Challenge

No, this challenge doesn't involve an economic stimulus plan, or an increase in volunteerism, or a commitment to educating our children, or health care for everyone. In fact, the challenge didn't come from the current president. No, this challenge began with President Eisenhower, and it ruined gym class for thousands of children every year. Yes, you guessed it - it's the President's Challenge on Physical Fitness.

The good news is there's a twist: you can take the President's Challenge as an adult, and virtually any activity qualified! You don't have to climb a rope, or do chin-ups or run a 50-yard dash. Crochet doesn't count, but croquet does. Darts is sanctioned, though probably they don't mean adding them to sweaters. Other activities you mightn't expect include gardening, household tasks, children's games (ring-around-the-rosy, not Candyland), fishing, hang gliding, horseshoe tossing, and sky diving. Yes, the "normal" activities are there, too. Even Wii sports is on the list!

You log your activities online, and earn points for each activity. There is a mysterious algorithm for calculating points based on difficulty of activity, cardio/vascular benefits, and lengh of time (probably Charlie Eppes could explain it, but we just have to take it on faith that running is worth more points than playing darts). As you accumulate points you earn prizes - those elusive certificates that the jocks got at the final school assembly, or really cool Olympic-style medals.

I earned the three certificates and my bronze medal during the last administration, and was well on my way to the silver, but I just couldn't bring myself to have another item signed by that president. So I waited, and now I'm beginning to log my activities again. I created a Ravelry group, so all you knitters, crocheters and spinners can compare your progress. After you create your challenge account, you can click on the groups and choose ravelry. (For those of you who aren't yet on Ravelry you should click through and join that, too.)

Will you take the challenge?