On knitting and the Wii Fit Plus. But not doing both at the same time, that would be silly

Right, I promise that today there will be no mention of Doctor Who outside of this sentence. Let’s see how I do, shall we?

I had a bit of a knitting crisis at the weekend. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been knitting some socks (which I love, BTW, and really need to photograph) but on Saturday I finished them and needed a new project. A few months ago I bought some light fingering yarn with vague plans to make a sweater vest. The problem is that there are no patterns out there for a vest in yarn this fine (apparently everyone uses worsted or heavier) and I’ve realised that the major reason that I don’t already own a vest is because I don’t wear them.

There isn’t enough yarn for a long sleeved sweater and yarn is heavily variegated, so whatever I do with it can’t have much stitch detailing because it will get lost. What I really want is a cute little t-shirt, that would be perfect.

This is where my knitting crisis started. There are lots of t-shirt patterns out there. Really, tons. Many of them are plain stocking stitch. The problem is that nearly all of them are knitted in worsted weight or heavier.

Seriously, why make a cute little t-shirt in a heavy yarn? In fact, what is with the general obsession with worsted weight yarn? It’s quick to knit, I know, but lighter yarns can be perfectly warm (particularly when layered) and they tend to look much better on most people. Designers, can you please stop obsessing with the chunky yarns and start exploring 4ply and DK more?

Anyway, the t-shirt patterns in fingering weight are mostly lacy, which won’t work for this yarn.

I looked for sweaters that I could change the sleeves on, but encountered the same problems. The few that might have fitted the bill had major neckline issues. Most of them had a high crew neck. I am a booby woman, I’m not afraid to admit this, and high necklines do not flatter me. By this stage I was desperate though and various friends had to talk me down from just saying “to hell with it!” and knitting one of those patterns.

They passed me links to a couple of other sweaters, but this time the necklines were so heavily scooped or v-necked that I’d have needed to wear a tank underneath just to make sure that I didn’t get arrested for indecent exposure. That’s not what I had in mind for this t-shirt. My skills aren’t up to making radical changes to necklines like that yet and I finally had to concede defeat.

The search for the right pattern had succeeded in giving me an image of what would be perfect, but that pattern does not exist. Damn.

I have put aside the yarn (again) and cast on for Tussie Mussie in Rowan Wool Cotton. It’s knitting up nicely and I’m getting to explore the concept of bobbles. In a very restrained way. One does not need to over-use the bobble. I may need to play with Wool Cotton more, I’m liking it a lot.

At the same time that I was having a knitting crisis, a friend of mine had been talking to a local teacher about a sweater design course. I’d already planned to sign up, but the crisis has given me an idea for what my project will be. If the design that I want isn’t out there, then I’m going to make my own pattern, damn it!

In other news, I am loving the Wii Fit Plus.

It’s fun and, if planned right, I can tire myself out pretty well! I’ve got a routine set up that’s a ton of yoga and strength work and is pretty hard work, so I can just go straight into that if I want to. It’s not too hard to change and update it, too, with extra exercises when I find something new that’s really helpful. I investigated the free step for the first time on Monday, which allows me to watch TV at the same time as doing step with the beat coming from the Wii remote.

Theoretically that’s not much different from using my treadmill while watching TV. Possibly slightly harder, even. Why did I not get bored the way I did with the treadmill? I wonder whether it’s because I varied things every couple of minutes, changing the leg I stepped up with or switching to stepping sideways etc.?

The other one that’s hard work yet fun in the aerobics section is the Super Hoola Hoop. My abs really feel it after that one!

I’m thinking that a combo of my yoga/strength workout routine plus some time doing some steady aerobics work will be the most beneficial thing to do.

I’m not seeing muscles suddenly bulging out where there weren’t any before, but I’m wobbling a bit less in the one-leg exercises (I gave in and stationed a chair next to me to grab when necessary and have barely needed it for the last two workouts) so that’s an improvement. I can already tell that the exercises the physio gave me really only concentrated on a couple of muscle groups. Certain strength exercises are familiar and fairly easy (ones that are marked for ‘advanced users’!) while other ones are really hard work. The lunges are the hardest. My thighs start to burn pretty quickly and I find myself wobbling a lot for the final few. Oddly, it’s those kinds of exercises that I really enjoy, the ones where I can feel myself working hard.

It’s not something to use as the only form of exercise forever more – I went out for a lovely long walk on Saturday because the weather was so gorgeous – but it’s definitely a good thing to have in my toolkit. More than anything else, it gets me to work on areas that don’t get worked out when I’m hiking.

In fact, I’m enjoying the yoga so much that I’m signing up for an intro to yoga course at a local studio that starts next week. So I’ll have something that I can do when there isn’t time to bust out the Wii or when I’m away from home and can’t do anything else.

As a final note, that endorphins thing actually works. I was feeling low Wednesday night for various reason and after moaning to mum for a while I went downstairs and worked out. It actually did boost my mood well – maybe it’ll help with the PMS-related depression next week?

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