Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Knit yourself to good health !!

Who would have thought knitting would get so much good press and be so good for you? Interestingly I just stumbled across not one but two articles published by the BBC about how knitting is good for your health.

The first article claims knitting can delay memory loss, and reduce the risk of memory impairment by 40%. While the second article talks about how knitting relieves the stresses of modern life and how the repetitive action can create a trance like state which creates general relaxation and helps to reduce stress. So all this knitting not only makes me happy and relaxed, but also is stopping me from losing my marbles. Fantastic!

It is actually really interesting to read this because I cannot agree more with the second article and just hope the first one is correct. I would say knitting is like meditation but for someone who has a little ADHD. I couldn't possible sit still, meditating and humming to myself - I have too many things whirling around in my head - but with knitting, if I am counting stitches and repeating patterns I do get into a relaxed state and can empty my head of all the whirlyness !!! (not sure thats a word - but you know what I mean !!). Furthermore the joy of having made something from nothing is so delighting, that I'm sure the happy hormones are in over drive. So what are you waiting for - grab your needles and a delicious ball of scrummy wool and knit yourself to good health !!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Move over Martha!

Having religiously watched Project Runway over the past few months I was inspired to spread my craft wings and learn how to sew. Luckily for me I got an amazing sewing machine for my birthday, so I got right on the band wagon and blindly jumped in. As someone who isn't proficient with using a sewing machine I fortunately stumbled across a great website - sew mama sew - and found my first project - rice therapy bags. As a Physiotherapist I use heat and cold therapy a lot - so these were the perfect thing for me, and as someone who suffers with frozen feet 95% of the time - I now use the heat bag an abnormally large amount of time - I even stick it in my bed at night to keep my toes nice and toasty !!! Not so great for Chris as he isn't a massive fan of the smell - but if my feet are warm - life is good !!! I used lemongrass essential oil for the heat bag and peppermint for the 'boo boo' bag. These are going to make great Christmas pressies too. Now all I've got to do is decide what my second sewing project will be.......................?? Move over Martha - here I come..........

Monday, November 16, 2009

Knit your very own hat....

Snowboard season has arrived !!! Woo Hoo !! My favorite season of them all. On Friday I got to dust off my boots, bring out the new triple goose down mittens, and hang out with my lovely friends whilst making some turns at A-Basin . It was all that I remembered it to be - even with the big tumble I took because my jelly legs weren't prepared for the undulating terrain !!!! (Note to self - hit the gym before next winter season!). Probably should have been wearing my Bern helmet - but couldn't resist wearing my purple 'STIFFY' immidesigns hat - it goes so well with my pants !!!!

The 'STIFFY' hat is the easiest hat to knit - as long as you know how to cast on, knit, and decrease (check out 'you tube' for instructional videos if you don't know how to do this already).

You'll need 7mm straight needles, a wool needle and some lovely chunky wool - I like to use Lambs Pride Bulky yarn because it is super soft and warm.

My 'STIFFY' hat pattern is:
  • Cast on 50 stitches.
  • Knit 30 cms /12 inches in a simple garter/plain knit stitch (in this picture I knitted 20 rows in hot pink, 20 rows in limeade, and 20 more rows in hot pink, but you could do just one colour - like the purple stiffy).
  • For the last row, knit 2 together, repeating this all the way till the end of the row - you'll be left with 25 stitches on the needle.
  • Cut the yarn, leaving approximately 80 cms / 30 inches to cast off and sew the hat up.
  • Thread the wool needle onto the remaining length of yarn, then thread through each of the 25 stitches left on the needle.
  • Pull all stitches off the knitting needle, and pull the thread tight, so the top becomes gathered.
  • Make sure the hat is inside out and begin sewing the hat together along the two edges. If you have done stripes (like in the picture) - make sure you line the stripes up accurately.
  • Once the hat is completely sewn up - turn it inside out.
  • Make a deliciously big bobble - either with a bobble/pom pom making kit - like this one from purl soho, or go 'Blue Peter styley' and make your own.
  • Sew it to the top of the hat - looping the thread through the bobble and top of the hat several times to ensure a strong attachment.
  • Put it on, stand back and admire your handy work - alternatively - if it looks bad buy one from immidesigns!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hats are a necessity, not a fashion accessory !!

This is my first blog - the inspiration for which comes from the view I have outside my window. I can just see at the top of Vail mountain - glistening white snow, covering the big old fir trees - if only it were 3-4 degrees cooler down here. Snow galore. Not to be just yet - but in less than a month the ski lifts will be turning once again and summer will be all but a memory. I love the winter - the reasons being:
  • I get to snowboard
  • All my winter friends return from there summer dwellings (that makes them sound like hippos !!)
  • The crisp mountain air - there is nothing better than stepping outside the house in the morning and being abruptly refreshed by the delicious crisp air (a little advise though - don't breath through your nose cause your nose hairs will freeze !!!)
  • I get to wear all my new pro-formed gear !! thank you Burton, Bonfire ......
  • Shrimp mo boys and banana pudding for lunch or apres and $3 PBR's -
  • West Vail trees - that magical place !!
  • Pizza sundays at Matty J's
  • Hats are a necessity not a fashion accessory - so I get to wear them everyday !!!!!!

That being said I've been busily designing a new ear flap hat. Made with super chunky wool, which equals a super speedy knit. White like the snow at the top of the mountain. Really happy with the result and think its my new favorite hat. I heart WINTER !!!!!