Monday, August 6, 2012

Thoughts and conclusions

I've been learning a few things lately and I've come to a few conclusions. 

I've come to the conclusion that ripping out is easier with crochet and knitting than it is with tatting.

I was asked by the LACE group in Chicago to do a tatting class during their  Lace Days event next June.  Since they want to approve the pattern (or choose the pattern - not sure what that's about), I've been doing some samples for them to look at. 

One of the patterns, the one on the left here, is made up of 4 small medallions, put together with a border stitched around them.  I got the inner mediallions done, no problem.  I started working the outside border and started to have issues.  There weren't nearly enough stitches to make it lay flat and the original pattern had the double rings off to the side on the top and bottom (where here I've added the longer chains and little upsidedown ring).  Again, no problem, it didn't take long to do.  I'll rip it out and redo the border, adding more stitches.

Now crochet is the easiest thing ever to rip out because you're only ever working with one live stitch at a time.  Knitting's not too bad either unless you're on a complex lace pattern.  But even then, you've put in life lines and you're okay or you can take it out stitch by stitch.  Not so bad, even if time consuming.

With tatting there's none of that.  Here's what ripping out looks like in tatting...
It's done with scissors.  You just snip it right off and start all over again.  And then you redo the border.  Easy.  But it sucks when you've made a mistake in the middle of a pattern.  Once you've closed a ring, the ring is closed and there's no way to change it.  Other than cut it off.

The next thing I've been thinking about is the new exercise routine I've started with a program called TurboFire.  I've been thinking a lot about how I feel and how I feel about myself and I came to the conclusion that I don't care about the weight, I care about not being in shape.  I needed a kick in the butt and preferred to try this method rather than the personal trainer route.

My goal is no longer to lose x number of pounds, it's now about fitness.  My goal right now is to be able to do 25 full plank push ups.  When I started 3 1/2 weeks ago, I could barely do 2 half pushups on my knees.  Now I can do about 10 full pushups on my knees and 3 plank half pushups. There's something about that change of focus that is motivating me to do the work and being able to feel and see the muscles starting to take shape makes me want to do more.

I don't want to sound like an infomercial but here's what I like about this program.  Although it is a fnancial investment, it's a fully rounded program that provides both cardio, strength and flexibility training.  It comes with the "props" you use in the workouts like a lower body band, a toning band, a workout schedule for just starting out and for long term use, help with learning to use food to fuel your body instead of defeating the purpose (and a killer recipe book) and about 15 different videos with different types of workouts.

Now here's another conclusion that I think I always knew but has been reinforced to me.  People with passion for what they do make the best teachers.  I think that's one of the big things I've responded to in the way the Chalene Johnson approaches these workouts.  There's a lot of butt kicking but you get so encouraged by her enthusiasm and passion that you don't even noticed you got your butt kicked until it's over!  Well, you might have a clue or two but you want to press through.  The vibe is so positive that you believe you can do it, even when you're panting and your legs are shaking. 

There's always the understanding that you do as much as you can and then next time you do a little more than you did today and so on.  It's not for everyone but it will take you on a great journey and you'll feel like you've really accomplished something.  Music out.....

And my final influence lately is a children's book called the Phantom Tollbooth.  Somehow I got through childhood and this far into life without coming across this book.  I'd heard an interview with the author, Norton Juster, because they've just put out the 50th anniversay edition of the book, and was intrigued by the interviewer's extensive quoting of the word play throughout the story.  Sounded like just my kind of thing.  It's been quite a journey with Milo and Tock and the Humbug.  So my thought here is that we underestimate kids.  We underestimate people that we know in just one context, only at work, say, or who are older.  We don't hold out the possibility that they have interesting interests or talents or have had interesting experiences.  Understand?  No?  Read the book.