I am good at a lot of things (word scramble puzzles, the SSK decrease, meal planning, writing thank you notes), but I am not really a good swimmer. I do it anyway, because it’s the best exercise I’ve found, but I will never set any records, compete in the Olympics or cut a graceful line through the water.
Surprisingly, for something at which I am so mediocre, it makes me very happy. I look forward to the first lap, gliding through the water quietly before I take my first breath. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment that each week, I swim a little farther – when I started, I swam just 120 yards before pooping out, and I thought I would die if I went further. Now, I swim a third of a mile – 600 yards – each time – and a half mile seems within reach.
As I was catching up on vintage episodes of Cast On, Brenda mentioned a women’s shelter in Philadelphia that was looking for knitting supplies and needles – I checked out their knitting blog, and the projects on display seemed to me to be full of the same kind of joy I experience when swimming: occasionally rough around the edges, always worthwhile, beautiful in their own way. So I filled a box with bits and bobs, needles and skeins and sent it on its way to the city of knitterly love.
That, my friends, is my no-fail quick stash weight loss program. Much of the yarn that went in the box was odds and ends that had not been added to my stash inventory, but seven (seven!) things came off that list. Ravelry tells me I have about 20,000 yards of yarn in my stash; now that I’ve divested myself of much of the yarn I didn’t bother to inventory, I think that number’s pretty accurate. I blame Jenny and Nicole of Stash and Burn for my sudden need to know how much I had; frankly, I expected it to be much, much more, but ten metaphorical sweaters’ worth is not peanuts (not Salt Peanuts, though, since I destashed her last year – ha!).
Of course, the other way to destash is to knit up all that yarn; in that spirit I have finished Teva Durham’s Turtleneck Shrug from Scarf Style. It’s a wacky little project, but I loved the shrug for its cleverness. Details: 7.3 skeins (1.3 more than I expected) of Classic Elite Waterlily in Goldfish, a pumpkin so pretty it makes me want to knit with wool in June. Mods, none, other than binding off the turtleneck a little early. Firsts: I have now cast on with the backwards loop – why I waited so long, I have no idea. It was exceedingly hard to get a good FO photo of the Turtleneck Shrug – I tried 43 times. Most attempts showed too much me, not enough shrug, and at one point, I felt fairly certain I was flashing a gang sign. I feel those who make the TS are honor-bound to wear it, to a. show off its greatness, and b. keep it from looking like a pair of knitted chaps. If I can get a better photo, you’ll be the first to see it.
Some bonus links: I feel fairly certain this is not breaking news, but here are project slideshows (look in the sidebar on the right for more knitting pron) for two new books in Interweave’s Style series, Folk Style and Bag Style. I like the projects in Folk Style, because Mags Kandis’ sense of color and detail is exquisite, but I want to knit that bag on the cover of Bag Style so much, it’s as though my life depended on it. Seriously, November can’t come soon enough, and not just because it will be sweater weather. Hurry, up, Interweave!
P.S. I have 70 yards or so of the Waterlily left – ask nicely, and it’s yours.
[P.P.S. For those of you hoping this entry contained actual weight loss tips for humans, I can’t recommend the No S Diet enough. So simple, even I can do it. – ed.]