My current work in progress:

1. Strandwanderer, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Wollmeise Merino "Pure" in the "Zenzi" colorway on a 3.25 mm (U.S. size 3) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Eating Clean

I enjoyed reading your guesses as to why I cleaned out my cupboards and gave away all my food. (I cleaned the fridge too, but there wasn’t too much to clean out.)

I guess you could call the reason a major life change — I’m making a commitment to eating clean — only natural and organic foods. No processed crap, no preservatives.

I made a start a few weeks ago when I stopped drinking diet soda. And as of yesterday, I am drinking only one cup of coffee per day, water (and lots of it), and green tea.

After cleaning out my kitchen I went shopping. It’s a good thing I received my annual performance award a week ago, because that was a pricey proposition. Here’s what my kitchen looked like after I got home.

kitchen120809 240x160 Eating Clean

Now my cupboards are nicely restocked.

cupboard120809 240x160 Eating Clean

So’s the fridge.

fridge120809 240x154 Eating Clean

I got only all natural stuff and organic where I could. No processed sugar, no white flour. I’ve been building up to this over the past couple of weeks, and jumped into it with both feet yesterday.

So far so good. The only drawback so far is the amount of time it takes to prepare everything. It’s a heckuva lot easier to pop a Lean Cuisine in the microwave.

If you google “eating clean” you can find a lot of good information online. This article is a very good summary of the concept of clean eating.

I got this book a couple of weeks ago. (It says it will be published in January, but it is available now.) While the book layout is kind of garish and makes it look like a fad diet book, it has sound ideas and principles. It’s rather poorly organized so that you have to flip back and forth alot, but I still recommend it.

In knitting news, I did very little over the weekend. I did manage to knit this sock.

Sock120809 204x240 Eating Clean

Sorry for the lousy photo, but it is dark and I am tired.

It’s sportweight, so it went quickly. Knit from Fiesta Boomerang in the “White Zinfandel” colorway, on 2.75mm needles.

And I’m knitting the second sock. Excitement abounds!

Lucy exudes excitement.

lucy120809 240x160 Eating Clean

Shaky Old Geezers of the World Unite

I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only one who finds the lack of a viewfinder on a point and shoot camera unacceptable. Yes, even with image stabilization, I find my photos too shaky. But most of my blog photos are taken with this:

SLR111509 240x180 Shaky Old Geezers of the World Unite

That’s a Canon SLR camera. It’s an older model — I bought it in 2006. There are newer models now that do much more, but this one works very well for me.

Speaking of stuff that works well, I recently bought the new Boye electric ballwinder. It retails for around $70 – $90, depending on where you buy it. If you do a Google search on “Boye electric ballwinder” you’ll find a bunch of buying options. Here it is in action:

Ballwinder111509 240x160 Shaky Old Geezers of the World Unite

It has a big suction cup on the bottom of it so you can attach it firmly to pretty much any flat surface. And it has variable speed, which you adjuct by sliding the on/off button.

Ballwindera111509 240x160 Shaky Old Geezers of the World Unite

And it does a nice job of winding.

Ballwinder111509b 240x160 Shaky Old Geezers of the World Unite

What’s that yarn I’ve wound up?

Mackintosh111509 240x122 Shaky Old Geezers of the World Unite

That is a skein of MacKintosh Yarns Iona fingering weight, which is a blend of 80% superwash merino, 10% nylon, and 10% cashmere. The colorway is “Maude.” I’m doing a sock design for MacKintosh Yarns. But I’ll talk about that later.

That means that I finished my Cloister Socks.

CloisterSocks111509 240x169 Shaky Old Geezers of the World Unite

Lucy has taken to mountain climbing. Here she is on top of the wall unit in my living room.

Lucy111509 240x160 Shaky Old Geezers of the World Unite

(I had to get up on a step-stool to get her down because she was scared to jump down.)

I Heart My Droid

This has absolutely nothing to do with knitting, but I got my new Motorola Droid phone yesterday and I love it.

Droid111009 160x240 I Heart My Droid

I had an LG Voyager previously and the difference between these phones? Wow!

The screen resolution is amazing, and once I got used to it, the phone is incredibly easy to use. Just a matter of learning how to do things. And there are a lot of great apps for it. But no knitting apps yet.

Droid111009a 160x240 I Heart My Droid

I set it up to use my wireless network at home, which it does automatically. Both on my network and on the 3G, it is VERY fast, unlike the Voyager.

DroidOpen111009 240x160 I Heart My Droid

The desktop mount is apparently not available yet — I’ll get that as soon as it comes out. Then I can get rid of my clock on my nightstand and use this instead. It does have a very nice alarm clock app pre-installed — very customizable.

And it’s great how it syncs with your Google account. I have all my contacts in Google, so those downloaded without a hitch, as did my Google calendar.

Speaking of Technology

A couple of you asked what type of camera I used for the weekend photos I posted yesterday. That was the little point and shoot Canon that lives in my purse. It does a very nice job, doesn’t it? It’s the Powershot SD770IS.

One thing that annoys me about a lot of the newer point-and-shoot Canons is the lack of a viewfinder. They have the LCD screen only. I need a viewfinder. If I try to take a photo using the LCD screen, I have to hold it a few inches from my face in order to see that shot, and I invariably shake the camera. With a viewfinder (which this little camera has), I rest the sides of my hands against my face while I take the photo and that stabilizes the camera so I don’t shake it.

Does anyone else have this problem or am I just a shaky old geezer?

Yes, I’m Still Knitting

See?

SIP111009 240x160 I Heart My Droid

This is the second sock of the pair, so this project will be done in a couple of days.

Sock111009 160x240 I Heart My Droid

Lucy Sez

Lucy111009 240x160 I Heart My Droid

“Yes, it is a little warm in here.”

All Blocked and Ready for Action

I’ve released the Two-Thirds Shawl from its bondage. Here is Gwendolyn modeling her new shawl.

TwoThirdsShawl110209a 160x240 All Blocked and Ready for Action

She’s stylin’.

TwoThirdsShawl110209 160x240 All Blocked and Ready for Action

Thanks for all your lovely comments about this shawl. It was great fun to knit, and not particularly difficult. The only arduous bit was that by the time I bound off there were 605 stitches on my needles. I confess to having a few hateful thoughts at that point.

But off the needles it is, and I am very happy with it. I love the way it stays on the shoulders!

And I’m down to one bloggable project (though that will change in the near future). This:

sip110209 240x160 All Blocked and Ready for Action

Wheeeeee! A sock! It’s a sock knit from one of the yummiest sock yarns around: Alchemy Juniper. The colorway is called “Tea Party” and I think it is just lovely.

I’m calling this pattern “Cloisters Socks.” If you do a google image search for cloisters, you may agree that it is a good name. Well, you’ll be able to tell better when you see a more up-to-date photo. That pic is from yesterday.

Lucy seems to have taken sleep to an art form:

Lucy110209 240x160 All Blocked and Ready for Action

A Simple Sock

Okay, a bunch of you Smartypants immediately identified the yarn I’m using for my simple sock as Wollmeise in the Johannisbeer und Brennessel colorway. Clearly you all are experts in Wollmeise colorway identification.

A quick trip through the Google translator tells me that the colorway name translates into “currant and nettle” in English. Very appropriate, no?

So, Thursday night I was thinking that I needed a simple project to take to Virginia Beach with me for the weekend. “This is a job for Wollmeise!” thought I. I ventured into the stash room and looked through the Wollmeise I have, and decided on this lovely colorway.

I did do a bit of knitting over the weekend, and today I am past the heel on the first sock.

SIP092909 160x240 A Simple Sock

And here is a close-up of the slipstitch heel, just because a slipstitch heel in Wollmeise makes me happy.

Heel092909 240x160 A Simple Sock

The pattern is a simple knit/purl thing, and the results kind of make me think of bamboo.

SIPCloseup092909 240x160 A Simple Sock

So I am calling this sock “Bamboozled.” Just try and stop me.

I’ve got another new work-in-progress . . .

WIP092909 240x160 A Simple Sock

And I’m afraid Lucy can’t come to the blog right now . . .

Lucy092909 240x160 A Simple Sock

It’s suppertime!