Wool English

I’ve been amused by the English descriptions on my balls of wool:

Cotton Rainette – Because growth is early, the white pine is useful for a natural environmental protection.  Richmond’s ecology mind is spoken for.

Margherita – The long pitch printed tape yarn.  It would assume a butterfly is flitting around the garden of rape blossoms.

And I thought the patterns were hard to understand!

2 Responses to “Wool English”

  1. Marcus Ramberg Says:

    I’m very curious about these ‘rape blossoms’. Poor butterflies.

  2. karen Says:

    It is strange reading about them in that context. Not the flower choice we would have used if writing an English description.

    Though I imagine they are they flowering plant that rapeseed oil comes from.

New Hobby

I have started to knit again.  I was taught to knit in primary school.  I remember being the worst knitter in my class.  I just couldn’t get the wool round the needles correctly.  My teacher realised that my problem could be solved by teaching me to knit left-handed.

Left-handed knitting does make it difficult for me to learn new techniques. I find it really hard to follow the instructions.  I also find watching other people knit confusing.  I now get Marty to translate confusing knitting instructions for me.  It should be a simple matter for me to reverse the instructions but you only have to mention left and right and I’m bewildered.

Knitting Sample

Knitting Sample

4 Responses to “New Hobby”

  1. Jessica Marie Says:

    Have you looked at She has videos for English and Continental styles, which may help.

  2. karen Says:

    I’ll take a look. I discovered recently that I didn’t yarn over properly. I’ve fixed that now but I imagine that something new will come along that I’ll mess up!

    It is more fun that I remembered it being. And now I want to go back to that wool shop in Pittsburgh as I remember the selection being great 🙂

  3. Norwin Says:

    “yarn over”!
    Wow – and I thought the computing jargon was bad 🙂

  4. karen Says:

    “Yarn over” or “yo” is a very simple instruction. I must admit to being stumped at first by “sl2-k1-p2sso”. But it all makes sense now…

Irish Breakfast

Marty and I thought it would be fun to try to make a traditional Northern Irish breakfast.  We wanted this to contain soda farls, potato bread, and back bacon.

Potato bread is quite easy to make and it’s not difficult to buy potatoes, butter, and flour in Tokyo.  Potatoes are also sold here in threes and fours; the perfect amount for making bread.

Potato Bread

Potato Bread

Making soda bread was more difficult.  One of the main ingredients is buttermilk, which we can’t buy in Tokyo.  There are a variety of substitutes for this and today we used milk soured with lemon juice.

Most of the bacon sold here is the American streaky bacon.  I don’t really like this and wanted to get back bacon.  I ordered this from the meat guy.  The bacon was the least successful part of breakfast.  Not because the meat was bad it’s just that it didn’t taste like Irish bacon.  We joked that we missed the food colouring that makes Irish bacon look pinker.  I think we actually expected it to be smoked or maple cured.

Saturday Brunch

Saturday Brunch

It took much longer to make than it would in Belfast.  It was a fun way to spend the morning even though we made too much food.  Maybe, when I lived in Belfast, I could have eaten it all but here I didn’t manage to eat half of it.

Smells Like Summer

It’s such a beautiful day that I decided to cycle along the river.  It’s hot but no hotter than the hottest day of a Belfast summer.  The air smells of wild flowers, of daisies, dandelions, and rose of sharon.

I was reminded of childhood summers spent playing in the park.  I used to lie in the grass with my friends and little sister making daisy chains.  We wore crowns made of daisies and forgot to go home in time for tea.

Daisies at the River

Daisies at the River

Muscle Aches

I wake up everyday to stiff and achy muscles.  The variety in my exercise program does lead to variety in my achiness.

At the start of the program, two weeks ago, I got out a measuring tape.  It’s a horrifying experience (who wants to know how fat they really are) but at least now I know that after two weeks my waist is 5 centimetres smaller.

4 Responses to “Muscle Aches”

  1. Chastity Says:

    Wow, Karen. Sorry about the aches, but at least you know you earned them!

    Congrats on the centimeters lost! That’s fantastic. I’m sure it feels great to make progress. I have to admit that I desperately want to lose about 10 pounds over the next month, but I have no motivation or will-power to stick with it.

    How do you make yourself kick your own butt everyday?

  2. karen Says:

    I know that if I don’t do something that I will continue to gain weight. In January, when my hormones were really out of balance, I started to gain about 2 pounds a week. That’s a frightening trend.

    When I went to Australia none of the clothes I bought last summer fitted me – that annoyed me.

    I think I also got fed up with reading about how hard it is for someone with my condition to lose weight or exercise. Sure it’s hard – but how many worthwhile things aren’t?

    Now I set targets and record what I eat and how much exercise I’ve done. Makes it much more likely that I’ll stick with it.

  3. Norwin Says:

    I’m no expert, but that sounds like a lot.
    Good work – but don’t overdo it!

  4. karen Says:

    I haven’t been overdoing it. Actually I’m not really strong enough to overdo it even if I wanted to.

    Went out cycling today. Beautiful outside but maybe a bit on the hot side.

Energy Zappers

I haven’t felt like blogging lately.  I’ve started an new exercise regime which is zapping all my energy.  I need to do this as my under-active thyroid has done bad things to my muscles and I want to get stronger.

Today I start week two of the 100 push-ups challenge and the 200 sit-ups challenge.  Once I do that I have 30 minutes of high-impact aerobics.  After that –  I’ll just collapse in a heap.

3 Responses to “Energy Zappers”

  1. Jessica Marie Says:

    You poor dear. Are you allowed to take naps?

  2. Norwin Says:

    That’s a lot!
    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to collapse after that.

  3. karen Says:

    I am allowed to take naps. For a while I needed to sleep in the afternoon. But in the past couple of weeks I’ve managed to stay awake all day!

    Yoga and dance to do today. The dance is fun and at least these are all things I can do at home.

Hospital Again

I was back at the thyroid hospital last week.  I was a bit worried about the blood tests but the nurse had no problem finding my veins.  As I suspected my hormones still haven’t stabilized and my medication was increased again. The Doctor is hoping that I will start to feel better by mid-summer.

2 Responses to “Hospital Again”

  1. Jessica Marie Says:

    Oh Karen! You are just not having good luck with your health at all. I’ll be praying.

  2. karen Says:

    Thank you. I think part of the problem is moving goal posts – because the disease progresses the medication doesn’t make as much of a difference as the Doctor hopes.

    Looking forward to seeing you in the summer!

Behind on my 101 List

Between travelling and illness I am behind with my 101 todo list.  I decided today to move the end date as I know that if I get too far behind I will find the list depressing instead of motivating.

I’ve completed some tasks since I last blogged about this.  I took a trip to Australia, went to a non-Perl conference, and bought a new pair of walking shoes.  I really loved my old brown walking shoes but they were a mess.  Mishapen and scruffy it was time for them to go in the bin.  My news ones are really comfortable but I don’t love them.

Hopefully May works out better than April.

2 Responses to “Behind on my 101 List”

  1. Norwin Says:

    Not all love is love at first sight.
    You just need to spend some time in them, and have some adventures in them. The love will come 😉

  2. karen Says:

    Oh more than likely. And in a few years from now when they are falling apart I won’t want to part with them.