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Mistr

Mistr gets more creative

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Mistr gets more creative (part two)

 

In an earlier challenge I worked on foresight and making better choices. That went reasonably well. I've been much less stressed about getting ALL THE THINGS  done. I want to keep working on the balance of doing useful things and creative things. Since the useful things have guilt attached already, I'm concentrating my goals on doing creative things. I'm also going to need to get creative to work out at home the last week of the challenge.

 

Main goal:

work on creative projects at least 3 times a week

Bonus points for finishing projects

Extra bonus points for weaving

 

My main project right now is spinning fiber from my stash. I checked off two items last challenge. I'm on a roll.

  • I just finished an alpaca 2-ply yarn. Final step is to wash and block it.
  • My current spinning project is angora/merino wool fine yarn for knitting gloves. I'm blending the fibers on hand cards which is time consuming. This will probably take more than three weeks to finish. That's fine, I'm thrilled to be using up the bag of merino that has been in my stash for years.
  • I'm free to choose any of the bags in my stash when I'm done with this yarn. It is all fair game.

 

Other projects include:

  • knitting a pair of socks - nearly done with the leg of sock #2
  • embroidery - large counted cross-stitch picture of a sorceress
  • anything from my unfinished objects bag - must finish socks first. I might just finish the sock before I have the yarn finished for gloves.
  • Current mending counts because it is sitting out and I started it a couple weeks months ago. This kind of involves being creative with a needle. (1 item completed last challenge, two to go)

 

Check things off goal:

Things that need doing and mostly stay done. Taken from @Xena's sushi list idea

  • Swap out summer/winter clothes, take bins back to the attic
  • Put up the new shelves in the laundry room
  • Sort one box from the garage. Bonus points for more boxes sorted.
  • Wash the bag of used gis that showed up at the dojo. 
  • Make an electronic list of articles that Dumbledore has on paper (linked to the journals). Recycle the paper and use the file cabinet for things we actually should keep.
  • Donate the stuff that is accumulating next to the coffee maker.

 

Keep up good habits:

  • Lay out clothes the night before
  • Pack lunches and breakfasts ahead of time
  • Do something for exercise every day. I'm struggling to do weight training regularly because it takes a lot of time, even though I enjoy it. Yoga or walking is fine if I'm feeling stressed.
  • Zen every day. This can be after work or at lunch if I'm running late in the morning. Saturdays have been a problem - do zen early in the day.
  • NO CAFFEINE. Exceptions allowed on Saturdays and during winter break. 
  • Plan for down time after work. Maybe even take a brief nap. Better to take a break than to drag for the whole evening.
  • Make short lists of things I might do and pick the top ones. Wash, rinse, repeat.

 

I'm also planning on doing a lot of aikido. That is not a goal, it is part of my regular life at this point. My weapons training partner is getting ready for his second-degree black belt (nidan) test. I can get in a lot of high-level training by attending all the advanced classes over the next two months.

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Zero week mini-challenge

 

4 sessions weight training + HIIT warm-up

 

As luck would have it, my weapons partner is busy this week and can't train at lunch. That frees up my lunch workouts to get back on track for weight training. I've been making slow and steady progress with about two sessions a week. Since I missed the last three weeks, I'm doing a reset this week.

 

I was stiff and achey at aikido last weekend. That might be the weather or it might be feeling my age. My age is at the critical use-it-or-loose-it point, so I'm going to put more effort into building my strength and aerobic capacity now while I still can.

 

Monday: OHP and deadlifts with 1-leg bridges and air squats to get my knees moving again. DONE

Tuesday: Benchpress and goblet squats. Hip mobility exercises during the rest between sets. DONE. Plus bonus inverted rows. 

Wednesday: yoga DONE

Thursday: OHP and deadlifts DONE

Friday: Benchpress and goblet squats DONE (no HIIT)

 

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Hey, great goals for you challenge and nice habits!

It's funny how much it helps in the morning if one just has to grab sth to eat and clothes and doesn't have to do all the preparing and searching in the morning.

Love that!

 

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YOU SPIN???? Amazeballs! I have done a little spinning but I mostly knit.If I were better and faster at spinning I might do more, but I tend to knit sweaters (in fingering, sport, or DK) so they take a reasonable bit of yarn. Do you use a wheel, spindle, or both? I like Russian supported spindles. 

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I like the set-up you've got going on here, finding a balance between the useful and the creative is often a difficult thing, and I'm fascinated by your creative projects. Actually feeling kind of inspired to dust off my own after seeing how much you've got going on here :) 

 

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

YOU SPIN???? Amazeballs! I have done a little spinning but I mostly knit.If I were better and faster at spinning I might do more, but I tend to knit sweaters (in fingering, sport, or DK) so they take a reasonable bit of yarn. Do you use a wheel, spindle, or both? I like Russian supported spindles. 

 

:D Yes, I spin.

 

I do most of the other fiber arts too, but spinning is my favorite. I've knit one sweater from my handspun. I worked on the spinning on-and-off for a long time. The knitting took about three years. Part of that was because I didn't want a heavy wool sweater on my lap in the summer. I've made several lace scarves from handspun.

 

I use a Country Craftsman wheel and a variety of drop spindles. I did more drop spindle spinning when I was taking the bus to the university. I still keep a portable spindle project going for trips and waiting rooms. Mostly I spin on my wheel. I've never had a chance to try a Russian supported spindle. They look good in the pictures.

 

What kinds of things do you spin?

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Yay creativity! Those goals/challenges tend to be fun, and they have a surprising tendency to wing people toward life improvement.

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32 minutes ago, Mistr said:

 

:D Yes, I spin.

 

I do most of the other fiber arts too, but spinning is my favorite. I've knit one sweater from my handspun. I worked on the spinning on-and-off for a long time. The knitting took about three years. Part of that was because I didn't want a heavy wool sweater on my lap in the summer. I've made several lace scarves from handspun.

 

I use a Country Craftsman wheel and a variety of drop spindles. I did more drop spindle spinning when I was taking the bus to the university. I still keep a portable spindle project going for trips and waiting rooms. Mostly I spin on my wheel. I've never had a chance to try a Russian supported spindle. They look good in the pictures.

 

What kinds of things do you spin?


I'm a total novice. I tried to spin yarn. I never made enough for more than a hat or a cowl. I haven't done any for a couple of years, though, because commercially made yarn is just so superior to my own attempts. I've knit four sweaters in the last year, I think. So yeah, I go through far more yarn than I can spin, though I guess that could change if I practiced and got fast and consistent. Spinning in waiting rooms and on the bus would definitely help one make progress, though I don't think it would be possible with a supported spindle. You need a comfy desk at the right height. Maybe I should give drop spindles another go. I seem to remember my arm getting tired.

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16 hours ago, Harriet said:

I'm a total novice. I tried to spin yarn. I never made enough for more than a hat or a cowl. I haven't done any for a couple of years, though, because commercially made yarn is just so superior to my own attempts. I've knit four sweaters in the last year, I think. So yeah, I go through far more yarn than I can spin, though I guess that could change if I practiced and got fast and consistent. Spinning in waiting rooms and on the bus would definitely help one make progress, though I don't think it would be possible with a supported spindle. You need a comfy desk at the right height. Maybe I should give drop spindles another go. I seem to remember my arm getting tired.

 

Like any physical skill, spinning gets faster with practice. A spinning wheel is 2-3 times as fast as a spindle because you don't have to stop to wind on the yarn. You might want to check out the Electric Eel at https://www.dreamingrobots.com/. One of the people in my spinning group has one and loves it. There are other small portable electric wheels on Kickstarter too.

 

Last night I did a good job of being creative with things at home. 

  • Picked up meat on special from the grocery store on my way home
  • Put used gis in to soak in special cleaning/deodorizing solution
  • Worked on updating the accounting software and downloaded bank statements
  • Spinning

The creative part was that I substituted financial updates for doing the health care reimbursements. I did not want to face sorting through the mess of health care bills and insurance forms. I got in a solid 30 minutes of progress on the second-worst thing on my to-do list. I was glad that I also had spinning on my list so I had a set time to stop.

 

The spinning took a positive turn. I had been using a short forward draw (spinning method technical term). That was giving a nice yarn, but it was going slowly. Without thinking about it, I started spinning with a long draw. The yarn is not quite as even but the process is so much faster. Long draw is suited for hand-carded rolags being spun into woolen (meaning fluffy, in contrast to smooth worsted, not meaning from sheep) yarn. That is what I want here. I am making a three-ply yarn, so the individual plies don't need to be perfectly even. This is a use-up-my-stash-and-make-something-I-need project, not an entry for a competition. Fast is definitely better than perfect here. The smoothness of the yarn will depend mostly on the quality of the hand carding. I was already being diligent about carding, so it looks like this is going to work out.

 

I was toying with the idea of doing another strength workout today. Then I noticed some soreness in my arms and chest. That's a good sign :D

However, it means I should stick with yoga. I'll get in more dynamic exercise tonight at aikido.

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3 hours ago, Mistr said:

Put used gis in to soak in special cleaning/deodorizing solution

Can you tell me about this solution???   

 

I'm totally fascinated by the spinning discussion.  I'm a novice knitter these days.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mistr said:

 

Like any physical skill, spinning gets faster with practice. A spinning wheel is 2-3 times as fast as a spindle because you don't have to stop to wind on the yarn. You might want to check out the Electric Eel at https://www.dreamingrobots.com/. One of the people in my spinning group has one and loves it. There are other small portable electric wheels on Kickstarter too.

 

I don't doubt it. My knitting is now pretty fast, but started super slow. If I'd been impatient, I would never have achieved my current speed. The electric spinner looks interesting. I have a traditional wheel (at home in Germany... I'm away for now). I'll see what the folks on ravelry say about it, they're my go to for everything fibre related.
 

3 hours ago, Mistr said:

The spinning took a positive turn. I had been using a short forward draw (spinning method technical term). That was giving a nice yarn, but it was going slowly. Without thinking about it, I started spinning with a long draw. The yarn is not quite as even but the process is so much faster. Long draw is suited for hand-carded rolags being spun into woolen (meaning fluffy, in contrast to smooth worsted, not meaning from sheep) yarn. That is what I want here. I am making a three-ply yarn, so the individual plies don't need to be perfectly even. This is a use-up-my-stash-and-make-something-I-need project, not an entry for a competition. Fast is definitely better than perfect here. The smoothness of the yarn will depend mostly on the quality of the hand carding. I was already being diligent about carding, so it looks like this is going to work out.

 

That makes sense. I always worried about unevenness, but unless it's really thick and thin I guess the plying would help. Do you buy dyed top and then card it yourself? Or do you dye, as well? Have you had any success buying top in different colours and creating a... what do you call it... a semi-solid coloured yarn with hints of other colours not dyed but carded together? Is it called melange? I love yarns that are almost, but not quite, solid coloured.  

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8 hours ago, Mistr said:

The creative part was that I substituted financial updates for doing the health care reimbursements. I did not want to face sorting through the mess of health care bills and insurance forms. I got in a solid 30 minutes of progress on the second-worst thing on my to-do list.

 

I like that you could do "creative finance work" without having it be ethically dubious.

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16 hours ago, Terra said:

Can you tell me about this solution???   

 

Yes, this comes from a relative of a dojo member. She runs a small hotel and does a LOT of laundry.

 

Cleaning and deodorizing solution for whites:

3-5 gallons of boiling water

1/2 cup powdered dishwasher detergent

1/2 cup borax

1/2 cup liquid bleach

 

Soak several hours, overnight is better. Then wash as usual.

 

I used hot tap water and it worked. One of the gis started out very yellowed and came out white (aside from some stubborn stains around the collar). 

 

16 hours ago, Harriet said:

Do you buy dyed top and then card it yourself? Or do you dye, as well? Have you had any success buying top in different colours and creating a... what do you call it... a semi-solid coloured yarn with hints of other colours not dyed but carded together? Is it called melange? I love yarns that are almost, but not quite, solid coloured.  

 

I do sometimes buy dyed top, but not for blending. Usually it has an interesting color mix already and I just spin it by itself. I have bought dyed locks of mohair to make a multicolored yarn. Those I usually flick comb instead of card.

 

I think the word you are looking for is "heathered". Melange makes sense, but is not normally used in this context. I agree, a mix of colors in the fiber makes for a nicer looking mostly-solid yarn.

 

I have done a little dyeing but it is not something I do at home. At one point I accumulated all the supplies to do it, but I just never got enthused to use them. I eventually admitted that dyeing won't ever be a big part of my fiber activities. Last winter my spinning group did a silk dyeing workshop. It was a lot of fun to hand paint different types of silk. I might do more of this if I wanted a specific color that I couldn't buy. For now, I have plenty of things to spin in a variety of colors.

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26 minutes ago, Mistr said:

Yes, this comes from a relative of a dojo member. She runs a small hotel and does a LOT of laundry.

 

Cleaning and deodorizing solution for whites:

3-5 gallons of boiling water

1/2 cup powdered dishwasher detergent

1/2 cup borax

1/2 cup liquid bleach

 

Soak several hours, overnight is better. Then wash as usual.

 

I used hot tap water and it worked. One of the gis started out very yellowed and came out white (aside from some stubborn stains around the collar). 

That looks like it would work great with an all white gi.  My gi's all have patches and colored bits on them, so no bleach.  :frown-new:  Doesn't the hot water cause shrinking problems with the gis?  

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2 hours ago, Terra said:

That looks like it would work great with an all white gi.  My gi's all have patches and colored bits on them, so no bleach.  :frown-new:  Doesn't the hot water cause shrinking problems with the gis?  

 

In my experience, gis tend to come oversized and need to be shrunk. It depends on the supplier. After the first few washes they have finished shrinking. Hopefully all the starch is out too. :) 

 

You are right, the bleach would be hard on colored patches. It does not do anything to black laundry marker. I know this because I got a used ki with Chinese characters on the front. I was never able to get them out.

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7 hours ago, Mistr said:

I do sometimes buy dyed top, but not for blending. Usually it has an interesting color mix already and I just spin it by itself. I have bought dyed locks of mohair to make a multicolored yarn. Those I usually flick comb instead of card.

 

I think the word you are looking for is "heathered". Melange makes sense, but is not normally used in this context. I agree, a mix of colors in the fiber makes for a nicer looking mostly-solid yarn.

 

I have done a little dyeing but it is not something I do at home. At one point I accumulated all the supplies to do it, but I just never got enthused to use them. I eventually admitted that dyeing won't ever be a big part of my fiber activities. Last winter my spinning group did a silk dyeing workshop. It was a lot of fun to hand paint different types of silk. I might do more of this if I wanted a specific color that I couldn't buy. For now, I have plenty of things to spin in a variety of colors.

 

Yes, heathered. Don't know where my words went.  Yeah, I also tried dying but it's a lot of work and others can do it better than me. Can't do everything myself.

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On 12/3/2019 at 11:55 AM, Mistr said:

Zero week mini-challenge

 

Monday: OHP and deadlifts with 1-leg bridges and air squats to get my knees moving again. DONE

Tuesday: Benchpress and goblet squats. Hip mobility exercises during the rest between sets. DONE. Plus bonus inverted rows. 

Wednesday: yoga DONE

Thursday: OHP and deadlifts DONE

Friday: Benchpress and goblet squats

 

Having a mini-challenge helped me get to the gym today.

 

I'm already seeing improvement. My hips felt much better after the session on Tuesday and yoga on Wednesday. No more aching in the middle of the night. I'm not sure why they were cranky, but at least I know what to do about it. My upper body was less sore this morning, just in time for another lifting session. I think I'll be able to get back to my former weights by next week.

 

Aikido last night was fun. Turns out it was not my turn to teach, the senior instructor taught. We had a visiting black belt from another dojo (who I know), two other black belts from our dojo, two experienced kids, and a couple newer students. That gave enough depth of experience in the class that I got to train with black belts, not just with the newer folks. Both are good, but in different ways. The new people have no clue what we're doing and won't move where I want unless I do the technique correctly. The black belts know exactly what we are doing and will counter if I don't do the technique correctly. :D  My knees were complaining enough that I decided to leave after an hour and skip the advanced class. I think that was the right choice. I was late getting to bed as it was.

 

Thursday is normally date night but that is being postponed because Dumbledore, my primary partner, is busy with end-of-the-semester grading. Whew. I was hoping for a catch-up night at home. On the list for tonight:

  • sit zen
  • French games
  • Cook turkey breast. This was a request from Dumbledore because we still have lots of stuffing and gravy, but are out of turkey from last week.
  • Clean something. Probably dishes if no one else has done them yet.
  • Creative project. Probably spinning.
  • To-do project

On Tuesday I combined to-do lists and added more things. I'm sure I'll add more things. Anything I get done is progress.

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4 hours ago, Mistr said:

The new people have no clue what we're doing and won't move where I want unless I do the technique correctly. The black belts know exactly what we are doing and will counter if I don't do the technique correctly.

 

I like this. I think it can be kind of generalized to other types of teaching and mentoring 🙂

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On 12/3/2019 at 11:55 AM, Mistr said:

Zero week mini-challenge

 

4 sessions weight training + HIIT warm-up

 

Monday: OHP and deadlifts with 1-leg bridges and air squats to get my knees moving again. DONE

Tuesday: Benchpress and goblet squats. Hip mobility exercises during the rest between sets. DONE. Plus bonus inverted rows. 

Wednesday: yoga DONE

Thursday: OHP and deadlifts DONE

Friday: Benchpress and goblet squats DONE (no HIIT)

 

 

Complete!

 

Today's session was less than stellar. I didn't have the energy for HIIT and I just did the minimum of one warm-up set and 3x5 worksets for each lift. The rational part of my brain says I'm tired because I didn't sleep well last night and I donated blood yesterday. The sneaky insidious part of my brain whispers that this is aging at work and things are heading downhill from here. I'll see how I feel at aikido this weekend and lifting next week.

 

Thursday review

23 hours ago, Mistr said:

On the list for tonight:

  • sit zen   DONE
  • French games DONE with extra time because a cat curled up on my lap
  • Cook turkey breast. This was a request from Dumbledore because we still have lots of stuffing and gravy, but are out of turkey from last week. DONE
  • Clean something. Probably dishes if no one else has done them yet. DONE - yes, it was dishes.
  • Creative project. Probably spinning. Nope
  • To-do project DONE, for small values of done. I folded and packed the clean donation gis to take back to the dojo; along with putting away my clean gis.

 

It seems that my brain is bad at math in the evenings. I was trying to figure out why I didn't have time for spinning when I didn't goof off (much) and had a short list. In theory I had 3.5 hours between work and bedtime. If you figure each task takes 30 minutes plus 30 minutes for dinner, I should have been able to do 6 things, right? In fact I had time for 5 things plus some general cleaning up and prep. I know I took more than 30 minutes for French because Duolingo gives me 30 minutes of double points time on Thursdays and I used all of it. Dishes probably took more than 30 minutes. Tracking this shows me the value of logging my activities because my brain is bad at keeping track (and lies).

 

Weekend goals:

  • Do zen first thing Saturday morning. this has been a problem when I leave it to later
  • Go to bed by 10:30pm every night. Earlier would be better. This gives me more time in the morning. Sleeping in is one of my weekend joys.
  • Log what I do. Anything on the list is fair game.
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On 12/6/2019 at 5:06 PM, Mistr said:

Weekend goals:

  • Do zen first thing Saturday morning. this has been a problem when I leave it to later
  • Go to bed by 10:30pm every night. Earlier would be better. This gives me more time in the morning. Sleeping in is one of my weekend joys.
  • Log what I do. Anything on the list is fair game.

 

DONE

 

I should have said go to bed by 10:30pm Friday and Saturday nights. I was good and was in bed by 10:30±10 minutes every night. Today would have been easier if I had gotten to bed by 9:30pm instead. I got quite a bit done.

 

No creative time on Sunday, but I did get the lights up on the bushes out front. Good timing on that because the weather was dry and above freezing. I came home and was pleased to see Elf doing the raking. My kid is awesome, in an inconsistent kind of way. It makes me happy to have lights outside during the dark time of the year.

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On ‎12‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 6:06 PM, Mistr said:

The rational part of my brain says I'm tired because I didn't sleep well last night and I donated blood yesterday. The sneaky insidious part of my brain whispers that this is aging at work and things are heading downhill from here. I'll see how I feel at aikido this weekend and lifting next week.

 

The rational part is right. Listen to it!

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Week 1  Monday-Wednesday

  • Zero creative activity.
  • Good aikido practice with my weapons partner Monday & Wednesday. I taught class last night and was happy with it.
  • No exercise at lunch Tuesday. I have various excuses which come out to me wanting time off.
  • Lots of cooking Monday and Tuesday evening.
  • Successfully purchased gifts for two friends who I will see at a party on Saturday
  • Not enough sleep any night. Running at 7-7.5 hours a night
  • Zen on Monday & Wednesday, skipped Tuesday. I felt that doing dishes was more important on the moment.

I can tell I am trying to do too much because I am showing my usual avoidance behaviors. Eating a lot of sugar and not wanting to do the next thing. When I look at my schedule for the next few days, the first real open spot is on Saturday evening. There are fun things in there, but no sitting-down-with-my-feet-up time. As it stands I'm using the little gaps in time to do French practice.

 

The simple way to get more time would be to skip aikido, which I don't want to do. I'm getting a lot of benefit out of the test prep classes. My plan is to go practice on Friday and Saturday and skip open mat on Sunday. I might go to the dojo early for zen and get in a little more practice. I know I won't be going to class on Monday because my spinning group has a party in the evening. Theoretically I could go to 6:00am class Monday, but I'm not that dedicated. Luckily my past self was smart and scheduled Monday as a day off. That will give me a chance to actually work on projects and catch up on sleep.

 

Today and tomorrow are slated for weight training and cardio at lunch. I'm looking at changing this up in January. One of my goals at work is to do more networking. A good way to do that would be to take the barbells class. If that goes well I could add another class. The exercise program also offers early morning classes. Those look interesting but for now I'm going to stick with doing zen first thing in the morning.

 

I was dragging enough that I had caffeinated tea and a chocolate-covered espresso bean this morning. Time to put that energy to work.

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On 12/6/2019 at 3:06 PM, Mistr said:

Today's session was less than stellar. I didn't have the energy for HIIT and I just did the minimum of one warm-up set and 3x5 worksets for each lift. The rational part of my brain says I'm tired because I didn't sleep well last night and I donated blood yesterday. The sneaky insidious part of my brain whispers that this is aging at work and things are heading downhill from here. I'll see how I feel at aikido this weekend and lifting next week.

 

 

I like to think that ageing with aikido and lifting and cardio is a different beast to aging with a totally sedentary lifestyle. I guess I'll find out eventually. 

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This time I'm here before the end of the challenge! Yay!!

I always shake my head when you talk about how much you get done after work when it wasn't everything on your list...if I accomplish anything beyond eating dinner it's a win

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1 hour ago, Mistr said:

I can tell I am trying to do too much because I am showing my usual avoidance behaviors. Eating a lot of sugar and not wanting to do the next thing. When I look at my schedule for the next few days, the first real open spot is on Saturday evening. There are fun things in there, but no sitting-down-with-my-feet-up time. As it stands I'm using the little gaps in time to do French practice.

 

This is actually a very good indicator that you've gone too far for yourself. Starrett apparently says that a good indicator of whether you're fit to do a thing is if you're excited to do so. It's like a weird emergent phenomenon thing.

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