Every Wednesday I participate in “Yarn Along”, a link-up run by Ginny over at Small Things where we share what we are knitting and reading this week. You can click the Yarn Along image at the end of this post to see the whole link-up. You can also find Yarn Along photos on Instagram (#yarnalong) and Flickr.
My extended family does a gift exchange and every year we come up with a “theme” of sorts to make it interesting. This year the idea was that we each have to make the card for the recipient (the gifts can be made or bought). I found this snowflake pattern on Ravelry and knit it up over a couple of days. It took about 55 pins to block it out correctly, and it was worth it. The curly crinkled mess became a neat, beautiful snowflake. This pattern definitely needs to be knit in wool or some other fibre that will block properly. Acrylic just wouldn’t work, and cotton would probably require some kind of starching. This Shetland wool I had in my stash was perfect. I bought some shiny blue card from Michaels so now I just need to cut it out, fold it into a Christmas card, and figure out some way to attach the snowflake to the card. I’m thinking maybe I’ll sew each point to the card, so the recipient can cut it off to use as an ornament if she wants to. The other knitting in the photo is the mate to the sock from previous Yarn Alongs. It is coming along quickly, mostly because it is the only “in-progress” knitting I have at the moment. Time to cast on something new!
I am notorious among friends and colleagues for my obsession with sleep. I’m a night-owl so I’ve always had trouble with mornings, and last year I discovered that four consecutive nights of 6 hours of sleep makes me incapable of coherent conversation, let alone anything more complex. Ideally I’d like to get 9 hours of sleep a night, but even with a very flexible job and late start time I struggle to get close to that during the week. I have spent the last several years trying various tricks to get myself to go to bed earlier, get better sleep, and wake up easier. The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington is just the latest book in my sleep research quest (one of my favourites is Internal Time by Till Roenneberg).
The first part of the Sleep Revolution is fascinating, as Huffington goes into all of the latest research and describes in detail all of the terrible things that sleep deprivation does to your body. Her goal seems to be to convince her readers of the importance of sleep, and she is certainly convincing. I was a little disappointed, though, because the book doesn’t address my main issue: I know that sleep is important, but I still find it so difficult to convince myself to go to sleep early, right at the time of day when I have the most energy. Most of Huffington’s advice is aimed at people who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, which are two things I find relatively easy (once I actually get into bed). She also doesn’t really discuss how difficult it is for night-owls to adjust in a society where rising early is seen as a virtue. So, it was an interesting book, but just not that helpful for me in particular. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who thinks that sleep isn’t important, or that they can easily get by on 4-5 hours a night. As with most converts, Huffington is a passionate evangelical for her newfound doctrine of sleep.