New Year Cleanse

I always find the new year a great time to ‘cleanse’. Psychologically, at least. Physically, it’s in the mid-thirties (Celsius) most days in this part of Queensland, with horribly high humidity, and man, do I get lethargic in this weather!

So I’m taking some quiet, air conditioned time to do some cleansing. First up, I have started the dreaded Autoimmune Protocol diet. Which actually is not that bad, as I was pretty clean eating anyway. It’s much like paleo, but leaving out nuts, seeds, eggs and assorted other gut irritants. Oh, and coffee. Boohoo :(( I miss coffee!! But dandelion coffee and rooibos are okay, and this AIP recipe for pumpkin spice ‘na’ttes from slightlylostgirl is SO. GOOD. Here’s my first crack at it using rooibos as the base.

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Plus, I still get to eat bacon, one of my favourite things. Fingers crossed for total remission with this final step!

I have also done a digital cleanse of sorts. Leading up to the new year, I finally started unsubscribing from the endless emails I hardly ever read. One by one, I have clicked on ‘unsubscribe’. It is surprisingly easy to digitally declutter. These emails come from every single store that I have ever placed an online order with (and that’s..cough cough…quite a few) plus all the blogs and groups I belong to. The advertising ones that I do occasionally read only tempt me to buy more stuff. Which is exactly what I’m trying to avoid.

One reason for this (other than the obvious ‘trying to be a more spiritually aware person and avoiding consumerism like the plague that it is’ one) is that I live in a Tiny House. I capitalise that for emphasis. To be fair, it probably doesn’t count as small enough to be a member of the ‘tiny house’ movement that’s popping up all over the net these days. You know, the cabins that fit on a trailer? Not like that. But tiny nonetheless. One bedroom upstairs with little dormer windows, open plan downstairs.

So yes, cleansing is good. We can only fit a certain amount in here (in fact, until very recently, we didn’t even have a TV as they take up too much space!). Not to mention M is a big guy. As in huge. 6’7″ and b-r-o-a-d. He’s like a pinball in this house, he’ll run into something, back away from it and run into something else. You get the idea. He says it’s like living in a ‘teeny tiny smurf’s house’ (he says this in a high pitched Irish accent while wiggling all his fingers, I know not why).

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The tiny house is actually a total cheat though, because we each have our own separate creative spaces. M has his shed, and I have my train carriage. Both of which are bigger (not to mention fuller) than our actual house.

I rarely cleanse my studio. Years of experience have taught me – if you throw it out, you’ll only have to buy the damn thing again. Studios are by nature varied, interesting and unpredictable places. Unless you are one of those freaks (whom I naturally envy) who can focus on only one thing (eg ‘I’m an illustrator’, ‘I’m a quilter’), then you need heaps of different stuff. There is hardly a greater pleasure to me than getting an idea for something completely random or seeing something cool on Pinterest and finding I have all the tools and materials at hand! Woo hoo! 🙂 Some beaded earrings? No problem! A painted house sign? Yup, easy. Wedding dress? Sure!

So this year’s New Year Cleanse is restricted to body, digital, the little house and the mind. With regard to the latter, I have been practising mindfulness, arranging and de cluttering my writing and travel schedule for the year, and I’ve been organising my knitting thoughts too, planning out my ‘knitter’s year’ ahead. So many ideas! If only there were more hours in the day. But I’ll aim high nonetheless because I love knitting with a PASSION. I can rarely find a pattern that corresponds to the picture in my head, which is why I took to designing my own. Knitting in mid summer is a challenge, but I am not defeated.

I’ve completed my pure linen Victorian Workhouse Apron, with the free pattern coming soon.

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And countless pairs of socks (I am aiming at all handknit socks for this winter, so far I am on track).

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I recently tried the ‘Fish Lips Kiss Heel’ pattern on Ravelry.

It’s only a dollar US. Which is like $800 AU at the moment. Not really. But it feels like it.

And my verdict is, I like it. Once memorised it’ll be faster and easier than the old flap/pick up/count method, and it looks far neater. Here’s my first go at it.

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The pattern itself is loooooooong, like 16 pages, with instructions for making a cardboard foot template etc. I just skipped all that stuff and made my usual top down sock, using a 48 stitch cast on for this one, incorporating the new heel as I went.

(As a final note, the yarn is Austermann Irish Rainbow sock yarn in 6 ply. I just love that name.)

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🙂 B

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