Fat Tuesday

Warning: The first part of this entry is non-knitting related, but I decided to post, both for my own motivation and because I know others are in the same situation. If you’re a knitting purist, just click on down to the final two paragraphs—no offense will be taken.

Today is Fat Tuesday, the indulge-in-all-your-vices-now-because-Lent-starts-tomorrow day. As an agnostic, I don’t always “do” Lent, but this year I’ve decided to. Whether or not there is a God, trying to rein in my self-indulgent side for a specific period of time seems like a winning proposition.

I am part of the “epidemic” of Type 2 Diabetes in the U.S. Given this, I’m doing OK: I’m overweight, but I have good numbers (A1C, the various cholesterols, metabolic functions). Still, even if my numbers don’t show it yet, I’m simply not eating the way I should. The basic formula for a diabetic is that every two grams of carbohydrate should be eaten with at least one gram of protein. When the balance tips too far to the carbohydrate side one’s blood sugar rises. And repeated rising blood sugar results in all kinds of nasty consequences: loss of vision, loss of kidney function, heart disease, loss of circulation resulting in possible loss of feet and legs.

Now, here’s where it gets tricky. For the most part, I do not feel my blood sugar rise (though I can get nauseous or sleepy if I really, really overdo it). Eating things I shouldn’t has no perceptible consequences in the short run. My rational mind knows what I should/shouldn’t be eating to protect my long-term health, but my impulse-driven mind sees something yummy, wants it, and overrules the rational mind. And with no short-term consequences, I find it all too easy to lie to myself about the long-term consequences (remember that old joke about Cleopatra not being the only queen of de-nile?).

So for Lent I am choosing to give up desserts and dessert-like items. That will mean no stopping for a Danish on the way to work when I’m in a rush, no letting myself throw a candy bar into the cart when I’m buying groceries, no playing the this-is-a-special-occasion-so-it’s-ok-to-break-the-rules-just-once game (which gets played once and once and once and—before I know it—becomes a lifestyle). Melissa, bless her, is joining me in this, even though she’s not diabetic.

I don’t imagine I’ll write a lot about this here in the blog, but I reserve the right to do so if it helps me stay honest with myself. And to everyone else out there who’s with me in the Type 2 Diabetes boat—feel free to chime in with your own successes, complaints, frustrations. I’ll know exactly how you’re feeling.

And now, back to knitting…

I’m halfway throught my semi-Norwegian hat and will post pictures soon. I’m getting some interesting results using a variegated yarn for my contrast color: in one quadrant it’s knitting up more or less in stripes; in two quadrants it’s resulting in major pooling; in the final quadrant I have a mix of stripes and pools. Because I come to knitting from counted-thread embroidery, the pooling doesn’t trouble me. Most samplars knit in over-dyed floss result in some pooling, which just adds to the “uniquely handcrafted” look. But I am surprised by the variation. If I’d guessed beforehand, I would have projected that the hat would be all-pooled or all-striped, yet each quadrant is merrily going its own way. I am thinking about using this variation to my advantage in furture projects, by pairing variegated contrast yarn with deliberately primitive, folk-art motifs. (If you want to see the kind of style I’m thinking of, check out some of the counted-thread charts available at Wyndham Needleworks, particularly Carriage House Samplings and Blackbird Designs.)

P.S. Here on the Plain Ole Knitting Journal is a photo of my Santa Cruz Hat knit up in Noro Silk Garden. And here it is again on TNT Knits in a lovely blue merino. And here it is on Dim Sum Knitting. And a silk/wool version by Xao T. Whee! My Pattern is getting actual use by actual knitters!

February 20 2007 02:20 pm | Uncategorized

5 Responses to “Fat Tuesday”

  1. The procrastiknitter on 20 Feb 2007 at 3:22 pm #

    Good luck with the Lent deal. It sounds like it my be a good idea. Who knows, hopefully it’ll turn into a habit it takes only 2 weeks.

    Loving the Santa Cruz hat!

  2. Gail on 20 Feb 2007 at 9:30 pm #

    Good luck with the lifestyle changes. I don’t have diabetes myself but many of my patients do and it is hard to make eating right a habit. Remember it takes 21 days so keep up with it.

  3. Becca on 21 Feb 2007 at 4:37 am #

    Hi there! Thanks for the comment on my blog – I loved making the hat – I’m not sure what happened with my knitting so I ended up with a small hat! I’m thinking that I’ll try it again at some point, either with a different yarn or even just an extra multiple of stitches… I’ve got a huge head and didn’t think about this when I cast on! I could just be knitting too tight too!

  4. CatBookMom on 21 Feb 2007 at 1:49 pm #

    Good for you with the resolution to watch your diet. I have a friend who has to monitor her blood several times a day, and even with the advances in the technology, it can’t be easy to deal with. Early in January my blood glucose was a bit elevated, and my internist really motivated me into trying to keep the sweets down. I didn’t try to convince her that chocolate was one of the major food groups; I figured she’d heard that one before. But in just 6 weeks, I’vd dropped it 10 points, back into good territory.

    Sounds like you have some terrific classes at Stitches, and you’ll have a great time! Just remember that you can really get tired having all that fun; last year I was exhausted by 10pm. BTW, there’s a convenient UPS shipping station just across the hall from the Market, in case you buy more than you can pack into your suitcase.

  5. Ginny on 21 Feb 2007 at 8:53 pm #

    After seeing the one on Dim Sum Knitting, I cast on for a Santa Cruz myself and finished it in one day. Great pattern!

    I hope to have pics and the story up on my blog by tomorrow evening.

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