Cheers Femurs

This month I have been dipping in and out of April loves, a month of daily reflective prompts created by Susannah Conway. One prompt really stood out for me – legs. Like many women I struggle to accept my body but I have come a long way and it started with my legs.

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Dear legs,

We have been through a fair bit haven’t we? I have always hated you – well throughout my teens and twenties focusing on your size. The wobble when I walked, the paleness of you in Spring and Summer. When I started running in my mid twenties it was always baggy numbers, full length or cropped. Any exercise class was done in baggy trousers, in fact most of my clothing on the bottom half were baggy. I remember measuring my thighs repeatedly – cheering when the number decreased. Continue reading “Cheers Femurs”

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Back in the Saddle

FlameAndIJan16

I made a foray back into hacking during the 1st weekend in April. It was the first time since January I had been outside on horse back and I only cantered for the first time since January on the Wednesday beforehand. The viral infection I have had since December last year, which wasn’t picked up by me until my body began screaming at me to ‘JUST STOP’ during January has really knocked me out. Unfortunately my balance has been most affected and I have been so tired at the weekends that I cancelled many hacks booked with the thought ‘Oh I will be fine’, at times my lessons have been really tough and my instructor Claire has been brilliant throughout. One lesson I simply walked Wee Gem around the arena as two strides of trot had made me want to vomit, another lesson I cancelled two hours beforehand and all they want to know was if I was okay.

This meant the April hack was a real highlight for me, I cantered twice – both times just myself and the leader but the first time was really good and a decent length of canter. I felt really balanced as I was concentrating more than normal and looking straight ahead. The second canter #FlameTheWonderHorse felt I was off balance before I did and we slowed to trot pretty quickly. The gorgeous chestnut dude looks after me like no other horse can, with Twix gone my fondness for Flame grows each time I ride him. I felt full of joy for my hobby again until it struck me I have been riding again for 9 years! Yes, let me repeat that 9 years! Suddenly I started analyse everything – why wasn’t I better? Why were my nerves still around? Should I continue to do this if I can’t even trot in a group without being a little nervous? Why do I bother? You know the totally normal* things people say to themselves about a hobby.

I floated these ideas to Claire at my last lesson and as she stood rolling her eyes at me, explaining patiently to a 34 year old woman to stop being an idiot she suggested I set some goals for my hacking and my lessons. She also pointed out that I can walk, trot, canter and jump so really I can ride, I just still don’t believe it. To that end I have been thinking about what my new horse riding goals can be and have decided to set three and start to work towards them throughout the year.

  • Hacking wise I want to canter in a group, that’s all, nothing fancy just straightforward cantering in a group.
  • Lesson-wise goal 1: Learn 2 new dressage moves for flatwork, if Claire agrees I would like to perfect leg yield in trot and try it in canter
  • Lesson-wise goal 2: Jump a small course of jumps in canter. I don’t need big jumps I would just like a wee course. I haven’t done this for years! This one will wait until my balance is fully restored

So that’s it! I have written them down and will chat to Claire next week to see where we go from here. On a different note, I am planning on changing the blog slightly and will focus on reviews of riding establishments and quarterly updates of my riding – this applies to the horse-y part of my blog other posts will be written and published but I have realised that it might be helpful for other nervous riders if I write up where I ride and let them know my thoughts! Any comments on my goals or the horse-y plans for the blog I would love to hear them.

 

*sarcasm on the go here 🙂

More Making Plans!

While scrolling through my Instagram feed I came across a photo from t*rexes and tiaras showing the start of a lovely coloured cardigan, she mentioned this was one of her Make Nines for 2016. My interest was suitably piqued so I started searching and it turns out a lot of makers out there have been giving lists of nine things they would like to make this year and sharing it out. I like this idea, nine items doesn’t sound too much and I can combine crocheting, knitting and sewing into a wee ideas list.

I had tried to pull together a list of knitting, crocheting and sewing things i would like to have achieved by the end of the year but I never got round to writing them all up. Instead here are nine things I would like to try and make and my progress so far. My vintage pledge still stands and two of the items here are vintage style so I would still meet my target!

JuliaJumper

  • Cardigan (knitted)
  • Julia cardigan – jersey cardigan that I first saw on Franca’s blog and have aspired to sew ever since

JuliaCardigan

ColetteMoneta

  • Pencil skirt – a casual knit fabric one preferably
  • Shirt/blouse – I am loving the casual looser styles and so far eBay has not been my friend on this front
  • Tshirt from the Simplicity pattern I already have
  • Casual/smart skirt – the McCalls 6993 pattern
  • Simplicity sleeveless top

Julia Jumper

I am currently knitting this one up a treat. It is a simple pattern, moss stitch mainly and for some that might be boring but for me it is good practise. I am a little nervous about joining in a new ball of yarn but I am sure it will be fine, I have the internet to guide me! I can see that this kit isn’t great value for money in some respects but it has inspired me to actually try knitting a jumper for my 3rd project and I think that is a good thing.

Collete Moneta Dress

I start a new dressmaking class to make this dress out of jersey(!) fabric today. I really want to sew with jersey, most of my favourite items are made from this material so to continue with making things in woven when this class was available seemed a little daft. I still plan to sew with woven fabrics but I am excited by learning about this new fabric.

Any tips for patterns for the items that I haven’t specified a pattern for would be great. Does anyone else have a make nine list they want to share?