Tag Archives: knitting

Mini-breaks

Kate working & stretching her hips in a cross legged position.

No matter if you are spending hours at your computer or clicking away with your knitting needles taking mini-breaks are important to keep you in the present moment. Sitting for extended periods of time can wreack havoc on your body. Your hips tighten, posture slumps, and your joints stiffen. It does no t have to take a whole lot to help relax and loosen the body. Here are 3 tips to keeping you spry and mindful:

 Live Light Tips:

1. Stand up:

If you are plugging away at work, shopping online or knitting a project set an alert every 20 minutes. When the alert goes off stand up and stretch your arms overhead, wiggle a bit, an then get back to it. Using that reminder to reset your body and lengthen it.

2. Keep your garbage can far away:

Make up reasons that you need to get out of your chair. One option is to place your garbage can far away from you so when you need throw away post-its or extra yarn you need to get up and walk a little bit to the receptacle. This gets you extra steps and your body moving.

 

3.  Sit on the floor:

Sitting in chairs can really tighten our hips, but sitting on the floor can help loosen them. You can sit on a yoga block or a small cushion to support your back. Every so often switch the cross of your legs and make sure your spine is upright. I love knitting on the floor – a habit I learned from my mother who sits in full lotus when she knits.

If you have lower back issues, extremely tight hips, or a dirty office floor this one isn’t for you. Instead try sitting on the edge of your chair and crossing your ankle over your thigh (like a figure 4 position). Switch legs every so often will help your hips not get so stuck. Or sitting cross legged in your chair can also help loosen your hip flexors.

 

 

 

Aug06

Camp Caps 



As some of you know I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. As I move through the many transitions that are now a part of my life I adapt as I need to in order to make this all more manageable. 

One of the things I have discovered that unnerves me is the word ‘chemo’. Just saying it makes me queezy. Since I am going to chemo once a week for many months I realized I need to take some charge out of the word and the experience. 

So I now call chemo, camp. It is a much better word. It sounds fun and I have no visceral reaction to it. So every Friday I go to camp where I get to knit, rest, and hang with my hubby. 

I’m at camp today and my knitting project are camp caps for my fellow campers. One side effect of camp is hair loss and with such a cold winter still happening the campers need something warm and cozy for their bald little heads! 

Live Light Practice:

Feeling anxious or stress about something? Try offering a new perspective or even a new name to take the charge out of it.

Mar13

The Good Kind of Challenge

Since fall hit the Boston area I have been on a knitting kick – can’t stop, won’t stop. It has been so much fun. For a while now I have wanted to start writing my own patterns, but to be honest didn’t believe that I could do it. Then one of my scarves I knit sold for $95, and I was like okay maybe I can (and should) make my own patterns and sell my stuff.

So the pattern making has begun and it is a little more challenging than I thought it would be – but a good kind of challenge. It makes me pause and really plan out what the project will look like. I really had to be present, and mindful of what stitches went where. Over the past few days I have been working on creating an arm-warmer pattern. As I was creating the pattern my dog, Cosmo, was sitting in front of me. Her pointy ears were perky and alert. Cosmo’s ears gave me the idea to include a triangle in the pattern. That was how the triangle pattern was born.

It felt like getting the correct rib pattern and stitches was slow going at first, but it really only took me two days to knit the left arm-warmer. It has excited and inspired me to get started on other projects as well. Maybe a cozy sweater or traditional Christmas Stockings next…

Oct23

Meditative Knitting

 

 

I’ve written before on how I think knitting and yoga are related. How the meditative nature of knitting helps reduce stress. Well I was reminded of this when I started knitting a new project. It was a small kerchief scarf. The pattern basically has you repeating the same stitch over and over again until you run out of yarn. It is a very simple project and the repetitive meditative nature is clear.

As I was knitting to stay focused and keep my stitches even my mantra was my pattern. “knit, knit, knit, knit” and so on. Every so often I would check that I wasn’t slouching and that my breathing was steady. It is easy to get caught up in a project and forget to take care of your posture, but like any repetitive motion you need to be mindful of your movements to not cause injury. When you spend hours in a row knitting it can cause your hands to cramp if you are gripping the yarn and needles too tightly. I find that taking periodic breaks to do minor stretches and take a few deep breaths help me out. As you become a more experienced knitter that just becomes part of the knitting – being balanced with your breath and you move through the project.

If you are not a knitter, but want to start, I recommend first making something simple like this scarf, because the chunky yarn knits up quickly and you will have a finished product within hours. (email me for pattern: info@lizalaird.com) Or if you want to learn to meditate, but are unable to “just sit there”, knitting is a great way to be introduced to the idea of a one pointed focus and sitting still.

Using a super chunky yarn does make a project knit up faster, but I also love using a thick yarn because of the texture. It highlights the stitches so much more and is super cozy. In the fall and winter I love nothing more than a super thick chunky knit scarf or poncho to keep me cozy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Light Practice: No matter if you are knitting or sitting writing an email pause and check in with your posture and breath. See if you can keep the breath deep and steady. Also, see if you can keep a tall spine so you are not slouching forward.

Oct16