More than you ever wanted to know about fitknitchick

Happy Tuesday!

Are you ready for more randomness?

1. This week’s theme on Tuesday Trainer is ‘Rest week – Getting to know your trainers’. That means there’s no exercise video, just a clip of my answers to the three questions Lindsay posed last Thursday. Have a look (or not) and tell me what your answers would be! (If you’re desperate for a workout, check out my Upper Body Bootcamp video).

2. I’ve been nominated by the lovely Elle (of Eat Run Sail) for The Lovely Blog Award. The award is essentially a way of making bloggers reveal deep, dark secrets about themselves. Things they might not otherwise write about (unless they’re had a glass of wine first). I need to answer some questions (again, with the questions!) and tag some other bloggers to spill their guts too. Thanks so much Elle for the nomination and shout out!


I’m going to break the proverbial chain and only follow the first two steps. I’m hoping nothing terrible will happen to my husband or children as a consequence.

Seven things about myself (presumably things that you don’t already know):

  1. I can’t whistle without a blade of grass between my thumbs.
  2. I once jumped out of a moving car to avoid something terrible happening to myself and a friend.
  3. I dislike wearing shorts; short skirts are fine, shorts are not.
  4. I received my Canada Cord in Girl Guides (the highest honour attainable!).
  5. I was the only cheerleader on my squad who couldn’t do the splits.
  6. My favourite chocolate bar is an Almond Joy. I always buy one when in the United States.
  7. My youngest son’s name is Adam only because we were tired of looking through the baby name books by the time he came along. We never made it to the ‘B’s’.

3. I’m celebrating a 2-FO week; that’s two finished objects (knitting, remember?) in one week. Never mind the fact that they’ve both been on the needles for at least two months. I won’t show you pictures of the socks I knit for my daughter because you’ve seen the yarn at least three times already. Yeah, it’s been that long.

I will, however, show you the lovely cardigan I made for myself. I plan on wearing it to this week’s Fitness and Health Blogger’s Conference in Denver and thought that those of you who are going might appreciate knowing what I look like (and what I’ll be wearing to the Thursday evening reception, in case you want to coordinate with me) in advance!

Hand knit sweater

Pattern is Pas de Valse knit in Saffron Dyeworks Pali Sport

Now tell me something random about you! 

Blogiversary giveaway winners!

Sorry to post so late in the day. It’s been a full one with teaching and volunteering and meetings and dental appointments. I’m so ready to sit down with a cup of tea and my knitting!

First of all let me say thank you to all of you who read and commented on Sunday’s post (and to those who also read, but were too shy to comment ;)). I’m so thrilled that you’re enjoying reading my posts as much as I’m enjoying writing them! Please keep your comments coming; my goal is to create more interaction and discussion in response to my posts.

Without further ado, I’ll tell you that I received 23 comments and my random number generator chose commenters 2 and 6, Melanie and Jennifer. Congratulations!

Since neither of you indicated whether you preferred the book (Hot(Sweaty)Mamas) or the yarn (Saffron Dyeworks), by default, Melanie wins the book and Jennifer the yarn. If I’ve got it backwards, please let me know when you send me your full name and mailing address via email (

I’ve got lots of new and exciting content coming in the weeks leading up to the holidays. And a few new things that are brewing too. Stay tuned!

Are there specific fitness, nutrition and knitting topics that you’d like to see me write about?


Happy 1st Blogiversary fitknitchick! Cake and a giveaway too!

One year ago today, I nervously sat down at my computer, wrote a short essay about fitness, nutrition (and knitting; see if you can find the reference) at holiday time (it’s still relevant; Christmas is only 5 weeks away!) and hit ‘Publish’ for the first time.

As some of you know, WordPress rewards each new post with a cheerful announcement telling you how many words you just wrote and how many posts in total you’ve written. Groovy!

They also give you some ideas for your next post (which, incidentally, I’ve never used because they’re never topics that appeal to me, although yesterday’s first topic might be fun…).

Today, I wrote my 120th post. (I’m flabbergasted. Who knew I had so much to say?). And like every single time I hit ‘Publish’, for a moment I felt butterflies in my stomach. Worried about whether I’d got the wording right. Concerns that nobody would read it. Wondering why on earth I kept putting myself out there, exposed for all to see. (If you blog, are you nodding your head in agreement?)

I began this blog as a way of reaching out to my clients and class participants on the days they weren’t training or exercising with me. A way to coach them ‘virtually’ between sessions and classes. A place to celebrate their victories. A platform for education. A point of entry to the online health and fitness community. A peek at how I balance a busy life with family, clients, exercise and time for myself (that’s where knitting comes in).

Somewhere along the way, it became more than that. I made new friends and discovered many wonderful blogs. I rediscovered my love of writing.

Your comments and positive responses to my posts have made me realize that we share many of the same health and fitness concerns. That my challenges are not very different from your challenges. That the things I struggle with, you struggle with too. That many committed exercisers are also accomplished knitters (see comments to this post, which was, incidentally Freshly Pressed!).


To celebrate, I thought we’d have cake and presents. The cake, alas, is only virtual, but the presents are real, to you, from me! Shall we open them together?

A skein of my favorite luxury, hand-dyed yarn from Saffron Dyeworks (the yarn base is Enya, a lovely 2 ply merino sock yarn; makes beautiful shawls too; the color, Garden of Ireland);

A copy (gifted to me by Kara Thom and Laurie Kocanda; thanks!) of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom;

Having never done a giveaway before, I did what any conscientious blogger would do; scour the blogosphere for other giveaway posts to see what my options were.

Many giveaways require the winner to ‘subscribe to’ or ‘follow’ the blog. Since many of you already do and some of you might be inclined to based on content alone (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), I rejected this format. (Incidentally, if you haven’t already and do want to subscribe and receive email notification every time I write a new post, scroll down and enter your email in the ‘Subscribe’ box in the sidebar :).)

Others make ‘liking’ them on Facebook or ‘following’ them on Twitter the price of admission. This feels slightly coercive to me. Sure, ‘like’ (fitknitchick) or ‘follow’ (@ fitknitchick_1) me because you really like me and find what I have to say interesting, not because you want a chance to win a (great!) book or a skein of (fabulous!) yarn.

In the end, I decided that all you need to do to be entered in my blogiversary giveaway is to leave a comment at the end of this post. Let me know what you like (or dislike) about this blog and indicate which gift, the book or the yarn (or either, if you enjoy both exercise and knitting!) you’d like to receive.

I’ll leave comments open until the morning (my morning that is; I tend to wake up and check in around 6:30 am, PST) of Wednesday, November 23rd, at which time I’ll draw two names at random. Winners will be announced on the blog later that day. Best of luck!

My goals for year 2?

To increase discussion over each and every post. Of course, that requires my readers to not just read, but comment too! I’ll do my part and reply to anything you have to say (as long as it’s friendly and inclusive and family-friendly!). 

Confessions of a serial project mom

Psst. Wanna know something? I often bite off more than I can chew and I THRIVE on the challenge of getting things done! I’m never happier than when I’m diving into a new project, be it fitness, knitting, new technology know-how, another certification…

Finishing things up, though, that’s where the real work lies. It’s not that I leave projects languishing (I’m much too Type A for that!), it’s just that my excitement for them fades when the prospect of a new project arises. Sound familiar?

Lately, I’ve been pretty good at getting things done. And to celebrate, I thought I’d bring you up to date on my various projects; knitting, more knitting, career advancement and gulp, bikini body.

First, the pretty pictures (with links to Ravelry pattern pages, for the knitterly among you).

A lovely, merino and cashmere shawl; Wandering the Moors, knit in Saffron Dyeworks ‘Tush’ (I love that name! And it is as soft as a baby’s bottom!).

My daughter’s much-begged-for hoodie (which she has yet to wear; apparently it’s being saved for a ‘special occasion’, which better occur before she outgrows it, or else); Camp Hoodie, knit mainly in Cascade ‘Ultra Pima’.

A pair of silk and wool socks, currently making their way across the country in honor of Mother’s Day; my own basic ribbed sock pattern knit in Adirondack ‘Silky Sock’.

A pretty pink extra large beaded wrap; Rose Lace Stole knit in Jojoland Melody Superwash (I love the long, gradual colour changes in this yarn, and it’s incredibly soft given the nylon content).

And two works-in-progress (I actually started a third since beginning this post, but I haven’t had time to photograph it. Next time.).

Wispy Cardigan, a light weight, shrug-style cardi knit in Indigo Moon Merino. I just know that this will be my go-to sweater this summer. Don’t you think it will look great with jeans and a tank? (I know, not a lot of shaping to see here, yet. Patience, my knitters, patience).

And a super-secret project whose details I must protect until it’s recipient unwraps it (May 26th, but no more clues!). The yarn is Saffron Dyeworks ‘Enya’. The colour is called ‘Frog Blancmange’; don’t you just love it? (I know, lace, on the needles, really doesn’t look like much; just wait until it’s finished and blocked!).

Workwise, I’ve just signed up for an on-line course that’s the first pre-requisite for obtaining my ‘Supervisor of Fitness Leaders’ status with BCRPA. This designation will allow me to become a supervisor of group fitness instructors (and will make it so that I don’t have to teach as many classes a week…). I have a month to complete the course work, fitting it in around all of my other obligations. I’ll let you know how it goes!

As for my fitness and nutrition project (The Last 10 Pounds, remember?), I am happy to report a net loss of 3 pounds (4 lost, 1 found it’s way home). As of today my numbers are;

Weight: 144 lbs
Chest: 36″ (whew, don’t have much to lose up there!)
Waist: 28 1/2″
Abdomen: 30″
Hips/butt: 38″

The only thing that’s changed is the last one; I’m down 1 inch about the hips. Everything else remains the same. (No need for a bikini shot; you’re really not going to see that small of a difference!). On track and reasonable (but not stellar) progress over the last three weeks.

I’d love to see the scale hit (and remain at) 140, but am most interested in seeing change in the mirror (and being comfortable, once again, in a certain pair of jeans…).

I’ve found dialling in my nutrition to be very challenging. I still have a sweet tooth. After school is my ‘danger time’. I have to be very conscious of not finishing off the remainders of my children’s lunches! It’s all too easy to convince myself to have a larger portion on days I’ve done a strenuous workout (the “you’ve earned it” trap).

Initially, I was using My Fitness Pal (a free online food tracking website that also has inexpensive iPhone and iPad applications) to log my meals after I’d eaten them, and sometimes, not until the end of the day. Not so helpful to know you’ve gone over your daily calorie allotment when it’s too late to do anything about it (I’m not purging… if you get my drift).

Screen capture of food diary, MyFitnessPal

Also, since I’m trying to retain, and even increase my lean muscle mass, I need to be certain I’m reaching my protein goals each day. That’s one of the neat things about My Fitness Pal; it calculates daily targets for fats, protein and carbohydrates and compares your daily intake of these dietary components to your targets (you can also override their calculations and insert your own values, but I don’t advise doing so unless you have a good understanding of your body’s nutritional needs). Makes it very easy to see where you’ve made nutritional ‘mistakes’.

Why not use it to see those mistakes before you make them? Why not use the ap as a nutrition planner rather than a nutrition tracker?

For the last week I’ve been doing just that. Each evening, I sit down and ‘create’ my meals and snacks for the following day. Using the daily nutrition option, I can get a preview of what the following day will look like and adjust accordingly.

It takes me about 15 minutes to plan a day’s meals; a little less if it’s time to go shopping (less food in the fridge means fewer options for meals…). But what’s 15 minutes a day if it leads to a leaner, healthier you?

And finally, we have a new addition at our house. Kind of a long term project.

Meet Saffron (name after both her coat colour and my favourite yarn!). She was rescued by one of my clients after being abandoned by either her mother or her owner. I couldn’t resist. Could you?

Knit, knit, purl, purl

Haven’t posted any progress reports on my non-fitness obsession lately. (Psst, if you’re not into fiber-arts, you’re allowed to leave now, but come back tomorrow, I will be blogging about fitness again soon!).

I’ve been slowly working my way through several KAL’s (knit-alongs) and have managed to finish two pairs of socks, two beaded shawls, a cushy, striped wrap, a luxurious mohair cowl and a vest (all for me, with the exception of a single pair of socks for my hubby). Selfish knitters unite!

Don’t have a hobby? Why not? We all need ways to combat stress and unleash the creativity within. Knitting is my yoga; what’s yours?

Here are a few photos for you to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over. Happy Friday!