Friday, September 20, 2013

Yoga Bag Project Intro

purple water lilyGreetings ~ hope you've all had a wonderful week. The Autumn Equinox is upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere and the weather certainly is making it known that a new season is approaching. Autumn is one of my favourite seasons ~ the vibrant oranges & yellows, the deep reds & burgundys... the rustle of the fallen leaves as feet scoot through them... the crispness in the evening & first-light morning air... celebrations of a bountiful harvest & a new selection of fruits & vegetables...

September also brings the start of a new round of local community fitness classes. On my list for the next 12 weeks is Chinese Health Qi Gong {pronounced CHEE kung} and Beginner's Gentle Yoga. Both are gentle exercises, fantastic for all age groups ~ especially for those who are starting on an exercise regimen for the first time or after a lengthy absence from a routine, as well as those leading a sedentary lifestyle due to working at home, health issues and so on...

The Qi Gong requires only comfortable clothing and shoes along with commitment to practise each day. Yoga, aside from the practising the asanas and meditation, also facilitates a session of "retail therapy" {a form of meditation for some}:
   ~ Special footwear is not required as you work out in your bare feet ~ my personal preference 90% of the time anyway...
   ~ Pants & Top. Shop around for these as speciality or sporting good stores tend to be twice the price of a local clothing store. Try them on for comfort & do a mini test in the dressing room ~ stretch, reach, twist, bend. Check to see if your underwear show through the fabric when you bend over, meaning low quality fabric or you need the next size up. It's only a letter or number on a piece of fabric ~ cut it out if it bothers you. Comfort & proper fit matter first. 
   ~ A yoga mat. Not a bubble mat ~ an actual yoga mat. Research this one as the choices are several depending on which form you partake of ~ thickness, manufacturer's materials, even sizes for taller people. Again, check your local department store for affordable pricing on mats.

That brings us to the last item {unless, of course, the form of yoga you choose requires props, which will be your personal research}: 
   ~ A tote bag, or strap, to carry the mat. Many choices; personal preference on what will work for you.
This is where crochet skills are handy, resulting in a personalized mat bag, carry-all tote, or mat strap. Wow! the choices are endless! In the end, I've decided on a carry-all tote so I can add the few items I need from my purse, my mat and a bottle of water.

For me, something with a dense stitch pattern so my keys stay in. The mat is 61cm wide (24") so the tote has to be deep enough to stop the mat from toppling out. It needs to have a sturdy, long strap to be comfortable over my shoulder as I walk to class. Searching my studio stash, Bernat Handicrafter Cotton is a perfect choice ~ washable, durable and works up fast with a H8/5mm hook. 286 grams in Sonoma Print. Overall, I want a finished size of 46cm deep by 56cm round (18" x 22") with a 6.5cm wide by 51cm long (2.5" x 20") single strap that crosses over the top edge of the tote. And now on to the stitch/pattern designing...

As this is the very first pattern I am writing out to share, I will be posting it next week, complete with photos. {Cliffhanger, right?!} I've been twisting yarn since I was 12 years old; however, when it comes to actually writing the patterns... well, that's brand new territory for this ol' hooker! The written part will take a bit time for sure, but I'm always up for a new challenge =) 

Be well... join in next week, with your hook & yarn, when I'll share in detail how I created my Yoga Bag Project...

...Namaste ~ from In The Parlour =)