Startitis and the best of intentions

I saw a little red car the other day with a vanity tag that said “K2TOG” and got all excited; a fellow knitter! For you non-knitters, it means knit 2 together (a way to decrease the number of stitches on your needles). I’m pretty sure I could be her, or possibly but less like his, friend.

On the subject of knitting, I am in the midst of a nasty case of startitis, which can be roughly defined as the nearly overwhelming urge to start something new. I have a self-imposed three project limit. I am seriously considering changing that rule because I really want to start a new project. I’ve got a bad case of startitis.

Right now, I have a dishcloth, a baby blanket for a coworker, and a sleeveless sweater for me active. I did take a side trip into trying out an idea I had for a teddy bear – big fail, his head is so small he looks like he should be in the waiting room scene of “Beetlejuice” – but other than that it’s steady on with the three, all trying to behave and stay within my self-imposed boundaries and whatnot. But then…

A couple weeks before Christmas, my very bright and generally awesome son put in a request for some hand-knit socks. I decided it was an opportunity delivered on a silver platter to learn something new – toe up socks and magic loop! It had been years since I made socks, and then it was cuff down on double points, and it took about a week to make a pair. These socks, though, flew off the needles. And I was mostly winging it because the best circular needles I had for magic loop knitting were size 7, so I used some wonderful sport weight and sort of guessed my way through. And then I called them “slipper socks,” which was a bit of a truth-stretch; they were really “let’s test something new when we only have about 10 days to finish it because that will be super exciting” socks.

Let me tell you, toe up socks and magic loop together is a potent combination of pure awesome and I was hooked, immediately. I was so hooked that I put size 1 Addi sock rockets in our Amazon cart and made sure I still had sock yarn in my stash from way back. Well. The needles came a couple days ago and I desperately want to start a sock. I mean like crazy, like right now, like yesterday. But I have the 3-active-projects rule for a reason.

Ugh.

In an odd coincidental parallel (I believe life is full of these if you just pay attention), the 3-project rule was an intention that I started several years ago. I wasn’t finishing anything I started and I decided that I needed to limit myself so that things would actually come off the needles (or hook, natch) at some point, if only so I could start something new. I’ve stuck to this rule since then but have also eased my startitis by telling myself it only applies to things made from yarn. I occasionally need something new in the midst of the three projects, and I usually turn to sewing for that. Those projects don’t count.

Another intention dates to just last year when I decided to focus on being healthier. To me, that means straightening out my diet, exercising, getting the right amount of sleep, and taking my medications consistently. It worked, in fact it came out better than I expected. I am happier, calmer, more productive, and more self-he. My hair is bright and shiny, my balance has improved, and my general outlook tends toward sunny. Because I know it’s working, this year I added continue being healthier to my list.

Being healthier, though, is shorthand for something so much more. I want to try cutting dairy and eating clean. I am trying to read labels and if something that was a staple has funky crap in it, I am leaving it in the store and figuring out something else. At the same time, I am trying to expand our household diet. We tend to stick to the same things, many of which don’t fit the clean ideal. One thing that’s been on my mind is the idea of working pizza back in. We used to make our own pizzas every other week, sometimes more often, and who doesn’t love a good pizza?

And this is where I hit a brick wall, face-first.

How can pizza be clean and dairy-free? Clean foods are almost unchanged from their original forms. I can do the dough because I can choose decent ingredients that are close to where they started and control what’s in it. I can choose toppings that are close to where they started, like onion and green pepper, mushrooms, homemade sauce, even ground turkey. What I cannot do is find an alternative to dairy cheese that is also clean. The ingredients in dairy-free cheese are nightmarish. And I cannot imagine pizza without some form of cheese. So what do I do?

I think I need to investigate making my own non-dairy mozzarella. It should be an interesting experiment. If I can find all of the ingredients locally, this might be on the menu…

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