Monday, February 02, 2009

Refined Lap Babette

I finished a small version of Babette last April and noticed after taking it out of the dryer that it was full of holes due to my shoddy seaming even though I followed these great directions. I stashed it in the closet and there it stayed until last weekend's great stash tidy. I decided that I would redo all the seaming and give it to my Grandfather for his 78th birthday (my Grandmother mentioned he sits in the living room in his coat because he stays chilled). I was really dreading this task, but it was so much easier than I thought it would be. It only took a few hours over the course of a couple days to reseam the entire thing. Armed with a crochet hook, I started with the outer section and worked my way toward the center working one section at a time. (This shows the seaming on the wrong side.)If anyone is interested, here is the method I used... With the wrong side facing me and the yarn held underneath I lined up the sides of the squared to be attached. Starting in the ch 2 corner space I slipped stitch in the top motif then slipped stitch in the corresponding space in the bottom motif. I worked back and forth making sure to catch both loops in each slip stitch. This time I made sure to leave long tails to weave in, as I think that was part of my holey problem last time. I like the little zig-zag effect this creates on the back. Also, since I used the same color to seam all the squares I think the final result is a little more cohesive and pleasing to the eye.
(This is the seaming on the right side.)
I hope Pop likes it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January 30 Day Shred

I met my goal of doing the 30 Day Shred every single day of January (I started Dec 29). This is big for me since I usually hate any form of exercise and never manage to stick with any exercise program for more than a few days. I did not manage to "lose up to 20 lbs" as the box claims, but I did not follow Jillian Michael's diet plan and I did not have 20 lbs to lose. I actually gained a few pounds, but I lost 3.5 inches of belly pudge, 1.5 inches off my hips and my arms muscles are much more toned. Other added bonuses- better sleep, less alcohol craving, less severe pms, and more energy. I am going to continue the 30 Day Shred, cycling through the 3 levels. I am enjoying all these exercise benefits, so I am setting a February/March goal as well. I am starting the Couch to 5K Running Plan tomorrow. This will be a little harder to stay with because I will have to get up and out before my husband goes to work so the kids won't be left home alone. I am usually the last one out of bed so that makes it double hard. I may have also said in the past that "I am not running anywhere unless someone is chasing me with a knife." I feel so much stronger after just 30 days of the Shred, I have a bit more confidence that I can stick with exercise even though it is hard. We will see how long the running lasts...

Here are my daily thoughts on the 30 Day Shred.

Day1: Level 1-I had to catch my breath at the 13 minute mark. I am so out of shape.

Day2: The pain... but I made it through the whole workout!

Day3: Still hurting and hobbling around like a little ol' lady, but it was a tiny bit easier today and the family joined me.

Day4: The hobble has turned into more of a limp, and I hate pushups.

Day5: Only a bit of pain in my elbows now and pushups are not helping.

Day6: Slowly noticing upper body getting stronger.

Day7: I took a 40 minute walk following my workout today- that is a big stretch from post-workout Day1 when I felt like vomiting by the end. Yay me!

Day8: I was feeling a bit sluggish and icky and really did not feel up to exercise. I powered through it anyway and felt better after I was done!

Day9: Today I was able to do 20 girly pushups! From 2 to 20 in just 9 days, I really am getting stronger.

Day10: I have lost 1 3/4" from my waist and 2" from my "mama pooch" (the area right below the belly button) in just 10 days! I have also lost 2 1/2 lbs. without changing my diet.

Day11: Today was pretty easy, I think it is time to move to Level 2...

Day12: I started Level 2 today and it kicked my ass!

Day13: Level 2 is no joke. Those plank moves are a killer!

Day14: I tried to justify not exercising today (poor sleep the past two days, sluggish feelings, PMS, slightly sore muscles) and even thought about slipping back to Level 1, but I sucked it up, quit making excuses and just laced up my shoes and got to it. Now the third day of Level 2 is over, I have more energy, am wide awake and super proud of myself.

Day15: Half way to my goal! This is the third day going on less than 5 hours of sleep at night- I am really starting to feel the fatigue during my workout.

Day16: Plank moves are still super hard near the end.

Day17: Not too hard, but not easy by any stretch of the imagination!

Day18: Last night I had such stabbing knee pain (could be the change in weather) I slept with a heating pad on. This morning it felt better, but I did not want to risk injury so I did Level 1. Afterwards, I felt almost back to normal.

Day19: The knee was better today so I went back to Level 2. After taking it easy yesterday, today was easier as well. I am actually starting to look forward to exercising daily and I feel much better during the day. I have noticed that alcohol cravings are falling by the wayside as well.

Day20: Today I kicked Level 2's ass! One more day then it is on to Level 3.

Day21: I am ready for Level 3 tomorrow.

Day22: I was so not ready for Level 3! It is much, much harder than Level 2. Ouch.

Day23: The upper body was feeling the burn from yesterday. My knees can't take the "explosive jumps" so I think I need to go back to Level 2 and work my way into Level 3 a bit later.

Day24: Oh no! Level 2 and 3 are no longer On Demand! At least Level 1 was still on there, so I upped my weights from 3 to 5 lbs and did all the advanced moves. Going to buy the DVD tonight.

Day25: Sore again today (I guess it was those heavier weights). I decided to go back to Level 2 and do it for a bit longer. Level 3 is just too hard right now.

Day26: Level 2 again today, still a bit stiff, but I made it through!

Day27: Level 2 and feeling great!

Day28: My body was sluggish during Level 2 today. Only 2days to go before I meet my goal, so there was no way I was going to quit this close to the end.

Day29: Still feeling a bit sluggish, but I tied on the shoes and powered through Level 2. Only 1 day left!

Day30: Success! Exercise didn't kill me after all!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stashed projects

I went through all my yarn-stashing spots today and realized I have quite a few projects that are in need of finishing. Between now and March 1st I am going to see how many of them I can complete...

  • fish blanket

  • Noro log cabin pillow

  • alpaca fetchings

  • dishcloths

  • amigurumi stuffie

  • felted viking hat

  • baby-sized turn a square

  • fan scarflette

  • Sublime gathered scarflette

  • thinking woman's shawl

  • lovely lacy shawl

  • crochet patchwork afghan

  • lemonade v.2

  • lap babette

  • little brown and white pillow

  • 5 snowflakes

I joined the Ravelry Group Finish me! to encourage myself to get some stuff finished. Anyone else have tons of ufo's hiding and want to join me?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day!

In my neck of the woods we generally only get snow a day or two a year and today is that day. I am not a fan of the snow (or the cold weather) and was only outside in it long enough to snap a few pictures of the kids. But it is hard not to smile when you have kids that love the snow. It is such a rare treat for them. The Boy Wonder was especially excited to see the 3+ inches that fell overnight and wanted to go out as soon as his feet hit the floor. The Girl Wonder was not quite as excited, but that did not stop her from being the first one bundled up, ready to head outside. After being out a few minutes and realizing that the fluffy snow was no good for either snowman construction or snowball fights, they moved on to their next favorite snow day activity, making snow cream. They also decided to clean the snow from The Gaming One's car so he could get to work. Then with frozen toes and pink noses, they came inside in search of hot chocolate and breakfast.
We will soon settle down to watch the Inauguration and talk about the great change that (hopefully) is in store for our nation. There is excitement in the air, in more ways than one.

Friday, January 16, 2009

3rd Blogiversary

I can't believe I have been blogging for three years! Thanks to all the kind folks that have read my blog, left me comments, and inspired me through the years. It would be no fun without all of you!

Although I have been quiet, I have been busy fiber-wise. I am splitting my time spinning and reknitting Lemonade v.2. A few weeks ago I dyed some mill ends from the Sheep Shed Studio using food coloring and the oven. I prefer to dye then spin because I do not get as bored spinning colored roving as I do solid color roving. There are many tutorials of how to do this online, so I won't go into all the details. I usually use the microwave to dye but have noticed that the roving seems to get a little dry and felted (and I did not have any plastic wrap) so I decided to give the oven method a try. I wanted consistent color repeats, so I arranged the roving in the roasting pan like so...
Then I gently poured water/vinegar until the roving was just barely covered. I carefully squirted the dye on each section, smushing the roving to make sure the dye made it all the way to the bottom layer, leaving a bit of white space between to allow the colors room to spread.
(I did not take a pic during the actual dying, this just shows how the color was applied).
I covered the pan with foil, cooked for about an hour, let cool and had lovely roving ready to be spun (after it dried, of course!). The resulting roving felt much softer than my previous dying attempts, and is much easier to spin as well.
I split the roving so I could start each bobbin with the same color, so when I ply I will end up with long color repeats. I have one bobbin finished, and am about a third through the second one.
I'll tell you about Lemonade v.2 later, as I have a Wii date with my son!