Ups and Downs

Today has been an up and down day.  First, when I got up this morning I just wanted to sit back down.  It turns out that yesterday’s Belly Dancing seriously hurt my calf muscles.  It hurts so much to walk, especially down stairs and I cannot stand on my tiptoes.  I thought I’d “push through the pain” and try a second day, but it’s a no go.  I can’t move certain directions without feeling like I’m going to fall down.   The best thing has been staying off my feet today, sitting down.  With that being said, I’ve had a lot of time to work on my crocheting.

Last night at Craft NightI picked up my K hook, my Lily Sugar n’ Cream cotton yarn and my Lacy Cardigan pattern (PDF of pattern) and set about making myself a “Birthday Cardigan” (as I’ve dubbed it.)  I was having serious issues with reading the pattern…most patterns are very wordy and this one is one of the wordier ones.  I had to read through all the “special instructions” just to find where I needed to start and even then, I was intimidated…I don’t consider myself an expert crocheter (although I’ve improved tons from when I started) this was labeled expert so I was thinking I was doomed from the start…at least my gauge matched up perfectly…I don’t think that’s ever happened before…lol  Before the night was over, I made it through the first 6 rows.  Unfortunately, I was having severe issues with my brain reading the pattern and telling my hands what to do cause I kept making mistakes left and right.  I frogged rows 3-6 several times and after the girls left with their projects, I tore the whole thing out and started from my foundation chain…sigh…At least this time I knew the pattern a little better and voila! I made it through the first 6 rows without issue.

Today I picked it back up and started on the “this size only” instructions, which lead me to the body.  I was a bit intimidated by the arm hole areas, but it looked harder than it actually was and in no time I finished most of the body.  I have one more row to do and I can start on the edging.  I’ve never done picot edging before, but I think I’ll get the hang of it.  I feel like I’m on a roll.

I know I sound excited about my progress on this cardigan and I am.  Very excited.  I’m not usually good at making wearbles (scarves, mittens and hats don’t count), just look at how long Darling Hubby has been waiting for his sweater…yeah…  The best thing about this particular item of clothing is that I can try it on as I go!  I was able to make sure it fit the way I wanted it to before getting it mostly done and realizing that I’m going to look like a 2 ton elephant wearing  size zero jeans or like I’m being eaten by the fabric.

So, Doris Chan has a new fan!  I think when I finish this, I may want to try another one of her patterns or even another cardigan in another color.  (That is, as soon as I finish some of the WIP’s I have hanging around in my crochet trunk.)  It seems that her gauge and my gauge are pretty close and the best thing of all is that her items are simple, cute and best of all, WEARABLE!

For now, I’m going to straighten up my house and my kitchen and start on dinner.  Later, I think I’ll sit down again and finish up the cardigan body and see how far I get.  So, yes, today has been filled with lots of up and downs, but I consider it an all around UP day.

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What Comes Next?

So last week, I did my final day of the 30 Day Shred.  Today I picked up my Bellydance: Fitness for Beginners – Basic Moves and Fat Burning DVD, popped it in and prepared myself for a little wiggling and jiggling….let’s just say there was a lot of jiggling!  lol  I also found out that I’m not very coordinated when it comes to Belly Dancing…I can only imagine how un-sexy looking I look wiggling my hips and boobs and jumping around the room!  lol

I did the entire dvd (about 45 minutes) which has a section showing a few of the basic moves and a section that is for fat burning (cardio).  The basic moves was basically a 15-20 minute stretch with a little cardio involved.  The fat burning is a lot of cardio, with some stretching at the beginning/end.  I think I’ll just do the cardio portion for the rest of the week.

After doing the shred and feeling worked to the bone and dripping with sweat after each workout, I’m not sure this dvd is going to hold a candle to Jillian.  I was sweating and breathing slightly hard during the cardio, but it didn’t really feel like it was a full body workout.  There was a lot of leg and ab work, but there wasn’t much in the way of arm workout (aside from holding them up in the air during most of the moves…which doesn’t seem to do much for me.) and I’m looking for something that has an arm workout, too…I still need to tone those lower arms.  I’m seriously considering Jillian’s Banish Fat DVD.

Despite my doubts about it, I’m planning to do a few more days of it to give it a chance.  I think I’ll do just the cardio portion for the rest of the week and hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be slightly more coordinated and less self conscious about my wiggling and jiggling!

In addition to completing the shred last week, I finished another crochet project.  I started a special project for an old friend (Carrie I don’t think you read my blog. but if you are reading this STOP!!!  Do not pass go!  Do not collect $200!  lol) and finished it yesterday.  Now I just have to mail it to her and her baby girl due this fall.

Here are a couple pictures of the finished project.

Blanket 1

Blanket 2

Blanket Pattern Close-up

It’s the Pound of Love hooded blanket pattern.  I left off the hood part.  Personally, I think that a hood is better suited to be on a towel rather than a blanket.  Anyway, a hooded blanket would probably only be good while the baby is immobile and without the hood, it’s good for a lot longer.  Since I didn’t do the hood, I had extra yarn, so I made the blanket longer and added a pink scalloped edging.  The final measurements are 37″ x 29.”  I’m very happy with how this blanket came out.  I can only hope that the little recipient will enjoy cuddling up with it like I did while I was making it.

So, what’s next for my crocheting project?  Well, I could go back to Darling Hubby’s sweater, but I’m at serious odds with that sweater.  I think that I’m going to start on the Lacy Top Cardigan by Doris Chan (rav link).  I bought some cotton yarn a few weeks ago (I’ve never worked with cotton yarn before…only acrylic) and I’m hoping to have it done by next weekend so I can wear it for my birthday (I’m also hoping to lose 3 more lbs by then).  Lots of goals are riding on that weekend!  My only problem is, I’m not sure exactly where to start on the pattern.  There are no clear cut directions saying “chain x, etc” so I really have to read the directions and see what I come up with.  I’m also going to have to check my gauge.  I’ve only twice made a wearable item that wasn’t huge or too small…I have serious gauge issues!  I just hope I can figure it out and get a good chunk of it done tonight…I’ve only got about 12 days to work on it.