Yay, they’re finished!

I finished these on the weekend.  Really pleased with how they turned out.

Knee High Zauberball Crazy socks

The Ravelry project page is here.

The calf shaping worked out pretty good.

2 x 2 rib incorporating the decreases

There were a few things I would improve upon, when I make another pair.  I think 1×1 rib for two inches at the top would help the socks stay up.  They seem pretty grabby, but after wearing them all day walking around, they might start to slip.

I would also be a little more attentive to keeping the first two stitches as knit, and the last two as purls, when working the decreases.  I ended up doing K1P1, working the ribbing then ending with K1P1 at the end of round.  It worked out okay.

I still have a hat underway using up afghan leftovers.  And I started a pair of socks to take along with me when I go to Vancouver on Wednesday.  I don’t know if we’ll have a lot of knitting time, but I’ll be ready if we do!

More hats and hounds

Crocheting that afghan took a lot out of me.  Ha ha ha!  I didn’t want to crochet for a while after it.  But I didn’t know what I wanted to knit next, so I did end up crocheting a couple of hats.  The brown one shown below, then I used some of the leftover afghan yarn and made this purple one:

seamless hat with camel stitch

(I don’t know why my phone camera has been blurry lately – more on that later)

I saw a hat with “camel stitch” on Pinterest and looked into how it was done.  It looks like a horizontal knit stitch.  So I tried a few rounds on this hat.  Interesting.  I used the “seamless earflap hat” pattern for this, but just didn’t make ear flaps.  I finished it with a couple of rounds of single crochet.  Ravelry project page is here.

I started knitting a basic hat using the greys from the afghan – not really using any specific pattern, just ribbed bottom then stocking stitch stripes.  I cast on 90 stitches to start.  Ravelry project page is here.  I no sooner got that underway when I decided I wanted to try knitting myself a pair of knee high socks.  I’d made some for a friend before (who had stick straight legs so not much shaping needed for the calf) but needed to think and do some math for my meaty calves.  I have started them (project page here) and have done 2×2 rib for about 4″ on the first sock and am now catching the second sock up.  I’ll need to look at my math again.

We have had some bitterly cold days lately.  The poopers haven’t been too interested in going outside for very long.

staying warm

I had noticed lately my phone camera wasn’t taking sharp photos as it usually does.  Part of the problem is that autofocus doesn’t like brindle fur, so it’s hard to get a sharp photo of Ava, especially if she’s moving.  But then some pics of the hats and other dogs were blurry as well.  So I tried an experiment this morning – one photo with my phone, one photo with one of my compact digital cameras.

phone

and

Canon PS Elph 300

On flickr it shows the technical details of each photo.  The camera used an aperature of f/2.7, the phone used f/2.2.  Shutter speed was 1/60 on camera, 1/17 on phone (because I had the flash shut off it needed a longer exposure).  Focal length was similar, 4.3mm on camera, 4.2mm on phone.  ISO setting was 800 on camera, 160 on phone.  I have most settings set to auto, but I might experiment with the phone and see if I can make the photos come out better.

Ava in her jammies

 

 

End of a Zebra Era

for now.  Yesterday I went to the provincial derby team try outs for my last reffing obligation.  It was tough to stick to my decision because I really do have such a great crew and circle of zebra friends.  We work together so well.

Cranky in action

Cranky in action “you can’t do that”

But it’s a hiatus, not goodbye forever.

Had another good week at Crossfit.  Made some new personal records and was happy with my new lifting belt.  We also did a lot of burpees this week.  No one likes burpees.

gym humour

gym humour

Having my rest day today, then back at it tomorrow.

Regular January Weather

i.e. we had -30something windchill over the weekend.  Good days to stay inside and be warm.

I finished Bill’s afghan yesterday.  I had finished the crocheting of it on Saturday night, but it took me a couple of hours on Sunday to do the edging.

Easy Ripple Afghan using Vanna’s Choice yarn

The colours are much nicer and “go” together better than the photo shows.

top edging

I found a page describing how to even out the top/bottom ripple edges and then I did a single crochet border around the whole afghan.

It ended up being 60″ x 72″.  Ravelry project page is here.  It seems to do the trick:

cosy!

I was really glad to finish that.  It was really heavy and cumbersome to have that in my lap as I worked on it.  Next one, I will consider making squares and then assembling.

I had started this little hat at Christmas time, but put it down to work on the afghan.  I finished it last night.

Easy Peasy hat

I don’t know why the photo is blurry … Ravelry project page is here.

I have some yarn left over in each colour.  Not a full ball, but two smaller bits of each colour.  I’m thinking of making striped hats or hat/mitten combos.  Our local food bank has a need for hats and mittens of all sizes for their patrons.  I might not have much for the rest of the winter, but can stockpile for next year.

I did advise my reffing crew that I was taking 2016 season off to pursue some Crossfit goals.  It was a really hard decision to make.  I will miss our Saturday night zebra dates.

Cranky hangs up stripes

We have a really good crew and we all work so well together. :-(

I made a crock pot of Chicken Enchilada stew/soup the other day:

delicious!

I made a few more tweaks from the last time.  I didn’t add any chicken stock (it was very liquidy last time) so it was a thicker soup/stew texture.  When It was done cooking, I took all the chicken out, shredded it with a fork, then stirred it back in.  I added frozen corn kernels.  I didn’t make the enchilada sauce this time.  I added a tall can of tomato puree (just tomatoes, nothing else) and added the enchilada sauce seasoning to the tomato puree.  It turned out great – perfect for this blustery weather!

oh, double unders.

On my 2016 Crossfit goals, I want to improve my double under skills (skipping rope goes around twice when you jump once).  So whenever we have skipping, I’ve been working on them.  With varying levels of success:

owww.

owww.

I can single-skip all day long, but the double under is a challenge.

Last night in gymnastic skills we worked on our Chinese planks:

it's more challenging than it looks!

it’s more challenging than it looks!

 

Now I remember why

I don’t like making afghans.  I’ve been crocheting on this thing forever and it’s sooooo sllowwwww.

crappy photo late last night

I abandoned the two-row colour scheme and am now doing 4 rows of colour.  I am about halfway through the yarn I got, so hopefully that means I’m halfway through the afghan.  It’s pretty mindless work, but dull.

This morning I tried to straighten my hair.  Either I’m getting better at it, or having the crown a bit longer helps:

After some heavy lifts last week, and talking to my gym friends, I decided to order a weight belt.  It came in the mail today:

Grizzly – ha!

That will help keep my lombar snug and supported when we are lifting heavy.  We’ve had some really great programming the past few weeks.  I’ve already made some progress on my 2016 fitness goals!  It’s going to be a great year.

Yesterday Chopper was due for his annual check up and vaccinations.  We decided to sneak him out of the house and leave the other two at home.  Okay for them, but poor Chopper was anxious without his brother and sister.  He puked in the van on the way home, then passed out on our bed for a few hours.

poor baby

He weighed in at 83 lbs, so down a bit from last year.

Rufie, just chilling

little old lady, Ava

We’re supposed to get quite a bit of snow overnight, so the boys will be happy to have some to play in tomorrow.  Ava doesn’t care.

Hello 2016

As is our usual custom, we spent a quiet New Year’s Eve at home.  We went out for Chinese food with my parents, but I was home and in my jammies on the couch before 7 p.m.  Perfect!

925435_1540681429583305_180685703_n

I’ve been working on Bill’s afghan.  I had a couple of false starts, but now it’s going smoothly.

Easy Ripple Afghan with Vanna's Choice yarn

Easy Ripple Afghan with Vanna’s Choice yarn

The colour changes are every two rows, so I will stop every so often to weave the ends in so it won’t be such a chore when I’m done.  I like the colour combination.

We went to one last Crossfit class for 2015, at noon yesterday.  I managed to increase my 2-rep max on deadlift from 195 to 225.  And that was my old one-rep max number, 225.  Looking forward to slowly pushing that up to 250 as the year progresses!

deadlift 2rm

deadlift, my favourite!

For 2016, I have some specific goals for my fitness regime.  There is a small group of us that want to compete in an event in September.  I have a few things I really need to work on and improve upon, so my extra gym work will be focused on those things.  And I will continue my new philosophy of doing the Rx workout every time, if I am physically capable, instead of ignoring it and dropping down to the scaled version if the Rx is something I dislike or am not as skilled at.  Already I have seen some improvements by doing so.

And for derby, I’m undecided what I’m going to do there.  In 2015 my first league folded and I joined the league in a nearby city.  That was great for ref development, practice and game opportunities, but I did travel a lot (both for weekly practices and regular games, as well as scrimmages, juniors and to other far-flung leagues around the province).  I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit to that again for another long season.  I have time to figure out my plan as practices don’t start again until February.  One other thing that comes into this decision is that one of the Crossfit classes I feel I need to attend is on Tuesday nights, which conflicts with derby practice an hour and a half’s drive away.

 

 

Something different

I made another “easy peasy woman’s winter hat” the other day.  I saw these two colours of Woolspun at Michael’s and they were on sale.

Lion Brand Woolspun hat

Ravelry project page is here.  I took extra care doing the round joins and colour changes and I think it turned out really nice.  The flower took me a couple of tries, but I’m happy with how it turned out as well.  The flower instructions are here.

For Bill’s Christmas gift, I decided to make him an afghan.  He’s always cold when we’re on the couch watching tv.  And he’s impossible to buy gifts for – he doesn’t have any hobbies, doesn’t read a lot, etc.  So it’s usually clothes.  I got him a bunch of gym clothes for his birthday last week.

I didn’t start the afghan because he’d be sitting right next to me and know what I was doing, so I boxed up one ball of each yarn and the pattern and gave him that to open.

Easy Ripple Afghan

I had started this on Christmas night and navy blue was one of the colours.  I also started with a different pattern (the Cascade afghan, which I do want to try, but not starting with navy, and not when I want to get it done in a hurry).  I swapped out the navy and had some dark charcoal which I will use at the end of the colour rotation.  There are some really striking colour combinations on the Ravelry page.

Another pattern I came across is this “neat ripple” pattern.  I love all the different colour variations.  It’s written in British crochet terms, so I’d have to sit down and figure out the North American equivalents.

helpy

The boys are always available to clean out the yogurt tubs before they go in the recycling.

I made a Boxing Day supper for us last night: smoked spiral ham, steamed broccoli and this sweet potato casserole:

delicious!

I prefer the white-fleshed sweet potatoes, but there were none to be had.  The recipe calls for maple syrup in the mash; I dislike savory dishes being made too sweet, so I eliminated that.  And I used ALL the bacon for the topping.  It tasted lovely – a hint of sweetness from the potatoes and the coconut palm sugar in the topping, and salty/smokiness from the bacon.  And I made the raw chocolate pudding for dessert.

ruff life

 

Christmas 2015

got one last WOD in before Christmas.  We did the noon class yesterday.  Always a good time with my workout buddies!

Team T-Rex

Team T-Rex

 

Fun times!

trex1

we each have our own strengths!

A break for a day or two, then back at it!