Fitness for December 2015
December 24, 2015
The new workout The Hammer and Chisel came out this past month. I decided on an impulse to order it as some of the people in my facebook fitness group had started it and it sounded like something I would be interested in. Also, I had been waiting on my new Cathe Friedrich workouts to arrive that I pre-ordered back in the summer and I didn’t have them yet – I guess you could say I was getting impatient to start up some type of new workout.
So, I received Hammer and Chisel about 12 days ago and started doing some of the workouts last Monday, the 14th of December. Right now I am just going on my own schedule and not following the complete 60 days listed in the workout – I plan to start that up in January, after the holidays, with my friend Kathleen’s fitness group on facebook.
The above photo shows what came in my order. The dvd workouts plus the containers that are for your food so you are eating in the right proportions. So far I have done almost 2 weeks of the workouts and I am using the containers and the Plan B, according to the booklet, for eating. I really like the containers and how they teach you how to have portion control with your food. I always thought I had a good idea of this but the containers keep you really accountable. I also made up my own worksheet for the eating plan I am on which is another thing that is really keeping me on track – especially this time of year. I will say that I have fallen off the plan and enjoyed a couple of treats or Christmas cookies here and there, but I write it down so I can see what I am eating and try to do better the next day. Of course it is harder this time of year when there are a lot of temptations. In January I plan to stick to the schedule a whole lot better – when holiday treats are gone.
Iso Speed Hammer was the first workout I tried the day after I received them. This is one of the shorter workouts in the program. Just because it is short does not mean it is easy. You do 10 reps at a slow count of one exercise then 10 reps as fast as you can of the same move – this is a great workout. Afterwards I did the Hammer Abs – which is also a great 10 min. ab workout – I was sweating a lot after both of them.
Chisel Cardio is another great and challenging workout that I did a few days ago. This one worked my whole body – I felt it everywhere afterwards and especially later that night – I knew it was working on getting me into shape in areas I never felt before. As you can see the cat liked it, too – he is sitting on the arm of the chair watching the TV. Also, not workout related but I cut my hair as you can see in these photos as compared to the other ones – it was time for a change – just like my workouts needed a change, so did my hair.
I would classify the Hammer and Chisel workout as an intermediate to advanced workout series. There is a modifier for many of the exercises but you still do the same amount of reps. The whole series focuses on the use of weights with most of the exercises – some of the weights are heavy. I am using 15 and 20 pound dumbbells for many of the exercises.
My Cathe workouts also came in the mail about five days ago. I knew that if I ordered another workout series that one would get released. I am so excited about her new ICE series, which stands for Intermediate Conditioning Extreme. So, this week I am using Hammer and Chisel and the ICE series dvd’s. I am doing Chisel, Hammer then an ICE dvd – on a 6 day a week workout schedule.
What workouts are you currently doing or planning to start for the new year? I know January is a big month for people to start getting back into shape. Let me know by leaving a reply.
Have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Knit Cape and Other Knitting Projects
December 16, 2015
Recently I finished a knit cape that I designed using Homespun yarn from Lion. Homespun yarn is probably one of my favorite fall and winter yarns to work with. It is very soft and the colors are pretty.
The color name of the yarn that I used for this cape was called painted desert. It has a lot of great colors in it and goes with many different things.
The cape is designed to fit kind of snug around the neckline and shoulder area and then gradually gets wider at the bottom. This pattern is knit on circular needles so there are no seams – which is nice because when you get done all you have to do is weave in a few ends and you are finished with your project. A great reason to love circular knitting.
Another great thing about this pattern is that it can be worn different ways. You can also wear it as a hooded type of scarf to keep you warm on a cold and windy day.
For more information on this pattern you can visit my etsy shop , craftsy store, or ravelry.
Other projects that I have been working on are some yoga socks, knit with some Noro Silk Garden yarn I had in my stash. I am currently testing out the pattern in another yarn, also found in my stash, before I will be releasing it.
The socks look like some type of pac-man object or something in the photo – this was just a quick shot I took after completing them. They actually do fit nicely and I have wore them twice now to practice yoga in. It is nice to have something to keep your feet warm on chilly mornings but still be able to grip the mat with the ball of your foot, toes and heel. The opening in the middle is the part where your heel goes. The pattern for these will be coming soon.
I have also been working on a chenille afghan. This yarn has been in my stash for quite a while, I am ashamed to admit. I bought it with intentions to knit a sweater and decided after attempting that last year that it was going to be too bulky. So, this year I decided it would make a nice blanket-afghan for our living room. The yarn is so soft and seems like it will keep you warm. I have kind of put it aside lately to work on yoga socks and a new cowl pattern but I plan to finish it by January and I will share it here on my blog when it is done.
My friend Marilyn knitted these cute Christmas dishcloths. She knit two of them for all of the ladies in my monthly knitting group – there are five of us that meet once a month at a Starbucks to knit and socialize. We have been doing this for about 6 years now. The dishcloth on the right has a tree design in it – can you make out the outline of it? I love using these cotton knit dishcloths in the kitchen. My mom likes to knit these as well so I am sure I will be getting a couple more for gifts this year.
What kinds of projects have you been working on lately? Let me know by leaving a reply.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas!
Free Knit Scarf and Crochet Cowl Pattern
December 8, 2015
Christmas is going to be here before we know it. Are you ready? Do you have all your shopping done and all your handmade gifts completed? I wish I could say that I do but I don’t – I am not even close. I have been so busy designing new patterns for my shops that I have not taken the time to shop at all.
I have a couple of designs to share today on my blog that are both pretty quick and easy to knit or crochet – so if you are still looking for something to complete for someone for a gift maybe one of these patterns will work. They are both Free pdf download files.
The above photo is of a Chunky Knit Drop Stitch Scarf. It is super quick and easy to knit on size US 15 knitting needles. If you can do a knit stitch and a yarn over and drop a yarn over you can complete this pattern. Any chunky weight yarn will work. The yarn I used was from Hobby Lobby – not sure if it is still available – it is called Yarn Bee Finale. It goes from thick to thin and is a variegated yarn. Drop Stitch Knit Scarf You can click on the highlighted name of the pattern to access the pdf pattern and print.
The other pattern I am sharing today is for a crocheted ripple cowl – I call it Candy Cane Ripple since it is done in red and white sparkle yarn. You can choose any two colors you want with or without the sparkle, glitter, yarn. This cowl is crocheted with a size US J hook. It is a one row repeat so pretty simple to do once you master the pattern. The cowl is crocheted in rows and then sewn together. You need to know how to double crochet and chain and skip chains to crochet this. Yarn I used was Hobby Lobby I Love this Yarn in the sparkle – any #4 worsted weight yarn can be used. Candy Cane Ripple Cowl Crochet Pattern Clicking on the highlighted text will take you to the pdf pattern for you to download or print.
I hope you enjoy the patterns and are able to get some handmade gifts completed for those on your list.
*For my complete line of patterns please visit my etsy shop or my craftsy store – links are in the sidebar.