Fitness for April 2016
April 30, 2016
This month sure went by fast. It seems like it was just the end of March. I actually missed doing a post on fitness for the month of March because I was pretty busy. I did workout – even when we went out of town for Spring Break – but I just didn’t have time for a post that month.
In the past month of April I followed my Cathe Friedrich Xtrain program for most of the month along with yoga every other day. I actually started the month just doing Cathe workouts but then the past two weeks I decided to get back into yoga more so I have been doing a schedule of cardio or weights one day and then yoga the next. So the past couple of weeks my schedule was:
Mondays – Xtrain, cardio or weights
Tuesdays – yoga
Wednesdays – Xtrain, cardio or weights
Thursdays – yoga
Friday – Xtrain, cardio or weights
Saturday – yoga
Sunday – off
The yoga workouts varied for me. I either used my Shiva Rea dvd’s or checked out some Yoga Journal magazines from my local library and used some of the sequences in those. I enjoy doing the Yoga Journal sequences and the variety they offer. I also like that I can check out the magazines at the library and not have to buy them. The library keeps up to the past two years so there is a variety to choose from.
I also found a new book at the library about the Vitamix blender. I was looking for a book about using a blender for more than just smoothies and came across the Vitamix cookbook. At the time of checking this out a few weeks ago I did not own a Vitamix blender – I just had my older model Ninja Ultima blender that I bought about three years ago.
Well, after getting this book and seeing the great recipes and then watching some videos on YouTube about the Vitamix I was convinced I needed one. There are many things you can do with the Vitamix that the Ninja will not do, believe me, I tried. Thankfully my husband was agreeable to me getting one as they are not cheap. I ended up getting the Deluxe Complete Kitchen set that comes with the 5200 blender, the smaller blending container and also the dry grinding container that you can grind your own flours in. There were also some other bonuses like cutting mats, spatulas and the Whole Foods cookbook-binder with lots of great recipes. This set was on sale through Vitamix for Mother’s Day so I told my husband this could be my Mother’s Day gift.
So far I love this new blender. I have been using it daily – at least twice or more a day – since I received it. The smoothies are really good and the green ones turn out super smooth. I have even gotten my oldest son to start drinking one daily and he likes them.
I have also used the Vitamix to dry chop some vegetables and to wet chop vegetables. I have made a frozen dessert, nut butter, salsa and soup. The soup was not a big hit with the family – it was okay. I made it directly in the blender – it was tomato soup. It seemed kind of foamy which is what my family disliked. I think next time I would just blend it in the blender for about a minute and then cook – heat it on the stove. The strawberry frozen dessert I made was a big hit and I love how it only had 3 simple ingredients and very low sugar. I have also tried out the dry grinding container and made my own oat flour to use in my homemade bread and rolls that I bake each week.
Well, tomorrow is the first of May and I will continue my Cathe and yoga workout rotation for at least the beginning of May. I may change it up to something different by the middle of the month, we’ll see. I hope you are having a great Spring so far and getting in some workouts.
Chenille Knit Blanket
April 10, 2016
I finally finished the chenille knit blanket that I started back before Christmas. I now know why I don’t knit that many blankets or afghans – they take a lot of time to complete and after a while I get bored with the same project and the same yarn. That is probably why I had to quit working on this blanket for a while and do a few other projects in between. Well, anyhow, it is done, actually it has been finished for a few weeks and my husband (and cat) have been enjoying it.
This blanket is super easy to knit. I had this chenille yarn, from Lion brand yarn, for quite a while in my stash and decided it would be a nice warm blanket for our living room. The needle size I used for this yarn was a size US 11 circular with a very long 47 inch cable. The pattern for this blanket is a 4 row repeat and is below:
Cast on 72 stitches (multiple of 4)
Row 1: (Right Side) *K2, p2; repeat from * across
Row 2: *K2, p2; repeat from * across
Row 3: P2, k2; repeat from * across
Row 4: P2, k2; repeat from * across
Repeat the above 4 rows a total of 104 times or until desired length.
My finished blanket was approximately 42 inches wide and 65 inches long. A nice size for a couch afghan. I could have probably made it longer as I had another skein of yarn but the chenille yarn was getting super heavy to work with.
This stitch pattern is reversible, meaning it looks the same on both sides, which I think is nice for a blanket. I also knit a swatch with the pattern in acrylic #4 weight yarn holding 2 yarns together and thought that would also make a nice heavy blanket.
The above swatch is knit with 2 skeins of Hobby Lobby I Love this Yarn held together and using the 4 row pattern above and size US 11 needles. This swatch ended up being a little smaller in size than my chenille swatch. It was 4 inches wide by 4 inches long on 12 stitches over 16 rows in pattern. The chenille swatch was 6 inches wide by 5 inches long on 12 stitches over 20 rows in pattern. So, if you were to knit the pattern in 2 yarns of acrylic yarn you would probably want to increase your stitch count to at least 112 stitches so that the blanket will be wide enough. Just remember your stitch count needs to be a multiple of 4 whatever you increase it to.
Overall I am pleased with our new blanket. I also like the fact that it looks nice with the Vibrant V Stitch pillow I crocheted back in the fall. Of course photos are not complete without my black cat getting in the background.
I have also been knitting some dishcloths, which are good and easy spring projects and some sweaters. What have you been working on lately? Let me know by leaving a comment.
Have a great day!