Time off work, time for knitting.

As I still have a few days off, I am trying to catch up on my knitting and to get some order into my never ending stash.

I am very happy that I have finally managed to finish this lovely cardigan, which I started back in October 2013 and never got round to finishing it, because there was a bit of counting and memorising a pattern involved. I am not too keen on complicated patterns that require a lot of counting rows and stitches, because I have a terrible short term memory due to my pernicious anaemia. However, I do like the end results so I generally have something on the go that will take me forever, as you can see. I try and break it up with easy patterns like socks and scarves etc..

Anyway, back to the actual cardigan. The pattern is The extra spicy mustard cardigan by Sweater Babe and the yarn I have used is Drops Nepal in red.

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I love the lace panels and the combination with the cables, despite my inability to remember the 13 row pattern repeat.

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The gathering at the back, which is achieved by the cable panel gives the cardigan a great shape so it doesn’t just hang straight down. I think it’s a great cardigan for women with curves, but I really do recommend to knit a couple more pattern repeats at the bottom if you are knitting it in a larger size, because it would have been a little on the short side otherwise.

Because I would not really wear the cardigan open, I did not bother with the recommended magnetic fasteners at the top. I just stitched the buttons through both front panels and pull it over my head. If you don’t like that idea, I really would recommend adding button holes on one side as these are not part of this pattern. 

Overall, I really did enjoy knitting this cardigan and using the Drops Nepal Aran Yarn. The yarn doesn’t split while knitting and it washes well. The pattern was written well so it was simple to follow. I have already picked my next knit from Sweater Babe.

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Finally, bye bye plateau!

Yesterday I, very reluctantly, weighed myself, because for the last month I have weighed the same and I was getting a bit impatient and frustrated.

To my surprise the scales told me I had lost 2 lbs! I think I stepped on those scales ten times or more to check, but nope, they stayed at 121.5 kg! But still, with all the ups and downs I had recently, I didn’t believe it. So I weighed myself again this morning and yes, it still was the same!

I know I said that I didn’t want to focus on weight too much initially, but after two months you kind of want to see some results after your initial weight drop. I think it’s more for affirmation that I am working out right and that I am on the right track to achieve the results I have in mind.

So, what did I do to get overtime plateau? Not a lot to be honest. I stuck to working out at least three times a week and I reduced my salt intake in order to get rid of all the water I seemed to be retaining. Oh yes, and I had a couple of really good cries lol. Thanks to my darling boyfriend at this stage, for putting up with my general grumpiness in the last week.

Also, there might be quite a change in my life soon and it would be nice if I felt nice and healthy when starting that adventure. I’ll tell you more about that soon.

So yes, overall it’s been a good week and at the moment life could not be better.

Tour de fleece 2015 Day 15 and a little competition!

Wow, I have to say that I am very impressed with this yarn or with how much my skills have improved. I managed to get 662m out of 100g!

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I love how the colours have turned out in the end. Quite subtle with the odd bright pop now and then.

And because the fibre was prepped so well by the amazing Countess Ablaze,
it made the yarn nice and squishy when spinning long draw. 

Long draw is most definitely my new favourite way of spinning. It’s so much faster and the wool is so much softer.

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I can’t wait to knit this up, but I have no idea into what! It should definitely be a scarf, something lacey, but not too difficult.

Let’s turn this into a little competition!
Leave a pattern suggestion in the comments below, follow my blog, and whoever suggests the pattern I will knit with this yarn wins a little crafty surprise.

Feel free to share this post so your friends have the chance to win too. If two people or more suggest the same pattern, the first person who suggested it wins.
If you want to share on Instagram or Twitter , I am monarenton on there.
On Facebook look for Moni Makes, I will post this competition on there as well.

Scared to sweat?!

I am writing this while sat on some piece of gym equipment, in my breaks during sets. Yes, talk about using my time efficiently! Well, I am german after all.

Anway, as I am sat here, absolutely soaking wet from my 30 minutes on the elliptical, I am looking around at other people here, mainly ladies. Hardly any of them are sweating. They are just leisurely doing their time on the cardio equipment, just fast enough that their heart rate speeds up a bit, but no heavy breathing going on etc..Hmmm, why? It almost looks like they are avoiding breaking out in a sweat.

Don’t get me wrong, at first I was really embarrassed that I sweat so much h during cardio, but in the end I thought:

“That’s why I am here!”.

Lol, now I got so into writing that someone pinched the machine I wanted to go on next.

But, yeah anyway, what’s all this about? Do any of you guys get embarrassed because of excessive sweating?

I managed to control this a little now by buying microfibre sweat towels, they pretty much soak everything up so I don’t end up looking like this most of the time 🙂

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Not too Sexy, but I kind of am proud. It shows I work out hard.

Tour de fleece 2015 Day 6-9

Yesterday was my last day at work, so now I have two days off, yay! Finally time to catch up with spinning.

For the Tour de fleece I don’t really have a particular goal, just to spin more often. It’s a bit like my new fitness lifestyle. A little is more than I did before I started, which was nothing.

So, I have this lovely fibre from Countessablaze called Geeks like rainbows too. Note, this is the custom blend version, the hand dyed version will be next on my list once pocket money allows it. It’s beautiful 😍! Carded so well, it spins so easily, with next to none tangles or nibs.

As the many bright and sparkling colours are quite well blended, I am fining it a bit of a challenge not to spin it all into some greeny browny mash up. But with a little bit of separation and predrafting it’s turning out quite pretty.

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I really like the little pops of colour that come out-of it and can’t wait until I can ply it. This will hopefully be next weekend as I have just started on the second bobbin.

It’s turned out quite thin, so I initially thought about navajo plying this, but I don’t want to lose the yardage so it will end up being a standard 2-ply.

As to what I will turn this lovely yarn into… No idea yet, so any suggestions will be welcome.

Ok, where were we? Okay, it’s catch up time!

It’s been so long! Ten months to be exact. First of all, I want to thank all of you who have stuck around. I know it’s no fun following a blog with no posts.

Things have been eventful to say the least, but now that everything seems to quieten down a bit, I will post more often.

So, where have I been? Good question! Mainly right here, at home or at work, but I also had two surgeries on my left arm, which prevented me from doing a lot of crafty stuff. That really did frustrate me, and it also stopped me from getting fitter, which definitely is not a good thing!

After the two surgeries and over all five weeks off work and I can’t even begin to think how many years away from the gym, because of this painful shoulder thing, I have finally managed to break my all time weight record at 127kg!!! That’s 19 stone 13lbs for my English readers and 280 lbs for you guys in the States. Yes, I know it’s quite something. I have not felt so low in years, despite finally being in a very happy relationship (that’s a story for another day) and being semi happy at work. I knew that this weight gain was not totally my fault, as I have been unable to exercise for a long time due to this shoulder issue, but still, it’s the most awful feeling when you look in the mirror and hate what you see and when your partner tells you that you’re beautiful and you don’t know what to say, because you can’t believe it.

It’s now been three months since my last surgery and I am finally back to going to the gym sort of regularly. I try to go at least three times a week, but for the last two weeks I have not had a rest day at all. Naughty, I know. Today is my first night off and I am finally taking the time to update my blog and look after my Instagram etc.

I have given up the whole idea of a low carb diet, because I now work out really hard and I feel I can’t do it without or with little carb intake. So I do not deny myself things like potatoes, rice and pasta, but I do try and stay off bread as much as I can, because i feel it does make me crave other bad foods. I still have my treats once a week too, by having “Eat what you like Day”, but for the last two weeks I have still been very good, because I did not want to ruin my hard work at the gym by eating chocolate.

So, by keeping a little bit of an eye on what I eat and doing plenty of exercise, I have managed to loose 10lbs up until now. Not a lot I know, but I have built quite a bit of muscle in my legs, so I am not going to get hung up about it too much. I think I need to tweek my diet a little bit more, but that can wait. For now I just want to concentrate on forming good gym habits, to make it part of my life and not a chore. One day I would like to be able to run a 5K race, one day.

Over the next few days, you will see a few posts that I have sort of drafted in my mind while I was away, mainly crafty stuff, but also a few fitness related thoughts and ideas, as well as a couple of reviews of things I have bought in relation to both topics. So keep your eye out for those 🙂