Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Challenging 2016

Apologies for no blog last week but life has rather overtaken me and last week never happened. Well what have I been doing?

I said earlier this year that I wanted to push myself more physically and I started off with the walking and swimming, also cycling to work - weather permitting. Then my birthday arrived two weeks ago with the longed for presie of a Fitbit Surge Watch. This now means I can keep a really accurate record of what I am achieving. It certainly is a motivational tool as you find yourself doing crazy things like walking up more stairs, not standing still, insisting on taking things upstairs rather than letting your partner do this as you want to have the steps on your watch rather than his! Also it records your sleep which is fascinating seeing how much time is spent sleeping and being restless.

The watch connects with my laptop and charts out all the info. The great thing is when I have completed 10,000 steps(per day) my watch rewards me with a vibration. Now I know that sounds trivial but you do get to feel good knowing you have completed the target for the day.

Oh dear as you can see my "stairs" are definitely lacking. Sadly I have to manually log my swimming as the watch cannot be used in water. But I am aiming to swim 3-4 times a week and do 30 lengths in 25 minutes. So have not come up with a total year challenge for walking and swimming. My main reason for wanting to be even more active than I usually am is Northumberland. I want to be able to retire in a few years time and have the fitness to walk the hills in the Cheviots. So this picture on my calendar inspires me to continue.

It's a picture of Ingram Valley, one of my favourite valleys.

Reading the Bible in a year I am now on "Numbers". Golly "Leviticus" was hard going and I was so glad to have got through it.

Next lot of challenges is to get through some UFOs (unfinished objects). Finally finished my crochet blanket. Attic 24 Harmony Blanket. So pleased with the result and the colours make me very happy.

I am still working on this cross stitch by Michael Powell. It is the middle section of a tryptic. I love the picture but am really struggling with my vision. The threads are very subtle in colour and reading the chart puts considerable strain on my eyes. I am using my strongest glasses, a spot light and trying to hold a magnifying glass. mmmm me thinks it may be time to buy one of those stands with a light and magnifying glass. Oh dear I do not like this business of getting older. So a word to any younger readers - do cross stitch and embroidery whilst you are younger and have better eyes.

Have been busy trying to crochet a cardigan. Note the word "trying". I have only ever made blankets so this is rather a challenge to get something to fit. I have had to undo the work a few times and it has been a bit of a nightmare as the fibres get stuck together. Have currently completed the body section and started on a sleeve. But it has turned out wrong - makes me look as if I have some weird large growth at the top of my arm that mysteriously disappears further towards my elbow! Currently bracing myself to undo the arm and restart it correctly I hope!

The cardigan is supposed to be made in Noro Wool, but this would cost a bomb so, especially as this is a first attempt at a garment, I have used Drops Big Delight. I got the pattern from a Noro Magazine.

This is what the cardigan should look like!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last year I bought a Japanese piece of fabric to do some sashiko. This is so therapeutic. I do not have to think, makes me feel as if I'm doing some sort of dot to dot pattern. I am really loving the effect and am going to use the fabric to make a cushion cover.

Mrs A and I are off to the NEC in a few weeks time for the Sewing For Pleasure Show.  Excited about going and looking forward to doing some shopping - birthday money to spend.  For sure on the list will be some more of these sashiko kits.

Apologies again for the long wait for this blog - hopefully you will forgive me - please.

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