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February 2008

The chubby fight

Before I begin, I would like to add that today's post is not meant to get anyone's sympathy or anyting of the like, I am doing it for me as a way to encourage me in the days to come and hopefully to encourage others that are in the chub fight.

As many of you know, I have been diligently working on getting the fat level in my body down. Although, I have been tempted by all the commercials that promise a "quick" fix (New Year's seems to quadruple the number of this type of commercials). I have stuck to my guns and instead of choosing the easy way out, I have taken the "road less traveled". I started running last summer and tried to go out at least 3 times a week and hit the pavement. However, when Fall arrived and Winter the next day (it appears to be like that here in Utah), my plans for getting in shape got a bit thwarted by mother nature. I had a membership to the local gym but due to my inability to drive myself around, I couldn't attend regularly. Once I passed my driving test in October, my way was opened. A door to "freedom" to get to wherever I needed whenever I needed.

It has been about five months since I got my driving license and during those five months, I have gone out very little. I don't venture to too many places, but three times a week, my little zoomer goes out at 5am and we head to the gym. First, I started taking a spinning class and then I decided to start running too so I run about 3-4 miles each time, then a month ago I decided that lifting weights will make my arms look a little more than just spaghetti noodles so I started lifting. Five months later and I feel like a new woman. I am not a size 2 (probably will never be again) but I feel strong. I can run 5 miles and survive. Heck, I can run 4 miles, spin for 1hr, and then lift for 30 minutes and then swim and not die. I feel strong. Capable. Secure.

Despite my diligence in working out, my "weight" hasn't gone down. I weigh the same as I did before I started exercising and sometimes this makes me feel depressed (and downright ornery) but I have to keep reminding me that it wasn't weight that I went in to lose--it was fat! But how do you really measure the change if the scale is not showing it? The scale can be deceiving...and at times it can be our very own worst enemy. I have opted for another method to track my changes...since the scale is not helping me. I have decided to measure certain areas and keep track of those.

I am exposing my most personal and sensitive area of my life but I hope that this will encourage me and those of you who are fighting the chub

Measurements Record

Measurements in Summer 2007

  • Natural waist (mine is about 1-1/2 inches above belly button): 33 inches
  • Waist by belly button: 37
  • Hip: 39 inches
  • Lovehandle area: 38.5 inches
  • Leg (I measure about 7 inches from my knee): 19-1/2 inches
  • Calf: 14 inches

Measurements in November 2007 (after exercising for little over a month at the gym).

  • Natural waist: 32 inches
  • Waist by belly button: 36
  • Hip: 38-1/2 inches
  • Lovehandle area: 37-1/2 inches
  • Leg: 19-1/2 inches
  • Calf: 13-3/4 inches
  • Upper Rib cage: 34 inches

Measurements in February 2008

  • Natural waist: 30-1/2 inches
  • Waist by belly button: 33
  • Hip: 37-3/4 inches
  • Lovehandle area: 37
  • Leg: 20-3/4 inches
  • Calf: 13-1/4
  • Upper Rib cage: 31-1/2

Anappel_3 Now the biggest change that I saw was going from a 34DD down to a 34C (and these are getting big so I may have to go down to my pre-baby 34B!). Clothes wise: I have gone down 2 sizes in pants and 1 size down in shirts.

My body type has a lot to do with the way I lose weight: I am one of those people who have very skinny legs (no shape to them at all), skinny, wimpy arms, no butt (none at all) and a big fat torso. When I gain weight, it goes first to my face (big chubby cheeks and second chin), then my b00bs, then my pansa (belly). You know there is pear shaped bodies, well, I am an apple with little sticks sticking out the bottom and the sides for legs and arms respectively.

Overall, I am extremely happy with the changes in my body. Some areas have gotten smaller,biggest changes in my waist and b00bs, and some have gotten a little bigger, my legs-expected from the running and biking. Some areas are a little more muscular, my calves, legs and arms. The change is slow and I have worked very hard to get them but with each step (when I run) with each turn of the wheel (when I spin), I think to myself that I am making my body stronger. 

I will keep going with my chub fight, I will report again in the months to come. In the meantime, keep on sweating the chub away!

Input, Input

As many of you know, I create little mini-clips on how to loom knit. For awhile, many loom knitters have asked me to put the clips onto a DVD that they can use at home. Clips on the internet are great, except when your computer is running on a 56K speed, the clips can be torture. As a response to this request, I am going forth and putting together a bunch of mini-clips all in one DVD. The first DVD will consist of the Basics of Loom Knitting. So far, I have come up with these ideas:

1. Slip Knot

2. Cast On for knitting in the Round
B)Crochet Cast on
C)Double e-wrap

3. Cast on for knitting a flat panel
B)Crochet Cast on
C)Double e-wrap

4. Foundation Stitches

A)Knit Stitch
a)Flat Stitch
c)Knit Stitch

B) Purl

5. Bind off when knitting in the round
A) Open Bind Off

6. Bind off when knitting a flat panel
A)Open Bind Off

Can you think of anything else that should be included? I really need your input. Remember, I am aiming for a Basics DVD. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section. Thanks for your input, input ;).

Where have I been?


A week has gone by and no posts..tsk, tsk, tsk. It is so unlike me not to share the goings of my life. So what's keeping me from sharing and gossiping. One word: sickness! My little one is sick. We left her at my SIL's while we went to the KnitOut, my SIL has two lovely puppies. Little Benny had previously displayed allergies to dogs in general. I figure 2 days wouldn't be so bad on her. We came back and her little eyes were droopy and her nose running a mile a minute. We got her home and I figured that she would start getting better. Wrong! 5 days later her runny nose has turned to a congested cough and now she is even fevering. Due to our previous experience of Febrile Seizures, I am keeping a close eye on her which means that both hubby and I have had very little sleep. It is a terrible feeling knowing that it may happen again. I am not ready for a repeat and thus I am doing everything possible to keep her fever down. Whatever bug is going around, it is a tough one to shake off.

Be back on Monday with photos (blurry ones, lol) of the KnitOut and my report on how it all went for us. In the meantime, may the sickness bug stay away from you and your family.

KnitOut 2008 Coming up

The Craft Yarn Council of America Knit Out is coming this weekend and I am going to be there! Yipppe!! I Keepsakeloom_4 am flying out on Friday and coming back on Sunday. We are leaving the kiddos with my SIL and I am taking hubby along with me for our very first weekend alone together. This is a huge deal for us. We have never left the kids behind for anything....would we survive without them?

But about the KnitOut, I am going to be doing a few loom knitting demos on both Saturday and Sunday. I am scheduled for these demos:


11am: Table E

3:30pm: Table E


11am: Table D

2pm: Table A

Come by my demo and pick up one of these cute little looms, made especially for this event. It is a little 10 peg, fine gauge single sided rake. I am going to be giving them away to those who come by my demo table. I prepared a handout too that will have a pattern to use with this loom: it is a simple headband pattern.

I am all ready...even went to pick up a little luggage to carry all my junk with me. And, I even had some business cards made. I am excited about sharing a little bit of my world with knitters out there. I hope my demos are well received. If you are around, please stop by...especially if my table is empty.

Stop the presses! I just found out that I will be interviewed by Candi Jensen from the Knit & Crochet Today show. So exciting! Before accepting the invite, I had to find out if the interview was going to be live--I was assured that it wouldn't so I am less frantic about it...still, I hope I don't make a fool of myself.

BizcardsIn other news, the loom along on Ravelry is going to start soon. After much drawing, frogging, and knitting, I came up with a neat and easy mitten design. Hop on over to the Loom A Long Ravelry group and you can take part of the LAL.

The mitt has a cable around the cuff and then it is stockinette stitch for the main portion of the mitt. The mitt is shaped at the fingers so no extra bulk!


At the movies, Part III

Summertime_top I wasn't planning on posting these videos, but I have had so many questions asking me for a video that I finally broke down and here they are. The techniques are not difficult, but if you are a visual learner, the mini-shows will help you.

At the movies brings you variations of creating the Knit Stitch. You know the knit stitch: the smooth V like stitch. In loom knitting, you can create it various ways:

1. Put the working yarn above the loop on peg, insert tool and pull a loop from the working yarn through. Place this new loop on the peg while at the same time taking off the previous loop that was on the peg.

2. Place working yarn above the loop on peg. With knitting tool, pull the loop that is below off the peg.

3. With working yarn, hug the peg (as forming the letter U around the peg) and then with the knitting tool, pull the bottom loop off the peg.

The Knit Stitch is one of the foundation stitches in knitting and loom knitting with its partner the PurlKnitstitch  Stitch, you can create a gazillion combinations of stitch patterns. Even if you do not know the Purl Stitch, you can create gorgeous items with just the knit stitch. The top above has the Knit Stitch as its main stitch pattern...cute. Here is a close-up of the Knit Stitch (click the picture to enlarge).

If you are wondering: the top above was loom knit :).

Ready for the show? Here are the 3 versions of creating the Knit Stitch. Practice them and try each one of them. When a pattern calls for the Knit Stitch and you can't get gauge with one, try the other as the other may yield the gauge desired.

The Knit Stitch (my preferred method)

The Flat Stitch version
The U Method (Hugging the peg)

At the movies, Part II

The second installment of looming cables is on. But before we go on to view the next mini-videos, let's address some of the questions asked from the first set.

Bethany asked: Question: When knitting what you have just demonstrated in a project, do you have the tendency (I know I do, and I've been wondering if I should actually be doing this)to take the slack out of the carry over lines in the back, so that they are nearer to the pegs they are going to end up on? Or do you just leave them loose and long?

Answer: It depends. If I see that my stitches are too loose, I tug gently on each of the stitches, taking out all of the yarn slack off each of the stitches.

Christine asked: I wanted to try your thicker cable that you have posted that uses 6 pegs for the cable instead of three but my yarn simply would not stretch and in some cases I broke it because I was working it over too hard. Do you have any suggestions for keeping the yarn from breaking?

Answer: Excellent question! knitting on a loom stretches out all the stitches and there is very little slack between each stitch. Creating the 6st cables (or larger) is rather complicated. If you are using a yarn with very little elasticity, the stitches are going to be very difficult to twist. One way to make your stitches be more manegeable is to remove the stitches before the cable to a stitch holder doing this will provide you with some slack to cross your stitches for the cable. After you cable, place the stitches back on the corresponding pegs. Another option is to work the row before the cabling loosely--need to plan ahead a bit. Another option: work the stitches before cabling loosely, once you have cabled, go back and take out all the yarn slack off each of the stitches so they are nice and tight.

Christine also asked: on the patterns you show above what is the row repeat.

The 3-st cables that I showed are crossed every other row, e.i: row 1: cable, row 2: work normal. row 3: cable.

Thank you for your questions, keep them coming. If you have any other questions about today's show, drop me a comment and I will address those questions tomorrow.

In today's movie, we will be featuring the 3-st LPC cable and the 3-st RPC cable. They are very similar to the cables we saw previously, except one of the stitches gets purled rather than knitted.

First up, we have the 3-st Left Purl Cross cable (3-st LPC).

How to: cable is over 3 stitches.
  1. Skip peg 1 and peg 2 (with working yarn towards the back of the peg)
  2. Purl the stitch on peg 3. Take this stitch to the cable needle and let cable needle rest in the center of the loom.
  3. Take working yarn to front of peg 1 and peg 2. Knit peg 1 and peg 2. 
  4. Move the stitches as follows: Stitch from peg 2 to peg 3. Stitch from peg 1 to peg 2. Place loop from cable needle on peg 1.
  5. Gently, pull the yarn slack off each of the stitches (if necessary)

Last in the 3-st cable series, we have the 3-st Right Purl Cross cable (3-st RPC)

How to: cable is over 3 stitches

  1. Take stitch from peg 1 to cable needle and place cable needle to center of loom
  2. Knit pegs 2 and 3. Move the stitches from the pegs as follows: from peg 2 to peg 1, from peg 3 to peg 2.
  3. Place loop from cable needle on peg 3. Purl the stitch.
  4. Gently, pull the yarn slack off each of the stitches (if necessary)
Hope you enjoyed the show. Stop by next week for Part III of the cabling show. Next week we will be looking at 4 stitch cables (4-st LC, 4-st RC).

At the movies, Part I

AranafghanGet a comfy chair, grab a yummy treat...take out that chocolate you have hidden on top of cupboard, your knitting loom, a cable needle and some yarn and let's get ready to try out something new on our looms.

Today, we are going to go over a two cables: 3-stitch Right Cross Cable, 3-stitch Left Cross Cable, These cables are typically used to make traveling lines like the ones shown on the blanket on the left. (The blanket shown is the Aran Afghan from Learn to Knit Cables on Looms booklet.)

Before we get started, I want to talk a little bit about the yarn for this type of project: try to choose one that has some elasticity to it, such as wool. This is one time where I would say not to choose a chenille type yarn, it would break too easily. Choose a yarn that will allow the cables to show too, something smooth, non-frilly, and a light color will allow the cables to pop a little more. On cable needles: I like the curved shaped cable needles as the curve prevents the stitches from accidentally popping off.

We are going to look at the 3-stitch Right Cross Cable (3-st RC) first.

For the cabling demonstrations, I am using the red Knifty Knitter loom, the yarn is Lion Brand 's Thick & Quick, the cable needle is a U shape plastic/nylon cable needle.

The instructions for the 3-stitch RC cable are as follows:

  1. Place loop from peg 1 on cable needle. Take cable needle to center of loom.
  2. Knit pegs 2 and 3. Move them as follows: Loop from peg 2 to peg 1. Loop from peg 3 to peg 2.
  3. Take loop from cable needle and place it on peg 3. Knit peg 3.

Next, we are going to look at the 3-stitch Left Cross Cable (3-st RC) first. The instructions for this cable are as follows:

  1. Skip peg 1 and peg 2 (take yarn behind pegs to peg 3).
  2. Knit peg 3. Place loop from peg 3 onto cable needle. Hold cable needle to center of loom.
  3. Knit peg 1 and peg 2. Move them as follows: loop from peg 2 to peg 3; loop from peg 1 to peg 2. Place loop from cable needle on peg 1.

Come back tomorrow for a second installment on cables. We will be looking at the 3-stitch Right Purl Cross and the 3-stitch Left Purl Cross cables. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the cables we saw today, drop your comment and I'll try to address the question(s) tomorrow before introducing the other two cables.


Silent Poetry Reading

Many times I have looked at this poem and found a different way in which my life reflects it. It is a commonly known poem, the first time I read it, I was riding the NY subway and I burned it in my memory from that day. Life was hard then and I wanted a way out....this poem was the beginning of my opening my wings.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I...
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

By: Robert Frost

This entry is for the Third (silent) Poetry Reading