Creating Triathlon Decals

The other day, Nick and I were discussing ideas to get more connected in the triathlon community.  We enjoy the sport and decided it would be fun to begin making a few things to commemorate (y)our efforts/accomplishments in triathlon.

As with many of you, we wear several t-shirts and workout shirts each week.  Nick and I spend so much time training, we thought it might be nice to have a few fun/witty triathlon shirts to wear through the sweat and tears.

So we purchased a die cutter to be able to create our own designs.  This weekend I had the chance to try it out.  Here are a few of the decals I made.  I also played around with some old t-shirts I had lying around the house.

Triathlon Decals  Triathlon t-shirt decals

Our goal is to have these, or something similar, available for sale on the site in the coming weeks.

Since we have the ability to customize these quite a bit, is there something you would be interested in having?  If so, please let us know – either comment below or send us a message via the “Contact Us” page.  In the meantime, we are going to put together some fun things to have ready.

PRs and Race Bling

We recently decorated our exercise room.  We are working on reducing those PR numbers; and planning on having both boards full by the end of the year.

PR Board and Medals View Treadmill, PR, Calendar

Crocheting – Textured Stripes Throw

This week my parents celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary.  It reminded me that I wrote this post nearly a year ago and never uploaded it.  A year in the making, and here it is…

I recently (well, over a year ago) crocheted this Textured Stripes Throw from Ravelry.com as an anniversary gift for my parents.  I found this pattern via Pinterest (where else would I go to find crochet patterns).  Its stripes of varying sizes and textures (stitches) appealed to me, and it did not look like your typical afghan.

Once I crocheted the first set of stripes, I decided not to continue with the color repeat of the pattern as printed.  I wanted a more varied look so that each color would stand out in its own way, so I randomly selected the color order for each row sequence repeat.  I did, however, keep the first and last color sequence the same as the pattern.  Also, I did not add fringe to the afghan, rather I weaved in the loose ends of the yarn.

The yarn I selected was I Love This Yarn, worsted weight, 100% acrylic in the following colors:  Aubergine, Cream, Graphite, Navy, and Sea Blue.  I purchased two skeins of each color of yarn, and used approximately one and a half skeins per color.  As stated in my previous post, this afghan took me approximately 40 hours to complete.  I am beginning to understand hat once you learn how to read patterns and know the basic crochet stitches, you can complete just about any project.  Any of the special stitches are typically explained in the pattern instructions.

I snapped a few photos while working on the afghan including the yarn selection and my progression.

As I crocheted the afghan, I realized I enjoy bigger crochet projects.  Yes, hats and scarves are nice for a quick and easy piece of work, but the interesting thing about afghans and more complex items is that it takes longer and I appreciate the work more.  I momentarily considered selling my afghans online.  A quick look at Etsy proved it is not a revenue-generating plan.  Although, it would be a fantastic and very unique gift.  Only time will tell what I will do next.

Emily’s 2015 Goals – Q2 Update

Halfway through the year now, and I’m still working on my goals.

Emily’s 2015 Goals, Progress Update as of 06/30/2015:
1.  Run 500 miles – 147.4 miles, approximately 29% complete.  Better start running some distances soon.

2.  Complete a triathlon – Nick and I completed our first triathlon, the Elkhart Triathlon in June.  We are looking forward to Ironman 70.3 Steelhead on August 9th.

3.  Read 20 books – 8 books (40%) completed in the first half of this year, plus two audio books.

4.  Learn a new language – I need to get back to my Rosetta Stone lessons.  I’m working on have this complete before our trip to France in December.

5.  Make Christmas cards – I’m coming up with a few ideas for these.  Most probably I’ll use the pictures we took last year.

6.  100 days of miles (running) – 59 days of running thus far this year.  I’m over 50% complete on this one, hoping to accomplish before year end.

Emily’s 2015 Goals – Q1 Update

In January, I set goals for the year and promised quarterly updates.  We are 25% of the way through the year.  Before writing this update, I really thought I was doing good.  Now I realize I have work to do and need to get moving on some of these goals.

Emily’s 2015 Goals, Progress Update as of 03/31/2015:
1.  Run 500 miles – 81.1 miles, approximately 16% complete.  I’m behind on this one, but I’m not too worried about this because my mileage is increasing as we are running longer distances.

2.  Complete a triathlon – We are considering Elkhart Triathlon in June, as well as Ironman 70.3 Racine in July of this year.  Training as going great and we are looking forward to the races.

3.  Read 20 books – 2 books (10%) completed thus far. I have several books marked “to read”, and just need to find the time to read them.

4.  Learn a new language – I’ve been slacking on my Rosetta Stone recently.  I’m working on have this complete before our trip to France in December.

5.  Make Christmas cards – We took pictures at Christmastime last year and I’m hoping to use them for the Christmas cards.  Most likely I won’t finish this goal until later in the year, you know, around Christmas.

6.  100 days of miles (running) – 38 days of running have been logged for 2015.  I’m well on my way to finishing this goal early, just need to get my mileage up on these runs.

Crocheting an Afghan – A Labor of Love

I have always heard crocheting an afghan is a labor of love.  When I was a kid, one of my great aunts crocheted an afghan each for me and my two brothers and gave them to us as Christmas presents.  Each afghan was a different color, shape and size, and each one made with one of us in mind.  We knew they were special and they quickly became our favorite blankets.  Until recently, I didn’t realize how much time and effort and love actually goes into making such a gift.

While crocheting my first afghan, I didn’t give it a second thought because I was making it for me.  There was no timeline and it didn’t really matter how it turned out.  I was learning to crochet and it was something on my bucket list.  I knew I would treasure it regardless of its imperfections.

My most recent crochet project, the Textured Stripes Throw from Ravelry.com was different.  This afghan was a gift for my parents.  Each step of the process I thought of them – I searched for a pattern they would like.  I carefully chose colors to match their home.  I wanted it to be unique, so I manipulated the pattern a little and randomly choose the stripe colors for each set of row repeats.  As I crocheted row upon row, I thought of them and how they’ve been married over 40 years, and their love for one another, their children, and their grandchildren.

Textured Stripes Throw

As best as I can figure, the afghan took me over 40 hours to complete.  I worked on it in small chunks of time over the course of three weeks.  I can’t imagine one spending this much time creating something for someone they dislike.  As I completed each stitch, I was making progress, but I was also making something for two people whom I love dearly.  By the end of the project, I concluded crocheting an afghan truly is a labor of love.

Crocheting – Dishcloths

I received a call from my aunt a few days before Christmas.  We talked for a while about my new hobby, crocheting.  She asked if I could make a few crocheted dishcloths for her.  I was between crocheting projects, so I figured I would make a few different ones for her.  Thus, I began my search for crocheted dishcloth patterns.

I remember skipping a dishcloth pattern in the Crocheting For Dummies book, so I started with that one.  If you own the book, it is located in Chapter 5.  (If you don’t own the book, I highly recommend you procuring a copy.  It’s a great reference tool for all of the crochet terminology and the various stitches).  Next, I headed to my favorite place, the Red Heart website, and found this Dandy Dishcloth pattern.  Finally, I went over to trusty Pinterest where I found two other patterns – one from Erika’s Crafts Corner, and the other from Petals to Picots.

Crochet Dishcloth Patterns

Completed Dishcloths

The Luxurious Washcloth with Border in the Crocheting For Dummies book is very basic.  It is a series of single crotchet (sc) stitches with a border also using single crochets.  The finished project measures approximately 10 inches square.  I used Sugar ‘n Cream 100% cotton, worsted weight yarn, color Rose Pink for the dishcloth and edging.

RedHeart Dandy Dishcloth

Pattern Courtesy of Crocheting for Dummies

The Dandy Dishcloth found on RedHeart.com was a little more entailed in that it used single crochets  (sc) as well as 3-double crochet (dc) clusters.  The finished project was approximately 9 inches square.  I used Sugar ‘n Cream 100% cotton, worsted weight yarn.  The dishcloth color is Love and the border is Hot Pink.

Crocheting for Dummies Luxurious Washcloth with Border

Pattern Courtesy of Red Heart

Next, Erika’s Crafts Corner provided very easy instructions for this dishcloth.  The pattern incorporates single crochets and double crochets in a cluster to provide texture.  Erika states this can be used as a hotbed, potholder, or washcloth, so the pattern has endless uses.  Of the four dishcloths I made, this was the one I enjoyed the most.  I’m not sure if it’s the pattern or the color yarn used, but I really liked this one.  The picture doesn’t give the yarn justice, it’s a combination of purples and  blue-greens.  The yarn is Sugar ‘n Cream 100% cotton, worsted weight yarn, Crown Jewels Ombre color.

Crochet Dishcloth Pattern

Pattern Courtesy of Erika’s Crafts Corner

The last dishcloth was found on the Petals to Picots website.  The pattern works single crochets and double crochets and achieves clusters that provide texture.  Although the pattern is extremely easy, and the fault is absolutely mine (I wasn’t counting my stitches), I had a difficult time getting it right.  I must have been preoccupied or just tired.  It really is an easy pattern that’s great for beginners.  The final product came out great, just took a little longer than I expected (again, at no one’s fault but my own).  I used Sugar ‘n Cream 100% cotton, worsted weight yarn, Rose Pink color for the washcloth as well as the edging.  The finished product measured approximately 8 inches squared.

FullSizeRender

Pattern Courtesy of Petals to Picots

I used yarn that I had laying around, so the colors were unintentional.  When perusing dishcloth patterns, I noticed that all of the patterns called for 100% cotton yarn, I’m sure this has to do with absorbency and durability.  I preferred the smaller dishcloths, while my aunt said she preferred the larger ones.  So it’s definitely a personal preference on size.  Overall, the directions were easy to follow and the dishcloths didn’t take long to make.  A big THANK YOU to those who shared their dishcloth patterns online, I appreciate your generosity!  Now, on to the next crochet project…