Saturday, January 10, 2015

Rocky, Cold Start

There is one thing knitters love and that is cold weather.  At no other time do I feel as useful as when it is bitter cold outside and I can make something that can remedy that. I find people appreciate the knitted (and crocheted) arts much more in sub-zero temperatures because really, there isn't much to appreciate about sub-zero temperatures.  This past week, my daughter had two days off for windchill. My college even closed one day. So we found ourselves with a bit more vacation time on our hands after a long vacation.

Last weekend I finished these mittens.

I love them. Great yarn and great pattern. I figured that this would be my last project for a while since I was going back to work. But with the extra day off, I got some more knitting time.

I made two things.  A cowl and a hat.

Both of them are all wrong.  The cowl I can deal with.  The cowl pattern is called Gap-tastic and I have made it before for my sister so it was a familiar pattern.  When I saw this yarn, I knew it was destined to become a Gap-tastic Cowl.  I was over half way through when I noticed that there was a twist. When knitting in the round, the pattern always says to be careful to not twist your stitches.  I was really careful.  I even pulled it all out once and restarted but I got another twist. This is the first time in almost 6 years of knitting that this has ever happened to me.  The blame goes to not having a long enough cable and me trying to shove too many stitches in to too small of space.  The good thing is is that there is a name for this type of scarf (mobius) and instead of it being a totally disaster, it is a new design feature. You can't tell that it looks different from what I intended.  It is still a cowl and it still does its job.

The hat is not so lucky.  This hat will fit no one and I blame it on (1.) not having the correct size needles and attempting to do it anyway and (2.) the pattern being totally wacko.  I knit another hat from this pattern with the right sized needles today and I still cannot get this hat to fit.  I pulled out a bit and am making it longer.  I really don't believe a hat only needs to be 4.5" before decreasing for the crown, even with super bulky yarn. I'm going to go at least 6" this time.

While sub-zero temps are kind to knitters they are brutal for runners. Since my gym closes when the college closes, I couldn't run on the indoor track on Wednesday like I had planned. On Thursday, the gym was open and I was the only participant for spin class, so I got a lot of one-on-one attention. Friday, I played in a Faculty/staff volleyball tournament (we got second place) and ran on the track.  It was actually one of the best runs I've had in a long time.  Now this may sound weird, but I got inspiration from watching an episode of Psych on Netflix. (I watch Psych as I go to sleep at night almost every night. I love that show.) In the episode, the protagonist, Shawn, is on a elliptical machine and he is really working hard because he thinks if he doesn't a bomb will go off.  Thought it is all a misunderstanding and he is in no danger, it got me thinking about my running effort.  I have been running more regularly for a few weeks now, but I have been doing what is called "easy runs." Easy runs are an essential part of running and yes it should be the majority of runs, but not all of the runs.  I decided to try to go faster and harder on Friday and it really paid off.  I ran 3 miles in 27:17.  This is no where near my fastest, but it is closer to my old easy run time than what I have been running. It made me feel good that even though I didn't get to run on Tuesday (due to packing error) or Wednesday (weather), I could come out and do a harder run. The good mo-jo traveled on to today and I hit the pool with my friend and swam 1000 m.  Tomorrow, I have pick-up basketball at church. I feel that even though this week got off to a very rocky start, I am starting to make progress.

I also finished my first book of the year, Like No Other by Una LaMarch and I think it is "meh." The premise is that a Hasidic girl meets a non-Hasidic boy and falls in insta-love which challenges her religiously obedient life and family. My favorite book of all time, The Chosen by Chaim Potok, is about Hasidic Judaism so I was hoping to like it but I think Potok's works are much, much better. 

So for 2015, I only need to: run 494 miles and at least 98 more times, read 24 more books, and make 10 more large projects (the failed hat doesn't count until I get it right). Not to bad, right?

Is your new year off to a rocky start?

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