26 February 2014
The lace part of the pattern is really easy to memorise, but despite that I keep messing up! Sad, really. I can't even pay attention to a pattern for 42 stitches a row. I blame the speed skating. Was way too exciting. I'm now done with the first lace section and can begin the stockinette and garter stitch sections now. So I should be able to speed things up a bit now!
The yarn I'm using is Cascade 220 Heritage in maroon. It's soft, squishy, nicely saturated, smooth, and doesn't seem like it's splitty at all! I originally bought it, along with two skeins in black, for a cardigan to wear at my wedding, but that plan sort of fell by the wayside as 8 weeks was a little short on time for me to learn how to knit lace, not to mention a garment with armhole shaping, waist shaping and buttonholes, all things I hadn't (and still haven't) done before. So the yarn has been in my stash ever since, and I've been trying to come up with plans to use it for different projects. This should take exactly one skein, so one down, two to go!
3 February 2014
Posted in running
This little lake is right around the corner of my house. It used to be a location I dreaded during my teenage years (over a decade ago, I'm getting old!), because the path around it (all 4.6 km of it) was the backdrop for a lot of PE-induced anguish. We had to run around the lake for a grade. Oh, how I hated it! I always got a 5.5 out of 10, the lowest possible score for a passing grade, because I figured out exactly how fast to walk to make it to the finish line just before the time ran out. I ran as little as possible, because ugh, running!
It's an eerie place in the dark, this lake. Most of the surrounding grounds are wooded areas with a thick undergrowth of brambly tangles and pointy branches that you do not want to fall into (trust me on that one). The cycling path between the lake and the canal was the fastest route home from the train station, and when it was dark I used to speed up until I was almost out of breath just to get through it quicker. One time, in the midst of winter, I ran a flat tire just as I left the path and while I was waiting for my mother to pick me up, I huddled up in the middle of the deserted path, despite the wind blowing right through my coat and the snow coming down in thick clumps, because I was too scared to find shelter near the tree line, where the gnarled stumps were all overblown with snow and ice hung from the branches instead of leaves. In the right light, it must have been beautiful, but in the dark, with just the light from the occasional passing car and the distant street lights, it was actually terrifying.
In the past few years though, I've come to realise that this little lake and its surrounding paths can be quite beautiful and peaceful. When I took the panorama above, it was drizzling quietly and the only sound I could hear was the soft hiss of the rain falling on the lake's surface, and the occasional quack from ducks that swam over to see if I had anything to eat. It won't surprise you that on a nice Sunday morning, this path is full of people going for a walk, runners, cyclists, and people walking their dogs or their kids.
The past few weeks, this path has also become my running route. I'm back to running outside and I love it! I bought some cold weather running gear (soft, thick leggings and a shirt and a wind and rain-proof running jacket), so I'm well prepared for the cold temperatures. Or, well, I say 'well prepared', I think I'm well prepared, but the cold that hits me when I first step out the door is still a bit of a shocker. Brrrr... And to think, it's not even below freezing temperatures here! But as soon as I start running, and turn the corner on my route that takes me towards the lake, I no longer feel the cold. I feel the thrill of running instead! If only I had experienced that 10 years ago, I would have started running a lot sooner!
21 January 2014
That was some Christmas season... It kind of flew by without me noticing too much that it was actually Christmas. We had a busy few weeks at work, and things got a bit stressful at home too, and before I knew it, it was 2014 and I had used up what few days I had taken off doing absolutely nothing but catching up on sleep. Things are slowing down now, thankfully, so hopefully I can get back to blogging more regularly!
I finished my mother's mittens back in December, a few days after I started them because the yarn was nice and chunky and the needles were big. The motif was easily done too, and I think they turned out cute! I'm not too fond of the sewn up side, though, but that's a minor detail. My mother was happy with them. Not that she actually was in need of mittens, seeing as the coldest weather we've had so far was around 5°C, but hey. Details. I'm hoping she'll still get some use out of them this season, you never know, last few years we've had crazy snow storms in February, I remember going to work and walking 15 minutes through deep layers of snow when it was -13°C, and I can vividly remember building snowmen on my dad's birthday on March 2nd in 2005. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed. In style.
Because I'm a doofus and can't math, I ended up with a shitload of the blue yarn from my mum's mittens left over. Because you don't need 2 balls of contrast yarn when you're only using it for a motif. Who knew?! I contemplated making a hat with it, but I decided against it, my mother's not really a hat-wearing person anyway.
I had enough purple left over to add some fun dashes of colour (and they look like tiny tiny hearts, d'awww), but because I didn't know how much yarn I would use up for the mittens, I made them a little shorter than I would have liked. They are nice and warm, though. And I got to knit these in the round, also a plus, because, like almost any knitter I know, I hate purling...
So here's to you, 2014! I'm waving you hello with my toasty toasty hands!