Monday, March 12, 2007


According to Kevin’s training schedule, this week (that’s just ended) was a recovery week, so we spent a little bit less time working out, and we were finally able to do some non-exercise things! I got to go to an extra meeting of the local SnB on Wednesday night (because we “only” had to run 6 miles, instead of the 10 miles we ran the week before and have to run this week as well).

Brief training digression: A marathon is always 26.2 miles, so to train you need to do several runs of 18-22 miles in the last months before the race. I’m a pretty slow runner, and the long runs are meant to be slower than your race pace, so this takes about 4 hours. When you add in preparation and recuperation, it pretty much consumes the whole day—usually a Sunday. Last summer, when Kevin was training for the half Ironman, we realized that you can’t effectively do a long bike and long run on consecutive days—you’re just too tired on the second day. So triathlon training programs have you do the long run on a Wednesday, to save the weekend for the long bike…

Which means (back to knitting at last!) that once the runs get long, or if we can’t leave early from work on Wednesday (like this week), that I won’t be able to go to Wednesday SnB. Which is too bad, because it was fun—and strangely, very different than Sunday afternoon SnB, even though the Sunday people were mostly there as well. I’m trying to design a rectangular lace shawl for Schaefer Yarn, and I worked on that starting at SnB, then on and off for the rest of the week.

I love leaf lace patterns, but I feel like I use them too much so I was trying to find something else for this shawl. And I feel like a pattern ought to be more than “cast on X sts and work in Y pattern with a 4 st garter border on each side till you’re nearly out of yarn,” so I wanted something else to happen, construction-wise. And I swear I read someplace that lace patterns with parge solid areas tend to work better than more open lace in variegated yarn. So I thought maybe a Russian-ish shawl, in garter stitch, with a simple geometric pattern? No leaves, solid areas between the geometric thingies, and you’d knit the bottom border and pick up stitches for the body, then attach the top border to the live stitches at the end, so the construction would be slightly more interesting. It seemed like a good plan, but unfortunately, the yarn (Martha) is kind of chunky for lace, and without going up to a truly giant needle it didn’t seem very lacey, because of those big solid areas.

So I fooled around some more with lace patterns from the second Walker treasury (and stared and the treasury project a great deal), till I found three patterns worked on the same multiple of stitches that kind of flow from one to the next. My current plan (which I can only photograph as a blog because it’s lace AND a design for publication) is to start with the most open pattern at one end, switch to the medium solid one partway through, then to the most solid, then back to the medium solid, then the most open one again. I haven’t decided whether it makes more sense to knit it all in one direction, or knit in from both ends then graft them together in the center—the pattern would clearly shift where the two sides join, but it might be a design element.

Or I may frog it again—stay tuned.

But back to my week: since it was an easier week, workout-wise, Kevin and I signed up for a St. Patrick’s Day race on Sunday morning. We’d already planned to go to the gym before the race (hush! The race wasn’t till 11… and there’s a yoga class I love at 8). But then I discovered last weekend that one of the women from SnB belongs to a spinning group that meets one Sunday a month—and of course it was this Sunday, and in the opposite direction from the race. I was prepared not to spin, but instead I yoga-ed, then we ran as fast as we could in the race, grabbed some post-race food, sped back home, showered, and leapt back into the car. Fortunately, the spinning group was really casual, so it was ok that I was late. I spun up about half of my roving from Happy Fuzzy Yarns, then worked on the second of the blue socks from two weeks ago (and finally finished it in the car on the way home). I’d never spun in front of spinners before, and I was a little worried that I’d turn out to be doing something hilariously wrong, but everyone was really nice, and no one was visibly amused.

The roving was striped (with bands of color going across the fiber), so the single has long-ish color repeats. I’m going to make a 2-ply yarn, and I don’t want to colors to line up between the two plies—I want a mix of pairs of colors, not striped yarn. So I’m hoping that if I start then in different places in the repeat, they’ll stay different. I'm trying to spin thinner, and more consistently, and I think I'm making progress in that regard--I'd like to be able to knit socks out of handspun, but thus far my yarn is a bit too artistic for the socks I'm most likely to wear.

No comments: