Monday, May 9, 2011


Woe is me--my hobbies/obsessions are all conflicting with each other.

A couple of weeks ago, it was biking and knitting, when I kept going on bike rides with Kevin instead of going to SnB. Last week and this week, it's rowing and knitting, since I have a boat safety class both Tuesday and Thursday nights both weeks when I'd rather be at SnB. That long run I did on Wednesday would have been much easier if I hadn't already rowed that morning. And over the weekend, I worked on our new dock instead of going to spinning. Then took a nap, watched TV and knit instead of biking... sometimes, my resolution fails me.

The boat safety class is funny--it's the most basic safety class for people who want to sail, use small powerboats, or ride personal watercraft (curse them!), and I'm taking it so I can learn to drive the small power launches the rowing club uses for officials during races. It's a bit like drivers' ed, in the sense that it's not really enough instruction to drive/sail without any other lessons (it's all taught in a classroom, for one thing, and reading the directions for docking is a bit like reading parallel parking directions... you need to actually do it to learn it--fortunately, after the safety class, there will be practice sessions with club members who can already drive a launch). It's also like drives' ed in that one of the main goals seems to be convincing us that boats can be dangerous, and we shouldn't do anything stupid or stop paying attention to what we're doing. So it's valuable, but not thrilling enough that I wouldn't rather be at SnB. Also, I think the class would be significantly improved if another goal were added: teaching everyone who plans to operate a powerboat or personal watercraft on the Housatonic, particularly between 7 and 9 on Saturday mornings, that speeding by the crews to make as much wake as possible isn't as funny as they think, or as impressive (engines are for wimps).

As a result of all these conflicts, my knitting is progressing slowly. I'm inching through a sock (possibly for you, R!) and a shawl, and trying to dash through a birthday gift for my niece. Fortunately, she's only turning one, so there's not much to dash through, because it's not very speedy dashing.

I did manage to dash through some Easter chicks, though, before my athletic hobbies staged a coup d'etat and overthrew my fuzzy hobbies.

(The pattern is called Lil Birdie. Very speedy--each one took an evening of not very focused knitting--and not very yarn intensive--I used scraps.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Just like knitting, running generates stories, most of which--let's be honest--are probably only interesting to other runners. Luckily for you, I've been thinking about those seven basic conflicts from high school English, and have handily broken down the saga of my run this morning into its component parts.

(Naturally, the story begins with rowing.) My rowing club is temporarily rowing out of another club's boathouse, and I'm responsible for my boat's cox box--bring it to practice, bringing it home, and charging it overnight. Should be easy enough, but I left it at the boathouse this morning, didn't remember till I got home, and had to go back for it... on 95 and the Merritt Parkway, during the beginning stages of rush hour. [Man vs. man... although until I looked it up just now, I was thinking of this as man vs. civilization, which makes more sense in this case.]

This meant that I got back to my house at 8:50, instead of 7:50. Which meant that instead of eating a leisurely breakfast, knitting/reading for a bit and starting my long run at 9:30, in order to finish by 11:30, get cleaned up, eat, and get to work at 1 (I only needed to be at work a half day today), I needed to get ready pretty fast.

Chapter 1:
I get ready, but am very slow to leave the house because I feel deprived of the knitting time I thought I'd have and I want to finish my book. I convince myself to go, but not until 9:50. Once I start though, it's not so bad, and I decide to run the long way (6 miles) almost to campus, then out and back on the trail for 6 more miles. This means I'll go over a hill I could otherwise avoid, and I feel virtuous. [Man vs. himself.]

Chapter 2:
It starts to rain at about 10:05. [Man vs. nature.] At first, it's not too heavy, but pretty soon, I'm thinking of ways to shorten my route from 12 miles to 6 miles to 3 miles... maybe I could just run directly to the gym? Maybe if I went directly to the gym, a miracle would occur and I'd run on the track, instead of getting cleaned up and reading a book on my phone and knitting? Maybe I shouldn't run 12 miles today anyway, because I ran 10 miles on Sunday, and rest is also important. Hey, going to work early is starting to seem attractive! [Man vs. himself.]

Chapter 3:
OK, now I'm wet to the skin, but I'm kind of getting used to it (I did bring a rain jacket, but it was too warm to wear it), and it's not too bad. I'll do the first 6 miles of my original plan, then see how I feel. [Man vs. himself.]

Chapter 4:
How can it possibly be both misting--so I run into little drops which fog my glasses--and raining big, cold, wet drops? The weather should pick one way to be unpleasant and stick with it. [Man vs. nature.] When I get to the trail, I'll turn directly back to campus and stop at 6 miles. Definitely better to do my long run tomorrow... Wednesday is only 2 days after Sunday, and rest is important. [Man vs. himself.]

Chapter 5:
Hey, now that I'm going towards campus, it's stopped raining (or lightened enough that it seems like it's stopped...), and it's not so bad again. I should turn around and do the out and back I planned. I've started already, and probably I wouldn't really do a long run tomorrow. And I don't feel that tired. Look, I'm going faster! OK, turning around. [Man vs. himself.]

Chapter 6:
Curses, it's raining harder again. OK, I was going to run out 2.5 miles, then back for 3.5 and then that would be 11 total, and 11 is practically 12, but maybe I should turn at 2--10 isn't so much less than 12. Or maybe at 1.5--9 is good too. And rest is important! [Man vs. himself.]

Amazingly, I didn't turn back till I'd gone 2 miles out on the trail, so I ended up running 10 miles total. I put on my jacket at some stage, and when I took it off a puddle of water fell out of the hood (which I hadn't been wearing--it had just hung down my back like a bucket). And I needed to spin my entire outfit in the bathing suit spinner so it would stop dripping.

On the other hand, I don't have to run so far tomorrow!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Difficulty

So, here's the problem: it's getting warmer, but I love my wool sweaters and don't want to stop wearing them--so much so that I want to wear several of them constantly (all at the same time, if necessary), because I don't have that much time left with them this year. Simultaneously, I also want to start wearing my spring sweaters immediately. As someone who's always in danger of swathing herself in acres of knitted fabric and thinking she's dressed appropriately for work, this is a challenge.

In other news, an acre of knitted fabric:

(Note that I am not actually wearing this, just holding it up in front of myself for scale.)

I've finished the knitting portion of my impending knitted bag. Knit New Haven didn't have the pattern I wanted, and I didn't want to wait for them to order it like a reasonable person, so after some more rav-stalking and pondering, I decided to wing it. It seems gigantic, so possibly this will be more of a tote than a purse.

(Spoiler alert: I felted it last night and it's still huge. Almost certainly a tote, although there are some handle and closure possibilities that might move it back from tote to very large purse. Either way, it's taken the edge off my need to felt, at least for the moment. Although on the other hand, look how cute the handle on this clutch is (scroll down). Do you think it would be possible to felt knitted fabric enough that it would support itself like this?)