Sunday, November 19, 2006

Toasty toes

This weekend I developed a foot fetish. First I whipped out a pair of socks for Hayden. I'm not usually a sock knitter, but he's decided to wear white socks with his Crocs now that it's cold outside, and I can't stand him looking like such a nerd. So on Thursday and Friday, with some worsted weight out of my stash, I did these:

so that this:

is now this:

Much better, I must say.

Next, I whipped out a pair of baby booties for a neighbor friend due with child #3, boy #1.

She's due any day now, so I figured I better get these done. The pattern is out of Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and the yarn is 1 skein of Lorna's Laces Angel, an angora/lambswool blend. They were so easy to do and turned out so freakin' cute that I may just have to buy another skein of that and do a pair for my new niece, Lucy. (Lucy's cardi is done, by the way, with the exception of buttons. Hayden and I would've gone to the fabric store today to find some, but a marathon of "Beauty and the Geek" put me in a trance. Never watch a show like that when you're PMSing or you'll feel like the biggest loser when you start crying.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Sunday I took a little detour on the way to Sleeve Island to whip this little necklace up for my friend's birthday party:

The pattern is Strozzi, a free pattern on the Berroco website. It calls for Suede Deluxe, but I only had Suede in my stash, so I used it. I have no idea what the difference is, but I assumed not much. It turned out okay - not as cute as I thought it would, but okay. And she liked it, so it's all good. (And don't you like the way my bra makes me look like I have a decent rack? It's the $40 Boob Job purchased from Victoria's Secret.)

When I finally got to Sleeve Island, I ran into a tiny snafu: yarn shortage. I ran out of the grey Chunky Print I'm using in Hayden's cardi. It's a discontinued color, so it's next to impossible to find. I was about to give up hope and rip out parts of the cardi so that I could reconfigure the color scheme when Mike Googled "Rowan Chunky Print" and found some at Yarnzilla. I called them, and their dye lot is even the same as mine! Yippee! So a ball is on its way from Minnesota - thank you, Yarnzilla!

The sleeves on Lucy's cardi are just about done. I expect to be finished with the second one this afternoon, then I'll need to do the seaming and the neckline and sew on buttons. Almost there!

And last but not least, I finally present to you my Hourglass Pullover:

(Wow - the way the sunlight is hitting my face, my right ear looks very Spock-ish.) I love this sweater. This is the one sweater I think I'll actually do again. It's simple enough to work on anywhere and can be put down at any time yet it has enough design details to make it interesting - waist shaping, finished hems, bell sleeves, an interesting neckline. When (not if) I do make it again, however, I will make the sleeves a tiny bit shorter and I'll add 3 or 4 decrease rows around the neck rather than just one. The way the neckline is right now, I have to wear a cami underneath it (I'd rather have cami straps show than bra straps) and my rack is totally diminished. Here's another shot:

And here's a closeup shot of the neckline so that you can see the raglan and the finished hem detail (not that they're that interesting, but still):

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bon voyage!

I'm headed off to Sleeve Island for a while:

The top picture is Kate Gilbert's Pea Pod baby sweater out of an old IK. (And yes, I realize that the coffee table is in horrendous shape. Fortunately it's usually covered up with a bunch of crap.) I'm using the recommended yarn - Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere. I know that the color is not a traditional baby color, but I like it. (In real life, the purple is a lot dustier.) I, of course, like purple, and I like using non-traditional baby colors. I figure I can find some cute leggings to pair with the cardi. The pattern is pretty easy to follow; I started it last Wednesday night in the car in the rain on the way to Florida.

The bottom picture is a cardi for Hayden. The pattern is Callum out of Rowan Junior. The recommended yarn is Polar, but the yarn I'm using is Chunky Print. I bought it for 50% off at my LYS and the gauge is just about the same. I'm a little nervous about having enough grey yarn for the collar (it's somewhat of a shawl collar done in garter stitch), but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I decided to do this for him after a couple of chilly days fighting with him over wearing a jacket. He wouldn't wear a jacket but he'd wear a hoodie that I knitted for him 2 years ago. I also started this in Florida and worked on it the whole way home. It's a VERY quick project. It should be done by the time the heatwave we're experiencing here in Nashvegas ends. (It's almost 80 degrees today and I'm in a short sleeved shirt and running shorts.)

I realize that I have yet to post a picture of my finished Hourglass Pullover. That's the heatwave's fault. I'll melt if I put that on and go outside right now. Hopefully next week it can make its debut. As a substitute, I offer up another beach picture:

Yep - even from the back, he's the cutest damn kid in America.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ironman Florid-ahhhhh

Yippee! An Ironman once again! This one was so totally different. Except for the swim, the course was so much easier. The bike course was about as close to pancake flat as you could get, and there were probably less than 10 turns to make. The run was also extremely flat. During the first half of my run, I thought I had a chance to set a marathon PR. Of course, that all changed at mile 19 when my walk breaks got longer, but I still was less than 20 minutes away from a PR. Pretty damn good for a marathon preceded by a 2.4-mile swim and a 112-mile bike ride! Things of particular interest during this race:

1. The ocean was much choppier race morning than it had been the 2 days beforehand. During my second loop, I was being tossed around so much that I actually laughed underwater.

2. Even though I started the swim way out to the side, somehow I ended up right in the thick of things before making the first turn. I was getting grabbed, hit, and kicked constantly. At first I was a little timid and tried to back off, but after a while I got angry and developed a "F*ck you! You kick me, I'll grab your feet!" attitude. That didn't happen at all in Wisconsin last year.

3. Because the bike was so flat, there weren't any areas to give my legs a break. I pedaled the entire time. And I was on my aerobars over 90% of the time. My quads, shoulders and neck were really happy for me to get off the bike.

4. I surprised myself on the run. I had no idea that I was going to be able to run as much as I did and especially as well as I did the first 15 miles.

5. Last year when I got about 1/2 mile away from the finish line, I got so excited that all the pain and fatigue left my legs. At mile 24 this year, I told myself, "Just suffer through the next mile and a half then it'll all get better. That great feeling will hit." It didn't. I hurt the entire time. I guess that euphoric feeling is just reserved for first-timers.

6. I cut 2 hours and 2 minutes off of last year's Ironman time. Yay me! My time was 12:40:41. My swim was 1:25, my bike was 6:20, and my run was 4:37. My first transition was something around 12 minutes and my second was 5:36.

Here are some pictures:

This is me (far right in the QR suit) and some of my friends 2 days before the race. I love how my wetsuit makes me look so skinny - except it totally flattens what little boobs I have.

I had to yell at Mike 5 times to get his attention so that he could snap this picture. I had planned on wearing my bike clothes under my wetsuit, but since it was so cold at the start of the race (in the 40s) I decided to change before getting on the bike so I could be in dry clothes. Of course, it was really tough to get out my wet bikini while shivering.

Mike and Hayden drove out on the bike course and found me. Since I'm such a slow swimmer, I played catch-up quite a bit on the bike. I should've kept count of how many people I passed because it was a lot.

This was in the first mile of the run. A friend of mine was in transition at the same time I was, so we waited on eachother to hit the port-a-potties and took off together. (I have no idea who the tall guy on my other side is.) I left him at mile 4, though, because he had to take another bathroom break. Mike took another picture of me later, but I was walking, so I won't show you that. I was actually kinda pissed he took that.

Hayden had fun waving at all of the athletes. I think he did better than we had expected him to. He and Mike weren't at the finish line because that's just too much for him to handle, but he was able to be out on the road and cheer.

I also got quite a bit of knitting done on this trip. I started a cardigan for my new niece Lucy and also a cardigan for Hayden. Hayden's is really straightforward so it was my project for the car ride home. I figured my brain might not be able to wrap itself around the more complicated pattern I'm using for Lucy's cardi. I'll post pictures tomorrow or Thursday of my progress on those as well as a finished Hourglass Pullover.

One last thing: the day after the race Hayden and I went with a friend to KFC for lunch. I had 2 pieces of fried chicken - dark meat at that - mashed potatoes, green beans, and a biscuit. Yummy!