Sunday, February 17, 2008

to warm hands and my first frog

i often have cold hands. at work, at home, in general. i have tried to solve this by wearing gloves but there are a lot of things you can't do while wearing gloves - like typing on a keyboard - which i've tried many times at work and reluctantly decided that cold hands were better than one finger typing. this is why the idea of fingerless gloves excites me. my hands can be warm and i can still use my fingers? genius!

i don't know why i hadn't thought of it before and just bought some, but for some reason it didn't click until i saw this knitting pattern - 'fetching' - and i knew i had to learn to knit well enough to make them :) i know that most every knitter in the world has probably made these already but i hadn't and a lot of this was new to me... first ever cables, first ever gloves (even if there are no fingers they still intimidated me!)

so... i tried it out - i found some lovely turquoise-y yarn, figured out my gauge and cast on. turns out the cables were really fun, and i enjoyed the project immensely until i bound off and tried on the glove. this is what it looked like:

now, it's not awful, and the cables are really very pretty (i am still ridiculously proud of them), but overall, it just didn't work for me. the biggest problem was that the yarn was just too fine, so the glove was too thin, too small, and the shape didn't hold up very well (you can see it pulling all over and the top bind off is painful to look at).

i wasn't quite sure what to do. i knew i wouldn't wear it but i wasn't quite ready to *gasp* frog it. i've never undone anything i've knit before - the effort to get it to the point of existence has always been too high to even consider it. plus, with this one, the cables were so pretty, and they were my first ones!!

what i ended up doing was falling in love with another fingerless glove pattern: 'evangeline'. i decided to knit double stranded, got myself close to gauge, and cast on. immediately, it felt better. they were thicker, they held their shape better. in progress:

at this point, i am already in love. new, pretty cables start to emerge and i start to feel like i might be able to frog my fetching. but i don't, not yet.

i had to finish and make sure that this would turn out ok. not sure why - if it didn't turn out, what would i do? have two unhappy, unmatched gloves?

in any case, evangeline did not disappoint. i bound off glove #1 this morning and am oh so happy. i love it! it is pretty, the cables look like real cables, it fits, it feels nice, minimal weird pulling - yay!

as i type, i have one warm hand, and can't wait to finish this post so that i can cast on for glove #2... and frog fetching. what seemed so wrong before now seems necessary. sometimes you need to start over to get to a happy place. i do love my evangeline.

Monday, February 11, 2008

i shouldn't have

my achilles was feeling good.
i ran yesterday.
felt great... for the first 1.5km.
then... not so great.
thought it might be in my head.
turns out it's not.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

fabric fantastic!

a while ago i received this wonderfully fantastic fabric filled package in the mail. it was beautifully packaged by the people at sew, mama, sew (i love them! check out their blog and their store! - feb 08 is quilting month and they are featuring some beautiful and inspiring quilts)

i love me some beautiful fabric and i'm sure others do, too, so i have to share this deliciousness: what colours, what prettiness, what fun!! i can hardly wait to start using them, but for now they are stacked in my bedroom so that my eyes can feast on them whenever i want. seeing these beautiful fabrics in the morning sunlight puts a big smile on my face as i get ready for work... i could just leave them in a pile for months and be perfectly happy... but i am itching to start sewing so i may have to dig into my pile of loveliness :)

tastes good mommy

so this is the BEST spaghetti and meatballs recipe i have ever tasted. it is a regular at our place but this is the first time the monkey has really gotten into eating it :) as you can see, she really enjoyed herself tonight!

i wish i could say that i somehow mixed a little of this and a little of that and came up with this amazing delicacy, but all credit must be given to the 'italian spaghetti sauce with meatballs' recipe on (which, by the way, is such a great resource for cooking inspiration).

oh my... it is G.O.O.D. the secret is in the oil and the amount of time you cook the sauce. if you are going to try this (and you should!), do not skimp on either one :) the meatballs are really tasty, too. i have been eating this for 4 days straight, and while my lack of freezer space has something to do with this, i also really really really like it.

race planning!!

ok, i'm starting to get excited :) afore mentioned achilles injury seems to be healing swimmingly (ha ha) and i've started planning my race schedule for the year and set my finishing goals. this is highly inspiring to me - i love having a goal to work towards :)

so... my race schedule for 2008! key races for the year are in bold.

1. 12 april - les traine-savates, cheseaux-sur-lausanne - 10.4km

this will be my first time running this race. it looks pretty lovely - through the vineyards and countryside north of lausanne. a good first race of the season and a good practice leading up to my key goal race (see number 2).

2. 26 april - 20km de lausanne - 10km

i know it's called the 20km race but i am running the 10km version :) i would like to try the the 20km version, but it has a pretty steep climb in it and my knees would seriously have issue with that! i have run this 10km race a few times - last year with v! it has a fun atmosphere and i am hoping to reach my goal of a 50 min 10km here!

3. 1 june - frauenlauf - bern - 10km

another first time race for me and it's just for fun. my first all women's race!

4. 29 june - triathlon vallée de joux - sprint-ish distance

this looks like a beautiful triathlon up in the jura that i was planning to do last year but just didn't make it to. will be a wonderful warm up for the 'big one' (see number 5).

5. 12 july - zuri triathlon - olympic distance

my key triathlon for 2008. i have done this triathlon twice before (once at a medium distance and once at olympic distance). actually, mom was there when i did it the first time!! it is a very well run triathlon and is followed by the very inspiring ironman zurich the next day. this is the triathlon where i have set my triathlon goal to break 3 hours. this is a very challenging goal for me - in order for me to be successful, i will need to seriously improve on both my swimming and cycling :) the first step towards reaching an ambitious goal is setting it, i say!!

6. 13 september - triathlon d'aubonne - olympic-ish distance

i did this triathlon 2 years ago and the bike just about killed me :) i'm hoping it will be better this year as i'm getting slightly less pathetic at riding in the mountains...

7. 20 september - run to run carouge - 10km

ok, yes, 10km is my favorite distance to run :) i've run this race twice before, and i got SO close to cracking 50 min both times i'm positive that this year will be a sure thing...

8. 5 october - morat-fribourg - 17km

this one may have to fall by the wayside in lieu of marathon training but we'll see :) i've never done it before and with this being my last year in switzerland, i'm going to try to run this swiss classic.

9. 26 october - lausanne marathon - 42.2km

my first one. it is an out and back course i know pretty well as i've run the half marathon on this course 3 times before (the 'back' portion of the marathon). what scares me is that every time i've finished this half-marathon, my first thought is always - 'i can't imagine turning around and doing that again'. well... i'm gonna do it this year, if i can stay injury free :) i haven't decided if i want to try to do it in 4 hours or if i just want to set finishing as my goal.

also, the first half of this is to be run as part of the phedippidations world wide half marathon. read about it. it's cool. i'll write more about this wonderful event another time, i'm sure.

10. 6 december - course de l'escalade - 4.8km

this was my first official pure running race way back when and it is a hard one to describe. exciting, challenging, so much fun. i finished in just over 24 min last year and am hoping that lining up closer to the front (be on time, christine, be on time!) will help me to break my goal of 23 min this year. yay! i'm excited already :)

so there we go. that's the list. as i write it out, i'm thinking i might be a little overextended leading up the marathon and may have to rethink that.

here's to running, racing, and enjoying life :) now, who's running these races with me???