Sunday, June 15, 2014

It's going to be EPIC

Eagleman 70.3 is behind me.

To make a long story short, I felt great on the swim, fine on the bike, and the run was a brutal slog through the sixth level of hell.  Even with temperatures relatively mild in the low 80s, the sun beating down on me for 13 miles was a killer.  And although helpful, it ain’t much fun trying to run with cups of ice bouncing around in your sports bra.  In the end, I crossed the finish line after 6 hrs, 10 min, and 50 sec of swim, bike, run, which was 41 minutes faster than 2012, so no complaints.  I think Mike and I are pretty much done with Eagleman though.  There are only so many times you can fork over money to race in misery before you start to come to your senses.

And now looming ahead is only the big bad of Ironman Mont Tremblant. Nine very short weeks away.  I am both super excited and scared out of my mind.  I've come a really long way in the last five months but there's still pretty far to go before I'll be ready to try to cover 140.6 miles.  Distance starting building this week, and 73 miles on the bike and 16.5 of running will take a pretty big chunk out of the weekend.  Vacuuming, laundry, walking dogs, and spending an hour tonight making stuffed cabbage (yeah, weird impulse for June cooking, no explanation) and there is little time left to relax with knitting.

So, in honor of big epic undertakings (and the fact that I've barely worked on any knitting in the past week), I decided it was finally time to update my progress on the handspun afghan. To give some background, I started this project in 2011. Over the years, I bought 15 4oz braids of blue faced leicester fiber, spun a worsted 2-ply yarn, and knit each skein into a log cabin square.  Sometime last year I finished knitting the last square.

I was so excited about finishing the squares that I shoved them in a drawer and didn't think about them for months.  In March, I finally dug them out, bought black yarn, and started knitting.  A couple months and a whole lotta garter stitch later:

All the squares are assembled.  Only the outer borders are left.  I'm so close and yet there is still a good bit of knitting to go.  Knitting that I have no intention of touching for months.  The blanket weighs a metric crapton and there is no way I'm going to sit with the whole thing on my lap to knit the borders until there is frost outside.  Since it's not even summer yet, that's going to be awhile.  Thank goodness I have hours of bike training to keep me busy.  To be continued...maybe in October...  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Buttons to the Rescue

Two years ago, I finished my first (and only) half-iron triathlon, and tomorrow I will head back to Cambridge, MD to race Eagleman again on Sunday.  I’m sure I was a basket of nerves last time, but unlike 2012, this year I am not undertrained.  Weather conditions are not predicted to be the sweltering inferno of years past, and I have absolutely zero doubts that I can cover the distances and finish the race. You’d think I'd be a tad more relaxed, right?  Yeah, you’d be wrong.  My stomach is tied up in knots because I’m nervous about whether I’ll meet expectations.  Yup, that's really what's on my idiot mind today. And it's not even others' expectations, just my own. Talk about creating unnecessary drama.  

Anyway, all that was basically a long way of saying, I'm finally writing a blog post to get my mind off ridiculous race anxiety.  Because we all know that yarn solves all problems.  Or at least most.  

Despite how hectic life has become these days, I have managed to squeeze in a decent amount of knitting, spinning, and even some (gasp!) weaving.  I have tons to share, not to mention, extremely overdue posts about the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, but since I do need to actually pack and get ready to leave town, today is just about one wee baby sweater.  It's not often that I have occasion to knit baby items, but some friends recently announced they are expecting a little girl, and damn, if didn't want to leap all over the knitting opportunity.  Only problem is that I'm extremely picky when I knit for non-knitters.  I feel like the item has to be “OMG, amazing!” for it to be appreciated, and despite the thousands of baby sweater patterns on Raverly, nothing was grabbing me.  Me, indecisive?  Nah….

Sheep and Wool and Jennie the Potter to the rescue...because buttons! 

The couple are cycling friends, so come on, how perfect are these?  (I'm fairly certain I saw them on the Yarn Harlot's blog awhile ago, so yes, I'll own up that I'm really just a copycat)  The buttons made life a lot easier because immediately I knew I was knitting a red cardigan.  Of course, it is me after all, so don't think for a second that just because I settled on red, I'd have no problem deciding on yarn.  I, uh, ordered two different skeins because I couldn't make up my mind.  I will maintain, however, that the two skeins were due to concern about color misrepresentation on computer monitors and not indecision.  Yes.  Really.  

The caked skein sort of gives away which one I chose which is Madelinetosh Pashmina in Robin Red Breast (the other is Tosh Sport in Tart).   With light workouts this week to rest up for the race, I've gotten a nice start to a Tiny Tea Leaves cardigan.  

So so cute.  And tiny.  And damn, if baby sweaters don't go super fast.  But now I'm going to put away the happy distraction and actually go start packing the fourteen bags of crap I need for a triathlon.  Who came up with this stupid sport anyway?  Hmm...maybe one more row....

And I really really do have tons to share so I hope I’ll be back soon.  Sneak peak and proof crafting is happening!