Tuesday, March 04, 2014

A Plea to Drivers

Seen on my run to work today:
- one SUV with the windows 95% frosted over, only a small area near the center of hood clear, at least a half mile from the nearest house, on a road with several sharp curves
- one car driving in the shoulder, and nearly on the buried under 5 feet of snow sidewalk, around a blind curve
- one driver, busy fussing with her cigarette and not looking at her surroundings while driving on a curvy road
- several drivers who never bothered to look right before pulling into controlled intersections
- several drivers who did not stop at a stop sign, or at least in the designated area, before proceeding through an intersection

We received 1-1.5" of snow last night and the streets were slick. So slick I went down at an intersection despite having screws in my shoes.

Folks - please take the time to:
- clear your windows completely before leaving home
- stay in your lane
- focus on your surroundings
- slow down before you reach an intersection and actually stop at the stop sign
- look left, right, left before proceeding through any intersection

We all get in a hurry, especially on snowy days, but think how much slower your commute will be after you hit a pedestrian or bicyclist.

Share the streets!

Monday, January 20, 2014

What happens when you carry your yarn differently...

I have been knitting a lot of mittens lately, all based on this striped pattern (my own creation founded on a basic mitten recipe). 

The previous two pairs:
Fingering weight yarn in natural sheepy colors for Sam's mom.

Tonal silk/merino blend, two yarns, close in color which led to more subtle striping, for me.

A bit brighter color way, with a lot more contrast for Mr. Wildknits. 
As you can see in the above photo I am cutting it close with yarn. I am no longer able to get the blue (Caribbean Waves) as Brown Sheep has changed their dying process to be 'greener'. Surprisingly the green (Limeade) is still available. So I weighed the yarn and then the mostly completed mitten and decided I will have just enough to finish the pair with the yarn on hand. I have less of the blue so I switched out the color of the cuff on the second pair which led to changing which color I considered the "main color" (MC). This in turn resulted in the decision to carry that color in my left hand and a radically different appearance for the second mitten, with the green dominating over the blue in the pattern.
A closer look at the stripes, how you carry your yarns will affect the appearance of you finished item in color work. 
I am fortunate that Mr. Wildknits is willing to wear bright colors. Makes using up stash yarns a lot easier. Though this particular pair is destined to become chopper liners, so only the cuffs will be visible.

The advantage of striped mittens is that the two colors, carried in this fashion, lead to a double-thick mitten. Which translates to a warmer hand overall.

I had a great weekend with the ladies at the Knitajourney Retreat and was reminded to tend to my neglected blog by a few of them. So, Julie and Lisa, here you go!

I had thought I might take the past weekend off of running due to the retreat, but wasn't positive about it heading into Friday and actually made tentative plans to run - at least in my head.  A lingering achilles tendon issue, stemming from a calf issue, probably due to running on cambered roads made it easier to opt not to run. I had work done on the calf on Thursday and the achilles has gotten steadily better with the additional rest. I don't have any immediate race plans so it makes sense to get this issue sorted out now vs battling it all season.

Last weekend I ran and skied at Jay Cooke State Park. Sam and I headed out the Carlton Trail from the headquarters towards the Munger Trail. We didn't make it all of the way due to hitting knee deep, unpacked snow. We did persist through these conditions for about half a mile before calling it quits and turning around. In the process I learned that I run like an elf.

Photos from last weekend:
Oops - apparently we missed this flag when sweeping after the Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultra.

Club moss, lichen and frosty rocks along the Carlton Trail. 

Sam on the less-packed part of the trail (it got worse after this). This is where the elf comment was made. 

Checking out someone's front door and lunch remnants.
The header photo on the blog is also from a cliff along the Carlton Trail. If you look closely you can see an individual snowflake on the right side of the photo. I continue to be impressed with the shots I get with my little Canon Powershot SD790 IS.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

An attempt to ski the Superior Hiking Trail

Headed out my door and up the hill to go for a ski and enjoy the lovely sunshine after two days of snow:

My Fischer Backcountry skis waiting for their first outing this season

Where is the trail?!?

Snow depth - mid-thigh in the meadow above my house

On the Superior Hiking Trail. My poles were sinking so far I had to bend over to reach them.
Trees were coated in snow and mostly obscuring the trail. 
It ended up being a short outing. It took a long time to hike up to the trail due to the snow depth and the need to break trail the whole way.  Once I got up to the trail I discovered that I had the wrong wax and no grip. The new plan is to head back out there with snowshoes and start packing the trail down.

A little bit of knitting

I find holidays the perfect time to get a lot of knitting done. In the finished pile:

Cabled headband in 100% merino for my daughter

A pair of daily wear mittens for myself (silk/merino blend)
Not pictured are the pair of socks I finished that are already in circulation. Basic sock pattern, nothing fancy. Used up most, but by no means all, of a skein of Three Irish Girls yarn left over from a previous sock project.

On the needles and nearing completion after some time out to contemplate the appropriate edging is the Little Leaf Stripe Baby Blanket/Shawl. Still well ahead of the deadline (baby is due in March 2014).

Knitting on Isle Royale, overlooking Malone Bay.
 The bulk of the knitting was done during my vacation on the island.

Edging done on two sides, a first look at the blanket off circular needles.
About 22 inches from center to outer edge, minus the edging, unblocked.

A look at how the edging is shaped around the corners using short rows. 

Lace inserted in steps as the stitches increased. 
 As with all lace, this should be even better looking after it is blocked. The pattern will open up, the yarn will bloom, and it's true beauty will be revealed.

Winter Wonderland! Two feet of snow in two days.

Friday, November 08, 2013


Seen on my run to work Thursday morning, where the Superior Hiking Trail passes under a large willow. 

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Frosty Tuesday Run to Work

So happy to have one of my commuting routes back! Last June a massive rain event washed out many roads in Duluth. Haines Rd/40th Ave W. was one of them. It was slated for repairs prior to the flood, but this event moved things up a year. 

Helpful additions are a sidewalk along the northeastern side.
Near the corner of Haines and Skyline, looking towards the bay

Just above the hairpin curve
 A lot of earth and rock was removed in the process of rebuilding the road. Efforts have been made to protect this bare ground from erosion and to replant the area with trees.
Looking back up the hill after the hairpin curve. Lots of little trees, a run off pond on the far left of the frame and rip rap in the ditch.
 They also added a second lane for upbound traffic. This will take some getting used to for drivers. The side of the road/sidewalk are much more level then previously.

About a block above the railroad crossing As you can see, this is one of the major commuting routes.
My only complaint has to do with how the sidewalk meets up with the neighborhood walk. Oh wait... it doesn't!It just ends at the railroad tracks.  The city sidewalk dead ends into a grassy hillside at the top left of this photo. As you can see the footing is, well, interesting on this section.
Note the taconite pellets. Nothing like hitting a bunch of round pellets at the bottom of a .8 mile steep descent.
 Like many road projects in Duluth I am not sure who will be responsible for clearing the sidewalk once the snows begin to accumulate. There are no homes along this stretch of road. Since this is a county highway I am hopeful they will keep the side walk clear this winter. If not I will be running in the shoulder like I have done in the past.

It was a lovely morning to run and I stopped to capture these photos of frosty leaves just because. I am sure the neighbors were wondering what I was doing.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Hike

Headed north to look for the last of the fall colors and explore a park that I have run and hiked through a few times, but never off of the Superior Hiking Trail.

Crosby-Manitou Hike