Monday, January 04, 2010

"Runners Hat" aka a finished project!

A long time in coming but finally completed on New Years Eve - just in time for the 3rd Annual Barely Organized New Years Day Run.

Materials: Happy Feet Yarn(Plymouth Yarn Co., 90% superwash merino wool, 10% nylon); Sz O (2mm) 16" and double pointed needles. Glass head (for blocking ;->)
Gauge:  9.25 sts/inch in pattern blocked
Pattern: Wildknits original. Came up with the garter stitch edging by playing around with a "what if" idea and then really liking how it looked. The "runners" are a horizontal border pattern from Charts for Color Knitting by Alice Starmore (which I am so, so fortunate to own a copy of). It is a traditional Norwegian pattern. 
I am toying with posting the pattern on the blog, let me know if there is any interest. In an attempt to make replicating a design easier I have been forcing myself to actually write down patterns as I knit them. The next step will be typing it up, incorporating the knitter's font from Knitter's Magazine for the chart. Then not only will I have an electronic copy of the pattern, but it will be that much easier to share with others. It would be fairly easy to adapt this pattern to other gauges - just a matter of some time with a calculator and paper and pencil ( I realize not everyone has my love for tiny needles and fine yarn).

ORC (Obligatory Running Content):
Besides knitting I spent the long holiday weekend running - a lot. It was a bit nippy up here, but much warmer by the Lake then inland. Fortunately the winds were pretty calm and spending hours outdoors on a sunny day with friends was a good way to welcome in a new year. 

Friday was the 3rd Annual Barely Organized New Years Day Run. Preceding the official run and potluck Marcus, Wayne and I headed out for a long run on the SHT. The plan was to run east from Hartley Nature Center to Hawk's Ridge and then on to the Martin Rd and back. Due to the recent abundance of snow and then rain, the trail was "interesting". We alternated between running on packed trail, icy roads, and crusted snow. Some of the trail was excellent, other areas you would just get a rhythm going and then would post-hole through, usually resulting in a sudden change of pace. My shins took a beating! I think we managed 9 miles total and then it was back to the Nature Center to meet up with other runners for a run on the single-track trails. Due to the conditions we altered the route this year, opting for the Swamp Loop over the Guardrail Loop. This was a shorter loop which allowed us to climb Rock Knob near the end of the run for some great views over eastern Duluth and Lake Superior.

More photos from the run (the rest are on my Picasa site):

Goofing around in the subzero cold - can you spot the mountain biker in our midst?

Marcus wore the KSO's 

There is always one in the bunch who just has to see if their tongue will stick (and wouldn't you know it was the biker!)

We must not be too cold - our jackets are unzipped!

Saturday Wayne, Rick and I headed to Jay Cooke State Park and snowshoed for a bit. Again, there was a lot of crusty snow to break through but the trail was great on the way back! It was Rick's first time out on snowshoes and he did great! I, on the other hand, spent a lot of time face down in the snow. I have a pair of Ojibwa style wooden snowshoes and the tips would get caught under the crust from time to time providing a lot of comic entertainment. 

grouse prints in the snow 

The sunset on the hike out

Sunday it was time for another long run. This time Leslie joined Wayne and I and we headed west on the Piedmont snowmobile trail to Proctor. The trail was perfect! Firm, wide and with few snowmobiles (I hear there was a football game on). It was still cold, but with light winds and clear blue skies. Can't think of a better way to spend a couple of hours than with friends out in the woods!

Total miles for the weekend: 21. Pretty much matching or exceeding my weekly mileage for the past month or two.

All the fresh air, good food and time with family and friends was complemented by some quality time with my knitting needles. In addition to finishing the hat I cast on and completed the leg of a sock. I had noticed awhile back that my supply of handknit socks is getting a bit threadbare and decided it was time to remedy the situation. Besides, it is the perfect project to have on hand for reading books and whiling away those odd bits of time spent waiting.


Chris said...

Great hat! *shivering at the thought of running in those temps*

Megan said...


wildknits said...

Thank you Chris and Megan. And I too am shivering at the thought of running in these temps, but what is a gal to do? It is an interesting sensation when you are out there running on really cold days: warm on the inside with a thin outer layer of cold/frost. Reminds me that if anything went wrong there is a very thin margin for between being okay and being in a lot of trouble.

On the other hand - for someone who is always cold, there is nothing better than running on a cold day and being so warm I can pull my mittens off! ;->

SteveQ said...

You have more miles this year than I do... so far.

I've been seeing some pics of "ugly Christmas sweater" parties. The best ones have a 3D effect.

wildknits said...

Steve - you will have me beat in no time. I think my unofficial goal for the year is 1500 miles (last year I reached an all time high of 1200).

CBS Sunday Morning did a story on Ugly Christmas Sweater parties... there are some atrocities out there. Hoping the hat didn't fall into that category ;-> (or any of my knitting for that matter!)

SteveQ said...

Here's my fave bad Xmas sweater - and the longest URL EVER!

SteveQ said...

Didn't work. Try:

Samantha said...


Wish I could have done some miles with you this weekend! I'm glad they were mostly good ones for you.

wildknits said...

Steve - just found your comments and will go look at the sweater in a bit.

Sam - Thank you! It is my new favorite for running. So, there goes the idea of donating it to a running groups prize drawing ;->

Runs are almost always good, even when they start out feeling sucky. I am continuing the same mileage, though wondering about racheting back a bit for the long run(s) this weekend. Soccer will hopefully substitute for that - though if I don't see much field time I will either have to play for more than one team or not worry about doubling up my workouts.

wildknits said...

Steve - gotta love the combination.... so much for creationism ;-> Or, on second thought - they would like it wouldn't they?!

Londell said...

I have not sen knitting projects in 20 years. Before my Grandmother died. At UMTR party seeing you do it and seeing the hat picture brings back many memories, all good. I also envy your winter running. I like cold running best as we can put more clothes on, in 100 degree temps, at some point, there is nothing left to take off...

Thanks for the your insight into Vit D. However, something you may not have noted, my son lives in colorado and loves tennis, running, biking and hiking. He is outside at least 3 hours a day while walking to school and so on... Never uses sunscreen. (I know, I did not teach him well!) Golden Colordao did not have not had much snow and cold until three weeks ago. So with all that sun he is getting, I get confused about this Vit D issue... just seems goofy?

wildknits said...


I do not even remember learning to knit (the first time). At my grandmothers knee I suspect. I relearned as a young teen and then again as a young adult. If I could only knit and run!!

Agree with the weather... I am happy in a fairly narrow temperature range ;-> But it is much easier to layer for the cold.

As far as Vit D. It is not only the quantity of daylight. But, up north the sun is at a very low angle, may decrease the amount of UV rays that reach the skin. Besides, even though Colorado is warmer than Minnesota I am assuming he has a fair amount of skin covered when out and about. That also affects the amount of Vit D made. It is an interesting phenomenon and not all folks in northern climates have a deficiency (ex: I don't - at least last time I checked a year or so ago). May be there is a genetic factor at work?

At least it was checked and he can take supplements and hopefully will see some improvement in whatever symptoms prompted the testing.

Jean said...

That hat is absolutely gorgeous. How cute! You do incredibly nice work!

The Barely Organized run looked like it was a blast. I will have to try my best to keep New Year's open next year so I can partake in the 4th annual!

wildknits said...

Jean - thanks for the compliment on the hat. I am proud of this particular design and other versions may make an appearance....

I can guarantee you will experirence cold temps, good food and good company at the New Years Day Run ;-> Love to have you join us next year!

Samantha said...

PS now that I've looked through your pictures - her name is Heather-Marie! Hopefully, she can join us this coming Wednesday, too. I'm excited :)

wildknits said...

Sam - thanks for the reminder on names... I am terrible with names - need lots of repition.