Xylaria species

Xylaria species

Friday, February 18, 2011

Toe Socks for the Vibram FiveFinger Crowd

The latest knitting project - being tested for size

Details:
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Sockin' Sox, Color 002 (60% superwash wool, 25% bamboo, 15% nylon)
Gauge: 10 sts/inch

The pattern is adapted from one I found online (Ravelry). It has been a bit of a challenge, which is good. These are my first foray into toe-up socks with the added bonus of an invisible cast-on for each toe. Once all of the toes are complete, the "waste" yarn is pulled out and the "live" (aka not on needles and just waiting to slip out and run away) stitches from each toe are then picked up onto needles and joined into one larger tube for the foot.

I started these while out of town so did not have the opportunity to take photos. I hope to get some good pictures of the sock in progress when I start the second one. A handful of toes is a pretty funny sight (okay - knitter humour may be a bit odd I admit).

I had reached the heel when I had the recipient over to try them on for size. Good thing, as the foot was too long. I ripped out the heel, and another 8-10 rows of knitting, picked up the 87 "live" stitches, and got them back on the needles in the right direction. Made me wish for a pair of those cheaters with the LEDs built into the frame.

I am now back at the heel again and will soon be working my way up towards the ankle. But before I get too far along I will have the future owner over for another fitting.

Running:
Plodding along getting in the base miles while I try to decide exactly which races will be on the 2011 schedule. I had a bit of a set-back a week ago when my back spasmed and had me in considerable pain for a few days. Once things had settled down I opted to take it easy (per the wise advise of my chiropractor) and not run (too) long on the weekend.

I am pretty positive that I will be running: Superior 50K, Knife River Solstice Run 5K, Voyageur 50 mile and Wild Duluth 100k. Other possible events include: St. Patrick's Day Human Race 8K; Trail Mix 25K, and/or Chippewa 50K.

Last week for Thursdays are for Running to Work it was -10 F. This week it was 39 F. What a contrast! With the nice temperatures I opted for the long way to work and got a lovely, foggy 6 miler in on almost deserted roads. Drivers were courteous about sharing the road for the most part and I only thought about diving for the ditch once when a car came hurtling around a corner on a very potholed road doing something upwards of 40 mph (really - you think the driver would care about his suspension and tires a bit more). Due to the fog I had my Nathan reflective vest on for added visibility.

Other stuff:
Started planning the spring trip to Isle Royale. Looks like we will be base camping and running on the eastern end of the island this year. Should be the perfect warm-up for the Superior 50K. I hope to get back out there in the fall as I really missed going last year - though canceling that trip allowed me to pace a friend at the Superior 100 and see what that was all about.

Winter soccer season is progressing well. Last week was full of falls and my knees took quite the beating, as did my nose when I took a ball to the face from close distance in the final 5 minutes. The fast pace of indoor soccer is a nice addition to my training regimen and way more fun than doing a similar speed workout on a track.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Not much

Been a quiet start to the year. Running a bit, knitting a bit, skiing a bit. Went up north to visit some friends and their new baby.

Enzo - 1 week old

He is still too small for the sweater I made for him (Baby Surprise #2) but is obviously cared for by plenty of knitters as there was an abundance of hand knits in evidence. Lucky guy!!

Winter soccer season has started. I am on two teams (women's and co-ed) and usually end up playing at least one or two extra games a night. Each game is 45 minutes long and, depending on the subbing situation, this can mean anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours of playing time. It is a fun league this year with a nice mix of highly skilled to novice players. Indoor soccer is a fast game and teaches a softer touch on the ball and some better footwork and overall ball handling skills. It has also contributed to my being a faster and more agile runner and is a more palatable form of speedwork.

The light is noticeably growing. It is so pleasant to leave work at 5:30 pm and enjoy the last bits of daylight. Such a change from a month ago! The longer days seem to be triggering the chickadees to sing their mating song "fee-bee". We have quite a flock that hang around the neighborhood and visit the feeder at regular intervals. For such little birds they can make a lot of noise. I wish I was better at telling the individuals apart as there is an obvious hierarchy at the feeder. Some chickadees will share, and at other times when a certain bird arrives the rest scatter. That said, when the little nuthatches arrive everyone scatters. They are definitely the 'top bird' at the Wildknits' feeder.

For any of my readers who are interested in trail running:
Time to renew your UMTR membership. See the website for what the group is about and the benefits of membership. For the competitive, there are a number of race series to choose from with distances from 5k on up (not all trail runners are ultrarunners).

Another great source of running information (both trail and road) is Northland Runner. Their range is southern Ontario to northeastern Minnesota and east to the Western UP.