Stacy Knits

Ramblings about knitting and whatever else crosses my mind

Monday, July 25, 2005

It's official. I'm in a slump

I feel like UK's Patrick Sparks during basketball season. I'm either super hot or as cold as ice. I'm knitting a ton or not doing it at all. But ah-ha, it hit me, why I can churn things out like crazy during the winter and can barely force myself to pick up the needles right now. It's the project, not knitting itself! It's not even that I hate my only current project, the Apricot Jacket. I love it, I really do! It's so pretty and an easy (but not boring) knit, once you figure out the &@^$# pattern.

But here's the kicker. The heat index today was 107. My office is usually warm. Thus Apricot won't be worn for another couple of months, at least. I am a person who does this for the stuff. I like making something I can wear and show off proudly. I love getting a compliment on my sweater and with a sweet grin, tell them I made it myself. It gives me strength to fly through something, just waiting for that day I get to wear it. I don't have that with Apricot right now.

Or it could just be the fact that I usually knit while watching TV and there is nothing on TV right now. I may be overanalyzing this.

But anyhoo, I think this revelation means I need to start a couple of new projects, things that are good for now. I have some ideas!

First is another Honeymoon Cami done in Berocco Cotton Twist in the pretty pinky coral that I've had for a couple of months. Since I've never worn the FIRST Honeymoon Cami I made, I'll correct the sizing issue with this one by making it a couple of sizes smaller. I've learned my lesson on knitting with can go smaller with it.

The next idea is a Kentucky blue tank, maybe the Mud Flap Girl tank from SNB-Nation. I'm thinking royal blue so I have it to wear to the Kentucky football opening game (finally, season tickets!). If I got really into it, I'd do a big white school logo K in the middle. Or that could be really dorky. It's always so hot the first couple of games of the season, and I gotta wear blue. I also have these dreams of having it on at a basketball game, being spotted by Ashley Judd, who must have her own, being whisked off to Hollywood, marrying my boyfriend Matthew McConaughey, and living happily ever after.

Or I could just buy this. It would cost less.

Another thing that I need to get started on soon if I decide to do it is Trellis from Knitty for a friend's kid. It's a surprise for the friend, and the only hint I'll give is that the kid is born. I'm going to have either a couple of people breathing a sigh of relief that isn't for their kid or else have some unhappy friends who talked them into believing it was for them. Why this pattern? I think it's awfully cute, and I'd love to try an aran. I'm not into arans for myself since most of the patterns I've seen are horribly unflattering to my frame but a little kiddie version may be nice.

That in mind, I knit up a swatch. It's Bernat Cotton Tots which is not the yarn I'll be using since it's too fluffy for this type of pattern. I was just trying to get an idea of what gauge I got with it.
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I'm thinking of doing it in Cotton Ease.

PS, don't let the color of it give away who the gift is for. Mine will probably be a different color, and this little sweater is cute for a little boy or girl.

Lots of stuff but I'm already feeling more motivated to knit!

In book news, I picked up the new Sophie Kinsella book, Undomestic Goddess. I love her books, and so far, so good on this one! I've had a few times as a lawyer that I wanted to run far, far away, and I swear, I was getting stressed just reading her schedule in the beginning. If you can deal with an implausible storyline, it's very funny (so far).

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I'm trying, I promise!

Poor Apricot. Yeah, she's as annoying as all get out but once I get things figured out, she's a nice easy little knit. So why can't I seem to pick her up and work on her? I did finish the sleeve. Woo! I just have the right front and second sleeve to do now. Maybe I can manage at least one of those pieces this week. It would have been such a perfect day to wear her today too. It was cool and rainy out.

Yes, you really read that right. It was rainy! We haven't had rain in months! It's Kentucky, not Arizona, we're supposed to have rain here, people. My grass is brown and dying but the weeds are managing to not only survive but to go big and green. How on earth is that possible? Yay for the remnants of Dennis for stalling over us! I wanna go out and dance!

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Race Report

Woohoo, my first race! I ran the Bluegrass 10,000 in Lexington, KY this morning! It's a 10K (6.2 miles) and I set a goal to run it in under 1 hour, 10 minutes. Yes, I'm slooooowwwww. That's an 11 min/mile pace. I ended up running it in 1 hour, 5 minutes! I was so thrilled with that time. It's a 10:30 min/mile pace exactly. I felt really good all the way through and was able to gun it near the end.

That's the short of it. Can I keep it at that? Of course not!!! Here's the long version (you'd think I ran a marathon or something!):

I wanted to run this race as my first because my Dad ran this race every year when I was a kid. It was great fun for us to come to Lexington for a couple of days every year because we stayed in the "fancy" hotel downtown. It was fancy in our eyes because it has an indoor pool, of course! It's a pretty big race with over 3400 registered. I wanted to run it last year but a stress fracture in my leg derailed that plan, and I never really got my mileage built back up until the last couple of months.

My Dad said he'd run but he didn't plan to register. He hasn't run much in recent months because of an injury and developing a love of bike riding too so he didn't want to push himself too much. We showed up at about 7:45 for the 8:00 race. My Dad hung out with me at the starting line even though he intended to move up at race time and start up with the faster people. I kept picking out people that I knew I could beat. The lady in the muu muu and white knee socks was at the top of my "can beat" list.

We heard the gun and headed to line up. We kept walking and walking, following the crowd, and suddenly, we realized that the race had started! He's run hundreds of these things and even he didn't realize that it had started. They started it a couple minutes early so we weren't prepared. Thank goodness for chips that only time from when you cross the starting line to the time you finish! My time from my watch was 3 minutes shorter than official race time because it took 3 minutes before I got to the starting line.

I said good bye to my Dad (who flew by me) and off I went. A couple blocks in, I was smoked by a guy pushing triplets in a stroller. Nice.

Here I am right past mile #1. I ran it in 10 minutes. My pace was probably a bit under that because it was so crowded and there were a few times I had to dodge strollers and rows of walkers 4-5 deep. It's my first race, and I've already developed pet peeves! Another one is a weird one: barbeque. There's a 4th festival downtown, and they'd just fired up the smokers at about a mile and a half in. Not good. Fortunately, the smell didn't linger long.

My Mom was the photo-taking machine. She's a runner herself but thought she'd sit this one out. A couple blocks past the barbeque, she caught up with me for another photo.

I missed the first water stop because I was too busy mugging for the camera. No prob, I was still feeling good.

Another 3/4 mile in, and I was hanging well with the top runners. Here I am with the race leaders at the 23 min. mark. That's me on the right, the leaders on the left.

No one needs to know that the top 3 racers were on their way back on an out and back course. They had a little over 1 mile left, I had almost 4.

From here to about mile 5, it was relatively uneventful. There were people cheering for you and standing in their front yards with their water hoses out to spray you off. It was hot and humid! My Mom was no where to be found with the camera so I managed to make it through a couple of water stops. I did the turn to come back into downtown and a lady yelled out at the big group of us, "it's all downhill from here!"


Even I knew that the worst was yet to come! It's not a course full of steep hills but it has gradual very long inclines in several spots. Real runners tell me it's a tough course. I knew that once I hit about mile 5, it truly was downhill. My Mom met me at about 4 1/2 miles and ran the rest of the way.

My Dad met up with us at Mile 5 to run the rest of the way in. My Mom and I theorized that he wasn't running as well as he'd wanted and was using me as an excuse.

I did get a few laughs when I posed with Mile Marker 5. It probably cost me 6 seconds. More below on that.

Here I am crossing the finish line. Ignore the time there, this is the time from when they fired the starting gun. My official time is about 3 minutes less, judging from the times called out at the mile markers. I felt good at the finish and even sped up for the last couple blocks. I didn't hear a thing at the finish line. I was in a zone! My last mile was at a 9-something pace which is really fast for me.

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I finished in 1 hour, 5 minutes, 6 seconds. If I wouldn't have mugged for the camera a couple of times and posed with the 5 mile marker, I probably would have beat 1:05! But I had fun and beat my goal by almost 5 minutes so I'm thrilled.

Here I am posing with my Dad after the race. I must be proud of myself if I'm posting this frightening post race photo!
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Friday, July 01, 2005

Updates all around...

Yikes! Has it really been over a week since I've posted to my blog? Things should be calming down a little about now so hopefully I'll get back to knitting more and talking more about it! I've been helping out with a summer camp for middle schoolers a couple of days this week, and I had no clue how tired it would leave me! It was fun though. Some of the kids were from disadvantaged homes, some were from a poorer county, and others were minorities and this was designed to inspire them academically.

As Parker demonstrates, my Apricot progress is slow enough to put the most energetic soul to sleep so this will be short and sweet. I thought I'd make some big progress at a 2 day seminar this week but wrote down the wrong days on my calendar so instead of a guaranteed 2 days of straight knitting, I only had 1. But knitting through the seminar was great. I had hesitated since I think it looks rude to the non-knitter and since it's a professional thing, I want to make a good impression but I was still able to pay attention.

I ended up getting the sleeve done almost up to the cap. I'll get it done this weekend and post photos. And start sleeve #2! In spite of how long it's taking me and the pattern frustrations, I'm really enjoying this project. It has just enough variation to make it interesting but not enough that I can't do it somewhat mindlessly.

In the meantime, check out Sarah Nicole's finished Apricot (and nice, new blog). Doesn't it look great?

My biggest excitement of the week was seeing the famous person I'd like to meet above all others, Tubby Smith, on UK's campus. He's the Kentucky basketball coach, by the way. He's a great coach but an even better person. I was talking to one of the kid's mothers, and he walked by, headed over to his basketball camp. Both of us were squealing! I wish I'd had my camera with me. He probably would have gladly posed for a photo. He's like that (or so I've heard). Instead, one of my favorite Tubby photos. Hehehe. I love this man.

I'm still working out with the trainer! It's been about 6 weeks now, and I don't hurt anymore. Yeah! I'm making great progress, though I've lost a grand total of 1 lb. That's just fine with me. I don't really care if I lose pounds as long as I lose body fat, and I am. I'm getting stronger, running faster, and definitely firming up. People are starting to notice. I am up to running 7 miles as my long run (up from 3 when I started), and I've cut over a minute off my time for slower distances. I run my first race Monday! Should be fun. I have people I know on the lookout for me, and my Mom will be taking pictures, so I should have a nice little cheering section going on. I'm pretty excited.