Amsterdam KAL

Our knitting group, Amsterdam Stitch ‘n Bitch, is doing a KAL (knit-a-long for you non-knitters out there).  We voted on the type of project to knit (sweater or accessory or whatever) and we chose lace shawl/scarf.  Then we had to vote on the pattern.  Several people made suggestions and then we voted.  Annis won.  It’s quick and simple and pretty.  All of this voting and the discussions took place on Ravelry of course.  What did we do before Ravelry?

Above is my first WIP photo.  I’ve finished rows 1-8, which was the goal for the first week.  And then, just as I was finishing the last stitches, my needles came apart!  Just came apart in my hands!  I had already changed them from another set that fell apart last Monday.  I guess I’ve hit some kind of time limit on these interchangeable needles.  Luckily I dropped only 4 stitches and was able to fix them and get them back on the right row without too much trouble.  Good think I wasn’t knitting brioche lace!  Now tomorrow I have to buy some super glue and get these things fixed.

The yarn I’m using for this little lovely is Madelinetosh Lace in colorway Mourning Dove.  Just the color Mom asked for, although she has no idea what I’m making.  I guess she does now!  Happy Birthday Mom!

Egmond 1/4 Marathon

Today I ran the 10.4km race at Egmond.  It was seriously tough.  I managed it in 1 hour 12 minutes and I was very happy with that.  As you can see in the map above, we ran along the beach and through the dunes.  These dunes at Egmond make “my” dunes near Bloemendaal seem almost flat.  These were real HILLS!

The weather was really good – also like this map!  It was windy though and along the beach the wind was against us.  Ugh.  But it was above freezing temps and the sun was shining so I shouldn’t complain.

We started in Egmond aan Zee, ran through the village before heading down to the beach.

We only ran 2 1/2 kilometers on the beach, but that was enough.  The flags tell the story.

At the end of the beach section we had to “run” up very steep dunes in loose sand, up and over.  No one ran.  Everyone walked up that part.  Then, in kilometers 6 and 7, there was a series of steep hills which was really tough.  After that it leveled out a bit and we headed back to Egmond.  Kilometer 10 was just plain mean with one last hill.  I wanted to sprint to the finish, but I was finished and just couldn’t muster any more energy.  This finish time was 12 minutes slower than my best 10k, but with this terrain I was actually very happy with the result.

Oh yeah!  I had a technical breakdown during the race.  I was running with my Garmin watch and my iPhone running the Nike+ app.  During km 4 the watch suddenly died.  I tried to turn it on again and it just started beeping and flashing and beeping and flashing and then died again.  I tried again and it died again.  I was pretty pissed off about that.  Stupid expensive over engineered piece of equipment.  And speaking of running gear, did you see that Nike and TomTom have teamed up and are coming out with a new running GPS watch?  Due out in April but I hope to have my hands on one very soon.  🙂  Hmmmm how will I do THAT?

Last FOs of 2010

Where has the year gone?  It seems only a month ago I was making green and white Selbu mittens and here it is a year later.  The above mittens were finished a week ago but I’ve only now gotten outside in daylight to take some photos.  Or rather, DB took the photos, at the park near our house.  I named them “Ginni”, after, well, Ginni and I hope to have the pattern written up in another couple of weeks.  I’m currently making a pair in black for DB.  Yes, in black.  In the dark days of winter.  Luckily I have that new daylight lamp above the couch so I can work on them without too much eye strain.

These are flip top mittens with buttons on the back of the hands and loops at the tips so you can button back the tops of the mittens when you don’t really need the full hand.  They are darned handy when you want to answer your phone or reach for your bus pass.  Here’s a photo taken when I had just picked up the stitches to start knitting the flap.

I decided I needed a matching hat.  There was no need to reinvent the wheel since I could make a lovely matching hat using Stephen West’s pattern Windschief.  One quarter of the hat is knit in twisted rib, just like the mittens.  Perfect.  Here’s a photo of the finished hat.  It took me 3 days to make it.

Both the hat and mittens were made with Supreme Possum Merino yarn, DK weight.  It’s super soft and warm and has a lovely halo which makes the twisted stitches really stand out.

I have just one more FO for the year, which was an accidental project.  A few weeks ago I went to the usual Monday night Stitch ‘n Bitch at Cafe de Jaren and suddenly there was a room full of knitters I’d never seen before!  A group from Save the Children had organized a “knit hats for charity” event and we were invited.  They handed out knitting needles and yarn and patterns and asked us to make childs hats to be distributed in India.  OK.  Why not?  I started knitting a hat that evening but they only had straight needles (which I hate) so when I got home I ripped out what I had knit and started over again with a pattern that would be at least interesting to make.  Below is what it became.  I used a free pattern on Ravelry called Zaggity.

And that’s it for 2010!  I’ve counted up my projects and I finished 18 projects this year!  Wow!  Another all time high number.  Of course some of them were very fast small projects like this kids hat and some baby socks.  But still. I’m going to make a mosaic photo of all the projects and post it here.

What’s up for 2011?  I’m itching to make a sweater.  I haven’t made a real winter sweater in a very long time.  I’ve been sucked in to the accessory knitting craze, which is so great for instant gratification, but I miss the accomplishment of finishing a sweater.  Stay tuned for details on that upcoming project!

I’m also designing a brioche vest.  It’s still in my head but will be swatched very soon.

I hope you’ve had a creative 2010.  I certainly have.  I’ve done more knitting this year than ever before and I’ve participated in more knitting events and met more knitters than in my entire life.  I only get more enthusiastic about this craft/art and wish I had more time to explore and make stuff.

Happy 2011 and happy knitting and crafting!