Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I think I'm a beret person.

265/365: I think I'm a beret person.

Ta da! My first beret. I really, really love it. Too bad I'm not keeping it. It's going to my friend Lori, who will look a bajillion times cuter in it as she wanders around Paris and Barcelona in a couple weeks. The Paris Marathon will be her first marathon, so I wanted to give her an extra special treat.

beret (with my wonky-looking increases)

The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in Cuarzo. It took nearly a whole skein. US 7 needles for the body and US 6 for the ribbed edge.

This pattern - the One Day Beret - is my favorite kind of pattern - the recipe. Any yarn, any gauge. I foresee several of these in my future.

I haven't been spending money much lately, what with furlough days + fears for my job, but I treated myself to a Chevron Love Mitten kit from Vesper Yarn. (My kit doesn't have those exact colors, and I didn't get the green or rainbow kit, but I'm glad I'm breaking out of my mold with the Metropolis kit.

Speaking of Metropolis ... I'm headed to New York City tomorrow! Josh and I are spending one night at a swank Hilton (God bless Expedia travel deals) and two nights with my best friend and her boyfriend at their place on the Upper East Side. I've mapped out several yarn stores I'd like to check out. And we have reservations at the restaurant of my chef-crush Anthony Bourdain. I think it's been since last May since we got outta town for a vacation, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

half marathon no. 3? check

so happy to be done with 13.1 miles!

I've been a bad blogger, I know, but my half marathon is finally over (till the next one in six weeks!) and maybe things will eventually calm down around here. This one was my slowest yet (chip time - 3:30:05) but I'm totally fine with it. I don't care, really. This was the first half marathon where I felt like OK, I know the distance, and I can do this. It was a great feeling. I kept a strong pace for the first eight miles, and, um, not so much after that. But I felt good (if really sore) when I finished - as the above picture shows. I have to give virtual props to my brother and boyfriend for waking up at 5 a.m., walking 20 blocks to the start, and coming back to see me finish!

Two years ago when I finished the race, I thought it was the hardest thing I've ever done (and yet it was my PR. Go figure.). How did I just run 13 miles?? The training and race took so much out of me - and I think I didn't fully enjoy it - that I stopped running for the entire summer. The same thing happened last year, but I got back to running a bit sooner.

This time, though, I know that's not going to happen (and it's not just because I have another half on May 2). This race, while hard after mile 8, felt relatively easy. I knew what I was getting myself into. But more importantly, and more than ever, I've realized how much I need running in my life over the past year. I have a great support system with my family and boyfriend, but really, running is the best outlet for all of my worries right now. As everyone knows, the economy is in the crapper, and the newspaper industry isn't so great either. I'm a worrier by nature, and I really count on running to help me work things out and stay sane.

So here's to many more successful runs!

Monday, March 2, 2009

a WIP and an FO

It's cold 'round these parts lately - we even have some snow on the ground! (It's a dusting, but that's pretty huge in coastal Virginia.) I've been pretty much housebound the past few days, thanks to my weekend + an ill-timed cold + rain for 48 hours straight. It's made for some good knitting times, that's for sure, and I have an FO to show off:

241/365: fastest cowl ever

Yarn: Socks that Rock mediumweight in Sapphire (all but 15g)
Time: About three days, start to finish
Pattern: Cast on 108, knit a few rounds of garter-stitch, stockinette for miles, and end with garter stitch

I've dubbed this the "Aunt Tax Cowl," so named because it's a gift for one of my lovely aunts who generously does my taxes each year (and she refers to herself as "Aunt Tax" in e-mails). I have given her a Target gift card in the past, but this year, I was inspired/motivated enough to knit something. I hope she likes it! She lives in southwest PA so she might still get some use out of it this winter.

I also picked up my Clapotis, which I cast on about a month ago while in Georgia at my brother's graduation from basic training. The increase section seemed to take a while, but now I'm on the straight parts and I'm flying - I finished three repeats yesterday.

WIP: Clapotis

I'd love to finish/block it by my trip to New York in three and a half weeks, but that might be pushing it.