Thursday, September 8, 2011

On my way to 5k (running that is)

I've taken up jogging.

Now this wouldn't seem strange to most people. Some might even give me the thumbs up and say "Good for you! Jogging is good exercise!" But those people weren't my friends in high school, or in my gym class. I hate running...or jogging. With a passion. Unless something is chasing me, I don't run. And even then I'd find a blunt object to defend myself with first before I start running. Which really put a dent in my Gym grade because I would always be one of the last people to finish a mile at the end of the year (after slacking all year while others "worked their way up" to a decent time). During my Senior year my teacher looked at me one day and asked if I was "actually going to try today"
"Nope," came my reply as I did a pathetic jog past him (it was more of a fast walk really). See, I hate running.

Which makes my decision to start jogging every other day a strange one. But I realized as I was furiously knitting away on a simple sock, stabbing into each little stitch as if it could convey my frustration to my husband (which is didn't) that I had to find a different means of venting. I can only bitch at my friends so long before they get annoyed with me after all. And I'd run out of yarn soon.

So far it's going pretty well. I downloaded a few running podcasts from iTunes onto my iPod and they make the jogging much more bearable. I also discovered the PodRunner Intervals series which switches back and forth between walking and jogging for 30 minutes (which makes me cover about 2 miles). It's designed to get me running 5k (or 3 miles) at the end of the 10 week series. I'm determined to get there. What's funny is that I used to walk 3 miles to work every day. And then it was almost 2 miles from work to my Mom's (she was nice enough to give me a ride back home if she had errands to run in town). So 5 miles every day, 5 days a week, for 6 months would make you think this would be no problem...yeah, right.

My Mom snickers every time I mention my jogging, and my Mother-in-law usually just arches an eyebrow and goes "Well what do you expect?" when I mention that it's hard to breath, or that my legs are achy. The loving support of these people is staggering. *insert heavy sarcasm*

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I love/hate roving

Since I started spinning I've come across a whole new world filled with gadgets, and tools, and fiber, and people, and squishyness. I've also come across a new love/hate relationship. This time with roving...the stuff you spin into yarn.

So far (I've only been doing this for a year, so don't quote me) I've established that there are two kinds of roving; batts and roving/top. Basically with one the roving has been processed into one long string and then braided so it stays together (top), and with the other one the roving has been processed into one large sheet (batt). And I hate batts. With a passion. Like, you guys don't even know, man.

The braids are easy to pull apart once you've upbraided them. You pull a chunk off, separate it into smaller sections and away you go. The batt however is so much more cumbersome, in my opinion. You have to unfold them damn thing and suddenly it's 4 times its size, then you pull a section off with stray bits of roving flying every which fucking way. And stuffing the thing back into its bag in any sort of dignified manner pretty much goes out the window too since it fluffs up the second it hits air -- at least that is the way it seemed to me.

I have a purple batt of roving laying around here right now, and I keep putting it off because it annoys the crap out of me. I had roving in my coffee for Christ sake! Not cool. Plus it's on my Turkish spindle, where the shaft was unfortunately snapped. Which reminds me I should e-mail KnitPicks and see if I can buy a replacement shaft.

Teal Twist
In other news, I finally got around to taking pretty pictures of the yarns I have spun up so far. So here, have some pictures.
The teal on the left is the Corriedale I received from KnitPicks. It was interesting to work with. The fibers didn't draft out as nicely as I had first thought they would. It's also a bit scratchy, so I'll mostly be making a hat out of it I think (oh wait...I mentioned this before, didn't I?) Sadly the Louet Dyed Corriedale's are no longer available as 4oz bags. Now they come in these packs of 8 1/4oz samples. Which would be great...if they would offer the actual rovings as well! But no....why would be be accommodating like that?
The roving on the left is from that lovely etsy shop, to-ply-fiberarts. It's a Merino/Tencel blend and was incredibly fun to spin. Although the tencel was rather slippery so suddenly I'd pull the fiber apart and have this tiny sliver of spun yarn. You can't really see it in this picture but it's also rather shiny. Which make taking picture in the sunlight rather interesting. It also isn't plied together very tightly, which I could kick myself for. But I figured that pair with something equally loose, it will look great. I hope
And then you have the luscious orange...thing on the side of there.  It's another one of to-ply's rovings and came in a top that changed from creamy yellow into deep orange and back again. I loved working with this fiber. It's 100% polwarth and drafted out so smoothly I was kind of sad to see it go. xD
So far it's one of my mom's favorites and every time she sees it she attempts to steal it from me.

Speaking of my Mother, she purchased some 100% merino from to-ply that she wanted me to spin up for her. She totally forgot about it though and came across it again just yesterday. I see no downside to that. I get to play with fiber, get better at spinning, and she get's a yarn that is exactly the weight she wants it to be. It's pretty much a win-win me thinks.