Runners may not give a hoot about this post

This is one of my purely knitting posts.

She doesn’t know it, but I owe a  debt of gratitude to the lovely Hels for bringing on my knitting skills over the past month. It started when she asked me to knit two garish hats for some newly arrived twins. Although I’ve knitted in the round using double pointed needles and I’ve knitted straight using circular needles, I’d never actually knitted in the round on circular needles (which seems silly now I think about it). To knit the teeny tiny hats (from this pattern), I mastered the ways of the magic loop method. Whilst I did like using DPNs, it’s a little bit like wrestling with an angry hedgehog at times and I suspect that this is one of the reasons that my ongoing sock project has remained ongoing for nearly three years now.

I have discovered that one of the downsides of having big feet is that the foot of the sock takes even longer to knit

Armed with the skills of the magic loop, I announced my intention to knit a Kindle cosy. Now, it might be a hangover from the time I served with the Brownies, but I do like an owl and owls seemed appropriately bookish for this project. Searching Ravelry for a bit of guidance, I ended up going for an amalgamation of this cabled Kindle sleeve and this owl coffee cosy. However, to do this I needed some more new knitting skills – how to do a magic cast on to join the ends of the sleeve and how to cable without using a cable needle (I can barely cable using a cable needle…).

Cabled reverse, no owls. The cosy is nice and stretchy, the flap needed a little bit of blocking to get the correct shape


So not only do I have an owlish cosy for my Kindle, but I also have a little stash of new knitting skills to add to my bag.

Completed cover with owl

Oh, and having learned to love magic loop, I went to my nearby lovely wool shop to get some 2.5mm needles only to find that they were out of the long length that I would need. The end result of this is that the owner showed me yet another technique that I had never understood in the past – how to knit in the round using two short circular needles. I did suspect that this may be a ruse to sell me twice as many needles, but it’s so easy that I have actually finished my sock!

One done, one cast on.

I aim to have finished the pair before 2015.

Let me be a lesson to you

Currently I am a cautionary tale. I have only managed two three mile runs since Thursday because I have been injured. I have in fact been injured by a settee. I wish I could say that it was an Acme sofa that fell from the sky with a whoosh and a sproingy clang, but it wasn’t. I wasn’t even moving furniture in a PG Tips monkey/Chuckle Brothers/Bernard Cribbins stylee. I was sitting.

I injured my back by sitting on a very comfy sofa. I spend a lot of time sitting – my working day alternates between sitting at my desk, in my car and in people’s front rooms – and normally I’m very good at it. Unfortunately on Wednesday, I was sitting and twisting so that I could talk to someone and it was just enough to leave me feeling slightly achy at the end of the day. The next day I started running with the intention of doing 6 miles, but quickly downgraded to 3 because of the niggling pain (even though it was feeling a bit better after a mile or so). It was fine for the rest of the day but at two in the morning it woke me up. I couldn’t settle. Every time I changed position I was rewarded with a few minutes of comfort and a false dawn of hope before the pain started again. By Friday I was a one woman Ministry of Silly Walks. Following the advice of my on-call physio (hello mum) I liberally applied ice packs and scoffed ibuprofen like they were Smarties (actually I took the stated dose) and didn’t run until Sunday when I managed another relatively pain-free three miles.

The moral of this story is look after your back all of the time – even when you’re not doing anything in particular. I’ve sat through any number of moving and handling training sessions and follow all of the rules when I’m moving something hefty, but it’s when you least expect it that injuries happen. When I was a student I went on an induction where we were encouraged to share back injury stories – I couldn’t tell you any of the work-related stories, but I’ll always remember the doctor who did his back in getting a piece of cheese out of the fridge. Sadly none of us dared ask what was he a man or a mouse.

This is what the NHS Choices website has to say about backs – lots of advice about avoiding injuries, exercises, yoga, posture and all sorts of gubbins.