To Do: Knit tea cosy

Yesterday I enjoyed a very indulgent afternoon of quality trashy television (I heart Nashville, do not judge me), a mug of tea, a slice of my mum’s coffee and walnut cake, and a ball of wool. Rather than embrace my inner moggy and spend my time chasing yarn around the front room, I was very productive and can now cross off “knit tea cosy” from my To Do list.

I should probably write a more useful To Do list.

Anyway, for ages I’ve wanted a cosy for my funny shaped teapot. It’s a For Life stump teapot (proper posh, it’s what they have in the Tate Modern cafe) and is brilliant because it has a removable infuser/strainer bit. This means that you can brew your tea for however long you like (3 minutes please) and then remove it, thus avoiding your second cup being an over-brewed brew. Whilst I always have a perfectly brewed second cup, it’s often a perfectly brewed second cup that is stone cold, hence the need for insulation.

My perfect but funny-shaped teapot
After a hunt on Ravelry, I found the perfect pattern. Based on a pattern for a type of fez (fezzes are cool, though I don’t know why you’d knit one), it just needed a bit of tweaking to re-scale it to the size of my teapot.

IMG_2946It had its first run out this morning and worked brilliantly. I am ever so proud!

Janathon day twenty-three: socks

Last night I declared that I always sleep badly the night before an early run. It turns out that poor sleep is an essential part of me getting up at 5.30 – I went to bed in plenty of time and slept well, so well in fact that I slept straight through my first alarm… The next alarm went off at 6, which is when Miles and I should be already out hitting the pavements. Ooops.

This meant I had to squeeze in a quick three miles after work so I would have time to stuff my face before yoga. Some people might have you believe that yoga isn’t proper exercise, but my legs would tell you differently. Throughout the class I took heed of my teacher’s words and took a curious interest in what my body was telling me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hear most of my limbs for my legs yelling “will you just sod off and leave me alone” before they stomped off, slamming their bedroom door behind them.

The class itself though paled into insignificance against my greatest achievement this year… I WAS WEARING MY HAND KNITTED SOCKS.

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I have finished the eternal socks that have lived with me, travelled the world with me and sat in the pub with me for two years. And I think that they’re rather splendid.

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The toe seams leave a little bit to be desired, but other than that they make me very happy.

Flamingo - from a free Spud & Chloe pattern

Janathon day sixteen: motivation

I was hoping to be able to blog some knitting today, but I realised that things had gone a little pear shaped and ended up spending most of last night (a) undoing my last few rounds and (b) defending my honour and integrity on twitter. Mostly (b).

Wednesday night is of course is yoga night, so it was an early Janathon run for me this morning. It was cold and dark outside and I wasn’t too keen on getting out there. Thanks to Heather for spurring me on from the (not cold and dark) Southern Hemisphere with the tweet:

This is what she learns at boot camp… http://notarunninggirl.wordpress.com/

I opted for a 3 mile out and back along a route that I haven’t yet run this year; not too slippy underfoot, I got to bellow “MORNING” at another runner and a dog walker, and it was warm enough to let my hands be visible at the end of my sleeves.

And although this isn’t the knitting that I was going to post, I’ve been wanting to show off this little fella who I knitted before Christmas.

Flamingo - from a free Spud & Chloe pattern

Flamingo – from a free Spud & Chloe pattern

Janathon day three: asleep

Last night I asked twitter if I should run in the dark in the morning, or run in the dark in the evening. Turns out that I needn’t have bothered asking anyone because at half five this morning, I was physically incapable of opening my eyes let alone getting out of bed, getting dressed and getting out for a run.

After work, I had a cracking headache and it was one of those “if it wasn’t for Janathon, I would be at home on the couch with a brew” moments. I split the difference between a token one mile and a respectable three miles, notching up an acceptable two at a pace that I was quite happy with (I am chosing to ignore that the first half was downhill). It wasn’t an exciting run by anyone’s standards.

When I was home, I asked twitter if it was acceptable to blog about knitting during Janathon (I have days where I am incapable of making decisions without the aid of twitter – you people have no idea how much power you wield over me, do not abuse it). The answer was a resounding YES. Part of the reason that I asked is that I’ve been mulling over the idea of having two separate blogs for running and knitting, but fear that I would end up with two blogs that I neglect equally. And while there is such a vast overlap in the venn diagram of knitters and runners, I think I can get away with the odd woolly post.

The question that I struggle with the most is “what are you knitting at the moment?”. It should be simple. I should answer “sock” (well it’s been true for the last two years). I was asked the question last week and my answer was something like “well, I’m merging two patterns, one for a little woolly Woody Allen and one for a little woolly Holly Golightly and am turning them into a little woolly roller skating hot pant wearing granny with her arm in plaster”.

Roller derby granny

Roller derby granny

I am very proud of her bun

I am very proud of her bun

I should have said sock.

The basic pattern is for a Knit New Yorker from Lauren O’Farrell’s (aka @deadlyknitshade) latest amazing book Stitch New York. It is just as wonderful as Stitch London and I was very pleased to find it under the Christmas tree!

It was a good haul under the tree

It was a good haul under the tree

In which knitting teaches me a lesson about running

This week I thought I’d gone off knitting. It was an unpleasant experience, not least because of the sense of panic about the two large crates of wool that live in the spare room and periodically spill out into the rest of the house (it’s like the War of the Worlds in the front sometimes).

It all started when I started to knit a scarf with some wool I picked up in Edinburgh. It’s a lovely pattern but I just couldn’t get into it (despite changing colours and restarting it what seemed like a hundred times). Meanwhile I had resumed my masterplan project (it’s lived with us so long that if we moved I would have to declare it as a sitting tennant). This is a thing of great beauty but is an unwieldy pain in the bum.

The problem was that after all this Serious Knitting, I was fed up and ready to hang up my needles. Obviously I didn’t. What I did was knit something small and silly as a Christmas present (I like to throw that out there to create a feeling of dread amongst my family…) and you know what? Within 24 hours I remembered that I bloody love knitting.

And how can I shoehorn this into a metaphor about running? Well, some days it’s very easy to get hung up on Serious Running and forget the joy of running for running’s sake. Go out and remember that feeling – it’s just like knitting a banana.