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.

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.

First run of the year

Two posts in two days – get in!

It might have been blogging yesterday, it might have been the promise of a steaming bowl of porridge and the madness/genius of test match special, it might just have been that I’m fairly embarrassed by my inactivity – whatever it was, it motivated me to pull on my trainers and head out of the door. The plan was for 3 miles, nothing earth shattering, and I went my multiple choice route so I could choose where I ended up. Although I thought I’d do a there and back to my 1.5mile pub landmark (now demolished to be replaced with 3 and 4 bedroom luxury homes – I can’t say I’d fancy living in a house whose foundations have been sealed in ice for a week. They were like little brick icebergs isolated a sea of frozen muddiness), I ended up going past there and carrying on in a loop. The loop took me home at 3.72 miles, so I rounded up to 4 around the back streets. It wasn’t the fastest 4 miles in the world, but they were all my own work. And I had the great excitement of noticing a tiny wooden hut of a church on the main road. I’ve lived in the village about 2 and a half years now and have never noticed it before; this is not a great reflection on my observational skills, but was quite exciting.

In the afternoon, we had a bracing walk/slide down by the canal and called in at the running shop to buy me some new trainers. Running Amok’s description of his shoes kind of describes what my old ones were like, so I’m now the proud owner of a pair of Brooks Ariel. They’re a control shoe, so only one step away from being a special orthopaedic boot, but they’re damn comfy and when I’ve clumped round the house in left new shoe and old right shoe, I can see a difference in my alignment. I suspect that they’re going to take a bit of getting used to as my knees are rediscovering what it feels like to face the right direction.

I was also talked into buying some special socks (I was giddy and easily persuaded) – I’m sure proper socks are important, but have never ventured down that path (Surely socks are socks?) and have a nagging doubt that I’ve been sold sock-shaped snake oil. My question therefore, is – are socks good?

Frozen Canal

Snowing at the canal

Canal

Idiot husband "just testing" the ice

Today’s run – 4 miles, average pace 11.10.

NB. Husband would like to issue the following disclaimer “I did not actually walk on the ice and do not condone such behaviour from fellow idiots”. I can vouch that he didn’t walk on the ice, or even put two feet on, as he was holding onto me at the time, just in case.