Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Dude, I'm sorry...

I've been working on a shawl over the last few days.  One I started back in 2013 - this seems to be a bit of a theme of late, picking up old projects I started too long ago.

Cloud Illusions shawl, knit with Skeinz mink yarn in laceweight

Anyway, I finished the lace section and am now procrastinating about the picot bind off, knowing it will be slow and torturous.  I'm going to wait until I have a few hours to myself, perhaps with a movie and a large pot of tea, to get stuck in.  So with that put aside I picked up the fugly blanket to do a bit of crochet - another project I started a while ago.

With a colour change, I decided to work in some of my handspun scraps.  Now, I'd come to the realisation some time ago that as much as I like spinning, and the finished yarn in a skein, I don't particularly like the finished yarn knit into a fabric.  There are exceptions - namely my most favourite cardigan of all time:

97-18 Swing cardigan by Drops, knit with my handspun merino (about fingering weight-ish)

And may I point out that this cardigan still looks EXACTLY THE SAME four years later...  (Sadly, I recently had to throw out those jeans.  Best jeans ever.  I loved you, man.  We had some good times.)  I digress...

I picked out a bunch of handspun scraps and started working them into my blanket, when I realised just how terrible they were.  I mean seriously, truly awful.  I'm not sure if this was because they were scraps that I quickly navajo-plied to empty a bobbin - I'm sure some of them were - but even the two-ply stuff was pretty naff.  Some of it was actually quite rope-like.  I didn't enjoy crocheting with it AT ALL.  This got me thinking about all the stuff I'd made out of my handspun and given away to my beloved friends and family.  And dude, I am so sorry!  I apologise for the horrendousness that I have bestowed upon you with pride, thinking that it was something truly wonderful that I had made for you out of love.  I will not be offended if you feel the need to burn it, trash it, or otherwise dispose of it (if you haven't already).  All will be forgiven and let us never speak of it again.

I will finish the fibre I am currently spinning - some cormo fleece which is puffy and cloud-like:

The yarn is quite nice too (I checked, believe me!)  Once this is done, I will be selling my spinning wheel and remaining fibre.  This could be some time away, since I still have quite a bit of the cormo left to spin and I'm not in any particular hurry.  I may be persuaded to finish it a little quicker with the idea that I can buy a Garmin FR220 with the proceeds...

I much prefer the finished look of commercial yarn, and not spinning will give me more time to knit ;)  The latest FO was a pair of slippers for my mum - the pattern link had been doing the rounds on Facebook and of course people were putting in requests to their knitter peeps.  Me, being the awesome daughter that I am, obliged:

It certainly made coming up with a Mother's Day gift a lot easier!  These are Little Red Riding Slippers, knit in Panda Jumbo yarn.  Mum has little feet, so I got away with knitting the smallest size.  I'm going to be honest and say I didn't enjoy knitting these much.  Although they were a relatively quick knit due to the chunkiness of the yarn and the large needle size, they were fiddly to finish (and mum, I apologise if they don't hold together all that well).  Or maybe I just got lazy.  Who could say?  Moving on...

I went for a long-ish trail run last Monday.  Since I was by myself, I was restricted to using the Okura Bush Walkway - a single trail, well-used, with no deviations, therefore no chance of getting lost.  I didn't want to get my feet wet so decided not to run along the beach where I'd have to cross over inland streams, and just stuck to the main section.  This meant I had to run 2.5 out-and-backs, and I passed a group of ladies four times.  They probably thought I was a complete loony...

Pretty poison

So many stairs

The beach I didn't run on

More pretty poison

Surprisingly, not poisonous.  But ew...

The slip that's been there for, like, ever...

Um, yeah.  Rocks.

Most people need to duck under this.  I scrape under because I'm short.  There are advantages.

I love this huge kauri tree.

Just a little bit over the stairs now...

I was aiming for 18km but miscalculated the turnaround point on the last out-and-back and ended up running 17.6km.  Close enough.  Haven't run any more since, because I've been working on the final assignments for my two current papers.  Lazy.  Raining.  Procrastinating.  Blah blah.  Only two and a half weeks until the Double Rainbow.  Better get on with it...

Enjoy your week!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Blink and you miss it...

Wow, has it actually been a month since I last posted?  Y'all are probably wondering if I'd dropped off the face of the planet!  Or maybe all that beer I drank at the Film Festival really did do me in on the next day's 34km run.  Nah, sorry.  I'm still here ;)

Quick recap for you then:

Reel Wild Film Festival
This film festival was da bomb!  Loved all the documentaries, particularly the one about the Barkley Marathons, and Anton Krupicka (dude is scary, but in a good way).  We drank all the beer.  Seriously.  They ran out.  Looking forward to the next one!

The Hillary 34km Re-run - aka Kill Hill 2: The Revenge
Our pace was sedate, it was a beautiful day, and despite an enormous horde of tourists on the Te Henga track that we had to work really hard to get past, we made it in under seven hours.  A leisurely lunch break, plenty of stops along the way, photos, and an unusual little incident where a German tourist gave me a slap on the butt as I ran past, made for an interesting day out.  Our friend exacted his revenge on the 34km Piha to Muriwai section of The Hillary as planned, we got another runner hooked on trail running - mud, bush-bashing, amazing scenery and surroundings, fabulous company, what's not to love? - all in all a bloody good day.

Going well.  I celebrated a 98% result on an assignment the other night with a little too much wine which resulted in a slow, quiet recovery day the next day.  Oops.  Only two more assignments left for this trimester, and two more papers this year.  Then, the last two papers next year and I will have an undergraduate degree.  Graduation in 2017.  Hell yeah.

Awesome.  They've finally turned me over to the dark side - I have my own Steam account, and have been playing online games with them.  I suck at it, but that's not the important thing.  The important thing is that I am spending time with them, doing the things that they love to do.  We've also started playing card games, doing jigsaw puzzles, playing board games, and I think I may have won T over to mum-read Harry Potter.  X always liked my attempts at different voices, and liked to laugh at the occasional reading error.  Now T does too :)

Not 100%, but better than it was.  I've started training for the Queenstown Marathon by beginning a half marathon training plan, which will build up to a full marathon training plan.  I've allowed for a one week break between the two plans, and it will take me up to race date.  I'm trying to get Deane to follow the same plan, but he's having trouble fitting it in at this stage.  I'm pretty sure he'll be walking 90% of the marathon.  Having said that, a finish is a finish, and 42km is nothing to sniff at.  I'll still be impressed ;)

My current problem is shoes - the shoes I bought last (Mizuno Wave Rider 18s) are not right for me.  They're supposed to be a neutral shoe, but they're really not.  They make my feet roll out, which is causing medial knee pain in my left knee on longer runs.  That's making it hard to get out for scheduled runs and not over-do it.  I need to replace the shoes with something else, but can't really afford it.  Plus, I'll be left with near-new shoes that are not much use to me.  What to do?

Also, I still have the small matter of a 26km Double Rainbow top-three finish attempt to think about and train for.  Should probably be a little more enthusiastic about it...

So that is what's going on in the world of kreachr - you didn't miss much ;)  My Mother's Day was pretty awesome - I got breakfast in bed, a hand-drawn card (which was hilarious - my kids are a riot), we went to Cornwall Park for a picnic lunch then watched a show at the Stardome, went to the movies to see Pitch Perfect 2 (my current movie obsession - I've watched Pitch Perfect four times in two weeks!  I think I'm done now), then came home to have dinner and put the boys to bed.  Lovely.

I hope you had a good weekend!  See you again soon, I promise :)