Knitting On The Run

Knitting and running in 30 minutes or less

Episode 30 - 1/11/18

Windswept Designs on Facebook, WindsweptMonique on Instagram and Ravelry, come join Ravelry group

KAL, Pattern Release, Wips, Pattern Acquisition, Spinning, Out and About, On the Run

KAL – get your FOs posted ASAP!  I’m going to lock the thread tonight on my way to Vogue Knitting Live

Pattern Release – First off, a HUGE thank you to all of you for making 2017 an amazing year, knitwise.  I started this pordcast, attended multiple festivals and conventions, including FINALLY getting in to SSK, and I even learned to spin!  I’ve met such wonderful people both in person and online.  The fiber community is AMAZING.  So I’ve put this pattern for sale and if you use the coupon code THANKYOU you’ll get it free through January 16th.  This is my thank you to you, the Use Your Stash Shawl


Frosted by Paper Daisy Creations, on snowflake 5 of 5 on the stranded colorwork yoke.  Was planning on using 3 colors but after doing flakes 1 & 2 in color 1, then flake 2 in color 2 I decided that really they should all have been different colors.  But I was not going to rip it out again, so I dug a skein out of stash, Plymouth Yarn’s Nettle Grove in colorway 42, a denim-ish color that matches the rest of the blues I’m using fairly well.

Star Wars sweater for Thing 1 -  Using Nordic Yoke Pullover, a free pattern from Patons, as the base and altering the charts to have Star Wars characters/spaceships/icons.  I’m about 25% through the yoke collar, currently working on R2D2’s head.  Body of sweater will be red as that’s his favorite color

Vanilla sock in Berroco Comfort Sock in Bali colorway.  Still chugging along at this 2+ year old WIP, it’s my car knitting.


Pattern Acquisition

Derwentwater by Tess Young, won it during the Indie Gift-a-long KAL, forgot to mention it last week!


New segment - I finally figured out this spinning thing!  Working on my 2nd single in undyed cotton

Out and About

Off to Vogue Knitting in NYC tonight!  If you’re there stop me and say hello.  Just to warn you I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights recently with the kids and my husband being sick, so if I seem a little dazed or perhaps a little overly caffeinated, that’s why.  But please come say hello anyways.  I am really looking forward to the 2 classes I am attending on Friday. 

On the Run

I’m on my 2nd week of my half marathon training plan, and unfortunately I am dealing with some unexpected knee pain. 



As you can probably tell from the sound of my voice, or if you've seen recent social media posts, you've probably realized I'm sick.  The Be-A-Helper KAL was supposed to wrap up today but I just want to go back to bed, so I'm granting an extention.  I'll lock the thread on Thursday, January 11th at 7pm EST when I board my train to Vogue NYC.  Thank you so much for helping to make the world a little bit better!


Episode 29 – Happy New Year!

Wips, Knitting Fail, Pattern Acquisition, On The Run


Mahalo Socks by Dana Gervais – on the 2nd sock in CoBaSi by Hikoo and progressing nicely

Hibernatum hat by Talitha Kuomi – full disclosure, I know Talitha, we’re part of the same knitting group at our recently closed LYS and she is an amazing human being and also a very talented designer.  I’ve never knit one of her patterns before, so when I stumbled upon her Hibernatum hat designed for Alpaca yarn while trying to find a hat to knit with my Criativ DK, an alpaca blend, it was too perfect not to choose!  Oh, and it’s a free pattern put out by Classic Elite so go knit this yourself. It would totally work with other fibers too.  I cast this hat on Christmas Eve and it’s rather potato chippy because it’s a knit row followed by a simple pattern row and I kept wanting to knit just one more row.


Frosted Sweater by Paper Daisy Creations, my Christmas cast on – a snowflake-patterned colorwork yoke sweater.  She used a gradient mini kit so the snowflakes go from light to dark using 5 colors of a warm blue with a green tint to it on a white background. I found 2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Amalfi in Pale Blue and Denim and also a skein of Hempathy by Elsebeth Lavold in a color just between those two shades so I’m only using 3 colors and I’m hoping I might have enough to make the matching hat.  

Plain Vanilla sock in Berroco Comfort Sock in the Bali colorway.  I started this pair of socks 2 years ago and got Second Sock Syndrome.  It’s now my purse knitting so I’m hoping to finish them this winter.  I’m on the second foot, going toe-up with an afterthought heel.

Lush by Tin Cast Knits, my New Years Day cast on

Knitting Fail

Frosted Sweater – take 2.  I did run into one issue with this sweater.  The Medium would probably fit well if I got gauge, but I have 24 sts per 4 inches instead of 25 which gives me an extra 1.8 inches around the bust in size Medium…  that’s just too much.  Plus, after trying it on the collar is too wide for a New England winter.  So I did the math and I’m going to knit the small but add one pattern repeat of the snowflakes which will give me an extra 12 sts around the bust which, if my gauge holds true, should give me a perfect fit, not too tight, not too loose.

Had to tink back 4 rows on my second Mahalo sock – note to self, don’t start gusset increases while making dinner when boys are cranky.  While the gusset increases themselves came out fine, I totally screwed up the lace pattern, by 2 rows, then dropped a stitch and had to tink back to more to fix the now-wobbly looking increases.

Pattern acquisition

Berroco had a pattern sale this past week – one free pattern per person and I picked up the Dahlia shawl by Brenda York, a worsted weight colorwork shawl, experienced level, by a new-to-me designer (never bought a Berroco pattern before, though I love some of their yarns).  It’s gorgeous and there are no projects on Ravelry!  Looking forward to making mine the first.

Vanilla is the New Black by Anneh Fletcher – I’m finding purl bumps uncomfortable and I heard this pattern is reversible, so I want to give it a try!

On The Run

Still No running for a while – it hurts my back, but walking does not, soooo…. I’m going to train to walk a half marathon in September!  I’ve set up a very gradual training plan to slowly work up to 13.1 miles over 9 months and I’m going to take you on that journey with me.  I’ve found  a half marathon in Salem, MA with both runner and walker divisions, so it’ll be perfect whether or not I get to start running between now and then.




Episode 28

FO, Wip, Stash, Wearables, Knitting Plans, Knitting Talk – wool allergies, On the Run, Out and About


Purple shawl in some deep stash, Queensland Sugar Rush, for myself!  Also, it’s the last sample made of a new pattern that I will be releasing over the holiday weekend – keep an eye on Instagram/Facebook/Ravelry group because it will be free for the first few days as a thank you to the knitting community.  This year has been amazing and a lot of it is thanks to the amazing women and men in the fiber world.  I started this podcast, went to Stitches United and SSK for the first time, went back to Rhinbeck and have interacted with so many of you and this is my small way of saying thanks.


Only other wip I worked on was my Mahalo sock by Dana Gervais.  Full disclosure, she’s my tech editor, but she’s also an amazing sock designer and I am loving this pattern.  I have scrawny ankles so I tweaked the narrowest size to be a little narrower and it was easy to adjust – you could also easily adjust it bigger, and the lace pattern is memorizable after a few times through so I’ve really enjoyed working on it.  Knitting it in CoBaSi by Hikoo, a cotton, bamboo, silk and nylon blended sock yarn.


Coming Next Week


It’s been cold the last 6 weeks and I didn’t have time to put this segment in the last episode, so I’ll quikly summarize – I’ve been wearing Poema by Vera Sanon a lot.  Also, I’ve been wearing my (until now) only two shawls a lot, Maris Stella by Anna Victoria and May Flowers, an old pattern of mine, over store bought sweaters to stay warm.  Also I’ve been going back and forth between wearing my Hamilknit Hat by Emily Straw from Knitting Butterflies podcast and the Twist and Shout hat by Michele DuNaier which is a simple cabled hat.

Knitting Plans

I want to lengthen the sleeves of my Empire Tunic by Lily Go, knit in Frog Tree’s Picobo, a cotton/bamboo blend.  I love this top but since I’m always cold I’ll get more wear out of this if it has long sleeves and not ¾ sleeves.

Also, I want to pull out my English Garden Wedding Kimono that I knit years and years ago and finally do the embroidery.  This is from the Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits from Interweave and I picked this pattern because the embroidery makes this sweater just amazing.  The Firefly I got at my LYS the last few weeks are destined for that.

Knitting Talk

I’ve had a couple of people ask about my wool allergy recently so I thought we’d devote this section to fiber and animal allergies.  I am not a medical professional, so please take what I am saying with that in mind, but I will share what I know with you.  First off, yes, wool allergies are real – you can be allergic to sheep just like you can be allergic to cats and dogs.  Unfortunately, I’m allergic to all 3 to varying degrees, and also to horses and goats.  I just happen to get the worst physical reaction to sheep whereas I have 2 cats and all I get is a stuffy nose sometimes when they shed.

You can also have a reaction to the lanolin in the wool – if that’s the case then you might be able to work with a superwash wool where all the lanolin is stripped out so they can smooth down the scales in the wool fibers.  Well meaning knitters often try to tell me I’m just sensitive to lanolin.  I usually just nod and smile.

Lastly, your skin could just be sensitive, in which you get itchy with certain wools.  This isn’t an actual allergy but a form of contact dermatitis, which is just a fancy way of saying that your skin is sensitive and something is irritating your skin.  Wearing a t-shirt underneath usually solves the problem.

So, how do I know I’m allergic to sheep?  I found out when I was 4.  My great-grandmother bought me a lovely little coat and hat set.  Mom bundled me up and sent me off to pre-school and I came home covered in hives. Poor Gram felt awful, but she had no way of knowing, I just happen to have very severe allergies. A skin-prick allergy test the next year confirmed I am allergic to every animal they tested for, to varying degrees. 

Last time I had a major reaction was 2002 in London, England.  My now-husband and I had just gotten to Europe for a 45-day backpacking trip around the continent.  We went to bed very jet-lagged and I never even thought to check the content of the blanket because in the US budget hotels do not have nice blankets.  It was hot and we didn’t pull it up over us.  Sometime in the night I must have tucked my feet under the blanket because when I woke up in the morning my ankles had literally doubled in size.  I could get 2 pairs of socks to fit, but none of the 3 pairs of shoes I brought.  I finally had to un-lace my sneakers and jam my feet into them so I could leave the hotel room.  It took about a week for them to shrink back to normal size – if I hadn’t been power-walking around European capitals it probably would have gotten better a bit faster but I was NOT about to miss anything, swollen ankles be damned.

Out and About

January – Vogue Knitting Live in NYC, if you’re coming too let me know!

March – Stitches United in Hartford, CT.  A quick note for any of you debating coming, Stitches United 2018 is in CT but in 2019 it will be in Georgia.  Knitting Universe has announced that Stitches United will be alternating between the Northeast and the Southeast.  So, if you were planning on going to CT in 2019, go this year instead.

On the Run

Keep on walking and strength training


Episode 27 – Playing Catch Up

Knitting and Running in 30 min or less

Segments this week include: Fos, Wips, Stash, Out and About, On the Run and Patterns

Be A Helper KAL - extended through January 6th so you can also participate in the Knitmore Girls Do Some Good KAL.


MIL hitchhiker shawl, pattern by Martina Behm, knit in Ito Yarn’s Kinu 100% silk

Thing 2’s Christmas socks, 4 toddler vanilla socks knit in Plymouth Diversity in the Multi Blue Taube colorway which is self-striping white, taupe, aqua, navy and bright orange.

Thing 1’s Christmas knee socks in Berroco Comfort Sock in Red

Lillesand cowl by Monika Eckert for my aunt in some deep stash, Rozetti Yarns Soft Payette and Cascade Sateen Solids

Blue baby socks for friend’s son, just a simple vanilla sock in some deep stash that I don’t remember the name of

Husband’s super secret scarf in Pendenza by Plymouth Yarns.  At Thanksgiving, as I was audibly working mn my LAST Christmas gift,  he commented that I wasn’t making him anything for Christmas.   So when mom and I went shopping on Small Business Saturday I stopped into A Great Yarn in Chatham and bought this lovely gradient yard and knit him a Hitchhiker by Martina Behm, which I knit in secret and finished yesterday.

Mom’s Christmas shawl – this is my new pattern, which hasn’t been released yet and I’ll talk more about it later, but I knit it in some Bernat worsted weight Handicrafter Holida yarn that I’ve had for a while, with the white on the lace edge and red for the body


My 1st non-vanilla socks! – Mahalo by Dana Gervais in CoBaSi by Hikoo

My 2nd non-vanilla socks – Newlin by Sarak Jordan, aka Knit/Wit Designs – Berroco Comfort Sock and I’m working these on my brand new Size 2 Lykke needles to test them out.

New shawl sample, hoping to release around Christmas, knitting it in

Triyang, by Lee Meredith, in Araucania’s Yumbrel, a cotton thread/laceweight yarn in Pastels colorway, which is pastel peach, pink, blue and purple.

Out and About

Vogue Knitting in January!  It’s my birthday gift from my boys as it’s happening right around my birthday.  I’ll be there on the Friday so if you see me, say hello!

Probably going to Stitches United in March in Hartford, CT.  Not planning on taking any classes at the moment, just enjoying the market and hanging out with people.



9 skeins of bamboo dyed by Artisinal Yarns, 3 gold, 3 pink & gold blend, 3 pink with gold undertones.  Think I’m going to fade a Lush by Tin Can Knits and possibly make it in the round instead of a cardigan, since I’m always cold.

2600 yards of lace-weight bamboo dyed by Spinnaway Farms (so nice, btw)

Pendenza by Plymouth Yarns, bought at A Great Yarn in Chatham, MA over the Thanksgiving holiday

1 mini-skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock in “ooak” colorway

2 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold’s Hempathy in Light Denim (looks more like a light purple)

1 skein of Firefly by Classic Elite in a warm pinky-beige colorway called Delos – destined to be embroidery on a Downton Abbey themed Garden Kimono sweater I knit years ago

Fiber (!) – have not started spinning any of these

16 oz Green/Mocha/White Show Special by Little Barn -  a blend of 3 naturally occurring, undyed cottons, one which is tan, another greenish, and the third the traditional whitish.

2 oz Tussah Silk from Fiber Kingdom

1 oz Yak/silk blend from Liberty Ridge

1 oz camel/silk blend from Fiber Kingdom

2 oz Tencel from Fiber Kingdom

2oz Bamboo from Fiber Kingdom


I bought 4 patterns during the Indie Design Gift-A-Long kal, including the 2 sock patterns I mentioned earlier, Newlin by Knit/Wit and Mahalo by Dana Gervais. 

I also bought Peppermint Mocha by CC Almon of Java Purl Designs the Isis Talicoat by Kari-Helene Rane (Side note for clarity – this pattern was released in 2012 before the current jihadist movement and was named after the ancient Egyptian goddess) it looks like the old fashioned Victorian women’s tailcoat but without all the frilly nonsense.  It has a detailed edging but the body is stockinette and fits under the bust with a large decorative button, then the edges gently angle towards the hips.  I plan to wear this with knee high boots and leggings in the spring and fall as an indoor/outdoor coat.

On The Run

As I mentioned last week, I threw my back out again after Rhinebeck and finally went to the doctor, the result of which is I’m now in physical therapy, again.  It’s been about 4 weeks now and I am seeing definite progress.  I am already stronger and I’ve been cleared to start basic exercises, within reason. No running yet, but I’m walking a few days a week and learned today that I can swim, ride my bike or even row if I take it slow and easy to start.  So I am very excited to get back out there. 

With the PT I’ve been concentrating on strength training since my last On The Run segment, for obvious reasons, and it is definitely paying off.  My shoulders and upper back are a lot stronger and I’m starting to work on the middle and lower back and transverse abdomis, which is your central core muscle, what lays under your 6-pack abs (or lack thereof, in my case) and it’s the muscle that actually holds you upright.  Having a stronger core is awesome and I know will help me a lot in running once I’m cleared to start that.  In the show notes I am linking to some articles on Transverse Abdominis workouts that could help you.

So if you want to work your abs, focus on your transverse abdominus, NOT a 6-pack.  Crunches make your tummy look pretty but it won’t make you stronger.  Try exercises like planks, modified planks, side planks, wood chops, burpees, or dead bugs – and as always, please check with a medical professional if you have any pain, especially any recurring pain.  I am not a medical professional, I am only trying to arm you with knowledge.




Episode 26 – 11/21/17 - Knitting and Running in 30 min or les

Calling this one “Unexpected Rhinebeck Hiatus”

This will be a short episode, as you can hear from my voice I’m still a little under the weather.  I just wanted to record a new episode so you know I haven’t pod-faded.  If you’re new to the show, I’ll be back with a regular episode, as long as my children co-operate.

Which leads me to my 2-minute health update.  I wasn’t planning on taking a hiatus after Rhinebeck, but since then

  • Our household has been hit by 2 different viruses, both of which lef to 
  • Laryngitis
  • Toddler started getting molars
  • I threw my back out again
  • Moved the toddler out of the crib because he started climbing out

Quick Rhinebeck Chat

I do want to say a big “thank you” to everyone I met, it was so much fun to see everyone and spend a day with some great fiber folks.

I’ve had several people ask me about the Webs bus, so I will give you a quick recap.

For the Webs bus to Rhinebeck this year it was $50 (if I remember correctly), they ask you to get there about 30 minutes early and they had breakfast of local apple cider donuts waiting for everyone inside the store.  Once the busses arrived we all boarded three very nice coaches.  One note – please don’t be late if you take a bus.

En route everyone received a free skein of yarn for Lorna’s Laces.  Also there were about 10-12 raffles on our bus.  Prizes included stuff like yarn, project bags and several with cash for you to spend at Rhinebeck!  Each bus had 2 Webs guides and ours were so much fun!

We were dropped off right near the main entrance around 10ish, if I remember correctly and we had to be back aboard the bus by 3:45, so we did get most of the day at the festival.

That’s all for this week, thanks for putting up with my croaky voice today.  I wish all those of you in the US a very Happy Thanksgiving and I hope to be back to my normal recording schedule next week, providing my toddler naps.



Segments include: Be  Helper craft-a-long, FOs, Wips, Wearables, Knitting Fail and Knitting Talk

Y’all knit when you’re stressed, too, right?  I don’t want to get into the details but it has been a very stressful week at our house, luckily with mostly good outcomes.  Let’s just say that the the least crappy thing was being a cloth diaper family and having our washing machine break.  Pun intended.  Because I had diapers that needed washing.

The result being, I did LOTS of knitting the last 2 weeks.

Also, I am getting a cold as you probably hear in my voice.  I don’t want to push this recording any later since I skipped last week due to sick kids and I have a feeling this cold will be worse tomorrow…

Be A Helper Craft-a-long

In case you missed it, I’m hosting a charity craft a long.  You can get entries by 1) donating blood or 2) making ANYthing for ANY charity.  No FOs in the thread so far!  I know lots of you craft for charity regularly so go ahead and enter – you do NOT need to be a member of my Ravelry group to win.  I honestly don’t care if you join or not, my only goal with the KAL is to encourage others to stop feeling frozen with all the crazy, hard stuff going on in the world and give you an impetus to go out and help others.


Knitted knocker in Cascade Ultra Pima in ivory.  I made size C using top-down magic loop pattern.  Visit to learn more about the great work they do and see a list of approved yarns.

3 preemie hats using Java Purl Design’s Top-Down Preemie Hat pattern – free on Ravelry – in Caron Simply Soft Paints

1 preemie hat also using Java Purl’s pattern using Loops & Threads

Another Itty Bitty Kitty preemie hat, the same test knit pattern in the Maldives colorway of Berroco comfort sock


Emerald Deep by Romi Hill – finished charts B, C & D.  Halfway through E.  Finished that Irish-style lace section I mentioned.  It was lots of fun but you have to place close attention because it’s knit lace on both sides – no rest rows.  Gift for my cousin’s wife for Christmas in Prism Delicato Layers in Kale colorway.  Only 30 rows left!

Lillesand cowl by Monika Eckhert, working on this in some deep stash, Cascade Yarn’s Sateen in a burgundy-red color and Rozetti Yarns Soft Payette in white with a few sequins for sparkle here and there – got a few more rows done on this cowl for my aunt for Christmas

Toe-up Vanilla Socks with an afterthought heel for Thing 2 – first sock done, about to reach the heel on sock 2; looking to make 4 for him for Christmas in Plymouth Yarns Diversity


Heat wave here in New England most of October!

Marshes Cabled Sleeveless Shell – one of my first patterns released.  Need to go grade it for larger sizes and get it re-tech edited.  Will let y’all know when that happens

Mommy’s Tunic – Juniper Moon Farm’s Neve in Blue

Knitting Fail

That sweater got shrunk in the dryer!  We went a little crazy washing stuff after we got the new washing machine and my husband tossed the cotton tunic in the dryer and it shrunk.  So I gave it to my LYS to model the yarn since I bought it there. 

Knitting Talk

To design or just knit a shawl for AGC Scholarships?  AGC is run by a woman I went to high school with who chnoicled her battle with infertility on her blog, later published as the book Infertility Inferschmility which you should definitely check out if infertility is something you or a loved one has been dealing with.  Also - what color?  Black to go with Everything?  Or use their turquoise logo color? Or perhaps a gradient kit - they look so impressive to non-knitters :)



Not a normal episode.  It’s less than 36 hours since the horrific shootings in Las Vegas and as of last night I wasn’t going to record this week, I was going to put it off a week.  My kindergartener just had his first lock-down drill at school and I don’t even know how what to say to him.

I’ve had that stunned, frozen, deer-in-the-headlights feeling since yesterday.  Heck, for the last week or two what with everything that’s been happening in the world recently.  I couldn’t sleep last night and sometime around 4am I remembered that Mr Rodgers meme that goes around after every tragedy, in times of trouble look for the helpers.

From the PBS website “Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” “

I decided at 4am this morning that I am NOT going to sit here feeling helpless and afraid and frozen.  I am going to help someone.  I may not have a million dollars to donate to Puerto Rico or be able to drive to Vegas to donate blood, but I can knit a NICU baby a hat.  I can donate blood here.  I can make a knitted knocker for a breast cancer survivor.  I CAN HELP.

And I want you to help, too.  Today I’m starting a charity KAL and I want you to join me.

There is something you can do.  BE A HELPER.  Donate blood locally.  Make a Knitted Knocker for a woman with breast cancer.  Knit or weave a scarf or crochet a blanket for a homeless shelter.  Knit a hat for refugees.  Make a preemie hat for the local NICU.  I don’t care what you do, just do something for someone else.  Have another great charity idea?  Wonderful!  Share it in the Ravelry group in the chatter thread. 

Go do something for your fellow humans.

Here are the knittiy gritty details: One entry per FO or photo proof of blood donation. Wips are fine. Double dipping in other KALs is fine. Knit, crochet or weave anything you want, just post a picture in the Finished Objects thread in my Knitting on The Run / Windswept Designs group on Ravelry and tell us what charity you are donating it to.

I’ve already got a gradient kit from Birdies Knits and a skein of silk from Ito Yarns as prizes, and Sarah from KnitWit Designs and CC from JavaPurl designs have graciously offered pattern prizes.  I will list all the prizes in detail in my next episode.

Interested I donating a prize or know someone who might? PM me on Ravelry or Instagram, I’m WindsweptMonique on both.

Now go out there and do some good in this world.


Episode 23 – 9/25/17 Knitting and running in 30 minutes or less

Topics this week include FO, Wips, Out and About, On the Run


Itty Bitty Kitty Preemie Hat test knit from Sarah Jordan, aka Knit Wit.  To fit 2-3lb baby hat worked in Berroco Comfort Sock


Emerald Deep by Romi Hill – finished charts B & C, started chart D.  Finished that Irish-style lace section I mentioned.  It was lots of fun but you have to place close attention because it’s knit lace on both sides – no rest rows.  Gift for my cousin’s wife for Christmas in Prism Delicato Layers in Kale colorway

Another Itty Bitty Kitty preemie hat, the same test knit pattern in the Maldvies colorway of Berroco comfort sock

Lillesand cowl by Monika Eckhert, working on this in some deep stash, Cascade Yarn’s Sateen in a burgundy-red color and Rozetti Yarns Soft Payette in white with a few sequins for sparkle here and there – got a few more rows done on this cowl for my aunt for Christmas

Hitchiker by Martina Behm in Ito Yarn’s Kinu, 100% silk – still plugging away at this a few rows a week.  It’s my purse knitting

Knitted Knocker in Cascade Ultra Pima – literally just cast this on waiting for my toddler to fall asleep so I can record this show – visit their website at

Knitting Talk

Fit and Ease

Ease - how much extra room (or lack thereof) do you want in your garment? 

An inch or so of ease will be a fitted garment but the material will not stretch to fit you.  Negative ease, where the material is actually less around than your body, will give you a very fitted garment where the material itself is stretching to fit around your body – think a typical sock.

2-3 inches of you will give you a comfortable fit without feeling fitted. 4 inches or so and we’re getting more into loose-fitting cardigans and approaching boyfriend sweater territory.  Some of the huge boxy sweaters out there these days may have as much as 8 inches of ease to give you that boxy effect.

Out and About

Rhinebeck!  I’m headed to Rhinebeck for the day via the bus from Webs.  Gonna be a long day – I have a grad school reunion at the MFA in Boston the night before then I have to leave my house around 5-5:30am to drive to Webs.

I cannot wait!  The artichoke line was waaaay too long by the time I found it so I hope to grab one of those earlier in the day.  I’ll be at the podcaster meetup, of course, and probably at the Ravelry meetup too.  I’m also hoping to locate the bag check this year – missed it last year, but I’ll have a big ‘ol day pack with me for the bus and car ride.  On the plus side, with a minimum of 4 hours on the bus I should get a bit of knitting done that day!

On the Run

After walking to school for 3 weeks today I started a Galloway-style run-walk-run on the way home and it felt good.  Rolled out my quads, IT bands and solias muscles, which have been cranky with the sudden mileage increase, but they felt OK too.  Will try again in a couple of days.

Mileage Increases – keep it low, keep it slow

As I mentioned last week, I broke one of the cardinal rules of running by suddenly drastically increasing my mileage by walking my son to kindergarten.  That’s an additional 3 miles or so per day for me.  Now, we mitigated this by not walking every single day – we’re averaging about 3 days a week and some days we only walk one way and not the other.   But this is a huge faux pas and something even us veteran runners forget.

If you’re new to running, an important rule to remember is to keep your mileage increases small, no more than 10% increase per week.  This is super important because most injuries are directly linked to increasing intensity or duration of exercise too much too soon.

Now, let’s unpack this statement – this does not mean you should increase your mileage by 10% every week – on the contrary if you look into the data, most folks should be increasing your mileage by a MAXIMUM of 5-10% every OTHER week.  You should also be incorporating rest weeks where you run less than your baseline, or average weekly miles.  The reason for all this is your body needs time to adjust to the changes your asking of it.

Particularly when starting out, don’t plan on increasing mileage or speed any time soon.  Listen to your body.  Take more rest weeks if you need it, or put mile increases off till next week if your body is feeling off.  The whole point is to start running or increase running without injury and that means giving yourself time to adapt.  If you have existing injuries, then you REALLY need to take it slow.  Thinking of starting a couch-to-5k program?  You can plan on repeating the 1st week 3 times to give your chronic issues time to adapt slowly.  Or something I did when I did my marathon training I took the marathon training plan and slowed it down by adding more rest weeks because I knew my body and knew that I had to be careful of asking too much of it too soon.

To sum up – take it slow and stay injury free.



Episode 22 -  9/20/17

Today’s topics include Wips, Knitting Fail, Knitting Chat: The Importance of Taking Measurements and On the Run: Foam Rolling

Thanks for your patience this week!  This is the 3rd time I’ve tried to record.  Any of you who’ve ever lived with a 2-year old can appreciate why I only record when he’s asleep so you can imagine what this week has been like! And to top it off the boys had stolen my pop filter to play with – finally found it around 10pm last night buried under a blanket.

Also, thanks for the kind concern about my in-laws.  They are fine after Irma.  Since it swung west it nearly hit them directly buy it had weakened some.  They lost power for a long time and had three trees crash across their rather long driveway but they cut a path out through the worst and were able to leave the house soon after. 

I truly hope that you and all your loved ones are safe, be it from Irma, Harvey, Maria, the fires out west, the Mexico earthquakes, the flooding last month in Nepal and India or whatever chaos may be happening in your part of the world.  Please stay safe.


Second Grace by Bristol Ivy in Berroco’s Modern Cotton, 99% complete. Need to weave in ends, and take some pictures.

Lillesand by Monika Eckhert, working on this in some deep stash, Cascade Yarn’s Sateen in a burgundy-red color and Rozetti Yarns Soft Payette in white with a few sequins for sparkle here and there.  It’s a Christmas gift for my aunt who loves true, deep reds.

Emerald Deep by Romi Hill – a shawl designed for green yarn and I have some Prism Delicato Layers I bought a few years ago to make a gift for my cousin’s wife, then found out I was pregnant with baby #2 and it got put on hold.  But it is sooooo perfect for this pattern.  Shawl has a lace version of Celtic knotwork and I can’t wait to get to that part. I am halfway through Chart 2 and the “knotwork” is Chart 3 – so close!

Itty Bitty Kitty – test knit for Sarah Jordan a new friend I met at SSK this summer and a great designer.  It’s a sock-weight preemie hat and I am nearly done with the ribbing.  Knitting this up in Berroco Comfort Sock which leads to my (sort of)…

Knitting Fail 4:30

More of a parenting fail involving yarn, but work with me here.   I started the Itty Bitty Kitty preemie had at the opposite end of a skein of yarn that has a partial 2nd sock on it.  No biggie.  Until my 2 year old got a hold of it.  Now I have complete yarn chaos and I am now alternating between unravelling the awful mess and knitting up what I just unraveled.


Knitting Chat

Today I want to talk about measuring yourself.  The keys to knitting a garment that fits you perfectly are 1) a good gauge swatch and 2) accurate measurements of your body.

You really need someone else to help you with this.  When you try to measure yourself you actually shift your body and that can affect your measurements.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to have someone ELSE take your measurements.  In the shownotes I am linking to an old Lion Brand Yarns blog post that has lots of great pictures showing you exactly where and how to take 14 different measurements, including bust, waist, hips, arm length and armhole depth, all of which are critical to making sure a garment fits YOUR body.  So get a buddy, a tapemeasure and a piece of paper and pen and go take YOUR measurements before you knit another garment.

Bust – fullest part of your bust

Waist – natural waist, not where your pants sit.  If you’re unsure, bend sideways and see where your body creases, that’s usually a good indicator

Hips – measure around the widest part of the hips, usually around 8” [20cm] below your natural waist

Armhole depth - Measure from the top outside edge of the shoulder down to the armpit. 

Upper arm – the widest part of your arm, above the elbow

Cross back – measure from shoulder to shoulder across your back – since many of us have rounded shoulders, this will be larger than if you take the measurement in the front.

And in case you’re wondering why no pattern ever seems to fit you perfectly as-written, I am also linking to Craft Yarn Council’s sizing chart so you can see what numbers designers are (often) expected to use. WomensMensKids.  And because it bears repeating – get someone to help you to!

On the Run

Today we’re still talking about injury prevention and I want to discuss a pro-active technique you can use to help yourself: Foam Rolling. 

Foam rolling is a type of self-massage where you use a tool, in this case a large foam cylinder, to release knots in the muscle and tight areas in your fascia, which is like a membrane over your muscles that sort of holds you together.

Foam rolling in it’s essence is quite simple.  You use your own body weight and a foam roller to carefully put pressure on the knots and tight places.  This helps improve blood flow and increase your range of motion when the tight places in your fascia start behaving like their normal, stretchy selves again.  Foam rolling can be uncomfortable, but it should not be excruciating.  I’ve been guilty of this myself - if you’re gasping in pain (for me it’s rolling out IT bands) you’re doing it wrong – lift some of your weight up off the roller or attack the knot more gently.  If you are getting sharp pains, SEE A DOCTOR.  Afterwards you may find some of those areas a little tender, or even itchy, this is normal.  Give those spots a day or two to recover before you roll out again.  Itching is actually a good sign, it’s a sign of increased blood flow.  Do NOT foam roll over joints – at best it does no good, at worst you can hurt yourself.  Stick to rolling out your soft tissue.  If you need to roll out your back (I find this soooo helpful after hefting a 30lb toddler around every day) – make sure you angle yourself slightly so you’re rolling either one side of your back muscles or the other and do NOT roll straight up your spine.

I’m linking to a recent podcast by the new Get Fit Guy, Brock Armstrong, all about foam rolling.  You can read his transcript and find links to the studies he mentions which I don’t have time to get into here.  I’m also linking to a Runner’s World article which has videos showing you how to foam roll different muscles properly.  Lastly I’m linking to a study from the National Institutes of Health that quantified how foam rolling helped the participants.  In summation, foam rolling is a technique that you can use yourself to help release tention in your muscles and fascia and prevent future injuries.



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