Archive for September 2017

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.


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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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Episode 21 - 9/7/17


Hitchhiker for my MIL in Ito Yarn’s Kinu 100% silk

New CO, Second Grace by Bristol Ivy in Berocco Modern Cotton.  Gotten a lot done since I threw my back out and have been sitting a LOT.  Body just a few rows from the underarms, also have 1.5 sleeves done.  Using 7 colors, the main color is green, a medium-dark green with a hint of blue to it, then the fair isle parts are in navy, light blue, yellow, rust, medium-purple, and turquoise.  It’s forced me to learn 3-colors-at-a-time colorowork and since I cannot get tension holding yarns in 2 hands, I’ve adapted the 2-color-continental hold for colorwork to be a 3-color hold, all in the left hand.  I’m not a fan, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can do it and make it look decent.

Triyang Shawl by Lee Meredith in Araucania’s Yumbrel, a lace-weight cotton in the pastels colorway, peach, pink, sky blue and light purple


Blue Heron Yarn’s Cotton/Rayon blend from A Great Yarn in Chatham, Cape Cod, MA.  Love this yarn, love Blue Heron colorways I’ve knit with them several times in the past.  With all the talk Laura of the KnitGirlllls has been doing about the Evenstar, I’m debating making it again.  I’ve already knit it 1.5 times, that is, 1 finished in a sport weight yarn (basically made a blanket) and 1 skirt made out of it, but haven’t made the top for the dress yet.  Someday I’ll finish it.  But yeah, totally tempted to make Evenstar again, I LOVE that pattern

Pattern Stalking

Lillesand by Monika Eckert – a colorwork cowl that I’m debating making for my aunt for Christmas.  I have a white sparkly yarn and red yarn that this would look GORGEOUS in.  Haven’t bought it yet but don’t be surprised if you hear me cast this one on soon


Mommy’s Tunic, knit last spring/early summer in Juniper Moon Farm’s Neve in a cornflower blue

Empire Top, just finished a few weeks back and got to wear it for the first time on a col evening :) Knit in Picoboo by Frogtree, a discontinued bamboo/cotton blend

Out and About

Spent Labor Day weekend at my parent’s place on Cape Cod, which was good because I threw my bavk out the day we drove down.  And my parents are super awesome.  Even though I’m over 30 and have kids of my own, my parents took great care of me and it was feeling much better till I threw it out again yesterday wrestling my tantrum toddler into the car. Sigh.  But we had a great visit even though it was chilly. 

On the Run

No running, since I threw my back out, but I have been able to walk my oldest son to school, thankfully.  But I would like to talk more about injury prevention this week.  I want to talk about a common foot problem that can lead to injuries in your kinetic change, which we discussed last time: pronation. 

In rough, non-medical terms, you can think of pronation as how your foot rolls through a step.  I know you medical  folks are probably yelling at your devices, but work with me here, I’m trying to avoid medical jargon and anatomy terms on purpose.  Like me, you could be an over-pronator, meaning your ankles roll inward when you walk and you push off primarily from your big toe.  You could be a supinator, or under-pronator, whose ankles roll outward and push off from your outer foot.  Or you could be a neutral walker and push off using basically all your toes.  There’s no good way to determine this yourself because once you start thinking about it, your gait will change.  If you’re dealing with knee or hip issues, that is, issues further up the kinetic chain, you should go to a running store and ask them to determine if you have a neutral gait, over-pronate or supinate, because once you know that you can get the correct shoe to help correct any pronation problems, if you have them.  Any good running store will have people there who know how to determine your gait type.



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