Archive for April 2018

37: The One With No Knitting

Episode 37 -  4/27/18 – The One With No Knitting


As you may have guessed from the title this week, I have no knitting to talk about!  I went to the doctor just after the last recording and I got good news and bad news.  The good news: I do NOT have arthritis. The bad news? No knitting for two weeks.  It has been a rather frustrating few weeks but I have not cheated, not even once.  I’ve done some spindling and I taught myself to drop-spindle ply with my other hand, which helped.  I’ve also picked up some old cross stitch projects, and I’ll talk about all that in Wips.  Also, I should add that knitting is my stress relief so Mama’s been a little on edge the last two weeks but by some miracle I have not throttled or defenestrated any family members.  They are all still alive, lol.

No episode next week because I still cannot knit.


I finished spinning my very first 2oz braid!  It’s a cotton sliver in the colorway Skies Over Pittsburgh from Hipstrings and to my great surprise I ended up with a whopping 654 yards!  I was guestimating I’d end up with 300-400 yards.  Boy was I wrong!  The first half of the plied yarn is unfortunately chock full of knots.  The first single I spun was not done well – it was alternatingly over spun and underspun, then that was one of the singles I used to learn to ply with my non-dominant hand and that was a bad combination.  But the second half turned out well and definitely usable.



Today while getting the car worked on I started spinning another 2oz braid of cottom from Hipstrings in the A New Beginning colorway which is one of the first colors from their new Cotton Club (highly recommend!)

Lady and the Unicorm:

The Lady and the Unicorn is the modern title given to a series of six tapestries woven in Flanders from wool and silk circa 1500. The set of 6 tapestries is  on display in the Musée de Cluny in Paris

Five of the tapestries depict the five senses – taste, hearing, sight, smell, and touch. The sixth hasthe words "À mon seul désir" or "to my only desire" and the project I am working on is based on this last one.

The pattern is from Golden Kite and when it's done it will look like this:

 Golden Kite is a husband and wife team from Europe who specialize in making cross stitch patterns out of works of art in the public domain.  They have everything from Van Gogh to Kadinsky to Edmund Blair Leighton to the cieling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.



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Episode 36 – 4/12/18 – Knitting and Running in 30 minutes or less

WindsweptMonique on Ravelry and Instagram, Visit my new website at and stream the podcast or read shownotes. 

Thanks so much for listening!  There are 1000’s of podcasts for you to choose from and I am you take time out of your busy life to listen to mine.

Segments this week include FOs, Wips, Pattern Stalking, Training Update and Running Talk


Hitchhiker knit out of Makimo by Fiberlady in the Scrumptious Berries colorway – goes from raspberry pink to blackberry purple.  100% bamboo.  I love it.  I love having my own hitchhiker.  I’ve worn it several times already because it’s still unseasonably cold here in New England (though theoretically that will change in the next few days!)


Changing Staircases - pattern by Jenga Knits – Mousou by Fiberlady in the Plum colorway, light to mid-tone purples in laceweight bamboo base.  I am about 40% done and I really like it.  It’s a little more brain power than a Hitchhiker, but also has more visual interest.  It’s still simple enough to knit at karate, swimming, soccer, etc.

52-st sock – this is my current car knitting so I’m slowly chugging away at it.  I’m knitting it in 2 shades of CoBaSi by Hikoo, a sock yarn made of cotton, bamboo, silk and nylon.  KNitting this in leftover Raspberry and a skein of Slated, a gray variegated yarn.


It’s still cold.  Thing 1 has worn his Star Wars Sweater twice more this last week and Thing 2 has worn a very old sweater I knit for Thing 1 in the years I didn’t document much on Ravelry.  It was a free pattern from Sirdar but I can’t find it online anymore!  I’ve worn my Maris Stella shawl and my new Hitchhiker a few times, too.


Pattern Stalking

Tisane by Maria Olson – a spring/summer coat with ¾ length sleeves cardigan/coat that buttons in front of the bust and lays open below it.  The upper portion is stockinette and the lower non-buttoned section is a lovely lace pattern.

Training Update

Still swimming as cross training and it is finally getting easier!  Last week I swam 150 yards and today I did 250! I won’t say it’s easy, per se, as my freestyle is still abysmal and I find it quite challenging.  I swim freestyle in one direction, then swim the breaststroke back, which for me is an easy stroke.

Running Talk

Let’s talk butts.  Rear Ends.  Glutes.    Your gluteus muscles are some of the most important muscles for walking and running but in so many of us they don’t work the way they’re supposed to.  Thanks so our modern sedentary lifestyles and office jobs, many of our pelvises tilt too far forward and our butts don’t actually engage when they are meant to, leaving other muscle groups to take over the load.  I’m definitely guilty of this, and of not realizing it, and I ended up with two badly sprained hamstrings during my marathon, and months of physical therapy, because of it. 

First we’ll cover a few tests to see if your glutes are week.  Then I’ll talk about some glute strengthening exercises and how to get your glutes firing again when they’re supposed to.


Test 1 – chair of death “to start this test, stand in front of a chair with your feet under it and your knees touching the seat. Put your arms out in front of you. Now squat down and try not to let your knees push into the chair. If you find that your knees are hitting the chair or you are even moving the chair, your glutes are not working properly.”

Test 2 – Bridge “Lie on your back with your knees up and your feet flat on the ground. Hold your arms straight out above you. Lift your hips up to make a straight bridge from shoulders to knees. Where do you feel it? If you feel stress anywhere but your butt, you aren't activating your glutes. “

Exercises –

Lunges and squats are great if you have proper form.  Here are a few other exercises that will help:

Prone hip extension – lie on your stomach and use your glutes to lift your leg up of the floor.

Bridges with weights –

Lie on your back, knees bent and put a light weight or soup can on your lower abdomen.  The extra weight your body isn’t used to will help make your glutes engage.  Also, try lifting your butt only a few inches off the floor and work on activating your glutes, not on the height of your bridge.

Deadlifts -

To do this exercise, stand in front of a kettlebell or 2 dumbbells or even 2 soup cans to start. Take a hip-width to shoulder-width stance, knees slightly bent.  Bend forward at the hips and grab your weights. Use your glutes and hamstrings to lift your torso and stand straight up. Now lower the weights by hinging at the hips and allowing your glutes to move backward as you keeping the weights close to our touching the fronts of your legs. the bar in contact with your legs on the way down. If you are flexible enough, let the bar touch the floor and then pull it back up. Or you can stop about mid-shin height and then raise the bar back up.


To sum up - your legs are like a fulcrum or the pendulum on a clock and your glutes power that movement. Get those glutes strong and prevent injuries down the road.  Several articles you may find helpful are linked in the show notes.




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Episode 35 – 4/3/18 – Knitting and Running in 30 minutes or less

WindsweptMonique on Ravelry and Instagram, Show Notes at  Come join the Ravelry group!

Thanks so much for listening!  There are 1000’s of podcasts for you to choose from and I am so honored you chose mine.

FOs, Wips, Knitting Fail, Wearables, Knitting Talk, Out and About and On The Run


Emerald Deep shawl –This shawl is a charity knit for AGC Scholarships, a group that raises money for families dealing with infertility or who are trying to adopt.  Worked in Ito Yarn’s Kinu, 100% silk.  Kinu has a colorway, Aqua, which is almost the exact color of AGC’s logo so it was too perfect not to use.  The shawl will be auctioned off at AGC’s annual gala to raise money.  If you or someone you love would like to learn more about AGC, visit  The shawl will be auctioned off at their gala this weekend and I hope that AGC has a very successful auction on all their items and raises lots of money to help families who just want to have a family.

Star Wars Sweater – Thing 1 was sooooooo excited to get his sweater.  I knit it in secret while he was asleep or at school and it was a surprise for him.  He insisted on wearing it to school today which made this mama very happy!

Vanilla is the New Black – finished the 2nd sock last week but it’s too big!  I have very narrow feet and have problem finding shoes that fit well, so I can’t say I’m surprised.


Dancing Dragons Coat from Heike Campbell in Be Sweet’s Bamboo in the Sea Green colorway which is a tonal speckled green with blue undertones.  It’s knit bottom up in pieces – I’m working on the back panel and I’m on my 3rd repeat of chart 2 and am nearly up to the underarms.

New Hitchhiker for me out of Makimo by Fiberlady in the Scrumptious Berries colorway – goes from raspberry pink to blackberry purple.  100% bamboo

Changing Staircases – pattern by Jenga Knits – Mousou by Fiberlady in the Plum colorway, light to mid-tone purples in laceweight bamboo base.

52-st sock in  2 shades of CoBaSi by Hikoo, a sock yarn made of cotton, bamboo, silk and nylon.  60sts on a US1(2.25mm) needle was too big so after some wonderful feedback from all of you on Instagram I’ve dropped down to a 52st version and I’m using the Fish Lips Kiss Heel.  I’m almost to the arch of the foot and so far it’s fitting much better.  Using leftovers of the raspberry colorway for heels/toes/cuffs and 1 200-yard skein of Slated, a variegated gray colorway, for the foot and ankle portions.

Knitting Fail

Thing 2 decided to sit, well, more like jump on one of my knitting bags when he climbed up next to me on the sofa and snapped my Lykke US size 2 circular needles.  Boo!!



It’s gotten cold again here so we’re wearing LOTS of knits.

I’ve worn my Frosted sweater twice and my Poema sweater.  I’ve been wearing my Twist and Shout by Michele DuNaier almost every day.  The kids have been sick almost the entire time since we’ve been home from FL and that hat is a machine washable cotton, so it’s my hat of choice until the viruses subside.  I’ve also been wearing my Use Your Stash shawl and occasionally stealing my husband’s Hitchhiker Shawl.  Thing 2 has grown so much he’s now wearing some of Thing 1’s old sweaters, like the red Monomoy sweater I made several years ago.  Both boys have been wearing the socks I knit them for Christmas under their winter boots while playing in the snow.  And Thing 1 has worn his new Star Wars sweater to school several times already.


Out and About

Stitches United was from March 23-25.  I attended on Saturday, March 24th.  Come on up and say “hi!”


On The Run

Training is still going and I’m making progress. I did 2.5 miles on Sunday and that’s the most I’ve done since summer 2016 and it felt sooooooo good to walk my old running routes.  I still haven’t been able to get outside much with all the snow in March, but the sidewalks are now clear so I have hope. 

I’ve been swimming once a week as cross training and I think it’s making a difference.  I feel the swimming workouts in my whole body, not just my legs and it really gets my heart pumping.  Next week I’m aiming to increase to 200 yards.

I have some topics I want to discuss over the next few weeks, including the myth that running ruins knees, yoga for runners, why runners need to do upper body and core workouts and incontinence in women which affects so many women, especially after childbirth, and keeps many from exercsising (spoiler alert on this last one – there is hope and help available!).  But I also want to hear from you – what fitness topics would you like me to research?  Come tell me in the Ravelry group or email me at

So now I want to ask you – what are YOU doing now that it’s officially Spring?  I know those of you down south have gorgeous weather this time of year while we’re still wearing mittens in the morning.




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