WIP Around

Thinking Cap On!

It’s official: I AM insane!

I’m about to cast-on 490sts for a tea-cosy.

I’ve done me Sums (readers in the US would call this Math); I’ve measured me tea-pot. I’m about to start me Mad Hatter’s Tea-party. (Readers in the US should not read too much into my use of *that* phrase!)

See if this makes sense to you: C = no. of sts in Crown height; R = no. of rows, inc. bind off; R = no. of sts in Crown top, also. So overall no. of sts for a half-crown = C+R.

Follow? Yes? Good.

R is – thirdly – the no. of rows in each lobe section – there’s 14 lobes in all; so R is determined by measuring the head – by which I mean tea-pot – circumference; dividing by 14 and using a gauge swatch to determine how many rows I need to make the resulting dimension.

Still with me? No? Me neither.

Anyway, unless I’ve mis-calculated – which is entirely possible – C=24, R=6 and my cast-on row goes something like this:

[CO: 1+C+R/2, PM, 1+R/2+R/2, PM, 1+R/2+R/2, PM, 1+R/2+C, PM] 7 times. OR…

[CO 29, PM; CO 7, PM; CO 7, PM; CO 29, PM] x 7. The first round will involve pouring a stiff drink, me-thinks! The beauty is, five rounds later and I’m binding-off!!!

As for other insanity I’ve been indulging in lately, I ran the Women’s Mini-Marathon last week. I actually ran it – and survived! – much to my own surprise.  Even more surprising for me, my time was just under 80mins – 1hr 19mins 48secs, to be precise. Before the event, the longest I’d run non-stop in training was 25mins. I decided I would follow two pod-casts for the C25K programme back-to-back, to keep me going. So I started with a 5 minute walk and easily ran 25 minutes without stopping. The hard part was negotiating around all the walkers; they were spread out and there wasn’t a lot of room to manoeuvre. Then I walked for 10 minutes before starting the next 25 minute run. The funny thing was, when I started to run again I found I had to over-take many of the same walkers all over again! Obviously my walking pace was a lot slower than theirs.

I felt great after the run; really thrilled with my achievement and my time. More importantly, I’ve been out running since. I think I’ve really caught the bug: I’m thinking of trying the “Bridge to 10K” programme next. I’m not sure when I’ll get time to run 10k in the morning, however; as it is I get up at 6 and the 5k run takes 40minutes or so.

It’s not too late to support the worthy cause that I was running to raise money for: CMRF stands for Crumlin Medical Research Fund and is the Fund-raising vehicle for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland. They’re the people who fixed my fab nephew when he was only a few days old and set him on a path to life-long health and happiness. They have amazing staff at that hospital and it is woefully under-resourced and under-funded by Central Government. They *need* all the fund-raising they can get to keep doing what they do so well.

So if you’ll pardon me having a Whip-around (see what I did there) please donate a skein’s worth to a worth cause by clicking on this link: http://tinyurl.com/32fmuzu

The money goes straight to CMRF; nothing goes to me but self-righteous Pride! And you all know how well I thrive on that!


It’s been 6 weeks since my last confession…

I did not love Blog when:

  • I promised to write specific posts and then completely …eh… didn’t!;
  • I did all these fantastic, blog-worthy and craft-related things and never told you about them;
  • I allowed real-life time-pressures to get in the way of blogging time…

For these, and all my sins, I am truly sorry.

For my penance I will try to write circa 20 catch-up posts over the next two weeks!

I have to apologise for my prolonged absence from my blog. It all started when DH got stuck in San Francisco because of the Ash Cloud. I was due to write a blog post all about my adventures to The Yarn Room in Wicklow the previous weekend, and meeting Irene Lundgaard for the first time – and being taught by her – but the heart just wasn’t in it.

When DH is away I still work full-time and have to get myself and the three crazies up and out the door in the morning; and fed and put to bed each evening. It’s a bit like living on a treadmill but I can do it by just getting on with it. I cut myself a break or two by easing off on household chores, such as laundry, for the duration. My knitting buddies are a great help too, as they often “bring the Mountain to Mohammed” as it were, by coming over to my house for Knit-night.

I have huge admiration for single parents, let me tell you; I don’t know how they keep themselves going. I know I only have to hold it all together until DH is home again and usually we’re only talking one week. I liken it to running a marathon: it’s a hellish run but you keep yourself moving, knowing the finish-line is in sight.

On Thursday 15th April the world woke up to the news that a certain, unpronounceable Volcano in Iceland was – quite literally – hell-bent on wrecking everyone’s plans. DH had been away since the previous Sunday and was due to fly home on Saturday afternoon. Sure enough, Mother Nature had different ideas. From my perspective, it was like someone had taken the finish-line and just run off with it. I had no choice but to keep running the marathon; but there’s something disturbing, psychologically, about not knowing when it will all end.

On Saturday night, DH suggested that he could be stuck for another five days. Strangely, rather than being horrified and distraught at the news, this was exactly what I needed to gather my energies and keep myself moving. He had given me a glimmer of ribbon that I could focus on and move towards. As it turned out, his prediction proved correct and he flew in on the second flight into Dublin Airport on Wednesday 21st April. It was amazing to see a single con-trail in the sky while simultaneously listening to a news headline reporting its arrival. We were thrown back to the early days of Flying!

So he’s been home now for a month… how do I explain the past four weeks?!?!?! Hmmmmm!?!?

The problem, for a change, was not having nothing to say (if you follow me). The problem was absolutely, over-indulging in crafty, blog-worthy adventures; to such an extent that I’m spoiled for choice. The problem with this is that I haven’t yet learned how to make time – I can only make the most of it; and I’ve certainly been doing that lately, as you can see below!

As it’s Sunday Miscellany, I’m just going to list all the excitement, somewhat in chronological order. These are potential blog-posts that you can look forward to. I have a plan for when I’m going to write each but I’ve learned from my mistake – I’m not going to tell you when to expect them in case I don’t follow through and disappear from my blog again out of shame!

  • Trip to the Yarn Room Co. Wicklow
  • Met Irene Lundgard
  • Learned Tunisian Crochet in the Round
  • Made a pair of wrist-warmers using what I learned
  • Went to the April Spin-in at Powerscourt
  • Stash Accumulation after the April Spin-in
  • Chose between finishing my April Socks and making a hat for a co-worker
  • Attended Combination Knitting Workshop by Annie Modesitt at TIK
  • Met Samsaradh and had great time catching-up with SusyMcQ
  • Stash Accumulation after the Combination Knitting Workshop
  • Met Averil
  • Stash Accumulation to celebrate meeting Averil (yeah, I’m totally out-of-control, by now!)
  • Choosing Crochet over knitting lately
  • Some Chemo caps I’m making and why
  • Choosing not to cast-on until current WIPs are whupped
  • Progress on Better Mousetrap socks
  • Progress on GlenvarAgin
  • We get Broadband means Spinning Tutorials on YouTube
  • Stash Accumulation from The Yarn and Fiber Company
  • Getting into running, the “Couch to 5K programme” and The Flora Women’s Mini-marathon

That’s kinda enough to be getting on with, I think you’ll agree!

Choose to Support Me

I’m running the Flora Women’s Mini-Marathon again.

After a late start this year I started training using the Couch to 5K training programme from CoolRunning.com. I’ve Elana to thank for putting me on to this. She tweeted that she was thinking of running the Mini-Marathon and C25K. I thought C25K referred to a race where you run 25 Kilometers. I was suitably impressed; and convinced it was nothing I could aspire to.

Then I googled it and realised that C25K actually stands for “Couch to 5K” – that sounded a lot more my style! What’s more the training regime is based on interval training, building up stamina and fitness over a period of nine weeks. In addition, my iPod Nano could get a dusting-down and earn its keep because each week’s training ritual had been organised as a podcast.

I downloaded the podcasts from Ullreys.com and have been bopping / jogging to techno music for the past four weeks. I catch myself humming some of the tunes during the day!

What has amazed me even more is how much I love going for my runs: I get  up at six in the morning, throw on my leggings, t-shirt and runners; and head out the gate with the largest of our three dogs. I decided she needed more exercise, as much as I do; and she’s so eternally grateful for (what she sees as) spending quality time with me, she keeps trying to jump up on me as I’m running.

As I did last year, I’m running the Flora Mini-Marathon on behalf of Crumlin Medical Reseach Fund (CMRF). To give you the quick re-cap: I’ve a personal reason for feeling endebted to the Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.

Six years ago my nephew needed open-heart surgery within a few days of being born. He’s now the healthiest, heartiest five-year-old you could imagine; with a cheeky grin and readiness for mischeif. The care he received when he was in Crumlin was second-to-none; the staff are awe-inspiring; incredibly 50% of the equipment was purchased using private donations. It’s shocking!

My sister vowed to run the Mini-Marathon for 20 years for the CMRF by way of thanks for her son’s life and well-being. I’m hoping that if I run a few of them too it will help her reach her goal. If you’d like to sponsor me for a few bob please click on the following link:

Thank you for reading and especially if you donated.