Elinor Brown Knits

Knitting Designs by Elinor Brown

Month: December, 2006

What Happened to Exercise Before Knitting???

While you may have been thinking that I ought to change the name of my blog to Knitting While Nursing, I finally have some real exercise news to report! The exercise has been on hiatus because of the little Santa.

I ran through my pregnancy until 28 weeks, at which point I could no longer prevent my running shorts from falling down around my ankles at the slightest jog. People, there are no decent maternity running shorts out there. I’ve done the research. Not even Mothers In Motion and Fit Maternity shorts work in the 3rd trimester. In the early postpartum period, Beatrix and I took long, afternoon walks every day for both exercise and mental clarity. Still, I longed for my old running routine. Nothing clears my head like a good run and I was really fighting the foggy, postpartum brain!

Inspired by Sharon’s postpartum running experience, I started running again when Beatrix was 13 weeks old. At first, I tried popping her in the jogging stroller with lots of head support, blankets and a wind shield. The verdict? This baby hates the stroller. At least, for now. She’s good for about a mile and then she goes from happy, contented baby to screaming, angry devil child in a matter of seconds. Needless to say, I’m leaving her at home with Aaron until she’s a bit older. Since the days are so short, I have to very carefully plan when I’m going to run.

The results, you ask? After 2 1/2 weeks of running, I’m happy to report that it’s going pretty well. I started with 2 miles, 3 times a week. Never have I struggled so much to run two miles. Yesterday, I ran a triumphant 2.5 miles and I finally felt like I achieved that long sought after head-clearing effect! It amazes me that 2.5 miles at a stupendously slow pace could make me feel so good! Thank you, endorphins!

My goal is to continue running at least three days a week, altough four would be ideal. I’d like to build up to 3 miles during the week with a longer run on the weekend. Once I can do three miles every run, I think I’ll add one mile to my long run every week. I’ve always like the run/walk method of Jeff Galloway so I might use that training approach. For any of you considering embarking on a new running program, I highly recommend this approach – it is so gentle and painless.

I have no training goals, although I would love to be able to run one of my favorite races in April. This race is special to me because I ran the 5K version when I was 20 weeks pregnant (with three stops in the middle of the race at the port-a-potty, I’ll have you know). Don’t worry, I went very slowly (I just wanted to be able to say that I ran a race while pregnant). Even though it would be nice to run the half marathon, I am NOT going to aim for it this early. However, if I’m in good shape in February, I’ll go for it.

And now, since the exercise is out of the way, have some knitting:

This is my second cabled sock. I’m going to Cincinnati this weekend to visit my grandfather so I’ll probably post the finished socks when I get back. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying some of the best ice cream on the planet and bringing back chili! It’s too bad Skyline is so limited for vegetarians but you can buy chili spice packets to make your own chili with fake meat. That’s what we do in our house!!!

Poseidon Pattern Correction

Thanks to Stash Monkey for noticing that the Poseidon toe and heel have 30 sts to a side while the lace pattern repeat is 29 sts. Oops! The pattern has been changed to reflect this. You’ll still cast on 30 sts for the toe but by the end of toe shaping, you should have 58 sts, not 60. Sorry, folks! Extra special thanks to Stash Monkey for figuring it out! Drop by her blog and wish her luck on the GRE!!!

Cabled Socks and Gift Knitting

Thank you for all of your comments about my new pattern. If you decide to try it out, please let me know what you think! I’m working on two more sock patterns but they’ll be secret knitting until I get them right!

I have a half finished pair of socks to show you. I put this pattern together off the top of my head and now that it’s done, I think there are some things I would do differently. Nevertheless, here you have one cabled sock in Knit Picks Swish Superwash (Bordeaux).

Marly noticed that I was knitting on circulars and asked what I thought of using circulars instead of DPNs. Well, my dear Magic Loop friends, I hate circulars. I am begrudgingly knitting socks on one long circular because I have nightmares about poking little Miss Beatrix in the head with a stray DPN. She’s usually in my lap when I knit and I’m too scared to risk jabbing her so I’ve moved to a circular needle FOR NOW. I’ll be back to my dear double pointed needles when she’s a little older. Speaking of the little devil, here she is in her new Santa suit: I don’t even like Christmas but I couldn’t resist dressing my kid up as Santa. There is something wrong with me.

Speaking of the holidays, I’ve decided not to do any gift knitting this year. A three month old baby is a great excuse, but I’m considering rethinking the annual flood of gift knitting. We have a tradition of only gifting handmade items so for the last 7 years, that’s meant knitted items from me. However, I have decided that, in the future, I will only knit for people who are genuinely excited about handknits. Too often, I’ve gifted a pair of mittens or socks to relatives and I can tell immediately that the items will not be used at all. This doesn’t offend me the first time – after all, how would I have known that X wouldn’t like handknit socks? Who wouldn’t wear handknit socks??? I simply try to remember who likes the handknit goodies and who doesn’t for the next year.

Needless to say, there are only a few family members who are excited about the handknits. I’ve been thinking that it would be nice to knit for those people throughout the year and occasionally send them socks or scarves instead of trying to squeeze every last bit of knitting time in before Christmas. That way, the relatives that don’t appreciate handknits don’t feel like I don’t love them as much because I didn’t spend hours knitting for them. Is this a hopelessly flawed strategy? Will I gift knit again this Christmas? We’ll see. I am capable of it, given my recent stash expansions (yarn prOn coming your way next week when all the loot arrives…)

How much gift knitting do you do? Are you bloggers frantically working away on holiday projects or do you take it easy and give other kinds of presents? I’m interested to see if there’s a Blogland consensus about gift knitting.