Reading

The Sookie Stackhouse Series............. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World ............... The Road Gangleader for a Day... Pathfinder

Listening

Time for Bob Dylan's Christmas Album!!! Ingrid Michaelson Tupac

Knitting (patterns)

Zick-Zack Tunic Bettie's Lace Stockings

Knitting (original)

Green pullover (unnamed) Padma decembre Honeycomb Archie's Aran Sweater

Finished in 2009

Posh Hat (original)

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Monthly Archives

Recent Posts

  1. Pose Running
    Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  2. The Sanguine Gryphon, revisited
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011
  3. The Sanguine Gryphon Art Nouveau Line
    Sunday, January 09, 2011
  4. decembre FAQ
    Thursday, January 06, 2011
  5. All roads lead to Twilight
    Sunday, December 26, 2010
  6. Meet Padma
    Friday, December 10, 2010
  7. Honeycomb Hat
    Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  8. l'echarpe decembre, part deux
    Friday, October 01, 2010
  9. l'echarpe decembre
    Tuesday, September 28, 2010
  10. Griffith Park
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recent Comments

  1. Sue on All roads lead to Twilight
    1/1/2011
  2. Anna on Meet Padma
    12/13/2010
  3. Val on Belated Running Update
    5/11/2010
  4. Krista M on Day 31 update
    9/4/2009
  5. Krista M on 31 Miles of August
    7/30/2009
  6. Krista M on Catching up
    6/22/2009
  7. alice dougherty on On focus
    5/17/2009

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Read (2009)

Crazy Aunt Purl's Divorced, Drunk and Covered in Cat Hair Cold Comfort Farm World Without End The Red Tent L'Homme Au Complet Marron The Southern Vampire Series
RUNNINGWITHKNITTINGNEEDLES.COM

Running with Knitting Needles 

by Meghan Dougherty


Pose Running

I've been a regular runner since high school, and over the years this habit has taken its toll on my body.  All in all, I've been incredibly lucky - I've never broken a bone, or been seriously injured - but I have a few nagging problems that sometimes make it uncomfortable, or at times, painful, to run.  Since reading Born to Run, I've had hopes of figuring out a sustainable way to run, something that will allow me to run injury-free as I get older.  So, when my friends gave rave reviews of a Pose Running workshop they had attended run by Tracy Peal, I knew I had to try it out. 

I met with Tracy on a Saturday morning for a little more than an hour.  He looked at my posture standing, then watched me run a few feet, and I think that was enough for him to figure out where I was injured and what I was doing wrong. It was a little freaky, I almost think he was reading my mind, he was so accurate in diagnosing what my injuries have been. Apparently my right foot pronates slightly, while my left foot does not, and after years and years of running, this has caused my IT band injury, my brief bout with plantar fasciitis, and my current ankle woes.

If you're not familiar with the Pose technique, you can find more information at www.posetech.com.  The basic idea is that the movements of running can be broken down into poses. The most important of these is a figure “4” that you make with your legs. To make this figure, you stand on one leg (very slightly bent), the balance of your weight on the ball of your foot with your heel gently touching the ground. You raise your other leg, keeping that foot even with your standing leg, making the figure “4”. To run, you lean forward with your whole body - no bending at the waist! - until you lose your balance and start falling, then catch yourself with the leg that was raised, simultaneously bringing your other leg, previously on the ground, into the figure “4” position. And repeat!

It sounds so simple.  I had read a lot about Pose running and watched some very excellent videos on YouTube, but I really didn’t get it until I met with Tracy. He would explain something, run me through a drill to illustrate it, then have me try to implement it and correct me again. For a specific example, I was unconsiously favoring my right leg, maybe because of my ankle or maybe because my right leg is more injury-prone than the left. He could see that I was leaving my right foot on the ground longer than the left, but to show me what I was doing, he had me run a drill with my hands clasped together and held out straight in front of me, parallel to the ground. My arms moved back and forth with my movement, but veered much farther to the right than to the left. He did this maybe 5 or 6 more times, each time tweaking something different about my running and setting me up so that I could feel that what I had been doing wasn’t “right,” and that changing my form felt better and faster.

The best was that by about halfway through, I could run without triggering any pain - at all! - from my ankle. I haven’t been able to run without ankle pain for nearly two months. The worst was that even though I didn’t run all that far during the training session - I’d guess maybe 800m, total? - because Pose running uses different muscles, my calves were massively sore for days afterwards.  I am going to have to spend serious time building up these new muscles!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Pose.  If you're in the SoutheasternPA/Delaware area, I highly recommend Tracy as a Pose trainer. 

The Sanguine Gryphon, revisited

I mentioned in my last post how much I love the Sanguine Gryphon's Bugga, and that I will have a pattern in the Sanguine Gryphon's upcoming Art Nouveau line using Skinny Bugga (did I mention how excited I am about it?!!!). 

But I forgot to say how much I love the patterns in the Sanguine Gryphon's recent collections.  Here is their Steam Punk line from Fall 2010.  All of the patterns are gorgeous.  My favorites are Emily Prefers, in Her Secret Heart, to Flounce (who doesn't, really?) and Scavenger.  I would love Emily Prefers . . . to Flounce for the name alone, but the structured fabric over the delicate lace skirt are reason enough to knit this project, even if you're not a big fan of flouncing yourself.   As for Scavenger, it's clearly styled as Steam Punk in the photo shoot, but the saturated colors and intricate stranded pattern remind me of an illuminated manuscript.  It's as if a Celtic warrior princess stole the pages from a monk's work book and fashioned them into a skirt to go off to battle.  Awesome, right? 

Here is their literature-inspired collection.  Again, all gorgeous.  I love the whimsical themes the Sanguine Gryphon chooses whenever it puts out a new line.  It made it a lot of fun to come up with my design proposal for the spring, and it definitely paid off in their winter line.  I looooove this one in particular -Ambergris - and it's not just because it calls to mind one of my favorite books, Moby Dick.  The designer nailed it, framing the delicate whale-tail-like design on either side with a nautical-looking cable.  Love it.

The Sanguine Gryphon Art Nouveau Line

I've lusted after the Sanguine Gryphon's Bugga yarn for years, but the first time I had the opportunity to knit with it was over the summer, when I made my Hawthorne, from the Fall Twist Collective.  It's lovely to knit with - so smooth and soft, and works up into a drapey, luxurious fabric with a gorgeous sheen. 

So I was thrilled when my pattern proposal for the Sanguine Gryphon's Art Nouveau line was accepted earlier this year!  I have already completed the sample.  No teaser photos yet, but here is a photo of the yarn I used:


It's Skinny Bugga in Starry Night Cracker.  I love it, and I hope you do, too.

decembre FAQ

My first published knitting pattern is decembre, published in Knitty Deep Fall 2010.  Decembre is a reversible scarf that is not double-knit in the traditional sense, and its chart is not intuitive.  To help you out in knitting it, here is a brief FAQ inspired by a knitter on Ravelry:

Q. As I knit, the contrast color (CC) yarn becomes really loose.  How do I fix this?

A. You just need to tug the CC gently every few stitches (but not too tightly!  That's another problem) to make sure tension is consistent with the MC.  It's fiddly, but it works.  Again, be careful not to tug too tightly!

Q.  How far do I carry the CC - do I carry it to the end of the row? 

A.  No, but -- look to where the first CC stitch is on the next row, and that will tell you how far to carry the CC. For example, let’s look at rows 7 & 8 of the chart.  In row 7, the last CC stitch is 7 stitches in from the edge. But in row 8, the first CC stitch is only 3 stitches in from the edge. So when you’re knitting row 7, knit the last CC stitch, then, as you work the next 4 stitches in MC, thread the CC behind the knit stitches and in front of the purls. At this point, hold the CC in back (don’t continue to carry it), work the last 2 stitches in MC, and turn. On row 8, work the first 2 stitches in MC. Now you’re at the 3rd st of row 8 - a CC stitch - and the CC that you held to the back from row 7 is in the right place.

Q.  How do I weave in the CC ends?

A.  Thread them through the purl and knit stitches, like you did while working the pattern. If you’re using any kind of a sticky yarn (which I definitely recommend for this pattern), that will be enough to hold them in place.

Any more questions?  Feel free to post them in the comments, or PM me on Ravelry.  Happy knitting!


All roads lead to Twilight

Those of you who know me in real life know that I love all things Twilight, and thanks to Gretchen Rubin's love of the same, I am not embarrassed to confess it.  If a best-selling author who also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor can admit without shame to getting lost in Stephanie Meyer's (excellent) teenage melodrama, then clearly there is nothing shameful about it - right? 

Which brings me to an (NSFW!!  Contains explicit language and imagery!!) excellent piece of Twilight-related writing that I never would have found but for Gretchen Rubin's blog, the Happiness Project.  This review of the film adaptation of "Twilight: Eclipse" is light and hilarious, but insightful and dead-on at the same time.  It is most deft when it cites to cultural references that you don't even remember you once knew, like Smith Jerrod from Sex & the City.  Remember when Smith waited for Samantha in the lobby of the hotel, just to make sure she got home okay?  Of course you do, now, and since Natasha Vargas-Cooper and Mary HK Choi point it out, Edward waiting for Bella while she canoodled with Jacob in the tent is totally Smith Jerrod part 2.  But it's not a connection I ever would have made myself. 

I forwarded this review to my friend Christin, who wrote back not only that she thought it was as funny as I did, but that Mary HK Choi is her cousin!  So, at Christin's wedding earlier this year, I was able to meet Mary and tell her what a fan I am of her writing.  Here we are:



Mary's writing is also featured regularly in the New York Times on-line, and in the on-line magazine the Hairpin.  The Hairpin is updated several times a day, and the writing is similar in tone to the review of Twilight: Eclipse I linked to above, but it covers a variety of subjects that, if you are like me, you will find utterly fascinating.  

Meet Padma

Ahoy!


Padma is a quick little knit in fingering-weight yarn.  It's the perfect gift to bring instant zen to the yogi or yogini in your life.  Or, make it for yourself to keep cozy and warm as you sink into savasana after a difficult class. 



See the 5 lotuses lining the edge?  Each one perfectly formed, with 10 petals.  But wait - there's another lotus!!



Created by weaving your floats in as you go and decreasing with a double-raised centered decrease, this final lotus is a surprise that develops as you complete the crown.  I hope you love it as much as I do!  

This pattern is currently available here, in my Ravelry store, for $2.50. 

Honeycomb Hat

Here is my new pattern, Honeycomb:


It's mainly stockinette, but where the ribbing would be on a traditional cap, I use an adorable little honeycomb instead.  The one-stitch cables of the honeycomb pattern serve the same purpose as ribbing - they draw the fabric in to provide a snug fit around the ears  But they're even better than ribbing - by creating a thicker fabric, they're better able to keep your ears warm through the approaching winter. 

I will post a few more photos in the coming days - my friend Jason was gracious enough to act as photographer during my recent trip to San Francisco.  But the above photo was taken by my friend Sheri.  For the moment, this pattern is offered for free on Ravelry.

l'echarpe decembre, part deux

One more post about l'echarpe decembre -- it was just named as the Blue Sky Alpacas staff pick for October!!! 
Decembre is knit in Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes, in Petunia (#2026) and Charcoal (#2025).  Amy Singer suggested this yarn for the pattern, and I think they go together beautifully.   



See how happy I am in this photo?  That's how I'm feeling right now!
Only, in the photo it was because of the french fries. . .

l'echarpe decembre

The Knitty Deep Fall 2010 went live this morning -- check out my new pattern, l'echarpe decembre!!! 


This scarf is knit in Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Hand-dye on size US 8 needles.  The main color is Petunia, and the contrast color is Charcoal. 

At first glance it looks like a simple fair isle scarf. . . but when you look more closely, you notice that it's reversible, and that it has a different fair isle motif on each side.  I came up with the design while I was living in France and decided I wanted to teach myself double knitting, without the benefit of a teacher, an instructional book, or even the internet - in short, without anything but a general idea that double knitting was possible and a firm conviction that I could learn it. 

While I didn't manage to figure out double knitting, I did end up with a reversible and very warm scarf.  Instead of two layers of stockinette, like you would get by double knitting, this scarf is one layer made extra-thick by knitting it in 1x1 rib.  When you knit 1x1 rib on needles that are slightly small for the yarn you're using, and you don't stretch it out when you block it or when you wear it, you get a thick fabric that creates the illusion of stockinette.  

 
Once I figured out that I could mimic stockinette by knitting in 1x1 rib, I realized I would be bored to tears if I tried to knit a scarf in just 1x1 rib.  So I added one of my favorite fair isle stars to the end of it.  And because that wasn't enough of a challenge, I decided I might as well take it a step further and knit a different fair isle star on each side of the fabric. 


What that meant was that I continued to knit in 1x1 rib, on right sides using the first chart for the knit stitches and the second chart for the purled stitches, and on wrong sides using the second chart for knit stitches and the first chart for purled stitches.  In order to simplify things for the pattern available on Knitty, I condensed the two charts to one.  The downside is that the fair isle patterns don't immediately make sense when you look at the chart; the upside is that you don't have to keep your place in two charts, and besides, you can see the fair isle motifs developing quite quickly as you progress a few rows. 



I hope you like it!  Feel free to shoot a message if you have questions or if you run into any issues knitting it.  I'm always around on Ravelry, and my name there is themegnapkin.  Happy knitting!

Griffith Park

Meet Griffith Park: 






















My new pattern available for download on Ravelry. It's a quick but interesting knit,
and great for a woman or a man --even though the model is in pink and grey, knit
it up in darker colors and it's a perfect present for your guy.


If, for some reason, you've been paying attention to my blog this evening, you may
have noticed I'm having some technical difficulties. Sorry - I'm trying to figure out how
to link from my blog to Ravelry in such a way that you don't have to be a member in
order to download the pattern. But if you're a knitter, you really should join Ravelry --
it's free.