I'm always sad to see the Olympics end, perhaps because it's the end of a bringing together. It seems that for 17 days, the people of the world are joined together, holding their collective breath as the athletes rocket at incredible speeds down steep hills, narrow tracks, or around tiny skating rinks. They gasp as one (barring time zone differences) as figure skaters jump and twirl and lift, as hockey teams shoot and defend goals. They rejoice as their nation wins medals, but they also rejoice in other nations' victories.
The winter Olympics are my favorite Olympics. They are much smaller than the summer Olympics. And when I started thinking about it, a number of the athletes only have a brief period during the year when they practice, say, skiing or snowboarding. That's pretty incredible. The summer athletes can practice year 'round.
And now this special time is over for another four years. And with it, the Knitting Olympics. This year I medaled, and am thinking that I set the bar too low. But I did what I set out to do and learned a lot in the process. It helped that I was reading a lot of Elizabeth Zimmermann during this time. She provided the guidelines for my mitten design and helped me overcome the fear of knitting without a written pattern. And it was fun! I could do what I wanted and did it with thought, instead of blindly following instructions and not understanding why the designer did "x." If I didn't like the way a part of the mitten was knitting up, I simply unknit it and tried something else. Freedom!
And that got me thinking (and that's not always a good thing)...
I've started contemplating knitting a (dare I say it?) sweater. Like a certain Sheep we know, I too am cursed when it comes to sweater knitting. There must be at least a half-dozen or so laying about the house (well, tucked at the bottom of baskets and boxes actually). There comes a point during the knitting when I just can't go on. I misread the instructions and can't fix the problem. Or I run out of steam. Or worse, the instructions are wrong and I don't figure it out until I've lost all love for the sweater. It's a travesty, really, because I love sweaters and I dream of swathing myself in lovely handknit sweaters during the cold winter months and the chilly spring and fall, and wearing lovely, drapey shells in summer.
So, after I finish the second mitten (just in time for Spring!), I'm going to plan a sweater. I've been reading Knitting in the Old Way as well as EZ. And it's beginning to make sense. The plan is to buy a little wool (or go stash diving) and knit a tiny sweater, maybe doll size, so I can get a handle on the techniques and the (gulp) math. Then scale up for me. And maybe, just maybe, by the time the winter snows are blowing next year, I'll have me a gorgeous sweater!
I am so in trouble for the Boston Marathon. Fortunately, my foot is really almost healed and I've started running again. But now I've got only six weeks to train. My longest run has been about 12 miles, and the long run seems to be the only run I can muster. And those runs are not pretty. I feel like I'm waddling, not running, and by the end, my legs are weak. My goal is to complete a 22-mile run by the end of March. There will be no taper; Boston is going to be a slow training run.
May the running gods have mercy upon me.
I managed to get one length of baseboard scraped down to the base paint layer. The sad part is that the baseboard will be hidden by shelves. I'm seriously considering giving up this particular endeavor and move on to painting the ceiling, then the walls. If I don't, my room won't be done until this time next year. And that's too late.
On the Nightstand
I came home yesterday to find a package from Amazon. Inside was Rachael's book, How to Knit a Love Song. It's a very enjoyable read...enchanting, really. I mean, how can you not be enchanted when someone inherits a cottage full of spinning wheels and wool? I'll write a longer review when after I finish it.
So, Rachael, if you are reading this, you're sharing my nightstand with EZ!
P.S. We still have snow in our backyard. I think we've had almost a solid month with snow on the ground. Truly an unprecedented event!