Athletics Update

Now that the weather is really nice out, the training for the Give it a Tri (now to be referred to as GT) has been going much easier. It’s nice to get outside and do things in the open air.
Last week I went for a run in our neighbourhood. Near my house there is a labyrinth of small residential roads; growing up in the country, I underestimated the complexity of these roads. I started my run in an area I knew and worked my way over to places I had not explored. I knew the general direction I was going and a few of the key road names, so I was watching out to pass a road I knew. The running section of the GT is only 2.5K and I usually run around 3-4K. This time, I ended up running 6K… because I got lost.

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I had to actually take my phone out and pull up the map in order to make sure I was actually heading home. As it turned out, I was heading in the right direction, I was just going the long way around.

We manage to see Canadian geese every bike ride!

We manage to see Canadian geese every bike ride!

I’ve been getting up around 5am (or trying to) in order to get to the gym, but my schedule has been atypical the whole month of June. This week, we got Canada Day off in the middle of the week, which threw me off. I have high hopes for getting to the gym on time with July though!

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I’ve been really focused on fuelling properly for these bouts of physical activity. Paul and I usually go on a bike ride Sundays. I’ll go for a short run immediately after to practice my transitions. A few weeks ago I felt really shaky after the bike ride and ended up not going for the run portion. I think it was a dip in my blood sugar level; I probably had not eaten enough before hand. It happened once or twice more so I’ve been watching what I eat a little more carefully. I got a free app for tracking diet, which I started on the first day of the ‘Oh Canada Ribfest’ here in Waterdown. If there was any meal that need not be recorded, it would be that one.
New gear consists of a helmet! There are a lot of rules and regulations about the type of helmet and the certifications etc, etc. I got a new one to make sure everything was up to code and if I should get checked, there are no problems.

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I am still looking into what I am going to wear because the bane of my existence is struggling with a sports bra with damp skin. You need to be some kind of cross between a cirque du soleil contortionist and a greased weasel to make that situation work. I’ll just let you marinate on what that would actually look like. I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

Technical Tuesday: The Colour of Truth Part One

I had a really good question about variegated yarn the other day and I thought it was something good I should address. How do you know what a multi-coloured yarn would look like after it is knitted? When you’re trying to plan a project and go looking for yarn it’s really hard to tell if the lovely variegated yarn you picked up is going to lend it self well to your project. How can you tell? The really short answer is to do a swatch. Just knit a swatch and see what the colours look like at that gauge.

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You may have noticed that this post was labeled Part One; I am going to go over a couple different kinds of variegated yarn. This week I will talk about the most common kind of multi-coloured yarn, a short colour shift. This is really popular now especially with so many indie dyers on the rise. The colours are applied to the yarn while it is still in a hank, so the colour repeats will be short.

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If the skein is dip dyed, the colours will repeat at perfectly regular intervals. With this technique you can apply some math to your gauge and have this kind of yarn pool in specific patterns or keep it totally random. Other techniques, such as hand painting, mean the colours do repeat, but not in a perfectly regular fashion.

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In order to not completely blow everyone’s mind with too much information I am going to go over long colour shifts next week, then I will talk about how your gauge affects them. This will be the difference between knitting the body of a sweater and the sleeves.


It has been a long time since I’ve written about the books I am currently into. I really fell off the book wagon and didn’t keep up with the series I read. When I came around to it, there were two more books out for the Chloe Neill, Chicagoland Vampires series.

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This book series is one of my favourites and a blogged about it way back in April 2014. The last time I checked in, I was waiting for the next book to come out around August 2014. I was so excited for the book release, but didn’t manage to check it out when the time came. I suppose that was only two months before the wedding and one month before the Kitchener/Waterloo show so I was, unsurprisingly, preoccupied.

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I realized I was TWO WHOLE BOOKS BEHIND when I was recommending this series to a friend. When I looked up the order of the books, there were two I didn’t have! I actually love it when that happens because you get a new book without the wait. Usually when I finish a book I am hunting down the release date for the next one immediately.

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I really love the energy this series gives. They’re a fun read and very descriptive. I swear I gain weight every time I go over these books; all the food descriptions are to die for. The next book in this series is coming out in March of 2016. I am going to mark that one on my calendar and try not to miss it!!

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Chloe Neill is coming out with another series, the Devil’s Isle books. I am really looking forward to checking this book out! I really love Chloe Neill’s writing style and can’t wait to see what she has coming out next!

Not Socks!

I’ve been knitting something that isn’t socks. I know! Everyone will go into shock at my lack of hosiery!
I bought the yarn at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago 2013 and it has been sitting on my shelf decoratively.

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I even had each skein balled into three separate balls for the pattern. I bought it for the Gradient pattern by Shibui Knits.

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I bought enough for one in brown tones and another one in all different colours. I’ve obviously started the colourful one first! This scarf is the true epitome of potato chip knitting. The gradient makes you want to keep going and just add in one more colour.

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I really love these scarves, they’re so light and fluffy! I am going to keep knitting this one and try to stay off the sock train for a little bit. The Gradient scarves are so much fun to knit up, lets hope they last for me!

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Technical Tuesday: 5 Mistakes that Every Knitter Makes

Every one makes mistakes, which is how we learn isn’t it? There are a few that every knitter makes, even if they aren’t particularly new. I still find myself doing a couple of these.

1. Leaving your Knitting at Home

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This mostly happens to me when I am in a hurry and forget to pack anything, then I get to an appointment and have to wait. I sit there and think about the knitting I could have been doing as I sat there.

2. Knitting While Tired

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I always think to myself, ‘just one more row, then I’ll go to bed.’ I wake up in the morning and can’t even dissect what happened on that last row. This is especially true with colourwork. You think you’re knitting in the pattern, but that is actually sleepions messing with your brain. Never trust the sleepions.

3. You thought you had that Pattern Memorized

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Same kind of malfunction as Knitting While Tired. You thought you had that pattern totally down and walked away from the paper. Next thing you know it looks like your garment got second place in a wood-chipper fight.

4. Not Following your Intuition about a Pattern

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You read it over… sure, it’s slightly confusing, but you can totally handle it. Don’t bother checking over techniques that are unknown to you, just cast on all 400 stitches of lace and let ‘er fly! I am the biggest advocate for being adventurous with your knitting, but there are some patterns that just don’t work. If you’re thinking a pattern is written strangely or the wording is too cluttered, ask a friend for help BEFORE you start.

5. Not Knitting a Gauge Swatch

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I guarantee, every knitter has done this (myself included). You think ‘oh I know what I am doing’ or ‘what could possibly go wrong.’ My friends those are the last sane words you will think. I have had both ends of the spectrum with clothes that ended up being hideously too big and indecently too small. Trust me, there are some things that don’t just block out.

Be smart and learn from your mistakes!

Summer Pattern Love

I know there are some seasonal knitters out there who slow down or even stop in the summer, but I’m obviously not one of them! There are so many things outside of our control in life that we definitely need something we can hang onto. I am going to share some links to a few summer patterns I’ve been looking at!

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 7.37.32 AMThe Summer Carnival Pattern by Georgie Hallam

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 7.39.56 AMSummer Wind by Irishgirlieknits

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Gemini by Jane Richmond

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Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart

How do you manage to keep knitting in the summer? Is it the patterns that inspire you?


Technical Tuesday: Ravelry

I know I have talked about Ravelry on and off through out the years, but it still surprises me when I tell people to add me on Ravelry and they don’t realize they can do that. Ravelry is an amazing tool for knitters that can really take your knitting to the next level. Today I am going to link you to a few videos about basics on Ravelry.

Adding a project! When you knit something you can link to the pattern, yarn, needle size you used. You can also add notes to a project. If you had a problem with a pattern or the yarn changed drastically after you blocked it, you can make a note and the next person to use that yarn/pattern won’t be surprised! It’s an infinitely helpful tool and it also helps you keep track of your own projects. If you forgot what size needles you used for a certain garment, you can go back and take a look at your Ravelry project page.

There thousands of patterns on Ravelry and you can narrow down the results by using the advanced search! If you’re looking for socks, and you just search ‘socks’ you are going to get thousands of hits. If you’re looking for a certain weight of yarn or brand of yarn, you can activate these advanced search options.

The Library! If you buy a pattern, it automatically goes into the pattern library, but you can also add books and magazines you have. This is great for keeping track of your physical library and what patterns are in those magazines and books.
A few other useful tools to check out on your own are your queue, stash and the best part; going into your friends profiles to see what they have been working on. I always find out about the best patterns by looking at what people have queued! Find a couple friends with similar taste and see what they’ve been working on!

Top Ten Places I’d Like to Go!!

I was having trouble thinking of something to write about since Thursday’s are off topic. I’ve pretty much already talked about everything going on in my life and I don’t want to bore you. I quick text to my friend Megan and she came up with something right off the bat! Fantasize about ten places I would like to travel some day, sign me up now!

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Number one has got to be Walt Disney World in Florida, for several reasons. The Disney Princess Half Marathon is held there and it is on my bucket list to run that. I’ve been re-reading the blog This Runners Trials, and it makes me want to run it sooooo much more! I am very excited about the run, but the WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER IS IN THE SAME PLACE! Well… close enough. Harry Potter was a huge part of my childhood and life in general, actually one of the first ‘good’ knitting projects I did, was a Harry Potter scarf.
I’ve wanted to go to Disney World since I was a little kid, my parents always said we would go when my brother was more mature, but he is turning 23 this year and we still haven’t went. I’m not holding my breath on that one…

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If the first one is Florida, then the second one has to be California. Paul has some family down that way and we have talked about going to visit sometime. Also, that is where Disneyland is and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon is held; another bucket list item.

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Nassau, Bahamas
This was originally where Paul and I were going to honeymoon. I’ve always wanted to check out the Bahamas, but I really REALLY want to go to the aquarium there, Atlantis. I heard about it from a co-worker, looked it up and have been dying to go for a couple years now.

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I want to travel all over Scotland, especially to see the Fairy Pools at the Isle of Skye. I’d like to see castles and learn about history. Perhaps visit a yarn mill or two?

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The UK in general
I am a huge geeky fan of many British TV shows and I would love to see some of the sights that are important in those shows. As well as several books… cough, cough, Harry Potter, cough. Bodleian Library, Durham Cathedral, Kings Cross Station, Alnwick Castle.

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Paris, France
Well… who doesn’t?

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Chichen Itza, Mexico
Any Dresden Files fans? No? It’s not just the books, I promise, I have a great desire to see Aztec Temples. There is such a rich history there that I wouldn’t be able to resist.

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Okay, the beach, urban rainforest, Corcovado, Sugar Loaf Mountains and Museu Historico Nacional. Who could say no to that?

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Machu Picchu- Cuzco, Peru
I watched a lot of Discovery Channel as a child and became totally fascinated with the Inca people. That and I wouldn’t say no to Aguas Calientes either.

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Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples… I could go on, but I want to see everything… and eat a LOT of pizza and pasta.