Whew. I'm writing to you from the other side of four long weeks of the dreaded Runner's Knee. After the initial issues developed I tried to climb back on the horse too eagerly, so it was only after two weeks that I finally accepted that I needed to basically just wait it out. Not only no running but no biking, no aggressive exercise, just... waiting. This was not easy for me. It would be a lie to say that I'm not fighting down panic about the fact that it's MID JUNE already: we are rapidly approaching race day. But, lots of rest, ice and knee/hip specific workouts later, and I am running again without pain for the first time in a month. I am trying hard to be cautious with my optimism, but my body is all: I'M BACK, BABY.
I'm simultaneously incredibly excited about the marathon and wholly, completely terrified. I did have a time goal, and with this training break I no longer feel that it's realistic, but I'm trying not to focus on that. The reality is, no matter what happens, I've wanted to do this since I was probably 20 or so and I'm proud of myself for overcoming the fear and even signing up. My training has actually been very fun; it is amazing what you can accomplish if you build up in tiny increments. It has kept me very focused and motivated. Plus, I made a new running buddy, and have a (teeny tiny) chance that I could maybe just maybe be on a team to run this year's Hood to Coast in August. HOW MUCH FUN WOULD THAT BE? (Answer: All of the fun.) Even if it doesn't work out, clearly I already have my motivational goal lined up for next year. And motivational goals are nice.
The lovely Nicole over at Cocoknits inspired me a great deal. Her post about her experience really stuck in my brain. I loved her "ten things I learned" list; and a big hell yes to item #4: I seem to have gained somewhere just under 5 pounds during this training regimen. I know, I know, muscle mass and all that. Weight loss was never on the list of goals for this beast of an undertaking, but damn - that's still just annoying, isn't it?
But clearly, we have something else to address in this post.
I present to you my first (finally) finished sweater, Redford by the talented Julie Hoover. The yarn is Rowan Fine Tweed in the colorway Bedale. This project was a marathon in and of itself. It was a great project for a first timer like myself, because I got to learn lots of new things - sloped bind off, mattress stitch, tubular bind off - but I couldn't really screw up too badly, because, well, miles and miles of stockinette. Learning to seam on tweed fingering weight wool was beyond frustrating, truly, but somehow I was able to be patient and just start over whenever necessary. In the end, I'm thrilled with my seams, and the whole thing looks so.... professional. It looks like I bought it. Is that a crazy thing to brag about in a handmade thing? Usually I'd say yes, but I am just so happy that it is free of mistakes, the right size, and somehow sewn together in a way that looks neat and tidy despite my steep cliff of a learning curve.
I used expressed seams up the arms, because it doesn't seem to specify in the pattern whether to do this or not and the seams are expressed up the side panels, at the cuff and the collar, so I thought it looked best. The only part I don't love with a capital L is the ribbing at the neck; this was my first time doing tubular bind-off and it's a tad too snug - I got much better at it by the cuffs. But I can always frog that bit in the future, it's such a small easy part to re-do. Again, though... we've finally crossed the finish line with this one, so I'm living with it for a while before I start tinkering. The pattern as written has a loose hem, as shown here, but many people on Ravelry added ribbing along the bottom and I think I'll do this too in the future. Give it just a few more inches of length, and keep Kai warmer in the breeze.
Kai is very tall and lean so I knit the smallest size in circumference but used the middle size measurements for the length. I also measured a sweater he already has and likes the fit of, to be sure that I was on the right track with my modifications. Again, if you're a new knitter making her very first sweater (in fingering weight yarn, no less) and you have to modify for fit, I can't think of a better pattern than something this clean and straightforward. It will be a while before I'm ready to tackle this again, but I already can imagine another one hanging in his closet a deep blue...
Postscript: Forgive me because I simply wasn't able to not write this.
I've written before about how lucky I am to be married to my best friend,
and that's true, he is the best person I've ever met. The best.
But you guys. HOW HANDSOME IS MY HUSBAND. I know, I know. But rawr.