The Olympics are upon us and I have to admit, I'm a fan.  I know all the arguments about how the games have become commercialized and the athletes are really not amateurs any more, but I still love seeing all these people work their hearts out toward a goal.  I was going to say young people, but last night in the parade there was a 61-year old!  Of course, he was a shooter, not a runner, but still . . . .

I think part of the reason I'm so psyched this year is because I've set a goal for myself.  I'm not exactly sure what possessed me (although I think Kris might be partly to blame), but I have started running.  My goal is to participate in a 5k race.  I've already reached the stage where I can do a run/walk of 3 miles.  Not bad, considering running for even a minute when I started was hard.  I'm not sure of my time because the last two times I ran, the app on my iPhone crapped out on me and I didn't make note of the time when I started.  Monday I'll run with a new app and hopefully get a feel for whether or not I will embarass myself.  I've signed up for a 5k on August 18th.  I'm really hoping I can do it in 45 minutes or less using a run/walk combination.  Apparently that is pretty ok now and even marathoners will insert walk breaks to allow their bodies to recover.  My goal is a 5k this year and a 10k next year.  I would dearly love to do a half marathon after that, but I'm not going to tempt fate by announcing that as a goal quite yet.  I'll have to see how my 62-year-old formerly couch potato body holds up!

And of course, I have my Ravellenics goal.  I have started Haruni .  It's probably not a real stretch for me to finish this during the Olympics because I'm a pretty fast lace knitter and it's a smallish fingering weight shawl.  I think for me the challenge is project monogamy!  I started yesterday afternoon and knitted through the opening ceremonies.  Good thing I had something to keep me awake because I thought they were dismal!


I'm on the team for Knit Companion.  And speaking of KC – I hope to be teaching a class on it come fall.  I spoke to the owner of Wild Fibers in Mt. Vernon and she was really excited about the prospect.  While I was talking to her there was even a lady who came up and asked to have her name put on the waiting list!  It remains to be seen if there is enough interest to make a class of it, but I certainly hope so.

Another goal was to finally finish my 2011 KALendar Shawl.  The knitting was finished ages ago, but I had been dreading the blocking because it is so big!  Turns out, it wasn't as bad as I expected, although it did entail a little rearranging of my bedroom:

2012-07-28 22.01.18
2012-07-28 22.02.05
2012-07-28 22.02.18

This was certainly the most ambitious shawl I've ever done and as I blogged about previously, one of the sections (the vertical lines just before the heart border) just about did my wrists in.  However, the pattern was lovely, clear and free of errors, so I would highly recommend it.

I think the next lace knitting goal will be to tackle a wedding ring type shawl.  I have several patterns, but some of my fellow knitters in the Knit Companion group have our eye on the Queen Susan.  Perhaps in the fall.  Any other takers out there for a knit along??

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Life . . . sort of

It seems that a lot of my fellow bloggers are falling into the same dilemma that I am.  Life has become so busy that it's often hard to find time to blog.  But on the other hand, if life weren't so busy, there would be nothing to blog about!

Busyness this time came about in the form of two beloved granddaughters coming to stay for a whole week.  We were having Vacation Bible School at our church and I think this is becoming a summer tradition.  The girls absolutely love it and we love having them here.  They both wanted to dress up in the hats and purses that their Aunt Claudia had bought for them:


I got such a kick out of Isobel, who wanted to wear her hat all week, even when she was wearing jeans. She keeps insisting she's not a girly-girl, but I think there's just a smidge of that hiding in her.  She still seems to be loving her doll.  At the end of the week my sister and I treated the girls to lunch at the American Girl Store in Alderwood, and of course, the dollies came along for the ride.


Several times while we were together, Isobel brought me her knitting and wanted to work on it:


She only seems to be able to manage one row at a time, but her workmanship is very nice.  I'm not pushing it, but letting her set the pace.

On my knitting front, I've been working hard on my son's cardigan.  All the pieces are now knit and waiting to be blocked and sewn together!


This is the part that always seems to trip me up, but using a pattern without seaming just makes for a huge project that you're dealing with at the end.  I'm anxious to move on to another project and have the yarn and pattern in the queue to make Iain for Isobel for Christmas.  She has expressed a desire for a hooded sweater.  Still looking for something for Mei-Mei.  She's almost never cold and doesn't need something too heavy.  She has loved her Child's Kimono and when a sweater is called for, that's the one she wants.   

And of course – there's the Ravelym . . . . oops!  Ravellenics coming up.  I will obstain from posting my observations about all the brouhaha that insued over the whole thing, except to say that the USOC are a bunch of twits.  I do understand protecting copyright, but they kind of sorta went overboard and insulted 2 million knitters.  I guess I didn't obstain from commenting after all.   Anyhoo . . . this is the first year that I am participating as part of team KnitCompanion.  To say that I totally love this iPad app is an understatement.  I can't imagine knitting without it – especially charts.  My project will be Haruni in black KnitPicks Stroll Glimmer.  That's black with a lot of sparkle.  I'm also entering the WIP Wrestle with Ylva.  All that's left is the sewing up and arm and neck bands.  Hopefully this will give me the incentive I need to wrestle that puppy to the ground!

The main reason I wanted a sparkly shawl was so that I would have something for (drum roll please) the cruise we are taking this fall!  To celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, hubby and I have signed up for a 17 day cruise through the Panama Canal.  Port calls include San Francisco, Puerta Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Costa Rica and Columbia.  We are beyond excited.  We've never cruised before and as someone commented, it is jumping off the deep end by selecting such a long cruise as our first.  But I can't imagine what's not to like.  Any advice from veteran cruisers out there would be welcome.

Spurred on by Kathy and her beautiful spinning, I pulled out my sadly neglected wheel this afternoon.  I was gratified to find that it is indeed like riding a bicycle and I haven't totally forgotten everything I know.  I have unfortunately let my spinning bag dissolve into disarray and many lables are missing, so I'm not sure what this lovely fiber is, other than a guess that it is tencel and merino:


My plan is to Navajo ply it, which is ambitious considering I've never Navajo plyed before.  Guess you have to start somewhere!