Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Team In Training

Well, there's no news to report on the knitting or 3 Kittens scene today, so I thought I'd update you on the "fitness" portion of my blog.

First, I finally tested for and received my black belt in karate on December 2. It took 4 1/2 years and four surgeries to get this far - but I still feel it was worth it. I know my husband took some photos of me during the exam, but I don't have access to them right now. Of course, there were only about 40 of us testing for our first degree black belts, and my husband was about as far away from me as you could possibly get, so you wouldn't really be able to tell it was me in a photo anyway!

Second, I'm running a marathon in 2 1/2 weeks. YIKES! Last year, I walked the Nike Women's Marathon with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training in support of my sister-in-law, Peggy King, who was battling lymphoma. I had a great time training for the marathon with my friend, Margaret Kelberer, and all my other teammates, plus I was able to raise almost $20,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Here's a photo of me and Margaret at the end of the marathon:
The marathon was in October, and Peggy lost her battle in December. So now I'm training with Team in Training to run the P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon in Phoenix on January 14th in memory of Peggy. We had our longest training run this past Saturday - 20 miles! I'm happy to say that I finished the run with no problems, albeit very slowly! Plus, even more importantly, my fundraising is going gang-busters. I've raised just over $51,000!! Most of that has been through family, but alot of my friends and friends of Peggy have pitched in. Check out my fundraising website for more info. It's a great cause, and training for the marathons has boosted my confidence - I figure if an overweight 43-year old with bad knees and high blood pressure can run a marathon, anyone can! And, I know that raising the money for LLS made Peggy really proud of me, which makes me feel great.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New Camera

I got a new digital camera for Christmas! Yippee! Now I can finally have photos on my blog again. Bet you're thrilled, too!

I spent a lot of last minute knitting before Christmas. I swear every year that I'm not going to do that, but I decided with about 2 weeks left before Christmas that I wanted to make a pair of felted slippers for my son who is away at chemical dependency treatment at Hazelden Center for Youth and Families and a second pair for my father-in-law who is battling terminal prostate cancer. I made the first pair out of Ella Rae Classic with Fiber Trends' Felted Clog pattern.

It always amazes me how much of the contrasting color it takes to make these clogs - even though I've made a lot of this pattern. The soles of these were done in the brown as well, and they're double thick, so I used up almost two full skeins of the brown. It took a lot less of the green.

The second pair were made with Araucania Nature Wool. I had two skeins of the blue and only one of the black - and I ran out of the black. That's why the sole on the slipper on the right side has a little blue in it. These slippers are waiting for their leather soles to be sewn on - which will hide the sole color change. I hate giving presents that aren't finished, but I'll get the soles on this week and get them to my father-in-law.

As far as the two wools are concerned, I liked the way the Classic felts much better than the Nature Wool. The Nature Wool turned out very fuzzy, and I had to trim them with scissors and then a sweater shaver - what a pain in the butt! But I like the slight variegation in the color of the Nature Wool... But when I go to make myself another pair of slippers - which I have to do, since I'm running through the soles on mine after a year, I'll use Classic or Plymouth Galway instead.

I'm thrilled to be done with the Christmas presents though, because I'm starting a crocheted felted scarf from The pattern is called North & South because it can either be done out of wool and then felted or out of cotton and left as is. It's also a fairly simple pattern which is a good thing for a beginning crocheter like me. I'm making this out of Classic as well. I did my test swatch last night and realized that I have to add two rounds to each of my circles in order to make them big enough, but I don't mind... By the way, I think the CrochetMe webzine is great - it reminds me of Great patterns...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas is Approaching

OK, so I have been lost in my own little word for over a month now, but I'm ready to give it a go again. I went to visit my son at Hazelden on Sunday, and he requested some felted slippers for Christmas. Now, why couldn't he have asked me several weeks ago? SIGH! I started on them using the Fiber Trends clog pattern and Ella Rae Classic yarn (a new yarn at my store, 3 Kittens Needle Arts). I'm hoping the Classic yarn is o.k. - it's slightly thinner than Cascade 220 which is what I've always used for these clogs. I'll let you know - and hopefully take photos too. Actually, I started them today, then I went to the store to pick up some work (I was home with my sick younger son today), and I grabbed some Araucania Nature Wool to try instead for my son, and the ones that I started in Classic, I'm going to give to my father-in-law who was recently diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. I figure they might be useful when he's at the cancer center for his chemo - they'll keep his toes nice & toasty!

I've been having a wonderful time working at 3 Kittens since I purchased it in October with my partners, Julie and Cis. It's been exciting - even doing the mundane work of transferring everything from manual to computer. My only complaint is that I don't have enough time in the week to do everything I want to do for the business... I guess I do have one other complaint, and that is that I am stuck on my computer all day, so I haven't gotten a chance to meet many of our customers. I recognize a lot of frequent buyers through entering sales into my accounting software, but I have no faces to go along with those names...

Well, I suppose I should get back to my knitting. Deadlines loom! And, wouldn't you know my son wears size 13 shoes!!!