Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hunkered Down

It was a little shocking to go from the gorgeous 85 degree weather on my last (beach) day in Florida to the current deep freeze we're experiencing up here in northern MN.  Schools across Minnesota have been cancelled two days in a row now, with windchills dropping to as low as -55.

Right when I got back to Duluth, I experienced my end-of-semester sick period that seems to inevitably follow a stressful semester.  I had a rocketing fever, aches, and a bad cough.  Today is the first day that I've been able to move around without getting dizzy, so I'm pretty okay with having to stay inside.  It helps when I'm wrapped up in a quilt on the couch with the kittens snuggled up to me while the wind howls outside.  :)
Since I'm out of commission, I've been working on my Florida projects in between naps, including a pair of striped mittens for myself and the pretty Narwhal mittens for my friend Brit.

I'm really happy with the striped mittens.  They fit me perfectly, the colors are great, and the yarn is superb.  They'll be a great mid-temp pair of mittens when it finally warms up to the 20's.  It'll be a quick finish for them, hopefully!

I really like the turn-up hem on these mittens.  I'm starting to appreciate the small construction details on projects more and more, and I think in the future my projects will be leaning towards this more time-consuming but well-constructed finishes.

The Narwhal mittens were my knits for the golf cart rides in Florida, which actually only happened once.
I love love LOVE the colors and the yarn for these mittens, but the stretchy yarn isn't creating a nice flat fair-isle project the way that I hoped it would.  I'm not sure if they'll relax in to the colors with a proper blocking or not, but it stretches well when I pull them on, so for now I'm going to finish the first mittens and decide what to do then.  Goes to show that picking the right yarn for the project is crucial, and I need to pay attention to this particular detail more. :)

Again, loving the construction details.  I created the picot hem and actually knit the two edges together, as per Ysolda's design.  I love this hem detail so much that I think I'll use this method from now on for any picot hems.
Obviously I haven't been climbing due to the whole being-sick thing, but I'm hoping that I can go tomorrow evening.  I've been poking through Eric Horst's book How to Climb 5.12, and trying to decide the best way to start my training.  Two things I'll definitely be adding: cardio by means of the elliptical in my living room, and hot flow yoga at a local studio to help with flexibility, strength, and breathing.  Hopefully I'll start the elliptical later this week and hot yoga by Monday next week, doing hot yoga Monday-Wednesday-Fridays.
I want to be a lean, mean, climbing machine in a few months. :)  Just gotta take the first step!

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