My focus for this year is “Introspection”. This means that I will focus on reading, listening to music and following theatre and films. It does not mean that I will stop following Twitter though. My favourite account on Twitter this time of year is Barred Owl Cam.
I have been wanting to knit a “big” project for a while. This summer I went to the Fibre Festival and finally purchased a large sweater worth of yarn. This was a very fancy yarn and I want to make a “serious sweater” with it but before I can do that, I needed to a) get through some of my existing yarn lest I get into hoarding mode with all the yarn that will never get knit b) get all the “silly” out of my system. The idea to make a “silly sweater” as a preparation for “serious sweater” was born.
I found a neat pattern perfect for all the combination of yarn I had in my stash since I got back into knitting over a decade ago and purchased good quality wool in bulk. This stash had many skeins of beautiful red that just isn’t “my” colour and several different shades of blue which is is “my” colour but there wasn’t enough of any particular one to make a large garment.
I liked the idea of a dress more than the sweater, and the pattern had instructions for a dress version, but I ended up going off script once I got to the bottom of the rib cage. I modified the red by adding rows of pink to it making it more friendly to my skin tone. The seven different shades of blue including some mohair that had both blue and pink in it made up the rest.
The original idea was to only wear this dress to movies since it was really a fun experiment not intended to be worn in public. Over the course of the process, I got to like it too much and friends convinced me that it is nice enough to wear outside.
Having completed the “silly dress” I was ready to make a “serious sweater” thus fulfilling one of my requirements. I still have enough yarn in my stash to make 4 more of these dresses so there might be more silly projects in the future. Can’t wait!
For a last couple of years I was looking for a spectator sport for myself. I don’t “get” hockey and, while I enjoy skiing, watching it just makes me sad I am not out skiing myself. I tried getting into biathlon but I find the coverage to be disconnected as they are trying to cover too many people doing too many things at the same time. I love watching Winter Olympics but that is only every four years. Finally this summer I found it – dotwatching!
Dotwatching is following ultra distance self supported bike races through interactive maps and social media. The two races that I followed this summer were the Transcontinental Race (this year the control points were in Belgium, Austria, Slovenia, Poland, Bosnia And Greece) and Silk Road Mountain Race through Kyrgyzstan. I kind of missed the boat on TransAm Race, but I will try and follow it next summer. These races are on the low budget side which means that there isn’t a lot of media coverage. All you get is a map with GPS signals from the riders and some pretty photographs. These races last for about two or three weeks non stop and much of the media content is generated by contestants themselves.
Apart from the athletic aspect, the racers need to figure out how to get places, where to eat and sleep and how to solve problems along the way. What I like most of all is that women compete in the same category as men. Sure, there is a prize for the first woman but the challenge is the same and everyone is competing for the same spots on the rating list. If you are interested, 2015 film, “Inspired to Ride” is a good introduction to the sport.
You know what else I have been doing? Listening to music. I am really enjoying Arctic Monkeys’ latest album. I even found a photo from this summer that goes very well with one of the songs.
“Maybe I was a little too wild in the ’70s
Rocket-ship grease down the cracks of my knuckles
Karate bandana, warp speed chic
Hair down to there, impressive moustache”
Star Treatment by Arctic Monkeys