RSS

Tag Archives: rowing

not in the zone

Oftentimes, when YoungB rows 16 or 20 or so Km at training, Dr B cycles (usually about 50 Km but sometimes a little less) and I walk. Depending on my energy levels, I can manage anything from about 8 Km to 12 Km (generally not more because of time constraints; and sometimes it’s as short as 4 Km if we’re really tight for time). Today I just couldn’t get things working. I was tired. I was feeling off colour (possibly from having eaten too close to going out) and generally I struggled to hit my stride and rhythm.

I managed to walk 10 Km in the time it took me on Monday to walk 12 Km (wearing my backpack today but not on Monday; so I like to think today’s walk was better in terms of resistance training). It’s still a respectable sort of distance, I know, but it seemed like very hard work. Dr B is quite convinced that I don’t work hard enough, no mater how far or how fast I walk. Therefore, in order to keep an eye on how hard I’m really working (or, as he believes, not working), he’s fixed up an old heart rate monitor for which we now need to find the operating manual. Groan. Just another piece of technology for me to have trouble with!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 10, 2014 in Cycling, Health, Rowing

 

Tags: , , ,

it’s supposed to be summer

Arguments rage as to when summer begins officially – in Australia, we don’t start our seasons coincident with solstices and the like, but arbitrarily on the 1st of the relevant month; I have no idea why such a decision was taken or by whom but it was and a long time ago – but whenever it’s meant to be, our temperatures lately have been too cold for comfort. Well, for my comfort. The upside to the continuing chilliness is that it’s still perfectly all right to whip out your knitting and whizz through a few rows between time trials at rowing. So today, that’s what I did. That purple scarf? Mate, I’m on the home straight! And, you know what? One of the coaches came up to congratulate me for knitting. Yeah. Trendy as, that’s me!

She and I talked about knit and natter sessions – or stitch and bitch, whichever it might be wherever you are (and perhaps that varies according to mood) – then for a little while about knitting for payment and knitting whilst commuting on long bus trips – the two are linked, because it’s possible, we agreed, to bowl over a lot of knitting in a six-hour bus trip – and the joys and attractions of Arans and Fairisles. Dr B just sat there and grinned. Of course, he probably couldn’t hear half of what we were saying because he didn’t have his hearing aids in (he’d taken them out for cycling purposes) but obviously he caught the gist of it because, once the coach had returned to her rowers, he felt absolutely obliged to point out that, in the big scheme of things, fancy knitting is decadent. Plain knitting? Perhaps allowable. Anything else is beyond what’s required for immediate survival and therefore has to be considered wasteful of time and resources. Hmm, yes. You can tell, can’t you, that YoungB did a philosophy unit this year?? Me? I just kept right on with my very plain knitting. I mean, it doesn’t come much plainer than a long, straight, garter stitch scarf.

Of course, I haven’t really started any other of my Christmas crafting, unless you count pulling out relevant patterns, ironing fabric and ensuring some clear space for sticking PDF patterns together prior to eventual cutting out of fabric. I consider all those things progress, because I’m much more easily able to do something for a few minutes if it’s all just waiting there; but I’m scarily aware that, help, the Advent calendar is at the halfway mark and I have such a busy weekend coming up that there’s little likelihood of doing any sewing. Too bad. What gets done will get done and what doesn’t get done I plan not to mention. Out of sight out of mind, and what the eye doesn’t see the heart won’t grieve and all that. What about you? Do you have a good plan for making light of the unfinished projects and instead celebrating what you have achieved?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Knitting, Rowing, Sewing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

the unemployment-go-round and just in case

Some days I sit and trawl the job sites – between waiting for emails to tell me if I have any incoming assignments for the transcription I do from home; which pays little but sometimes takes an inordinate amount of time! – and wonder why I’m bothering. They might not say it in so many words because the legislation forbids it, but many are very obviously looking for some young, silly female, preferably blonde with big hooters, who’s too young and silly to complain about the potentially sexist attitudes already on display. Other days I stumble across things for which I’m well qualified and I send off another application (electronically, in the majority of cases). Most of them disappear into the aether and I have no way of knowing if they ever reach their target audience. Very rarely you get an automatic response, which is at least a bit heartening.

Today I happened upon another in the latter category (as well as a couple in the first) and went through the same routine. This one, as it turned out, sent back an automatic response. So I wondered if this time it might be sufficiently a possibility that I should really make myself a blouse for work? Just in case? You know, I did make the reSewlution at Karen’s behest that I was going to do just that. I later put my hand up to ask if I could change it to using that lovely rayon to make a decent blouse, because with no job to go to, what incentive was there to make anything to wear to it? But a decent blouse is always useful and I don’t have many.

Allowing for the very dim lighting, you'll see there's a distinct vertical (or horizontal) look about this, so I'll need to be careful with placement.

Allowing for the very dim lighting, you’ll see there’s a distinct vertical (or horizontal) look about this, so I’ll need to be careful with placement.

In between helping Dr B with some motorbike tinkering and attending to today’s laundry and doing all that boring domestica, I tracked down the fabric and the pattern I intend to use and put it somewhere near the top of my work pile. I’ve patched YoungB’s jeans and darned them (all by hand, if you don’t mind; the skinny legs meant I couldn’t get the hole under my presser foot, even with the tubular bed freed up) so that he has a spare pair to take with him when he’s interstate rowing next week, and I’ve even done a spot of repair work on the zipper tab of a motorcycle boot for him. Do you reckon it’s my turn now? Should I do myself a favour and make a new blouse? It would be useful and it would cheer me enormously to succeed at something!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Motorcycling, Musing, Rowing, Sewing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

working up a sweat shivering

Today has been like the past few days in terms of weather: cold enough that my fingers nearly froze, then sunny enough that I almost started to sweat, then back to freezing cold. Luckily, when you’re down by the water photographing rowers, as I was for much of the day, there’s plenty to keep you occupied so that you don’t particularly notice either end of the temperature scale. And judging by the number of photos I have now to edit, I can’t have had time to feel the cold.

YoungB competed in four races today, starting with the second race of the day and finishing in one that was close to the end of a fairly long regatta. We were all worn out. Dr B viewed much of the racing from the warmth and comfort of the car but I wrapped up in my old raincoat and latticework scarf – the one I finished to wear at Ballarat – and didn’t fare too badly by the lakeside, though the strong wind provided some challenges with regard to holding the camera steady.

As usual, I took my knitting with me. It languished in the car for most of the day but I managed to add a couple of inches to the purple Tarrantino scarf while we were waiting for YoungB to pack up after his last race. That probably helped my fingers to warm up again (something that seems like a silly comment when we’re staring down the last week of November, a time of year that’s usually hot). Irrespective of the climatic considerations, that steady bit of knitting made me feel remarkably productive, I can tell you.

I hope your day has been pleasant and that you’ve managed to make progress on your Christmas crafting, whatever form it might take. Productivity is the name of the game at this time of year, and we all feel virtuous when we have something to show for our efforts. Or is that just me?

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 23, 2013 in Knitting, Photography, Rowing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

and then a grey morning comes along

Sparkly, innit? That's exactly what it was NOT like this morning!

Sparkly, innit? That’s exactly what it was NOT like this morning!

Yesterday I was exhorting YoungB to make sure he kept cool and hydrated. Today I’m telling him to rug up and keep warm. It’s been a bit like that lately, with the weather fairly unpredictable and seeming to vacillate between (relative) extremes. (I know, I know, it’s either extreme or it’s not. Divergent conditions, then?)

He and I were out early this morning, he to row in a quad that had first to be rigged, I to stroll around the lake. I took my knitting in the hope that I would do a few rows in the car while I was waiting for him to finish training and pack up. I didn’t. There are occasions when even garter stitch is too taxing and I think the morning fell squarely into that category. As I said, at this time of year we’re like everyone else: tired. But, you know, gloomy or not and tired or not, I’d really better get cracking on that scarf or it won’t be under the Christmas tree!

I hope that your weather isn’t proving too much of a deterrent to your crafting endeavours; and, of course, that your afternoons turn out sunny even if the mornings are not. Luckily, that’s what has happened here.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Knitting, Sewing

 

Tags: , , , ,

just the usual dilemmas

Suitably simple but not entirely plain

Suitably simple but not entirely plain

Father Christmas arrived in town yesterday and not only is he now firmly ensconced in the Magic Cave, he’s already started working hard. This is bad, bad news because it means that I really have run out of procrastination time for things I’d planned to make as Christmas gifts. Those aprons? Mmm, yeah, better get a move on with those. Stoke up the ironing board and look for the quickest way to make something useful. Never mind the fancy design I had worked out. There’s not time for that. D-rings and white header tape? That will do just fine for straps. Self-fabric ties are vastly overrated. The Christmas coasters? Mmm, yeah, they’re not going to make themselves. Dig out the fabric and chase up some backing, quick smart. Those lavender bags? Mm’hm, they won’t make themselves either and there are only so many that can be appropriated from around the house. Yes, the supplies of ribbon are adequate and the amounts of lavender mix are nicely up to date but the sachets to contain the mix? Better crank up the sewing machine again.

In amidst all of those heart-shaking realisations, it’s also that time of year when all the weariness catches up with you and your hectic life becomes even more hectic; the combination means that every outing seems like a major effort. Our sport-related outings are ongoing and many, some more onerous than others; but in general, our social outings are few. Even so, I have rarely known us so subdued at a meal in the Asian Food Hall of Adelaide’s Central Market as we were on Friday night. True, it’s usually so noisy there that you can’t hear yourself think, which makes listening to somebody else quite a challenge whether or not you’re wearing your hearing aids (that would be Dr B; I’m not in that category just yet). But on Friday we just sat there and relatively quietly ate our food. Then, equally quietly, we decided we were too tired and had eaten too much for coffee to be an option – I tell you, that ranks as heresy of a fairly high order in this family – so, instead of wandering around the market as we’d normally do (it’s such a fantastic place), we came home and collapsed into bed.

YoungB managed to drag himself out of it on Saturday morning, most reluctantly. Much as he loves rowing and cycling, he said (as if it were not obvious from the fact that he kept bumping into things) that the amount of effort either would require felt beyond him. All the same, with some parental prodding and a willing driver (in this case, that would be me; yeah, Dr B and I struggled out of bed, too, he to make coffee and provide moral support) he made it on time to the cycling meet-up point for the group training ride to the regatta course. There, bikes were swapped for boats for the first of the day’s training sessions. Yesterday was the first regatta for the season at which all the schools were competing and things were busier and more chaotic than usual. The coach decided that one on-water session would be sufficient and the second session would be more cycling. Instead of aimlessly cycling round the regatta course for 90 minutes, YoungB fitted in about 80 minutes of purposeful cross-training by riding all the way home.

In the expectation that he’d have had two on-water sessions, the original plan was that he’d be picked up. That was going to be my job. Had there been any waiting around involved, I’d planned to keep working on that purple scarf I’m knitting. Yes, thank you, it’s going along well and will probably be finished in time to appear under the Christmas tree. It’s plain but pretty and will certainly be warm. Any portable knitting that requires more brain power than garter stitch is too complicated at this time of year, so I’m keeping it simple as you can see from the photo. How’s your Christmas crafting coming along? Is Father Christmas already ensconced in your equivalent of the Magic Cave?? And have you completely lost the plot as a result???

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 10, 2013 in Cycling, Knitting, Musing, Rowing, Sewing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FO: greeny-purpley latticework scarf and today’s sin

Well, it's greeny-purpley and it sort of matches my raincoat. As for the windblown and half-frozen look? What we won't do to improve our image!

Well, it’s greeny-purpley and it sort of matches my raincoat. As for the windblown and half-frozen look? it’s a step up from how desperate things looked with the beanie included!

I’m so worn out by the ramifications of technology failing that I lack the imagination to think of a clever title for an obvious post: I’ve finished the greeny-purpley latticework scarf I’ve had as one of my portable/transportable knitting projects. I’d originally intended to make it longer but faced with the prospect of a few days in Ballarat with NO WOOLLY SCARF, I decided that, really, if I stopped pretty much where I was, then I wouldn’t have to join in another ball of yarn, which would mean fewer ends to sew in. With time pressing, that idea was a clear winner. Therefore, that’s precisely what I did: finished it forthwith late on Monday night.

But, oh dear, here’s my heinous admission, I didn’t block it. I really did not have time for that. Of course blocking makes things softer and you can get your latticework looking much prettier, but on a cold night, can  you guarantee that the scarf will dry in the three or four hours left before you need it? I was certain I could guarantee it would NOT dry, so I left it unblocked. That’s how it went round my neck early on Tuesday morning and it stayed there fairly solidly until Friday afternoon when I came home again.

I might have been in Ballarat to cheer at rowing competitions – as, indeed, I was – but the weather had other ideas. YoungB and I spent an enjoyable afternoon pottering about doing some touristy stuff instead. We visited Sovereign Hill on a very cold, wet, windy afternoon. There we got something of a taste of how tough and appallingly miserable life must have been for our ancestors (none of mine that I know of was ever in the Victorian goldfields and certainly none of Dr B’s; but I’m sure you take my point). YoungB and I decided that, although we’d never have survived, we were grateful that our forbears had obviously been made of sterner stuff.

My scarf did sterling work. It had hot chocolate spilt on it and goodness knows what else blown onto it by the wind or washed onto it by the rain and the spray from Lake Wendouree, where some rowing did eventually take place, but through all of that it kept me warm. Mostly, that’s all that I require of a winter scarf. If it’s pretty as well, that’s a bonus. I think this one is and I certainly love the colour (why, it even almost matches my very old raincoat). I took a beanie with me but was wishing I’d been more sensible and taken my balaclava.

Yeah, I know, a balaclava is not a good look even for those intent on unlawfully relieving banks of whatever they have in their vaults but I don’t think I would have cared how silly it looked; at least I would have had full-face protection. As it was, the beanie protected the top of my head and the tops of my ears, and you’d probably agree they’re important considerations; but my face? My poor, sore, windburnt and frozen face? No. That would have required my left-at-home – because I didn’t want to embarrass YoungB more than necessary – balaclava. When I mentioned this to him, he said he wouldn’t have minded had I brought it because, when it’s that cold, you don’t care what you look like as long as you’re warm. I’ve been saying that for years, so I couldn’t disagree.

Pattern: A simple, four-row, latticework pattern bordered by garter stitch, somewhat similar to a scarf I had when I was a teenager. It’s not truly reversible, but either side looks okay. I used a crocheted cast-on and slipped alternate-row edge stitches to keep things tidy. Because of swapping from project to project, I missed a couple of slips, I think; but if anyone is close enough to notice, then the likelihood is that they’re not looking at my scarf.

Yarn: two skeins of Moda Vera Bouvardia (a 70% acrylic, 30% wool mix that’s self-striping) in green (colour 104-06, dye lot 4), held with one skein of Moda Vera Giselle in dark green (colour 03, dye lot 1109492). The Giselle is a 70% metallic, 30% wool mix that gives the scarf a bit of sparkle but whose darker hue means the overall tone is less strident (in other words, more boring but totally unobjectionable for work purposes). I had a small amount of each yarn left over.

Needles: 6 mm (UK 4/US 10).

Dimensions of finished article: about 9″ wide by 5’6″ long unblocked. Since washing, it’s softened and lost some of its bulkiness but I decided not to block it much longer, even though the latticework would allow it to be lengthened considerably, so those are probably close to the dimensions it will retain. It’s presently about 8″ by 5’8″.

Would I knit it again? Yes, possibly, although it wasn’t quite such good take-with-me knitting as I’d first thought, and I spent a fair bit of time tinking part-rows because I’d headed off in the wrong direction with a pattern row, or forgotten a pattern row altogether. That was largely a result of being distracted by conversation but you don’t want to be getting huffy with your knitting when you’re pretending to be cool and calm and watching the rowing time trials, do you?

So that’s my latest FO and my latest confession. But what would you have done in such dire need at the eleventh hour? Would you have blocked your scarf? If so, I tips me lid. I suppose I’m just not that dedicated; or maybe I was more concerned about being warm!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Knitting, Rowing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,