Posts Tagged ‘garb’

Unapologetic

I was going to go to the Y for another murderous upper body weight lifting workout when I opened my bag and realized I had not swapped out yesterday’s cold weather running gear for clean, not soaking wet, short-sleeved, indoor appropriate anything to wear.

Rather than wear soaking wet, long-sleeved, outdoor, dirty clothes to lug around heavy weights, I bagged on my workout and decided to go for a walk. I headed east on Main Street and decided since I had my camera with me that today was as good as any day for another round of Photos Around Richmond. I think I only do this in January, when the city itself is not especially pretty, and when the weather is not especially fabulous, but then I am unlikely to waste a perfectly beautiful lunch hour trundling around with the camera.

As I headed east, I decided the top of the hill on Main Street where Rte. 5 and Main St. intersect would be my destination. Being a non-native Richmonder, I am not sure whether this is actually Church Hill or it is one of the other hills (I have also seen it labeled Union Hill on a map). Either way, this is where I was going. This is the hill I run up on my hill training days.


And this is how it looks from the runner’s perspective as you are just getting started going up.

Fortunately, today I was not running up the hill, just doing the aforementioned trundling (in 3 inch high wedge boots…my feet are very unhappy with this poor planning on my part). From almost the top, looking east, you can watch the James River drift lazily by.
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Looking back west, I could visually measure the almost exactly one mile between my current spot I was standing and the building I had walked from to get there.
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This gentleman is looking out over the City from atop his very tall pedestal.
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Everything below seems very tiny from my vantage point. I feel both insignificant and very large at the same time from up here. Cars look like Matchbox toys from up here and I can see all the way to the Chesterfield Power Station that is south of my house along the James River.
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And then I took this.

It is the first picture of myself since I turned 30. Unadulterated. Unaltered.
I got to the top of the hill feeling distinctly and intensely unapologetic about who I am. I did something silly today and wore some silly peacock feather earrings I bought for $2 last week. I like peacock feathers and I liked the earrings, and I didn’t care if they were fashionable enough to wear to work. I was feeling a bit rebellious and wore them.

Even more rebellious are the little stud earrings in my upper ear cartilage. I can’t remember the last time I wore earrings in those holes at home, much less to my rather conservative workplace.

I wear glasses. I have crows feet (too many years of playing outdoors in the sun without sunscreen). I have never intentionally plucked a hair out of my eyebrows. I don’t frequently wear makeup. The smile lines around my mouth have gotten very deep since I lost 120 pounds. My eyes can’t decide if they are blue or green, or gray. I do all kinds of unfashionable things, like wear my hair almost to my backside and only bother to color it once a year or so anymore. Or wear peacock feather earrings (actually, I think that is fashionable for the 13-17 year old age group right now…). I keep my toenails painted 100% of the time, but I have worn polish on my fingernails maybe 4 or 5 times in the past decade.

I run. I knit. I cook things my family likes to eat (we are having grilled Bessie Cow tonight!). I sing badly, but sometimes I do it out loud anyway. I sew poorly, but have enough basics to keep Byram and I at least somewhat decently garbbed in the SCA. I excel at washing dishes. I can plunge a toilet like no one’s business. I am either a horribly conservative democrat or a ridiculously liberal republican, depending on what day of the week it is when you ask me. Or maybe more accurately, I am a libertarian who appreciates some law and order, but really just wants to be left alone.

And you know what? I love all of those facts about me. I even like that self-portrait, taken at an odd angle with an odd, Mona Lisa-like look on my face. I love who I am and I don’t want to apologize for that.

Speaking of love…meet Melpomene.
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I am right at the half way mark with it and my progress has slowed (so typical of me). I came up a little short on yarn because I used larger needles than the pattern called for, but it worked out just fine. The first ball ran out just as I finished the last repeat of Chart B, so I just began the decreasing charts (Chart D) next and skipped over the middle point (Chart C). There should be no change in the effect on the shape of the scarf, just shortening its overall number of repeats.
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I adore the soft, solid texture the stitches create. I love the simplicity of the garter stitch short row sections, and enjoy the not too challenging, but not mindless twisted stitch patterns as well. I find the whole thing to be very soothing on my frayed nerves these days. The rich hue of the blue helps too. It’s a shame, but I couldn’t get a good true-to-color shot of the blue. Yesterday’s late afternoon sun threw off the color, and today’s lack of sun washes it out to gray when it really is an unapologetic sapphire blue.

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12 Goals for 2012

(I swear I didn’t specifically aim for 12 goals. When I counted them before making this post, I was pleasantly surprised by the symmetry though.)

– Knit 12 projects (1 per month) from yarn already in my stash and patterns in my queue or favorites list on Ravelry. I will get a post up about this soon.

– Run the Instant Classic Half Marathon on March 17th. The goal is 2:30, but being a trail race, I will accept any time between 2:30 and 2:45.

– Sew several new pieces of garb over the Spring and Summer, for all of the family. We all need new garb to get us through Pennsic, but especially Grace.

– Pre-plan monthly menus. That system works too well and takes nothing more than me applying some brain power to it. Saves us a ton of money and headaches when I keep it up.

– Find some way, some how, to find the funds to join a CSA (I want Victory Farms if they keep their system the same as the old owners). I will continue to fantasize about having the money to get a cow share from Faith Farms for milk.

– Run the 5 mile Dauber Dash on June 17th.

– Expand my cooking chops and learn new and amazing ways to eat unfamiliar vegetables. (See the CSA goal above).

– Work with Grace to continue to help her with her goal of learning to run along with Mommie.

– Run Warrior Dash on September 29th and earn a PR for that race (would like to do it in 50 minutes or less).

– Run the Richmond Half Marathon in 2:30 or less on November 10th.

Tighten up my nutrition to improve my performance in the races I have planned. I am shooting myself in the feet with my diet. I could do so much better if I was even more careful about what I put in my mouth.

– Present the family with beautiful handknit Christmas gifts that will keep them wrapped in warm wooly love.

I want to focus 2012 on food, fitness, and family, and improving the connections and relationships I have with each of those things.

Lace, Nevr-Dull, Saddle Soap, and Other Random Topics

Ishbel’s Dedication post was important, but the knitters want to know the story of the how and what of knitting it.

Pattern: Ishbel
Size: Small (though it turned out much larger than I expected)
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze (1 ball and a small bit of the second)
Colorway: 643 – Flowers
Needles: 4.5 mm (US7) straights
Beads: 0/6 seed beads, two tubes, one set was iridescent clear, and the other set had a pink core, with a clear iridescent outer coating.

Per usual, I went up a needle size due to the tightness of my stitching. The pattern is very good and I came across no errata in the charts. The knitting of this was very slow, partly because of the mohair and partly because of the beads. I was very cautious with this pattern because I was knitting in terror of having to rip back any knitting; ripping mohair is living dangerously. I had to tink back a few times, but nothing serious.

Terror is taking this floaty little thing outside to photograph along the Canal Walk and its associated rushing water when the wind is gusting up to 20 miles per hour. And as it turned out, I got about 4 pictures of it in and around the old Alcoa plant area when the batteries in the camera gave up their ghost on me.

Next week I will pack it up and ship it priority mail to Ann in Columbia, South Carolina, who I hope will wear it and love it to its fullest. And that is the end of that. It is hard to believe it took me over a month to knit it, but it was not highly transportable, and only as I got desperate on a self-imposed (and unnecessary, as it turned out) deadline did I become willing to take it out of the house and work on it during my lunches.

Thanks to some time spent at Chick-fil-a on Saturday night, letting Grace run around like a crazy person in the play area, I got a few inches of work done on the second Leyburn sock for February. Chick-fil-a has been a god-send this winter. It has been far too cold to play at the park much, or even just in the back yard. They are really nice about the fact that I usually just go and buy a large coffee and a bottle of white milk for Grace, and I sit in the corner next to the enclosed play area and let her play while keeping one eye on her and one eye on my knitting. As the weather is improving, the park is becoming an option again, and but Chick-fil-a and their indoor play room has done me a great kindness this winter.

The Leyburns will come with me to North Carolina this weekend. We have a rider coming with us in the van, so I will turn over the front seat to him and knit in the back. I am not physically able to knit in the front seat as it gives me terrible motion sickness. As long as my focus is down and on my hands in the back seat, I do alright.

The rest of my week is devoted to finishing new garb for this weekend’s SCA event. I did manage to finish my blue wool dress, complete with trim around the wrists. I have over half the hem done on my white linen underdress, though it still needs a neckline. Since I was up at 3:30 in the morning on Sunday morning, I had time to cut out another wool dress, this one black.

I am sorry the picture is so crummy, but it was 4:30 in the morning at this point.

I added gold brocade “gauntlets” to the sleeves as decoration. This is not very 12th century or documentable, but it certainly is pretty, and the extra layer of fabric around my forearms will keep me warmer. I hope to have enough of the yellow brocade to do a band of it above the hemline too. I just couldn’t go to an event with only one piece of garb to get me through the weekend. I am too prone to pouring coffee down my front or slipping in mud to have nothing to fall back on.

That is the view of my efforts from the much more reasonable hour of 8:30 p.m. last night. And that is probably the last Sam Adam’s Winter Lager I will drink this season.

Now, the event we are going to is named Ymir after the Viking frost giant, and occurs every February. There have been snowy Ymirs and there have been nice, 70 degree Ymirs, but the vast majority of them are very cold and very dry. I have ensured that this year will be sunny and toasty warm by bringing only wool garb to the event with me. For my SCAdian friends, you can thank me for this service by bringing me a cold cup of water this weekend while I slowly roast in all my extra warm brand new garb. (Actually, they are calling for it to be 72 on Friday, but only 54 on Saturday.)
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It was a two-beer kind of effort since I was operating off about 2.5 hours of sleep. That was a Sam Adam’s Chocolate Bock. Again, probably the last of the season, but a damn fine beer.

I know Spring is at hand because the rest of the week will be focused on finishing the garb I have started and polishing up my general medieval appearance. Boots need cleaning and polishing, veils need to be located and packed, accessories, like my belt, need to be found, and the belt likely needs a new hole punched, and everything needs packing.

Oh yes, Spring is at hand now. I love the smell of Nevr-Dull, saddle soap, and beer in the late evening.