Running with needles

David Babcock

David Babcock

Knitting and running aren’t exactly a natural pairing, but one marathon runner decided that he could put that road time to good use by knitting – keeping his feet, his hands and his brain all busy!

David Babcock, a graphic design professor from Missouri, learned to knit around the  time that he started running, three years or so ago – and then worked out the logistics for doing them simultaneously.

During the recent race in Kansas City, he smashed the previous record – yes, there is at least one other person in the world who knit-runs competitively!

He uses his talents for good by actively promoting donations to Alzheimer’s research, and has certainly attracted a lot of attention everywhere he has appeared!

Anyone who is inclined to support his efforts, even in a small way, can do so by visiting the ALZ Stars site.


It doesn’t get much more inventive and motivated than this!


Posted in In the News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Possibly the perfect travel knitting project

InTheBagAny dedicated knitter will tell you that planning travel knitting is at least as important as planning which clothes and accessories to pack!  Everyone has their own criteria for travel projects, but the main considerations are pattern and/or stitch complexity (or lack thereof), weight of yarn (bulky yarn is bulky to pack, too!), and appropriate size (big enough to last, but small enough to be portable).

Socks are the traditional choice, but needles are another factor… I generally shy away from small double pointed needles when flying, in favor of circulars.  It is extremely awkward to go fishing for a skinny dpn down beside an airplane seat, and equally uncomfortable trying to avoid poking a seatmate with any of the 10 pointy ends!  Yes, I know that a lot of sock knitters use one or two circs, but that’s not my preference.


Making Waves – the designer’s pattern photo

Earlier this year, I settled on what may be the perfect travel knitting – a Making Waves cardigan knit from laceweight Juniper Moon Farm’s Findley Dappled yarn in the Woodland colorway.

This project has LOTS of stockinette, which is saved from being completely mindless by the shaping.  Circular needles are the order of the day, and the whole thing fits neatly into a double-fist-sized project bag and weighs almost nothing!  The clean lines are adorned by ruching (a pretty detail which also includes lots of stockinette), and I am looking forward to wearing the finished sweater!  But since I don’t find it an addicting project, I can save it up for trips when I am a ‘captive audience’, and am happy to have it ready to go.



We saw some gorgeous scenery on the Oregon coast, and I was able to snap a few pictures.  Just look at the colors in this one, and compare them to the colors in my partially-completed cardigan… the yarn designer/dyer could have used my snapshot as inspiration!


The other thing about knitters and travel is the opportunity – nay, obligation – to plan yarn shopping.  It is generally accepted that souvenir yarn does not actually count in one’s stash, and when a single 100-gram skein of luscious sock yarn is enough for a very special project, the only difficulty is making a selection!  But that’s another story…

Posted in My Projects, travel | Leave a comment

Norwegian TV: backlash against reality shows?

Perhaps you have heard of the “slow food” movement, which began as an effort to counteract “fast food”, which in many ways is symbolic of the modern lifestyle.

Norway’s NRK television network appears to be taking this idea into another arena: broadcast television.  “Slow TV” is a fairly recent (and regionally limited) phenomenon that seems to be taking that country by storm.  Slow motion storm, that is.

How about a 12-hour show about a wood fire being built and maintained?  Salmon spawning in real time – for 18 hours?  A 5-day program of a cruise ship sailing along the Norwegian coast?  Perhaps the most fascinating aspect is the viewership; the cruise show garnered a sustained 36% of the viewing public, and over a million people tuned in to watch the salmon.

And now for the fiber content: on November 1, “National Knitting Night”, they will air a live sheep-to-sweater competition!  A team of eight will shear a sheep, then spin and knit the wool into a sweater.  Since this will actually be an attempt to beat the record time of 4 hours 51 minutes, set by an Australian team in 2004, I’m not sure that it qualifies as ‘slow’, but no one else seems to be arguing the point.

Sheep in norwegian mountainNorwegian Dalasau (Dala-sheep) in summer pasture

This may actually be an idea whose time has come; an antidote to the frantic or inane fare served up on so many networks.  What a wonderful contrast to the overwhelming number of so-called “reality” shows – a program we could tune in to for a few minutes, and maybe stay for a while longer and be soothed and comforted, while the crock pot simmers our dinner.  Just let me know what channel!


Posted in In the News, spinning | Tagged | Leave a comment

Is there a presentation in your future?

If so, you might consider using Prezi!

PreziSitePrezi is a service that offers free and paid options for creating online presentations. This is not your mother’s PowerPoint! While there are similarities, Prezi is more dynamic and less linear in nature than PowerPoint and its clones.

Prezi is not without its limitations, though… you can create a pdf to use as a handout, but each view is a whole page.  There are not that many shapes and drawing options to choose from, but the design is still quite flexible. Resulting presentations can be very eye-catching (or downright dizzying, if the creator gets carried away), and may keep an audience more engaged than a predictable PowerPoint.

All presentations created with the free version are publicly accessible, and carry the Prezi logo. Paid versions allow the user to limit access and to use their own logo, and the Pro version comes with downloadable ‘desktop’ software so it can be used completely offline.

All licenses also provide a nice variety of ways to save or share the presentations:


And here’s a sample Prezi, which I created in class while learning to use it!

Posted in tech tips, Various Other Stuff | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment