Training with David Babcock, the Knitting Runner: Can He Crochet the World’s Largest Doily and Run a Marathon?
October 9th, 2015
This week, David Babcock — aka The Knitting Runner — shares his crochet plans for the first of two marathons he’s running this fall. Read on to see what he’ll make!
Lion Brand® is sponsoring David in not one but TWO marathons this fall! David is running to raise money for Alzheimer’s research and he needs your support – last year, with your help, David raised $10k, will you help David beat that?
Please donate today: http://lby.co/1Kl24cG.
In 2013 I broke the Guinness World Record for the “Longest Scarf Knit Whilst Running a Marathon” which was originally set by Susie Hewer to help raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s. This year I am trying to establish my own record to continue to fight Alzheimer’s and support caregivers. I wanted to do something that would be very visible and funny. When I think of crochet doilies I think of my grandmother. As out-of-place as a scarf is in a marathon I think that seeing a man running a marathon while working on his giant lacy white doily would be even more engaging – I’m calling it the Doily Dash!
Doily Dash Plan:
- Lion Brand®‘s Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® super-bulky yarn
- A 9mm crochet hook
- Carry all of the yarn with me in waist packs
- Run at an average 10 minute-mile pace, a 4:20 finish time.
- Create a doily, a flat decorative and lacy crochet mat radiating out from a center.
- Follow a repeating pattern with at least 25% yarn-filled.
With that in mind my training began, first the running. I think that I am like most of you when you think about running: A) you can’t imagine deliberately engaging in the pain and discomfort and would rather stay in bed on a cold morning, and/or B) you both love and hate running for its health benefits and messing with your brain to convince you to keep doing it. I’ve worked up to running a half marathon at 8 minutes per mile (without knitting). You can see my progress on Strava as user David Donotstaple. Most record-breaking races only require that you finish in under 6 hours. The longer you take to run the race the more time that you have to work on your knitting. A student told me once that when they were talking to their friends about my record they were somewhat dismissive saying that it wasn’t a serious marathon effort (like they could do better). While I do see a marathon as a collaborative and friendly supportive event, I also like passing people obviously younger than me. So for this race I’m looking for a balance. While it will give me less time to work 4:20 is a respectable time that a lot of people aspire to and not too far from my personal record of 3:56. I’ll run with a pace group for control and the chance to make some new friends.
Yes, I do crochet training. The first problem is that I had never made a doily before. I’ve made snowflakes with some success but I’ve found that making a large flat doily is difficult. I have a strange sort of crafter’s pride where I don’t like to follow other people’s patterns (but I hope you’ll follow mine). I’m an artist, a designer, a creative professional, I thought, “I can handle this”. I love experimenting and failing and learning something new. I needed something easy enough to deal with during the stress and frustration of a marathon while still being impressively doily-like. I’m not a math genius and it took a lot of failures to find an appropriate pattern and increase per row that would lay flat. I couldn’t go too long with a chain stitch because my other hand would always be holding the work. I wanted to maximize stitches going into spaces rather than hard to target previous stitches. I needed to keep the counting simple and repetitive, easy to see where I was without memorization or referring to a pattern.
So what is it like to actually do this all while running? I’ve done some training on the treadmill and have found that I can use a whole skein of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in 1:17, 2 1/2 hours and 17 1/2 miles later I have a nice doily 30 inches in diameter from two skeins. I should be able to use 3 skeins in under 4 hours to get to 36 inches in diameter. I’ll carry 4 skeins and try to make it over a meter. So, no, it isn’t a 15 minute scarf, but if you aren’t running you could make yourself a nice little rug in about 3 hours. While I’m running my hands get sweaty and just advancing the yarn can be a struggle requiring very aggressive and overstated crochet motions. And of course there is always the bouncing around of a moving target for my hook. Just breathe, relax the shoulders, two chains and a double, advance & repeat.
— David Babcock, the Knitting Runner (and Running Hooker?)
:: Donate and support Alzheimer’s research — make a
donation to David Babcock’s Alzheimer’s Fundraiser today! ::
October 9th, 2015
A little adventure, a bit of time-travel, and an epic romance inspired our latest pattern collection…
In the video below, sneak a peek at our next pattern collection, inspired by none other than the sassenach heroine of Outlander: The Series.
Channel your inner Scottish Highlands explorer this season with this gorgeous collection of garments.
Stay tuned for the full launch of kits — for both knitters and crocheters — coming very soon!
October 8th, 2015
Our friend Kristy Glass from the Glass Posse channel talks up a few of her favorite costume patterns!
:: Can’t see the video above? Visit https://youtu.be/GVsEgziwtCA ::
Get the FREE patterns here:
made with Vanna’s Choice®
|Octopus Dog Costume,
made with Vanna’s Choice®
For more great FREE costume patterns, visit Pattern Finder.
October 8th, 2015
In this guest post by Gali Beeri, she walks us through the design process for her Cleopatra headpiece. It’s certainly fit for a queen!
With Halloween fast approaching, we would like to share our own take on costuming – which involves yarncrafting, of course!
Last time around I shared my winged superhero costume. It probably comes as no surprise that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. But why limit myself to getting in costume just once a year? Throughout college my friends would often throw “theme parties”, which provided an excellent excuse for costuming and helped shape my love of “playing dress-up” as an adult. Now well into my 30s, I’ve found more communities that love doing the same and attend costume events regularly.
To kick off the design process for my next costume party, I explored ideas that suited the ancient Egypt-influenced theme. Ultimately I decided to knit a snake headpiece.
Drawing inspiration from images of Cleopatra headdresses, I started sketching out a design I thought would translate well to knitted fabric. Searching through the yarn at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, I found that once again Vanna’s Glamour came to the rescue for my costuming needs. I’m so drawn to th
e sparkle! The Bronze colorway fit both the theme and my complexion nicely.
I cast on for a narrow tube knit in the round, and then created the cobra shape by increasing on either side to the widest point of the head. Then I decreased on either side until I reached the tip of the snake’s mouth. To create the forked tongue, I switched to red yarn (LB Collection Superwash Merino in Cherry). I embroidered eyes and nostrils using scraps of black yarn.
Next up, I had to figure out how to place the snake on my head! That’s where my narrow tube at the base of the snake’s head came in handy – it was just big enough for a pipe cleaner to fit. This held the snake head upright, and also made it easier to secure the piece to a headband. I wrapped the headband with more bronze yarn. To add interest, I bent gold sparkly pipe cleaners into zigzag shapes and affixed them to the headband as well.
With the headpiece complete, it was time to put together the rest of my costume. I shopped around and found a gold and black sequined skirt. This shaped my color palette for the ensemble, and so I added a black top and created a necklace pile from my gold and glam sparkly necklaces. Weaving a gold ribbon through my braid and adding another to my hair, along with a sequined flower, added even more glam to the look. Gold glitter on my eyes was the final touch to bring it all together.
Here’s my finished costume!
October 7th, 2015
Grab your gloves and aprons – in this episode of Tea with Shira, brand ambassador Shira Blumenthal sits down with Rebecca of Rit Dye to show us how to make yarn colors that pop!
Using Rit Dye and your favorite natural fiber, you can create a custom colored yarn that’s unique to you. Since we’re big fans of easy-care yarns, like acrylic blends, Rebecca also shares a new Rit Dye formula that’s just for synthetic fibers!
Rebecca shares two of her latest yarn dyeing projects and shares tips on how you can use Rit Dye to dress up your projects. Tune in below!
:: Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch — https://youtu.be/lgMEoS291IM ::
Yarns mentioned in this video: