Saturday, January 4, 2014

Inspiration Saturday: Marathon knitting

So this is kind of a news story from October, but I just found out about it on New Year's Eve and I wanted to share it with you.  There's not a lot of overlap between the world of running and the world of knitting.  But there are a few pioneers who cross the borders in exciting and somewhat crazy ways.

Like David Babcock, who broke the existing record for the longest scarf knit while running a marathon.  I love that there was an existing record to break in the first place, but David broke it by knitting a 12-foot long scarf in under six hours running 26.2 miles.

I found David's whole set up interesting:
I have an old ugly fanny pack that has a squarish open pocket that lets a ball of yarn turn freely inside of it. The opening in the bag has just enough of a lip that the ball tends to stay inside. Once the knit scarf gets to a length where it is in danger of hitting the road, or my stepping on it, I attach the end to a carabiner on the pack. Later I take a loop of paracord and wrap it around the scarf, cinching it up, and then loop the paracord through itself and onto another carabiner. When the scarf is long enough it wraps around the back of my body and to the front again.
I will admit that I have done some knitting and walking before.  I have a pedometer and always make sure to take at least 10,000 steps a day.  Before I got deep into marathon training, I would sometimes need to take a few turns about the living room in order to earn those steps at the end of the day.  To make this look even more strange, and possibly even more Jane Austen-esque, I would slip my project bag over my wrists and knit as I went.  As long as it was just plain knitting, it was okay.  I never tried anything crazy like lacework.  I probably would have tripped over the cat.

Other interesting tidbits:

  • He used 100% acrylic yarn (because this is just not a luxury fiber situation)
  • The scarf is plain garter stitch, 30 stitches wide in size 15 needles (straights)
  • Finished length: 12 feet, 1 3/4 inches
  • Finish time: 5 hours, 48 minutes, 27 seconds (faster than I will finish)
Aside from the sheer impressiveness of the achievement, I find it funny to read the articles, because what the reporter deems to be the interesting information is determined by the direction from which they are approaching the story.  It makes sense, for example, that Runner's World cared about his pace and that they would be surprised to find out that there is such a thing as knitting experts.  I didn't see any interviews with knitting magazines or websites, but that might be a weakness in the Google search, who knows.  I imagine that their questions would have been more about the yarn, the needles, and the scarf itself.  

So there you go.  Whether I'm huffing and puffing through a training run, or maybe just struggling through a long row on a shawl, I'm going to think of David and realize that I could be making things a lot harder on myself.

Have you ever knit while walking?  Or while doing anything else unusual?  For more inspiration, go to Woolen Diversions.

1 comment:

  1. I can knit while reading, riding a stationary bicycle, and in the relative dark, but have yet to really master knitting and walking. I tried drop spindling and walking recently and it was rather stressful for me, not s fun.