Gauge problems

I saw a great pattern on Instagram and was waiting for it to be released.  It called for aran weight yarn, but I thought I could probably do it with worsted – my favourite Cascade 220, as I have some of that in my stash.  It’s called “First Watch” and is a pea coat styled cardigan.  It is by Olive Knits.  I swatched with Cascade 220, and while I was able to get that gauge of 18 st per 4″, the fabric was way too drapey for this sort of garment.

I was at my (not so) local yarn store a week or so ago, and picked up some Berocco Vintage which is labeled as an aran weight.  I did a gauge swatch and it, too, was far to flimsy for this type of structure.  So I ended up ordering some Cascade Longwood, which is a true aran weight.  I did a quick swatch of it last night and my gauge was bang on.

Cascade Longwood
Cascade Longwood

The colour is a little off.  It’s sort of a paprika/brick red orange.  I’ll pick up some awesome buttons when I’m in Vancouver in a couple of weeks at Button Button!

In the meantime, I decided to start a pair of socks, because who doesn’t love knitting socks?!

Cashluxe Spark
Cashluxe Spark

This is some Sweet Georgia Yarns sock yarn club from 2015.  It’s more purple/red.  I have some purple left over from another pair of socks that I will use for the heels and toes.  Such great yarn!

We have been diligent in getting our lane swimming in at least once a week.  We have gone a few times to a really nice complex in Saskatoon and had some great swims there.  I am seeing progress in my technique, but it’s slow.

next stop, the Olympics!
next stop, the Olympics!



More Spartan!

They posted some photos of the Spartan race.  Unfortunately, even though there were photographers at several points on the course, they only posted the photos taken at three particular obstacles because those were also chip-timing points.  I guess with 1,900+ racers, they had to be able to have a reasonable process to manage the photos of racers.


We got filthy, especially in the barbed wire/mud crawl.  The one photo with the red circle is the only proof I have of doing the rope climb!  I wish they had a photographer at the rope climb because SO MANY people failed at it!

We are starting to make a training plan for next year!

We are Spartans!

My workout partners and I completed a 14 km/29 obstacle course race called the Spartan Super.  They are held across North America, but the one we attended was in Red Deer, about a 7 hour drive from here.

This was my first foray into obstacle course racing and I quite liked it!  A lot of the functional fitness movements that we incorporate at Crossfit were helpful.  We really lucked out on weather; the forecast had been quite gloomy with cool temps and rain, but it ended up being mostly sunny and low teen temps.

before and after
before and after

We were  Team Pure Spartans (our gym name is Pure Athletics).  I’m fired up for what specific training we can do to conquer all the obstacles next year!

There are more race photos to be released; if there are any good ones, I’ll post them.

Here’s a list of the obstacles:

Over-under-through walls

6 ft wall

5 ft wall

inverted wall

Atlas carry

8ft wall

7ft wall

rolling mud pits

stairway to Spartan (18’)

tire flip

parallel bars

z-walls (traverse)

cargo bridge (wall)

bucket carry

sand bag  carry

tractor pull


balance beam

multi-rig (rings & bars)

Barb wire mud pit

slip wall (that FUCKER)

Hercules hoist

monkey bars

tree maze


vertical cargo

rope climb

fire jump


Team Chaga mini-triathlon

After watching our coach and some fellow gym members compete in the Frank Dunn triathlon in Waskesiu, my workout partners and I decided to compete as a team in a mini triathlon in La Ronge.  It all hinged on my being able to either rent/borrow a bike (which I ended up buying).

We got up early yesterday and drove to La Ronge, checking the weather forecast all the way, as cell service allowed.  It wasn’t looking good.  Rain.

We arrived early and had a drive around.  After leaving La Ronge in 1992, the last time I’d been there was probably 10 years ago when we attended a regimental ball while living in Waskesiu.  It was interesting to see what had changed and what had remained the same.

The event started a bit late, but the first leg was the 500 M swim.  The sun had been out, but disappeared and it was windy, so the lake was choppy.  My team mate did a great job on the swim and handed off to me, for the 20 km bike ride.


around km 10
around km 10

The road was okay, when I could get off the shoulder.  For the most part, traffic was quite considerate and slowed down and gave us a wide berth.  There were some wet sections and lots of potholes in the driving lane, but I was able to avoid them.  There was just a couple of times when I had to stay on the shoulder and got jarred around a bit.

I don’t remember the road out to Nemeiben Lake turnoff being quite so elevated!  I sure got a good leg work out.  My bike ran perfectly.  I had worn my jacket because I was quite cold down by the lake, but by the time I got out on the highway I realized it was a mistake.  Next time, I’ll skip it.

My team mates had driven from the swim out to the running transition area and were awaiting my arrival.  I swooped in there, bumping along on the gravel/sand parking lot, through the grassy trail to do the hand off.  I checked my bike computer and it showed 46:56 as the time for the 20 km.  I was constantly trying to figure out while riding what my time would be and was thinking about 50 minutes.  There was some wind and less than ideal riding conditions, but I found it pleasantly challenging.

whew, got that done!
whew, got that done!

The rain held off until my team mate was about halfway done the 6 km trail run.  I’m glad it didn’t rain while I was on the highway, but it made the run less than pleasant for her.  The trail was slippery and had a lot of mud holes and the rocks were treacherous.  We ended up with a finish time of 1 hr 40 mins according to my watch.  The official time will be something around that.

It was a fun day, and we’ll probably do it again next year, along with some other similar events.  I’m not a strong swimmer or runner, but I can bike!  (Thanks Crystal for the great photos!)

Green Striped Socks

I finished these last week, but have been having trouble getting photos to upload to Flickr.

socks for me!

I used two shades of Sweet Georgia Yarns “Tough Love Sock Yarn”.  I started with three-round stripes, then two, then singles, then back up to three. The Ravelry project page is here.

There is still a hat on the needles and I’ve started another pair of socks.

We’ve been working hard at the gym and have a couple more events planned before the end of summer.  A team “mini triathlon” and then Spartan on September long weekend.

Our friends have had an abundance of zucchini and I found a recipe to make muffins with them.

chocolate zucchini muffins

The recipe took a couple of tries and some tweaks, but they’re pretty darn good!  Changes I made – the first time I tried this recipe, it was very dry, not like a muffin batter at all. So this time:

I used three eggs
I used the full ¼ c of maple syrup
I added one banana, mashed up
I used natural peanut butter, and I let it come to room temperature to make it mix better.
I used Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (1/4 cup) and I blended them in with the zucchini.  I also increased the amount of cocoa to 1/4 cup.

I’ve made it a couple more times since then.

Old dogs, young pups, running

Outside of the numerous times a week I go to our Crossfit gym, I want to do some work on my “running”.  It’s really hard for me because I don’t enjoy it, probably because I’m not very proficient at it.  We’ve been out a few times, and I went once on my own and did a 5K.

It’s more “fun” and less miserable to go with friends.  Our friends’ Great Pyrenees loves to go for a “jog”, whereas our poopers are content to lounge inside with the air conditioning at a comfortable temperature.

a couple of weeks ago on a muggy afternoon

I was smiling because we were almost back to the parking area.  Ha ha.

Our poopers are doing fine; Ava is 12.5 and quite happy to just stay home.  She doesn’t like the heat and she doesn’t like noise and rambunctiousness.  We do get her out for a little stroll now and then.

little ol’ lady Ava

I found a harness we had for Sabrina and tried it with Ava. I feel like it made her feel more stable and less tiring.

the family

We’ve been out for a few bike rides in the evenings as well.  We’ve been having a great, active summer.

Gem Lakes Hike

On Saturday we drove a bit north east of here and explored the Gem Lakes in Narrow Hills Provincial Park.  It’s fairly accessible – although we went in a truck, a car could easily make the drive.  The weather was perfect – not too hot, and a breeze to keep the bugs at bay.  The lakes are very small – but very deep!  The scenery was amazing.  There’s info and a trail map on the Sask Tourism site.

I have an album of photos on flickr here.

blueberries starting to ripen

We took our time and stopped often to look at plants, flowers, trees, etc. as well as the beautiful lakes.

prairie lily


the trail was well marked and had info plaques all along


rickety boat left on the shore. The lakes are stocked for fishing.


Pearl Lake!

The lakes are Jade, Opal, Sapphire, Diamond, Pearl (and Little Pearl) then back to Little Jade/Jade.


checking our map
checking our map
Opal Lake – such clear water!
and great for a swim! It dropped off very steeply

We started the hike on the north-east shore of Jade Lake.  Next time, we’ll go the other way (south-west).  After fairly strenuous hiking of the trails, the last km or so is very much up/down hill on that south/west shoreline.  We plan to come back in the fall when the trees begin to change colours.  A great day!