A Nod to Knit Runners!

There is a small percentage of people in the world who like running long distances. That number has increased in recent years with the popularity of obstacle runs, people adopting the "weekend warrior" lifestyle, and some finding that "runner's high" to be magical and rather addicting. Still though, as compared to the population of planet Earth, the number of people who run marathons, 26.2 miles, is pretty tiny. The number of people who run that distance while knitting, is smaller still.

David Babcock, known as the "knitting runner", "set the world record for knitting the longest scarf while running in a marathon in 2013." The scarf he made was over twelve feet long. Mr. Babcock ran the New York City marathon this year, while knitting, and broke his own time record. He finished knitting his scarf before the end of the marathon and wore it as he crossed the finish line. Because of the incredibly tight security at the race, Mr. Babcock was not allowed to use knitting needles. So, he finger knitted. But he didn't stop there, he double knit, in two colors!

I watched a race a few years ago where a lady was running and knitting, and she was pulling yarn from a skein tucked under one arm. She too was making a scarf, and it was coming along nicely. The yarn handling seemed a bit precarious and annoying though. I was curious how the knitting runner handled the yarn for his projects, and it turns out his method is pretty ingenious. He crochets what look like large armwarmers, one in each color he's using, and unravels them as he needs more yarn. He is therefore completely self sufficient, and everything he needs is attached to his person!

It's pretty awesome to see:

Knit running is not for everyone, and I am by no means recommending we all get out there and start marathon scarves, or even 5K scarves! I am a person who manages to sprain my ankles walking on flat, dry pavement in 100% sensible shoes, so I'm not planning on taking this up any time soon. But I think it's a fantastic example of combining two interests, two things you love, and really optimizing and maximizing your free time.

I like to listen to podcasts while I'm knitting (This American Life, Wait, Wait…Don't Tell Me, Serial, to name a few) and find this combination to be incredibly soothing. I sometimes watch movies, but if the movie is too gripping/exciting, my tension gets tighter and it throws off my gauge (this can also happen with podcasts, fair warning). Sometimes, the best option for multi-tasking-knitting it to choose a simple project with bigger yarn. I find it is pretty hard to knit bulky yarn too tightly because it really hurts your hands to do so!

If you're looking for some good patterns to start with, I suggest the Quick Knits in Bulky Yarns Pattern Pack. There are five patterns here, that are perfect to knit while your eyes and ears might be partly engaged elsewhere (I am working on Ruth Garcia Alcantud's Victor Shawl currently, and it has been great to work on while in meetings, on phone calls, and watching TV on the dark and cold evenings we've been having).

If, like me, you are a mulit-tasking-knitter, I think you'll like these patterns. And if you've never tried this multi-tasking while knitting business, you might want to give it a try! Who knows, you might find that run-knitting is really the thing for you, and you'll be chasing David Babcock down before you know it!

Knit happy (whether you're doing anything else or not),

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