The treadmill is boring, right? I refuse to walk or run outside in the cold where there’s barely enough room on the roads what with the snow banks and all, so the treadmill is what I’ve got to work with until it stops snowing, which will probably be July.
I hate exercise. I love being active, though, and I miss being fit. I just don’t like the hamster wheel-ness of the treadmill, nor do I care for the music or television selection at my gym. Music on my headphones is great, but I still need something to look at and The View isn’t doing it for me. Reading on the treadmill is great, but I can’t listen to music when I read. Last time I tried that I ended up thinking about how awesome it would be if Freddy Mercury fought a bunch of orcs with his microphone stand, which IS awesome but I totally lost my place in the Hobbit and had to go back several pages. What I’m trying to say is that roller derby ruined me for every other fitness activity ever. If it’s not on wheels it is therefore wicked boring and I go out of my tree trying to stay focused.
Then I read this. There’s a world record for the longest scarf knitted while running a marathon, and this guy broke it. You can see where this is going, right? I’ll probably never be a marathoner, but I’m a pretty good knitter, and I’ve already mastered knitting-hats-while-walking-in-a-crowd-to-prevent-panic-attacks-at-large-conventions, so the treadmill should be easy, right?
RIGHT! You thought I was going to say “wrong” didn’t you? Turns out, I’m awesome at knitting and walking on a treadmill! I can knit and walk up to 3.5 mph, though it seems my best pace for walking and knitting is 3.2mph. As I level up I’ll try running, but for now I’ll continue to knit while I warm up and set the knitting aside for my run/walk intervals, then pick up the knitting for the cool down. I’ve only gotten a few funny looks from fellow gym-goers as there really aren’t that many people when I go. I’m sure the first time I have a major yarn disaster there will be a huge audience.
I didn’t want to do a scarf like the guy in that article. I don’t really need any more scarves and the thought of wrapping wool around myself while exercising makes me cringe. There are a few factors to consider when choosing a knitting project for treadmill walking. Small projects are best suited, but nothing fiddly or too small a gauge, especially if it involves tiny double pointed needles (thus ruling out socks). I have to be able to use only one ball of yarn at a time (which can fit in the cup holder) for the duration of a single walking session (thus no color work). I settled on leg warmers because I can knit a 1×1 ribbed tube easily while walking, and I can do them on circulars with a small enough cable.
I plan on bringing a different color of yarn to the gym each time I go, so they’ll end up being a kind of workout tracking system as well. The stripes won’t be of equal size as I’m sure my pace will fluctuate daily, and the pair certainly won’t be identical mates, but I’m fine with fraternal stripes. They’ll be unique and fun, and I’m sure I will love them.
Since I really don’t need more than a couple of pairs of leg warmers, I decided to ask my friends if they’d like to contribute to this ridiculous project. They buy the yarn, and I knit them leg warmers while keeping myself entertained on the treadmill. I figured I’d get a couple of my weirder friends interested, but I didn’t expect five people to sign up in less than an hour. I capped this round at five because I have no idea how long it’ll take me to knit 12 legwarmers (counting one pair for myself) while walking. If all goes smoothly, I’ll open things up for another round since I know there are a few people who are disappointed they missed the first round.
I’ve started a Ravelry project page for this endeavor where you can check out all the specifics like the yarn and needles used, etc., should that sort of thing interest you. What do you think? Have you taken on a particularly silly project lately? What weird/fun/inspiring challenges have you attempted?
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