I have been knitting a hat. I am travelling to the East coast for work in a few weeks and I don't own a good winter hat; given current conditions that will not do. There's a slightly complex pattern from knitty.com that I had been looking for an excuse to knit, and at the Stitches West marketplace a few weeks ago I bought an alpaca blend skein of yarn (so soft) to work with. I read through the pattern a few times before I began and knew there were a few new to me techniques in it, but nothing seemed that difficult. My first wrap and turns were a little shaky, but they've gotten better and the crochet cast on was fine. Yesterday I was at the stage where I had to 'pick up and knit' a lot of stitches, which isn't hard but futzy and annoying, so I figured I'd check in my answer book* to see if there was an easier way to do it. After looking at the book a little disbelievingly I went on line and searched again. Yup, I've been doing it wrong, for about 20 years (or from whenever I made my first pair of socks). I'm a little boggled by that, but I went ahead and picked up stitches the way you're supposed to do it, which conveniently was easier than the wrong thing I have been doing, and kept knitting the hat. But it makes me wonder what else I may have self-taught myself wrong.
Also yesterday I met up with a friend and her kids (ages 5 and 3) for a long walk on the trail I run on every weekend. The kids walked for a bit, and then rode in the stroller, and were asking how many miles we had gone or hours we had walked from about ten minutes in. C and I wanted to get a decent walk in (hence bringing the two seat stroller) but a little shy of where we planned to turn around and head back the 5yr old finally got everything we had been saying about distance and time and didn't want to go any further, because it would just be further we'd have to walk back. Trying to cajole him into continuing I offered to race him to the next sign. I forget that 5yr olds have two speeds, sprint and walk, and nothing in between. But he would run for a burst and then pause, so while I was going a little faster than usual I wasn't maxing out my sprint speed. We ran to the turnaround, and by then he was having fun racing so we proceeded to run in fits and starts for a mile of the return. At one point he asked me why I knew the trail so well, and I told him I came there every weekend to practice running. His response "If you practice so much why aren't you faster?" Heh. I was a good grown up and did not trip the child or tell him I was letting him win.
*Looking for that link I just found out there's a second edition. I might need to upgrade.