It’s on again

We had a thunderstorm last week, and our internet went down – Our box was struck by lightning. (Just ours. It was a pretty personal move by mother nature.)  I’ve been reduced to working in coffeeshops and pubs with wifi, and today (six days without internet) it finally got fixed but let me tell you – you wouldn’t believe how much knitting time you have if your internet goes down.

nupp 2016-05-18

The big white shawl proceeds apace. I’m through the 14 repeats of the first chart, and I’ve done the transition chart now – I’m making Aeolian.  (Megan, don’t click.) There’s several more charts to go – and I’ve used most of one skein of yarn (I have three) and 2.5 vials of beads. (I have 6.)

secondchart 2016-05-18
So far, so good, though it’s slow going, putting down the knitting every few stitches to affix another bead with a tiny crochet hook. The last row of the transition chart also introduces nupps, and no matter how loosely I try to create them, purling seven stitches together on the  following row is a little …tricky – if you understand that I am using the word tricky here to stand in for language less becoming to a knitter of my age and station. Moving on.

Let me tell you about this last weekend. I was scheduled to show up for a training ride – 54 kilometres, and the weather looked bad. Terrible, actually. It was cold, it was rainy – they were calling for snow, and I lay there in bed thinking about how I could get out of it. There had to be a way, I thought. Something.  I could text and say that I was sick. (I wasn’t.) I could say that I was just too tired. (I sort of was.) I could say that I was frankly, too clever to show up and ride my bike really far in the SNOW when the alternative was tea, knitting, and an audiobook.  I even thought about trying to explain about the nupps, and how I didn’t really think that it was in the shawl’s best interest for me to turn up.  Then I got up, put on as many layers of spandex as I could, and went and did the thing – and I knew it was going to be bad, and I had a tummy ache I was so nervous.

I wish this was one of those stories where I tell you that I was a lunatic, and it was fine, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  It’s not. It did snow.  It also hailed, and rained, and there was a headwind. (I always say it, the one good thing about riding in the rain is that nobody can see you cry.) I compensated for as much of the misery as I could with a positive attitude. I was deliberately kind with the (few) other riders who were insensible enough to show up, and they were kind with me. We smiled. We rode. We got it done, and we joked afterwards about how it was (probably) going to be the last time that we had to do it in the snow. It triggered a lot of feelings for a bunch of us. A lot of the group that gathered for a pint afterwards have been doing The Rally for years, most of us have taken on leadership roles, and donate no small amount of our time and energy to the cause.
crapride 2016-05-18
Later that day, a friend asked why I’d bothered to go in the snow.  Actually, they sort of wondered why I take the whole thing so seriously. I’m on the Steering Committee again this year, I’m a Team Leader again… it’s not just riding in the snow. It’s a lot of time over the course of a year – then you start training, and all so that you can ride your bike more than 600 km (It’s about 400 miles). Surely, she posited, surely you can miss a single snowy ride, and she’s right, I could have, but the thing is and I didn’t say this to her – It felt hokey and sentimental and I was afraid she’d think I was silly… but that feeling’s since worn off… The people that PWA serves, they don’t get to opt out of bad days. No matter how hard a day might be, no matter how hard facing the thing they have to do is, people with HIV/AIDS don’t get to opt out and knit a shawl while listening to an audiobook.  There’s no days off if you’re sick or struggling, and the commitment I’ve made to try and make that a little bit better for those people doesn’t seem like it counts for much if I only do it when it’s easy.  You know what I mean? It’s hard to explain.  That’s why I do it, that’s why it’s not optional when it sucks. That’s not how AIDS works – so that’s not how fundraising works. If I’m in, I’m all in, and this year I’m going to ask for your help again.

This summer (in nine weeks and three days) I will ride my bike more than 600 kilometres from Toronto to Montreal, in The Friends for Life Bike Rally.  This year, we have a little family team of knitters,  as always.  Ken, long-time rider, blog starter, and my darling friend who roped me into this in the first place, has volunteered to be a Team Lead this year, and in the interest of the Rally, we split up to manage two teams. There’s Pato, the worlds nicest 24 year old, and Cameron – our friend and my Co-Lead on the Steering Committee. Knitters all.

Me
Ken
Pato
Cameron

This year we’re also giving honourable mention to two other knitters on the rally – Heather’s part of this blog, and was so compelled by the cause that she’s giving it a go this year, and Val – she’s a local Toronto knitter, and this will be her second time on the rally. Maybe think about giving them a little nudge towards their goals, eh? They’re good eggs.
meval 2016-05-18

(That’s Val and I there. She’s one of the few riders who turned up for the hard ride on Sunday. We’re smiling because it’s the before part.  So few riders turned up that for a while there we were saying it was going to be 50% knitter.)

Once again, I’m asking for your help. The decision to ride your bike to Montreal helps nobody, not without you.  Once again, I’m going to try and raise a ton of money, and like last year, I have a private and deeply personal crazy-pants goal. To this end, I’m going to do things the same way as last year, because knitters, you were amazing.  We’re going to do Karmic Balancing gifts again. Once a week (or so- maybe a little more or less) between now and the Rally, I’ll choose from amongst the people who’ve helped and redirect a knitterly (or spinnerly) gift from someone else who wants to help.*  Also staying the same, who sends their name along to me.

It’s going to be all about the Karma – just like last year. We’re trying to change lives here, make things better for some people, and there’s so much more to that than money, so, here’s the thing. If you donate to anyone on our little family team (or Val, or Heather) then please send me an email letting me know you’ve done so. Make the subject line “I helped” and send it to stephanieATyarnharlotDOTca. (Note the .ca it’s a Canada thing.) Include your name, address, and whether or not you spin.  (For the love of all things woolly, please use the subject line. It makes your email go to a specific folder and you have no idea what a difference that makes to my sanity.) You don’t need to say what you gave, or include proof. I know you’ll do your best, whatever that is, and I know you wouldn’t lie.

Now, we know not everyone has money to help with – so we’re taking all kinds of help.  If you can figure out some other way to do that, that counts.  Maybe you can tell a friend. Maybe you can post about it to social media. Maybe you can contribute a gift – maybe you can forward the email to people in your family who might give…  There’s lots and lots of ways to help, and if you can figure out a way? Send that email, letting me know you did. No money needed. (Of course, money is always good too.)

Knitters, lets go big. Let’s fill up the world with amazing, and when everyone at PWA asks who these people are, like they always do?  Ken, Pato, Cameron and I will smile and say what we always do. “They’re knitters. We keep telling you that they’re awesome.”

*If you want to contribute a gift, I’m trying to make it easy -It’s a ton of work, and I don’t mind doing it, but I have a better shot at getting it all done if you do this: Take a picture of your gift. Email me with the subject line “Karmic Balancing” with the details, picture and a link, if you want me to use one. When one of the helpers is chosen for a gift, I’ll email you the address, and you can ship it right to them. (It’s not a bad idea to let me know if you have shipping restrictions –  I’ll keep track.) I’ll try to get through them all, though it can be overwhelming. Thank you!

111 thoughts on “It’s on again

    • You need a crochet hook small enough to slip a bead on. Put the bead on the hook, pick up the stitch from the left needle onto the hook (sliding it off the needle, so both stitch and bead are on the hook). Slide the bead down over the stitch (which is still on your hook). Place the stitch back onto the left needle (making sure the stitch is not twisted). Knit the stitch as usual.

      • If a visual helps, you preload the crochet hook’s shaft with a bead, then catch the stitch on the hook and slide the bead down over the whole stitch–it looks like you’ve just put a bead around the base of the stitch like a collar…

        • the trick, of course, is neatly popping the bead from hook onto that loop of yarn, while maintaining the hooked-ness of said loop, or the bead goes flying across the room. there is something to be said for a surplus of beads. Ask me how I know…

  1. I did Aeolian last year. BEWARE – it uses way more beads than you think and there’s a couple of rows toward the end that don’t have more than one stitch of the same thing in a row (1 knit, 1 bead, 1 yo, 1 k2tog, 1 nupp – whatever – every single stitch was different). I did a size halfway between the large and small as written and (I think it’s the third to the last row) took me about 7 hours. Beautiful but yikes!

  2. Its looking lovely, check out Myra Wood’s easy peasy nupps video on YouTube ( you know that crochet hooks can be bent to your will!). And it has got to be easier than all your training rides in inclement weather

  3. Lace amazes me. I try to just ‘follow directions’ and then…poof, the count is off. Magic. I re-do, tink back down, put in markers, start back up and … poof. I think I have the concentration of a knit/purl girl. But, I intend to knit lace 🙂 The shawl is stunning and I can’t wait to see the feathery heap turn into the beautiful winged shawl. AND I cried readying your concept of people who can’t take time off of their life and suffering – thank you for the reminder of what commitment means. I shall head to the links and donate.

    • Have you tried using a lifeline? You don’t have to tink back (which is very painful on lace), just frog. The lifeline holds the stitches and you can pick them back up and get going again.

      • Lifelines are AMAZING. Put them in twice as often as you think you need them. don’t remove the previous until the next is in place.

  4. The shawl is looking so lovely!

    I had to do p7tog in Annis, and I found that not only did it go easier using a wee crochet hook, but I would pull the first three or 4 stitches onto the hook, then stick the hook through the rest of the stitches while they were still on the needle, which let me pull the yarn through in two stages. It really cut down on the problems for me!

  5. I too got tears in my eyes when you talked about people with AIDS/HIV not being able to take a day off – between AIDS and cancer, I’ve lost many people in my life and bless you for being “all in”…you are freakin’ amazing!! I am also going to stash dive (as well as donate $$) and come up with a really nice gift for someone special. Thank you seems wholly inadequate, but THANK YOU!

  6. I was going to post about using a crochet hook to make the nupps, but several others have already mentioned that, along with sending you to Myra Wood’s YouTube video. So, I’ll just take up space by commenting on that beautiful shawl you’re working on & letting you that I’ll be donating to your ride again this year.

  7. I just love reading your posts about the rally. They totally inspire me to try harder. The shawl, on the other hand is, in your words, crazy-pants.

  8. Aeolian is a treasure and an heirloom. I made one some years ago for a friend’s 70th birthday and she wore more than any other shawl she owned. You have chosen well.

  9. Come On Knitters. Let’s support this great cause in any way we can. I’m in. I try to support a different team member each year.

  10. A friend of mine (a lace guru) told me that doing a yarn over before every stitch and then dropping it on the next row makes the k7tog thing much easier.

        • Fourthing the fleegle beader!

          I’ve been working on my aolian for 7 years now… It’s coming along nicely lol. I did decide to skip the nupps.

          • Scrolled through the comments just to make sure someone had mentioned the Fleegle Beader. Knitting my first gossamer shawl (first project with beads also) and LOVING the Fleegle Beader. Made it possible to knit lace with beads while in a car riding over bumpy roads.

  11. The shawl is looking stunning. I think the two ladies in the picture that showed up to ride in that type of weather (while possibly crazy) also look stunning.

    Have you all set up your little donation pings yet or are you saving that for when the going gets tough near the end of the training and rally? Peddle on.

  12. Yarnharlot…often amusing, definitely entertaining but always inspiring! God bless on the journey, Team Knit… from someone who struggles to make it all the way around the block on her bike.

  13. Stephanie, those in need of PWA services could not have a better ambassador. Having survived a traditionally terminal disease, you could not have explained more simply or poetically. Every day is hail, sleet, snow, thunder, lightning, tsunamis and earthquakes during an alien invasion. Then there is a wee ray of sunlight-and then another-and another. Each of those bits of brilliant light can be a medical professional, a neighbor that drives you or does errands, a knitter ( that’s a friend of a friend of a neighbor of your postman) that makes you a wrap to remind you people care even if they don’t know you, and someone who gets up before the sun in the nastiest of weather trying to finish a punishing bike ride before her body wakes up and realizes what’s actually happening and short circuits in a panic. Thank you for being that bit of sunlight to those having dark days. Thank you for reminding us that getting up when we don’t want to can change the world. Thank you for making a difference.

    • All I’m doing is knitting a broken ankle back together so I’m way down on the health tsunami scale but Snow is right. Small kindnesses mean the world, and knitters are made of kindness. My husband was simply poleaxed when my knitting friends started to rally round, making pharmacy trips, bringing groceries, watering plants, and carrying clean laundry up so he could fold it. It gives me great satisfaction when I make my admittedly small donation every year. Maybe I’ll find a Karmic Balancing Gift this year too.

    • Snow, you so eloquently wrote what’s in my heart. Life with chronic illness is, while less terminal in nature, the same endless, smothering storm day after day. Focussing on the joyful bits and connecting with others as deeply as you can makes life with chronic illness a great one, especially on those days when you might heartily wish your condition was terminal because at least then it would have an end date and you would not have to face another day and week and month and year and decade of the neverending storm. Knowing there are people out there who are bright rays of sunshine, hope, and help makes surviving this possible.

      Steph, while reading your words I promptly burst into joyful tears thinking “she gets it!” and now I have yet another reason to adore your blog and wish I lived in Toronto and not Ottawa so that I could run into you in the yarn store from time to time. I admire your courage, both in living the way you do and knitting the way you do (knitting lace still, sadly, defeats me, though I can crochet lace like the wind). So I’m thanking you for all you do both here and on your donation page. 🙂

      Andi

  14. One warning on the Aeolian. I adore my shawl, which is the largest version – but there is a spirit killing row near the end that has something like 300 beads on just that one row. The result is so worth it, but be prepared! And Megan is going to look lovely in it.

  15. I feel like I’m that crazy knitter who absolutely loves doing nupps. Even up to p9tog. I can’t get enough of them. When I did Monica’s Shawl I did the mega nupp version. It’s a bit tricky when you have that many nupps, but the end result is so worth it. I love that little bit of texture in my shawls. Also, Aeolian is on my rav queue. Meg’s mind is gonna blow when she sees how gorgeous it is 🙂

  16. I will be contributing money and I would like to find a nice something to help out with the karma gift thing. So I will keep my eyes open to something for that.

    On another note, nupps can be done easily by slipping all of the nupp stitches to the working needle, i.e. if you are a right hand knitter to the right hand needle and vise versa if you are lefty, then yarn over the needle and pull each stitch over the yarn over one at a time. I saw a video on it. It really helps when you have more than five. Works for purl and knit. And it is just like you pulled or knit them just remember that knit means yarn in back then yarn over, purl is yarn in front then yarn over. Try it, I think you might find it less frustrating.

  17. You may me tear up…I also think you’re the queen of multitasking: knitter, author, teacher/workshop presenter, not to mention wife and now mother-of-the-bride. Wow!

  18. Thanks for all you do, dear Stephanie, with this bike rally/ride. You inspire me to do more. I have now made my donation and will work on getting fit enough to do something more. Wishing you blessings, safety and health!

  19. adding that I posted a blurb on the Ravelry RAK forum. I included a link to the blog for more info. Hope that’s ok. Good luck!

    • Replying to my own post. I apparently ran afoul of the Ravelry RAK forum’s rule against solicitations for cash donations even to a charity. The moderator did have an idea about modifying the post to make it acceptable. I’ll try again.

  20. I love nupps! Make each loop bigger than you dream is reasonable (I flop my right index finger over each loop to hold it while I do the next k st. It keeps it nice and big.)
    And use really, really pointy needles. They make all the difference in the world. I love my Addi Lace needles.

  21. With total respect for your decision to train in the terrible weather, I must point out that nothing, nothing you do for the rally is easy. Well, maybe the pints after a meeting. But, really, given that your schedule makes my head spin, I’m not sure even that. Worth it? No doubt. (And damn inspiring.) But, not easy.

  22. I don’t know if you can use this sort of help, but I’m an office manager by trade. If you can use assistance sorting / posting / tracking the Karmic Balancing gifts, I volunteer as tribute!

    Also, I notice that Aeolian is described as combining “slow patience” and “profligate abandon.” Seems fitting for a daughter’s wedding!

  23. So… Someone may have said this already, but have you thought about using that tiny crochet hook sitting there ready for beading use to purl those stitches together? Just use it in place of the right needle and once pulled through, pop that new stitch on the right needle and keep in trucking. If the hooks hook is big enough to pull the stitch through the bead it should be able to manage the stitches.

    After payday I’ll be hitting the donation pages. No balancing gifts here, I need all the kharma I can get today, I had to drive on the interstate and thankfully my dogs are used to this foul mouth and slept through the worst of my swearing. You do great things Stephanie. Don’t forget that. You are the change many of us want to see in this world.

  24. Someone gave me a tip that saved me much heartache and tears while doing nupps: when you’re making the nupp, do double yarnovers each time you’re supposed to do a yarnover. This means you’ll have 10 loops instead of 7. When you get to them on the purl side, it’s the easiest thing in the world to simply slip the stitches one by one to your right hand needle, letting the extra yarnovers drop off. Then slip them back to the left hand needle and all the stitches are now plenty loose enough to purl 7 together without one bit of trouble!

  25. Stretching my vocabulary. Never heard before of nupp or fleegle. or for that matter embiggen(a couple of posts back), but I love it. I’m working on a new shawl pattern and if I see that it might turn out a bit smaller than I hoped, I can just embiggen it. All three words in this comment are underlined in red, which means they are not recognizable by my computer’s dictionary.

    • Isn’t “embiggen” a *wonderful* word? I first read it on Steph’s blog, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn she invented it.

  26. Neither rain nor snow nor sleet nor hail… Going postal on us… Seriously, though, Stephanie, you are an amazing human being. Thank you for all that you do and for how deeply you empathize with your fellow human being. You help us all make the world a better place for your being here.

  27. I’ve knitting the Aeolian 3 times and love this pattern. The last two times I added extra repeats to make a bigger shawl. I also used 3 colors of yarn and beads. I’ve started another using some hand spun.

  28. Do you accept “credit” to an Etsy shop as a gift? Some friends and I run a yarn store on Etsy (we donated to the Strung Along bags) and I’d like to help, but I think it would be more fun if the winner got to pick their own yarn from our shop.

  29. My nupp trick: Place a locking marker into the stitches that will become the nupp as they are created. On the next row they are not only easily identified, but by gently pulling the marker forward it is easier to purl them together.

  30. Stephanie, I can’t find the directions, if I do, I will send you the link, but beading goes so much faster if you buy a spool of fine beading wire. Load 50 or so beads at a time on the wire (don’t cut it off the spool, just pull out a length from the spool) bend the last two inches or so and when you are ready for a bead, slide the bent part through your stitch, push the bead up so the both parts of the wire pass through it an it slides onto your stitch. Easy Peesy. Hope you try it, it is a life saver. Robin

  31. Every year I’m simply gobsmacked by you and your team’s level of commitment and the Knitters level of response. Shearing this weekend so once it’s spun up and I get the dyepots cranking I’ll shoot you a photo for the Karmic Balancing Gifts. Thank you and the whole group for doing this every year, you make a difference out in the world.

  32. Ok, so I also woke up on Sunday to do a training ride (up in my neck of the woods, Newmarket!). I looked outside and groaned. My adorable hubby convinced me to come back to bed…we had no plans that day, the kids were happy and quiet downstairs (oh joy!) and he was loading up a movie….I climbed back into the most comfortable bed ever. Then I pulled up IG, saw Stephanie’s post of her determination to ride in said weather and groaned….and hopped out of bed. I have to do this, I told adorable hubby. She’s my inspiration for this entire ride. I’m going. Adorable hubby says: “I’ll go with you”. And we went. In snow, and hail and headwinds and ridiculous cold. Score another inspiration point for Ms. YarnHarlot. Thank you for keeping me going. And thanks for mentioning me here! I’m off to Oakville on Sunday.

  33. The answer may be within the (so far) 65 replies, but frankly I’m too time-pressed/lazy to read them all. In order to contribute, I need to have specific information, i.e., website or mailing address or something, please. 🙂 I have read your blog for years, own your books, yada, yada, but what tipped me over the edge to contribute to the cause *you* support (there are a plethora of worthy causes!), is your reason for why you rode in the snow, hail and muck last weekend. I know how icky, uncomfortable and downright cold that can be because my husband is one of those dedicated, CRAZY cyclists. He rides 3 mountain passes in 3 days every August to benefit a children’s charity here (no snow at that time, but rain and often too high heat can be nasty) – so I have a lot of admiration and respect for those with the giving heart to do so. “Thanks” doesn’t begin to cover it, but thanks!!!!

  34. Go you! I am as always so impressed by your dedication to this (sadly important and necessary) cause. I will be contributing, as always.

    You’ve already heard about the Fleegle Beader, and I would endorse that as well — though the motion of beading still has to happen and slow you down, at least you’re spending a lot less time to reload the hook — and time adds up when you have thousands of beads! I also wanted to show you something cool. A friend of mine made her own beading tool that wraps around her finger to eliminate the putting down and picking up, and it worked slick for her. Description and a video are on her Ravelry pattern page here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rainbow-phoenix-scarf
    I’m not sure if this would work for you as your knitting technique is different from hers, but I wanted to show it to you!

  35. I’m late reading the blog and just caught up! Let me add my warmest best wishes to Megan, her fiancé, and the whole family!
    And that shawl – stunning already! Can’t wait to see it finished.
    Finally, you rock that bike and rally. Donation coming. 🙂

  36. This is why I follow you. You are an amazing human and you inspire me to be a better human.
    Thank you Stephanie

  37. That is a perfect explanation as to why keep on doing the hard things, no shortcuts taken, because you are standing with the folks to whom no days off are allowed. Being sick requires resiliency and so does standing with them. You have grit in spades my dear. I am sure they are glad to have you stand with them.

    Will dive through the stash for a karmic gift and a donation. Thank you for all that you do to help. Kindness matters.

  38. You made my eyes moist talking about how the people you’re fundraising for don’t, as you put it, get to opt out of bad days. I so thoroughly admire your guts.
    Also I knit Aeolian last year and it is probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made. Good choice.

  39. “aeolian’ is pretty, but it’s a *lot* of beads.
    (I did it several years back – it still hasn’t been blocked, due to lack of space.)

  40. What a wonderful choice. I’ve knit two Aeolians – the only pattern I’ve knit twice outside of baby items. One was small and the other huge. Truly an heirloom piece.

  41. You rock on so many fronts, least of which is to motivate so many of us. I need to go through my stash to find some yarn or better yet look for some while I am traveling next week. The shawl is gorgeous. Such a memorable gift.

  42. I cannot wait to see wedding photos (presuming of course that Meg is okay with you sharing some). I must say your children are incredibly gracious sharing their lives with us.

    The shawl looks stunning so far.

  43. i knit an aeolian as my wedding shawl! then it was 84 degrees F and i needed no shawl. nor the “something blue” knit socks. i remember my wedding fondly, the nupps a lot less so.

  44. I’m trying to figure out some triangle geometry. At the point where you had half of the rows done, you would have used 1/4 the yarn needed. (Consider half the shawl, it looks like a triangle. Flip it over and add one to each side. That shape is the remaining part of the shawl . That means the second half of the rows take 3 times more yarn.)

    I THINK you are on row 130 of 200. I could have easily miss counted. (Also I read 12 repeats instead of 14. ? ) But I think that should be enough.

  45. That’s a helluva selfie. Totally captures the unimaginable effing nonsense of pending snow mid-May plus first training ride pain. Plus hail. I mean for pete’s sake, let the lady train for the Rally.

  46. For the nupps…use an appropriately sized crochet that matches your needle size. When doing the nupp use the crochet hook to work the stitches instead of your knitting needle. Once you have the stitches on the hook, yarn over and pull the yarn through all nupp stitches on hook. Voila. Continue knitting with your needles and skip the purl together on the return row!

  47. Of course, Meg’s looked by now.. .and might have changed her mind. ..and you’re not finished yet…but you’ve hidden the Millie fur nicely ;-)!

  48. I did one shawl with nupps. I used a crochet hook to knit the loops together. Ever since then I have replaced the blasted things with beads.

    The shawl is looking lovely, though.

  49. Oh nupps, they look so pretty, but they are the bane of my lace knitting existence. I am currently knitting the Aldara Shawl by Fyberspates, and other people’s project notes have counted just other 2000 7 stich nupps. I use a crochet hook, I don’t have patience to do it on the needles. It’s for a christening that hopefully won’t happen until December, so I have time, but geez.

    Congrats to you for your bravery against the elements, cannot wait to help in the effort for the ride.

  50. Go to “The Gossamer Web” on Etsy and purchase a fleegle beader. You can load that sucker up with a bunch of beads then use it like a tiny crochet hook.

  51. Thank you for such a wonderful blog 🙂 It’s always so inspiring! I just wanted to mention a trick for making nupps so much easier….for every loop you wrap around, make it a double loop instead of a single one. When you go to purl them all together, let one strand of each double wrap drop. The fight is always from it being so tight on the needle. Give it a try. I love doing nupps now 🙂 I hope I’ve explained it properly!

  52. Wow, you can’t possibly have enough time to read my comment, #104! So many thoughts to your post, and I just came by to tell you how much “Free Range Knitter” meant to me (just read it a few days ago for the first time). Now I carry it around in my purse and read the chapters again the way you carry around your knitting! (Esp. loved the chapter on moving forward one stitch at a time. More inspiration for me than you’ll ever know.) I trained for a cycling marathon in college, rode from Santa Monica Beach to San Diego then we took the train back to LA and rode through downtown all the way back to Santa Monica, and that was the last long ride I ever did. Instead of cold freezing rain, we had blistering heat but it does a body good. I’m excited to say, I HAVE A GIFT that has been waiting for a good home to be sent to! Will send you an email as soon as I take a pic (big bags of carefully stashed linen yarn). Beautiful shawl Stephanie, I did not know you could purl a knupp!

  53. My mom made me the Aeolian Shawl (also in white!) for a graduation present when I finished law school. I cherish it. What a lovely, lovely present. Your daughter is very lucky.

  54. Totally understand why you did the ride and thank you for seeing chronic I’ll health as it is. No days off, just days when managing comes a little easier.

  55. Catching up, because I’ve been out of town – in Toronto, in fact! I was pretty annoyed that it was snowing that day, and all I had to do was walk a couple blocks from my hotel to the convention center (in my raincoat, because who thought I would need snow gear?). Luckily, the weather improved for our couple days of vacation at the end of the week, and we went to Niagara Falls!

    Anyway – I really admire your determination to be out on your bike that day and also your determination to finish the shawl!

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