Well, after that mild panic session on Friday, I got it together – or at least I started to. I Saturday I took myself for a training ride. I planned at least 90km, but it ended up being a few longer than that, 96km. (That’s just about 60 miles, for my American friends.)
You know, it wasn’t that bad. I got my hacking, wheezing self out and onto the road, and though I needed a few breaks to blow my nose, I did better than I thought. I was prepared to take it really slowly, as slowly as I needed to to get it done, but despite my cold and the incredibly oppressive heat and humidity, I was both pretty fast and pretty happy. (I wouldn’t say I was exactly chipper on the bike, but there’s only so much you can hope for, and by fast I mean fast for me. Not actually fast. Other cyclists were blowing by me like I was a toddler on a tricycle, but I try not to compare myself to them too much. I was fast compared to me.) I wound up the day by riding my bike to the marina, where Joe and I went for the first sail of the year. (We’re running behind. We’ve been busy – but I did practice being helmswoman this time, so Joe got to be a passenger.)
Sunday was a Rally day too – Cameron is my Co-lead this year, both for our team and for the Steering Committee, and it was our turn to “sweep” a ride. There’s two ways to sweep – there’s a set of Team Leads on bikes, they ride at the end, slower than the slowest rider, to make sure nobody gets left behind, and then there’s the “car sweeps” and that’s who we were. Our job is to drive back and forth along the length of the cohort, answering the emergency phone, picking up riders who have trouble, and on super hot days like yesterday, set up little stations to refill water bottles and hand out ice. (We had oranges too, we like to overachieve.)
It takes hours and hours – and it’s a lot of time in the car, and usually that would just scream “knitting time” to me, but yesterday, in a wave of generosity…
Cameron got the knitting time. He’s working on his second project – and it’s a doozy, though he doesn’t know it. He did so well with his first project that I decided he could handle something really good, so he’s working on a Baby Surprise Jacket – and he’s almost done. A few rows away from the buttonholes, and he’s learned how to increase, decrease, follow his markers, read his knitting, knit into the back of a stitch, pick up a dropped stitch, and cast on and off. (I find the secret with clever beginners is not to tell them when they’re doing something hard.) It was hard to give up the knitting time, but pretty satisfying to see Cameron churn along.
Today I’m trying to find it in me to get on my bike and go do hill repeats. (They’re exactly what they sound like. Ride to the top of a hill, ride down, repeat.) It’s about a thousand degrees in the shade though, and I’ve decided to wait until this evening when it’s not ridiculous out there. It reduces the amount of swearing I do on the bike tremendously. (Note that I’ve said “reduce”. A nice knitter on instagram said she passed me cycling on the trail on Saturday, and I’ve been worried the whole time that I was cursing when she saw me.) Let’s do Karmic Balancing Gifts until I can motivate myself to get out there, shall we? To recap: You donate (or tweet, or facebook, or tell a friend) to a member of Team Knit (that’s me, Pato, Ken and Cameron) and send me and email with the subject line “I helped” (send it to stephanieATyarnharlotDOTca – changing the AT and DOT to the appropriate symbols, and noting the .ca) and then as often as I can, I spread the Karma around.
Tanja Luescher is a prolific designer over at Knitted in Switzerland who helps us out every year, and once again she has a terrifically generous gift. She’s got 10 (count ’em TEN) copies of her great ebook Stories of Inspiration to give away. (And if that ebook isn’t quite the recipients cup of tea, she’s willing to let them make their own ebooks up out of her collection. Sweet as pie, that Tanja.)
Fiona W, Liz R, Deborah D, Bonnie J, Janis M, Lindsey T, Erin R, Barbara S, Pferdina and Natalie R will all be enjoying her generosity. As if that wasn’t enough, 10 knitters can pick three patterns each from her store. (With the exception of Daddy’s prayer shawl, because Tanja’s already generously donating the proceeds from that one elsewhere.) There’s lots of pretty things to choose from. Those are for Suzyn J, Kim C, Ruth H, Irina N, Kathryn K, Amanda G, Leanne D, Dawn S, Sarah L, and Kate E.
Here’s a beautiful hand quilted bag by Kristy, from her very pretty shop Eleven Stiches on Etsy. She’ll be sending that out (it’s perfect for big knitting projects) to Sarah K.
Jean C made some gorgeous purchases before realizing that she wasn’t a lace knitter (happens to the best of us) and she’s ready to release her lace stash into the wild. It’s two skeins of Knit Picks Shadow, and one of Jojoland Harmony. (I love that variegated lace stuff.) It will be winging it’s way to Sarah H. (Lot’s of Sarah’s today.)
Kris has two amazing gifts from her stash to yours. (The Karma is strong with this one.) First 7 skeins of Malabrigo Rueca handspun superwash DK (well kind of thick-thin really) merino 285 yds “teal feather”colour, that will be going to Shanna H.
The second is 4 skeins of Madelinetosh Vintage superwash worsted merino 200 yds in Oak (Oh, so pretty) for Jade O.
Finally (for today – there’s so much more) Jeanne went stash diving, and came up with four beautiful gifts for all of you. Of her first gift she writes “I would like to donate a bag from Erin Lane Bags and a 300 yd skein of Knit Circus Greatest of Ease (80% merino/20% nylon) in the color “Meet me at the Fair”. Simply a lovely little kit I received, but unfortunately they are not my colors. I know someone else will give this the love it deserves.” I hope that’s true of Sharon C because that’s where it’s headed.
“Two skeins of Huckleberry Knits (80% BFL/20% nylon, 420 yards) in the colors “WineSap” and “Rock Candy”. Hoping whoever receives this can enjoy a nice glass of wine while knitting up something lovely!” I bet that’s exactly what Josiane R plans.
3 skeins of Shibui (100% Superwash Merino, 525 total yards) in the color “50’s Kitchen”. (That’s so perfectly named) for Tia D.
“2 skeins of Plymouth Happy Feet (90% merino, 10% nylon, 384 yards each) in the colors “Tuscan Spice” and “Purple Iris” plus a cute bag from Erin Lane Bags to carry a fun project around!” And that’s going out to Joy C.
Well, there you go. 28 gifts, all done and dusted, and the hill beckons. (Actually, my knitting beckons. I thought I might get a few rows in before I ride.) If you think your name is listed here, check your inbox. I’ve emailed all the lucky ducks.