Randomly on a Tuesday

1. Just now, when I went to log into the blog so that I could write to you, it denied me entry three times.  Right before I was about to flip out almost completely, I realized I was misspelling my name. That right there sums up my current state, I think.  Seventeen days until the Bike Rally’s over.

2. I finished my back-to-backs, doing the second of them by myself, which was a bit of an extra challenge.  I am a collaborative person by nature and being out there alone is a bit of a head trip. I do okay for the first few hours, then about halfway through I start wondering why I’m alone and start making up reasons. At about the 60km mark, I’ve decided all my friends are jerks – that’s why I’m alone.  At the 70km mark I’ve forgiven them, and at 80km I realize that it’s not them, it’s me.  I am a horrible terrible person who has failed to invest in any meaningful relationships in a way that wants to make people be with me. I am alone because that is what I deserve. Then, at 90 or 100km I get home, step off the bike and instantly have my self-esteem and equilibrium restored. Maybe it’s the heat.

3. The other thing about cycling alone is that the urge to take an Uber can get pretty strong.

4. I finished my July socks yesterday, with days to spare – making these ones plain was a great idea on my part, I get to finish a pair even though my knitting time’s largely being drunk up by a bike.

Yarn is Must Stash Yarn’s Polka Dot Afro Circus, and my love affair with her Must Match Skeins remains pure as the driven snow. Pattern’s my own Good Plain Sock from Knitting Rules – no modifications at all, except that I did snip out about a metre of the yarn to make the heel stripe fall where it did.

4. I also finished the tiny pom-pom cowl, though there’s no pattern to report on that one.
Yarn is one skein of The Artful Ewe Kid Silk Lace, with two tiny balls of Habu’s Mini Pom Shiro.

Like I said, I don’t really have a pattern, using instead the “cast on a bunch and knit for a while” technique.  Using a 4.5mm needle, I cast on about 140 stitches using two strands of the hair of the mo, purled a round, and then knit for a while,  varying between the yarn held double, the yarn held single and the yarn held with the fetching mini pom-poms, knitting along as pleased me entirely until the whole tube was about 35cm long.

Then I purled a round with the yarn held double, and bound off.  (How’s that for a pattern,  two sentences.)   It used up most of the mohair, and almost two little balls of the poms, and if I had more of that yarn I would still be knitting with Tiny Pom-Poms because they are a pretty spectacularly cheerful spot to park your needles.  It is impossible to be unhappy with a strand of itty bitty spheres of fuzz rolling nearby, I swear it.

5. I am on my way to in Montréal (I started this post this morning when I thought I could get it done before I left, but I ran out of time, so here it is, being posted from my hotel room where i’m about to fall over like a tree.) The Road Support crew for the Rally has scouted the first five days of maps, but I’m checking day six, since a) Montréal is far b) most of it has to be checked by bike, not car. c) I’m the one who has to lead everyone on the final approach, and I don’t want to be the jerk who hasn’t memorized it.  Today I did the first half, but at least 50km isn’t far enough to trigger low self-esteem, so it absolutely could have been worse. Tomorrow’s calling for rain – cross your needles, I dodged it today.

6. Also I am knitting in this hotel room.

Still working on the Peace of Wild Things Shawl. Yarn is still Berroco Ultra Wool fine. Still digging the combo.

7. Karmic balancing gifts? You betcha. Team Knit is still trying to make it to our fundraising goals. I want to thank you all for getting us as close as we are – it’s your gifts that make all this work worth it.  How hard I’m working, your donations – that’s what’s going to determine how many people PWA is able to serve next year, and I can’t thank you enough.  It absolutely makes up for how wet I got today. If you’d like to throw a little something our way, Team Knit is:





Kat writes to us with a beautiful gift, The Scrubland Collection, and she’ll be sending the set of patterns along  to three lucky knitters… Margo G,  Jackie U. and Bethany P.

All three tops feature simple, bottom-up construction, knit in two pieces and seamed, so that the projects are portable until it’s time for finishing. (I am very fond of the Thistle one, and appreciate that there’s a pretty great range of sizes.)

Nancy, sweetie that she is, went into her stash and found four gifts that are ready for karmic rehoming.  First, 2 skeins of a 50-50 wool-mohair, Hebridean/Mohair in deep purple heather (I know it doesn’t look too purple here, but Nancy wouldn’t lie) and Nancy will be sending that to Stephanie W.

Next, 1 hank of 50-50 Tencel-Wool, 2 oz, fiber to spin, a pretty colour called Taos, from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks.  Nancy says the purple thing is happening here too, we’ll have to trust Jackie D to tell us how much purple there is when she gets it.

Finally, two beautiful six-pack gradients of fingering/sock weight mini-skeins, 75% Superwash Merino / 25% Nylon (552 yards and 120g per pack) from River’s Edge Fiber Arts.  One six-pack is in a colour-way called “Old Fashioned Roses”, and the other is unnamed, but Nancy has named it “Mountain Sunset”.  Margo G and Jen G will have to work out who gets which one!

Duffy – aka the Duchess of Dyepots has two beautiful skeins to give away, Laird Fingering in the color Jabberwocky (though she’s willing to wiggle on the colourway if Kay L really wants her to.)

Suzanne has two beautiful skeins of Louet wet spun flax that she’ll be sending along to Terry M.  (I love this yarn.  Suzanne must be a good person to let it go, and Terry must be awesome for the universe to assign it to her.)

OzKnitter has a nice gift – a free sock pattern for ten knitters! Good luck choosing to Chani S, Kathleen C, Carol S, Barbara W, Mary S, Curran M, Eileen M, Karrie S, Rosie G, and Robin T.

I am rather feeling the Queues one.

Finally, Rhonda (who lives in one of my favourite places in the world) has a skein of Tosh Lace (in the rather fabulous colour geranium) that she’s sending along to Cheryl B.

Thanks for your help all! Wish me luck with tomorrow’s riding/driving. I am going the heck to sleep.

28 thoughts on “Randomly on a Tuesday

  1. You most definitely are not a “horrible terrible person”! You have more friends than you are aware of, in person and online, it’s just that not many of them are available to bike long distances next to you when you need to.

    Know that many of us are with you in spirit and that you’ll be hearing a lot of dings on your phone as we add to the donations in support of your efforts.

  2. You are amazing and inspiring with all the work you’re doing on the rally! You’re reminding me that I need to both make my donation to Team Knit and find some gifts to donate.

  3. Thank you for making the time in your crazy, hectic schedule of life to send us your snapshots 🙂
    Thanks to a previous post of yours at some point in time, I too am a fan of Must Stash Yarn’s collection and am currently working on a pair of socks using their Beauty and Her Beast colourway 🙂

  4. WOW item #2 came directly from my own head (except replace the biking part with the Farmer’s Market, or going to the movies, or finding someone to go out to dinner with). *sigh*

  5. Fingers crossed for dodging the rain! I hope you had your rain gear just in case. Thanks for the blog update as well!

  6. With all of the construction happening in Montreal its no wonder you need to scope it out in advance. When visiting there the past 4 years I don’t think we have driven into or out of that city the same way twice! Hoping you have glorious weather for your ride.

  7. Safe riding and guiding and love the knitting!

    I bought some random yarn I stumbled across that has big felted wool pompoms at the beginning–about an inch big. I have no idea what it’ll turn into, just that I had to try it to see so I bought it so I could.

  8. The cowl is lovely, the socks look great, the shawl is coming along nicely, and the bike rally will be over soon. Whatever will you do with all that free time?

  9. I’m not sure I’d be sane after 70km on a bike, all alone. (Some would say that ship has sailed…) Donations seem to be down a lot this year. Is there anything i (we) can do to help, besides boosting the signal?

  10. I’m constantly in awe of your commitment to PWA and the Bike Rally (really, have these people never heard of bake sales?)()
    You summed up perfectly the stages of doing something really difficult alone.
    Just visualize every one of us in The Blog standing shoulder to shoulder,covering every kilometer of The Rally,encouraging, cheering, a skein of yarn in one of our hands and a fistful of money in the other (it started out two fistfuls of money but there was this LYS, and, well, you know, but you get to see how pretty it is when you blaze by on your bike. Promise to pull penalty skeins from the stash when we get home for Karmic Balancing or the PWA store.
    You make a difference.
    Every single day.
    So grateful you’re out there pedaling it forward.

  11. Love the cowl Steph – Thankyou for showing it! You are making it through all the hard, frustrating, year-inducing challenges that lead up to a wonderful (& very demanding) event that results in so much good for a very worthy cause. Not to mention the warn glow of achievement earned by every rider. So proud of you (and I hope you are too).

  12. I think you should wind what you have left of the mini pom-pom yarn on your handlebars for an instant pick-me-up as needed.

    And thanks so much for all you do for PWA and reminding us to be better.

    I can’t wait to choose a pattern from OzKnitter from the prizes. Thanks for choosing my name!

  13. That’s a lot of knitting for someone who has to be asleep on her feet. Smart move to keep all the patterns simple. I wish Team Knit a safe journey.

  14. Just bought the Queues pattern – that’s the next one that goes OTN, when I get the other 4 current pair off!

  15. You are real and such an inspiration to me. Thank you for blogging. I am even learning to make your sock without looking at the pattern. I figure if little girls from Scotland, Ireland and Wales can do it while tending sheep, I can learn. It’s a good boost to the old ego.

  16. Godspeed and good luck!

    Fingers crossed that everything with your rally goes smoothly (and I know there are hundreds of people joining and helping and doing incredible amounts of work to bring this massive event into being, but you, my dear, are organizing this party). And if things don’t go smoothly, I hear the lady in charge can handle that, too.

    I hope that many, many frosty beers await you.

  17. Thanks for the connection to Cheryl B – it’s amazing how many things we had in common! (Living just across the Detroit River from each other, working for the same company… it’s truly a small world!) I hope that all of Team Knit meets and exceeds their goals and that you all have a fabulous ride!

  18. Thanks for this post. You had me laughing out loud on the self esteem topic. I have met you many times and thus, the laugh. I needed a little chuckle what with the hideous things happening (and happening and happening) in this country on so many levels. I will be following the bike rally and love that you both do that and keep us in the loop. Take care of yourself.

  19. When you get back home. when you have slept for a week. when you still need to peel yourself off the kitchen floor, an addition to the cleaning suggestion of skating around on a damp towel is a liter spray bottle with a quart of water and a tablespoon of dish soap sprayed liberally on the stickiest parts before the wet towel skate gets up most of the worst of the sticky.
    Best of good fortune to you and all you do. Like many here, I have faced and am in a season of loss. your posts have helped me through.

  20. I have lurked for years (and we give to Médecins sans frontières chaques année). The French cousin of my French husband would very much like to find toe up circular knitting instructions for socks. I have searched and searched (je parle français), and found zip. Zero. She’s almost 80, and saw me working on a pair. I don’t have enough time here to teach her. Has anyone a lead on that? thanks.

  21. I have Polka Dot Afro Circus at home and knit all of an inch of sock that I decided I might not care for it. Seeing your socks totally changed my mind. It’s so pretty! I started after taking your Grok the Sock class and your told us how to start with a picot edge although now I can’t remember how so the second sock might be a challenge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.