May 1, 2012
I'm about to tell you that I've had a stressful few days - and anyone out there panics and worries, let me assure you that this is stress that is well within the range of normal for human beings, and totally the result of normal life stuff, and that I have already dealt with most of it by scrubbing the baseboards, which always affords me a great deal of satisfaction. (I know some of you are just now thinking "I'm supposed to scrub baseboards? Who notices baseboards?" and I have two answers for you. Yes, and me. It's a personal quirk. I don't know what to tell you -except that part of the reason I love cleaning them is that I do it so seldom that they're really transformed by the process - so clearly my baseboard standards aren't that high.)
Posted by Stephanie at May 1, 2012 1:44 PM
I spent the weekend doing Bike Rally stuff. (I told you I'm doing the rally this year - didn't I?) Saturday I got on my bike and did my second training ride, and a few things happened. First, I finished. I don't know how, considering that the ride was mystically uphill both ways and that it was so cold I couldn't feel my hands on the handlebars. The second thing that happened was that I got properly afraid. That ride was a challenge, and it's small potatoes compared to what the rally itself is - 600km over 6 days - Toronto to Montreal. My sister and I comforted ourselves by saying that if we stick to the training schedule we'll be fine, but I'm starting to think that we might have been using "fine" in a non-traditional way. I'm just going to keep getting on my bike and riding far and hope that it all comes together. It's very scary.
Sunday I went to the bike expo and did my required workshops. I'm pleased to announce that I can now fix a flat on my bike - although not without swearing violently and creatively. The instructor reassured me that the rally only requires that I can do it - not that I do it with any sort of grace - so I guess I'm okay. (Even Sam changed her inner tube faster than I did. It was a bit demoralizing.)
Somewhere in all of that we did a bunch of family stuff, I unpacked from Sock Camp and started re-packing to go out the door on Friday (See here, I'm on the road for a week.) and then magically managed to finish Ken's Birthday Socks, which fall entirely into the category of Better Late Than Never.
I love knitting socks for Ken. He always seems so pleased to have them, and since he's a knitter himself, he knows how much work they are.
Pattern: Francie, yarn Everlasting - in Congo.
The sharp eyed will note that I changed the toes. I just whacked my standard favourite on there - I like it better.
More tomorrow, when I've got a grip on things here. There's more baseboards.
oooooh! my butt hurts just reading the words "600 kms" and "bike" in the same sentence!! best of luck!
stress? What is this thing of which you speak? (ha!)
*cough* anyway, those are really nifty looking sox and Ken looks really nifty in them. :)
Make sure you get good bike shorts, or you will have a very sore bum.
Does dusting count? I dusted baseboardds while vaccuming the other day. Realized that given the large number of bookcases in our house few baseboardds are visible. Now, of course, I'm thinking about how dusty they must be where I can't see them. My usual walking commute is also uphill both ways, as my daughter pointed out we go over the hill and down the other side. It just doesn't seem fair that the steeper uphill side is at night when I'm more tired.
Shoot -- my queue just got longer. I'm going to have to knit those socks. Love that pattern!
Congratulations on your training ride! I hope you believe me, 100km a day is doable- especially through the lovely country between TO and Montreal. Good bike shorts and slick tires are a must. Have fun!
Did your daughter talk you into doing this bike thing? Step back and remember you've got near 20 years on her...600 km, no way. I'm struggling with a 2 mi. daily walk...If my butt knew I was going on a 600 km ride I'm sure it would divorce me.
Love the fact that you were able to fit knitting in with the training ride. It would not surprise me if you began knitting while riding.
Thanks Ken for modeling the socks.
If you don't already know, I have two words for the biking: "butt butter". It's exactly what it sounds like and it'll get you through those 600 km's with a reasonably intact behind.
Your socks always make me wish I wore socks more. The look comfy and solid, whereas the few I've knitted haven't been so successful.
On the other hand, your persistent weaving posts have finally convinced me and I'll be getting a Kromski Harp in the fall when I move to a bigger place. (No, I'm not moving so I can buy the Harp... strictly speaking.) I will be sending you the invoice as you are an enabling pusher. :-P
You can totally do 600k in a week. I did the DalMac here in MI a couple of years ago with no difficulty, which is about 300 miles. If you put in the milege while training you'll have a great time and no problems! Good luck, and take lots of pictures!
"...we might have used 'fine' in a nontraditional way." No elaboration. As soon as I finish wiping the tears from my eyes I'm pocketing this.
We're having our kitchen floor replaced and this entails ripping out our baseboards, painting new ones and having them installed. (Yes, that order seems funky to me, too, but they're the pros.) It tells you something when I say that this seems to me preferable to scrubbing them -- and necessary.
Good luck with your bike training and travel!
I wanted to share the joy of the internet with you. I sent my husband a link to a few of your suggested knitter gifts so that he could have it in his inbox in case he ever needed it. A package just arrived (I think for Mothers' Day) and I know it is one of those abacus bracelet row counter things. I'm so excited! I'm wondering if he'd notice if I took it out and used it while he was at work and then tucked it away again each evening until he gives it to me. :)
When the other choice is drooling in the corner, scrubbing seems better. FABULOUS Socks!
1) I have that sock pattern! Love the yarn color.
2) I second the suggestion from Heather T. of Butt Butter. Trust me on that.
3) Make sure you love your saddle, and use padded bike pants. Also trust me on that.
Baseboards? I wasn't even quite aware what that term was until I asked my Dad...I didn't know that you could clean them. Have fun on the bike ride! I'm sure you'll do great. =^D
YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!
2 weeks ago I completed my first ride from Houston to Austin in 2 days: 166 miles with 100 miles and a 15-20 mph headwind on the first day.
You may get to a point where you just have to motivate yourself to make it to the next rest stop each leg of each day, but you CAN do it! It's not about speed, it's about accomplishment.
Yes I too have baseboards....they get vacuumed now and then. Hope your trip is wonderful, Blessings, Josie
I saw this suggestion somewhere: clean your baseboards with a dryer sheet. It makes the boards less attractive to dust and you don't have to clean them as often. Seeing as how I never clean my baseboards, I don't think this applies to me. But I thought you might be interested.
There is a powder called Anti Monkey Butt, used by motorcyclists and a pink Lady version that I have - I put a lot of miles on a spinning bike every week and this, plus good padded bike shorts do the trick.. Sold at most Walgreen type stores. As long as you train to build legs and confidence, you can do this - it will be fun...
Keeping your windows dirty keeps birds from flying into them; I take full advantage of that fact. If you leave the baseboards dirty, is that good for something too? maybe?
love the socks! Wondering if the bottoms of them will be comfortable? Wondering if your bottom will ever be comfortable again! Ride on, McPhee!
Those socks are amazing! I love them. Is there any chance that you'll be coming anywhere close to West Lafayette, Indiana? An hour north of Indianapolis? That would be so awesome! And I totally understand the baseboards. I wash cabinet doors at times like that.
Last Thanksgiving we went to Chicago to visit my youngest daughter - age 26. She called from work one day and asked what we were doing. I said, "Washing your baseboards." Her reply - "What are baseboards?" This from a magna cum laud college graduate - it also explains why, though painted white, the baseboards appeared to be dark gray.
You can do it! And the countryside will be so lovely that your bum won't even notice. And FWIW I am under 30 and I dust my baseboards. Don't scrub them very often, but I do dust them enthusiastically.
Well, thanks. Now I have another pair of socks in the never-ending sock queue. Beautiful, as usual! As for baseboards, I have them, too, and yes, I do wash them. Once a year whether they need or not. But they always need it.
Baseboards? Oh the wood thingies around the perimeter of a room. I can't be bothered with baseboards when I've got more important things in my life like knitting. You know, hobbies beat DUST any day. Any day!
Those socks are fanfrickin' tastic. Hope scrubbing the baseboards helps you get settled. (and yes, i would put my own self in the category of, why baseboards when I could get a few more leaves done on the Saroyan scarf that I have a huge crush on this week?)
You know, we have really clean baseboards too, but it's because we have a 4 year old and we harbor the belief that all kids need chores for which they are not paid. He dusts them, the panels in the doors, and the banisters weekly. And because he does so, he gets access to all of my husband's Legos, as many knit items as I can turn out, and 3 squares a day. It's a good trade.
Let's hope you get a good tailwind (groan, no pun intended!) on your bikeride! My Siberian Husky (R.I.P.) took care of most of my baseboards years ago (chewed 'em up, spit 'em out!), LOL. When I need to relieve some serious stress, I iron clothes; dunno why though! But I say, if it works for you, go for it!
@Sarah 2:18 p.m. Ooooh I LOVE the abacus bracelet counting thingies. I got one for my sister and one for myself a while back, and it absolutely rocks. If that is what is in the package you are going to be so happy!
Ken just gets hotter as the years roll by....& oh yeah, the socks look nice too;-)
I want those socks! They are just so awesome!
Instead, I'm looking at my stripey socks and sighing over them. And knitting a few rows. And petting them.
Steph the socks are stunning and so is your commitment to the bike rally. I'll sponsor you as soon as you put up a link (we all will! just like we love to sponsor your beautiful children) for this annual, worthy endeavor.
And the socks, swoon worthy. Curved ribbing massaging your feet, does it get any better? Lucky Ken, worth the wait!
I adore the socks....those are going to be my husbands next pair!
You can do that bike ride. But you'll need to train. Try to get out on your bike for 40 minutes to an hour several times a week and then go for a looonng ride once a week. At first a long ride might be 30 miles or 40 miles, but after a couple of months try to stretch the long ride to 50 or 60 miles.
And I'm not trying to be funny when I say pack enough Aleve or Advil to get you through all 6 days and nights.
Love the socks! Love how happy Ken looks at showing them off.
(And trying to figure out how to say something that doesn't sound like, um, better you than me) --Go Steph!
Steph, YOU'LL BE FINE. I'll never forget competing in an adventure race in England that involved sailing for 5 days, rowing and running over hell and gone. The "run" I drew was Scafell Pike - a 32-mile run - which, just before we shoved off, someone responded with, "Good GOD! That's like a marathon with a mountain in the middle!" Of course until that moment, it had never occurred to me that, indeed, it *was* a marathon with a mountain in the middle (12 miles to foot, 5 miles up, 5 miles down and 12 miles back out to Canaervon) and that after 4-5 days of ocean sailboat racing. But you just trust your training. Get on the bike every day and guess what? IT WILL BE ABSOLUTELY FINE. You'll be surprised that it all went so smoothly. Skafell Pike clocked in at 9 hrs., then we got back on the boat and kept on racing! Who'da thunk it? Warmest wishes and DON'T WORRY! Slainte~! Maura from Toronto
I clean the bathroom when I am stressed. I've really enjoyed having a nasty bathroom this past year!
that might be the most beautiful sock i have ever seen!
Love that pattern and yarn! And congratulations on your sparkling baseboards. I'm heading home to inspect mine ....
Of all the socks I've seen from you, I think those are my favorite and I'm going to have to break down and buy that pattern. Definitely worth the wait!
You're traveling to oh so near me (I'm in South Bend, Indiana) but appear to be only doing teaching engagements, no public speaking. This makes me sad, but I wish you safe travels and much fun at your stops. (I had hoped to introduce you to my latest and last baby, Jack — he's six-months-old and simply the happiest baby I've ever met.)
The socks are lovely! And I greatly admire your willingness to do the Bike Rally, despite your fears.
love those socks! and I totally understand your cleaning baseboards for medicinal purposes. It just helps to make a gal feel like she has power. I envy your tire fixing ability...it's on my to do list!
Stephanie, how are these socks for wearing? Are the ribs on the sole of the sock uncomfortable?
I'm running my first Half Marathon this weekend!! Already feeling the panic setting in.
Between injuries, I'm a runner.
And your post about weaving has my first loom arriving this week.
Fantastic socks!! Well if you can do all that bike riding I guess I can get up and walk the dog.
By the way, if on your way to Howell, Michigan you can go through Ypsilanti, Michigan, stop at Beezy's Cafe and have some amazing (vegan)soup. I'll even treat. :)
Interesting pattern on the bottom of these socks. can you feel it when you walk on it?? The old Hubby sometimes complains about the PURL side of some socks so he's taken to wearing them inside out. Was just wondering if it can be felt.
Good luck with your biking. You can DO this thing!!! I know you can!
As a kid, it was my job to wash the baseboards. I get it.
(looking down at shuffling feet)...you could try getting into government, or how about adopting another child, or 2 year old triplets, because it honestly doesn't sound like you have enough to do...(ahem).
I'm always on the lookout for manly sock patterns to knit for the guys in my life who don't appreciate lace. Will add this one to the list, even though the name Francie is confusingly feminine.
I understand about the baseboard cleaning! When I'm so stressed that even knitting doesn't help, I clean everything!!! It makes me feel like I have some control over my life... It's only a feeling, mind you, but it helps... ;-)
Have a great bike rally!!!
Um. Didn't you run a marathon not all that long ago? Sure seems that biking would be easier, even though it's farther and more days.... (Although you won't see me doing either of those!)
I know that you are being vigilant about this bike ride, but you need to be sure you are okay to do it. You have been given some warning about how difficult and taxing it is by the practice ride and the classes.
As we age, sometimes our bodies don't do what we want them to. I will be 60 in a few months, and know that I can't do things I did when I was 20. I know that you are much younger than I, but bad things can happen.
If you are a very athletic person and are not overly taxed by the riding, then go for it. But if you have turned into an armchair athlete, then you might reconsider. If you have brittle bones, reconsider also.
3 years ago, I tripped very innocently on some unsteady shoes. I fractured my forearm and still have pain from it. I know that if I had taken that fall 30 years before, it would have been a minor inconvenience, and would probably be long forgotten.
Before you do this, talk to your doctor to see if s/he has any reservations about you going.
I just don't want you to end up in the ER. A little caution at this point might be worthwhile.
Trust the training plan, but also don't be afraid to change it if it's not working. Get enough rest! Training + rest = improvement. Without rest it will just run you into the ground and make you sick or injured. Make sure you eat enough carbs and protein right after hard/long training rides. Get a good massage. Above all, have fun and enjoy the rides (if not the sore butt)!
Such a major endeavor you have chosen for yourself. I have major anxiety attacks..the first thing I tell myself is whats the worst that can happen...so in this case I would say..am I going to die?? no, what if I don't finish nope can't finish...will they ruin my life as I know it...and who are they? nope...what if I fail?? doesn't that make us stronger??? I can only disappoint myself and do my very best...even if it takes more days than allowed to finish...as long as I keep going and don't let my inner self destroy me I can do anything...good luck on your week ahead and your adventure...you'll be just fine...
My husband cleans baseboards. With Murphy's Oil Soap
& water. Yeah, he's a keeper...
You scrubbed baseboards? Your stress reaction could've been productive gansey time, you know.
Those are beautiful socks. I would like to create those and Ken sure looks happy (and handsome). BTW, my little sister picked up knitting over our sister's week-end...she is good :) I am praying there is a kind, open-hearted LYS where she lives who will keep her going.
Those are totally stellar socks. I am 100 % in love with them.
"Knitting develops resilience"
I have had a torid last 3 weeks, and I realise that the above is true, and that it is a quality that we all need to develop, at different times of our lives, and for different reasons but we all need to practise, practise, practise.
Love the sock model (yes, he does look particularly hot, pity I live in the South Pacific - only for 'look, don't touch' though, LOL),
love the socks,
love the expectation of the bike ride.
Understand the baseboard cleaning - mine is cleaning the kitchen.
You show those baseboards!
And, by fine, you mean, FINE: F*cked up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional. That is what my husband says the clinicians would say it stood for when the teenage girls said they were "fine" on the psych ward. It's pretty accurate. :)
I wanna know who made Ken's sweater? Did he? I recently finished one for my husband that looks like the same pattern--2 yarns, a possum fur and merino yarn that we ordered directly from New Zealand knit together with an alpaca. It is gorgeous. (If I do say so myself!)
those are some cool socks. Are baseboards the same thing as skirting boards? Otherwise I am so far from cleaning mine that I don't even know what they are...
Socks look great. Would love to know how that sole is to walk on. What is your standard toe, anyway? If you have said, I forget.
Love the picture of Ken...he has the look of a man with happy feet! (As well he should, in those socks.)
I did a half-marathon for my 50th birthday with 6 weeks training (I was running 3 to 4 miles daily prior to this) and did a 30-mile bike ride this fall after back surgery in January. So, I think that you can handle your 600 km with training...and padded bike shorts...and a woman's seat (your pubic bones will thank you). And I am going looking for that Butt butter!
Belated Happy Birthday Ken and love your new socks.
Happy birthday to Ken! And my husband laughed at the bicycle stuff. He's currently in training for a ride up Mount Lemmon (in Arizona) happening in a couple of weeks. He and his friend also do a 24 hour race in November. This year they raced for a full 24 hours, rode over 110 miles each (sorry, don't know the km adjustment) on MOUNTAIN BIKES over rough, hilly desert. At night, even. Did I mention rocks? Cactuses? Cacti? (I hate that word... "cactuses" is much better, no matter how incorrect it is.) I suppose that their consolation is that they received second place in their class. Anyway, all of that is to say that my husband appreciated this blog post quite a lot. He actually came to the computer when I started reading aloud rather than pretending to listen from far, far away. ^_~
I know what you mean about being properly afraid. I'm doing the Warrior Dash this summer (http://warriordash.com/register2012_michigan.php) and I'm so scared I started training early.
Good, good luck - and you can do iiitttt!
And you'll also have really clean baseboards. Kewl ... I guess.
Luckily, 2 years ago when we remodeled our living room, we never got around to putting the baseboards back on the walls.
Love those socks!
Scrubbing baseboards? As long as you're using a normal-sized sponge, instead of a Q-tip, whatever floats your boat. . .
And you and your sister already have some motivation to keep up with your training: Ken and Sam are going on the ride with you -- and they both have cameras. Think of the blackmail potential that presents if you don't do well on the ride!
OK, that's it. I'm going to knit a pair of socks.
I love the detail on the soles!
Congratulations on signing up for the Bike Rally!! I did a 500 miles/6 days ride and I too was afraid. And rightfully so. I trained my - pun intended - butt off and it was still the hardest thing I ever did (I've not birthed a child though). However, it was also one of the best things I ever did. In fact, I had so much fun that I signed up and did a second one. Don't forget your camera!
Love the socks especially the sole detail as the queue grows again.
About 4 years ago, at age 57, I did the Register's Great Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), a ride in which 10,000 are registered and probably another 10,000 ride without registering. I could only do 4 of the 7 days because I had to be back to teach at a summer camp, but in that 4 days I covered @300 miles, averaging 75 miles a day, in July, in Iowa (85-90 degree temps) Although I had done many bike trips in my youth, my youth was far away and I don't know what possessed me to sign up. They recommended that you ride 600 miles in training before the event. I managed to make it to 160. On the bus to Iowa I was pretty sure I was going to die. As it turned out I wasn't the oldest, slowest (close) or most out of shape (close again), and while most people whizzed past me I did find a nice group of chuggers just like me. Despite the massive pain and exhaustion, I discovered I was having a great time. I wouldn't do it again, but I would have missed it for the world.
But about those socks, they look very cool, possibly my favorites of the ones you've posted, but wouldn't those ribs on the bottom of the foot hurt after a while?
Baseboards are totally ment to be scrubbed! Im not saying it's fun, but I always feel better when they are done.
Love the socks.
Also love the socks! They look familiar--didn't you knit them once before for Ken (probably his birthday, or while you were touring) in brown? I *swear* I've drooled over that pattern before on your blog.
My approach to baseboard cleaning is totally to put bookshelves along all the walls. Dual purpose: you can't see the dirty baseboards, and you have places to store your books and yarn. (Though you do have to dust the bookshelves.)
Biking gets easier with practice, but don't push it harder than you can keep up or you'll just collapse and that's no good.
Cold fingers are horrid, it is possible to purchase battery-powered gloves that keep the fingers toasty-warm. I can not recommend these strongly enough to cyclists who suffer from cold fingers. (Yes,I look odd in a thin top and heavy gloves but pshaw, my chest is hot, my fingers cold; deal).
Just as well I didn't realize you were going to be in Ohio. That's an impossible weekend for me, with things where I am not at all in control of the timing. Have a nice visit!
nice to see a guy really appreciating hand knit socks. Mine won't wear them so i quite knitting them for him.
I feel like Ken always gets the all around classiest socks. Not that your other socks aren't classy to the extreme, but it always seems like Ken's socks are what a knitter would wear to a black tie event, or in front of a roaring fire in a sumptuously luxurious lodge. Happy birthday indeed.
You will be fine on the Bike Rally! I do the 2-day 140 miles Ride For the Feast every spring - now at age 53. Just remember it is a ride - not a race. However, that being said - it is the hours on the bike, not how fast you ride that is that challenge.
Stick to the training. You'll be fine. The training is the hard part. If you do it, the rest will come.
Only you can make me want to clean baseboards.
Oh, and love the socks
I had to do the math, because I don't think so well in km. That is a lot of biking every day, but if I can do about 12 mi (19.3 km) in just over an hour without training, then you should be fine with training. You are awesome and can do it!
Better biking than running :D
OH MY GOSH, are you CRAZY??!!?? Baseboards AND the Rally? I'm seriously concerned and/or impressed. Please post the names of the rest of the rally coterie - Sam, Ken, Erin, ???, so we can donate again to them.
600k ? If you have any extra cash this month, spend it on a comfortable bicycle seat.
moderately useful advice on biking distances:
eat before you get hungry
drink before you get thirsty
rest once every two hours whether you want to or not
but not too long or you won't get up
I saw these socks and fell in love. So I went straight to Ravelry to put them in my queue...and found they were already there. Obviously I have more knitterly love than I do time.
Take your bicycle training seriously. And make sure you get on the bike 2-3 days in a row for your training. It's not the miles so much as the second day in the saddle! There is no such thing as "too expensive" bike shorts. Yes to Butt Butter. Find out what food(s) your body likes on long rides. (My bike food is pb&j on whole wheat.) Keep the rubber to the road. Cheers!
Toronto to Montreal? On the 401? A 7 hour drive by car? Two words: Crazy Woman. and...you could get so much more knitting done if you were the passenger in a vehicle being driven by someone else. Have you thought of that? I know you have!
P.S. I love you and your stuff, so please live through this!
I like when you knit for Ken, too, because we get to see Ken. :)
Those socks are hot..... Ken = hotter.
I'm a re-beginner bike rider (I lived on one as a kid and I'm just getting back into it) so 600k sounds really intimidating to me. Glad you can fix a flat. Don't forget that there will be many other people on the ride (and probably some bike mechanics) who can help you out. My daughter's a bike mechanic and works at some of these rallies (she won't be at this one since she's moving to BC next week). Shoot, having mentioned that, I need to get her to teach me how to fix a flat before she goes! She did mention Youtube's a great place to learn how. I hope you enjoy the ride (rather than just manage it).
Yeah. I clean the baseboards too, and notice them at the homes of otherwise innocent people. If they (the baseboards!) are filthy I charitable assume they are busy with more interesting things, and will be humiliated later when they are packing up their homes to move and get a good look at them. Of course there are other things I never get around to cleaning.
I had to run out and buy that sock pattern right away. I think that will be Mom's Christmas socks, and maybe a pair for myself. I love 2x2 rib like nothing else to wear, but they are so boring to knit and look at. Your version is beautiful.
The bike ride sounds totally doable with enough butt butter and some good shorts. Don't wait until you are sore to apply to butt butter or the good shorts! I have found that once on a bicycle every route is uphill both ways. It helps to think of the uphill bits as a normal and enjoyable part of the ride rather than a rude interruption in my ride.
Woohoo, more Francies!
I have to confess, even though I designed that fancy schmancy toe to go with the rest of the sock, I kind of like how your regular old toe looks. As written it kind of completes the "thought", but I am also a creature of habit, and like a good, plain, flat toe, too. I might have to steal your idea the next time I knit them...
After seeing your Francie sock in progress when you came to visit us in Shreveport, I embarked on this fun new pattern as well. Mine are still in progress as due to some other priority projects, but I did finish one up this weekend. What fun! And how marvelous they look. Thanks for sharing!
Is it just me or does something need to be changed/fudged in the Francie pattern towards the toe? I've knit a pair and maybe I missed something. Corrections out there.
Great pattern and they fit like a charm. Ken's socks look great!
My name is also Ken. What would I have to do to get socks from Stephanie? Hmmm. I could send you some sock yarn. I could promote your latest book here in the Ohio River Valley. I could track down Sir Washie and see how he's getting along. . .