July 23, 2012
The Actual Monday Version
Welcome to the second last edition of Karmic Balancing gifts for the Bike Rally donors. We leave on Sunday, and I know that it's been all Rally, all the time around here - it feels that way if you're me too. I have mixed feelings about leaving Sunday. I'm terrified, and thrilled. Terrified because I am still largely sane, despite this decision, and thrilled because I don't know how much longer I can take being terrified and it just makes sense to end it.
Posted by Stephanie at July 23, 2012 12:33 PM
This week the training tapers off so that riders can be well rested, my bike goes in for a really good tune-up (here's to wishing there was somewhere I could drop myself off) and our little family will gather their camping things and buy inner-tubes and try to find an air mattress that will fit in the tent but not weigh a million pounds and install yet another bag on the bike to see if I can get knitting in there... I think that one is just me.
It's almost over, or at least that's what I keep telling myself. That means there will be a round of Karmic Balancing gifts today, and then more when I come back. (There's still tons of stuff.) Sam's scarf was adopted for a beautiful donation, and she was blown away by the response. Thanks for all the bids guys - Sam really feels like her effort paid off, and she's proud. (Proud enough that she's still knitting, but we'll see if it lasts.) In the meantime, I give you this weeks round of gifts - and all our thanks.
First up, five, count 'em five lucky knitters are going to choose their favourite tie-dyed drawstring bags from Benita and Sandy at Dyed in the Wool.
These handy project bags will go to Nancy H, Cerridwen J, Kyle P, July H and Jan B.
Laura, of Laura Helton Designs, would like to pass on two sets of custom stitch markers.
Kristine M and Kelly A will be choosing their favourite colours and styles.
Genia went into the stash and came up with 546 yards of Plymouth Earth Ranch alpaca, that she's graciously going to mail to Amanda I.
A knitter who wishes to remain anonymous has donated four beautiful skeins of Handmaiden Seacell.
I know. Right? One set will be going off to Katherine S (our lovely Presbytera of the comments) and the other to Elizabeth M.
Nicole has a great gift. A brand new, beautiful photo album, and she'll throw in pre-cut scrapbook paper in whatever colour is Amanda B's favourite - to be photo mats or journaling boxes. (I love this gift.)
Kathleen Dames has offered up what she does best:
Both a digital and print copy of her pattern book Avast No. 1, she'll be sharing it with Carol T.
Jeanne makes bags for her friends - and they're pretty as all get out. For the purposes of today's karma today Beth B is her friend, and Jeanne will be sending her a beautiful bag like this.
(There's actually another one. Beth will be choosing. How nice is that?)
The Ladybug Fiber Company has two great gifts. Dutch Tulips is a (be still my beating heart, you guys know how I feel about this) SELF STRIPING merino/cashmere/nylon yarn that's going to live with Michelle H.
and this skein is Quinoa. Kettle dyed sock yarn.
Gorgeous, and going to live with Faith N.
I am going to try hard to be happy for both of them.
Kit over at Insouciant Studios has a gift certificate that she's throwing into the universe...
and Beth R is catching it. Good luck choosing. There's a lot of nice stuff there.
Riin over at Happy Fuzzy Yarn (a long time friend of the show) has a generous gift.
Two skeins of her gorgeous merino/tencel fingering weight yarn in Purple Kale are going to live with Stephannie R. (As an aside, Riin is working on a cool Local Wool Project.)
Patti's stash has offered up something wonderful (I suspect it was actually Patti)
It's an incredible skein of Wollmeise "We're different" Lacegarn. 300 grams, or an amazing 1575m. When Heidi A gets it, I feel like she's going to make something great.
Last, but certainly not least, Danielle is offering a nice gift.
This is her pattern Shipshape, and it's just an example of what you can get in her shop, which Tania H will soon discover, since Danielle is making her a present of three Makewise designs.
Finally, last but not least, I've got two amazing gifts that aren't yarn - so I don't want to give them away the same way. The idea of someone winning one of these gifts randomly and not really, really loving them is too much for an avid knitter to bear, so I'm going to do it the same way as Sam's scarf. If you want them, email me with a bid (StephanieATyarnharlotDOTca) and I'll have the donors mail these wonders to the highest bidder. Only I will know what you donated for it to come and live with you (again, I like the karma on that better.)
First, Patti B has knit this amazing shawl. The pattern is Gale, and the yarn is Loft, and damn, isn't it the prettiest?
This would make a great scarf/wrap for the winter, and I just know there's someone out there who's heart just turned over when they saw it.
If you love this, then email me (not a comment) about Patti's shawl.
Not to be outdone, lookie what Lisa sent.
For those of you that don't have your own way of getting one (either because the thought of purls in colourwork makes you want to chew your own arm off, or because you don't know how to knit, both are valid) that there is a Bohus hat, made from the green meadow kit, and it's amazing.
If you want to keep your ears warm in style this year, email me about Lisa's hat.
A special thanks to both Patti (who is this Patti) and Lisa (who is Lisa Kobeck of ST-2 and Retreat fame) for these amazing gifts. It's hard to part with something that beautiful, and I'm impressed with both of you.
Stay tuned tomorrow, when I'm summing up the Tour de Fleece and trying to be as gracious as the two of them are. I'm going to try and give everything I made on the tour away as a karmic balancing gift.
Normally I'd say that this time Karma has way overbalanced itself, but it's been a truly rotten two weeks over here and this goes a long way towards evening things out.
After watching 3 weeks of Tour de France and an additional bit of time with the cyclists in good old California, I appreciate a great deal what you and your family are doing for AIDS and the ride you are taking! This is huge. I love that so many have come forth one way or another is support too! Best wishes to all of you - oh, and enjoy the process, it is really special!
Stephanie, what's the deadline for donation bids? I was thinking of bidding on Sam's scarf but didn't see a deadline...
Any chance I could get some advice from Sam about that scarf she knit? Like what yarn it was, if the pattern came with the yarn, how long it took and any tips for knitting it? My granddaughter's 8th birthday is coming up and that would be perfect to go with the outfit I got for her. Thanks.
In case I don't get back to blog before the weekend, I just want to say that I am keeping your family of riders in my thoughts and my heart during the whole ride. Here is to a hugely exciting (safe and painless!) adventure. I am so proud to be part of a community that reaches into their stashes and piggy banks and gives big to such a worthy cause.
These gifts are wonderful. At least you're not an athlete in the Tour de France. I'll be donating to your bike ride for sure.
Good luck. You'll be fine.
Tell Sam she is AWESOME, and if knitting for charity is her thing, she should check out afghans4afghans.org I love 'em and have been furiously knitting hats, mittens and socks since April for their latest campaign.
For the air mattress, I recommend the Reactor Summer Pump Pad from Mountain Equipment Coop. It's light (600 g), small when rolled and packed (31 cm long x 9,5 cm in diameter) and not that expesive ($72). When inflated, it has an 8 cm thickness, which I find plenty to be confortable.
All those karmic balancing gifts have made for some great links to beautiful site, products and knitterly gift ideas, much like your Christmas idea blogs. Fun stuff! Best wishes for a great rally.
Looking through the prizes is like being enabled... :)
I felt the urge to do some karmic balancing of my own, so just hopped over to Ladybug Fiber and scored a beautiful skein of her self striping merino/cashmere. You're definitely an enabler, but I'm ok with that.
If loving self striping yarn is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
in knitting take away with you: try squeezing needles, wool and a pattern in an artists tube. From motorbikingdays I know there is almost always room for an artiststube/brushhlder. Have a satisfying kikeride, good luck.
Hi, Stephanie! I've sent you two e-mails offering 600yds dark-honey-coloured mohair as a karmic balancing gift - are they lost in your spam folder, or is it something you think no one wants?? Please let me know either way.
Congrats to the winners. And now I'm off to check out Happy Fuzzy Yarn, that purple kale is to die for!
I'm absolutely stunned that you are doing the bike rally. It sounds worse than a marathon, where at least one can walk. Will you be going through/near Kingston so we can cheer your team on?
Seeherknit--so happy to hear Riin has a new fan! Her stuff is seriously To Die For. So happy to see it here!!
I have to admit to getting a bit light-headed when I saw the Sea Cell. Congrats to all who won!
If you are carrying your own stuff and volume is as big an issue as weight, I recommend a mattress from the Thermarest NeoAir series. They are the smallest and lightest I've seen so far, and they inflate to a comfortable thickness... Plus, the NeoAir won't roll up on you as the vertical chambers mattresses do.
Congrats to the winners!
Katherine S - I so enjoy your comments - hope things get better in your world soon!!! :)
I think I look for your blog every time I see a comment by you. I don't learn. :)
I'm having heart palpitations... I am Elizabeth M., but I don't know if I'm THE Elizabeth M., and I don't have an email in my inbox, so does that mean there is a different very lucky Elizabeth M.?
Forgive the incoherence, that yarn is utterly gorgeous.
Oh wow. These are all gorgeous: the yarns, the other gifts, the handknits. Stunning!
WOW! Awesome! Inspiring! I am going to get back on my bike in August!
Therm-a-rest makes a good air/foam pad, they come in thick and thinner. Remember to get a patch kit for the inner tubes and for the sleeping pad.
If it rains during the ride, just keep riding. I have found it to be very peaceful when it rains gently, I have been lost in my thoughts with the soft swoosh of the tires on wet pavement. You can get dry afterwards.
I am going to send you what I was going to spend at a LYS tomorrow for the benefit ride. Maybe I will get some balancing Karma but, if not, your inspiration will be enough.
Have fun, be safe, take pictures!
I am so grateful for and proud of my fellow knitters and their generosity and skills.
It's going to be awesome, you're prepared! Terrified will melt away, I promise! Ride like the champion you are...
I know you have been really really busy and I may have missed it but did you ever finish the Gansey fit Joe?
Lisa K, that hat is beautiful!
Stephanie, we love you, if you didn't know that already. We'll be a virtual wind at your back all the way. I hope it is more fun than grueling in the end! Will think of you throughout. xo
The hat is gorgeous. The site seems to be mostly in German. How do I order in English (and see prices) from them?
Hope all of you ride safely!!!!! It was a wonderful campaign.
(Did I miss seeing Omelet blocked and done?)
You guys just rock. In every possible way. Best of luck to you and your whole team. So awesome.
Good luck to you and your group during the bike rally, I'm sure that all of your efforts are greatly appreciated :)
Also, just a suggestion, depending on what you want to invest, And the kind of surface your tent will be on, a pool floatie, one of the long inflatable ones that you can lie on, in my experience work very nicely to sleep on. True, they do have to be inflated, but in theory, you can inflate it with a bike pump :)
I hope you and your bike are tuned to perfection and that all goes well. Best of luck to you and your team. Are you going to do this again next year?
Best of luck to all of you! We'll be cheering you on, from all over the world!
Also... how do we tell you that we've donated?
You will have a fantastic ride. You are awesome.
Do check out Mountain Equipment Coop for gear. They have great selection and knowledgeable staff. They are very generous so tell them what you are up to and you may get a discount.
Bonus, the King Street store in Toronto is close to you.
Good luck to you and your team.
Karmic balancing gift muddle sorted out - many thanks! Also, I raise Monarch butterflies from-egg-to-release every year, just for the love of it (100+ in-house as I post). Whatever butterflies I have available for release on the rally start day, I will be releasing in your team's honour - may their gentle wing-beats help you on your way!
If anyone else wants info/instructions for helping preserve the Monarch butterfly in North America, please e-mail me, with 'Monarch info' as the subject line.
From your earliest days of blogging and mindful giving, I have had my heart warmed by these simple displays of living kindly. It's so easy to be nice, and so gratifying to see it spread all about. I wish you a feather-soft ride with many straight paths, and karma back to you.
I don't know how easily available they'd be in Canada but here in Florida, USA I often use a beach/pool float as an air mattress for backpacking/camping. Lightweight, roll up small, CHEAP ($2-$3), patchable, easy to blow up (usually a dozen deep breaths or so), and with a built-in pillow. Good luck for all in the ride.