There's still a ton of gifts to give away in the Karmic Balancing department, please have patience as I wade through, I'll do some today and some in the next little bit until it's all wrapped up tidy-like. I've been thinking about balance these last few days - because dig this:
(Yarn is, because I know you'll want to know, Gypsy Girl Creations Transitions in "Mountain Home". Needles are the Blackthorn carbon fibre ones - given to me by them in my favourite size 2.25mm at SS11. I figured they'd be the least likely to break on the rally.)
That, my friends, is as much knitting as I believe it might be possible to do on the Rally and in the recovery period right after. I know, it's shocking. Nobody was more aghast than I, but several things worked against me.
1. You cannot knit and ride a road bike at the same time - or at least not if you value your life in any meaningful way or have not yet learned how to ride no-handsies. (For the record, trying to ride without hanging onto the thing is one of the only things I haven't contemplated in the hours and hours I was riding.) Even in the non-riding time the rally is still pretty busy. I'd get up at 5:30am, pack my stuff, take down my tent, eat, get my bike ready and then ride all day - then land at camp, set up my tent, wash/swim in the lake/river, eat dinner, do the evening activity, and fall into bed exhausted. There was so little time when I had time. (It makes me laugh now to think that I thought I would be knitting on "breaks." Breaks consist of eating, drinking and getting to the loo before tearing off again. My concept was a little more relaxed than the reality.)
2. Riding that far hurts. It hurts your arse, legs, back and neck (and none of those was a surprise) but what was shocking was how hard it was on my hands and wrists. By the third day, I was having trouble shifting, never mind knitting. I would still do a few rounds, just to take the edge off, but that was hardly enough. Even though I wore really great gloves and was careful about my hand/wrist posture, it's taken until today for my hands to feel like my hands again.
3. I was so tired, and there were priorities. I never thought that I'd have anything that was more than a priority than knitting, but it turns out that if you somehow get me to ride my bike all day in scorching heat - and at the end of that day I feel like I can only lift my arms twenty more times? I'm lifting food and beer to my mouth before I see what energy is left for yarn.
(That food ranked over knitting was a bit of a shock, but for a woman my size, cycling six hours uses about 3300 calories above my regular needs. That means I spent a lot of time eating ALL THE THINGS.)
Add all that together, and what you have is a pretty pathetic amount of knitting - but here comes the balance part. I am not tired now. I am not bathing in a lake. My hands feel pretty good. I am not (mostly) carving out a ton of time for eating, and I think I might almost have caught up on my sleep. Aside from the trainwreck in my office that is the dark and malevolent lovechild of self-employment and a week away, and that means that it is knitting time. Oh yes, and weaving too, and spinning and... you have no idea about my plans. My plans are so exciting that they aren't even possible. For starters, I think that I'm knitting the whole back of Flow today- which I'm totally not, but I can't tell you how exciting it is to even pretend that's going to happen. I am going to knit the daylights out of August. It's the only way to balance out the bike thing, and I am on it. Just watch.
Now. A few Karmic Balancing gifts? Let's go.
This one is the loveliest. It made me want to donate to myself (I guess I kinda did) so that I could rig it and have it be mine. Kimber (the big brain behind Fiber Optic Yarns) started with this beautiful Gradients roving.
Then she sat down at her wheel and spun this:
Amazing, right? Kimber will be mailing her wonderful handspun off to live with Amy D. I hope she loves it as much as I would if it was mine.
Judith has a wonderful gift to offer:
Ten skeins of Mirsol Tupa (50% merino and 50% silk) that Sandra M will really enjoy making into something brilliant. (By the way, Judith is doing a great thing. She's doing a walk that raises funds for suicide prevention. Pop by her blog if you have a minute.)
Cherril's stash offers a lovely goodie of another kind. Laceweight mohair for Melissa M.
It's totally Andi's lucky day, because Merin went stash diving and came up with all this....
All of which is going out to Andi!
Here's a lovely thing. Mandy at The Cloistered Lamb has a very, very nice skein of sock yarn... Pretty in Pink...
and here's hoping that it's Anne M's favourite colour.
Manuèle has a generous offer. Five lucky knitters will get two each of her pretty patterns - Glaciers Are Melting, and Rainbow Mobius.
Manuèle will be sending those along to Mary H, Amy H, Stacey W, Kathleen F and Jack R.
Kathleen (who's local to me and adorable) has three copies of her Addis Abeba pattern to share.
We wish happy knitting to Carla F, ReNae G and Linda H.
A great big thanks to the nice folks over at Entangled Magazine...
They wanted to thank someone with a free one year subscription, and Abigal F is the lucky knitter.
Lorna's Laces has a good gift!
That's a skein of Shepherd Sock in the fetching colour "Bow Tie" and they'll be sending it off to Mary F.
Stephanie at Space Cadet Creations has two skeins to give away. The first is the same one that I knit Omelet from (I loved this yarn, just so you know) which is Pyxis laceweight in Honey that she'll be sending to Carolyn F. (Knit an Omelet! You know you want to!)
and this little bit of something, which is a yarn called Estelle, in Pride.
I hope that Judi K comes up with something amazing to make out of it.
Whew! There will be more as I finish tidying up from the rally, but for today - I've got to go look at knitting and make some decisions.
I'm going to have a pretty rippin' yarn party.