Yet More Balance

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.

48 thoughts on “Yet More Balance

  1. Such pretty pretty things. Your blog folks have been so so generous, not only with sponsorships but with wonderful karmic gifts. Wow!

  2. So isn’t it convenient that the gansey will have you spinning AND knitting? Add lock-washing (your other very-most-favorite-est thing) and you’ve got a trifecta of woolly goodness lined up for August right there.
    Never mind that it’s a thousand degrees. Winter’s coming.

  3. I remember how I felt just biking into work the few times I did it. Biking is so felt in the arms and hands and wrists. I’m surprised that you got that much done in your attempt to get the edge off!

  4. I rode my bike for an hour the other day, then ate everything in sight. I can’t imagine how much you’d have to eat for 5k calorie days!! Crazy.

  5. I’m totally with you on that project giddiness crazy train.
    This friday I will wrap up a hellish month of full time school and full time work. I’ll have 2 weeks off (!!!) before the next job (and part time school) starts back up. I keep looking at my long neglected knitting and sewing projects and thinking “Soon, my precious. We will be together again soon.” I’m so excited I’ve mapped out a plan of projects that realistically will take me way more than 2 weeks, but I don’t even care.

  6. what totally lovely gifts! congratulations to you on a wonderful accomplishment. That I have been couch-bound (8 sts, baby toe)has enabled a knitting, and sadly, eating. I apparently need to get on a bike and ride!

  7. The more I read about your ride, the more I am amazed at what you did. I wouldn’t have thought the human body could survive that. Sincere congratulations to you and your fellow riders.
    Also, thanks to you and one of your cyclists for drawing my name for a Karmic gift–I’m thrilled to win two patterns from Manuele!

  8. I am so in love with the Gradients roving and amazed at the spun product of it. This is why I love your blog. You connect us up with all sort of wonderful fibrey (is that a word?) things we otherwise wouldn’t know about.

  9. Wow that is a lot of balancing. Congratulations on a successful experience – it is quite arduous and I am very proud of you.

  10. That’s one gorgeous sock! And I knit and knit on Color Affliction until my hands hurt (so I tried to make up for you not knitting).
    Now I think I need to spend some found money at SpaceCadet.

  11. We of The Blog are proud of you (I know you haven’t picked that up yet from our many posts!)…and we are hoping you have a wonderfully relaxing, fibery August.
    And 3,300 calories daily…if only we could ALL ride that much!!!

  12. What lovely gifts! Tried to check out Judith’s blog but the link doesn’t seem to be working.

  13. Sometimes it is really beneficial to completely change your daily routine. See: Nothing horrible happened to the knitting while you were gone, and you are recharged about knitting. Sometimes it is good to put down the needles.

  14. I’m so happy you can knit again! That sock is lovely. I can’t wait to see what you are all excited about, because I know whatever you plan will be wonderful! Keeping all my fingers crossed that just maybe I will win something too. Hoping! 🙂

  15. Beautiful yarns, beautiful knitting. I love that your efforts to make the world a better place brings out the best in all of us.

  16. Since I first learned about you, you have been a source of inspiration on so many levels… but now more than ever. I’m just about to set out on a 800kms walk (entirely for my own benefit, I’m ashamed to say) – and through the tough days, that no doubt will come, I’ll be bearing your feat in mind, and it’ll carry me through. Since I have to carry all my necessities on my back, what I carry had better count… so yes! I’m bringing 200 grs of laceweight, that’ll hopefully last my 39 days on The Way.
    Some Lady, you are! Thank you!

  17. Next time (IF there is a next time)talk someone into being your partner on a tandem bike and make them do all the driving. Then you can just sit on the back, pedal and knit (a la Elizabeth Zimmerman on her hubby’s motorcycle – I would REALLY like to have seen that)

  18. Did you see they already have put up the sign-up sheets for NEXT year’s ride? 🙂

  19. Congrats on making it to the end of that bike ride! Now feel free to knit/spin/ and weave away!

  20. Hi Stephanie. I’m so proud your/my Blackthorns went along for the ride! I followed your journey with so much interest. Most fun I’ve had watching someone else sweat in a long time. Pop-fizz – me joining you in a celebration beer.

  21. Now, don’t overexert yourself just yet! You are still recovering from a huge amount of physical exertion.
    For now, just inhale the yarn fumes, listen to the cat purr, and dream some dreams of finished objects to come. Take the knitting slowly to start — maybe plan to ramp up to your usual formidable speed by next Monday or so!

  22. Lovely yarn! Great sock! I’m so impressed you were able to do any knitting at all on the ride. Hope your hands feel better soon.

  23. I’m glad your appendages are coming back online. Maybe nice massage or something? I’m still so incredibly impressed with you and your tribe training and riding.

  24. I think it is rather impressive that you got any knitting done at all. I hope you have a great knitting day!

  25. Well I was a little bit perplexed about the higher activity on my pattern today… 😀 SOO happy you found five lovely generous person to give my patterns to.
    And also: Brava!!! 🙂

  26. First off, congrats to you and your team! You did a good thing!!! And bringing knitters into it makes it great!
    Do you like the carbon fiber needles? I break everything except for metal, and I bend those! Just wondering if the carbon fibers are worth the money…

  27. Here’s hoping your reference to a rippin’ yarn party isn’t prescient. I’ve been rippin’ enough for the both of us lately.

  28. Isn’t it great to return to knitting after some time away? Soft, colorful visions of projects-to-be dancing in your head again. Enjoy.

  29. I am soooooooooooo lusting after that Mirasol Tupa cream yarn!!
    *tries unobtrusively wipe up all the drool*
    *sadly adds yet another entry to the ‘Yarn I Can’t Afford’ list*

  30. I remember doing some cross country skiing in college. A day of that…and I was beyond sore. It took me a while to recover. And I wasn’t a knitter at that point, so I’ve no idea what it did for my hands. But I felt old lady stiff.

  31. I bought an old Schwinn 10-speed at Goodwill just before Christmas. I *was* madly in love with her until I fell over in the parking lot at the knitting shop this morning. No one saw me and I wasn’t hurt, but I do have a cool-looking patch of road rash on my right shin. Personally, I think they should give me a free skein of sock yarn or a 20% discount or something the next time I go in.

  32. “Roasted radishes and carrots with dill and shallots. Surprising, delicious and gorgeous.”
    Now that we’re drooling, please where does that recipe come from?
    Pretty please, with cashmere on it?

  33. So generous and so wonderful that a) you did it; b) you pulled all of us along with you and c) so many are being rewarded with the karmic balancing from so many generous folks.

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