We’re halfway to Montreal. Today’s the day we rode into Kingston, and it’s our shortest day, which is super crazy awesome because yesterday was the longest day and it was really, really long.

Two things are great about today. First, it’s red dress day.

And it’s the day that when we arrive, my mum and Auntie Yvonne feed us, and we get an afternoon of rest.

Me? I’ll be napping in a minute.

I’ve been sleeping in a tent and bathing in a lake for a few days.
So far so good, though we are very, very tired and sore, and yesterday the generator broke and there was no coffee and it was a very near thing to the abyss. We rode 80 km BEFORE we had coffee, and I don’t want to talk about how unbelievable that was. We rode another 50 after a cup, and it was like being reborn.

Tonight we have team dinners, and sleep in real beds at the dormitories at Queens University, and in the morning, Montreal or bust. Three more days!

Thanks for your amazing support. We check often, and it keeps us going. Well, that and coffee.

The Day it Starts

It’s early in the morning.  About 5:30, when I started typing this.  I’m sitting at my desk drinking coffee, and in a few minutes I’ll go and put on my official bike rally jersey, and my ridiculous spandex shorts, and fill them full of the cream that’s supposed to prevent soreness, and I’ll strap on my cycling shoes, and I’ll head out the door and ride to Queen’s Park. That’s where the rally starts. 

I think I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do. I feel like I trained a lot, I feel like I know my bike better – and I think that’s obvious because I’m not a walking scab like I was last year. Overall, I feel more prepared and more ready and that’s why I’m surprised to feel the knot of fear at the bottom of my tummy.  I thought that knowing what it was like would make me less nervous, not more, but here you have it.

Jen and I were talking the other night about how the thing with the rally is that it’s expensive. Not just expensive financially – although it really is that. The bike, the shoes, the shorts… there’s a ton of stuff you have to pay for. Then there’s the time. If you work for someone else, the bike rally is a week of vacation time that you’re giving up, and if you’re self-employed it’s a week you have to save for, and that doesn’t even count all those mornings that Jen and I went riding for hours before work, and it doesn’t count all the weekends where one, or even both of the days went to riding.  It doesn’t count the meetings, and it doesn’t count the time spent fundraising, and it doesn’t count the time soaking in an epsom salt bath because you’re 45 and this is crazy.

Then there’s how it’s expensive in terms of family.  This is all time away from our families, away from our responsibilities, away from our children and spouses,  and those job and relationships don’t just disappear. My Joe and Jen’s Jason have stepped up to the plate in amazing ways, supporting us, covering for us and doing some of our jobs (and for the next week – all of them) so that Jen and I can do this. We’ve done our best to make it up to them, but… well. It’s expensive. 

I’m not even ready to talk about how expensive it is physically and emotionally and spiritually, because on no level is this much riding comfortable. Let’s leave it there. Last year I remember crying in my tent at night a few times, and once or twice on my bike, and when it was over last year I collapsed for two days and wasn’t right for a week. 

At some point, while a woman is sitting at her desk, drinking coffee and getting ready to wrestle herself into a sports bra and spandex to ride 660km – all while pondering how expensive its been and is going to be, you have to wonder why she’s doing it.

That part is easy, I think.  I’m doing it because I believe in the cause, because I believe in real, decent help for people with AIDS that’s delivered with respect, and I think that PWA does that better than anyone else. I can tell you that I think that it’s good for my daughters to see their mum engaged in a big thing, and putting her effort (and money) where her mouth is. I’m doing it because I’ve seen what can happen when we engage the most powerful community that anyone has ever seen, and that’s you, and I’m so grateful, and I’m so amazed every time I see what you all can accomplish, and I’m just so unbelievably proud of our community of knitters. Every time knitters come through this way, I love how it shocks people, forces them to break down their stereotypes and think of us in another way, and really… is there anything more appropriate for a ride like this?

I can admit, too, that I do this because I am a sucker for an epic. There is something amazing, wondrous and stunning about watching a lot of people come together to make something happen, and tomorrow I’ll leave Toronto with more than 400 other people, and we’ll all sweat and strain our way to Montreal, and we’ll be so dirty, and so tired and so proud of each other, but it will be something not many people get to accomplish, and that’s worth it in a way all its own. 

I am 45 years old. I am not an athlete, I am not remarkable in very many ways that my friends, family and peers are not.  I am a writer, and a mother, and a knitter, and tomorrow, I am going to start doing something amazing, and the only reason that it counts for anything is because you guys got behind me.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Me riding my bike to Montreal does nothing to get money to PWA. Nothing. You guys are the heroes here, and I’m so impressed that I can’t tell you.
Right now,  my fundraiser tally comes in as the 2nd highest of all time.  The only person who has ever beaten me, was me – last year, and today I explained to about seventy people that it’s not me.  It’s you.

It’s not my fundraising. It’s ours, and you guys are amazing. Knitters are amazing, and what we do when we pull together is something people can’t ignore, and it changes the world.  Thank you for everything.  I’m going go try and earn the faith you’ve put in me.

A little housekeeping.

– I haven’t forgotten about prizes, there are still a ton to give away, but I can’t do it until I come back.  I’m sorry. I ran out of time when I tried to do 30 hours of things in only 24.  I won’t forget.

– I know one of you will ask – last year my tally by the end was $60 000.  I started riding with $50 000 in the can, and you guys blew me away all week. My goal for this year was $50k, and we’re there. Everything from here is gravy, although gravy for a good cause, and wouldn’t it be nice to beat last years? Just saying – although I’m grateful, fulfilled and thrilled.  My goal is totally met.  None of that stops you from sending the link to your friends though, and besides, it’s just so much fun to watch the bike rally leaders try to figure it all out.
Donate here.

– Yup. Yarn on my bike. Yarn on Jen’s bike too.

– A few of you have asked about our route. Details are here and YES PLEASE, to coming out to cheer us on.  Be aware that we can’t often stop, but the signs by the side of the road and random knitter sightings last year blew me away and one particularly difficult afternoon, was just about all that kept me on my bike. 

– I’ve set up my phone so that I can blog from the road, if I can. I’m on Instagram too and twitter,  if you want to follow me there.  Sometimes that’s the easiest way for me to  update quickly.

– I love all of you. I mean that, and I’m not just saying it because I’m scared.

With a New Lightness

Monday, right after I posted, I jumped in the car and drove for Midland. It’s not too far, and within a few hours I was on the ferry to Christian Island. (I have given myself two life points because for the first time ever, I backed onto the tiny ferry myself. (When I run the world there all ferries will be the kind you drive onto, and drive off of. Who makes a ferry with only one gate?) I landed, drove off – and I was there.

(Christian Island is Beausoleil First Nation land. All the signs reflect that. Noogbisan does seem like a lot to yell in an emergency though.)

Fifteen minutes later, I had my feet in Georgian Bay. Ten minutes later than that, I was swimming past the drop-off (because I am not a chicken like my sister) and then  I set up my office,

and worked for a bit (yeah, I can see I need to clean my screen)  then we watched the sun set, and had a great sleep. It was beautiful, and that was good, because the next day…

Rain. Rain and rain and freezing cold, and wind like you wouldn’t believe and that made it easy to sit down at my laptop, finish the book.  It was a little sad not to be able to go out and enjoy the lake – because I really, really love swimming in the lake, but at least the weather  made the out of doors easy to resist. I worked and worked, and then all of a sudden, it was done. The book was all finished. I had no internet, so I couldn’t send it in, but I hit save, and then backed it up to a thumbdrive (in case my computer exploded) and then I put the thumbdrive in the car – and the laptop in the cottage, so that if the car exploded or the cottage burned down I would still have a copy.

Then we had dinner and played 47 hands of Rummy. That was it. I’ve always thought that when I finish a book, there should be something that happens. It should trigger fireworks or a 21 gun salute or something, something more than a bunch of hands of Rummy on a rainy day. (I didn’t even win. My sister was KILLING IT. She won practically every hand. I don’t know how she does it.)  Yesterday the weather was a bit better, but still too cold and windy to swim. I set up the tent to make sure I had all the pieces, and to make sure that the air mattress I got fits in the tent. 

(I love that in this photo my mum appears to be looking at that tent like no sane person would sleep in it.)

I told Jen I was going to posh up the inside of our tent. We’re too old to suffer on crappy little mats, so our tent is going to have wall to wall air mattress. At least that was my plan.  It worked though. 

I can’t believe that a big air mattress is all it takes to make Jen and I think that the whole tent experience is practically the Ritz. With my wool as my witness, we are going to be sleeping right on this thing.  Once I had that checked, I folded it all up,   drove home, emailed the book in, and staggered around like a zombie until it was time for our team fundraiser on the rally.  Meg, a very nice knitter on a layover from Vancouver to Prince Edward Island (Is that right? I might be making that up) showed up for a little bit, on her way across the country.  (Isn’t that nice? Really, really nice. You can tell by looking at her that she’s nice. She’s a little blurry, which might be my photographic skills, or maybe the fact that she’s on a layover.) 

We had a wonderful time, and at the end of the night, I looked at one of the tickets for the event, and it hit me.

86 hours and counting – although that’s not right anymore, now it’s about 66 hours, and there’s still so much to do. The packing, the organizing – I need to find Pato a red dress (and as I said to him, I wonder how often I’ll write that on a post it note) I need batteries, I need a way to charge my mobile… I need camp chairs that fold to less than 32", I need a hockey bag… still so much to do… Including prizes!  While I spin out, trying to pull together the last of it, here’s gifts for you all.

Sarah, the lovely Martini Knitter, living in Switzerland, has dug deep into her stash and come up with some really lovely things she would like to share. First:

This Rowan Extra Fine Merino Dk, now it belongs to Tracie N. 
Sarah has more, in a lovely cream. (That screams baby sweater to me, but I have babies on the mind.) 

I don’t know what Judith G will make, but I bet it will be nice.
Erin SC has scored a really pretty silk/wool blend.

Stephanie L got this Rowan Pure Wool DK in Blue…

and Nancy A, got it in a navy.

Julia R will be figuring out what to do with this pretty yarn:

Katie B gets a skein of Dream in Color and a pattern to go with,

and last, but certainly not least, Judith G will be warmly embracing three balls of Rowan felted tweed.  (Great yarn.)

Three cheers for Sarah, and her miraculous stash!

Last but certainly not least, a wonderful gift from Amy Hertzog. She’s offering a copy of her new book Knit to Flatter

and this, from Amy:

"Knit to Flatter is about helping you get sweaters you love to wear. All hand knitting sweater patterns are basically ready-to-wear clothing instructions: So, anyone with a "quirk" or two (i.e. everyone) will probably have to make a few changes to get a sweater that suits them perfectly. I’ll do a personal consultation with the recipient of this gift to identify a sweater that fits their style
, and then step through all of the details (and any math) required to produce a perfectly-fitting sweater they adore."

Amy’s a friend of mine, and I can tell you that consultation is worth it’s weight in gold. I hope that Sara B enjoys it.

More tomorrow, for now, I’m off to find Pato a dress.

Almost There

 This week is epic. The book is due, I leave with the rally on Sunday, and if I think about that stuff too much, I get a tight feeling in my chest that I know is the knot of anxiety around all that, and that knot is unhelpful, and in this case, just plain wrong. I’m am kicking ass and taking names and last week when my Mum and Erin decided to go North to the cottage, I lamented that I couldn’t go. There’s no internet there, there’s no cell phone, and I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but writers on book deadlines are horrible, horrible people.  My whole family knows it, and my mum actually told me that I shouldn’t go up there, not if I was going to be "like that."

I tried to give up, and accept that I just wasn’t going to be going, and then I got an idea. What if I could finish enough of the book that I wasn’t "like that"? What if I could head up there with things pretty much wrapped up, with just a little left do do, or maybe even on the final read-through?  Maybe I could go for just a day or two?  Maybe I could do some rally stuff there… air out the tent?

I decided that if I worked like a lunatic, gave up just about every free minute I had, I might be able to earn my way to the cottage. I set a word count goal, and I kept my eyes on the prize. Me, sitting on the sand of Georgian Bay, finishing the book before I went for a swim to the big rock. I’ve been pressing on for days, and then yesterday, a minor miracle.  I have only one essay left to work on, the rest of the book is sorted and ready for the last read, and I smashed my word count goal to smithereens.  It was spectacular. It was like fireworks and today as soon as I finish up the work I have to do, I’m heading off. I’ll finish this book there, and then come home Tuesday night or Wednesday to attend our team fundraiser* and be ready to ride with Jen on Thursday and pack and get ready to go to Montreal – the long way.

I can see the finish line, and it’s going to be such a relief. There’s only a little internet up there – I’ll try to post tomorrow with a bunch of Karmic Balancing gifts – now that we’re in the home stretch there’s going to have to be a bunch of them if I’m going to get them all given away.  I wanted to take a second to thank all of you for the amazing support you’ve shown all of us. This whole year has been such a challenge, and not always the best kind, but the rally… the rally is the best sort of challenge and I’m so proud to take part in it and even more proud that I represent all of you and your amazing generosity. People don’t know what knitters are like, and it is my exquisite pleasure to be able to show them.  I point at what you’ve donated, watch their mouths fall open, and I watch as they wonder why their golf buddies haven’t done the same.  You’re amazing. Every one of you, and I’m so, so grateful. 

See you tomorrow, or Wednesday – and thanks for everything. I don’t know if it’s the joy I feel that the book is almost done, or the adrenaline from being so close to the Rally, or maybe it’s the crazy level of sleep deprivation + caffeine that I’m rocking right now, but I am crazy in love with all of you. 

PS: If you felt so moved, the pages to donate to us are here:


*There’s a fundraiser for the team at a pub here in Toronto on Wednesday evening. Tickets are $25, there will be food, there will be really great door prizes, and there will be entertainment, not the least of which are speakers from PWA and two of my three daughters performing a ukulele version of (amongst others) "Hey Ya" which really, really shouldn’t be missed.  All proceeds go to the riders on our team taking part in organizing the thing.  If I know knitters are coming, there will be yarn door prizes too.  If you’re in town, and you’d like to have a bit of fun for a great cause, email me. I’ll hook you up. 

Oh, They’re In There

Remember my to-do list? The one that required 20 rounds to be knit on Pretty Thing?

There they are. That there, my knitter friends is 42  rounds.  What’s that you say? You can’t see them? Well they’re there. The first 20 were knit, and then I started thinking that the gauge was wrong. Well, that’s not true, technically.  Technically I started thinking that the gauge was wrong on round 2, but why stop while you’re thinking about it?  Not this knitter. No, no – I kept knitting. I kept knitting until I had 24 rounds, and then I ripped them all out and started again.

Things went pretty well for the first 7 rounds of the third attempt (oh, sorry – did I not mention the second attempt? The one where I beautifully executed the "not quite long enough tail cast on"?  I specialize. I’m very good.)  On round 7 of the third attempt, I established the lace.

On round 8, I realized that I had done no such thing, and instead of ripping, I tinked back, found the place where I’d slammed in an extra yarn-over, fixed it, and knit on.  I knit on, that is, until the end of row 8 (again) when I realized that the lace was correct,  however the total number of stitches was completely wrong.

Attempt number four, I made it to round 4, realized that the gauge was still crap, and ripped back again. Now I’m on the fifth attempt, and I have knit 6 rounds, and that means the math goes like this.

24 + 8 – 1 + 1 + 4 + 6 = 42

42 is way more than 20, and I don’t care if most of them are invisible rounds. I’m totally leaving it crossed off on my list. Damn straight, and screw you, knitting.

Re: Yesterday, From the Comments

A small collection of replies, answers and thoughts, upon reading the comments.

I’m glad the first item on the list is drink coffee. That sounds like a wise plan.

Damn straight it was. I’m 11 days away from the Rally and 7 days away from submitting a manuscript. The house is littered with empty coffee cups and the other day when I was in the shop where I buy coffee (and I was buying more coffee) the cashier asked me if I was "Ok."  That item got crossed off.

"Extra water shoes"? I understand extra biking shoes, but water shoes? Does the bike rally route include stream crossings this year?
-Carrie in northern NY

You have no idea how fast I would be out of this rally if there was stream crossings. Portaging a bike is not anyway that this knitter’s going to be spending her time. I need the water shoes because (and I can’t believe I’m willing to be part of anything that works like this- and in my defense, I did not totally get it when I signed up) there aren’t really any showers for several days while we’re travelling. There’s lakes though, and we swim in those to cool off and clean up enough that people can’t smell the rally coming from kilometres away. (We get to stay in the dormitories at Queens University halfway through. Real beds! Warm showers!)  A few of the beaches are rocky, ergo – water shoes. Extra water-shoes because I have mine but Jen doesn’t and I was going to see if I could find an extra pair in the camping box.  I didn’t -still, crossed it off. 

What’s a spork?
-Several People

It’s a spoon/fork hybrid that you use when you’re camping so you don’t need to pack so many utensils. Because, you know, carrying both a spoon and a fork would be exhausting.  Turns out it’s also "a colorful and foul-mouthed feature musical comedy" directed and written by J.B. Ghuman Jr.  I will be taking the former – and I did find it – in the Basement, which Joe did vacuum. Crossed off.

You finished the big 100k rides and had some ice wine to celebrate! The list shows me its down to the final wrap-up and pack (wow!!) and you’ve finished knitting something but it’s not blocked so you can’t show us but you’ve started something lacy with a lovely, soft cashmere/silk. How far off am I?
– Kelly H

Shockingly close, actually. Jen and I did indeed finish our back-to-backs (220km in two days) and we did celebrate, but that’s vinho verde – not ice wine. Vinho Verde is a slightly carbonated young wine from Portugal. Low alcohol, light tasting and perfect for summer – and boy was it summer. Those rides were like traversing the surface of a star. Brutally hot. Yes, the list does include the final wrap-up and pack, and I didn’t finish knitting something, but I did start something anyway, but that’s not quite cashmere/silk.. but it’s close.  Actually Kelly, you might have just been right about the rides.

But I’d really, really like to know what that gorgeous, shiny yarn on the gold needles resting on the green thingamabob is made from, and what it’s being knitted into.

Of course you would, isn’t it lovely?  It’s even prettier in person, if that’s possible, and it should be. That’s Windy Valley Muskox yarn, Royal Blend, a 50/50 blend of Qiviut/silk, and it’s so delicious that it is impossible to do anything other than smile the whole time you knit with it. I had one little ball (in natural) that I’ve been saving.  It’s been sitting on my desk for a good long time now, where I can pat it on bad days, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect project. It’s time came the other day when I decided to make a little something to auction at our team pub fundraiser. (It’s Wednesday night, btw, if you’re in town and you’d like to come, drop me a line.)  I wanted to make something that even non-knitters would think was special, so this little ball is becoming a Pretty Thing.  I’m enjoying knitting it up, and it couldn’t be for a better cause, but I’ll miss that little ball. 

Pretty Thing’s a fast pattern, only about 61 rounds (and takes less than 150m – so perfect for expensive yarns.) If I do 20 rounds per day, I’ll have it done in three days. (Noted, on the list as PT twenty rounds. Done, except that I might rip it out and go down a needle size. Best not to think about it.)

"thesis – get one" cracked me right up.
Mary Heather

Yeah. It was funnier for me after I got one, but I did, so that’s struck through as well.

To sum the list up – for those of you who thought it was code:  I drank coffee and found my spork while Joe shopvac’ed the basement. I wrote the blog (sort of, upgrade notwithstanding) and edited the M essay (M for the title) and thank wool, while I did, a much needed thesis for the piece emerged. I looked for the extra water shoes for swimming, and did the final read through on an essay tentatively titled Immunity to dirt. (Hence, IM on the list, which indeed stood for immunity, and not "I’m dirt" but thanks for worrying that I was having a crisis of self esteem and felt the need to note it on a list.)

LB is my editor, and I needed to email her and find out when she needs the manuscript back after she edits it, because I wanted to make sure I put it in the calendar. (Cal.)  I had to order a pair of cycle socks – because it turns out that my shrimpy little feet don’t fit into the ones I got very well. (Being a knitter has spoiled me. I expect my socks to fit, dammit.)  I did twenty rounds on the Pretty Thing (although I pulled back four – I fixed an error and didn’t like how it looked)  I made an appointment with my optometrist, and I did not vacuum the living room, which perhaps we should have all expected, considering that I didn’t give enough of a crap to even spell it right.   I talked to Erin about her fundraising item, and finally, I blew up the mattress to make sure it doesn’t leak and Jen and I aren’t left sleeping on rocks.  Today I’m putting up the tent and making sure that works too.

See? Not so crazy at all, and I crossed it all off too, except for the vacuuming, and I don’t think we can expect me to care too much about that, which is good, because I don’t.  Gift?  I can do that.  

Today’s gift is a rally special one. Rowan is a handweaver, and she makes some beautiful scarves.  Like this one –

and this one

and this one.

See how amazing she is?  Her very generous gift is not one of these scarves, it’s a custom scarf.  One very lucky person will be choosing the colours and talking to Rowan about what they would like, and then Rowan is going to weave it, just for them.  That person is Angelia R, and I hope she’s as thrilled as I would be.

I have never been more right

Have I ever mentioned how I feel about upgrades? SURE I HAVE. I know I have. I know that I have explained many, many times about how I think that upgrade is a confusing name for something that always makes things worse before it makes it better, if it ever does. I am experienced in the ways of upgrades. I understand how they work, and as a result of that experience and my more than adequate intelligence, I avoid them as much as possible. Sure, this means I’m running some antiquated stuff around here, but it works dammit, and I don’t see any reason to change.  Ken, on the other hand, my best friend and the tech guy who keeps this blog running, he has other concerns, and so eventually he’ll just upgrade something. Just do it, and by the time it’s over it’s over and I just handle whatever happens and that’s what happened last night. Ken upgraded the blog (now it’s probably only five years behind) and then I went and wrote a really great post for you, and it was so good.  I loved it – you would have too, if when I went to put the pictures in, the whole thing hadn’t frozen, crashed, eaten the entry and generally laughed itself silly.

It took a few minutes and a phone call to Ken, but it turns out that after he does whatever thingie he did, there was a whatchamacallit that I’m supposed to do, and I know that, because he told me last time, but I forgot because I’m a knitter, not a computer geek, dammit.  It’s done now, and I fixed it and now I can post pictures but I don’t have time to re-write the entry – so you know what? Here’s the pictures.

I give up.  The upgrade beat me, and now you’ll have to entertain yourselves. You tell me what those pictures say to you. 

Knitter out.

(PS, the one part that I am going to do over is this: Today’s prize.  Three skeins of FiberShed yarn, a gorgeous worsted weight 100% alpaca, courtesy of Therese and Charlie over at Salt City Fiber Works.

They’d like it to go live with a knitter, and the random number generator picked Susan O. Thanks to everyone!)

All’s quiet on the Western

All’s quiet on the Western front. I’m writing this to you from the back garden of my house where there is blissful silence.  It’s actually so quiet next-door at the renovation site, that for about 2.6 seconds I considered texting my neighbours (who have – very intelligently, fled the country for the worst of this) and telling them that if their contractor is billing them for today, he’d be a liar, but then some other part of me asked why I don’t ever want to be happy and keep ruining on opportunities for joy, and so I got a cold drink, put my feet up in the sunshine and let it go.

A big part of the book gets put to bed today, and soon the days left to work on it will be in the single digits. It’s such a crazy time. I sort of think that writers don’t belong in public at the best of times – but writers on deadline? We’re horrible, awful human beings who only care about one thing. If I had a dollar for every time in the last few weeks that I’ve told someone that I can’t do something because I am writing a book, I would be able to have a renovation like the one next door. If you gave me another dollar for every time I said it resentfully while implying that my book is the most important thing that could possibly be happening in the world, then I’d get a renovation like the one next door, and I’d be getting a contractor who showed up on a Friday. 

It’s almost done, and I can’t wait, and I’m so happy that the rally’s almost done for this year too. I don’t know what’s making the training so much harder to face this year (yes I do, I just didn’t want to mention the book again) but it’s been a challenge that I’m anxious to finish. Tomorrow and Sunday Jen and I will do our back-to-backs.  It’s two days in a row that you ride a century, and it’s a training landmark that I live in fear of  – which makes no damn sense, because the rally itself is six centuries. Jen and I had originally decided that when the time cam for the back-to-backs, we would make it nice, because we are smart.  We would ride a hundred kilometres away, then stay at a B&B for the night. One with a hot tub, and a swimming pool and we would go for a beautiful dinner and have this fabulous sleep and then ride the other hundred home the next day.

Unfortunately, that’s not what we’re going to do, because it turns out that we are completely delusional lunatics with families and full time jobs and people who depend on us and one of us is still nursing a bit and the other one is writing a book and a few days ago we came to our senses and pulled ourselves the hell together. Now we’re getting up early tomorrow morning, bolting 100k as quickly as we can, and getting home in time to finish work and make dinner and the next day we’ll repeat it. Done. Whammo.  After that, the training tapers off, because we’re so close to leaving. From here on, it’s about just maintaining our fitness and "seat worthiness" (which is a nice way of saying that your bum doesn’t complain too much about hours in the saddle) and that means that crap like last Sunday never needs to happen again. (I’m still not over last Sunday. It rained so hard on us and we were so wet that every time I sat on my bike seat, it squeezed all the water out of the padding in my bike shorts and sent a flood down my legs and into my shoes. By the time I got home my feet were these little white prunes. It was pitiful. I really hope it doesn’t rain on the Rally.)

Until something gives around here, knitting and I are continuing our clandestine, sneaky relationship. Being with my knitting right now feels like having an affair – we meet quietly, when no-one is looking, and I take my satisfaction quickly and slink off, all while hoping that my editor doesn’t find out that we were together.  (Actually, I think the editor is onto us.)  I can’t wait for us to be together.

Soon my pretty. Soon.

A few gifts? You bet. How about this lovely thing?

It’s a handmade tree of life pendant from Wren, who’s really very talented, and I hope that  Eileen G thinks it’s as lovely as I do. 

Everybody know Jaala, from Knitcircus? She’s doing these sock yarn gradience  things,  two matching balls of sock yarn that change colour over the course of the ball? I think they’re great.

and Jaala has chosen two sets, one each to Angela W, and Natasha G.

Enjoy your weekend everyone. I’ll be on my bike.