Resting with (Big) Plans

Thanks so much for the well wishes guys, and for the understanding about the challenging weekend. Things are looking up today. I feel cheerful, and sort of confident – at least when I remember that being a few days from departure always makes me sort of crampy. This morning I started packing my camping gear, and making a list of the bits and pieces that i need still, and I dropped my bike off for one more little tune-up to make sure it gets me to Montréal. The last thing I need is my bike working against me.  I’m making sure that thing runs like a bomb.

It’s great timing for my bike to go into the shop, because this week I’m doing something delightful called  a “taper”. Tapering is when you (I’m going to oversimplify here, to make things easy) essentially say “this is as strong as I’m going to get, now I need to be well rested” and you dramatically scale back training.  I’ll go for a few rides this week, a couple of hills, a little sprinting, but just enough to keep me loose (that makes me laugh – I am never “loose”) but not tired.  I’ll rest, stretch, I’ll go to yoga and walk, and eat good food and man, scaling back training is a happy time for me, because it means I scale UP the knitting, and boy, am I so ready.  Less knitting is one of the biggest sacrifices I make for the Rally, and I can promise you two things.

1. Despite the fact that everything I need for the Rally – my clothes for a week, my riding gear and all my camping gear needs to fit into two Rubbermaid bins – I have made room for ample yarn, because the MINUTE I land in Montreal, it’s going to be a knit -fest. Just as soon as I can move my hands. (Even with gloves, tape, and good positioning, 6hrs a day of road vibration coming through the bike tends to make my hands numb. It’s a cycling thing. It goes away.)

2. August is going to be KNIT-O-RAMA.  I am going to knit the daylights out of August. Do you know what my plans are for August? I’m going to sleep, knit, and try to get invited to cottages. That’s my whole thing. I’ve held on so long. I can stand it no longer.

(By the way, I’ve had not just one, but two events cancel for September, so if anybody is looking for a knitting teacher that month, I’m open to ideas. Shoot me an email.)

In the meantime, I am knitting.  I have made a hat. It started as Merino Twist Worsted, from Sweet Fiber:

sweetfiber 2015-07-21

and ended up, really quickly, as the Bridgeway hat.  (Really fast. Like, lightning.) The world’s top knitwear model didn’t come home for dinner tonight, so the hat is here modelled on a fence post:

fencepost 2015-07-21

and then amongst the astilbe.  From here it’s straight to the Christmas box, which is looking very, very lean for July.  (Note to self, fix that in August.)

gardenhat 2015-07-21

After that, I applied myself to a pair of socks, and these ones are for me. I’ve been working on them at every steering committee meeting for the last several months, and they’re Miss Babs sock yarn, in the completely appropriate colourway “biker chick“.  I’m packing them. If things get cold on the rally, these bad boys are on my feet, keeping me warm, and reminding me of all the days I’ve put into getting here.

bikersocks 2015-07-21 bikersocks2 2015-07-21

While I turn my attention to another pair of socks (and the Christmas box) shall we do more Karmic Balancing gifts? I think so.

Darlene has a beautiful and unique gift. She’s knit this incredible scarf (The Lily of the Valley scarf from Knitted Lace of Estonia) out of Zephyr laceweight (50/50 silk and merino) and embellished it with Swarovski crystals. Darlene says “I knit one border and put it aside, then cast on again to knit another border and knit the scarf. Then, I kitchenered that single border (hundreds of stitches!) to the knitted scarf so that each border would point the correct direction on its end of the scarf…. I am so darned proud of the finished garment and delighted to share it.”
darlenesscarf 2015-07-21
Darlene would love to send this beautiful shawl to a Canadian Hospice Volunteer.  If that’s you, drop me a line or a comment, and I’ll write to you and Darlene to make it happen.

Julie Rosvall (Shipston Designs) has five sets of her beautiful knitting cards to give away. She knits a swatch, then etches that to copper plates, inks it, and prints it. Beautiful, aren’t they?  Susan D, Catherine S, EM, Mary M, and Anita F should enjoy them so much.

shipstoncards 2015-07-21

Meg is feeling generous, she’s got a skein of Wollmeise 100% Pure Merino Sock yarn, in “Meilenstein” for Diana K.

woolmeisesock 2015-07-21

A Wollmeise 100% Merino Lace, in “Vamp – We’re Different” for Janis M.

woolmeiselace 2015-07-21

And from her very own shop –  Ladybug Fiber Company, 80% Superwash merino/20% nylon sock yarn, 400 yards, self striping in “Ladybug” for Sarah G.

Ladybugstripe 2015-07-21

Michele at Three Bags Full has the most darling little Emma Clutch going out to Leigh D.  The bike theme is perfect.

threebagsfullbag 2015-07-21

Melissa went for a stash dive and came up with a gift.  Two beautiful skeins of  Dragonfly Traveller in “Stone Circle”  that she’ll be sending to Sheila P.

indigodragonflystone 2015-07-21

Maria found two presents in her stash, Three Irish Girls, cotton rayon sport. 4oz, 330 yds
Colorway: Charmed I’m Sure, for Paula B.,

mariairish 2015-07-21

and not one, but two skeins  of Mendocino  89% superwash merino wool/20% nylon
97 yds, 50 g for Meaghan W. Thank you Maria!
mariamendo 2015-07-21

Marissa has two super-charming bags from her Etsy shop to give away. The first is a Marvel Comics bag for Linda S,

marissacomic 2015-07-21

and the second is a Star Trek themed bag for Clairone D. I know that if they’re not dorky enough to love those bags, they won’t have to look far to find a friend. Dorky knitters are everywhere. (Raises hand.)

marissastartrek 2015-07-21

Here’s three for the spinners in the crowd, courtesy of the very generous Susan H. She’s sending along some beautiful things.  First, Falkland top from the Spirit Trail Fiberworks club for Jessie M,

susanfalkland 2015-07-21

Second, another Spirit Trail club fiber. 4 ounces of 60%superwash merino, 20% Yak, 20% bombyx silk for JoAnna S,
susanwoolsilk 2015-07-21

Third (oh wow) a 4 ounce bag of light brown Yak down that will be winging it’s way to live with Cindy W.

susanyak 2015-07-21

Karen Robinson has a lovely gift, not only her beautiful pattern, Blanchefleur, but the yarn to make it.  Two skeins of Round Table Yarns Camelot, in Glastonbury and Excalibur that she’ll be sending to Jane V.

blanchefleur 2015-07-21

Alexis sent a letter, and let me tell you, I like her style.  Not only did she include a charming picture of herself and her kids so that the email would be less anonymous, she’s sent along offers of what she calls “Extravaganzas!” One is a “sock extravaganza” and I hope that Lissy F knits lots of socks, and has lots of sock knitting friends to pay it forward to.  In this lot is: Essential (the line now called Stroll): Peacock Multi (2 50-g balls) and Princess Multi (2 50-g balls) Stroll: Blue Violet Multi (2 50-g balls), Pansy Multi (2 50-g balls), and Make Believe Hand-Painted (1 100-g skein) Felici: Martinique (2 50-g balls) Gloss: Winter Night (2 50-g skeins)

sockextravaganza 2015-07-21

Alexis has also included a “Lace Knitting extravaganza” and I think that Barbara P will be thrilled! This lot includes: Baby Loop in red (light sport mohair boucle with nylon binder, 970 yd, 8 oz) Ariel in Foxy Lady (65% cotton, 35% rayon novelty blend, 475 yd, 8 oz)
Cascade Fingering in Spring Frost (100% silk, 666 yd, 150 g)
Glitter Alpaca in Java (99% fingering weight alpaca, 1% glitter), 4 50-g (214-yd) skeins
KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud in Papaya, 2 50-g (440 yd) skeins
Unidentified yellow with shades of peach, looks mohair-y, healthy-sized skein from Joslyn’s Fiber Farm, Unidentified pale turquoise, looks wooly, 2-ply, 2 decent-sized skeins from Joslyn’s Fiber Farm

yellowlace 2015-07-21  foxyladylace 2015-07-21 turquoiselace 2015-07-21 kpalpacalace 2015-07-21 winterfrostlace 2015-07-21 bouclelace 2015-07-21 glitterlace 2015-07-21

Enjoy! See you tomorrow with more gifts. The list is almost bottomless. I’m knitting socks.