Daily Archives: June 30, 2008

Biker Monday and Weekend (Knitting) Update

Inspired by all the bikers around this weekend, as well as the perfect June day today, I got on MY bike (the non-motorized kind, however), and set forth on an adventure.

Weather permitting, I often ride my bike to work (or walk, when time permits, which allows bonus knitting), as I live just under two miles from where I work.

Except one half day a week, I work at an office in an adjoining small city. I rode my bike there only once before, which required travel along a highway; much of it has sidewalks, but part of it doesn’t. Also, there is a stretch in the (rather suburban) adjacent city with no sidewalks, around a shopping mall, which got a little crazy.

But they have constructed sidewalks since then. And today was gorgeous. 64 degrees F (18 C) in the morning, very little wind, high temperature supposed to be low 80s (28 C) in the afternoon. If I didn’t ride my bike now, when would I?

So 16 miles round trip, with a few significant hills; I have this sinking feeling I’m going to feel this tomorrow, and even more the day after. But it was beautiful. There was only a short stretch without sidewalks, and I cut behind the businesses there to stay off the highway, to find this:

with Great Egrets flapping back and forth. Wow. On the way back, I took an alternate route through the marsh (yes, the area where I apparently found a deer tick, or rather, it found me; but I promise you, I didn’t go in the bushes this time, and if I do in the future, I’ll ask for a tick check. I’m sure my husband will help!).

The marsh is doing its job of soaking up the excess water like a sponge, and releasing it slowly, so it looks less like a lake now:

though the water is still a bit high in places.

The trail, however,

was dry and smooth other than one low area that was shallowly water-covered.

The ride was such a refreshing mental interlude in the middle of the day (though it took almost an hour). I’m not sure my thighs would endorse the word “refreshing”, but hey, it’s good for them!

After all that, though, I felt totally justified (rightly or wrongly), in relaxing with my knitting tonight. (I cleaned a lot yesterday, not as much knitting time as I would have liked. But I have a couple vacation days coming up, so there will be knitting!) First in the backyard, with some buddies:

but the gnats were obnoxious in the shade, so I relocated to the front porch, in the relative sun.

That’s Wendy‘s Kay’s Diamonds & Purls shawl on my lap, though my knitting of it kept being interrupted by daughterly inquiries, needs and phone calls (the other adult member of the household was working). My wrist having recovered, I also cast on for Tonks Hypnosis sock #2; here’s a better picture of #1.

Blocking seems to have tamed the bulgy bits some, but if I were to knit these all over again, I would do an extra half repeat of the charts, so as to bring the ‘convergence’ parts in front & back of the ankle, rather than at the sides. The ‘divergent’ parts bulge outward due to the topology of knitting, and that creates a bulge right where the ankle flexes, which is not very attractive. Again, blocking helped, I think; I don’t usually block socks necessarily, especially my own, but I would definitely recommend it with these. Or one might modify the pattern to decrease the bulginess, but the pattern would be less cool and hypnotic.

In other knitting news, here’s the results of curling up with my pet orange yarn this weekend while the girls cuddled with their orange pets:

Baby hat for the coworker, for whose baby shower I made the modified Saartje’s booties

in the same yarn (Twisted Fiber Art’s Kabam! Bamboo/merino/nylon blend in the Scorched colorway).

The hat is my “Grow-with-Me” Baby Hat, on my free pattern page.

I was thinking about making the baby an Elizabeth Zimmermann Tomten jacket, but it was turning out rather big and taking too long, so I pulled from the other end of the ball and quick knit up the hat.

We’ll see when the Tomten gets done. (Now that’s good meeting knitting; loads of garter stitch.) Of course, one loses the full effect of the gorgeous striping in the Tomten, which I expected, but it’s interesting to me that I perceive the jacket as brown, but the hat as orange if I had to pick one color to describe each.

I also made progress on Forest Canopy, which is visible progress to me, in that I’m on the second skein of yarn! Woo-hoo! Now back to no visible progress!

And, lastly, the former meeting socks are coming along well, to the point that I have *almost* reknit all the frogged yarn. (Sigh.)

Natural (evening) light.


(The truth, as usual, being somewhere in between.)

Wow, I guess I have been accomplishing something! It feels as though I’m knitting and knitting and nothing’s getting done. (The baby hat was satisfying to finish today.) There are so many things I want to cast on — like the next (few pairs of) socks for the Summer of Socks, and I’m designing a lace project or three in my head. And, and, and….

You know, if I WALKED to work at the other office, that would be a LOT of sock knitting!

(We’ll overlook the fact that it would take me two and a half hours to get from one office to the other, possibly longer if knitting, it does slow me down from my usual brisk pace . . . no, just let me live in my fantasy world a little longer. . . .)