Monthly Archives: May 2007

Bike to Work Day 2007

The 50-year-old
League of American Bicyclists
have declared May as “Bike
Month”.  In particular, for most parts of the country, “National
Bike to Work Day” is tomorrow, Friday May 18:  you have been
alerted & can participate!

Apparently, though, the folks in the SF Bay area like to be a litte
ahead of everyone else, and recognized today, Thursday May 17, as Bike
to Work Day… with a ripple effect out to those of us working for SF
Bay Area HQ’ed companies in far-flung parts of the country.


This is my bike.  This is my
cube.  Any questions? πŸ˜‰

Certainly, the lobby ambassador had none as I slithered up to her to
check in!

Really, it was a lovely day for it — no rain, nice temperatures. 
And I’m fortunate that 2/3 of the route follows a recreational
trail.  So, the ride in was all deer and rabbit and turtle and
ground hog, except for the last few miles of negotiating along the edge
of various concrete seas.  Though the backback was a bit much —
it just about overset me on a few occasions.  (I rather suspect
that I looked like this
from behind πŸ˜‰ ).

The ride home was perhaps more of a slog and a little less charming —
the recreational trail was populated by more dog-walkers and other
random folk, who were random obstacles to be navigated around. 
And then there were the flocks of shiny-clad cycle clubs who swooped by
(for whom I was a random obstacle to be navigated around).  
I don’t think it was *just* because they were on road bikes (not a
mountain bike), didn’t have a 20lb backback to slew their center of
gravity, and hadn’t already done this once already today that they had
the tour de force advantage!

Heh.  I am not an athlete (this is not news!).  But I did up
and decide to pump up the tires on the bike I hadn’t ridden in 18
months, ride (just over 19mi) to work, and then rode (just over 19mi)
home, so I think I’m doing okay.

And, if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to hike over to  a soft and
cushy chair for a bit…!

For those of you living outside the SF Bay Area, in the States — your
turn, tomorrow! πŸ˜‰

Cables, Redux and Gallery

The eagle-eyed will have observed
evidence of a work in
, some time ago.  I am pleased to report that the
remake of a cable sweater I’d made (17 years ago?), from a Family
Circle pattern, is now complete!


I used the Jo
Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed I’d bought a year ago
, in Perth.  I
really enjoyed the yarn — it felt nice to work with, and produced
excellent stitch definition and a lovely fabric.  It’s sort of
slubbed — a little uneven in thickness — so it’s going to produce a
textured surface whether the pattern includes textured stitches or no.

I know, I know — there are so many sweater patterns and possibilities
under the sun, why would you remake one you’d already done?  I
made  the original out of some generic acrylic stuff (I 
might even still have a ball band somewhere…), and loved the sweater
to death.  It was fast & easy to make.  It fit
well.  It looked reasonably well-crafted (which was particularly a
bonus, that early in my knitting efforts!).  And then one day it
just gave up — stretched out and didn’t stretch back.  The
sleeves dangled.  The collar fell off my shoulders.  You know
what I mean.

The recollection of the easy/fun knit and rewarding result lead me to
cast on for this as my mindless/road trip project, and that was pretty
successful.  Except that I finished it just at the very extreme
reaches of anything that can be called sweater weather in this part of
the world πŸ˜‰  Wear reports will have to wait.

If you’ve been adventurous and clicked on the image above, you’ll have
also discovered something else I’ve been slowly working on — the knitbot
FO Gallery
.  Obviously, I’m just beginning to populate it, but
I figured I’d test drive it on a few items and get it posted. 
I’ll probably be filling it in from both ends and the middle for a
while yet, from accumulated photographs.

Config fixed…

I think I’ve nailed the configuration issue that prevented the RSS feed link from working (or the permalinks, for that matter).

Maryland Sheep & Wool 2007

I guess there were sheep. There was definitely wool πŸ™‚  And some
other interesting fibres, too.

If you want to understand more about what the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival
is like, have a look at these pictures
to get a sense of what happens when an estimated 70,000 people (and
some number of sheep, alpaca, angora rabbits…) descend on the Howard
County Fairgrounds for each of 2 days of the annual festival.

For myself, I thoroughly enjoyed a 2-day pre-festival workshop on Aran
Sweater Design, lead by Janet Szabo
.   There’s something to
be said for spending 2 days with fibre-fiends of a similar level and
interest, focusing on fibre and design.  On day 1, sensing that we
were all a little twitchy after 3 hours of data about cables and ropes,
Janet lead us through the ultimate infinite cable — the circle:


It’s magic!  (It’s in Janet’s
, and also in Barbara Walker’s Charted book).  On Day
2,  there was a certain amount of swatching, and a dive into a
sample project sweater:

swatch Sample

We arrived at the fairgrounds around 11am on Saturday — a little late,
by most standards.  But, there was still room in the fields for a
few more cars, so we got to enjoy a few hours of wandering through the
throngs of fibre and sheep enthusiasts.  Truly, it was
overwhelming.  In the end, I focused (if “focus” was possible!) on
stuff from small-scale outfits that I’m just not likely to encounter in
the fibre anywhere else.  And, yes, a touch is worth a thousand
words when it comes to yarn!


In there, there’s a crochet (!) kit from Shelridge Farm, some wool/bamboo
sock yarn and some silk/merino from Ellen’s 1/2 Pint Farm,
as well as some laceweight silk and some silk/wool blend from Spirit Trail.  Oooh, and
some Koigu KPPPM leapt into my hands, as well.

Oh, and there might have been T-Shirts, books, and a few other
oddments, too πŸ˜‰

So, apart from enough yarn for 2 sweaters, a top, 3 pairs of socks and
a shawl, what did I get out of the experience?
Completely overwhelmed.  And I realized that yes, possibly, there
is a point at which one does not want any more yarn (this may be a
passing condition πŸ˜‰ ).   One of the things that really
struck me was the quantity of yarns in a multitude of colourways. 
That is, unlike a typical LYS setup, each booth at the fair was pretty
focused, and it stocked several skeins of any given
colourway.    This is a *major* win, as far as I’m

It was pretty neat to be wandering around that many people with similar
(and yet, clearly, wildly divergent) interests.  I managed to
resist the lure of all the spinning paraphernalia, though I am told I
would be a better knitter if I did spinning as well.  With 2
knitting machines craving attention in the basement, I really can’t say
I have time for spinning.  No, not even with a drop spindle! 
Though, this resistance, too, might be a passing condition.

To round out the weekend, I just about finished up a sweater project
I’ve been working on for some time.  (Pictures, soon!).   I
have a few more things to clear off the decks and then I’ll let myself
dive into some of these new finds…