100F and a new Sweater

Cherry started off so quickly! And it went very quickly until the sleeves. Up to this point, I could be delusional, but eventually I actually did run out of yarn… So I unraveled the swatch. I did surgery like I did with the green new favorite sweater and took out some length to gather some more yarn. Eventually, I had this.

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See those little balls? That’s it to finish a whole sleeve and button band. I’m not an optimist but I can be delusional so I just just kept plugging along and gosh darn it if it didn’t work. I had around 3 yards left total if you add up all the scraps I saved etc. Close call! But it’s done. Then, of course, it got hot, and I didn’t feel like blocking it, then it got hotter and I didn’t feel like putting it on to model it. Then I brought it to the cape and it finally got the right temp for it, so it finally got it’s photo shoot.

cherry collage

It fits very well, is very flattering, and was easy and interesting to knit. I was just a procrastinating fart or it could have been done in a few weeks. I wore it to work on Monday and no one said a thing, which means it looks store bought. Score!

It is, of course, 100F out now, and so knitting and spinning has been on hold until it gets a little cooler. But the socks are coming along, eventually maybe I’ll get those sorted out also.

Keep Cool!

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A Lovely Walk

Last weekend, Sunday was a free day with nothing planned, and so we went for a walk around with the camera.

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We found some lovely houses, with lovely gates to keep out the riff raff.

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I felt a little like the Tramp in Lady and the Tramp, where they’re walking around looking for Lady’s house, and he’s describing all the people and neighborhoods. Where we live there are some BEAUTIFUL houses that we would never be able to afford, but holy moly they are nice. I’ve been working on playing with the camera, since we’re headed out to Montana for the first time with a nice camera, I want to be more familiar with how to take Most Fantastic photos.

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I’d been toying with the idea of a fisheye lens for the trip, but I’m thinking I’ll save my monies and maybe have one next year instead. We visited the Harvard Co-op Bookstore. I haven’t been in a real live bookstore (even though there are several within a few miles of my home) in a while, and I LOVE BOOKSTORES! They are so inspiring, making me wish I could curl up with a book for days and days, there are so many things to learn and read.

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On the way home, we determined that we were hungry and so while we made dinner, the wine was chillin’ (ghetto style in a steel bowl in the sink) and the cheese was unwrapped and we had a wine and cheese party, all by our lonesomes. It was the perfect end to a great walk.

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It was a great walk. I don’t take the time to do that enough, must remind myself to chill out every once in a while 🙂

Bicycle Commuting

So on Friday, I hit my 40th commute by bicycle this year. I’ve been driving in once a week or less and I know it’s trite and everyone says it, but commuting by bicycle changes your perspective. It has become instinctive to take my bike out of the basement in the morning and put it back when I get home.

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There are a lot of things that I never anticipated. When I get home, I am much more relaxed than when I drive. I think spending 40 minutes alert and trying not to get run over stops the musing over the day, frustrations that I had at work, or fuming over dumb drivers. There just isn’t time for that, you just ride, watch for cars, and ride more. I take the long way home (19-27 miles) home a few times a week, and pass cows, sheepies, sometimes both. Fields, historic houses, so pleasant. Driving has become the exception, and I find myself wondering what will I do when it isn’t summer and it is dark and cold, driving will become normal again, and I am a little sad about that.

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One thing I never thought about before was the smells. One thing that is drastically different on a bicycle is that you can smell things. In fact I think this is, besides the sheepies, my favorite part of bicycling to work and around town. People mowing lawns, charcoal barbecues being lit, the pizza place at mile 4.5 on the short way home. One thing that has always for me marked the seasons is distinctive smells. The smell of leaves in the fall, the first night it smells like snow, fresh spring smells, salt air at the beach. Even the M&M’s in the silver baby bowls at Christmas have a distinctive smell (I think it’s the silver bowls, but it could be just M&M’s at christmastime).

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This year I have noticed the lilacs, the charcoal grills, and this week some flower that I vaguely thing is honeysuckle has bloomed at a few points on my ride home. Even the time Waltham Center smelled like sour milk (not sure what that was, but it was very distinctive) I am glad for, I would have missed it completely in a car.

It has slowed my pace down. I don’t listen to the news on the way home, and unless I check I don’t know what the stocks did that day. I say hello to the Hispanic guy on a yellow bike that I see in the same spot by the rail road tracks most days on his way to work. The weather is good most days, even when it’s raining. In short, it has greatly improved my days. 1100 miles so far, hopefully at least as much again before I have to put it on the trainer for the winter.

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I was always a runner, and I thought of myself as a runner. Long distance running was where it was at, and where it would still be at if my adductor would hold itself together. But I am beginning to think I am a distance traveler instead. I am still sad when I see people out for runs that I can not go on, but I am generally satisfied and very happy about my rides and glad for them in ways I didn’t expect. Where one door closes, another one opens. And for anyone thinking, even mildly considering a Brooks Saddle, I say GET IT NOW. You will not regret it. I’ve had it a little over a week. It was comfy from day 1. I’ve done 200 miles, including a 45 mile flat and a 40 mile hilly ride on it so far and it has only gotten better. I am so in love with it. It goes so well with my bike, which as it turns out is exactly the bike I’d be if I were in fact a bike. I thought I wanted a new bike, because those are shiny and new and who doesn’t want a new of what they have. My bike is heavy. It has fenders. It is rugged – built for cyclocross and trails and jumping over barriers. I thought I wanted something sleek and fast and light. But as it turns out, I am slightly heavy, rugged – not mt bike rugged, but cross country rugged, camping/touring rugged – and all it wanted was a handmade, leather seat to point that fact out to me. If I were a bike, I’d have a handmade leather seat for sure. We’re soul mates. It’s color is officially listed as gangrene. Who wouldn’t want to ride her!

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Friday Night … socks?

Cherry is cute, fits and because I’m the laziest person ever, not yet blocked… soon. But we have booked our two week vacation to glorious Montana, which will involve a lot of camping, hiking, and Greg Fishing… which means I will have plenty of knitting time and no space for it. In preparation I’m going to spin up a bunch of sock yarn so I at least have something to do while we’re fishing!

Here is some freckle face fiber merino in Wild Strawberry and the orange in it is really awesome!

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fffstrawberry singles

And I’m knitting up some socks with some handspun from earlier and they’re very entertaining!

abigail socks

I swear at some point I’ll get that Cherry finished for real (It even has buttons. I’m seriously the most lazy ever.)

I haven’t mentioned my bike commuting recently (or anything, because I’ve been the laziest blogger ever also). But, it’s going great. I’ve so far as of today, commuted to work 38 times this year, and saved $82 in gas. Also of exciting note, I’ve ridden 1025 miles so far this year, which I’m insanely proud of, since it surpasses my previous total highest mileage for a YEAR! I celebrated by rewarding myself with a new saddle, I tried out a bunch and settled on a fancy copper riveted Brooks B17, I can’t wait to get it on and broken in! I splurged for the fancy version, because people say these are indestructible, and if I’m going to have it forever, I want the pretty one! When I get it on and together I have a post in mind all about how the biking has been going.

Happy 4th weekend, USA!