Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Knitting (k)news

I know that lately my posts have been about triathlon or my former (and new) bike, which isn't very exciting to people who aren't anal tri-geeks like myself, so I'll update y'all on my knitting.

I finished the bag I'm going to felt for the silent auction during the Autism Conference next month. It's cute un-felted, so I'm hoping it'll stay cute when I finally get around to felting it. I'm planning on making a beaded handle, but if that doesn't look good, I'll have to buy more yarn to knit a strap b/c I used all the yarn for the bag. I'm really counting on the beaded thing to work b/c it'd be really annoying to have to buy yarn just for a strap.

I was going gangbusters on Lelah until I decided to start a project for my Secret Pal. I can't tell you about that b/c if she's reading this, she'll be able to figure out who I am! But I can tell you that I hope she ends up liking it. I like it.

Then I was going gangbusters on my Secret Pal secret project when I decided last Thursday night that I need to do a Fiery Bolero like FaeryCrafty recently did. It's from the summer issue of Interweave Knits. I'm usually a yarn snob, but I'm using Bernat Baby Softee like she did. She pointed out that boleros are pretty trendy and therefore probably won't be in for very long, and she didn't want to spend a lot of money on it for that reason. I bought the mag and the yarn on Friday and worked on it in the car this weekend to and from Morgantown, West Virginia where I did the toughest half-Iron distance triathlon EVER. I thought that b/c I had so much guilt-free knititng time and the bolero's not very big that I'd be able to get it finished in the car, but that didn't happen. I'm over halfway done, though, so that's good. It's turning out cute. For those of you who think boleros are cute (unlike my husband, who doesn't see the point), you should check this pattern out. Very easy. And, if you're not a yarn snob (or you are a yarn snob who is willing to bend your rules a little), you should check out Bernat's Baby Softee. I'm using only 1 skein for the whole thing, so it's turning out to be less than $3!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

My Bike Saga Part 2

Let me update you on the Saga of the Destroyed Bike. After talking to the bike shop guys, we decided to get a brand new bike for me. None of this nonsense of buying a frame and having them build it up using the non-damaged parts of Ira. The new bike was ordered last Thursday and should be here by the end of the week. I'm excited about getting a new bike, b/c Ira was so old, but I'm not as excited as I should be. I guess I was too emotionally attached to dear ol' Ira. Once my new bike is here and I make sure it fits me and it's mine for keeps, I'll have to name it. Ira Klein was such a great name; I don't think I'll be able to top it. The new bike is a Kona. Since that's Hawaiian, and the Hawaii Ironman is the epitome of everything for triathletes, I'll have to come up with some great Hawaiian sounding name. My friend and I came up with Kammawanna ("Come on, I wanna kick your ass!" Or, "Come on, wanna ride with me?" Or, "Come on, wanna see if you can keep up with this speed queen?"), but my husband thinks it's a)stupid and b)a mouthful, so maybe I'll think of something else. He thinks I should name it Don, as in Don Ho, but that's a little too boring for me. Anyone have any suggestions?

Because I have only my racing bike now, I had to ride her on my first 100-mile bike ride (most cyclists call those centuries) this past Saturday. We had perfect weather for it, and the route was great. It was an organized bike ride, so there were rest stops every 20 miles stocked with water, Gatorade, and a plethora of food. We rode through some beautiful, and very hilly, areas that I never knew existed. At mile 80, we had to climb the worst hill I've ever been up. People around me were getting off their bikes and walking up it. (I didn't, though, b/c I'm a bad-ass!!!) It was hellish. At the top, there were some people cheering us on, and they had a boom box playing the music to "Rocky". I can say that was cute now, but at that point in time, I wasn't thinking anything was cute. This hill was at the top of a road named Stillhouse Hollow. I've decided that I don't want to ride on any roads with the word "Hollow" in its name, b/c "Hollow" to me means that I'm in a hole that's been scraped out of the earth, and I have to climb my way out of it.

On the knitting front, the felted bag is ready to be felted. I think it'll turn out cute. Now that I'm done knitting it, I'm focusing all my knitting time on Lelah. I want to get her done soon so I can wear her! The lace part is turning out great. We're going to West Virginia this weekend for a half-Ironman triathlon, so I have a lot of upcoming guilt-free knitting time. (I can knit in the car. Can you?) 8 hours each way means lots of kntting! Lelah's at a point where I think I'd finish her in the car, so I don't think I'll take her. I've got a ribbed top that one of the local knitting gurus told me to do b/c it'll look great on me (according to her), so I'll start that. Who knows - with all that time, I might even finish it!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I've killed Ira!

I just got back from the bike shop. Last night I went for a bike ride on my Klein, whose name is Ira (I thought a Klein needed a nice, strong Jewish name like Ira, plus Ira Klein is a good play on words for a bike - Ira Klein, I recline? - haha!), and when I got home, I forgot he was up on the roof of my car and I tried to pull into the garage. I heard this horrible noise and it took me a minute to realize that it was Ira screaming in pain. My husband was actually not mad at me; he said it was just a matter of time before one of us forgot that a bike was on top of the car, and he was glad it was me hurting my bike instead of him hurting my bike. (And I'm sure he's also glad that he didn't hurt his bike, although he won't say that out loud.) Anyway, I took it in to the shop this morning to see what needed to be done to fix him, and the mechanic took one look at it and told me it's trashed. I'm SO BUMMED. I've had him for 6 years, and he's done nothing but be good to me. And what did I do? Kill him. Fortunately I have another bike, so I'm not going to be without wheels, but it's a racing bike, and although I love her to death (her name is Pearl because she's white, gold and silver, and the paint job on it makes it look like she's got long flowing hair), she's more suited to racing rather than just a regular ol' training ride. So what's going to happen from here is the mechanic will assess the damage and we'll get our insurance company to give us a check for the retail value of the bike. From there we can buy a new frame and put the components of Ira that weren't hurt on it. But, I don't know how long that process is going to take, and I can be somewhat impatient, so this is going to drive me crazy. I guess I can look at it this way: I've got a half-Ironman triathlon next weekend, so I'm going to ride Pearl this week to get used to being on her (ooh - that sounded dirty!) again, then maybe by that time I can get a new training bike. But I really loved Ira! This sucks.

On the knitting front, I got my short row rib scarf done and it's lovely. Hopefully it'll fetch a good bid at the silent auction. I'm working on a felted bag now, also for the silent auction, and I think I've decided to make a beaded handle for it to give it some pizazz. I was watching "Jewelry Making" on the DIY network last Sunday and saw someone do that. The handle was such that it could be taken off the purse and worn as a necklace. So I'm going to try that. I'm also working on Lelah and it's turning out nicely. I'm doing it out of Berroco Lullaby in purple. Lullaby is really soft, so it'll feel good against my skin!

Almost lunchtime, so I guess I'll find some food to drown my sorrows in.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Mother Nature is a ruthless wench!

My goal: to ride my bike for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

My problem: my 5-year old son can't be left alone in the house and my husband has a softball triple-header after work.

My solution: get my son's autism therapist, who normally comes over from 230-330, to come over 30 minutes early so I can go for a ride while they're working.

What happened: it started thundering 15 minutes before her scheduled arrival time, and by the time she got here, it was pouring.

To add salt to my wounds: it clears up and gets sunny just in time for me to have not enough time to get ready and ride before she has to leave.


Doesn't Mother Nature know that I'm training for an Ironman and MUST ride my bike?!?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Secrets are fun!

I got an email 2 days ago (or was it yesterday? can't remember) from my secret pal! Yippee! Can you tell I'm excited about this? I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I also got the info on the secret pal I'm going to spoil, so I emailed her yesterday. She seems really cool. She and I have some similar interests, so she seems to be the type of person I'd be friends with if she lived here (or I lived there). :)

Flick is driving me crazy! How long can it possibly take to knit 8 stitches for 15 inches?!? My original plan was to get it done so that I could wear it in Chicago last weekend, but obviously that didn't happen. Oh well. She SHOULD be done this weekend, though, so maybe I'll just have to tell my husband that we have to go back to Chicago so that she can have the debut that was intended for her.

It's raining here today, which sucks. Rain is good knitting weather, but bad riding weather. Doesn't Mother Nature know that I'm supposed to ride my bike every Wednesday? I'm supposed to swim and run tomorrow morning, so I've thought about switching that to today and ride tomorrow, but I think it's supposed to rain again tomorrow. :( I'll have to check with weather.com before I make my final decision. I may end up on my Spin bike here at home for an hour and 15 minutes. Yuck. Maybe I should look at this optimistically: if it rains today and tomorrow, maybe all the rain will be gone before the weekend and I can ride 75 miles outside on dry roads!