Sunday, June 26, 2005

Mad Dogs and Bicyclists

After the coolest May in a century, now we've having a June heatwave. This is not the take-your-breath-away 100+ F (37.7+ C) degree heat of a scorching July nor the endless heat and brassy light of August. There's been plenty of rain, so this heat is riotously verdant. Plants, especially weeds, sprout and grow seemingly overnight. And spiders, indoors and out, are spinning with great industry. I can't say I've noticed any increase in insects, but I assume they know what they're doing. The same cannot always be said for others.

Not to be outdone by the busy tribe of arachnids, yesterday I ventured out into the noonday sun for a spin with the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance on their annual Missing Links bicycle tour. The 40-mile (64 km) route traces public access to the Hudson River: it starts on the New York side in Battery Park and heads north on the Hudson River Greenway, crosses the George Washington Bridge, continues south on the New Jersey side on a crazy quilt of byways through Fort Lee, Edgewater, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Elizabeth to Bayonne, crosses the Bayonne Bridge to Staten Island, then takes the Staten Island ferry back to the Battery. Public access to the river is not universal, creating the missing links which give the tour its name.

As I live in NJ, I usually leave the ride in NJ rather than return to NYC. This year, I started feeling a bit wobbly,Hoboken sesquicentennial button so quit at the 30-mile (48 km) mark in Hoboken. Much of the ride through Hoboken is away from the river on busy streets that are miserably hot - a big missing link. Happily, there's a pretty park built on old Pier A, where I rested a while and watched children frolicking in a water sculpture before heading home. A rider on the tour recommended tomato juice - with its salt, potassium, anti-oxidants, and low impact on blood sugar - as a sovereign remedy for wobblies. (Distance cyclists must guard against hyponatremia as much as dehydration.) It seemed to help some, but I think sitting in the shade, the cool river breeze, and the charming scene did more.

Before the ride, I trekked to the nearest LYS, with Sockapal-2-za on my mind, as listmom Alison has already announced the Sockapal-2-za first finisher and the great progress made by other industrious sorts. Wow, that was fast.

Here's where I am: I've looked at my pal's blog, studied my stash, and made some judicious purchases, with what results below.

Photo of Sockapal-2-za yarn

That's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock "Cool", Cherry Tree Hill Supersock "Green Mountain Madness," and light gray and dark gray Socka. I gather my pal favors variegated blue or gray colorways, so I hope one of these will suit. There's sufficient of each for mother-child socks (grin).

At the moment, I'm leaning toward Green Mountain Madness, a reference to the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont, home of Cherry Tree Hill. The yarn is simply gorgeous, 100% merino Superwash, and a chain of synchronicities is growing around it. I bought it at a LYS which rarely carries sock yarn, but just happened to be holding sock classes, so was nicely stocked. I generally loathe winding skeins into center pull balls, but my book group just happened to watch a video instead of discussing a book, providing the perfect occasion for a bit of industry.

The next task is test-swatching, to check gauge and color pooling. If it's cool in the pool, I'm staying in.


alison said...

Beautiful yarns! I think someone in my knitting group is making a sock with that LL colorway. I still have to post the picture, but check it out later tonight at

Christine said...

Wow What great colors!!!! I wish my LYS's carried more sock yarns.