Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Welcome Sunshine

There's less than one week to go in the TdF KAL, it's RAGBRAI week, and I've begun to wonder if in the rain I missed a chalked arrow, made a wrong turn, and somehow ended up in a different event, perhaps even l'enfer du Nord. I've changed bikes projects yet again. VoilàSoleil!

Soleil in progress

The cabled tank had fit issues – I was swimming in the smallest size. Rather than spend a lot of time in knitty analysis to resolve the trouble, I went stash diving again and surfaced with a new pearl, a bundle of vintage Pingouin Corrida 4. I bought the yarn at the defunct Bell Yarns in NYC, but it originally came from Roubaix, a French milltown which is the finish of the famed Paris-Roubaix bicycle race (despite its name, the race starts in Compiègne). Hallmarks of the Queen of the Classics (or Hell of the North) include rough cobblestones, mud, rain, snow, bottlenecks, and treacherously sharp turns. Seems strangely like my interior knitting landscape. Hm.

By happy contrast, Soleil by Alexandra Virgiel is a terrific pattern – flattering to la forme féminine, clearly written, satisfying to work, and very wearable. Not to mention I'm back on track for a tricot jaune of my own [g]. The guilty twinge caused by abandoning cables for lace was instantly cured by the IK Fall 2007 Preview ("Exploring Cables"!), expecially Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang. It's even stopped raining.

The NY Times recently ran an article on the Bicycling Paradox, a curious phenomenon I've noticed many times. The assumptions that apply to most other sports, such as running, don't apply to bicycling. Among amateur cyclists, fitness, stamina, and recovery are not necessarily correlated with age or body shape. Recreational cyclists of all ages, sizes, and shapes happily peddle around on bicycling vacations (sigh, RAGBRAI) that require a sustained level of activity unimaginable in most other sports. Best of all, and what the article neglects to mention, it's fun.


--Deb said...

When I was in high school, my best friend and I used to cycle around all the time--alternating pedalling with walking the bikes up hills, coasting down--and it was great. We used to joke that God created hills so that cyclists could rest/exercise different muscles going up them, and just enjoy the breeze on the way down!

I haven't taken my bike out in years though, for a couple reasons--one, at this point, I wouldn't trust the tires for anything, but two, it's kind of hard with a dog. Sure, there are gizmos you can use to attach your dog, but still . . . if Chappy decided to spook (assuming he wasn't completely freaked out by the bike wheels to begin with), I wouldn't really appreciate the crashing-to-the-ground results. And it just doesn't seem right to go out myself to enjoy a lovely day and fresh air without him, and so . . . we walk around the block, or drive to the park. Fun, but still . . . there are definitely times I miss my bike!

trek said...

Oh, my, that is pretty.

I haven't taken my bike out in years, either - hard to cycle with a small-fry in tow, ya know?

Bezzie said...

I kept my eyes out for a small-fry tower trailer for my bike on sale. Coolest thing ever! I need to dust off my bicycleta....
Love the way you posed Soleil! Perfect after yesterday huh? I made my Soleil last summer--great knit!

Deborah said...

oh wow, what a coincidence, I also found maybe 8 skeins of Pingouin that I must have bought when I lived in New York 15 years ago!

Loved the link to all the farm sites too!

Brigitte said...

Hi Ina, thanks for your comments on my blog!

I made Soleil when it first came out a few years ago...the only thing I would do differently is to make it longer.

Wow, there are actually a few good things in the upcoming IK! Yay!

Zarzuela said...

Hope you Soleil proves to be a more satisfying project. It's definitely pretty!

Donna Lee said...

That is a pretty pattern. I hope it goes better for you than the first one!

Kristen said...

It seems like this time will be the charm for your TdF project! Thanks for the biking link; I'm going to pass it along.