Sunday, May 17, 2009

Off Touring

The rain has stopped and the Tour de Montclair is a go, so you know where I'll be this afternoon! If you haven't registered online, not to worry – you can register on site in Edgemont Park, on Valley Road in Montclair (map). The Tour theme, "Complete Streets," refers to streets designed for safe use by pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transit riders.

Tour de Montclair 2009 buttonRegistration starts: 12:00
Tour starts: 1:00 p.m.

Fee: $12 for individuals, $30 for families; the fee includes the Tour t-shirt.

Helmets for all riders and permission slips for younger riders are required.

There's a shorter, car-free route for younger and/or novice riders and a longer, challenging route for strong riders. After the tour, there's live music and a demonstration of stunt riding.

Ruffles and Bubbles socks(It's a little tricky to do any knitting on a bike tour, so for obligatory knitting content, I have my sprocket socks from last year. Although I generally don't much like anklets, lately I've been feeling a need for a lot more cycling socks.)

Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Testing 1

Please remain calm:  This second-post-in-one-day is a test of remote blogging, with striped singleton cycling sock.

Striped singleton sock

That is all.

ETA: Well, that didn't work quite as hoped. All the code came through altered, which was a pain to fix. Hm.

Yarny Goodness

Courtesy of PJB and her blog anniversary contest, I got me some yarny goodness: two skeins of Kolláge Luscious, a new-to-me cotton blend sock yarn. Happy blogoversary, PJB, and thank you!

Blog contest loot

Cotton sock yarns are often very tightly spun and knit up into a firm, crisp fabric; Luscious in the skein is soft and loosely plied (= splitty), rather like Tofutsies. I anticipate that with care it will knit up into a soft and pleasantly drapey fabric. For those who don't indulge, Luscious is advertised as wool-free.

By a happy synchronicity, I bought a set of Kolláge square dpns at MDS&W. They're currently occupied by a cycling anklet, but it'll be a fun Summer of Socks 2009 project to try Kolláge needles with Kolláge yarn.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Come What May

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Absolutely everything always seems to break loose in May roundabout Exit 151, at least for those who cycle and knit and garden, and this May is no exception.

As a bribe proactive measure to keep the cookie monsters at casa Jersey Knitter mollified whilst I traipse about the countryside,Chocolate chip cookies I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies using the recipe in the May/June Cook's Illustrated (boldly titled, "The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie"). Gentle readers may recall that previous experimentation invariably led to ignominious failure (which did not eliminate R&D, merely moderated its pace). These were pronounced Better Than Tollhouse. I'm still recovering from the surprise.

May is National Bike Month, with lots of events in NYC and the Tour de Montclair closer to Exit 151.Tour de Montclair 2009 button The theme for this year's TdM is "Complete Streets," meaning town planning that accommodates pedestrian, cyclist, auto, and mass transit use of township streets. It's a timely idea – townships with shovel-ready Complete Streets projects are eligible for federal economic stimulus grants. But enough philosophy and politics – this year the TdM is on Sunday, May 17 and has a child-friendly, car-free route and a challenging route for more experienced riders, on-site and online registration, nice T-shirts, and live music at the finish.

The first weekend in May is always the mighty Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, largest in the country. Attendance seemed down this year, perhaps due to an unhappy combination of the bad economy, overcast skies, and this year's T-shirt (which actively repulses me). Nonetheless, my carpool had a grand time. Nancy's first MDS&W included posing with alpaca...

Nancy and alpaca

... while Risa bought a wheel. I'll leave it to them to tell the stories of their festival experiences.

Risa and wheel

Kitchen crafter that I am, I think I was most excited to have my trusty old chef's knife rehabilitated by my spinning teacher's father (shown with a pair of garden shears) in their booth, G&W Sharpening.

Stacey's dad

The knife had gotten rather dull, but now is literally as sharp as a razor. It's almost alarming how happy that makes me [slices gleefully]. There are few pleasures like having a good tool restored to working well.

Upon returning from Maryland, I rushed off to a symposium on global warming. One of several highlights was hearing Dr. James Hansen,James Hansen a leading U.S. climate scientist who was censored by the previous administration. I was moved to hear his motivation for speaking out, even when it was so costly – he did not want to have to tell his grandchildren that he knew what was happening to the planet, but did nothing to stop it. Never underestimate the power of a grandfather's determination to secure intergenerational justice.

With so much gallivanting going on, it's hardly a surprise that I'm out of the running for Sock Madness 3. It had to happen sooner or later – even without distractions, I can't match the obsessive speed of some SM knitters. I'd still like to knit the Sock Madness patterns non-competitively, perhaps for Summer of Socks 2009, which is officially on and starts on the solstice. That should give me time to set out my tomatoes, right?