Saturday, January 27, 2007

Early Spring Fever

I must have the January blahs. I'm dreaming (and reading, and fantasizing) about cycling, camping, hiking, and all other manner of outdoor fun. I've been scouring the Internet for a local resource for the bicycle of my dreams: the 2006 De Rosa Dual . The picture I linked to is in the orange and black, but it also come is a beautiful silver and black which would be my preference. I had the (mis)fortune to test ride one in Wichita Falls last year at the Hotter 'N Hell 100 where De Rosa was a sponsor. It is gorgeous, light as a feather, and seems to be powered by the simple effortless thought of forward motion. I must admit, however, that my cycling ability in no way requires a machine of this calibre. Maybe when my abilities outgrow "Big Blue", although that seems unlikely to happen! The difference between my cycling abilities and a $5,000 bicycle may be an unbridgeable gap.

My yearly physical revealed that my cholesterol did not come down as much as I had hoped since last year, and my spine is not as "boney" as it should be (although I have lots of bone mass everywhere else). Rather depressing, all in all, as it means I now have to take old people's medicine. It's very aggravating to be faced with the undeniable fact that I am more than halfway through my 50's. Still, if I can treat everything I've got with medication and proceed to have fun I can't complain. Or rather, I CAN complain, but shouldn't. Shana's quit smoking, so in an effort to shake up her habits and make it easier to stay away from the ciggies we'll be going to the gym on weekends. Her dad is also joining the same gym this weekend. I think that maybe during the week I'll supplement my yoga class with three days of weight training with him. John is unlikely to stick with the exercise thing if he has to do it alone, and I'll be more likely to get there if I am meeting someone, so that will do both of us good. Cycling will not help my bones, so I really need to add a little weight training to my routine to cover that. Yoga will keep my flexibility, and does build strength, but the weights will do more for the bone density, especially upper body. Also maybe I can get the "arms of death" instead of developing granny wings.

I've been working on the Kimono Shawl every night this week. It's rather slow going, but deserves a progress shot, I think. the last progress shot was just barely past the second pattern repeat. I'm guessing that it is about 1/6 completed now. Like all lace, it looks like an old rag on the needles, but stretched out the pattern is quite nice, even before blocking. I'm hoping to have it completed before next fall, which I think may be a reasonable goal, even at the slow pace it is going at now. I have the Peacock Feathers pattern and some nice teal merino from my visit to Showers of Flowers last year and some grey lace weight alpaca from Knitpicks which is slated to become an Icarus Shawl. Looks like I will be shawl knitting from my stash this year, as it seems there is a full year's worth of projects there.

I have moved the Parting Ways socks to my lunchtime knitting, so there is progress happening there too, albeit rather slow. One nice thing about bringing this one to the office is that at lunch time there is sun in my office, and the colors show up really well. That makes it so much more pleasant to work on that I find myself sitting so that the sun strikes the sock as I work on it. It just glows in the sunlight. Too bad I can't walk on my hands - that would greatly increase their beauty when I am wearing the socks. I've started the second sock and about 1/3 of the leg is done now. There is a plain stockinette sock on the needles at the heel flap stage too, but no picture of that one yet.
I'm making the leap into sweater knitting, with the Phoebe Sweater from Knitpicks. It looks manageable for my skill level, and since I am making it in Wool of the Andes, it won't be an expensive mistake if I can't make a good fist of it. I'm waiting impatiently for my yarn to come so I can swatch it up and get started.