Sunday, October 30, 2011

We Walk Sundays...

Most Sunday mornings, I can be found at the Reservoir near my house.I meet friends and we go walking. We call it our time to rebalance, replenish and get back in touch with nature and ourselves. We've trained for half marathons, 10K walks and the 60 KM Walk for the cure. We share recipes, knitting patterns, debate the pros and cons of  whatever has a pro and a con. We  commiserate and encourage. We laugh - alot.

This morning marks the beginning of our 3rd year of winter walking. It was sunny, crisp and bright. Ice has finally formed on the water - and the last sail boat was ready for dry dock.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bike 101 all done...

My hands hurt (every single joint and digit) my elbows, knees, back, even my rib cage. After endless scrubbing, my nails are still encrusted with bike dirt and grease. I think my bike still works. I'll never begrudge my bike repair guy another nickle...

The Grey Goose - in bits
On Day 1 we pretty much worked on the rear end of the bike. I removed and reapplied my rear wheel at least 30 times. I was proficient. I removed the wheel, pulled off the tire, deflated - re-inflated the tube, and learned the difference between schaeder and presta valves. (Consequently I have gone to MEC to buy a few valve converters and a new tire pump) . We learned how to break our chains (on purpose) and how to use a nifty tool to put them back together (need to buy tool). I learned how to fix a flat and how to use those 2 little wrench things that look like beer cap flippers - and why I do need 2).

I did a "grease transfer" of the bike chain, gear sprockets, derailleurs, and the chain stay (that's CSI talk for all the greasy gritty sludgy crap on the bike was transferred to me). In the afternoon while everyone was replacing their brake cables, I was truing my rear wheel. Truing a wheel is an extremely zen type experience and once I got going with the little "tweek here" and just another little "tweek there" it was extremely difficult to stop.



 Day 2 - I was behind. At this point we were really getting into the knitty (oooops) nitty gritty. We pulled off the crankset (this almost killed me) disassembled the hub, removed, inspected, washed the ballbearings - degreased - regreased and reassembled.


By midday I was constantly 3 steps behind in a 2 step process. I was desperate for a Venti triple ANYTHING! I longed for Day 1 where my only worry was "did I put my tire tread on backwards?" But I persevered, and by the end of the day I was back on my bike with a "Basic Bicycle Mechanic Certificate" in hand .

Happily riding into the crisp autumn sunset with swirls of fallen frost laden leaves crunching under my tires...

Clunk-ity... clunk-ity ... aaahhh crap!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A little knitty video..

Here's a little knitting video kicking around Ravelry right now... perfect for this time of year when we switch out the cotton on our needles and are drawn to our thick fuzzy woolie projects..

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Now for something different...

Tour De France - carry your own spare parts

As you all may or may not know, I've been riding my bike alot this summer - and I loved it. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my commute to work (via Schlecky - my bike's name) was decidedly quicker than walking (35 minutes) scootering (around 15 - 20 minutes depending on traffic) and carpool (same as scootering depending on traffic). So I've pretty much been pedaling to work since this year's Tour de France (or Fleece if you were a participant) in July.

I had planned a few bike rides with a friend in which she reminded me to bring a spare tire "just in case". Good idea. "I assume you know to change it?" I asked. "No, my husband usually does that..." "But he's not coming with us..." (Hmmm - an oversight on our part.)

A few weeks ago my tires were getting low, and administering a self-congratulatory pat on the back for actually having a bicycle pump, I promptly released all the air from the tire and now had a complete flat. The pump didn't have a "doo hickey" converter on it, so it was useless - now really - who knew?

So what is all this leading to? This weekend I'm taking a "Weekend Bike Repair Course" at the University  which "... leads you through a full bike tune up  and teaches you how to repair and maintain your bike."

Wish me luck - grannie-good-wrench here I come!









Saturday, October 8, 2011

So you think you've knit it all?

Sexy Turkey Hat by Angela Catirina

I found this " Sexy Turkey Hat" pattern on Ravelry (I mean what else does one do with their Thanksgiving Weekend?). I've tried to link to it - but the links are all broken. If you are on Ravelry - go here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Was it just me?

Bye bye Sal...
... Well my gal Sal has moved on. She went to her new forever home on the weekend. I put her up on kijiji  about a month ago and promptly forgot about her. Then I got the call "Could we come by to give her a try? " No problem! When I opened the door, lo and behold! the prospective buyer (along with a friend) turned out to be an acquaintance from my other fibre-y life.

Now, being a firm believer in the old "what goes around comes around" philosophy of life (also known as karma I believe) I did disclose a blow by blow on our love - hate relationship. And Sally's sketchy past. And her last colossal breakdown. Sal must have known this was her do or die moment, because when they put her through her paces - the little beggar sewed her heart out. Now there is something to be said for having a master who knows what they are doing - to coax the best out of you. Turns out the happy shoppers were computer sewing savvy - and before I knew it Sal was making buttonholes, doing needle ups and downs and just itching to jump in the bosom of her new owner and get outta Dodge. All I could think was UGH!  foiled again... 

Sally I hope you and your new owner make lot's of happy projects together ...


What type of quilter are you? And opening the box ...

Recently I've become a dedicated "Sewcialite" at my LQS. We meet every Monday and work on our projects. Some of us are prolifi...