Sunday, September 14, 2008

East Coast Greenway Ride

This morning Hubby and I met up with a group of bicyclists. The plan was to ride south along the shore of the Hudson from the George Washington Bridge to Hoboken, take the ferry to Manhattan and ride north along the west side bike path in New York City and cross back into NJ on the G W Bridge. These routes are part of the East Coast Greenway.

About 30 people showed up, with a wide variety of bicycles including three or four tandems and a recumbent. We set off shortly after 8 AM. The leaders were very knowledgeable which was important. Only some sections of the off road path are complete and we would ride for a mile or two along the river and then have to ride on the street for a bit. The leaders controlled car traffic when we were out on the road and knew just when to rejoin the bike path.

The participants were primarily from New York, New Jersey and surrounding areas, but there was also a couple from Belgium who happened to be visiting. There is considerable interest in the East Coast Greenway which will ultimately be an off road walking and biking trail that stretches from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida. Many sections are complete, but there are also many miles currently on public roads. This ride was intended to build enthusiasm and support (volunteer and monetary) to close the gaps.

All new development on the riverbank is required to provide a thirty foot wide buffer to allow public access to the river. Each development has interpreted this differently and there are many different paving styles along the way. The real challenge will be to insure that the various developments continue to maintain the pathway. Already there are some spots that need a bit of work.

Once we crossed the Hudson, we joined the bicycle path that goes up the west side of Manhattan from the Battery to the George Washington Bridge. This is a beautifully maintained path although like any amenity in NYC, it's heavily used and some care was necessary when passing or being passed.

We made a brief stop at the Little Red Lighthouse under the bridge and then began the arduous task of climbing from the river bank to the level of the bridge. Many of us found it necessary to push our bikes part of the way but we all made it. I found the trip across the bridge a bit nerve wracking because the walkway is rather narrow and it's two way. There were many bikers coming from NJ and some of them were riding rather fast. At some points the trail snakes around the bridge supports making sharp turns in narrow spaces.

Soon we were on the other side and heading back to the park where we left our cars. Following the ride, most of us repaired to T.J.'s Steak Pit in Fort Lee where we enjoyed a lunch together.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Skirty finished

Skirty finished
Originally uploaded by rallaronson
The skirty for Linny is finished and I am very pleased. It's very girly and the lanaloft yarn was a delight to work with. I think there will be more of these in the pipeline.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Things I learned at summer camp

I've been doing a lot of knitting over the past few weeks and actually have quite a few finished objects. What's been interesting is how I've been able to use a number of the techniques I learned at knitting camp in New Hampshire. I concentrated on courses about finishing because it's something I find quite challenging. And, there is nothing more frustrating that working on a project for weeks and then not have it come together properly.

February Lady Sweater

This was a long slog. I made two attempts at this project with a yarn called Marco Polo but the gauge was not right. While I was at knitting camp, my sister and I made a side trip to Patternworks and I saw this yarn, Waterlily by Classic Elite, on sale. I bought nine skeins thinking it would be enough. Well...I ran out of yarn. A call to Patternworks revealed they had no skeins left in Leaf. I finally tracked some down at WEBS but it wasn't the same dye lot. I was nearly finished with the second sleeve so I knit one row of the old yarn and two rows of the new for a few pattern repeats. I can see that one sleeve is slightly, and I mean slightly, different, but if I don't point it out to anyone... Now it's a matter of waiting for weather cool enough to wear it.


While I was out in California visiting the twins, my DIL asked me if I could make some soakers for the babies. She and my son are committed to using cloth diapers as well as recycling and reducing their carbon footprint. Apparently knitted diaper covers made with wool are very absorbant and much better for babies' skin than plastic pants.

I did some research on ravelry and found a really cute pattern by Heather Johnson for a soaker and what she calls a skirty. It was with this project that I had to call on the skills I learned at camp including the crochet cast on, life lines, I-cord, Lily Chin's improved yarn over buttonholes, picking up stitches and the picot bind off. It was a real feeling of accomplishment to take on and finish projects I would have rejected in the past because they called for a complicated knitting skill.

I'm almost finished with a skirty for Linny and will post photos soon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Becca B in her Pink Hat

Becca B in her Pink Hat
Originally uploaded by rallaronson
Becca B read a book about a grandmother who made a knitted hat for her grandaughter. She asked if I would make one for her. I scoured ravelry and found this adorable earflap hat by Barbara Breiter. In my stash I had some Reynolds Signature that my sister gave me. It was the perfect color pink. I threw it into my carry on bag and made the hat on the plane to California. It was an easy knit and the pink yarn seemed just right.
I went out to see Becca B and her siblings yesterday. It was the first day of school for the older kids but Becca's nursery school doesn't start until next week so she and I had a nice private visit while Katie napped. You can see the hat is a success. Becca particularly liked the I-cord loop on top. She told me it's the perfect way to hang up the hat when she's not wearing it.
It was a delight to see the pleasure on her face when she tried it on and checked herself out in the mirror.