Last weekend we went bike camping with Cycle Wild. The trip was densely populated by bloggers and the Cycle Wild site and The Prudent Cyclist both have ride reports up, (ETA: Urban Adventure League too, now) so I’ll point you at those rather than summarizing again here.
But what you will not hear from those fine sources is that there was very nearly a tragedy on the trip. A narrowly-avoided danger that had nothing to do with the physical challenges of riding fully loaded in 102 degree heat.
I almost ran out of knitting.
To save space and weight and maintain some pretense of being Not That Crazy, I talked myself into just bringing the Wooladone socks along. It seemed like that should be enough. Maybe. Probably.
And it was. Sort of. Barely.
We stopped for lunch on the way back, and I left the socks on the bike. If I’d been knitting while we waited for the meal, I would have finished them then. And then there would be 20 miles to go, and No Knitting. Not that I knit and ride at the same time anyway (need a tandem and a very understanding captain for that) (don’t think I haven’t considered it), but what if there had been some delay, a breakdown or a road closure or a sudden detour to the emergency room? I would have had No Knitting. It’s the kind of background worry that can sabotage a perfectly pleasant vacation.
Fortunately, we made it back to Portland without incident and with several rows of ribbing left to go.
The socks are done now, of course.
An interesting thing about these (by which I mean, “interesting if you are interested in the particulars of sock heel construction”) is that I did the first heel with the standard wrap and turn short rows and the second one using the alternate method shown here.
The second, wrapless one was definitely faster and less fiddly. I think they look and feel pretty much the same, and after staring at them and stroking them and pondering them for longer than is probably healthy, my final verdict is: I still don’t like short row heels.
So it’s back to sweet, sweet flaps and gussets for me, and for the next trip, I don’t care if it’s a little extra space and a little extra weight and maybe a few odd looks: I’m packing backup knitting.