I had to take the bus up to Temescal after work today to pick my bike up from the bike shop. Sam, the mechanic who'd worked on it, said, "When Pirate dropped it off he said you were having problems with it skipping. So I took your bike out and mistreated it a bit and yeah, it started skipping immediately. Your drive train was badly worn, so we put on a new chain and a new cassette — this one has a slightly wider gear range, which should help with hill-climbing. I know you guys spend a lot of time in SF, so..." Came to $75ish for parts, which could be worse. I was amused that when Sam rolled my bike out from the back of the shop, my eyes immediately jumped to the cassette. "That's way too shiny to be the one Esperanza came in with," I thought, "and... hey, the chain's clean enough that I can actually tell that the master link on the chain is a different color from the rest of it. Gotta be new." Heh. He also said something about a broken bolt on my rear rack, which he had to bore out and redrill or something. The pavement around here is so bad that it's vibrating my bike to pieces beneath me. I seem to be averaging a bit over a thousand miles per chain/cassette; it'd be more if I cleaned them more often (ever). Maybe now that they're up in the living room, instead of down in the bike cage, I can figure out a cleaning setup... Hm.
I also stopped by one of my favorite yarn stores
to treat myself to some yarn. It took no time at all — the gal working the register was showing me which shelves they have their DK-weight yarn on, "and there's also this on the table in the middle, which would work nicely." Table in the middle? Oh. My. Yes. Hello, who are you and what's your fiber content? I mean, literally that's how long it took: Gaze moves to follow store assistant's gesture towards the table, eyes lock on the three skeins in burning red, hand goes out to pick up a skein to feel the texture, gaze darts to the label to double-check the stated gauge, other hand reaches out to pick up the remaining two skeins, and suddenly I'm saying "Ooh, these" as I turn back toward the register.
I wound up coming away with three skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK
in the Tart colorway (the last three skeins they had in that colorway — the store assistant said "Oh, good, I'm glad you're buying these so they'll stop tempting me Buy us and take us home to be with the other skeins you bought!
"). The photo on their website of Tart seems to be borked, but it doesn't really matter — I don't think it could show how gorgeous it is. It's merino, so it feels lovely, of course, and the color is made up of several shades of deep, rich reds that work with each other and with the shape of the yarn in a way that reminds me of the banked embers of a fire. Just luscious stuff. They had some other beautiful colorways in the DK, as well as in what looked like a laceweight. Gotta go back and check it out.
The pattern I'm going to use is the Shimmer
shrug from Knitty, which looks like it'll be fun to knit and quite useful when it's done. Also probably quite adaptable for a panel with other lace patterns or what have you. (And down the line maybe I'll get organized enough to boot up Garment Designer
and actually design a pattern from scratch. Not holding my breath, though, this being the hibernatey time of year...)
'Scuse me. Gotta go find my needles and do some swatching.