The Martian and the Thames

Having come to some conclusions regarding the Tinder cardigan I am knitting for Emma (such as what size to knit, what colour to use, and how much ribbing it needs), I started knitting in earnest.  And this baby is coming along fast:

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This is even with having at first knit 5″ of ribbing (compared to the 4.5 inches called for in the pattern) then knitting a further three inches of pattern before deciding to rip down to the ribbing and add more.  For those of you who enjoyed my last post, you may find it humorous to note that I made this decision after re-reading  my conversation with Emma for the third time, having an “A-ha! moment”, and deciding I need 6 inches of ribbing.

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Why am I cracking along on this cardigan?  Well, a good deal of it has to do with The Martian.  I have been listening to the audiobook while I knit, and the story is absolutely riveting.  I have not read the book (by Andy Weir), nor seen the movie, but I am so glad that I started with the audiobook because R. C. Bray is fantastic at narrating this book!  It may be the best combination of book and narrator that I have ever heard.  It is so compelling that I am at risk of having a flare-up of my wrist problems because I don’t want to stop listening.  (You see I have a deal with myself: I listen to audiobooks while knitting, and only while knitting.  I started this in order to address my conflict between knitting and reading.  I could easily read 10 hours a day, if possible, and then where would my knitting be?)

Another possible reason for the cracking speed at which I am knitting this, has to do with the glorious weather we have been having here.  (I say this having adopted an English perspective – we have had a handful of absolutely fantastic summer days here, each followed by a few days of the normal grey and cloudy summer weather.  English weather is not the best, but when you do get a good day, it is a winner.)  I have been taking advantage of the weather to sit outside, and usually have my knitting at hand.  We have the good fortune of living in beautiful South Oxfordshire, where the Thames meanders through some spectacular lush green countryside and picture-perfect villages.  On Friday evening we joined some friends for a picnic on the riverside in Henley-on-Thames.  One of them owns a boat and we went for a lovely ride up and down the river.  Doug got to drive!

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Henley-on-Thames is a rowing town, famous for its Regatta, but also as being the home and training ground of many world-class rowers.  The Leander Club, on the banks of the river, is the most successful rowing club in the world.  A few days ago, as we walked through the village, I noticed the sign on the club: “111 Olympic medals and counting!”  As we past by the club in our boat on Friday evening, this is what we saw:

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113!  I think that by now the number has likely gone up again!

This is a lovely river to live by, and a lovely river to boat on.  Here’s wishing you some beautiful weather and good knitting!

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