A Good Day for Wheelchairs
November 6, 2007
Sunday was Marathon Day, one of my favorite days of the year. There’s a holiday atmosphere in the city, something exciting to watch on TV, and tons of stuff to see, whether you squash in along the barricades to cheer the runners on, or just walk around beneath television helicopters, catching drifts of streetcorner bands playing. After watching the finish of the women’s race (SO EXCITING! yay Paula, and also yay Gete!), I had to catch the subway to hostess some out-of-town Yarn Pilgrims. (The first tour, Mary de B from Toronto and Helen from New Zealand, was on Friday, and I didn’t even take a picture. The second group was coming through on Sunday, skipping the marathon and heading straight to the Purls.)
Walking out of my apartment building, I found the street in front of me completely blocked off and filled with wheelchairs. Racing wheelchairs, regular wheelchairs, handcycles, red-coated volunteers on walkie-talkies, and piles of mylar blankets. You could feel the excitement of the volunteers, everyone activated, everyone ON. Someone got a message on their walkie-talkie and called out “three-eleven!” “Three-eleven” got passed all around. I wondered, was 3:11 someone’s time? How fast do these athletes go? And then:
Number 311 came swooshing out of the park. I could have watched them finish all day. But I had a yarn tour to guide. Bye bye 311! Congrats!
I had a rollicking good time with Gusty and Cathy, who were in town to celebrate The Birthday That Shall Not Be Spoken Of with two more of their college roommates. (Although it’s hard to recognize them without cowboy hats and Cheeto earrings, you will remember Gusty and Cathy from beautiful Swarthmore, PA and the unforgettable Finely a Knitting Party party. Wherever these two are, it’s a party. Gusty knit the creamsicle sweater Cathy is wearing. Blocked so hard it would make you weep.)
Then I walked up Eighth Avenue through throngs of catatonic/triumphant marathon finishers swaddled in mylar, and saw another kind of wheelchair being put to excellent use.
I knew that New York’s pedicab drivers were an entrepreneurial lot, but the number of pedicabs on the street, loaded with tuckered-out runners, was staggering.
Like sedan chairs in a Cecil B deMille movie.
To the victor go the pedicabs.
All of which got me even more fired up with my square-knitting for Oliver’s blanket, which is being raffled to raise funds for…a new wheelchair.
The light squares are in Koigu, the dark squares are the new Regia sock yarn colored by Kaffe Fassett.
These are really fun to knit. I get a 4-inch square very reliably by casting on 3 stitches, increasing in the first stitch of every row until the “legs” of the triangle are 4 inches long (at my gauge, this is when I reach 41 stitches), and then decreasing in the first stitch of every row until I’m back to 3 stitches again, and bind off.
In other news, we have a dog.
Kidding! We wish we could have a dog, but we can’t. We rejoice because good friends in our building are crazy enough to take on a puppy just as their boys are getting ready to leave the nest. Four floors down from us, college applications and potty training are occurring simultaneously. This insane situation creates a nice dogsitting/walking job opportunity for dog-crazy Carrie.
Meet Artie. Artie is a girl. (Full name Artemis, after the goddess of the hunt, currently the hunt for the wee-wee pad.) We heart Artie.
That’s it for me today. My next post: a contest. Stay tuned.