Summer is here in force, and with it an unrelenting heat and humidity that only starts to let up after dinner. Other than the early morning cool, it’s almost more confining than winter. So we go out early to the park and play in the shade until we can bare it no longer. A quick walk through the sprinklers and then we hide inside until the sun goes down. I forgot what this was like, the East Coast summer, and without a garden to tend and distract me with the glorious allure of ripening fruit, a little part of me is ready for it to be fall already.
Part of my frustration with the heat is that knitted things seem incredibly inappropriate right about now. Give me some linen for a sun dress, but keep warm hats and mittens far away! And yet, if last fall was any indication, the chill will come on quick and fierce, and this time I intend to be ready.
Progress has been slow, but I finally broke down and started a separate journal for knitting with pages that stay open and flat to easily read a pattern. My sewing journal is too large to be portable to the park and has an annoying habit of closing itself at the slightest breeze. Ever the diligent planner, there is now a list of all the yarn in my stash, including weights and yardage and yarn thickness, as well as a list of my needle collection, which is still woefully incomplete. More important, and slightly terrifying, is the list of all the knits we need for when the weather grows cold. Hats, cowls, mittens, and a toddler sweater. And that’s just all the stuff I could think of before rushing off to take a cold shower and sit motionless in front of a fan.
Despite my inability to focus for long in this heat, I have had spurts of productivity, mostly motivated by deadlines, such as a visit with friends on the West Coast. That was the inspiration behind my very first knitted baby sweater, a gift for a wee little thing much smaller than Adi. Remembering how quickly Adi grew out of her smallest baby clothes, however, I made the sweater for a 12-18 month old, with the added bonus that Adi could model it while cruising around our California rental. The sweater pattern is from Baby Knits for Beginners, by Debbie Bliss, but with seed stitch on the cuffs, hem, and neckline because I rather dislike knits that roll up at the edges. It involved knitting four rectangles, only two of which had any shaping, and a laborious sewing up at the end. If nothing else, this sweater taught me that I would rather learn how to knit a seamless sweater than enjoy the ease of rectangles.
For the next knitting project I am learning to make mittens. I bought my first yarn of 2016 while visiting my parents earlier this summer. It is 60 g of 70% angora rabbit and 30% merino from a farm in Maine and too expensive to waste on anything short of fabulous.