Friday, June 06, 2008

Gearing up for the heat wave

We have been fairly blessed this year with mild weather. We didn't have a lot of snow this winter, the spring has been relatively cool. We've only had a few days in the 80's all year. But that's about to change. They are calling for temps in the mid to upper 90's the next 4-5 days. Yuck. If it weren't for wanting a garden (which does do better with the warmer temperatures) I could happily live out my days in the upper 60's and not complain. But that's not how nature works and the heat is coming. I plan to spend the weekend in the coolest spot I can find. I hope to spin and knit if it's not to unbearable to handle the wool. I've got a book (The Dark is Rising) and a magazine (the new SpinOff came today) to keep me occupied should fiber crafting prove too warm, not to mention at least 10 other books and magazines waiting in the wings.

The garden is thriving now. We've had some rain lately and the bunnies have stopped visiting so I've removed the cans. The broccoli is doing pretty well.I planted a cherry tomato plant there on the right where we lost one of the broccolis. You can't see it in this picture, but the 3rd broccoli that was just a stem that I didn't protect is starting to come back. Maybe we'll end up with 3 plants after all!
The Table Treat squash seems to have recovered.
Although the butternut squash is only just sprouting so I'm not sure if it's going to give us much of a harvest. We've got a few little tomatoes forming. I can't wait for those to start coming in.

I pre-ordered my Harry Potter Opal yarns from The Knitter. The cost is insane, $22.95 a ball, but I don't care. A lot of folks over on Ravelry are bitching the colors don't represent the characters, that Opal just slapped Harry Potter names on the yarns for marketing to sell yarn. Again, I don't care. I think they are gorgeous yarns and the ones I ordered do put me in mind of the characters. I ordered Hedwig, Draco and Dumbledore. The yarns are set to ship in October. I hold no hopes of getting socks knit in time for the movie, but who knows, maybe it will happen.

I also ordered some cotton sock yarn. I adore the lo-rider socks I made last year and want to get a few more pairs made for this summer.
This is Catania Color from Schachenmayr nomotta in color 11. It is 100% cotton and has a fabulous sheen to it.This is Fortissima Cotton Colori from Schoeller Esslinger in a retired (I think) colorway 7. This is a 75% cotton/25% nylon blend which will probably make a more durable sock than the plain cotton. Yeah I know, I hate knitting with cotton. But I'm hoping little ankle socks that don't take very long will be doable. I fear I may not finish Milan before fall if the weather turns hot. The acrylic yarn tends to be a bit sticky in hot sweaty fingers. I'm 3/4 done with the second sleeve. Then it's the front band, which isn't such a big piece of knitting to hold in your lap, but the last bit is the collar which is knitted on. There's no way I'm going to hold a whole sweater in my lap when it's 80 degrees out. This is also quite bad news for Flyingdales. But at least I'll have these treasures to look forward to for cooler days.

The biggest news in my knitting world this week??? SOCK BLANKS! KnitPicks has announced they are now carrying sock blanks. A sock blank is a tube of knitted fabric that you hand dye and then unravel to knit the socks. Theirs are double stranded so you end up with matching socks. You can also get slightly more predictable results than with painting yarn in skein. For example if you want a striping yarn, you need to skein your yarn really long, but with the knitted fabric, you can paint the stripes where you want them without needing miles of space. I've restrained myself thus far from ordering, but know my resolve will break any day now. The only thing that is holding me back is the double strand thing. Yeah, it's great that you get matching socks, but the downside is you have to knit them 2 at a time. I'm not sure I really desire to do that. I did get the 2 at a Time Socks book, but I never really intended to knit the socks two at a time. One could unravel the fabric into 2 separate balls, but this requires 2 people to be done effectively and I'm not sure I can sweet talk hubby into winding yarn with me. I'm thinking I'm just going to go for it. Order the sock blanks and a 40" needle and give this 2 at a time thing a try.

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