Saturday, June 29, 2013

When Does It Get Too Hot to Knit?

The entire western part of the United States is suffering with one of the worst heat waves in history. Temperatures were close to 100 degrees yesterday and there are places west of us that have even higher temperatures. Since we don't have air conditioning, it is really miserable. We used to have summers here in Colorado in the 80's with an occasional 90 degree day in mid-summer. Now we have more and more days in the 90's and the lack of air conditioning is becoming more apparent. And like I have mentioned before -- I really, really hate hot weather.

So what to knit on days like this? Usually I can handle hats or socks because they don't cover my lap while I knit. However, I have this overwhelming desire to knit sweaters right now. I am working on a blue hoodie in a worsted that I want to work on, but I can't stand the idea of it on my lap -- the sweater is done and I am working on the hood so there is a lot sweater below.

So what should I work on when all I want to work on is heavy sweaters? I have an entire room full of yarn downstairs begging to handled, so maybe I need to go look for some sock yarn and a fun pattern. Hopefully that will get me inspired. In the meantime, come on snow!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The February Sweater is Done!

Yes, it's done, but with temperatures in the 90's, I will not be able to wear it for a few months. I wish I could have made it about six inches longer because the sweater ends right in the middle of my hips -- not exactly the best place to end.  Once I finished the casting off, I had about four yards of red yarn left. 

Although it looks okay on me, I have to admit that if I tried this sweater on in a store, I probably would not have bought it. It is a little too bulky for an already bulky figure. But I love the color and I look good in red. 

I was ready to start on a project with some of the yarn I purchased at the Wool Festival, but as I was looking for some needles in my craft room, I ran across a sweater I started a couple of years ago. I was overcome with the desire to finish it. It is already about 75% done, so it would be a short term project. I am working on it, even though I still won't be able to wear it until the fall. I think I will put a hood on it too because I have plenty of yarn.

Back to the needles.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hello My New Yarn and Welcome to my Stash

Last week was the Estes Park Wool Festival in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado at the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park. I know lots of people go to see the llamas, alpacas, rabbits, sheep and goats, but I straight go to the vendors' barn.

The dark blue and green variegated yarn is a worsted that I am going to use to make a  hoodie sweater. The grayish blue is a wool and silk blend, and is going to be used to make a lacy pullover. The dark pink is also a wool and silk blend and will become a lacy shawl. The bright blue lace yarn is probably going to be a scarf. I just loved the color so much that I had to buy it.

This year, my husband Ken came with me and we met up with some friends, Eric and Margaret and their baby Oscar. Eric has been my son Dane's best friend since grade school, so I have always called him my 'third son.' I guess that make Oscar my pseudo-grandson, and he is just adorable!  Margaret is the knitter so we touched and pawed and stroked yarn all day. Margaret is into making baby sweaters. Go figure! I go through the entire barn before I purchase anything, I brought three patterns along that I want to make. Now I just have to find the time to actually do the knitting.

As much as the new yarn is calling me to start, I vow to finish my teal shawl before I cast on more sweaters. Considering it is in the '90's, and it is only June, I have lots of time to finish them.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summertime and the Living is Smokey

I have never been a fan of summer. I think it started when I was a kid on the farm in southeastern South Dakota. Summers meant working outside in the heat and humidity. We would get up early to do the chores. I did the chickens, feed and water them, and gather the eggs. Then my brothers and I would head for the soybean fields to cut the weeds, usually cockleburrs and stray cornstalks. We would stay in the fields until mid-morning when it got too hot. There was no air-conditioning, but we did spend some time at the river. School meant we didn't have to do the fields, so I loved school.

When I moved to Colorado, I was thrilled with the cooler and drier summers. It was rare to get temperatures in the 90's and the 100's were almost unheard of. However, in the past several years, 90-degree days are commonplace, and we even get a handful of days in the 100's. With the heat, we now have more fires.

The Black Forest Fire is about 20 miles southeast of our home. It has already destroyed 360 homes and killed two people. We get the smoke when the wind blows in our direction. We are also eyeing the side of the mountain to the west of our home covered with scrub oak and pines. It is truly beautiful, but this time of years, it is also frightening. We live in one of those subdivisions that could easily be wiped out by fire. Ken has removed most of the scrub oaks and underbrush bordering our home but it might not be enough. We have our pictures and home videos packed up from previous evacuations along with our cat carrier for Neko. We have good insurance and we would be okay. But every summer, we watch the ridge along the west for whiffs of smoke after lightning storms and cringe when we hear fireworks in our area (yes, they are illegal here). We get nervous when we see our deer herd getting nervous and when the birds stop singing. We hope it is because of a mountain lion or black bear in the area instead of a fire.

I am ready for the snows of winters that Colorado is famous for.