Summer has actually felt like summer in the Pacific Northwest this year, although July weather nearly melted us here in the Pacific Northwest. We opted to not add air conditioning when we had a new furnace installed after purchasing our house five years ago, and two weeks ago we were questioning our sanity in making that decision. Before the heat wave even started, I arrived home on Monday to let the dogs out and the temperature inside was 90 degrees. George stayed home with them on Tuesday and Wednesday as the temperatures rose, and I came home early and Thursday and Friday. Our strategy was wetting them down from time to time from a tub of water on the patio, and doing our best to keep them quiet. They came through just fine, although some of our plants were sort of incinerated. Thank heaven for neighbors with air conditioning and friends with a pool and air conditioning for inviting us to visit with our dogs. Here's my friend Cherie in her pool with Poppy on a float. That sort of kindness touches my heart! (Speaking of that, thank you for your comments and e-mails about my pups - there are lots of us dog people around!)
The cooler temperatures are a relief, and the rain has felt like a gift (since we are a little bit afraid of what our water bill will be). I admit that I like being hot during the day, but not being able to cool down at night was like smothering. The feeling of moving slow motion through thick air gave me a real understanding of stifling heat. It didn't stop me from knitting though - it's how I relaxed without moving enough to sweat.
Well, it seems there's something about making a commitment in writing - I have stayed on track with my knitting for a bit. Here are my promised Pure & Simple socks, and the idea of socks in this cooler weather is not so out of the question. I love the colors, and I enjoyed switching to 2.25mm needles from my usual US 0's so that they knit up faster.
The baby hoodie for Kansas cousin Roxie's grandson is finished - he'll be a year old in October, so I'm hoping he'll still be able to wear it by the time the weather there is cold. I only have to choose a pair of toggle buttons from my button stash!
My next pair of socks are on the needles; my first Tofutsies, from Naomi, in pink granite. The yarn sent me back to my US 0's, and tinkering (starting over three times - so far) with the number of stitches was required to get the right fit for the baby cable rib pattern from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Socks. This is my "touchstone" sock book for the basics and for different stitch designs for socks. Although the cabling doesn't really pop out in this yarn, I love this sort of understated detail, like you have to be an insider to know to look for it.
In the sweater category, I read the Veronique pattern in French Girl Knits before casting on the variegated Kid Seta. It's an interesting construction technique, and since thinking about it takes me back to my sewing and flat pattern design classes, it will be fun to see it develop. I'm not a fast knitter in any case, and seem to be even slower with this delicate yarn. It knits up beautifully texturewise, and I'm watching for pooling. Does anyone else think that variegated yarn often looks better in the ball or skein than it does knitted up? The sort of fluorescent coral color wasn't apparent to me in the ball, but it sure shows up in the knitted fabric. Still, I love the blue/purple parts and think it will be a warm and elegant foil for jeans as well as a more formal accessory. I just completed the gathering for the back and have cast on for the next step - and so far it's going well. The directions are clear and giving the desired result, and I'm still excited to see what's next!