Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wool Is Not Knit-Friendly at 100 Degrees

So here I am, sitting on my friend Alex's couch in Chicago, and thinking about how I should really finish that scarf I started.  I want to hurry up and write the pattern so I can share it with the entire free-and-internet-reading world, however, I still have about eight inches to go and it needs a border.  Plus, since it's zig-zaggy, the unblocked version is still curled up like ridged ribbon on a birthday present.

It is not that I am currently incapable of knitting.  On the contrary; after spending the day with the Mixed Nutz at Federal Plaza and singing like a silly rock-star fool for the first time in months, I have the energy to knit a three-tiered underskirt for a prom dress.  The problem is the ridiculous heat and humidity.  Alex lives in a typical pre-1940 apartment with no air-conditioning, and the zig-zaggy scarf I'm creating is being knit from Cascade Rustic, which is a blend of wool and linen.  Not exactly a fabric that glides easily over sun-kissed, sticky and SPF-30-covered fingers.  The good news, though, is that I am using metal needles for that project, so I don't have to worry about them spontaneously combusting like I would if I were to use bamboo needles.

This dilemma has caused me to explore my knitting bag for suitable projects for heat.  I have two balls of Sugar N Cream yarn so I can figure out how to knit a pair of cowboy boots, and then there is the Malabrigo (same problem with this as I would have with the scarf yarn).  Finally, sigh, there is the ball of Schaefer that I purchased because I had been fondling it for about three months before finally breaking down and buying it.  I thought it would make a really pretty Little Black Dress shrug.

So while I can't knit at the moment due to the humidity...I refuse to drag a forty-dollar hank of stunning handpainted cotton yarn over the fingers described above, so the Schaefer will have to wait...I can, in fact, make a pattern chart for the Little Black Dress shrug.  In case any of you were wondering, by the way, I do occasionally knit garments with actual sleeves.  Shrugs are great projects, though, because they are usually just enough sweater for those in-between weather months (in other words, weather periods not at all like the current one, or the opposite of the current one).

I have written my first article for the Chicago Examiner, which should be posted in the next couple of days.  It was inspired by the sweat-dripping heat of the day, and I hope you enjoy it and that you send all of your friends to click on it for a fast read.  Tomorrow, though, my goal is twofold:  finish the scarf, and bust out the Schaefer before I go crazy thinking about it.

Have a good night!

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