Tuesday, August 7, 2007

If You Can't Stand the Heat....

The canyons of Waimea on a hazy day.

In the scorching heat of home today, our vacation and the Trade Winds seem a world away. We may need to ration water if the temperatures don't cool down soon.

One summer, maybe 15 years ago, it was in the 90s here for nearly a month, almost unprecedented. I wasn't a knitter then, but enjoyed needlepoint very much. Our family spent each evening (no AC back then) sitting quietly watching TV, cooled by the ceiling fan, and I worked on a needlepoint. Julie Thompson had painted the canvas and when I saw it in her shop, I fell in love with it immediately. Mountain flowers such as Lady's Slipper, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, iris, trillium, and lilies were gracefully depicted. Even a Ruby-throated hummingbird hung in the air.

Because I had so much time, it was easy to do it well. The outcome pleases me to this day, and whenever I see it, I am reminded of that summer when it was just too hot for any greater activity than needlepoint.

Since I have taken up knitting, the needlepoint projects (yes, I have UFOs) are forgotten in a drawer. But I miss Julie; she's a delightful person who knows needlepoint backward and forward, sells all the fabulous yarns you could wish for (she has hand-dyed silks that would make you drool), and is an accomplished artist in her own right. Stop by her place if you're in that neck of the woods; she and her shop are worth your time.

(Oh, oh! I can see the kitty hairs here! They do curl up on the living room chairs when I am not looking.)

All this about needlepoint, heat, and quiet is because our weather right now is very much like it was then, and it is not safe to be abroad. So I am inside and working on tiny little things. At the baby shower for Martha's daughter last week, Carolyn showed me the booties she was knitting; at my request, she kindly shared her pattern and I began my first pair.

These were easy and quick with a chunky yarn from Debbie Bliss; I still have to locate some pink ribbon to thread through the holes; you know booties get kicked off if not secured!

This happy confetti yarn (below) is a product of Portofino Paper and includes 35% cotton, 35% acrylic and 30% polyamide. I think it would work for a boy or girl, don't you? The best thing about this pattern from So Much Yarn is that there are no DPNs. All is worked on two straight needles and sewed up with a seam from toe to heel and up the back. Easy peasy! I simply used a lighter weight yarn and smaller needles to knit a smaller bootie.

So if you are being smart and staying inside in this heat, consider trying something new! You have the time to learn a new technique or to try a new pattern. I am so glad I have this one and I predict these booties are going to multiply like rabbits!


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