It never really cooled off last night, the blazing day star that sucks the life out of you when it’s hot like this went down, but the humidity stayed, and our old house had sucked up the heat and held onto it like it was expensive and precious. "How ironic" is what I was thinking this morning, as the first edges of the intense heat started to come into our bedroom. In the winter we can’t get this drafty old place to hold onto warmth at all, but in August we’ve got no trouble. It was warmer in our house last night than it was outside, and upstairs it was downright despicable. Sam’s away crewing on a tall ship, a trip that demanded that she bring two pairs of long underwear and a touque, and Megan’s taken to arranging a parade of sleep-overs with friends who have air-conditioning, and as Joe and I sweat our way through another 40 degree day (that’s 104F, for our friends in the south) we find ourselves jealous of both of them.
Crazy then, that my second thought this morning was about winter. I was probably trying to provoke some cool thoughts when it occurred to me, but the truth is that as brutally hot as a Toronto summer is, it is short. Really, if you add up all the weeks, from Victoria Day at the end of May (the unofficial start of summer) to Labour Day on September 6th (the unofficial end of summer) you’ve only got about 15 weeks. Take away June (because really, you should. It’s not going to be hot) and if you’re a summer loving heat seeker like me, you’ve got a potential for 11 weeks of proper, steamy, hot summer. Summer for swimming, biking, reading on the beach… 11 Saturdays out of 52 to sit on a patio in a sundress. 11 Saturdays. This being the reality, I try not to complain about the summer. No matter when you’re thinking it’s too hot, it won’t be hot for long, and then there will be the unreasonable winter upon us again.
This would be the reason that Joe and I can’t seem to fork out the cash for central air. When it’s like this we think about it, and then we remember that it’s an investment that’s only going to be useful for a few days a year, and we get over it. This summer’s been an exception, when we’ve had a record breaking number of days of extreme heat- and really, now that we’re almost broken down it seems stupid to get it when there’s only 4 weeks left. We just keep reminding ourselves that people live, love and work in Bangladesh without air conditioning. We tell ourselves that while sitting in a bathtub full of cool water, but that’s what we’re holding onto.
All this said, it makes perfect sense that the next thing that I did was start a scarf. As hot as it is now, the snow is coming, and when it does, I’ll be wanting a warm, woolly scarf to wrap against the fierce wind and snow.
Yarn is one ball of BMFA Labrador (I think the current incarnation of this is ThickieThin), and one ball of Silk Loops, both in the ST-1 colourway. I’m working them one row of each in garter stitch. To make it work I’m using a short circular. I knit across one row with the first yarn, then knit across with the second. Then I slide the work to the other end of the circular needle so that I have the first yarn at the start position, then purl across. At the end of that row it’s another slide, then purl across with the second yarn. Keep repeating those four rows and you have one row stripes in garter stitch.
I know winter is coming, I even know it’s soon, and I know that those truths mean that making a scarf is way, way more sensible that trudging on a tank top I’m going to finish just in time for the snow, but it really doesn’t stop me from feeling a little stupid, and maybe a little sad, knitting on this while I’m sweating. I’m not alone either. This morning I told a friend I was making a scarf, and they laughed for five minutes. "It’s 40 degrees!" they said. "I know"I said, "I know it seems ridiculous, but…"
And with that… the conversation trailed off, as we both looked out the window at our gardens roasting in the heat, listened to kids cooling off in backyarn kiddie pools while the cicadas sang about the heat, and we contemplated going off to sit naked in bathtubs full of ice cubes. Neither of us wanted to talk about the possibility of winter coming. There are 4 weeks left of summer, and as hot as it is, we want all of them. It might just be too soon – from an emotional perspective (not a knitterly one) to talk about warm wool scarves and snow.