June 9, 2005
Too hot to handle
It's hot. It's too hot to knit Birch. I want to knit Birch, I love knitting Birch, but I'm here to tell you that Kid Silk Haze is the wrong thing for hot, sticky weather. I realized this yesterday afternoon when I noticed that my gauge had changed and the shawl had taken a turn for the tiny, because my sticky hands weren't letting the fine, fuzzy yarn slide on my fingers. Since Casa de Harlot has no air conditioning, I was a little put out. I don't have anything against hot weather, in fact...I really like it. The way I see it you are destined for misery if you live in Toronto and hate the cold and hate the hot. Toronto is a city of extremes. All winter long (What's that joke I kept hearing south of the border? Canada has 9 months of winter and 3 months where the skiing is a little off.") and the winter is admittedly long, I hear "It's so cold, it's too cold, I can't wait for summer." then the minute that summer arrives and it's 30 degrees (86 for my American friends) plus staggering humidity, you start to hear the opposite. "It's so hot, it's too hot....".
I say pick one....hate it more.
Me, I hate the winter. Loathe it. I hate that you need a big plan to go to the corner. I hate shovelling snow. I hate that if you lock yourself out of the house you could die before you have a new plan. In as much as winter is really glory days for the knitter...I could do with a little less. Therefore, I have made the carefully considered decision to hate winter more, and not say one little word about the heat, except as it pertains to Kid Silk Haze, which is clearly a cool weather yarn.
Lucky for me, Lettuce Knit had a brand spanking new delivery of this.
HandMaiden yarns (the HandMaiden is the daughter of my most sacred Fleece Artist) is producing a new line of yarns. This skein is enough to make a totally snazzy vee neck tank, in cool, slidey silk. (I understand that my decision to dump the beautiful and much coveted Birch for the first fancy-arsed yarn that waggles down the yarn shop isle at me makes me a fickle, fickle knitter. I'm ok with that, I switched teams as fast as I could wash off the cloud of mohair stuck to me. )
Considering that the sock is fine upstanding Canadian wool, I'm surprised that it's hot weather instincts are so good.
A shady corner of Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, resting before doing this...
The Rosie's Yarn Cellar gang shows me their knitting. (Note: Rosie's does not have spectacular stained glass. Due to the tiny size of the shop, we met in a synagogue down the street, though if this really was a yarn shop, I would live there full time. ) Philadelphia is a beautiful city, and very, very different from Toronto. The narrow streets and architecture remind me more of Europe or Vieux Quebec and the sock and I were wildly charmed.
I leave you with this picture. Look closely. This is a group of knitters gathered together at "The Black Sheep" pub in Philly, enjoying knitting, beer each other's company and Juno's story about her birthday yarn. See the looks on their faces? The shock? The glee? The desperate, wild-eyed, excitement of knitters who understand her urges and wish they had her nerve?
This my knitterly friends, is the exact moment that Juno told them that on her birthday she had called Virtual Yarns to buy herself a sample card, a wee giftie to herself, and on discovering that they were all out, had done the only thing that a drunk knitter on a birthday high in desperate need of a yarn reference could do.
She ordered one skein of every possible colour.
Posted by Stephanie at June 9, 2005 12:26 PM
I found out about this signing literally the night before it happened. Too late to make plans to go and see you since hubby was away on a biking trip. Waaaaah! Dang it. Within 50 miles of me and I couldn't get there to see the famous one! Sigh.
Okay. Well, then. I'll birch alone if that's the way you're going to be about it.
Well Stephanie, I guess that is why you live in Toronto and I live in the boonies of NW Ontario. I won't say I hate summer but I will take -30 and snow shovelling to the kind of hot humid weather (not to mention smog days) that Torontonians must endure. We get a few of those days but not many, just enough for me to appreciate the fact that we don't get many. That having been said, I love to visit Toronto, especially the downtown, but in the spring, fall or winter.
Love, love, love your birch. I may just have to try knitting a shawl. Not sure I have the skills but you only live once right?
86 degrees?! holy cow, I'd prefer that to our "sweltering" 59 degrees here in lil ol california. loverly silk yarn...verry tempting..
Those Philly knitters are rowdy aren't they? Have you seen Fleece Artist/ Handmaiden in the states during your tour? I'm aching to touch it.
Funny thing, I was reading this saying to myself "She needs to knit silk without the mohair" and "She obviously needs to buy yarn for another project" when I scrolled and found you had done just that. Enjoy the new project - birch will wait.
As someone originally from Philadelphia that has transplanted to Seattle, your pictures of Rittenhouse Square and beautiful stained glass make me ache for home.
Finally, someone who understands winter as I do! When the very many here in Michigan complain about winter being too cold, then gripe about the heat all summer long, I tell them make up their mind and hate one less (sorry-always the optimist am I). And my reasoning for hating summer less? Because at least in summer, my mailbox does not get so full that the mailman has to get out of his little boxy car-thing and walk the mail up to the house. Cause baby when its cold outside, I stay inside. But come summer, its all good. The vee neck tank in that gorgeous colourway is enough to make any knitter toss their current project aside-even Kid Silk. Never look back, you harlot ;o).
Is that the gorgeous Fleece Artist silk? I have some in my favourite dusty rose. Problem - I'm not allowed to knit it inside my house, or in our office. It has a really strong smell. The men in my life object. How is this playing out chez Harlot?
90 degrees here and the humidity in my house is like 75%... I'm going to Sears tonight and buy an air conditioner, if they have any left... and I'm knitting Rowan Calmer (cotton-blend)... it's like buttah' ;-)
Just wondered whether it would help to cool the knitting down by putting it in the fridge ( I know sounds weird) It does calm the needles down and gives you that fresh moment to knit.
Just a thought.
First, I was feeling a bit woozy over someone leaving a mysterious but wonderful, secret-admirer like, post on my online book journal about a house built like a book with a fountain pen for a chimney stack. (You'll find it here: http://www.liviodemarchi.com/casauk.htm)
Now, this... Handmaiden has cashmere. Lots of it. My new obsession in yarns. A compulsion to horde some lace weight variety, which I'm trying to stave off long enough to purchase while I visit Canuckland in October this year. Otherwise I'd not have any money saved up for the trip. I'm not sure I can hold out for another four months or so.
I need a bit of a lie down now.
OMGosh! And I thought I was over the top with pondering ordering a Woolee Winder on my birthday in 2 days!
But yes, I completely and utterly understand :D
very bizarre -- yesterday there was an entry for 6-8 and today it's not here. poof, disappeared.
Steph...how can I get some of that lovely silk yarn (and that pattern) in the states? That looks like something I'd love to knit...and wear, and wear, and wear!
I'm with you, I'll take the heat over the cold anyday. I live in a part of Maine where, because of the mountains and valleys it is the coldest in the winter and the hottest in the summer. Bring on the heat I say!
I was lucky enough, in February, to work with the ladies of Gasperau Valley Farm and they brought only Fleece Artist yarn. Holy crap that is some amazing stuff!! I'm working on some socks from their sock yarn and it is amazing, and that isn't even mentioning the color. Enjoy the silk!
When I met you at NH S&W (I was the one with the sherpa/husband), you told me that Canadians are taking over the US. I am coming up there on a recon mission next week, but I'll be on PEI, where it should be cool (and with my luck, rainy!).
I have so often wanted to do that! Wow. Talk about a present!
Dropped that Birch/Kid Silk Haze like a red-headed stepchild, didn't you? What a ...oh, yeah... harlot. I just hope it'll take you back when you're ready, without making you pay dire consequences.
and WOW! Juno, you are a rock star!
I just realized that we were both in Pittsburgh International Airport on the same day, and at probably the same time. (I flew out around 2:45.) Small world, isn't it?
were you and i seperated at birth?
marie in florida
where the Opal tiger stripe yarn is having a little trouble sliding over my sweaty hands
BOO! Down with summer! You see, you can always throw on another layer when it's cold, but when you're naked and you're still too hot you're pretty much done for. Public transportation frowns on naked riders.
Fleece Artist also has beautiful solid coloured yarn now that coordinates with her varigated ones. I knit a sweater from the kid mohair in pale pink. It is like wearing cotton candy- in a good way.
I had heart palpatations, and my palms got a little sweaty when I clicked on the link for the HandMaiden!!!! I had to close the window quickly, otherwise I think I would have lost my mind.
PS - go to an air conditioned coffee house or book store to knit if you really get a jones for the Birch ;).
Do what works for ya. It's not like Birch is going anywhere. And you'll have all winter to use mohair. The colors in that silk are gorgeous and it's a great top.
Oh, that beautiful silk! Birch is lovely and all, but let's face it - nothing beats hand dyed silk.
Ah, *now* we know why you are the yarnharlot.... Flinging aside kid mohair for silk! My Toronto temp gauge says it is foggy and 28 degrees??? I guess that is the humidity setting in! It is thirteen here at umt20:45 (6:45am, pre dawn, very warm for winter)
I agree, you can't whine about the winter being too cold and then also complain when it is hot. I tend to lean the other way, I'll take the cold over the heat. Minneapolis is also a city of extreme weather. Fortunately for me the summer is the shortest season. It's either hot or cold. The expression here is 9 months of winter and three months of road construction.
What I like best about knitting is that it allows for my fickle nature. When I hit a wall with one project and I can't bear to look at it any more, there is always another one lying around ready to be picked up again. Kelle
News travels fast!! I live in California and have a sister-knitter in Pennsylvania. Judi and her cousin Jenny went to see you in Greensburg, Pa. On her way home she called and told me all about the wonderful visit they had with you and that you are such a sweet person. I have your book and wish I could have been there for the signing.
I have only been knitting for about two and a half years but I need a knit fix every day or I am like a drug addict in need of a fix. I go to a new knit shop in Riverside, Ca. called, Closeknit. The owners , Katy and Sandra are very friendly and have a beautiful shop. We have such a great time together.
You KNOW you will have a cool day next week, just keep Birch handy and your chances will pop up. I feel the same way about winter, but never complain. You should hear people around here, a little bit of snow and the whining..! You would think that New Englanders didn't know what they were in for. My brother-in-law owns an aviation business. A winter like our most recent has a pretty big effect on business. His sister works for him and complained about business being bad all winter (you would think she had a controlling interest or something-her pay is the same no matter), so I casually mentioned that we do, after all, live in New England. Man! I heard all about having a business that is controlled by weather, blah, blah. MOVE THEN! Well, that is what I was thinking. Why start a business like that if you KNOW WHERE WE LIVE!!!!! She was all over being upset about it when we were still getting snow late into March. The thing I don't get is-she has lived here her WHOLE LIFE!!!!! Forty-seven years! I'd prefer the warm to the cold, but I have to confess two things. 1-I have central air and a pool. I always have an escape. 2-I never learned to use the snow blower and I have a passing acquaintance relationship with our shovel. It is really easy for me to say I handle the weather well, I knit through it all. There is plenty of room here, if you want to escape. Bring the girls! Your violinist and horn player, my two oboists, and singers! We would have a fun time of it!
You could always take birch to the mall, or some other air conditioned place.
We normally have 80-90+ degree weather in northern California this time of year but we have been having unusually cool weather. It even rained here all day yesterday. The plants are very confused. Now I know where the hot weather is. Try to stay cool Stephanie. Hopefully I will see you in August when you visit in Berkeley. Love your book! I catch myself laughing out loud at some of your stories. Thanks for having such a great sense of humour.
"She ordered one skein of every possible colour."
I have DREAMS of doing that! I'm jealous. Of course, the yarn I want one in every color is everything made by Brown Sheep. That's a lot of single skeins. But OH! the colors!
Give me -15C and 20cm of snow over this crazy heat anyday (from Ottawa - not so far from Toronto). That's 5F and 8 in of snow.
Dearest Yarn Harlot, I must tell you that you are evil and nasty and I love you tons! Birch had me curious. I found it in a Rowan book at my local yarn store earlier today. That meant that 2 Rowan books and 2 Jaegar books had to follow me home. Then I decided that I had to cast on this thing of beauty. But they don't carry Rowan yarns so I had to find a substitute. We found 2 - one in silk/wool and another in cashmere. I spent much time petting both - mmmmmm cashmere! And in the end, I still could not decide. So both followed me home. Of course, I had already picked up some sock yarn (despite the 2 Rubbermaid containers of sock yarn I have at home). So, I left the yarn store with a much lighter pocket, a much heavier knitting bag and spirits that were positively buoyant! And it's all your fault! You are my hero. Actually, Juno is my real hero - you rock girl!
Now which one to cast on - cashmere or silk - whew life is rough!
I started reading about The Big Plan and death and had to move away from the computer and fan myself. We, chez Fuzzy et Cie., have no aircon either, so we sit out on the balcony, have a pastis, and think, damn, if we lived in France we could suffer this way a helluva lot more often...
If you live anywhere where The Big Plan is necessary just to stick your nose outside and figure out how you are going to find your car without someone sending a search party, well...the heat is not so bad.
Juno is brilliant, even when impaired :-)
i must be in india, because HOLY COW! one skein of each color? happy birthday juno, you rock!
i'm sorry you had to abandon birch. it's been hot here, so i've been making baby sweaters for charity with cotton ease (summer sweaters, lol). supposed to be cooler here (83F, wow, that's only 3 degrees cooler than you!) but not as humid. good luck
and enjoy the silky betrayal
Anyone having any luck finding that vneck sleeveless shirt pattern online? It's Purty!
I love that HandMaiden yarn -- and thanks for the link to Fleece Artist. I'm with you on the weather -- same in New England -- between November and August, it's either freezing, rainy and cold or HOT. Not much in between. But Fall is divine ~ glorious.
I'd order one of each skein of the handmaiden, and that's a fact!
It's 94 here - that's 6 degrees of separation from 100, when I melt.
I grew up in Toledo, which has frighteningly similar weather to Toronto, but with more depressing cloud cover and no coolness whatsoever. I think if I could find a climate that was like May or October all year I'd move there in a heartbeat!
Now I'm in NJ, which is generally pretty nice, but we have our own 18" snowfalls and weeks of +90. Oy.
I live in the boonies of eastern Ontario and can't even find a shop that carries Interweave or Rowan or any of the gorgeous wools of which you speak. I want to knit Birch but cannot find Birch. My yarn lady is a delightful soul and fortunately I can now find ribbon and some mohair and some sock yarns but I am desperate now for Lorna's Laces and hand dyed merino and Birch and so on and so on. I'm going to map out a summer trip with a large empty suitcase and a credit card with a huge limit. Keep giving me links I can add to my growing map/plan for my Great Yarn Shop Tour.
I'm more a winter girl actually. Although winter here isn't nearly as bad, and summer gets up to over 100F and humid some days so the decision is an easier one. I figure I can always add more layers, but I can only be so naked and go out in public. I would die without ac. The yarn is beautiful :)
I have to agree with the Queen of the Snow Cows and Vicki. I prefer winter weather simply because I can pile on as many layers as I need to and achieve at least some semblance of comfort. However, in the summer I die since we also don't have A/C, and with a 9 year old girl in the house, I can't exactly walk around naked, ya know? :) I have become a basement dweller since it's about 20 degrees cooler down there (and that's where all my fiber is anyway!).
I too am a firm believer of hating the winter less; I can always add more layers but there is a limit to what I can take off. Although beer does do wonders in the summer for making it seem cooler. It is the only thing I find that can quench my thirst.
About starting a new project - I wouldn't accept anything else from The Yarn Harlot. That Handmaiden yarn is beautiful.
Air conditioning is sanity. Mind you, there would be no Faulkner or Flannery O'Connor if they'd had ac and all of the wonderful smells we're deprived of for six+ months of the year are excluded, but come a certain point I snap -- and within seconds can feel myself changing from a potential axe murderer to -- oh, I don't know. Montaigne or P.G. Wodehouse or someone balanced and humerous. Flora out of Cold Comfort Farm, maybe.
And yet -- there's nothing like the deepest humid depths of summer for me suddenly to be compelled to cast on a honking great Kaffe Fassett coat. Not the sense that God gave geese.
P.S. The real problem is that we made the mistake of evolving past gill slits and Norwegians, at least, can't process oxygen out of what's essentially airborne water.
Im in the so California desert where on an average day it is 100 degrees F. Thank god its not humid here! We would all die!
I hate the winter though and it only gets to the lower 30s in the dead of winter. Occationally it will dip into the teens but almost never lower then 15 degrees F. -30 is unimaginable to me.
Man, I was going to say...if the yarn shop had stained glass windows, it just might be our mecca....the Church Of Knit.
I am seriously impressed with the tank. If I recollect correctly you began it on the 9th and it was blocked and ready to wear on the 13th? You ought to race Lily Chin to see which one of you is the fastest knitter in North America!
Happy Birthday to your Mum!
Holly in CT where it is too freaking hot to do more than breathe
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