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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Changes

In all the craziness that is our lives right now, I occasionally have a coherent thought (when I'm not dressing my son in my clothes) about knitting. When I knit, I knit clothing - sweaters, socks, shawls, that kind of stuff. I'm not really a household knitting kind of person (not that household knitting is bad, my all time favorite dishcloths are handknit garter stitch that I got 15 years ago as part of a wedding gift).

The funny thing about clothing is that it has to be appropriate to wear in the location you're wearing it. Now Virginia and Texas have very different climates. Both have hot, humid summers (Virginia's summers are typically very similar to Texas summers, believe it or not). But Texas likes to have summer for about 10 months of the year (then it has a tiny winter time when everyone freezes to death). In Virginia, there are actually 4 seasons (for those of you in Texas that are wondering, there is also Spring and Fall). We have really enjoyed having 4 seasons here in Virginia. This variety of seasons makes for lots of fun knitting. Obviously, if I continue knitting the kinds and weights of things in Texas that I do here, I will have to have several wardrobe changes a day during the brief cold spell that Texas gets around January and February in order to wear everything I knit for cold weather. This seems like a lot of trouble to me, so I think my best option is to change my knitting style a bit.

There are a couple of things that will work in my favor:
  1. I am almost always cold.
  2. Very hot outside places tend to be over-airconditioned inside and you can easily get hypothermia while eating dinner in a restaurant.

The majority of my knitting that is worsted weight or heavier has been cardigans which do provide for air flow so I think I'll still get plenty of wear out of them. My lace shawls and stoles will be perfect to wrap around my shoulders in the subarctic indoors of the South, but will easily go into a bag when I go outside. Socks are needed wherever you live, just because.

I could always start knitting lots of things in cotton, but I don't like the way it feels to knit cotton. I've heard great things about Rowan's Calmer but the microfiber used with the cotton (which is what gives it the elasticity) is acrylic. I'm allergic to acrylic. Fortunately, I think I've figured out something of a plan (at least as much of a knitting plan as someone with moving brain can come up with, but hey, for me a knitting plan is a business plan - I write knitting patterns for a job!) I really enjoyed knitting with Shelridge Farm's Wool Cotton Yarn and I've knit with Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece and enjoyed it before. I also love knitting with 100% wool and since wool does breath well, I see no reason to quit, but I think I'll be happier knitting it at a finer gauge. After all, when I buy a sweater (yes, I do sometimes) it's always a fine gauge sweater, so why not knit one? Add to that the fact that I tend to spin fine yarns, I think this will be easier than I thought. And if Texas decides to have a really cold winter one year? I'm ready for it baby!

11 Comments:

Anonymous Robby said...

I think lace sweaters would also be an attractive and season extending option for you.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Abigail said...

I understand your musings. I went from AZ to Key West!

I've found that lace stoles and light sweaters are key to happy knitting in the blistering heat. Trust me you will be fine and still be able to knit.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Connie Peterson said...

I had wondered about what you would do in the heat of Texas! My daughter, Joy, lives in Florida, now, and she is knitting tank tops. But no matter how hot it is, she almost always wears socks.

And if you get in a bind, you can always knit for other people (like those who live in COLD Minnesota????)...

10:03 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

Bamboo would be good as well... And lovely and silky and drapey.

12:21 PM  
Blogger cameo530 said...

Not only bamboo...there's also silk, tencel, sea cell, linen, hemp, and the list goes on. :)

1:42 PM  
Blogger Suna said...

It is not hot in Texas today, so I have on nice warm hand-knit socks and a cardigan I made. The only things from my years in Illinois that don't get worn much are heavy ski sweaters, and thick cabled/fair isle pullovers. Everything else does get some wear.

And yeah, at work I am often freezing, even to the point of wearing fingerless mitts.

Tomorrow I will have many layers at a high school football game!

Suna, in Austin

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Melanie -

As a wool knitting enthusiast, I must say that I am absolutely loving my latest scarf project - KH's Haven in Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton! It is soft, quick to knit and wow, does the lace pattern ever look good.

Give this yarn a try if you have a moment. The colourways are sublime!

Best,
Alison

ps. I visited Dallas last Feb, and it was cool and dry. The landscape was definitely beige and trees were leafless, but the sky was fabulously blue. Best of luck with your move!

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melanie,

I'm so excited you are moving to Dallas! I've lived here my whole life and it's a pretty great town. The people are very friendly! Our weather is more varied than you might think. Autumn is my favorte time of year and we do get a little color.

Last night I had drinks with friends on a restaurant patio on Travis St. It was chilly and everyone had a shawl or sweater and they were needed. We are actually having nights in the 40's!! Woo Hoo!

Our spring weather is always exciting! It can remain quite chilly into March, it's windy, and it rains. Wait, it STORMS!! That always brings an element of anticipation.

We have a precious yarn shop close to downtown called Shabby Sheep. The owners are wonderful. There are other good stores in Plano. If you need advice on where to look for home or apt. email me. I'm a realtor and can point you in a direction.

Oh, regarding the bacon, you are in LUCK!! Check out Kuby's in Snider Plaza, Central Market on Lovers Lane, or any Whole Foods Market. YUM!!

Marsha

5:14 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Marsha, could you give me an email or website to contact you? Blogger doesn't give contact info with comments. Thanks! Melanie

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melanie,

My email is marshafinney@ebby.com.

Hope your packing and house listing is going well. How do you craft, keep house clean and look at new projects? Amazing!~!

Marsha Finney

9:24 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I gotta catch up on your blog posts, didn't realize y'all are moving here! If it's any help, it's in the upper 50s/low 60s today... and I think it's cold for 4 months out of 12 not the 2 you mentioned! (though we had some pretty amazing weather this week, upper 70s/low 80s, even broke some high temperature records)...

1:21 PM  

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