Here, it looks like both an early fall and the prospective arrival of a tough winter.
It is time to begin putting the garden to bed, earlier than usual, and my tomatoes still need to finish ripening, as does my second crop of raspberries, though the cooler weather has given the last of the roses more brilliant color than they have in the heat of summer. It has snowed in the mountains already; on August 14, growers coming to the Farmer’s Market from the orchard areas on the Western Slope met snow coming over Vail Pass and, as I write this, snow is forecast in the mountains for tonight. On Saturday, I’m hoping to find a case of plums to complete the last of the year’s canning, some of which has already been sent out to friends in Seattle and a former professor in Palo Alto.
The turn in the weather hasn’t dented much, including the exhuberant Scottish Festival at Estes Park, full of people, children, dogs, food, kilts, music and dance, and trebuchets firing old bowling balls at a mockup of the Loch Ness monster in the lake. Great fun, and I met customers, sporting their own cowboy hats, who recognized me by mine, which I found great fun.
Chewbacca has been helping with the garden, especially with chasing the squirrels away. He’s had a recent haircut (for this, I chase him around the house for three days with scissors in my hand) and a bath (which wrecks the bathroom, which must then be thoroughly cleaned).
And, yes, I’ve been knitting, especially several pairs of worsted socks that are from the Socks 201 pattern. Even though I’ve realized substantial savings on my natural gas consumption from the excellent renovation of the windows, I’m trying to nudge the thermostat down, remind myself to pull on a sweater or shawl rather than turn up the heat, and wear really warm hand-knit socks. The beds are already furbished with a couple of hand-knit blankets each—better than woven ones because they drape so well.
None of the magazines or yarn companies are talking much about the budgetary reasons to knit, perhaps considering it vulgar to mention that some of us have budgets, in a time of inflation for everything, but especially fuel and food. But there are. I keep shawls on the backs of the wing chairs, and have reduced my use of the gas fireplace. I keep a basket of mittens by the back door, with hats and scarves on a hatrack.
I’ve also looked at, but have not yet purchased, an adult tricycle with a first-rate basket in the rear that, fitted with a solid plywood floor and a cushion, would allow me to take Chewbacca around the town, run local errands, and minimize fuel consumption and costs for my truck. Of course, I’d feel like a little old lady on it, but I am a old lady, though not little, and have to deal with that. Since the concussion last winter, I’m not a hundred percent in terms of balance. But Fort Collins has many bike lanes and bike paths, and this might be ideal.
It has virtues of balance and stability, when loaded, that no bike has. If there were more bike season left, I would have purchased it then and there, and ridden it home, with a new helmet, a package of lighting accessories and a nifty front basket, with handle, that’s got a mount from which it can be detached for small errands, and a mighty lock (though I don’t really believe bike thieves are looking for adult tricycles).
Recently finished: The Trade Blanket Sweater and matching turtleneck dickey, for Rob Dunbabin of Cascade to drag off to a show, and wear. This is in the company’s 220 Superwash. It is enormous on Millie, who is my size, but I’m assured that it’s being passed around the office, and found comfortable. It has a split hem and a boat neck, and is otherwise gansey-shaped according to the Gospel (aka Knitting Ganseys) by Beth Brown-Reinsel.
What’s in the works? I’ve sketched, and am starting, a sturdy knitted and felted version of the fine old brown paper grocery bag. My local yarn shop, My Sister Knits, has some excellent leather handles for that. Just beyond, I’m adapting a modestly sized envelope portfolio from a leather one I had for years, and took to meeting after meeting when I worked in New York. I’ll post pictures soon.
Most of all, I’d like to encourage you to plan your knitting against the changes of the weather—not just practical gifts for Christmas, but things that will keep your family cozy even with the thermostats notched down a bit, and leave a little more cash for stash.
Knit on, indeed!,