Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gardens, Hats, Hexes, and Loksins

What a wonderful day - the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum's annual Garden Tour was today, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This event is a major fundraiser for the Museum and it was very heartening to see how many people were there. As I have been hoping to have happen for several years now, my mother was able to come up to join me on the tour. She's an avid and very good gardener, while I am more on the hopeful and somewhat bumbling amateur side, so it was terrific to get her input on what I was looking at instead of wandering about on my own. This is, oddly, the only photo I managed to take in the course of 9 lovely gardens, but it gives a taste of what was out there today. Mercifully, the dreadful 100+ degree F weather we have had recently dropped down to a much more manageable high 80s, which felt downright chilly compared to a few days ago.

One of the worst aspects of hot weather (to me, at least) is how unpleasant knitting can become during such high temperatures. Handling wool while dripping with sweat is just not my idea of fun. But the ferry was usually cool enough to knit, and as that's my primary knitting time I did get some good work in this week. My friend Catherine B is very active in 18th-century historical re-creation events, and will be going to Williamsburg, VA for an event in June together with her husband. John will be wearing sailor's gear for the event, and needed a traditional-style hat. Catherine has her hands full hand-sewing loads of garments for both herself and John, so asked me if I would be interested in making a knitted hat for John's outfit. It's very simple; she provided a pattern written from an extant example that is knitted very densely with heavy wool on small needles. I've finished the crown and have just started the brim. As the knitting is unusually tightly done it's a little hard on the hands so I've had to take a break over the weekend to give myself a bit of a rest. I think I can get the knitting done over the next day or two of commutes and will be able to give it to Catherine mid-week, or end of the week at latest.

As I am officially sick of moss stitch by now, I am pleased to report that the body of the Hex Coat is done and blocked, and now I am working on the hexagons around the front edges and neck opening. I am working on the 3rd hexagon along the front ( a sample hexagon is in the background in the photo) and find that they move along at a quick pace. While a tad fiddly, they are quick, interesting to knit, and contain no moss stitch whatsoever. A great combination, in my opinion. And of course, the irony of nearly finishing a wool, knee-length coat in 100+ degree weather is not lost on me.

And lastly, the Loksin socks are not forgotten. They were my commute project until the hat thing came up, which will soon be done and I will then be back to the socks. Sock number one is done through the heel flap; I'm just a row or two away from turning the heel. As with the hat, sock knitting is a little harder on my hands so I don't mind having an excuse to lay off for a day or two, and will pick the Loksins up again with pleasure once the hat is complete.

Once again, a woolly pair of socks in this weather has been somewhat unpalatable, so I don't mind the opportunity to delay a bit. Besides, the lace patterns are a real joy to knit (the 2nd photo shows the leg stretched to show off the lace a bit better). The colour in the 1st photo is much more accurate, by the way.

So I think that's all I am up to right now. I'm in a serious project-start-itis mood these days so am trying to rein myself in from starting everything I am thinking about. I keep having such an urge to start this project, or that project, or maybe ....... I think I'm in trouble.

1 comment:

VickeryKnits said...

The hex coat looks great! I love garden tours...I'm starting my own garde and hoping against a late freeze!