Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hello ... Seattle?
We have your weather,
and we're not giving it back.

Some Sunday mornings start out with a good, long, lazy sleep-in, to the tune of rain hammering on the roof:

And when the rain stopped, I went to the door, bracing myself for a blast of superheated, humid air.
But it wasn't there.

I looked everywhere: in the garden, under my car, in the mailbox. But July in Baton Rouge was nowhere to be found.

Due to a complete freak of Nature, we're having a cool front in July -- a precious few days of daytime temps in the high 70s F. (Okay, it might hit 80F tomorrow, but still). And, if you can sneak outside between the torrential downpours (that's the catch), you can do what I did this morning -- stroll outdoors with your cup of coffee, and have the following conversation with a neighborhood cat:

Me: "This is unbelievable. It's ten o'clock on a Sunday morning in the middle of July, and it's 72 degrees."

Cat: "Meow."

Me: "What gives? Not that I'm complaining. Not at all. I'm just stunned. In shock, actually. I need to find out how this happened."

Cat: "Meow."

I spot a neighbor jogging -- yes, jogging -- towards me and I wave at her, calling out "Morning!"

(Yes, I am the kind of helpful person to point out the fact that it is, indeed, not dark.)

Jogger, slowing down: "Good morning!"

Me, sweeping out my arms all-inclusively: "What happened?"

Jogger, not needing any further explanation for the nature of my question: "Beats me, but I'm not asking any questions. This is too nice."

Me: "I think UPS got our weather delivery mixed up with Seattle."

Jogger: "No doubt ... Isn't it great!"

Me: "Sure is! Later!"

Jogger: "Later!"

Cat: "Meow."

I spread my arms and take in the coolness (77 is cool, my friends ... it was 96 two days ago). The cat licks his left front paw and then sniffs the nearby border grass, no doubt contemplating a hunt for field mice on this fine day.

Frogs and toads are chorusing a hallelujah choir of pure amphibian joy. I take my coffee to the porch and sit there, watching the neighbors walk by (people are outside!). The lack of heat is so remarkable that entire families are outdoors, walking the kids and the dogs, marveling at the wonder of it.

Y'all have to understand that even a few summer days like this are absolutely and completely freakish in our part of the world. But freakish in a good and very welcome way. The summer norm is for the Louisiana thermostat to have an ugly breakup with the 80s sometime in early June, and then get real friendly with the 90s part of the thermometer, and stay there quite obsessively unti mid-September (with the occasional dalliance into the 100s in July and August).

But here it is, the middle of July, so I take my only opportunity for the whole summer to sit on the porch, drink coffee, and knit.

The amazing weather has done wonders for my mood, so as I work away at my sock, I consider what I might do later in the day, and remember that I've been so dispirited by last week's suffocating weather and bogged-down grant work, that I have fallen over a week behind on my blog.

I have been meaning to post a few things about spinning:

A few weeks, back, you may recall, I went through a bag of natural off-white and natural grey singles and did a little Kool-Aid dyeing.

There was gradient dyeing, with tropical punch Kool-Aid and two four-ounce skeins of Romney singles:

Then, a one-ounce sample skein of Romney singles got tie-dyed with black cherry Kool-Aid. This one will be plied against itself for a speckled effect:

And next, there was a two-ounce skein of natural grey singles -- somebody please hit me with the stupid stick, I forgot to write the breed on the bag label -- that I space-dyed with Kool-Aid Mountain Berry Punch. It will be overdyed with lime green Kool-Aid so that part of the grey remains grey, part becomes green, and part of the green overlaps the blue:

And here's the whole whack of samples hanging out in the bathroom with a fan blowing on them to help with the drying process:

Next time I post, you'll see all of these yarns plied in their final state, and skeined up for future use.

Most of my spinning is fine worsted singles, which I 2-ply for sock yarn or lightweight knits. For worsted weight yarn,I spin fine woolen singles, and the end product is a 3-ply worsted. All of the above yarn is worsted singles (except for the solid blue, which was already plied).

Late this afternoon, we treated ourselves to dinner at the neighborhood sushi bar, and then I took a 2.5 mile walk (about 4K) around the neighborhood just before sunset.

Ordinarily, the 10-meter sprint from the air-conditioned house to the air-conditioned car is the most outdoor excercise a person can handle in Louisiana in July. Anything more strenuous and you'd have to hire an ambulance to follow you around.

But this evening, I walked all the way to the end of the neighborhood, where the creek empties into a small lake, and back again, to the accompaniment of deliriously happy frogs and toads. Birds bathed in the fresh puddles, and shy green anole lizards licked raindrops from the undersides of leaves.

While I was walking, I also remembered that the pesky Mercury retrograde is over. So I came home, paid a pile of bills, pulled out my hand carders and that Ouessant fleece from Jo, and oiled my wheel. I'm plannning to spin this yarn woolen for loft and softness, but two-ply for light weight so it goes further. Once it's spun up, I'm sure it will tell me what it wants to be:

I'm happy as a frog in a puddle, for a few days, at least.


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At 11:26 AM, Blogger sweet-Vangogh46 said...

I hear ya, sweetie! Over here in Mobile, we are on a slow steam. It was 91 today with 87% humidity. But they say this is why southern women have such nice skin....I think I would deal with more wrinkles and be able to breathe while I run to the car. Love your blog, we have a LOT in common.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger sweet-Vangogh46 said...

Oh yeah, that 91 degrees was 10:30 this morning. I'm scared to look now. it's 1:30! See ya!


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