Earlier in the month, the days turned half-cool. It was an awesome and welcome relief after the steamy summer inferno.
These are just a handful of days in the year when you can wrap a thin wool blanket over a silky chemise and comfortably drink coffee/tea on the porch (assuming you don’t have creepy neighbors). Or don a fingering-weight wool sweater over a sundress when seated in the shade. These kind of days are rare, yet so many knitwear designs are inexplicably styled and photographed this way. I suppose other parts of the country and world have climates where these kind of days are more frequent – higher altitudes and northern coasts, but here in the Mid-Atlantic/East Coast and for the lower and middle parts of the states, it’s usually hellishly half-naked hot, or full bodily-coverage cold and only about three days of pleasantry on either end.*
I also think of it in terms of sock weather or not sock weather (or tights weather or bare legs weather). And these rare comfortable days are also perfectly described in Toni Morrison’s Sula as “too cool for ice cream.”
The return of cooler evenings also stirs up a certain muscle-memory itchiness for the dozen and more years spent in school. The summer is ending, freedom will go away, much needs to be crammed in before it’s all over – anxiety about unfinished novels, end to swimming days, late night bonfires, and playing in the creek; dread and depression of the impending virtual lock-down for most of the day, stupid classmates, stupid teachers, and stupid homework assignments**; and a slight glimmer of excitement since one more year is starting and it’s one more year closer to being done with the whole mess, a long-awaited class or teacher might finally be on the schedule, and perhaps it will be nice to see a classmate or crush again. Here and now in my sh*tty apartment complex, some of the ne’re do well kids from the neighboring state are appearing again to attend the better schools on this side of the river, and the school buses are making their shortcuts in the parking lot that come maddeningly close to clipping my car.
Every year around this time I want to knit a thin sweater. I own one cheap commercially (probably also unethically) made thin cardigan that I either wear for several days straight in a row or not at all during an autumn or spring. I know a thin sweater could take me ages to knit too, or else I’ll get a bit obsessive about it and knock it out in a few weeks, but still couldn’t reasonably finish it until the next window of half cool days.
I’ve queued the Featherweight Cardigan, paulie, and Autumnal Cardigan but none of these is quite what I’m after, though they’re all close. I like the top-down construction of the paulie, (and I like this one as-is, just not for what I need at the moment) but with the drapey hang of the Featherweight or Autumnal, but none of these three patterns has the gauge I’d like to use. I’ve got a few balls of Lion Brand Sock-Ease yarn in the stash that I got on the cheap and was saving for tights or a sweater. I’d prefer to re-create the gold/saffron of my current sweater, but this “toffee” yarn will also work with what I usually wear with it. Part of the reason I haven’t started this yet is the math needed to re-configure or create a new pattern from scratch – I am sorely lacking in math education and natural ability, so I rarely knit garments to fit because of this – especially since I need to modify most patterns to fit my weird body anyway (except something boxy I suppose). So I prefer items I can try on as I go rather than having to work out everything on paper beforehand.
But I also haven’t started yet because at the moment I am soooo busy with portfolio pieces and will be for a few months more, although I’m absolutely dying for a side project, a distraction, mindless knitting…
And most importantly, it is hot again and thoughts of a thin sweater are mothballed.
My legs and feet are bare once again.
*I omitted air-conditioning. I often need sweaters in air-conditioning, and interior environments often mimic half-cool weather. Since I half-work from home now, I can control my own thermostat, and thus no longer need the air-conditioning sweater. And in my previous gainfully employed life, I usually left the air-conditioning sweater in the office and rarely wore it outside, so it was more of a tool rather than a wardrobe component.
**I like school, school is good, but my primary school was bad, so stupid was a reality on all fronts.