What to do when it’s too hot to knit…

All right, this is getting silly. This is Snowdonia, for heaven’s sake, it’s not supposed to be warmer than the Mediterranean,


especially not in the evening, and it’s not supposed to be dry either. Everyone knows Wales is the land of song and squally showers, don’t they? (They are often wrong, mind, and on both counts if you’ve heard some of the contributions to the first cliché in our local pub. I shall mention no names but let’s just say that band practice carries and I do wish it didn’t.)

But, in defiance of the fact that I know the stereotypes for what they are – rubbish with but a grainette of truth –  and am quite capable of coming to terms with reality, I decided to knit a winter sweater.

I know, I know, but we’d briefly reverted to what passes for the norm – a bit cloudy, not too warm – and I was allowing for the fact that I have to go slow and take care of my hands, and that it will soon(ish) be autumn. I also want to use up the stash, so I selected Norah Gaughan’s Kenobi jacket, found some yarn I bought at Wonderwool ahem, ahem years ago (a cone of green 100% wool DK tweed from Curlew Weavers) and fiddled with the tension to get it to work with the yarn doubled.


Not only is it working, but it’s also a quick and comfortable knit – or it was until we became surprisingly warmer than Nice (admittedly Bordeaux, Montpellier and Toulouse were beating us, but there you go). At this point it became rather like knitting with an uncooperative labrador on your lap – minus the dribble but not entirely minus the smell, and with quite a bit of shedding also involved. I kept sticking to the work, the yarn, the needles, the pattern, the settee, the carpet, the rather nasty knitting bag I got from Rowan as a freebie. I gave up. So what to do instead?

There’s work. Let’s pass over that.

There’s the garden, some of which has started harvesting itself. I’d been wondering when to pick the garlic when it all fell over, making debate somewhat academic:


but working in the garden achieved very little except giving me mild sunstroke, a deep and as yet unsatisfied desire for a Magnum (holiday traffic preventing me getting near shop), and an interesting criss-cross sunburn pattern on my feet due to the straps on my sandals.

So now what? I suffer, you see, from a sort of Protestant work ethic, except it’s more of a Catho-Judaic-total-non-believer-for-generations-on-both-sides work ethic. I have to be up and doing. There’s always something and you’re a long time dead. Well, there’s always something except housework; I mean, there are limits. Maybe some other, more realistic, knitting? Hmm. I managed to tell myself off after trying to finish a shawl in some lovely silk/cashmere mix and getting into even more of a mess – not so much of a labrador on the lap as an elegant Persian cat. Contemplated becoming a Bond villain briefly, then decided to just chill, man, went and found rug, hat, cold drink, cushion, book

alternative to world domination

(Les vacances du petit Nicolas, Goscinny et Sempé, super-superbe – been translated but the translation struck me as oddly twee, what a shame – an ideal summer book), and then went back for suntan stuff, cherries, another cushion, to change my top, get another drink, change my sandals for more comfortable espadrilles. This relaxing thing is sooooo exhausting.

Tried staring into tree for a bit.

hello tree

Hello tree.

Tree roughly same colour as silk/cashmere mix. Want to knit! Wonder if knitting outside – where it’s cooler – is better than knitting inside?

I can now answer that question. It isn’t. It’s very similar to knitting inside, plus you get leaves in your knitting and ‘help’ from Next Door’s Cat. NDC is not an elegant Persian, thus no good when it comes to plans for world domination, but rather scrappy B&W moggie with a disturbing fondness for all forms of animal fibre. Threw cold drink in NDC’s general direction and she pissed off, but I knew she was just lying in wait and so started taking things in, including the knitting – plus, by now there was almost more clutter in the garden than in the house and I thought I’d redress the balance a little. Stupidly left the door open while I went to get more stuff and came back into the house to discover NDC on the table, stalking the shawl. Threw her out and closed the door. Now what? Ah – beach.


I can – fortunately, due to weekend traffic – walk to the beach. The fact that this was a wise choice should have given me a clue about how crowded it was likely to be, but our beaches are never heaving and I thought it would be fine, particularly if I walked behind the dunes and across to the beach itself on the farther boardwalk which only the dog walkers seem to know. Now, the council have issued dog bans on many local beaches. Nobody seems to be quite clear which parts are OK and which are not – and in all fairness I must say that the maps are vague and completely lacking in ‘you are here’ arrows. However, there is absolutely NO excuse for what I put my foot in once I came off the boardwalk and set off down the stones towards the sand. I’ll just say that my sprint to the sea was worthy of Usain Bolt. With extra gagging accompaniment. BLEAGH.

(And while I’m on the subject, picking up after your dog is fine and dandy and lovely, but not if you then suspend the plastic bag from a tree / hang it from the handrail of a boardwalk / deposit it by the side of a picnic table and then forget to pick it up. Mucky pups, and I’m talking about the bad dog walkers and not their pets.)

Fortunately I was rescued from this life of relaxation and no knitting by a trip out to see a friend, her garden, her shepherd’s hut, some new and different countryside.

oh yes

And there was even a real labrador to have resting on my lap. One whose owner feels equally violently about the plastic-bag amnesiacs, too.

That’s more like it.

How’s everyone else coping?


6 thoughts on “What to do when it’s too hot to knit…

  1. starproms

    With great difficulty! It’s as hot as hell in my street today and, since I was stung on the arm on Monday, I’m suffering twice over – once with the heat and twice with a swollen, itchy and throbbing arm! I’m sewing in the afternoons, in front of a fan and my hands are moist and uncomfortable, but like you, I must do something. I keep waiting for the evenings to be cooler, but they are not and that makes for a really difficult night. Perhaps it will get cooler at the weekend. At least you are near the sea. I am in the middle of the town!

    1. kate Post author

      Oh, you poor thing – I will stop moaning immediately! I haven’t been bitten or stung by anything yet (that’s what was missing from my day, really), but it’s probably only a matter of time as there were mosquitos in the house yesterday. Where from? Who can tell.

      I lived in London for twenty years, and well remember the sheer horror of this weather in a city; you have all my sympathy. I haven’t tried sewing though – I’ve a bag I need to line; perhaps this is the moment. Or perhaps not – the sewing room (aka spare room) faces the sun. Hm.

  2. Annie @ knitsofacto

    Yes the plastic bag amnesiacs get my goat too. I have a lot of dogs, I have a lot of plastic bags, and I take them home with me, in a nice little fly and pong proof container if I’m in the car, simples!

    The shepherds hut owning, Labrador keeper wasn’t Elizabeth by any chance? I ask because she recently posted about lying on rugs and looking up into trees.

    If it’s any consolation it’s even hotter in the Marches.

    1. kate Post author

      Well spotted! She’s just fostering at the moment but said doglet is soooo lovely I personally would find her very difficult to return. Dognapping would not so much be on the cards as inevitable; we’d have to do a Lord Lucan. She inspired me to try and stop for half a second. Try.

      I think the worst thing about the plastic baggers is the bad name they give all dog owners; it’s so frustrating. I went for a ten-mile walk with a friend and the Lovely Mali (young border collie) and the first thing FlowerPaws did on being released onto the trail was have a mighty poo in celebration. My friend ended up carrying her plaggy bag for at least 8 miles until we found a poo bin.

      Someone said thunder was forecast for Monday….

  3. croftgarden

    Move to the Outer Isles. We’ve not seen the sun for 5 days, a combination of fog/rain/wind in any combination you like. It’s a balmy 15C, requires a fleece over the t-shirt and socks with or without sandals. Shall I start knitting? Perhaps not, I’m grumpy enough without having to work out which style I should adopt for holding the needles.

    1. kate Post author

      Oh no! I was looking at the chart to see what was happening in Sutherland and Shetland (old habit) and it did look grim for the the whole of the north. We had that sort of weather at exactly this time last year – I’ve just been talking about it with the physio. Last year, on July 17, I turned up for an appointment in waterproof, fleece, t-shirt, jeans, and walking boots…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.