For the last week or so, we’ve had gloomy days with rainfall ranging from torrential to misty and annoying. There’s been about 20 minutes of sunshine. This has been good and bad for my garden.
My lettuce, broccoli, and onions look as if they’re truly enjoying themselves. But for the first time in a couple of growing seasons, slugs are invading en masse. I will have to break out the beer and tuna cans this week, so I can trap them. Usually I get my thrills by smashing slugs with my trowel, but for now they are so small I can find only a handful (well, not exactly a “hand” full because I avoid touching them). Their nocturnal munchings give them away.
The good news for me is that I haven’t had to water, but the wet weather has made it hard for Ed to put down the soaker hoses, and so that is a WIP for him. And it has kept me from making any new plantings, so lots of veggies and flowers are still growing on my deck.
In addition to the tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and basil, I’m growing sunflowers for the first time. I really wanted them in the garden by now to start attracting beneficial insects. At least my thyme plants are blooming (not to mention taking over the herb row, back left) to give the bees and beneficial wasps a reason to visit.
But unlike most people who are griping about our weather and the cool temperatures we’ve had throughout May, I’m rejoicing because it is giving me a chance to finish Sirdal. And, Sleeve #1 is progressing extremely well—I’m up to my elbow. There are just a few days in the next couple of weeks when we’ll flirt with the 80s, but the evenings are still forecast as being cool. I really could love a summer like this, even if it meant few tomatoes.
The weather has made it hard for me to get serious about summer knitting, something I really don’t enjoy that much. I’m a wool knitter, and summers require me to lose my rhythm and switch to other things. One hot summer a few years ago, my brain got so fried I actually knitted with fun fur. And it is the reason that Sirdal was put out to pasture in 2010.
In my heart of hearts, I’d like to proceed with stranded projects, and I balled up the yarn for Alice Starmore’s Oregon cardigan. I’ll consider swatching for it if the weather remains cool, once Sirdal’s sleeves are done and I have to work on the steeks (something best left for a weekend morning, when I’m relaxed and presumably clear-headed). But to be on the safe side, should warm weather finally arrive, I started dragging out my lace-weight yarn, and I cast on for Anne Hanson’s Wing of the Moth shawl. In truth, the yarn I picked isn’t lace weight, but fingering weight. It is the Fibre Company’s Canopy Sport:
It is mix of alpaca, merino, and bamboo, and so it is smooth to work with and not sticky as most wools would be in heat and humidity. (Needless to say, outdoor picture taking is not possible--this is a light mauve.) It took a few starts and stops to get the set-up rows done, but until I reach the border, it uses an easy pattern of 8-row repeats (four of which are just purling back rows). So there may be yet another shawl on the horizon, in true lace-weight yarn, for later.