Today is the day I can decide whether it is possible to press on with Mara over the summer. The first heatwave is hours away, with the promise of near 100° heat for a couple of days. It is already sultry.
I’m really gung-ho on knitting on. I reached the V of the cardigan front, and I did my first decreasing in stranded knitting. I know this doesn’t look like much, but figuring out where I was on the chart and actually getting these right is a milestone:
The V starts at the markers and moves upward along the edge of the steek.
The next Mara challenge is to shape, “at the same time,” the armholes. Mara has a slightly shaped armhole, and it starts now—and the neck shaping continues. I definitely will have to pause my audiobook as I prepare the armhole steek, but I hope I can sketch out on a copy of the chart just what the decreases will look like. Then, if my hands aren’t hot and sweaty, it will be onto the upper part of the body tube.
To be fair about the heat, so long as Con Edison cooperates, I’ll be running the AC and it should be 78° with some additional fans going. This is not going to be an iffy day in the low 80s where I mumble to Ed about whether we should turn on the AC or not.
The warm and wet spring has given me something I’ve never been able to grow successfully before: garlic. I’ve gotten some, and I have usually harvested it July, but this year, I really have a haul to be proud of--weeks ahead of schedule. There are 90 heads of garlic now curing in my garage (and I hope it stays cool enough in there over the next few days). It is really a treat to go into the garage—the smell of the garlic can knock you over. I just stand there breathing it in.
I suspect I’ll need a case of breath mints before long, but I have plans to use most of it and store what I can.
Over the cool weekend, I did what I could to prepare the garden for the heat. Everything is looking great now (and weeded, I might add proudly, and mulched). The beets, which are a few weeks from harvest, are on the lower left, covered with shade cloth. The tomatoes in the rows after that have flowers—even the main season tomatoes. I don’t recall being this far along in my potential tomato harvest for years. The garlic rows were replanted with summer squash and eggplant (covered, until they flower, to keep the squash vine borers off the squash and flea beetles off the eggplant). Carrots are in the row after that, with the straw mulch. The next thing to eat will be the broccoli (our first tonight) in the covered rows on the lower right. The covers did keep the cabbage loopers off. The pole beans are growing, as are the onions. The remaining right-side rows are more eggplant (also covered) and two rows of peppers. So if everything works out, I can use that garlic in some spicy ratatouille.