Column: Focus on Fiber — Are you hardcore?

For hardcore knitters, it’s never too hot to knit.

Knitting, like many pursuits, has its seasonal ebbs and flows. Although knitting is practiced year-round, it’s the fall and winter months that see the most activity. Every September, crisp autumn air and the swirl of falling leaves serve as a silent call to knitters and want-to-be knitters alike, to make the journey to the local yarn shop.

For many knitters the spring and summer become a time of knitting dormancy. Their knitting and crocheting are set aside and replaced with travel, gardening and vacations. Some fiber enthusiasts will choose to work in cooler fibers such as cotton or linen. Knitting or crocheting with these fibers typically is deemed less enjoyable to use compared to wool and other animal fibers, since cotton and linen do not have the same elasticity and memory.

For many, the thought of warm, wooly fiber sliding through their fingers on a hot, if not downright tropical, day does not take them to their happy place. They will choose to curtail the pleasure until cooler weather. Although this is totally understandable, this is where I need to object. Isn’t this exactly what air-conditioning is for? Yes, I will admit that sweaty fingers and wool might not always make for a fun experience, but a nice cool room will fix everything.

Sometimes, however, there are times when a knitter must do what a knitter must do, and that’s knit. I’m not sure how many knitters will admit to it, but I did knit at a beach once. I even have a great spot where I bring a chair and sit at the water’s edge in town. I’m not saying where, because I don’t want my spot being poached. What can be better than a cool breeze off the water under a shady tree? Add a cold drink, and life is good.

I do know some knitters that I would put in the category of hardcore, they will knit anytime, anywhere, and don’t understand how anyone could possibly call time out on account of heat. Sharon is one of those knitters. She is quite a prolific knitter, churning out project after project. Last weekend’s heatwave did not slow Sharon down a bit. She came into the shop the following week, having completed her wool sweater during that oppressive heat. She’s now waiting for the weather to be cool enough to wear it.

Virginia (Ginger) Balch knits, weaves and spins in all things “fibery” at her shop In Sheep’s Clothing at 10 Water St., Torrington, www.in-sheeps-clothing.com, or call 860-482-3979; email- insheepscloth@gmail.com.

Connecticut Media Group