Cold Shoulders

I grew up with central air conditioning. We moved to North Texas in the late ’60s and our ranch-style house had it. The schools had it. The grocery stores, shopping malls, and movie theaters had it. Even our cars had it. Outside it was 100-degrees, but inside it was 68. We stayed cool in the summers.

This changed the first summer I spent in Manhattan, Kansas. The house I rented didn’t have air conditioning, which wasn’t a problem in the fall and winter. But summer was different. It was hot and humid, as only mid-Western summers can be. I was a poor student and couldn’t afford a window unit or the electric bill. So I had fans going all the time. The windows were always open. Sometimes I slept on the floor downstairs instead of my upstairs bedroom. When it got too much, I went to a movie.

I adapted to the heat. I took cool showers, and drank cool water, not icy sodas. I cut my hair short. I learned the value of shade and a breeze. I ate salads and other things that didn’t need cooking. I spent four years in Kansas with no AC, and each summer was easier.

Then I moved back to Texas. Back to central air everywhere.  I was cold. In the summer when the offices and stores and malls were cooled to 68-degrees, I was cold everywhere I went. This was Dallas in the ’80s, and I wore pantyhose and pumps to work. Most days my hands were too cold to type, which was a problem as I was a technical writer. On my lunch hour, I’d stand in the hottest place I could find — the plexiglass tube that linked the building to the parking garage, until my fingers were pink again.

I still get very cold in air conditioned buildings. In the summer I dress for the indoors, so I’m often the only one wearing jeans at the HEB in August. But sometimes I forget, and go to a movie in a dress or shorts. I need a wrap that I can keep in my car. Not a lacy thing that needs looking after, but something sturdy, indestructible, big, but pretty too. And not too heavy.

After searching on Ravelry, I found Silk Kerchief. It seemed to meet all my criteria, except it called for Silk Garden Sock Yarn, and I’m not a big fan of Noro yarn. But then Hill Country Weavers had Noro on sale for June’s First Thursday Sale. My friend Susan was working, and she helped me pick out the colorways. It turned out perfect. It’s garter stitch so it’s not fussy. The colors are gorgeous together. After washing it’s soft with a good drape. And it’s lighter than it looks.

Finished Silk Kerchief 2

When I showed it to my friend Karen, who is a new, but intrepid knitter, she had to make one. It was a good thing that we were in Hill Country, standing by the Silk Garden Sock, or she would had to drop everything to go there.

Sometimes, knitting is like that.

Finished Silk Kerchief 1


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