Bright red cactus blossoms

Spring Things

Bright red cactus blossoms

Welcome back dear readers! The heat is kicking in in earnest. As I have discussed many times over, I do not like being hot, or being stuck inside when it’s too hot to bake, or the relentless sunshine, but there is an upside: the heat will KILL ALL THE BLOOMING THINGS. I have progressed from constant sneezing and congestion to charming post nasal drip to perpetual sniffles. Querido wonders why I’m such a tissue fanatic, and this season is why.

Oh and now we’re getting air pollution advisories, so the fun might keep going through the summer.

On that happy note, let’s look at those first quarter FOs! Five projects, plus one un-photographed gift. One hat for me, and one for Peanut to replace the Kuchi Kopi Bonnet he had outgrown by late January (sob). Two little rattles for him in cotton. And, two years almost to the day after it was started, MY STILL LIGHT TUNIC.

That tunic took an absurdly long time to complete. It’s not a difficult project, basically just a very long top-down raglan sweater. My first stumbling block was just my perennial inability to finish projects for myself. The second stumbling block was when I forgot one set of the pocket increases and the skirt came out too tight, requiring me to rip back almost to the armholes last winter. My one complaint with this pattern is that Välimäki doesn’t give stitch counts after every increase section, which requires the knitter to do math, correctly, to know whether or not they have the correct number of stitches at a given point in the pattern.  Maybe that’s not asking a lot for some knitters, but it is for me!

At Christmas I realized I’d been working on the project for nearly two years, that the store I bought the yarn from is closed, and the yarn itself is discontinued.  I was so depressed by the realization I got myself together and finished it off.  The skirt and sleeve edgings are in 1×1 rib, which doesn’t look as nice as the 2×2 I was supposed to use, but the edges are finished with a tubular bind off so 1×1 is how they will remain. I would love to tell you how cozy it is, and how I lived in it until it got too hot, but it was so warm the morning we took photos I had to peel it off, wash it, and pack it away for next winter.

Happily, the baby knits have seen much more action. Peanut has had a shockingly small stash of hankdnitted possessions, and the two rattles I’d been planning for him since before he was born. Kuchi Kopi is already worse for the wear–the pattern is not written as a baby toy, and the bowtie needs some reinforcement–but the Nautie is holding up beautifully.  The Nautie was the first baby toy I made, and the subject of my first blog post, so this is a really special knit for me.  Knitted in worsted, she’s a little big for Peanut’s hands, but he loves chewing on her tentacles and her rattle is pleasantly muffled inside her stuffing.

As I look back over these projects, I’m really pleased with the number that used American yarn.  The white mohair hat is all from a small farm, the alpaca content in the Still Light Tunic is American, and the blue baby hat is knit with some O-Wool Local.  And last but not least, that fluorescent yellow-green yarn is organic cotton.  Finally, getting away from my dependence on conventional cotton yarns!

As of the end of the first quarter, I was on track with all my deadline projects–woohoo!  Plus, the completion of my Still Light Tunic completely overcompensated for a few yarn purchases here.. and there…just a couple hundred yards (eep!).  I got a little distracted with a MKAL project and am running behind this quarter, but I’ve got nowhere to be on this thoroughly hazy day, so it’s time to pull out the needles and catch up!

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