How do you deal with crafting in the heat?  It’s summer in Peru, and man, it is HOT.  on top of that, we are working hard on setting up our espresso bar, which means lots of scraping walls, painting, driving around in a hot unairconditioned car, shopping for supplies in warm markets.  We are thisclose to having everything we need to open, although there are still miles to go before we sleep.

I am half a sleeve, some edging, blocking, and seaming away from completing my arisaig, after months of “poco a poco,” and unfortunately I have found myself suddenly without much time, inclination or relatively cool temparatures to sit for hours with handfuls of wool.  hot hands do not like to have yarn slipping over them.  When I’m awake, I’m busy and sweating, and when we’re home resting in the slightly cooler night, we just want to eat and sleep. When I do finish this sweater, I’m afraid I’m not even going to want to put it on, because a second in a wool sweater is a second in which I may simply melt.  As for beginning to spin, again, I’m going to have to cope with some warm weather and incredible busy-ness.  sigh.  knitting is so much cozier when it’s chilly out.

There’s a good chance that in a few weeks I will take a brief trip to Bolivia, which might entail 12 hours in a cushy air-conditioned sleeper bus, which would be ideal for finishing the knitting part.  let’s hope that works out!  as for spinning, once my wheel is completely finished and I’ve got the alpaca in front of me, i’m sure that not even a heat wave could keep me from it.

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arisaig 1, originally uploaded by Hannahcha.

Being such a huge fan of ysolda‘s patterns, I’m in the midst of my arisaig. I began knitting it on a long busride in the north of Peru in August 2007. It’s now January and I have completed the back, both fronts, one sleeve, and am in the midst of the second sleeve. I knit for between half an hour and an hour every day, hence my slow progress, but slowly but surely I am getting this one done! It’s harder to knit lately since it’s summertime in Lima, and wool is not so nice to handle when it’s warm and humid. I’m hoping to finish by the end of the month. This pattern is delightful, as are bamboo needles. I’d never done much lace before, and you can find plenty of mistakes in the back piece, which was the first section I made. I don’t mind a few mistakes, since it’s for me and not a gift for someone else, but I’m happy to report the rest of the sweater has gone much more smoothly.

beret 1, originally uploaded by Hannahcha.

This is my version of ysolda‘s Gretel, which I made using Indiecita DK Baby Alpaca yarn for David’s mother, Marta. Beautiful! This pattern was a joy in every way. This is my most recent completed project.

David’s sweater, originally uploaded by Hannahcha.

This photo was taken February 2007 in my parent’s living room (see? lots of stuff!). The handsome man to my left is David, my boyfriend/partner/novio. He’s wearing the sweater that I made for him, using a pattern I found in my grandmother’s old Vogue Knitting magazine from 1948. Sizing was a challenge, since they seemed to have been much smaller 50 years ago. David is not a small man, so I tried my best to expand the pattern. Also, the yarn for the pattern of course no longer exists, so the nice folks at the Yarn Barn in Lawrence, Kansas (via internet) helped me find an appropriate replacement. If I did it all over again, I would have made it longer in the torso, but aside from that, I’m very pleased with how it came out. It’s double-knit in a soft wool with a cozy foldover collar. To my right in the photo is my best friend since high school, Leigh Ann, and her boyfriend/my cousin Jeremy.

machu picchu, originally uploaded by Hannahcha.

Knitting a very simple scarf for David, while on the train back from visiting Machu Picchu, after a strenous and gorgeous 4 day hike on the Inca Trail, early November 2005. I also made the hat that I’m wearing in this photo, a slouchy brimmed corduroy tam. I copied the pattern directly from a friend’s coveted hat. the lovely lady to my right is Shireen Amini (she knits too, but mostly she makes music! http://www.shireenamini.com).

my hat, originally uploaded by Hannahcha.

a wonderful cabled brimmed hat, pattern from Stitch & Bitch. I recall having some trouble with the pattern — the rows never came out evenly, I always ended with some leftover stitches, despite not having made (or found, more likely) errors. I managed to work it out, in the end. Not too shabby!

minisweater, originally uploaded by Hannahcha.

Minisweater from http://www.glampyreknits.com. Very pretty, but I rarely wear it because the yarn is slightly itchy around the armpits. If I make it again, I’ll use a softer, lighter yarn. This one was a slightly chunky wool, I can’t remember the exact brand, but it was probably Patons, since I bought it while working at a fabric/yarn store that carried mostly Patons. sheesh, I really do need to do a better job of recording what i make and what I make it with!