I genuinely thought I might be getting myself in over my head when I set myself some pretty lofty knitting goals for this month, but it's looking more and more like I'll actually finish them. For starters, the gift for Rainbow's teacher is done and blocked!
Pattern: Sitka Spruce by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios (100% superwash merino) in Water Green, approximately 1.23 skeins
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) and US 7 (4.5 mm)
Started/Completed: May 4/May 28
Mods: did my left twists a bit differently than the directions
These were a fun, quick knit. My only complaint is that they seemed to come out a bit small, despite the fact that I did the beret version of the hat and the largest size of the mittens. I'll grant you that I did not swatch, because I know that I usually get the called-for gauge on size 7 needles with worsted weight yarn, so it's possible that there was a gauge issue, but going up in needle size definitely would have given me inadequate mitten fabric, so I relied on the characteristic of superwash wool to stretch when wet and gave the set a moderately aggressive blocking. I think if I were to knit the hat again, I would add an additional repeat of the pattern to add length. I think it'll be a jaunty hat as is, but it's not quite long enough to pull down over one's ears.
My only modification (if you can actually qualify it as that) is to change the execution of my left twists. The pattern calls for doing them by knitting into the back of the second stitch on the needle and then knitting the first stitch through the back loop; I knit through the first stitch normally, as I thought it would look odd to have some stitches twisted and some not, but I can see that twisting those stitches might result in a tidier twist. There is most definitely a difference in appearance between my right and left twists, so it's something I might try if I knit the set again. Actually, there's a good chance of that happening, as I think the yarn I have remaining is probably enough to knit a pair of mittens for Rainbow.
While I didn't have any issues with the pattern per se, I'm fairly certain I found a small typo in the pattern, and I'll be getting in touch with the Tin Can Knits folks about it. I also was not too fond of the way the thumb gusset was dealt with when it came time to put the thumb stitches on waste yarn; no stitches are cast on above the gusset for the hand, and instead the pattern instructs you to pick up three stitches in the small gap when you start the thumb and then decrease two of them right away. In the future, I might use an existing hand stitch for the base of the thumb gusset and then cast one on when I put the thumb stitches on waste yarn.
If you've been keeping track, the completion of this set marks the official end of the to-do list for the month, though I'm still hoping to finish up a pair of socks by the end of tomorrow. I don't think that's going to be a problem, as I've got most of the second sock already finished and will be working on it this evening. Apparently setting lofty goals can occasionally be a good thing!