It's not normal for me to post about a finished project (or anything, for that matter) so soon after the last entry, but I finished the Bottoms Up! Bag.
Here it is, before felting:
And after felting:
And here's the cool bottom:
And a close-up of the striping effect caused by the Knit One Below method:
Pattern: Bottoms Up! Bag from Knit One Below
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in Roasted Coffee and Victorian Pink (one skein each) and Noro Kureyon (one skein in 240)
Needles: Size 11 dpns and circular
Notes: I had a rocky start with this pattern and technique. It was simply trying to do something I already find fiddly and unpleasant (joining 8 stitches in the round) with my first attempt at a new technique, and once I realized it was all wonky, I ripped out and started over. The bottom of the bag ended up perfectly, and the construction is really cool. The base is (obviously) round, then a welt is formed to give the base stability (and it's stable, let me tell you--it's been sitting upright on the counter for a day), then the column stitch pattern is worked in the round, ending with welts. This was much easier than I remember from my last felted bag, which used applied i-cord instead of the welts. The handles are attached pre-felting, which made me worry they would felt together, but they didn't. I probably over-felted a bit, but there's something off about the measurements in the book, which say the bag is 12 inches wide and 10 inches high. With really, really aggressive blocking (I shoved my biggest tupperware container to the bottom using my foot!), I managed a diameter just shy of 8 inches, but the height easily made 10 inches. So maybe the round bottom felted faster? At any rate, I meant it to be a small knitting project bag for a friend, and it's a bit smaller than I meant. But I think it'll be useful anyway. I thought it was cute. I used all but about 5 feet of the Roasted Coffee (the main color), all of the Noro, and had at least half a skein of the pink left.
I really like the Knit One Below technique, since I'm not overfond of other colorwork methods. This one alternates colors, but uses one color per row. I think it's a cool way to show off Noro without paying the price of three skeins of Noro. It took me hardly any time at all to be totally comfortable with column stitch, and I think the bag bottom is ingenious. As far as the book as a whole...the technique creates a distinctive striping with wider-than-usual stitches, so I'm not sure how much I'll use it, to be honest. The look of all the projects is necessarily very similar, and I'm not sure about it for say, sweaters. There is actually a skirt in there that makes me consider rethinking my anti-knit-skirt position, and a couple of wraps. And a pinstripe-ish vest using Noro (again, it's cool to have part-Noro options to bring down the usual Noro project price), some cute baby things. Okay, I guess there are several projects I'd consider, and I think the technique is cool and interesting, so I'd recommend the book.
That's a teensy project, a French press cozy using handspun from Stefaneener! This is my first use of handspun, actually. I really like it so far, and I needed a cozy to replace one I lost when the press crashed to the floor, soaking the cozy in coffee and embedding it with glass :(
Reading: I'm reading The Historian right now for book club, and it's surprisingly fun!
Cooking: I did do a really nice pesto, but I don't have a real recipe since it was a pantry-buster right before grocery shopping day. I put the leaves from a bunch of basil in the Cuisinart with the rest of the pine nuts (a couple tablespoons), the rest of the parmesan (a quarter cup-ish), a crushed clove of garlic, salt and pepper, and drizzled in olive oil (a couple tablespoons) until it started to come together. It didn't look like enough for a pound of rigatoni, so I whizzed in some cream (maybe 1/3 cup?). I sauteed halved baby squash in a bit of olive oil, squeezed over half a lemon, and tossed it with the rigatoni and pesto sauce. Yum!