April saw a lot of garden activity! I decided (why?????) to plant with seeds instead of buying plants. Let me tell you, seeds take forever to germinate and the plants stay microscopic for a long time. Next year, I'll do plants. I have planted (wait for it) heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, basil, parsley, garlic chives, and lavender. And catnip for the guys. Everything has had at least SOME seeds sprout, so I haven't completely killed everything yet--yay! A friend is helping me out, which is wonderful, and then we'll share the proceeds.
Clapotis is done!
Pattern: Clapotis, from Knitty
Yarn: Noro Matsuri in #7, 6 skeins (I used less than half of the sixth)
Needles: Size 8 circular
Modifications: I accidentally kept increasing, so I had 119 stitches instead of 107. That was fine, as I wanted it a bit wider anyway. It's more of a wrap. I also accidentally kept knitting the straight rows, so it's a bit longer. This was such a delightful, almost mindless pattern, that I lost track of where I was :)
Notes: I love this pattern! I can't believe it took me this long. I think a narrower, more scarf-y version would be nice as a gift, but I like the wrap size I made. The yarn is really soft and lovely. I didn't mind the thick/thin parts, but the knots were awful. Three of the skeins had a knot near the end that effectively shortened the skeins by 5-10 yards. One skein sported three knots. I was too lazy to look up the Russian join again, and I regretted it when I had all those ends to weave in. I have over two skeins left, so I'm going to be a dorky mom and make Lilah a mini-Clapotis to match mine. She loves putting on my shirts and stuff, so I think she'll love it.
I now have an actual queue on Ravelry, AND I've entered most of my stash (though not with photos). Since Lilah was born, I've taken it one pattern at a time, and I haven't had as much knitting time and even less "browsing for patterns" time. But I've picked yarn for Shipwreck Shawl, and I just need to get the beads. I'm using Knitpicks Gloss in Dolphin and hoping to find a good mix of blue beads (otherwise, I can pick four colors myself). I'm going to try an actual store so I can ask about beading needles, as far as what size. Apparently, the crochet hook method puts the bead in a different spot than the pre-stringing method, so I'm not sure which way to go. I'm also planning a Bottoms Up! bag from Knit One Below, a neat book that focuses on a different colorwork method (knitting into the stitch below with one color). I thought the bag would be a good way to learn the method. If you look at all the patterns in the book, they have a very similar look, but it's an interesting approach, and I think it'll be fun. That, or I'll be tearing out my hair. I have Hjalte still on the needles, not doing much at the moment. And now I want to knit Fifi after Amy posted her yarn decision for it. And also Twist and Shout, after Kate posted about it. Coincidentally, around that same time, WEBS had Cascade 220 on sale. Mine is going to be Forest Green, and I'm really excited about having a nice outerwear piece I knit myself. Though I'm not allowed to cast on for another cable project until Matt's sweater is done. And let's not discuss my sock yarn stash, from which I have not knit socks (or anything) since...a long time hence.
Update on the Bottoms Up! Bag:
Hey, look at that! The base is done, and I'm working on the body. The bag is NOT a good way to learn the knit one below technique. Well, it is, since I can now do it, but it's in the "hard way" category. I hate joining 8 stitches spread over 4 dpns and trying to wrestle them into knitting in the round. It made trying to master the "column stitch" pattern really hard, and after several rows, I thought it looked wonky and ripped out and started over. I'm glad I did, because does that not look cool? The other reason I think this was not the greatest intro project to a new technique is that it is, as one expects with a felted bag, very floppy and loose. That said, I am going to love this bag, I think. I am wondering if I should have made it a bit bigger (it's meant to be a small knitting project bag), but we'll have to see once the felting is done. Naturally, I did not bother to swatch, so I don't know on the shrinkage amount. I can't imagine it's much different from other Brown Sheep and/or Noro Kureyon bags I've done. Anyway, the combo of Brown Sheep and Noro is brilliant--much cheaper than using, say, three skeins of Noro for a Booga Bag, and I like the effect. The bag in the book is blue and charcoal, but I thought pink and brown would be fun. The Noro starts out purple-y, so it's a little lost with the brown right now, but it goes into pinks that will stand out more.
Writing: Nope. Though I went to a colloquium at Emory given by my undergrad advisor, Ha Jin. It was a lot of fun, and really made me wish I had more writing time. Lilah has stopped sleeping through the night again, so yay, I'm always tired!
Reading: Lots and lots, as usual. Reviews at On My Bookshelf.
Cooking: Oddly, not much of interest here. I did a nice mushroom-cream sauce for pasta, but I didn't measure anything, so I can't really type up a recipe!