I finished the Ilene Bag! When I bound off, I thought, "This bag is too small to hold anything! Maybe it can be my yarn shopping bag or something.
But, boy, does it expand. I loaded it up with a box of cereal, two big (two-pound) cans, and four big apples.
Pattern: Ilene Bag from I Knit You Knot
Yarn: Louet Euroflax Originals, 1 skein (270 yards)
Needles: Size 4 and 6 circulars
Notes: I love the bag. But my thoughts of knitting several to match it, or to make them for family and friends went out the window. I do not like knitting with linen. It is rough, inflexible, and hard on the fingers. I thought the mesh pattern was grueling, and then I started the neverending strap, approximately 14 miles of 1x1 rib on the size 4 needles. Now THAT was grueling. It was an easy knit, pattern-wise, but hard on my hands. I don't know that I'd use it again, although the finished product is very nice.
Other knitting: I have another shopping bag, Everlasting Bagstopper, on the needles, in a hemp yarn that's been in the stash forever. It's pretty similar in design to the Ilene, but the hemp has more give than the linen, so it's not as bad. If I hadn't gotten all excited about destashing through knitting, I might have skipped this, but I do need more shopping bags, and I can get rid of yarn I'd never use otherwise. I've also been trying to do a bit on Hjalte, which has really suffered with Lilah's bad sleeping. It's just been too much for my brain to do a complicated (for me) cable pattern. But I have decided I have to finish it before I can start my Twist and Shout, though I may start Shipwreck Shawl before I finish Hjalte.
Reading: Lots, as usual. Bad sleeping = children's books or cozy mysteries, and lately, it's been children's/YA books. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman was fantastic. Right now, I'm finishing up a fascinating police procedural, Internal Affairs by Connie Dial, a first novel by a veteran LAPD officer. It's really interesting to have an insider's view of a police investigation and a close-up look at the bureaucracy that most police procedurals gloss over or simplify. For a reason, of course--it's almost labyrinthine in scope, and Dial includes a family-tree-like organizational chart of the departments that's very useful.
Cooking: Our refrigerator is really terrible. Never keep the fridge that comes with the house, even if you are too lazy to shop for your own and the one in the house is fewer than two years old. Frigidaire is a fine company that makes many quality appliances, but our fridge is not one of their better efforts. I'm telling you this because our fridge unwittingly inspired a pasta dish last night. As it does from time to time, it spontaneously froze pretty much everything in the fridge section. I had planned to make pesto, and had already chucked the cheese and pine nuts in the Cuisinart. When I went to add the basil, I found nearly half of it unusable, with not enough left to make pesto. Oops. So I rummaged through the fridge and pantry and added a cup of ricotta cheese and a can of artichoke hearts. I thinned it out with some half and half (I had to crack the ice on top of the bottle, but it was fine otherwise) and served it over tagliatelle. Yum! I'd still rather have basil pesto, but it wasn't half bad.
It's almost berry jam time! I think a pick-your-own strawberry adventure is in the works soon. I wonder how Lilah will like that....