I can't believe that May is nearly over already. Man, it flew by. School will be done in 2 weeks, the pool is open already, camp payments are due, the piano recital is imminent, Mathboy's belt test is looming, and baseball and softball playoffs are right around the corner. Help!
In the midst of all the craziness, we have managed to get some stuff done around the house. Rich and Catgirl powerwashed the shed and the front porch this weekend. The patio was swept with sand. My garden fence this year is shorter but better-looking than it has been in prior years, and it is finally complete (I needed to get back to Home Depot for that last couple of feet). The annuals have been planted, so hopefully they'll be of a respectable size by the day of the croquet party.
How does my garden grow? Slowly but surely, it seems. I have lettuce, carrots, broccoli, chard, tomatoes, herbs, a couple zucchini and some peppers in the kitchen garden as well as containers, and I finally can see some tangible growth in the plants as the weather is warming up.
Actually, I've been picking lettuce in small amounts for sandwiches and such, and that has made my inner farmgirl feel all warm and fuzzy. My own lettuce! :o)
I made a few quickie projects in honor of the weather. First, there were a couple water bottle carriers (Ravelry link to the pattern here), to make it easier to schlep around drinks.
We want to get some letterboxing and some bike rides in this summer, and we definitely notice that the amount of water we bring with us has a direct relationship to our enjoyment (and an inverse relationship to the amount of whining we must endure). Mathboy's carrier came in handy on his school camping trip. These were crocheted with dishcloth cotton, so they can be tossed in the washer and dryer.
We are trying to stick to reusable water bottles as much as possible from now on--I got tired of paying for cases of water and I got tired of our overflowing recycling can. I am also trying (trying!) to remember to bring canvas and other reusable shopping bags with me when I go to the store. I have a couple of purchased poly ones, but I saw a pattern for a string bag on the Internet and thought that might be even better: they should be easy to keep around as they can be scrunched up into tiny bundles when not in use and stretch to hold tons O' stuff. I knitted up this market bag in a few days, and it isn't bad for a first try, I think. I actually did disdressed's version of the pattern. If I make another I will make some changes of my own, including doing it in the round so I don't have to worry about the side seams (which were seriously annoying to do).
I squished 12 webkinz in here, and I think I could have fit more. Hoo-ee!
I finally finished Cat Crazy Girl's socks last week.
The toes are a little too pointy, but she likes them anyway. I love the way this pattern looks, even the simplified one-panel version that I did here is nice. I think I would like to try it again. C's socks were done in Colinette Jitterbug in the Blue Parrot colorway. It is very pretty and I have a ton of it left. I'm not sure what to do with the leftovers, though. I am a little concerned about how this yarn will hold up, as I have heard some horror stories about the dye fading. We'll see.
I have also had several frogging adventures. I was working on Rich's socks, and even turned a heel, but frogged back to the middle of the foot. It just looked wrong. This is the second time I have had to frog back to the middle of the foot on these socks from h**l. It's just a plain sock, fps!
I also ended up frogging my Jeanie. It was painful, but I had to face facts. This yarn was NOT a good choice for this project--it stuck together dreadfully, making the dropping of stitches difficult and time-consuming. Worse, although the colors are beautiful, I hated the way they looked in the pattern. In my mind, this pattern really needs a solid or semi-solid colorway. And although I think Jeanie is lovely, I really feel like my recent clapotis met whatever need I may have had to make a drop-stitch shawl. Been there, done that. I don't really want to do it anymore. So I will rewind this skein and try to find a more suitable project for it.
I also had to rip out a couple of squares I worked on for the Great American Afghan, one because I realized I did not have enough yarn to finish the square and another because of a gauge disaster that I still don't understand. Even though I was getting gauge on that square, it was still turning out to be an inch and a half too wide. How does that happen?? Argh! So I ripped it out and I'll just start again with fewer stitches. It's annoying, though. So far, I have 4 squares done out of 25 . Here are a few:
I worked on Inishmore for a while, on some chilly nights when wool was still welcome in my lap. We sat out of the patio with the firepit blazing, some warm blankets wrapped around us, and the Phillies on the radio. But I'm still only 15 inches up the back, which is supposed to be 26 inches long. No picture, because it looks the same, just longer.
I started a couple new projects, trying to get some things done before the Summer of Socks begins. There is a secret gift project that I can't show here. It is veddy, veddy nice, though! And I started a summer top for myself with some yarn I bought for that purpose, um, maybe 2 years ago? Bad me.
It's a Sweater for the Ages from the Yarn Girl's Guide to Beyond the Basics, and I am (gasp!) actually using the yarn recommended for the project, Artful Yarns Fable. This is a cotton and silk blend in a strange orange/coral and purply/brown blend. I can no longer remember quite why I bought this particular color. I am cautiously optimistic, however. So far, so good. It's good to have one project that is straight stockinette, and it should go quickly. The yarn is super splitty, though. Why do I keep choosing splitty yarn?