Saturday, September 25, 2010

Connectivity a bit skittish this morning.

A good knitting day yesterday, with every second that could be sequestered for the purpose devoted to the Amedro shawl. I am now – since starting on the main patterns – decreasing each side of each side panel on every pattern row. The centre 71 stitches stay the same until the end. That’s four decreases every other row, and, like the years of one’s life, one doesn’t notice at first and eventually one does.

A bad moment yesterday when the stitch count was out for the centre panel, the “complex” spider pattern from the Love Darg book. This is the one I’m doing sight unseen, no swatch, no photograph in the book even. But I think all’s well. Everything seems to line up. Maybe I missed a decrease or added a YO at the end of a row.

It’s clearly going to be very open and spidery, and would of course be even more so if I were patterning on every row, as the pattern is written. I’ll photograph it as soon as feasible.

I’ve made up a package of yarn for the charity knitters in Alyth – the stash-buster’s equivalent of leaving courgettes on the neighbours’ porch under cover of darkness. I don’t think I could sell yarn. I would worry too much about disappointed customers, and the trudge to the post office. I could, however, find out if local branches of Oxfam would take any.

It was sobering to reflect as I compiled this bag-full, how long it would take to knit it even as a wide garter-stitch scarf. A substantial number of weeks. I’m in serious SABLE territory. (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy)

I scored points for tidiness yesterday, though. I have six plastic bins for yarn at the back of the stash cupboard. Three are full of Shetland jumper-weight. One is now chock-a-block with the lace yarn collection you saw here recently. But the fifth was only about 1/3rd full with Shetland odd-balls, and the 6th, devoted to heavier yarn, was nearly empty after the Alyth donation above was compiled. So I amalgamated those two, and created a Koigu bin, and that reduced by two the number of plastic bags of yarn on the stash cupboard floor.

Oh, dear.

Anyway, Strathardle. Off we go. Back sometime next week. The weather is fine, but cold. Mary Lou, I don’t grow horseradish, although I have thought about it. And it would fit in with my scheme of putting in more permanent things, to reduce labour. What about a wild garlic patch? Alexander is no help on horseradish; he and Ketki don’t eat beef because of Hinduism.

I am going to try globe artichokes next year. One of my hopes for the next few days is to get a patch ready for them and cover it. The Jerusalem artichokes the Fishwife gave me have done splendidly, above ground. It’s too soon to peek at the product.

I do agree, Jean, that one’s seed-buying is a way of supporting small firms, and a bit of extra postage is worth the expense. I couldn’t operate without Real Seeds, for instance, but they don’t even have a complete list – no broad beans, to begin with.


  1. It seems to me that horseradish and beef are not an exclusive pairing. Although I don't eat much of the former, I do enjoy it as a condiment or as a component of other condiments and have often considered putting in a patch of it. This despite being vegetarian for nearly 16 years and not having eaten beef for over 17.

    I'd also like to put in a patch of Jerusalem artichoke. I think the two would be nice additions to our front slope, which we're slowly converting to permaculture, as it's too treacherous to keep as lawn.

  2. like the years of one’s life, one doesn’t notice at first and eventually one does. That's one of the better analogies I've heard. Of course, the older one is the more they understand.

    I love horseradish on corned beef, or a thinly sliced beef on kimmelwick sandwich.

  3. Jean, I love my horseradish. It's easily grown, uncomplaining, self-sustaining and all that. It will also take over any place you put it so be sure to contain it.

    It doesn't seem to drop seed but those lovely roots do spread themselves about. If you can give them their own raised bed all should be fine.

  4. I agree with Allison:Horse-radish grows wild on our allotment and is very stubborn - it has long, deep roots. Colman's is a better option.

  5. I am completely envious of you wool gift to charity - My friends and I always scour the charity shops for nice yarn and sometimes get a good bargain of some vintage Greenock wool . Mx