I’m within 10 rounds or so of finishing the second toe-up sock. You are so absolutely right, skeindalous, that the finishing of a sock is a thoroughly satisfying experience. The difficulty here is that my Sock Project requires sudden bursts of Learning Experience at inconvenient times of day. One can scarcely interrupt one’s soap opera to go off to the computer and study a video.
So today, I think, I must
(a) have another look at the instructions for Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. I’ve done it, it’s easy, it works – just a matter of reminding myself what to do;
(b) take some time out during the day to sit down in front of the computer with needles and the cast-on yarn for Alexander’s socks and fire up a video and do a Turkish cast-on, knitting it far enough that I can pick it up during the soap opera and glide pleasantly on.
(c) determine which yarn to use for Alexander’s cast-on, Bedroom at
or Restaurant de la Sirene? Decisions, decisions. Arles
I had a look at my sock yarn situation yesterday:
The stripey one just behind the Zauberballs is the Italian flag, from Regia's "world ball" series. I'm looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to all of them -- but that’s something close to a year of knitting you’re looking at, most of them fairly recent purchases. And Alexander's Van Gogh yarn isn't even there. And I found I had another 100 grams (one ball) of Hundertwasser. That was truly silly – I not infrequently buy 150 grams for gents’ socks, so as not to have to change yarns for the toe. But 200 grams of a yarn that can only be knit for ladies, is ridiculous. I’ve put it in the Box to go to Strathardle and be given away.
I thought, in a burst of mental energy, that I might be able to face up to soil chemistry. I have recently taken on board a mnemonic which allows me to remember which sort of soil is “acid” and which is “alkaline”. That’s a start.
I tried the widipedia entry on acid soil this morning, and all seemed to be going fairly well. It was pretty chemical and technical, but I could see the shape of things. For a while. There is a list of calcifuge (=lime-hating) plants from the presence of which you can be pretty sure you’ve got an acid soil. Lots of old friends, including lilac. Fine. That’s what we’ve got – I knew that anyway.
Then – this can be viewed on the same screen – a list of plants with their pH preferences. And sure enough, the ones I can grow come in at pH 6-6.5, or lower, and the ones I can’t prefer pH 6.5-7. It’s all beginning to make sense – until I see that lilacs prefer the highest alkalinity of all, 7.1-8.
This is just wikipedia, and is obviously a mistake, one way or the other. But it’s sort of depressing for one struggling to get a foothold.
And something else I need to know – why does spreading manure (which I do) make soil more acid?