Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A good day on the ASJ front. The next row will be the final decrease for the first mitre: a milestone which can be marked by a slight edging forward of my progress bar. I have decreased nearly 200 stitches, but now, alas, they must all be replaced. Pic tomorrow.

My sister-in-law asked about the pattern, when she was here to lunch yesterday, and I showed her the Schoolhouse Press leaflet. She pointed to a photograph in it and said, “That is just what you have become, an Old Woman knitting.” I am not sure the remark was entirely kindly meant, but since she was pointing to a picture of EZ it was a bit like having someone walk in when you were painting the kitchen and say, “You look just like that funny old fellow who is doing the Sistine Chapel".

We hope to go to Strathardle tomorrow – it’s been rather a long time. The remaining beans and raspberries and strawberries must have rotted on the vine by now. Alexander and Ketki and their boys will join us at the weekend, the beginning of their half-term. I hope to get the raised beds manured and tucked up for the winter.

The 2010 catalogues are beginning to turn up. It’s too soon for perusal, but I am enjoying thinking of next year in broad terms. I am resolved to master the growing of salad onions. They are often listed right up there with radishes as an easy crop for beginners. Not for me. I try every year. They germinate poorly, and then just stand there, the ones that do come up, little blades of grass.

I will study my books. Do they like lime? Hate lime? Like fertile soil? Prefer it impoverished? I will get several different packets of seeds and sow them in frequent succession. 2010 will be the Year of the Onion.

I think I will take the red socks along tomorrow, pushing the real Strathardle knitting aside yet again, my dusty pink Araucania sweater. The socks have been on the needles far too long. I am tired of them. And as soon as they’re gone, I can cast on some of my new KF yarn and watch it knit itself.

Thank you for all the help about machines that read aloud. I knew that the Kindle could do it, and it’s rather an attraction, but I think recordings of real people reading intelligently are the way to go. I listen to the radio in the kitchen quite a lot. Having someone read aloud to me would be even better than endless discussions of the news


  1. I grow good old White Lisbon, broadcast thickly on a raked patch of normal earth (nothing special by way of fertilizer) then scatter-cover with a 1/4" layer of old sieved potting compost which comes from the pots I planted up for summer. Or use some all purpose compost from B&Q. My theory is that the little onion seedlings are too puny to force through a thicker layer, especially if it's hard soil that had got capped in the spring rain.

  2. Cynthia9:59 AM

    I checked out the international Kindle yesterday, and the fine print said that your account will be charged an extra $1.99 for every wireless download. That's a steep hidden cost. I'm so used to downloading through my USB port that I don't even think about it. Just as fast as wireless, and free.

    Do you have a laptop? You can use your laptop as an MP3 player and listen to Librivox or any other site while you work. I still have a CT library card, and download at least 2 audiobooks a week to listen to on my Zen MP3 player, using headphones. Last week I listened to The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane about the Salem witch trials, and it got so exciting I finished a sleeve without even noticing!

    Today is Sue's birthday. Seaglass on Ravelry. She mentions you often and asks how you are. ( She doesn't follow any blogs).

    Best from here.

  3. rosesmama11:26 AM

    I'm investigating audio books myself, as we have for many years listened to children's books on tape in the car. Cassette tapes are becoming obsolete, and there is only one library where we can still find them. Our library does have a service that will let you download audiobooks for three weeks, then they dry up or disintegrate or otherwise become unusable, which I think is an ingenious way of letting you eat your cake and no longer have it. I believe that I could either listen from the computer, or transfer the book to an ipod. This is all still theoretical as I'm using a borrowed computer and am reluctant to experiment with it.

  4. I have been listening to "books on tape," as I still refer to it, for years. Excellent in the car for boring stretches of highway driving or sitting inside on dull rainy days. I have now progressed to the CD's and even to downloading from Libravox. Many a boring stretch of knitting has flown by whilst listening to a ripping good tale. Now that I have an ipod it is an indispensable part of my knitting bag.

  5. Dawn in NL12:11 PM

    All this talk about audio books (I blanked on that name the other day, 'luister boek'(Dutch)was the only term I could come up with) reminds me that I used to read college books onto cassettes for blind students at my college. It was mentioned to me that my Scottish accent was a welcome change for the Irish students.

    I recently looked online to see if there was a charity that I could help by recording books. The only one I found (Stephen Fry is patron) only use Actors for reading.

  6. I love being read to by the audio books as well. My library lets you download mp3 files for free, and you can renew them after 3 weeks. I bought an inexpensive mp3 player for that purpose, but you can also listen via computer.

    I inherited Egyptian Walking Onions in my garden, a perennial onion that is useful in the way of a green onion as long as you get them young. Since they 'walk' around and replant themselves, you can usually find some young ones.

  7. Hey Jean-- you know i have never gotten into audio books- so weird. I just don't like being read to. Even when I was a kid, I would yank the book from my dad when he would read to me and insist that I could read. LOL (perhaps indicator that I would grow to be a religion professor someday?)

    Still home with the swine. I have been horribly ill. It is like every part of me hurts- like my eyeballs hurt and the back pain is near unbearable. Luckily, my lungs are still clear and good. A neighbor who is a field medic for the Air Force came by to check on me (she works at the base hospital here) and said as long as my lungs remain clear I will be fine. Still eveything hurts like you would not believe. Like I told my parents-- get the shot, because you so don't want this (On the other hand, two of the oldest members of my department- mid 60s I would say-- caught the swine and were only mildly ill for about 2 days. I seem to have it far worse then they...)

  8. adding my two cents to the audiobook fans here... has an incredible list of books - including quite a bit of the "grand dames" of mystery.

    several options for subscriptions - all good .

    i find them great for commuting and knitting - also while doing mindless tasks/chores at home.

    you can download to every kind of player invented or an ipod (yes they break the categories that way) and/or listen on your laptop/computer/mac.

    the other option is libraries - mentioned of course although i find the selection much smaller.

    and then of course there is the BBC - Radio 4 and BBC7 are my favorite places to go - i have been collecting so many wonderful radio plays and comedies, dramas, etc from both - for years.

    i love to put something like TO THE MANOR BORN (the radio version and it is wonderful) on my ipod (which pops into a special radio) and play the 10 episodes while i do major chores.

    the wonderful world of radio - thank you bbc from this american anglophile

  9. I, too, can recommend LibriVox ( I've listened to most of Jane Austen's books, all of the Anne of Green Gables series, Tale of Two Cities and many more while knitting away.

    Every so often you can get a voice or reading style that irritates. And it can be disconcerting to sometimes get very dissimilar voices on different chapters, but overall I have enjoyed my 'reading' experiences from LibriVox.

    If you're uncertain about being read to, this is also an excellent way to test it out.

  10. Maureen in Fargo6:23 PM

    A few more cents on the audio book topic...both my husband and I enjoy listening to books, we often have several going at once: one I'm listening to, one he's listening to and one we listen to together. I enjoy knitting or spinning while listening, he enjoys watching sports on TV with the sound muted as he listens when we're listening together. Otherwise, he's usually just listening in the car as he drives around the state.

    We download from Audible and watch for sales as you can get books cheaply them. I had never heard of Librivox but will have to look into it. We have several iPods between us and have a player that the iPods plug into to listen at home. We both have connectors for the iPods in our cars. I really enjoy listening to the books, it makes the time fly by while driving and in this part of the country where everything's hundreds of miles and hours away that's important.

  11. Anonymous10:22 PM

    I spend a great deal of time driving, as we live in New Jersey but have children and grandchildren in New Hampshire (5 hour drive each way) and Michigan (which is 11 hours, each way.) So I listen to a lot of books on CDs or on my iPod. The problem we have is finding books the mathematician/scientist (My husband) and the English teacher/knitter will both enjoy.

    We've found anything by Simon Winchester fits the bill, so we ration his books out very sparingly. Fortunately, I usually make the drive alone as I've retired and he still works, so I get to listen to anything I like.

    I don't listen so often at home, I don't know why. Music is the norm here.

    Barbara M.

  12. Lol...ten comments on audio books, only one on gardening. What does that say about me, I ask myself???

  13. JennyS9:57 AM

    The Surprise Jacket is looking great Jean. I love the colours! But I wonder if you are nor going to get a "surprise" of a different kind when you sew it up, because on mine the original mitres formed by the decreases came up on the two fronts, running diagonally from the corners of the bottom hem to the front armpits....I see you have yours folded a different way :-)
    You can see a picture of mine on Ravelry - I'm "in your friends"