Sunday, April 10, 2011

Five scallops (of 21) done on the fourth side of the mourning shawl edging.

Yesterday’s knitting news, however, such as it was, related to one of those dread cards from the post office which was on the mat when we got back from Strathardle – they had failed to deliver a package, and removed it to a fairly remote local post office for collection. I trudged westward yesterday for no little distance and got it – and it was my order from the Schoolhouse, as I had hoped.

The New Zealand sweater is very interesting – but with no explanation, alas, of why it is so-called. I wonder how it escaped becoming famous? Round-the-Bend has given me a taste for EZ’s engineering; this one is a real contender for Thomas-the-Elder’s electric red sweater. Especially if England don’t win the Rugby World Cup – an appropriate logo would be more successfully incorporated in Jared’s “Brownstone”, I think.

Also in the package were Aino Praakli’s two books, mittens and socks. I discovered to my very considerable embarrassment that I already had the mitten book. There’s no excuse. One of the few things I do right, these days, is enter new knitting books in LibraryThing as soon as they cross the threshold. All I have to do is look there before ordering a new one. The sock book, with a wonderful cross Estonian cat on the cover, sort of makes up for my confusion.

What a curious language Estonian appears to be.

Strathardle and general vegetable-growing

We are famous for our daffodils. If 50 maids with 50 mops were to toil for half a year dividing them, we would have even more.

Here are the bunching onions. They don’t seem to have made much progress in the last six weeks, but they’re clearly alive. I have since read that red-bulbed bunching onions are even hardier and stronger-tasting (I have probably told you that already). I’ve got some seed of that, ready to go for this year.

And some of the walking onions have re-appeared! I didn’t have much hope for them – they went in rather late in the season, and were rather wispy, and then had to contend with what proved to be one of the famous winters. But there they are.

Here you see my dear sorrel, upper right; the Mara des Bois strawberries, looking well; and, lower left, three Good King Henry plants. From memory, chenopodium bonus henricus. It is nearly the perfect vegetable – perennial, hardy, tidy. It used to be very common in cottage gardens. The only drawback is that it doesn’t taste very nice.

My favourite gardening writer, Robin Lane Fox, doesn’t often get around to vegetables in his Saturday column in the Financial Times, but he did yesterday. He gardens near Oxford and has badgers as well as rabbits to contend with. It was from him, long ago, that I learned that rabbits won’t eat courgettes. It is absolutely true. In yesterday’s column he says that runner beans “are of no interest to wildlife”. Sensational news, if true – I shall certainly try.

So far this morning I have replaced paragraph breaks three times -- I will try posting again and see if they can make the leap.


  1. Anonymous11:55 AM

    When our local (English) parcel post leaves these cards, there is an option to call them to rearrange delivery on another day. Useful for the infirm and those who live some distance away from the parcel office. It's in the rather small print well down - or even over the page. Sorry I don't currently have one to check. I wonder if your lot do the same?

  2. Ruth in Ottawa2:02 PM

    I have found that an easy and satisfactory way of setting in sleeves is to slip-stitch crochet them, with right sides together, rather than sewing them in (with much pre-pinning to make them fit together properly). It's virtually invisible on the right side. Just take a stitch on the edge of each piece as a seam allowance, as you would if mattress stitching. I have even done side and sleeve seams this way, too.

  3. Ahh spring! I can barely imagine pretty flowers and the such since we seemed to skip spring. It is already summer here. I have my tomatoes in huge pots and they are growing gangbusters in the 90 degree heat on the back porch that I have taken over (most of neighbors ignore the back porch so I asked them if I could take it over for a container garden and they all said yes. This apartment is really like a large quadplex. There are four families in my building). I will take a picture and post to my blog for you... little green tomatoes are already out!

    I saw that Estonian sock book at my LYS. Very lovely indeed, but I have no need for colorwork socks (as it is I wear socks maybe 2-3 months out of the year.)

    I bought the kit for EZ's little green jacket before they ran out of the Briggs and Little yarn in the original color.... I really should just sit down and make it...

  4. I think it's called the NZ sweater 'cause EZ designed it while on a trip there. I remember reading about this in an issue of the WoolGathering. I think NZ Sweater was never issued as a WoolGathering: it only came out as one of the original "SpunOuts". (Unless there's more than one NZ Sweater from Schoolhouse Press.)

  5. Barbara4:09 AM

    The gardening is an inspiration. We have a chilly hillside with not much sun. However we keep working with soil content, direction from our local master gardeners' association and searching out vegetables with short growing well as sturdy fences.