Monday, November 21, 2005

If It’s The Process That Counts…

…then how come I’m so frustrated! I’ve had to frog so much knitting lately that it’s no longer amusing. I guess I need to stop knitting anything but plain stockinette in front of the computer or TV. Anytime I’ve done anything more complex lately I’ve made mistakes and not seen them until many centimeters later. Argh! Yesterday I had to frog the gusset back to the heel on one of Mother’s birthday socks because the stitch count was off and I couldn’t find out where. (BTW in case you haven’t been keeping up, this is birth mom, not the recently deceased adopted mom.) Then after picking up all the stitches, I was steaming along very happily and the count was off again — in the same place. I’ve just fixed it for the third time and hopefully it will continue correctly from here.

As I’ve whined about before, the same mistake/frog/mistake thing has been happening with my Jaywalker socks, but I’m almost back up to the second (or is it first?) heel. Then I plan to turn both heels one immediately after the other. I have to read Grumperina’s directions carefully because she has a different number of heel flap rows and stitches to pick up than I usually use.

I got this little book the other day from my friend Marie at Fibres Plus. It’s Prudence Mapstone’s Never Too Many Handbags. Prudence is an Australian fibre artist who uses freeform knitting and crocheting to create some fun pieces. She teaches workshops all over but I missed her the two times she was near here. I don’t think I really need a workshop though — just some time to play with what I already know and the information I already have. I also have Prudence’s original book on freeform. This one sold me because it has some nifty crochet motifs: flowers, fish, leaves, and spirals. Plus discussion on bag construction which is helpful. OK, I know. Too many ideas; too little time.

The persistent fog has lifted somewhat right now, though there’s no mountains showing. It’s damp out there from the fog but at least it’s not raining. There’s sure a lot more leaves to rake now that the walnut tree has decided that it’s time to let them fall almost all at once. Besides our own yard we have the boulevard beside our house (before the street) and the alley to rake. These leaves unfortunately can’t be used in our compost because they are so nasty nothing will grow in the resulting soil for at least 3 years. It does make a good mulch if you have some area with weeds you want suppressed but don’t expect to be able to plant anything else there and have it thrive. And of course there are some things that will grow anyway, usually the weeds you least want. According to what I’ve read, any toxin (juglone) in the leaves should break down within a couple of months but in my experience it takes a lot longer for the effect to wear off. They also say that our English (Persian) walnut has less juglone than black walnut. If that’s true I’d hate to have one taking over half my backyard like our English one does! I already have enough trouble growing things in my garden. Right now there's leeks and some salad greens that have seen better days, plus some overwintering broccoli which won't be giving me sprouts until spring. I have to plant my garlic as soon as the space is dug and ready. Thom is reluctant to plant winter rye since he thinks it might be contributing to the wire worm problem but that could just be the fact that we haven't had a good killing cold snap for a number of years now. I sure don't want to give up my garden but there are only certain things that will grow properly these days. Oh well, I don't have to worry about that for months yet!

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