Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Fine Day

Talked long with my birth mom this morning. I was wondering why I hadn’t heard from her after a number of emails from me. Her cat (inappropriately called Angel) ate through one of the cords on her computer! I’m really bad at phoning but I admit it was worth hearing her voice. She does a yeoman job of attempting to keep up contact with email but it’s definitely not her thing. It’s not like she lives far enough away for a call to even be long distance! Bad Damselfly. Of course she knows my phone number too. Goes both ways, right?

I’m up to the fiddly fingers on my Charcoal Gloves. They fit like a dream so far. I’m trying to write out exactly what I did so I can do it again in future. In case I want another colour or some patterning or something. These are very plain except for the cuffs. They will be very good under my fingerless mitts or wrist warmers for extra heat or by themselves when it’s not so cold. Running a bit late for them here though. It seems to be Spring already. Shhhh…don’t tell anybody out east, hey? They get very envious. Of course that’s what they get for being the Centre of the Universe. The focus for all the snow. Heh. Bad Damselfly.

Because I’ve been knitting on my gloves I’ve been ignoring the Hepburn Cardi again. So close to the top of the back piece too. As soon as I’m done the gloves I’ll get back onto it. Just the fronts and borders to go after that. The sleeves are already done. It’s soon going to be time to wear a sweater outdoors. Besides, July is its one-year anniversary so I don’t want to still have it on the needles by then!

I finally got some more of my seeds planted under the lights yesterday: lettuce, arugula, broccoli raab, sunflowers, marigolds, and coreopsis (dye flowers!). The first seedlings are nearly ready to transplant into larger pots with real soil instead of starter mix. Then as soon as I’m sure it’s not going to freeze at night anymore, they can go out into the greenhouse. I’m already trucking the coleus back and forth because I don’t dare leave them out overnight yet. I’m just a bit nervous. Though it’s been close to freezing a few times, we actually haven’t had any frost lately. However coleus are very susceptible to cold and I don’t want to kill them after dragging their sorry selves through the winter!

I’ve been picking handfuls of mizuna sprouts from the greenhouse. The plants are nearly up to my knees now and are yummy for both salads and stir-fries. I’m surprised it’s not a more commonly available vegetable since it’s easy to grow, cut-and-come-again, makes it through our winters with a minimum of protection and is very mild and tasty. The slugs don’t like it quite as much as they like lettuce, at least in my garden. There’s a similar closely-related plant called mibuna that has rounded instead of pointy leaves and has a stronger flavour. Unfortunately it’s not nearly as winter-hardy and tends to bolt more quickly. There is some confusion as to both plants’ proper taxonomic name(s): either Brassica rapa var. nipposinica and/or var. japonica. I get my seeds from West Coast Seeds which is a local company so I know plants grown from their seed should do well here. They also have certified organic seeds and have an online shopping cart. Check out all the growing information available on the new website too. I’ve been using their seeds for decades with good success. If not, it wasn’t the seeds’ fault!

OK, you’re tired of gardening tips. Try these out for variety:

The new Knitty is available and also Magknits. Go check out the great patterns! There’s at least 4 or 5 things that I want to make. So many projects — so little time! Juliana Raskin-Schmitz, Germany. A great history of kumihimo with photos of all the “dais”. Karen Madigan, Australia. PDF facsimiles of a weaving newsletter from the mid-1990’s. Some interesting articles on many topics. Noreen Crone-Findlay’s cute Elspeth doll knitting pattern.

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