Friday, October 26, 2012

I Should Be Packing

Xmas Knitting
          We are off for a short holiday that will involve quite a bit of driving, and when we return it will be the eve of our annual Guy Fawkes Night party, so I should be cleaning, and then packing. But I will linger here a while and then get on with it.
          Speaking of Getting On, the third series of this excellent show is on, and I watched the second episode last night. What a wonderful, understated, funny thing this is! I heartily recommend it to everyone. Jo Brand is an amazingly versatile human being.
         Yesterday I closed in the greenhouse, and brought in to the house some plants that I feared might be frosted while we are away. I also planted the fastigiate oak seeds in one of the vegetable beds, in hopes that some of them sprout before I have to plant vegetables there next year!! I will pot the successful ones up in the spring. There are a few strawberries on the plants inside and out, in numbers more suited to decoration than actual eating, but still! Strawberries in October! I am thrilled.
       We have been exceedingly lucky with the weather so far, and many things are still blooming and lovely. I gathered some cuttings from the Osteospermum and potted them up, in hopes of having some survive the winter and be around next year. I also searched for some way of growing "Yakon" - actually, Smallanthus sonchifolius, which was discussed recently on GQT. It's available from a source in Oregon, I think, for $7 per plant. I am going to look further into it, as opinion on the 'net is a bit mixed - one site suggesting that it can't be grown anywhere under Zone 10. But it's from the Andes - I bet it gets chilly up there! The product itself - or rather, Yakon syrup - seems to be rather more readily available.  I am also determined to grow quinoa next year, the seeds being much more readily available than the Yakon (which has to be grown from rhizomes). You can plant the quinoa seeds you buy to eat! How great is that?
     Because it's been a bit chilly, I have been getting into knitting again, producing Xmas presents of mittens, gloves and neckwear in DK weight, which just fly along in comparison to those socks in teeny fingering-weight. However. I must prepare for driving-knitting, getting out the dull greys and browns and planning a couple of sock projects for the men on the list. Ho hum! and Ho Ho Ho.  The mittens above are Patons DK Superwash (off-white) and Belfast Mini Mills BFL (Rose). And unlike the ones I made in sock yarn earlier, these I can actually put on.

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