Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Harvest Time

Today a good friend informed me that I hadn't posted since September and I could hardly believe it.  I was determined not to be that kind of a blogger when I started out.  In fact I put off blogging for a long time because I figured that if I wasn't going to keep it up, why bother?  So here I am again with lots of good intentions of doing better from now on. Thanks to Shirley for prodding me. 

Part of my preoccupation this fall has been keeping up with all the falling leaves before they get rained on and turn into immovable sludge.  Raking is great exercise and I like being outdoors when the weather is nice.  It has been a glorious autumn here on the Pacific coast and I hear the same thing from other parts of the globe...a long and beautiful fall season with spectacular colours.  Apparently it's something to do with the kind of weather we had in the summer and early fall that influenced the chemistry that makes for good colour.

The garden is pretty much put to bed for the winter, aside from a bit of clipping here and there. I like to leave the browning plants in place as long as possible for a bit of colour and structure. For the first time in quite awhile, I actually planted vegetables this year.  Usually the vegie garden is a jungle of volunteer leeks and parsley with the odd space hacked out for a bit of lettuce.  This year I mixed all the leftover lettuce seed from other years, added a bit of sand and succession planted 4 inch wide rows on the theory that at least some of the seed would still be viable.  It came up fairly thickly and I used scissors to clip off what I needed when the little leaves were about 4 inches high, leaving the roots in the ground to grow again.  I got about 3 cuttings from each row and didn't have to buy lettuce all summer long.  Of course the lousy summer (cold and rainy) was just perfect for lettuce.

Last spring, my friend Lesley suggested that planting a few potatoes might be a good idea and for added encouragement, she gave me her leftover Yukon Gold seed potatoes.  I bought some red seed potatoes called Caribe to add to the mix and also allowed some volunteers to grow from the fingerling potatoes of a couple of years ago.  And what a crop!...about a bushel of spuds from four little rows and the taste is a different category altogether from the store-bought kind. I'll definitely be doing that again. 

Not a lot of fibre news in this post but be assured, there has been a lot going on...another reason I'm so late with this post.  I finally caved and joined the Victoria Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild so the scope of my obsession now knows no bounds.  Fibre retreats, festivals, distaff days, spinning groups:  I just might be in trouble here.  

Felting and fulling has really hit the mainstream of late.  Last week Susan Forsythe was in town to give a workshop on constructing a vest from felted (accidently or otherwise) sweaters and that same week I saw Martha's latest publication with a big article on making all sorts of gift items from fulled sweaters...hot water bottle covers, oven mitts, pot holders, etc.  My vest was only about 25% finished by the end of a very intense day although I'm making good progress with the finishing since then.  I will have photos from the workshop and of the finished articles in a future post.  

My knitting has been going full tilt and I finished my cabled hoodie in time to wear it on our annual getaway to Tofino.  We go to Middle Beach Lodge every year in November and this year there was lots of time to knit in front of the big fireplace in the main lodge. I managed to finish two pairs of  wristlet/cuff thingies in Noro Blossom.  More about those along with photos and maybe even a pattern for you in future posts. For the first time, I was able to bring my spinning with me on holidays, thanks to my lovely new Louet Victoria folding spinning wheel and to my sweetie who bought it for me.  It travels very well as it is light, compact and tidy in its dedicated bag,  not to mention fun to spin with. It was the perfect activity while the rain poured down in buckets outside and the surf came booming in.  Luckily, after a spectacular storm on the first day, we had beautiful sunny weather and were able to do some nice long beach walks. Next year we're going with the extended family...daughter, son-in-law and the two grandchildren so knitting may not be an option.



1 comment:

Friends of Trampled by Geese said...

Good to see you posting again! Love the sweater - looks wonderful on you. Hope to see you soon!