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Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12238

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 16 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably just early programming not to use different yarns together. They may work very well, but it always worries me.

We have wood sorrel Oxalis acetosella in the wood, and it can look very pretty in the spring in particualar. It has fresh green leaves and white flowers with pink markings. Sometimes the leaves fold and look quite purple, but think that is at specific times of year.

I see why you have trouble with those bulbs if they are so big and the plant so tender Jam Lady.

Hope the fire installation goes well Cassandra.


Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1733
Location: Tasmania Australia
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 16 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like you, MR, I am programmed not to combine different fibres, but having said that, one of my most cherished possessions is some baby wool I inherited from my grandmother which is creamy white with a strand of silk plyed into it. I think it may, in fact, be time to break it out and knit it up.

The first KF jumper I plan to knit (using a pattern from one of my books) is a drop-shouldered job which he calls steps and stairs. Basically a geometric stepped stripe arranged concentrically if you get my meaning. I will use the Aran wool as the base colour (having discovered I only have seven 100g balls left - the cat ate one or two). I popped into our local wool shop which is only open on Sundays today and it was BAD!

I have three skeins now of some silks and angora blends which are about two ply in two cases, and four in another. One is predominantly a dusty pink boucle, the other two are predominantly soft green and grey blue respectively. They will combine nicely with the two washed natural fleece skeins I have to hand (soft brown and soft grey) and the cream of the Aran. The silk-stranded baby wool can make up the ply weight of the finer yarns.

Apart from getting the quilt washed (but not completely dried) and the rest of the washing out on the line for another (not terribly successful) try at drying and cutting some wood I have not made much progress today what with knitting and all.

The new heater will be a real bonus, and i ran into my woodman down on the oval this afternoon and he double-checked my order, so it all seems to be going pretty well at present. Tomorrow will be ten degrees and raining so I can see some knitting in my future tomorrow as well.

Jam Lady

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2181
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 16 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some oxalis can be real problems, Mistress Rose. This one, Oxalis regnellii, is a thug in the southeastern United States but my winters are cold enough to kill any left outdoors. It is obliging in that in winter I can dry it off and it goes dormant. Or, if I water it like any house plant it stays in leaf and even sends up its pink flowers. The crinum can develop bulbs as large as an American football, with large strap-like leaves on a pseudostem that can be a meter tall.

Large pots in the house need to be mulched with big stones or the cats excavate, flinging potting soil far and wide.

Aging gets in the way of some gardening activities - we used to have a quite large red spot banana that spent the winter at the foot of our bed under the skylights. Reached the point when we could no longer struggle up the stairs with it.

Rain last night, better than half an inch = 1.25 cm I think.

Cassandra, send us a picture of the skeins of yarn. I, for one, would love to see them.

Jam Lady

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2181
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 16 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the Oxalis regnellii


Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1733
Location: Tasmania Australia
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 16 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you say Jam Lady, Oxalis is a bit of a thug - I try to keep it out of my garden, but not terribly successfully. It's a pity as it really is a very pretty plant.

Since you asked (be careful what you ask for) here is an expose of my new knitting project (the other one is about 3 centimetres from shaping the armhole for the front and then I have the sleeves and yoke to do).

First the pattern. On the left is the pattern I will be following for shape and size. On the right, the graph for the steps and stairs, coloured in as I experiment with placement of colour.

Then the yarns. At the bottom is the Aran yarn - 8 ply. Left to right are the light brown, grey, pink blue green and a darker brown. As you can see the blue and the darker brown do not blend terribly well as their colour is too intense.

So having discarded these I had to find a replacement yarn, at least for the blue. Rummage time.

First there is the bag of yarns that contains the silk-threaded baby wool (far right). It also contains a number of other yarns, some silk, some wool, some one ply, others two. The blue appears to be about one ply. So I am thinking two threads of this (or possibly this and the creamy white of a similar weight), plus the baby wool (3 ply), plus another baby wool in the next photo (3 ply).

I'll knit up a sample patch to see what it looks like.

Meanwhile it has been rather chilly today - grey, rainy, windy etc, so the fire has been working hard since early morning. Fortunately it will be a day out tomorrow so the remaining firewood (if there is any) will hopefully tide me over. Failing that i will be out cutting up some more tomorrow morning. Looking at the forecast I will not be in the least bit surprised if it snows on Friday (great timing, that being the day the heater is to be installed). So it is possible I won't have a new heater on Friday at all. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Last edited by cassandra on Mon May 23, 16 7:08 am; edited 3 times in total

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12238

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 16 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's pretty Jam Lady. Our O. acetosella will show almost that colour sometimes in the winter with the leaves, but of course white flowers. I can see why you had to give up with the banana if it was getting too much, and whi the crinum is difficult to find a home for. I don't know the exact size of an American football, but if it is like a rugby ball, that is a big bulb.

Cassandra, your yarn sounds interesting and the jumper should look good with those colours. I used his little circles design in shades of pink, blue and mauve with some beige I think and that looked good. I used Jameson and Smith shetland wool. They have some really lovely blended colours. We are fortunate that round here we have a few really good wool shops now, but of course good wool costs a lot. The 'ordinary' stuff is cheap enough, though usually nylon and pretty poor colours.

We spent yesterday at a show. It was a local running race, and one of the groups ran through part of the woods. I had to go up and let them in and lock up behind them as we opened one of the vehicle access gates. I walked part of the way, but luckily got a lift up the lane, then a lift back, as it would have been a long walk, and I would have been away a long time. We talked to a lot of people, sold a few things, and apart from it being an early start, it wasn't too bad a day. Luckily the weather stayed dry and the wind only came up a bit at the end.

Jam Lady

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2181
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 16 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cassandra, the Woolly Lamb yarn shop of fond memory had a clever suggestion - put the yarns you had selected on a table and then look at them with a kaleidoscope. It provided an interesting suggestion of how the colours would combine, more so than a pile of skeins.

Sunny today - so much for my moving two boxes of canna tubers and two large flats of Sauromatum tubers out yesterday late afternoon so they could get rained on. Now I'll have to water them to kickstart into growth.

Visited my friend and exchanged unwanted plastic pots (there are SO MANY scattered around, hadn't realized quite how many) for more horse manure. Epoxied my broken clay pot - glazed, nice, useless with a big chunk separated from the rest. Then sat around and chatted while it set.

Dinner was salmon hash - I shredded parboiled potatoes, flaked some leftover grilled salmon, and sauteed diced red onion. Then made patties and browned in a cast iron frying pan. Quite nice.

Laundry churning around in the machine, as it is Monday's standard first load of bed sheets they can hang outdoors. Dishwasher to unload, want to run to the shop for bagels (drive, actually rather than afoot), and oh yes, water those flats and boxes.

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12238

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 16 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pity I didn't see your post before I put mine up Cassandra. I like those colours and the jumper should look good. I have that design in the book I have. Hope you do get the new fire installed all right.

Jam Lady, pity the weather didn't do what you wanted, but we have so much rain in the UK that we don't wish for it very often. Your friend wanting plastic pots is a definate bonus; most people want to get rid of them.

Spent the afternoon yesterday delivering charcoal to 2 separate outlets and buying more bread flour at one of them. Before I went I had to make up a couple of log sacks, as one outlet had ordered some, but I only had enough wood cut for 2. Still, they were happy with that as they already had a couple. More charcoal to be delivered, with some sawdust, on Wedneday to the farm shop I get the meat from. After the deliveries it was biscuit making, as the wheels of the company don't turn without them.


Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1733
Location: Tasmania Australia
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 16 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like that idea of the kaleidoscope - it would probably be useful for quilting too i imagine. I do have a few difficulties with blending colours - starting off really rashly then becoming too conservative and ending up with a mish mash at times.

The colour scheme I am aiming at for the jumper is iridescent shell colours, hence my caution about the blue. I have a really old shell with an iridescent interior that is quite milky pale. I think I will try to swap out the darkest brown with a sandy tweed of some sort, and try to find another blue option when I am in town tomorrow. I have to see the podiatrist, so will be very close to both the wool shop and the craft shop which sometimes has specials on yarn (bog standard yarns, not fancy ones).

It was my day in the History Room today and I rather rashly left home without my jacket. For much of the day the sun shone so I sat in the window and enjoyed that, but lit the fire anyway as the rest of the cavernous space was bitterly cold and my first visitors complained they had lost feeling in their hands while going around!

Nevertheless I finished off the front of the jumper, so now have only the sleeves and yoke to do which is rather pleasing. I will be able to wear it on the annual Wool Tour which is in June and which will only be taking in two shops this year unfortunately, but better than nothing.

It is a fun day out with people I usually only chat to via FB as they live up north.

My firewood was delivered this afternoon. I panicked when I saw how big it was - surely 18 inches is not that long!! But I ran a tape over it after they left and sure enough, most of it is 16inches with one or two longer bits, but not a touch over 18 inches! They had even thrown in some shorter bits for me to tide me over till Friday!

Meanwhile, this morning I also cut up some for tonight (which will be minus 3!! So no water tomorrow), and tomorrow night. As I will be in town much of tomorrow it should be more than sufficient for my needs.

I left some in the wheelbarrow to dry a bit in the forecast sun and breeze, so I went into a bit of a panic when it started to rain in Oatlands, but it was all good when I got home.

Now I will heat up some of yesterday's stew for dinner (which was delicious!), and settle in for an evening of reading (and maybe some knitting if I am feeling energetic), and preparing for tomorrow's trip to town (shopping lists, making sure I have in the car the things i need, you know the story). I plan to leave relatively early, frost permitting, so I can get some shopping done in town before I head off to see the podiatrist (who will be hurting me tomorrow). Then home via one or two places in the northern suburbs to get hardware and such like if I have any money left.


Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2135
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 16 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm home! Been to the smallholder show and enjoyed it. Not so many folks there this year, but the stand did well, and I annoyingly spent more time on it than watching the pigs, but met a wonderful Welshman with an endless supply of good jokes some unprintable! He looked outstandingly like a prop forward, and was very quick witted, but he could sell on that stand so well. I watched the pig of the year qualifying round and not sure I thought the judge got it right; but I would be a judge if I was good enough, and I am not (good enough that is)! Quite a drop of rain, but due to lateness of booking I didn't have to erect a tent and slept in my friends' stock box and so that made life easy except that as it was wet I didn't cook being in such an enclosed space, I did not fancy going up in smoke, and things were not just level. I managed a cuppa boiled under an umbrella! I also met a fellow downsizer.

I haven't got too much time left on the pooter, as I have sent an Email this morning to explain to a friend why not, but it wouldn't send for some reason so I will try again next time I get to the pooter which will either be Thursday or Friday, but will not have enough left today.

Your post this morning MR is making me feel tired, I am on holiday and didn't get up till 8.00am, back at work tomorrow and then off again on Thursday for hospital trip. A friend is taking me and will be fetching me out after the tests-but they have said go prepared, so I am taking a suitcase and a book of Sudoku.

Glad you are back in circulation Cassandra, I need to google Hugelkulture beds. I get a lot of various types of wooden offcuts, which I currently give away to friends to use to light their fires, but if there is an alternative to use the offcuts myself then I will. None of it is rotten so I would have to accelerate the wooden bits demise-I will read about it first. In case I have to put rotting wood into a none wooden container, which would defeat the object as I want to grow in wooden containers as I get them free, they would I guess need to have a safe preservative-more work.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 38503
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 16 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"We have wood sorrel Oxalis acetosella in the wood,"

im not sure if the following recipe would work with the usa/tasmanian sorrel but it is rather nice with wood sorrel

spider bite cocktail

chill bottle of tequila with a wet cloth in a breeze(or fridge if available)
discover you have no salt or lemon
crush handful of sorrel and put in 3 ltre plastic bottle
add tequila
clip on and bounce up and down in a net 40 meters above a quarry for a few mins (other shakers are available)
serves 4
dont unclip for a while

tis rather nice and avoids the need for salt and lemon as the sorrel seems to have acid,citrus notes and salt flavours,tis probably wise not to use too much sorrel as it has quite a high oxalic acid content.

Jam Lady

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2181
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 16 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The oxalis I have, dpack. But no tequila. Another nice "herbal drink" is the mojito. Muddle some mint, add rum, some seltzer - very refreshing summer drink.

Mistress Rose, the plastic pots are wanted for the garden club's summer plant sale. There's an arts festival and we make money on the plants. So cheaper is better. We have a "divide and multiply" workshop. People bring all sorts of perennials. Divide, pot, tend, and sell. Since it is primarily an art festival we try to keep the prices low to attract impulse buyers. The club also makes small hypertufa pots and plants them up with succulents. This year even made a few draped hypertufa - soak a piece of chenille bedspread in a hypertufa slurry then drape over a tall inexpensive vase and let dry. They are very attractive.

Gregotyn, for your wooden boxes as planters you might want to try lasagna gardening which is really sheet composting. See here: https://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/a-look-under-the-layers-of-lasagna-gardening.html

Spent most of the day = about 5 hours mixing potting soil / leaf mold / manure and then potting decorative plants for the area between front walk and garage wall. It will look quite nice once the plants get some size on them. But oh my aching back.

Mistress Rose, there is significant difference in our climates. To begin with, mine is a continental climate whilst UK is island climate. Looking online, a city not very far from me in New Jersey annually receives 123 days of precipitation that delivers 47.8 inches / 1213 mm. London England has 164 days of precipitation but only receives 23.4 inches / 594 mm. New York City is at approximately 40 degrees 71 seconds North while London is significantly further north at 51.5 degrees North. Why is London so much warmer? A wonderful thing known as the Gulf Stream.

No idea what we will have for dinner.

Update: Himself didn't go for my suggestion of pulled pork on a bun. Instead offered to go get black olive and mushroom pizza. How could I refuse?

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12238

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 16 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds as if winter is setting in for you Cassandra, for today at least. It might be back to summer in a few days knowing your climate. Hope you have a good day out tomorrow and the podiatrist doesn't hurt you too much.

Glad you had a good time at the Smallholder show Gregotyn. Hope all goes well at the hospital and that you are able to report back to us later in the week. Look after yourself.

Dpack, I am sure there are easier ways of making that tequila, but could be a good flavour.

Jam Lady, can't you get rid of some of your huge bulbs at your garden club sale? I am sure those plants are very artistic.

We had a productive day yesterday. Managed to fill the kiln for another charcoal firing and prepare bean sticks and some plant stakes for orders. The lady collected the plant stakes and some narrow pea sticks for herbaceous plant supports. The pea sticks were rather bigger than she was anticipating, but I told her they would cut down, so she can put them among the stems and they will be hidden. Had a coppice group committee meeting in the evening, so a long evening. Husband will hopefully be going up early to light the kiln, and I will join him later after doing the shopping.


Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1733
Location: Tasmania Australia
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 16 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I call sorrel is not an oxalis, so I might give the recipe a miss and stick with the tequila (if I had any).

Winter seems to have taken revenge on our extended summer and the next week is forecast to be single figures. On the rare occasions it climbs to double figures it will be ten.....

Last night was a real shock to the system. I had started adding winter bedding (winter duvet, winter quilt) but not added blankets yet as I have been leaving the quilt off it has been so warm at night. Not last night. I went to bed with the quilt and the duvet and half an hour later was up rummaging for a winter flannel nightgown and blanket. Half an hour after that I was hunting for bedsocks. After that I was comfy, but when I took the dog for his morning walk the local dams were skinned with ice! As was the ute, so I had to get the scraper out to see where I was going as I headed into town.

My trip to town was quite fruitful. I managed to get a three hour parking space easily, and wandered up to the wool shop where I acquired some cottons that came in rather tropical beach colours, but which should work nicely.

Next stop was the craft store where I purchased a heavier window blind than the thin plastic one i have at present, and a curtain rail. Tomorrow I will unwrap my precious wood pile and remove the architraves I seem to recall seeing in there last time i had the plastic off, so I can install those as well. Once done, I can sugar soap and give them a coat or two of undercoat before starting on the gloss finish. Since I am likely to have the fire going all day tomorrow that should dry reasonably quickly I hope, so I can install the blind before nightfall. Being thicker it has thermal properties that are noticeably lacking in the present blind. The curtain rail will require a little more thought as it is marginally wider than the architrave so fitting it will require some thought. On closer inspection it may be I can cut it down a bit and bung the plastic keeper back on - we shall see, but it definitely won't be happening tomorrow as I have other tasks to attend to.

From there to the podiatrist who is not only leaving to go on holidays but is also leaving the practice. I talked her into giving me the card for her new practice before I left as she is the best podiatrist I have ever found, and the new place is more convenient for me anyway!

Back to the car by the skin of my teeth and I set off to Fragments which is a store that specialises in reproduction stuff. There I found a new chimney for the oil lamp which I think suits it rather better than the stumpier one that was broken in transit.

You'll have to excuse the insulation poking out of the wall and the hammer handle - I have one more board to attach as you can see - perhaps that too will be dealt with tomorrow, time permitting.

I picked up some lamp oil as well, which has citronella in it, so doubles as an insect repellent.

Then off to return the books I borrowed, to find my friend busy supervising a team of lads who are repairing her gravestones. She lives in an old church and many of her relatives are buried in the garden, but the cemetery was vandalised before she bought the place. She keeps finding old headstones and broken bits of iron railing in the garden, and today they were excavating what looked like a grave, but she assures me the occupant was transplanted to another cemetery some many years ago. I suspect they have discovered a crypt, however, as there is a suspiciously deep void below where they are digging.

Home to clean the bank and take Seb for several walks - one after dark as he insisted he needed to go out again (though for no apparent reason I discovered).

And tomorrow I have to find a parking place for the discarded heater that will not be in the way of other work that needs to be done. I have some lengths of garden sleepers that it can sit on, but first I have to find a level spot that has no other purpose in the near future. I will cover it with one of those blue plastic sheets you can buy, tied securely and tucked in under the legs to stop it blowing away. I will also spray it all over with some WD 40 to protect it while it is stored. I should also stack the new firewood, but frankly feel I will have enough to do without doing that as well.

Great to hear you had a nice day at the smallholders festival Gregotyn - I am sure it was great fun, even if you did miss out on some of the piggy business. Look forward to hearing more from you, now you are back.

Jam Lady

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2181
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 16 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Cassandra, at this morning's Knit on Wednesday get-together one of the women who also quilts mentioned that Kaffee Fassett will be speaking at a not terribly far from here yarn shop in September. $10 / person. She'll probably go but not to the $50 / person quilting workshop as friends of hers have gone to those and were less than enthusiastic. If your friend hadn't lent you the 5 books, if you hadn't mentioned the sweater you are choosing yarns for - why, I probably wouldn't have bothered to mention it. Interesting what a small world we sometimes inhabit.

Temperature currently 85 degrees Fahrenheit / 29.4 Centigrade. Which is 10 degrees F. above normal. Supposed to stay this way for the next few days too. Driving to knitting (actually I'm currently crocheting) and back I saw a couple of hay fields cut. Dry for a while, then tedding, then bale. Saturday is Howell Living History Farm's haying with horses program. I think they don't bale, just store loose in the hayloft.

Mistress Rose, it is really sweet of you to suggest options and possibilities for me to cope with my vigorous crinums. Isn't it the truth though - either our plants limp along and we complain that they are miffy, or they do very well and we complain about that. Makes a change from complaining about the weather I suppose.

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