Friday, May 13, 2011

Foam and Tangles

Well, the wine I showed in the last post got off to a fizzing good start--the next morning it had foamed all the way to the top of the pail and some had even crept over the lid and landed on the floor! I washed off the lid and wiped down the sides of the pail with a clean dishrag. It has foamed over a few times since then, but is now settled nicely down and fermenting pleasantly.

A few days later I started another smaller batch, just in a gallon carboy, from black currant juice that had been canned five years ago. I left that carboy in the back hall sink overnight, and that was a good idea, since it also foamed over profusely. It's still in the sink but is settling down now. When the foaming subsides I'll clean it up and add distilled water up to the neck of the carboy. The juice was very thick, so it won't be a problem to thin it some more with water.

On Tuesday I was gifted with a box of yarn. M. is a new knitter and had asked some advice from me this past winter. When we had our yearend party for the town quilting guild she brought her first pair of handknit socks to show me. They were excellent! She had alternated a deep blue yarn and a purple yarn, soft and a little fuzzy, for some appealing striped socks. She said she had a big box of alpaca yarns that had circulated throughout her family, and everyone had taken whatever they wanted, and would I please take the rest? J., another knitter at the table, and I starting drooling over the thought of a box of alpaca yarns! When the box arrived, it wasn't alpaca--just some of the yarn was merino, also a highly prized yarn. Other yarns were unlabeled, and some were acrylics. I still have to let J. know that it wasn't alpaca.

I sorted through the yarns and chose some that I thought I could use: some nice cream coloured merino in a 20sts/4" weight, and some similar weight merino in a bright royal blue. There are 500 grams of the cream, and somewhat less of the royal blue. Don't know what they will become yet. Perhaps the cream would make a nice aran style cardigan for the youngest granddaughter.

Then there is also about 24 ounces of this unlabeled sap green yarn. There are a few balls wound very tightly--tight enough to destroy the "spring" of the yarn. The rest is in hanks. The first hank I pulled out to wind, on the right here, was incredibly
snarled. But by carefully teasing it apart, and then feeding it onto my wool winder, I finally got it straightened out and wound into a nice, loosely tensioned ball.

It's a nice yarn and there's plenty there to knit a "february lady sweater," a pattern that I've had in my notebook for quite some time. I think it's available at

But sap green is not a colour I can wear. So I'm thinking of overdying it with a dark blue. If the dye is not stirred completely through the yarn, I think it could turn out quite nicely marled. Since the yarn is free, I'm going to do that experiment. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Meantime the Dear One was busy in the garden, which until this year has been my responsibility. He wanted more variety than I was growing, so he more or less took over. While I was away in Chile he seeded the corn into pots in the greenhouse and yesterday he said the time was right to plant it
in the garden bed.

Remember how tall the corn stalks grew last year? They were taller than I am. But we harvested only two ears of corn from the whole bed! I hadn't seeded into pots early, as I usually do, and we had a very cold summer. So this year we have a head start, and hope to be eating fresh corn by the first of August.

They are now protected by screened forms to keep the deer from grazing on them. And if frost threatens, we'll cover them up with old sheets and blankets.

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