Friday, October 30, 2009

Palate Cleansers

My saffron is here! So far, I have 9 stamens from three flowers. A paella's worth of saffron it is not, but hopefully more of the crocuses will flower soon.

This is one of two measly garlic bulbs that we planted who knows how long ago - it never separated into multiple cloves. The garlic bulb has been curing on my counter for the past 3 weeks, and I chopped it up last night to add with some Marin Sun Farm chuck roast. Next time, we'll buy garlic intended for planting in this climate. I'm pretty sure that the boy just stuck two cloves of garlic into a pot after I told him about how envious I was of Pam Pierce growing a 6 pounds of garlic on a small 3x3' plot.

Since I'm between sweaters right now and I want to reduce my yarn stash of single balls, I'm knocking out some small projects as palate cleansers. The hats featured above, true color being the brownish red in the second picture, are for a friend and his son who recently moved to Chicago. The pattern is The Boyfriend Hat from Stephanie Likes to Knit.

And since I'm actually posting about knitting, let's revisit an old topic: Irish Cottage Knitting. I am exclusively knitting lever-action style now, and it has improved my pace and reduced wrist pain. To switch, I had to go cold turkey and not knit in my old English style, which pained me since I had so many big projects I wanted to start but couldn't due to lack of reliable gauge. Purling was a challenge, and what I finally figured out was that I had to keep the angle needles obtuse (wider than 90 degrees) when I purl, and acute (smaller than 90 degrees) when I knit. If you take a look at this video, she actually does change the angle of her needles for a knit and purl stitches. Wider for purl, narrower for knit.


  1. I have no idea how I knit. I don't do the throw thing. Hmmm. I'll have to watch the video.

    I think it is so cool that you are growing your own saffron. I wonder if it would work here in MN.

    I planted garlic last autumn from the grocery store and it was a total flop. Not a one survived. However, you're right to think about buying for you zone. I have a gal pal down the road who grows masses of garlic - she buys locally - and she plants it now (sept. oct.)

  2. back in my organic market gardening phase of life (one of my many past careers), we specialized in garlic growing in Santa Cruz. I have a great source of amazing garlic varieties for growing-- if you want, just shoot me an email.



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