Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Emergency Knits and The Joys of Gardening

The other day, I wrote an email to my mother. It was long, and I don't think you need the entire details of the chatter that goes on between my mother and me. There was one thing I said, though, that could be revelant to almost any knitter. I told her that I was still working on that sock. I then said that I planned to finish the sock and force myself to finish at least the center square of the baby shawl before I allowed myself to work on any other project (including the second sock). Not 24 hours after having actually put that in writing so that it could come back and haunt me later, I started a new project. I swear it was totally necessary. It was totally unexpected, too.

See, Lambchop #1 was scheduled to go the the aquarium (and, the beach along with it) yesterday. I got the details of what she needed to bring on Monday. That's when I realized that she needed a summer hat that actually fit her. I considered going to the local second-hand kids' store (not where you buy second-hand kids, by the way), but I just didn't have the time while I was out that day. So, instead, I pulled some cotton blend yarn (Dune by Bouton d'Or or is it Anny Blatt?) from my stash and cast on to make a hate of my own design. It took me probably somewhere under 5 hours total, though I can't say for sure how long it really took, because I wasn't counting. I'm guessing somewhere between 3 1/2 and 4. This shows you how slow of a knitter I am, because that's a pretty thick yarn. No matter, the point is I made her something with my own hands and lots of love. And, it fits (a key point)! She seems satisfied with it, too. Don't you think?

I love this picture, because these days she tends to be a little shy and unsure of herself at times (toddler angst?), and she rarely clowns around in front of the camera like this. As a little side note: We always talk about how innocent and pure the lives of young children are, and that it's the best time of life. I have to say, though, there's nothing easy about that period in a person's life. There are so many things about society and life that need to be learned, and it can be very stressful for some kids. I mean, this is the age when girls start saying things like, "fine, I won't be your friend anymore then." 'Nuff said.

(Oh, and yes, Mom, I do plan to post a picture of Lambchop #2 for you. I just haven't gotten him to sit still in decent lighting long enough for that recently.).

Now, on to the joys of gardening. This is cool stuff. Seriously. You ought to try it. Think back to kindergarten at Halloween time. Remember when your teacher roasted pumpkin seeds for the whole class to enjoy? Or maybe it was your mother, father or some other grown-up. That was pretty good. But, here's what I've learned. Those seeds. The ones that tasted so good with some salt on them. They have another purpose. Seriously. No kidding.

See, if you put them in soil (you know, that brown stuff you're always telling the kids not to track into the house) and give them sufficient amounts of water, they'll grow into beautiful things with big green leaves and all (I believe they're called plants, if I'm not mistaken). Who knew, huh? And, what's really cool about pumpkins is that, unlike some other "garden variety" plants, they're really easy to grow. They're not too picky, and they get so huge that there's an enormous amount of satisfication reaped from the sowing of that one little seed. Oh, and what's even cooler is that later on, we'll actually have real, honest to goodness pumpkins to eat from that one little seed we planted (that's what they say, anyway). Pretty darn nifty, doncha think?

Same thing goes for potatoes. They aren't just good for baking and smothering with fattening stuff like butter and sour cream (though, I'm all for that). You know when they start to sprout all sorts of ugly eyes all over them. I know you're not supposed to eat them, but all is not lost after all. You can plant that bug-eyed sucker and watch it grow. Getting some good eating potatoes out of the plant may be slightly more complicated than the squash, but it's pretty cool to think that somewhere just below the surface of the ground, you've got a bunch of little tubers hiding out. And, they make pretty little flowers, too. So, even while you're anxiously waiting for the day when you can dig 'em up, you've still got something nice to look at.

By the way, notice the gigantic rock next to that potato plant. You see what I have to deal with in my garden? Such hardships. Really, it's a good thing the soil is fertile enough to make up for it.