Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ask, and it Shall be Given You

In order to reinforce your commenting behaviour, I think it's time to give some answers.

The Decision on the Rheingold Wrap

Ames, to answer your question: I decided on the Rheingold Wrap, longer but no narrower. If I am going to go to all the trouble and expense of ordering an authentic Starmore kit, I'll cough up for a few extra skeins, hopefully enough to knit another 10 inches or so. After all, when you're spending $250 you may as well spend $300 and make sure you'll be happy with the finished product.

The Grapes (and Pears, and Melon, and Pineapple) of Wrath

In answer to Lizbon's "how do you get such pretty fruit in midwinter" question: there is a wonderful grocery store on Vancouver Island, which goes out of its way to excel in the produce department...and in meat, and dairy, and pretty well everything worth excellence. They have done more for organic farming in BC than any other organization, I'd wager.

The Story of the Common Welsh Green Socks

Sue, the Common Welsh Green socks are an invention of mine, not a specific pattern. The idea was inspired by a series of sock yarn skeins for sale on etsy and named after the dragon species listed in the Harry Potter books (most memorably in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament ["Goblet of Fire"], where each of the four champions has to steal an egg from a dragon). Each skein was beautifully dyed with evocative colours, and named (left to right) "Swedish Short Snout", "Welsh Green", "Hungarian Horntail" and "Chinese Fireball".*
Knowing there were two major HP events this year, I immediately wanted to knit some dragonish socks with that yarn, and started cruising for a pattern. I found Marnie Maclean's "Wyvern Socks" by chance while surfing some blogs, and the chart had an ideal "scale" look. Unfortunately, I hadn't bought the dragon-dyed yarn when I saw it (lesson learned) and now it was sold out. So, I spent another few months waiting for the perfect semi-solid dragon-coloured sock yarn. I was hoping for something in a silvery-blue, to make the "Swedish Shortsnout" socks, but couldn't find it. Sweet Georgia's chartreuse "Dragon" colourway, when I found it, was exactly right for a Welsh Green...and aptly named.

Questions No One Asked (or, My First Meme)
I hate memes.
But I love memes.

I have never published one.
But I have written several.

After wrestling with my principles, I have at last decided to give in to the craze, a bit. I am going to include a tiny note at the end of any given post, when I have something interesting, or funny, or freaky, to share.

1. When I was 12, we were coming home from our grandmother's house one rainy night. As we drove down a (deserted) rural road, we passed through an isolated pool of light cast by a streetlight at a lonely intersection. I got a prickly feeling and looked back immediately, to see a woman standing in the middle of the light, a split second after our car had driven through it. She was dressed in a grey skirt and jacket, with blonde hair, standing absolutely still. I kept watching her until we were out of sight, and she never moved. I knew, and know to this day, that she was a ghost. Believe it, or not.

2. I hate the very thought of people touching any fruit that I might later eat. When restaurants put that wedge of orange on your breakfast plate, beside your toast and eggs? The very thought of eating that makes my skin crawl. Someone in the kitchen has obviously touched the cut edge of that orange. It's a nauseating combination of hand-warmth and bruising.

I, and only I, know exactly how to prepare fruit for myself. Icy hands (run them under the water first, right), a very sharp knife (bruising = sick-making) and minimal contact. Also no wood or plastic cutting boards. (Possible taste-contamination resulting in faint traces of onion, garlic, or, God forbid, meat.) You may think I am too fussy, but here is my breakfast: a fruit salad made by me, with absolutely no crushed edges, warm bits, or flavour cross-contamination. And see how pretty:
Pineapple, pear, mango, apple, watermelon, honeydew, starfruit, orange, banana. Nary a bruise in sight.

Postscript: I can't figure out the hard returns on this stupid new Blogger. The composition window shows regular single-space returns, but once published the spaces between paragraphs take on a random hugeness, or tininess. So it's a crapshoot whether the spaces in this post will be Lilliputian, Brobdingnagian, or a titillating combination of both.

* Picture dredged off the vastness of the web.


Clumsy Ox said...

On Blogger: I just use Google Docs and publish the doc to my blog. Blogger's too hard to figure out.

On fruit: you are too picky, but you're right on with flavour cross-contaimination. That's why Caesar Salad shouldn't have chicken, shrimp, beef, or any other flesh on them.

Kate said...

I believe they have a great seafood department as well ....

Loved this post, I'm all about miscellaneous goodness.

The fruit -- what do you cut it on? Also I have separate cutting boards, some people even colour code them so there is no cross contamination (the things you learn when you live with someone who has to obsess over food safety for his work).

Gwen said...

This is so interesting, what an illustration of birth order:
First child: easy to get along with, yet anal.
Middle child: Frigging picky, just to make sure no one forgets her.
Youngest: Serenely gentle spirited, kind and loving to all, anxious to please and just eat the fruit and the Chicken Caesar, already.

Kate - sorry, doll, but I'm guessing you're an eldest child?

Shan said...

clumsy, now I have to figure out what you're talking about.

Kate, I trust you that the seafood department is fantastic - I try to pretend it's not there since seafood belongs, in my brain, to the same shrinking horror as warm, bruised fruit.

I use a plate. Nice and cold, and non-porous.

Gwen, as usual you are perfectly right. The middle child IS the most interesting child.

Kate said...

Gwen - believe it or not I'm a second (last). But as Shan can tell you at another time, I was(am) often in a first role. And the husband is in the same place (second child but first role).

Shan - The thought of cutting on a plate gives me the shivers, squeaking knives and all. Ugh! People are so interesting.

Gwen said...

"People are so interesting." That about sums it up! Well done.

I do like memes.

Ames said...

Gwen: I noticed you forgot to put me in the list. Beautiful, yet, humble. Sassy, yet sensitive. Practical, but can shimmy.

Shan: That first meme was indeed freaky. I was very interested in the paranormal when I was in high school, but have not ever experienced anything truly freaky. In light of scripture, do you have an explanation for things like ghost sightings? I've asked many people that question. Few have an answer. Maybe that could be your next post??

Gwen said...

"Can shimmy..." That's like Julia Child saying "Can cook." Can you ever!!! If I had booty like that... but that's another post.

Ames said...

Gwen, you are making me blush.

Sue H said...

Thanks Shan, I had a look at the Wyvern socks, and saved them.
BTW, I am the eldest and yes, pretty easy to get along with, but I'm not sure about anal.