Saturday, November 19, 2011

Roots, herbs, yarn, and mittens

I've been busy lately drying roots, putting the last of my dried herbs away, spinning yarn for my sister, and knitting texting mittens for my son out of handspun yak down yarn.

Roots have to be dug up, washed off with a preliminary hose-dowsing or bucket dunking, then scrubbed up inside nice a proper, sliced, and then laid out to dry in a barely warm oven. I've been drying two types of roots from my garden, which are harvested from two-year-old plants: elecampane and evening primrose. I use them in various medicinal teas.

My kitchen smells so wonderful when I'm packing dried herbs away. The last of my harvest was mostly culinary in nature, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sweet marjoram. But I also had some late-harvested lemon balm to put away, and some things harvested over the summer which hadn't been put away yet, like heartsease (violas), and peppermint. I've never used heartsease before, but we had so many volunteers spring up between the pavers on my patio - little gifts left from a potted viola I had sitting on the patio table the season before. I let them grow and bloom for some time, until we were having company over for a barbeque and they finally had to go. I gathered them and dried them and will try mixing them with goldenrod to make a salve for eczema.

The yarn I'm spinning for my sister is fingering weight. I'm making a three-ply, so it's spun really fine and takes a long time. Each bobbin takes a couple of hours. I've been spinning a bit, and then going off to take care of other things, and then getting back to it when I can. The project has stretched out over a couple of weeks, but I'm on my last bobbin. Then comes the plying. I like plying best.

The yak down yarn is scrumptious! I really love yak. And the mittens are turning out really nicely. I almost want to keep them for myself : ) I'll try to remember to put pictures up when the texting mittens are done.

What have you been up to lately?


Adrienne said...

Texting mittens - clever! I haven't heard of those. Looking forward to a picture. :)

ICQB said...

Hi Adrienne!

I got the pattern for the mittens out of a spinning magazine. They're warm and cozy : )

wheatgerm said...

you sure do alot

ICQB said...

Hi wheatgerm!

Hee hoo! Now I just have to figure out how to make money while I do it : )