Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Jokes About the Farmer's Dodder 

Today, Heidi and I went on an East County Adventure. And while usually that might entail bingo palace fun and snootfulls of methamphetamines, we aren't Those Kind of People.

We went hunting for dyestuff, specifically dodder.

Heidi in front of a laurel sumac bush covered in pretty dried out dodder.

There was an article in the most recent Spin-Off about obtaining yellow using no mordants on a protein fiber (samoyed dog hair) using dodder, and it rang a bell when the author mentioned that it looked like bright orange spaghetti. I used to see it all the time while riding on the school bus in elementary school, so we took a ride out to the old 'hood to see if we could find some.

We did, but not as much as we might have liked. In retrospect, I remember it being most vivid when the rains had been through, and we have had a very dry season so far.

What we could find (and reach) was mostly dried, but here's some that was in the relative shade:

It had some blossoms as well:

The light in the camera lost the kind of sinister shine the white seedy bits seemed to have.

We continued into the east, but that was pretty much the end of good dodder pickings. In a week of good rain, maybe we'll go out again.

We went to a local reservoir, and I found the most beautiful pond scum ever:

I love that green.

Can anyone tell me what this is called?

I remember these things from kidhood too, and when the spines fall off they leave a sponge-like husk. I used to think they might be alien eggpods (those were the days of V, after all), but I'm pretty sure I know better now.

Heidi also snagged some manzanita, lichen, some very robust sage, and a fig tree with the manliest fig I have ever seen. Forbidden fruit indeedy. The car smelled fantastic.

Oh, and Heidi got to meet the little idiots I love beyond all reason.

Belu had her pegged for a sucker and pulled her best "starving whippet" routine but Heidi did. not. bend.
And while Snowball didn't flip over on his back and try to kick her in the face, I think he liked her a lot anyway.

It was a very good day.

Sunshine, fresh air, drunk belching men at fishin' at the reservoir talkin 'bout their pet squirrels...

I'm knitting something, but I'm sure it will be a disaster.

It's the Cabaret Raglan. I ripped the Tivoli because it was boring and I didn't feel like finishing it, and am using the balls to knit the CR. Then I'll unseal the vacuum-packed-stash for the rest of it.

I've lengthened the sleeves to full length because 3/4 bugs me, but that's it for modifications. That and yarn. I'm using Reynolds Gypsy, an incredibly heavy cotton yarn, especially compared to the Reynold's cotton tape yarn for which it was written.

The sweater will probably be heavy beyond belief and the stitchwork I so fancy will probably stretch grotesquely, but I needed something mindless and new to me and stash-eating to knit, so we'll see how it goes. It goes fast, thus far.

I also need to post about the great final package I got from my SP6 Catherine, with three patterns printed out and 40" US2 Inox circs so I can try the magic loop method, and some US3 Crystal Palace DPNs and four balls of sock yarn; I've already cast on for MJ's Mirabella socks and mucked it up.

I'd take a pic of the package, but I'm like a highly efficient whatchamacallit, pieces have been dismantled and filed away for easy access, but they aren't photo-friendly. But thank you, I love it!


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