It’s the little things

Published on Thursday July 8th, 2010

Discoveries that have delighted me this week thus far:

1. Miss Marple (or at least Julia McKenzie who’s playing her in the new Masterpiece series) is a lever knitter.

2. In Germany there is an octopus named Paul who has correctly predicted the outcome of each of his country’s World Cup matches by eating a mussel from a box labeled with the winning country’s flag. Paul is six for six, having foretold Germany’s shocking upset by Serbia earlier in the tournament and also their defeat by Spain in yesterday’s semifinal. (Keep in mind that Paul has eight tentacles and could probably open both boxes at once, but he is not greedy and apparently takes his oracular duties seriously.) I think that if America is ever to reach a World Cup semifinal we not only need to study the new German style of play but should also trade Punxsutawney Phil for a more sophisticated animal prognosticator.

3. You can make paper out of pond scum. The children who have confirmed this report that if you want to try it at home you should make sure you have good ventilation, as the paper smells rather fishy even when it’s dry. (They took this as inspiration to cut fish shapes out of it for a multi-sensory collage.) I must say the pond scum paper looks easier to work with than the thistle paper a friend and I made at a similar age.

4. Radishes are a good addition to homemade salsa. Use plenty of lime juice.

5. I don’t hate knitting cotton as much as I thought I did, at least not if it’s the right cotton. Mirasol Lachiwa is 60% cotton, 40% linen, and yet it is soft, gentle on the hands, doesn’t split at all, isn’t prone to rowing out in stockinet fabric…. I am forced to admit that knitting with it is downright PLEASING. (Occasionally there’s a little stray end of tough fiber poking out from the plies that’s rather scratchy, but these are easily pulled free.)

7 Comments to “It’s the little things”

  1. Emily Comment Says:

    I’ve been hearing a lot of people retract their hatred of knitting with cotton recently, and it makes me wary. I’ll be in a right little snit if I have to retract my own aversion to it. (Ok not really, but maybe a slight snit…) 🙂

    I wonder if knitting is part of the audition when they cast a new Jane Marple.

  2. thea Comment Says:

    I love the story about the octopus. Made my kids night!

  3. Mia Comment Says:

    Yeah we are all about Paul the octopus over here too. There is a Youtube video about him that made my day. The only upsetting part of the story is that he’s been getting death threats!! People are evil. How is minnow baby doing? Out baby is kicking with vim and vigor.

  4. Debby Comment Says:

    I’m new to soccer and like the idea of Paul instead of Phil (get it??) but the fact they have those particular names is a bit of a conflict for me. 🙂

    I’ve only knit with cotton once or twice, but don’t mind if I have another project to switch off to.

    Hope you are feeling well! We’re in the midst of a heat wave on the east coast so all cycling is early morning or indoors.

  5. Julie Comment Says:

    I love every Mirasol yarn, they make heavenly stuff. I’m also a massive fan of radishes, but have never thought of trying them in salsa- I’ll have to give this a go!

  6. Kristen Comment Says:

    Octopi are apparently remarkably intelligent, and use tools and have problem solving skills, while groundhogs are not very bright at all. I agree that perhaps it’s time for Phil to make way for a brilliant animal without a spine.

    And I’m very excited to hear of a pleasant cotton! I want to give cotton another chance, but I’m a bit wary of it, and feel like I want my cotton in blends. (Cotton/bamboo is quite nice.)

    On Miss Marple – I overheard my kids playing a game the other day in which they were being chased by an evil knitter wielding size 32 needles. They were careful to specify to each other that Miss Marple is NOT the evil knitter, and is apparently on their side. (The side of good and justice, naturally.) I’ve apparently warped and woven their brains to accept the fiber arts as a natural part of being.

  7. Seanna Lea Comment Says:

    I definitely understand about knitting cotton. The first cotton I ever bought is so rough on my hands, so unyielding, that I feel like my hands are going to cramp up. I’ve probably started and stopped projects a half dozen times trying to make this yarn do what I want. Since then, I’ve had better luck, but I still couldn’t tell you what makes one cotton yarn easier to work with than another!