The Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum) was pot-bound and soggy: the soggy I only noticed because I gave a tug on the winter coat/grass cover. It pulled up easily, as you can see. So then I pulled plant out of pot.
This is when the "eureka" happened. Sort of like when we 'get it' about raking up all those leaves under trees and then buying fertilizer for the lawn under the trees.
I put all pieces of the 'winter coat' into the bottom of the pot. I expect they will soonest begin composting.
Then about a third of the pot-bound soil was cut away from the plant.
Plant was popped back into pot and the cut-away soil was broken up and added on top.
Mothers know when their kids are moping. She sent her father to see what was wrong with her son.
“Something bothering you?” the grandfather asked.
Gramps thought about the answer for a moment.
“You worried about yourself?”
Gramps thought some more. He was wise.
“You worried about the world.”
“Always been something of concern,” the grandfather agreed.
“Always a worry to those of us on it,” the grandson said gloomily.
They perched together and considered.
“You were a human being last life, right?” the grandfather inquired.
“Guess you remember more how mere mortals are, then. I been a bird for a few years now.”
The young robin said, “I feel guilty about my freedom.”
Now the grandfather was alarmed. Guilt in the animal kingdom was a serious thing!
He took his grandson under his wing.
“You earned the right to be a bird.”
“But what about all the – well, the – about the – “
Gramps pulled his wing away. “So – go ahead. Suffer.”
The young robin flickered. “I don’t know how to do that any more.”
“Exactly!” said the granddad.
A huge sigh. “So – just get on with it?”
Young robin said, “Well, I do have a lovely song.” He trilled a few notes. “And my chest is brilliantly crimson.” He puffed it out and the sun shone iridescent on the feathers. “And when I fly people do raise their eyes to me.”
Grandpa noticed that a chorus of dandelions were about to shake their fluffy heads and spread what he said along with their seeds so he chose his words carefully.
“Exactly! You have the freedom now to be a bird, only a bird, a bird to the utmost. You have the gift of making people feel good, without obligation, without guilt. Even for an instant.”
The young robin sighed again but this time from the top down not the bottom up. “I do, don’t I,” he said. “I’d forgotten. Thanks. That makes me feel a lot better.”
“No problem,” replied Gramps. “That’s what I’m here for. That makes me feel good.”
Gramps flew back to his daughter’s tree to tell her all was well with the kid and to see if perhaps she had some worm leftovers from breakfast. She was the earliest of birds. She took after her mother.
Young robin fluffed out his chest and straightened a wing feather or two. He cocked his head with his black seed eyes and sent out his most cheery song.
Down below on a park bench a father was sitting with his two children, holding the littlest on his lap. They all looked up when they heard the robin. “Dog! Dog!” yelled the baby in delight. “It’s a bird,” the father said and laughed because he knew “dog” was the only word the baby knew so far.
“Dumb kid,” the older child said under his breath and was about to toss a stick he had in his hand at the bird to scare it away. But the father stopped the throw, put the baby back in his stroller, and lifted the older child onto his lap. Which is what the child wanted much more than he wanted to scare the bird. Now he could watch and listen to the bird with pleasure too.
The young robin felt their enjoyment. He sang even louder, caught the sun and the breeze on his feathers and shone even more. Then he was moved to acquire what no other robin had ever had before but many from now on would. A smile.
Here are socks knit since the original posting: the linen socks that got very worn got mended and worn again. But in July I bought some more linen and started another pair - on the green needles. I will be able to wear them over knee socks in the cool months. The bulky pair of amber are pure wool; the lightweight pair of amber are from a cone of rayon, a fibre archeology find at a church sale, likely from someone's stash in the Seventies. The steel oatmeal socks are acrylic - pilling a bit, as acrylic can do, but nicely serviceable.
This is a re-post from several years ago but it gives examples of Woodsman Socks, their history, and the pattern. The latest pair were in linen and were lovely but they did not wear well. I likely did not throw them out (or bury them, honourably, in the garden as I have with knitting projects in the past) so I imagine they are around here somewhere but I could not find them for a photo.
The 'recipe' for this sock was handed down to me by Keith Somers, a tree nurseryman in Tillsonburg, Ontario. His mother had given it to him when she showed him how to knit when he was a boy. He has made hundreds of socks over many years. I have made dozens of socks from that same pattern: it is very versatile. It is worked on only 28 stitches and you can vary the density of the sock with the wool (or combination of) you choose.
Sadly I do not have a picture of a pair that Keith has made - either ones made from fluffy yarn like Diana which was his fibre of choice "cosy and colourful" he told me, when I first met him and which I immediately noticed peeking over the tops of his work boots or the more rugged ones he made later and would line up along the back of his sofa; when he made more than he could use - he sold the extra.
The socks above are mostly a Norwegian wool - I loved the softness and the brightness; the red eyelash and blue chenille picked up the specks. They have served me for a number of years now. It suits me to wear socks over knee socks in Victoria's cool weather either with sandals or casual shoes.
These socks, intentionally mismatched (I did not run out of wool!) are for cold dry weather when I need the extra warmth but still want the comfort of sandals or loose shoes. The cuffs were added at the end - I think I crocheted them with a very large hook and large stitches.
These are the alpaca and wool/acrylic yarn (one strand of each) I started ages ago and only recently finished; actually, they still need to have a cuff added to them - or maybe not - and the toes sewn, ends woven in. The marriage of those two yarns resulted in a compatible couple, quite lovely to work with and promising to continue nicely twined with the alpaca giving warmth and the sock yarn giving strength.
It's not often that I actually go to a yarn store and buy wool for a project - usually I just go to my stash and something 'suggests' - but when I made this pair last year I wanted something to match the Noro and there was nothing purple 'at home'. It is great fun to browse a store lined with shelves and shelves and shelves of wool. This purple is - oh heck, can't remember and too lazy at the moment to go and hunt up the yarn band*. It was a worthwhile acquisition whatever it is!
(*A merino and silk, Australian)
These are the latest socks, almost finished, a combination of koigu, handspun (not by me - I only know how to spin on a drop spindle and my output so far is about two yards of yarn), acrylic, wool.
Here is the pattern:
sock takes one 50 gr ball of wool, single strand in double knitting, double
strand in 4 ply. or a mixture of yarn to come up with what suits you. #4 Can (9 US) set of four dbl pointed needles.
sts to 2 inches (approx)
cast on 28 sts on a #4 (Can) dbl pointed needle.
row K2 P2 across.
on three needles, 12, 8, 8
care to not twist the first row, using fourth needle, join stitches and begin
to work in the round: K2 P2 ribbing for cuff (2" for crew style, 4"
for short cuff, 6" for tall cuff etc.) Or make the cuff in garter stitch if you are using really textured wool . Or leave the cuff for now and start right into the body of the sock - you might decide to knit - or crochet - the cuff at the end. The sock is meant to be fun and inspire whimsy. That is what comes to my mind at the memory of seeing Keith on his tree farm with his serious work boots and the pastel socks pouring out the top of his boots; made me grin then; makes me smile now.
plain to required length (distance from bottom of cuff to top of ankle)
to 14, 7, 7 on the three needles
14 sts K1 Slip 1 across and then purl back. Do this for 2 1/2 inches ending with a knit row.
heel like this:
7 P2tog P1 Turn
K3 K2tog K1 Turn
P4 P2tog P1 Turn
K5 K2tog K1 Turn
P6 P2tog P1 Turn
K7 K2tog Do not turn
spare (fourth) needle pick up 9 sts knitwise along edge following from the last
are 7 sts on each of the next two needles: put these all on one needle (14 sts)
spare needle knit across these 14 sts.
spare needle pick up 9 sts along next edge. Onto this same (9sts) needle knit the next 4 sts from the 8 sts needle
(13 sts). Slip the remaining 4 sts.
onto the needle holding the 9 sts. (13 sts.) Think of this now as a triangle with 13 sts. on each side and 14 sts.
along the bottom.
presently at the top of the triangle. Knit once around (40 sts.)
(along the other 13 sts. side) K1 K2tog
K10 (12 sts.)
now at the top again.
one round plain.
round decrease as before (11sts. 14 sts. 11 sts.)
one round plain.
in this manner until there are 7sts. 14 sts. 7 sts.
plain to desired length (foot size less toe length; I try on the sock at this
point and when only half my toes show then I start to decrease: I like roomy
decrease for toe:
4 sts in next round (K2tog - twice on the 14 st row, once on the 7 st
rows) Knit one row plain. Decrease 4
sts. as before. Knit one row plain. Continue until 12 stitches remain. Cast off. Sew up toe seam
Has everyone had this experience? Is there a name for it? Is there an explanation as to why it happens?
It happened to me again this morning. The gentleman walking toward me on the sidewalk was suddenly hidden by the telephone pole and we would have passed without knowing what the other person looked like; except he stopped while behind the pole, reversed direction, and we came face to face. The queries above came about in the resultant conversation. He thought it might be called a coincidence - which is a whole other area of interest and 'reason for stopping'.
I could not find any reference to this with googling. Crows might have an opinion.