Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Five Gs

G is for garden. New Jersey is the Garden State and good things do indeed grow here. Pat, my gardening guru, manages to grow food in her backyard even through the hungry gap. She's still harvesting kale and has already planted peas and broccoli (ETA: despite this morning's spring snowfall). Me?... I'm doing prep work on a new vegetable bed. The soil roundabout Exit 151 is Jersey clay, a heavy red soil rich in iron. It benefits from double-digging, compost, sand, a handful of lime... I'm still breaking ground so, alas, no pictures of green glory.

G is for Great Falls of the Passaic River (Exit 159). I don't have a good photo of the Great Falls either; this one is by Andy Szymczak.G is for Great Falls.  Photo by Andy Szymczak. New Jersey is not generally known for its waterfalls, yet the Great Falls are second in the Eastern U.S. only to mighty Niagara. When in full flow, they are spectacular. The river makes a sharp Z-bend, dropping 80 feet (24 m) in free fall through a narrow gorge of dark rock before continuing in its original direction. A slender footbridge spans the top of the gorge (not for those afraid of heights!), but the best view is from the bottom of the gorge, as in this photo. I've looked for the path down and haven't found it yet.

G is for gauge swatch. This one is the swatch for my mini-Birch, worked in Filatura di Crosa College. I love knitting swatches.G is for gauge swatch Apart from their pure entertainment value, I use them to get gauge, to try stitch patterns, and, as here, to test how a yarn will respond to blocking. Heretical Annie Modesitt suggests another use: handing them to people as a surrogate for letting them pet a wip and inadvertently soil it, an occupational hazard for someone who knits in public for a living. (Another hazard: the current grudge match between Annie and a certain LYS.)

G is for Garden State Parkway, which runs 173 miles from Cape May (Exit 1) to Montvale (Exit 172), with exits approximately one mile apart. "What exit?" is a frequently asked Jersey question – Jersey people orient themselves by means of GSP exits. Really quite a sensible system.

And G is for guanaco, yet another South American fiber-producing camelid. Just as the Great Falls are second to Niagara, so guanaco fleece is said to be second only to vicuña. Oh, for the chance to try it someday!

See the rest of my ABCs.


Kat said...

Great G entry. Having spent my formative years in the Garden State (142), it still bothers me to drive on highways in other states and not be able to figure out how many miles are left in the trip.

--Deb said...

Do you know, I've never seen the Great Falls? I should really make the effort one of these days . . . it's not like it's that far!

FemiKnitMafia said...

How about green -- for turning a turtle green? How's the Olympic knitting going?

Leslie Shelor said...

Great "G"'s! I've only passed through New Jersey a few times; nice to know more about the state!