Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A is for Advice Needed

A is for advice, as in I stand in need of. Like Margene, I love the cool-weather green variously known as arugula, rucola, rocket, or roquette. I like it best as a salad, unadorned or with a toss of vinaigrette – it's also nice as a wilted or cooked vegetable and the small purple-veined cream flowers are, um, an interesting novelty.

A is for arugula advice

Anyway, I'm in search of a variety to grow at home. Local markets carry excellent fresh arugula, assertive but not the least bit pungent or hot. Alas, all the ones I've tried in my garden bite hard and have a considerable aftertaste, like mustard greens in August (even in April!). At least the rabbits leave them alone. I grow arugula pretty much the same as heirloom lettuce, so I think it's nature, not nuture.

Any suggestions? I note "Why bother?" is not a suggestion. I garden, therefore I bother.

Meanwhile,STR Wensleydale fingering it turned out there was more STR Wensleydale in stash. I thought the amount of yarn looked too small compared to the amount of roving! The second batch is fingering weight, with the marvelous Wensleydale sheen. It bled a bit during finishing, a surprise since the first batch did not. It's scratchy, but I'm inordinately pleased with the finished yarn.

The only trouble is now I have an overpowering twitchy desire to re-spin the worsted weight into more fingering. If I did, I'd likely have enough for a pair of socks, the most lustrous wool socks ever seen....

STR Wensleydale worsted and fingering

Hm... I wonder if it's possible (perhaps not advisable?) to unply and re-spin finished yarn [twitch].

7 comments:

Kristen said...

I'm Afraid I have no Advice, but As I love Arugula And Am planning to plant A lot of greens in the garden this year, I Anxiously Await your decision.

Kim said...

You are a better gardener than I am so I'm afraid I have no advice on the greens issue. I do remember that one of the seed catalogs had special blends of greens and you could choose by bitterness and also by season. Johnny's Selected Seeds or Something something Kitchen Garden? Gorgeous yarn you made!

--Deb said...

No, no gardening tips for you (what do I know about gardening?) But the plying? You can always go back and add or subtract twist to your yarn. You don't need (or, really, should try) to UNply it, just "run it through" the spindle one more time to adjust the amount of twist.

Ina said...

Deb: It's not the twist I want to adjust, I'm wishing for a way to turn worsted weight into fingering.

knitseashore said...

Though I garden, I've got little experience with herbs and none with arugula. Is it something to do with your soil that is making all the varieties bitter?

Margaret said...

Came over to see about the poetry mitts, then saw this question.

It's Absolutely possible to un-ply it, as we learned in spinning class last week. Ideally get a friend with a second wheel or a ball winder to help, a swift to hold the skein, spin the other way onto both wheels, and you're back to singles. Seems like you'd probably want to run it through once to take out enough of the twist in the singles to be able to draft it thinner. The only difficulty I can think of is if it has fulled at all in setting the twist it'll be a pain when you re-spin. Sounds like it's worth snipping off a yard and seeing what happens. Good Luck!

Anne said...

You know, that yarn would look pretty dang nice in mitts too. It'd wear well for sure!