Life’s a bowl of…



If I thought that last years crop was a substantial problem, then I can’t even begin to tell you about this year.

There are millions. I feel confident about that number. Millions. This year I am spared having to pick, pit and cook them all (which is good, since it almost cost my my sanity last summer) since the extreme heat and humidity of Toronto’s record breaking summer has spoiled the crop, almost literally steaming them on the tree. One day they were almost ripe, the next they had rotted on the tree. There was simply not time to get them in, despite my best efforts. (I admit that my best efforts were, considering that it was 42/107 degrees outside, sort of pathetic. Mostly, this effort consisted of going outside with a bowl, raising my arm above my head, then trying to remember why I was there, then feeling faint and having to go in. Hard to make progress.)

The front garden is entirely covered in a fine layer of cherries past their prime, much the way that snow blankets the country side. I have managed to delude myself into thinking that the cherries in the garden are “compost”. They are not. What they are is 10 000 cherry pits that will make bold attempts to grow into trees over the next year. Hundreds and hundreds will sprout up and I will pull up all but five.

I will have no intention of leaving those five, but somehow they will manage to hide under perennials in the garden until suddenly one day, while I am weeding tiny little cherry trees, I will see these five, which have grown in magical seclusion until they are the size of volvos.

I will, naturally, be unable to pull them up. I will get the shovel and I will maul half of my miniscule front garden to death engaging in a battle of epic proportions to get a young cherry tree with roots that clearly go below the crust of the earth out from beside my rose, my phlox or my lilies. I will cut them back to the ground and dig out bits of them and fight with them and pick all of their leaves off out of spite. I will wish that I could poison them, since several years of this means that my front garden is slowly becoming a cherry orchard. ( I know at least one of you guys is going to tell me that it’s ok to use such a tiny amount of a herbicide, but there’s not point in trying to convince me. It is not my usual tree-hugging softness that keeps me from poisoning them, it is Toronto Law. “Roundup” and other chemicals like them are illegal. I’ve contemplated doing a little selective “importing” on one of my trips to the States but aside from me being too pretty to go to prison, it turns out that the evidence that it kills more that plants is undeniable.)

In the end, confronted with several large bushes in my front garden I will have no choice but to do what everybody does.

Hang knitting on them for blog pictures. (What? You know you would).


This is still the Highland Triangle Shawl from Folk Shawls, and it is still striping. I’m onto the second ball of yarn, and the rows are longer…I’m almost done this part actually, and it is still striping. Even though the laws of geometry say that this is impossible, I have decided not to think very much about the striping and what it means and to instead be very relieved that the universe respects my need for order enough to give it to me, even when I attempt to reject it.

On another cherry interloper,


Tuesdays are for spinning and these rovings for Joe’s gansey are fresh off the carder. I’m also spinning the solid colours so that I can stripe the border of the Highland Triangle (how ironic is that?) but I won’t bore you with a picture of it. (Hint. It is almost identical to the last time I showed you.

This young cherry tree holds the socks I began in Memphis.


These have been resurrected, since I could no longer live with the stupidity of having an unfinished pair of socks around when they only need one stinking toe. Who waits months to knit a toe? Seriously. Just a toe? It’s like…22 ever decreasing rounds. Who quits then? It’s embarrassing. This has got to be proof that Margene is right, and knitting is about the process…since I obviously don’t give a crap about having socks or I would have spent the half hour and had myself a pair of socks months ago. I don’t mind being the kind of knitter who has a lot on the go, which is good, because I can’t seem to come up with fibre monogamy (read the title of the blog) and I really don’t need another way to disappoint myself, but I really have to wonder about what’s going on with my psyche when I bail out this close to the end. How embarrassingly close to the end of something have you gotten stalled? Why?

Finally, I give you this. It would seem that certain people in this house, have discovered a way to wear the unbearably darling ladybird bootees even though they have feet the wrong size. These people have been wearing various little insect shoes in this manner for days now, and have only been deterred from this practice by the threat of open blogging of their behaviour.

Remember. We have no idea who these people are, and as long as they don’t put their hands on my little shoes again, there will be no reason to reveal them for the bootee stealing maniacs they really are.




We will never speak of this again.

102 thoughts on “Life’s a bowl of…

  1. Wow…cherries invading, tiny Spock Ear shoes and even roving for Joe’s Gansey?
    Big day! πŸ™‚
    So I’m curious, do you name your socks for the place they were cast on? (i.e. The socks modeled today are the Memphis Socks?)
    Libby (who obviously is being a blog-stalker today…)

  2. OMG. I couldn’t put my finger on what these lovely young people were reminding me of until the last pic. They look like bug vulcans ala Star Trek.
    And as an aside, as they continue to grow up and mature, have you considered locking them in a tower til they are 21? They are gorgeous!

  3. I cannot say that I have gotten that close to the end of something knitted and not finished it. Unless you mean a book. It is my highest insult to a book to read everything but the last chapter. Moby Dick has this distinction. I have also flung books across the room if on the last page they give me a dreadful shock of something unhappy. I think the first time I did that was Of Mice and Men in college. So knitting: no, Books that piss me off: yes. πŸ™‚

  4. Ah, suspect number three warms the cockles of my little Trekkie heart. The small shoes are too cute (though I can’t read the phrase “small shoes” without giggling about … well, let’s just say it’s something less innocent than baby booties).
    I am currently stalled on Klaralund. It took me about a month and a half to get around to seaming the thing up after I finished knitting, and now it has been sitting around for three weeks (and counting!) waiting for me to weave in all the freaking ends. Yes, embarrassing, but I plead the warm-weather defense.
    Those are some fun socks you have going there! Though is that *gasp* orange I spy? πŸ˜‰

  5. If you had a bear, he’d eat all the spoiled cherries off the ground, then all the reachable ones from the lower branches of the tree. If you don’t have a bear, a family of raccoons or a flock of chickens will do. Then, when the pits the bear or alternate crew has missed sprout, you can bring in an angora (or cashmere!) goat to enjoy the seedlings.
    What will you do about the fruit flies? Can you use a high-powered water sprayer to herd the windfall cherries into a pile that could be more easily scooped up for the compost bin?
    Did your kids ever read that charming book about the bear learning how to get dressed, who put his clothes on all the wrong parts? He would have loved the little shoes.

  6. Forgive me Stephanie, for I have sinned. I picked cherries on the ALMOST right day, and then lost about half the crop to – gulp – failure to pit-and-jam them THAT VERY DAY.
    We ended up with five or six cans of Madeira-cherry jam (to die for) and a firm resolution to do better next year.
    You make me feel so much better about all that…

  7. You just might need to be a little more task oriented and a little less process oriented. That would result in more finished projects! On the other hand, you stuck to the Tuesdays are for Spinning Rule, and heck, I’m proud of ya. Nice bug ear muffs. A little warm for that, though, isn’t it?

  8. I stopped knitting a pair of socks when I only had to Kitchener the second toe. Feel better?
    And TMK has the same problem but with plum trees in her back yard. Trust me, she lets loose with quite a string of NORmas, come spring time and come the day she discovers just how much sneaky growing the plum tree seedlings have done over the winter months. They must be stopped! They must die!

  9. Where are all of your robins? My cherry trees are so tall I can’t reach the fruit, but the robins can. Hardly any fruit hits the ground and when it does my little janitors are there to clean them up for me. Seriously if you don’t have any, I’ll tell mine to fly up to Canada for you but honestly they are so fat I don’t think they would make it.
    Looking forward to seeing you next week in Portland.

  10. Aw look, you have elves. How cute!
    I sympathise with the self seeding tree problem, in my case it’s beeches and bay trees.

  11. I’ve been trying to finish a vest for my husband for 3 years. All I have left are the ribbing for one armhole and the neckband. THREE YEARS. Every time I try to work on it, something else sings a siren song and I’m done for. Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband and I really *want* to finish it, if for no other reason than to get the stupid thing off my conscience, but I’m well and truly stuck. I guess I’ll have to treat it like the BBB: no other knitting til it’s done. But what about the socks I’m working on for you to see in Berkeley next week???
    dee near Berkeley

  12. Wow, no pesticides either – not even bug spray? That’s a great thing for the environment, but I wouldn’t have wanted to live without it growing up in Florida where the palmetto bugs are as big as buicks. Without bug spray the only way to get rid of them would be to engage in hand to hand combat. No thanks!

  13. Well, I can think at least 3 people in your house who have enough time on their hands that they can pick some cherries to help out their mother. And exactly how many more days until school starts and your sanity returns?

  14. I too am experiencing the stripe phenomenon. I’m knitting a Clapotis from some random, two ply, barber pole yarn that I spun myself and like your shawl I’m getting stripes. Come to think of it the same thing is happening to a pair of socks I’m knitting, almost the same yarn in a different colourway.

  15. Won’t the cherries begin to ferment….become an irrestible attraction to bees, who will then land, drink and fly around in a drunken stupor?
    That happened at my house once….

  16. That is exactly what happens every year with my mulberry tree. Except that even if I did muster up the energy to go pick some, there’s really nothing edible you can do with them. I kept insisting they must make good wine, because of the name, mull-berry, but Pete assures me that there’s no etymological connection because mulling is something you do after you already have wine. So they rot, and fall, and plant little mulberry trees everywhere.

  17. If those are tart cherries, I want some pits for my yard….
    My Serenity socks (you may remember I began them while in line at the sneak preview at the end of May) are very nearly complete, but I must not finish them until I’m ready to walk out of the house the night of the Premiere. It’s a thing. You understand.

  18. If those are tart cherries, I want some pits for my yard….
    My Serenity socks (you may remember I began them while in line at the sneak preview at the end of May) are very nearly complete, but I must not finish them until I’m ready to walk out of the house the night of the Premiere. It’s a thing. You understand.

  19. I love the new use for the buggy booties! Now you have to make sure you save those pictures to blackmail, ah, share with your daughter’s future husbands!

  20. My Summer Braids sweater has been glowering at me from the corner for the past month or three. It’s quite angry since it only has one complete arm to choke me with. All that’s left is 2 inches or so of one sleeve. Why only 2 inches left you ask? Because if I finish those 2 inches that would be the equivalent of sending an invitation to The Claw for a return appearance in my elbow. I now firmly believe that the evil Cotton-Ease invited The Claw over to have a little party. The Claw is not welcome here anymore, but you can visit anytime!
    The bug shoes/ear warmers are darling. I am going to have to get that book.

  21. Your problem with cherries is my problem with rose of sharon. Last year I had literally 100 of them along the side of our house. They have a tap root that goes 4 or 5 feet into the ground, and I wage war with them daily – praying that one day I will wake up and they will all be dead. Please don’t tell me how pretty the flowers are. Even hibiscus plants make me shudder.
    There is a non-poison solution, however. Have you tried boiling water? It takes a while, and you have to keep at it, but it gets the little blighters before they get too big. I use the kettle on the weeds in my patio, too.

  22. Yup, for us it’s black walnuts. There is a lovely, gorgeous, giant one two properties away from us that we covet. The squirrels bring the nuts over and bury them all over our yard. They have a taproot that goes to the molten center of the earth and they WILL NOT transplant – they will look like CRAP forever and never thrive. But by some magic, we have the same thing: All of a sudden, must be 12 years have gone by and there is one growing out the middle of the mugo pine….the size of a Volvo. How could it BE that we didn’t see it lo’ those dozen years??? Huh???

  23. At my house, it’s apple trees. But the squirrels here! I’ve watched them pick an apple, take a bite, throw it down, pick another apple, repeat. They never let any of it get quite ripe before the ground was covered and the tree was bare–eight years and not one ripe apple. Until I started hanging “Get 1000 hours free!” AOL cds in the tree, hanging from yarn remnants, twisting and reflecting light to scare them away. It works!
    Re your bumper crop, I know that around here, Second Harvest Food Bank will send out volunteers with a ladder to pick your tree, make good use of the crop, and actually clean up the ground under the tree when they’re done.
    Can’t wait till Berkeley!

  24. I planted a sour cherry tree 2 years ago. Last year, birds got all of the cherries, every last one. One day, they were almost ready to pick. The next, they were gone. This year, I put net over the tree (and, no, not a single bird got entangled in the net) and ended up with a 2-cup bowl of cherries, which gave me 3 servings of cold cherry soup. Delicious cherry soup.

  25. At the end of Round One, Norma’s in the lead; black walnut roots produce an alopathic substance — kills many plants around and knocks the gumption out of many others, so they’re more than just a nuisance, they’re spoilsports.
    But don’t any of you live in range of a Chinese Elm?

  26. I see your sock with its incomplete toe and raise you a sock where all I have to do is bind it off. That’s it! And have I done it yet? No.
    Reading your saga with the cherry tree reminds me I really ought to go out and clean up all the mangled peaches from when the birds stole all the ripe fruit earlier this summer, because I really do not want any more peach trees. I am sure I do not.

  27. Have you considered learning how to make cherry wine? Sounds like the fermenting is partially done πŸ™‚ Or, can you dye wool with cherries? They seem to stain my clothes fine…. Borrow a goat?

  28. But then do you NEED socks in that heat!? I’m swooning just hearing about it.
    Great little ears…er shoes;-)

  29. I once knit a Wonderful Wallaby sweater for my daughter, completed the entire thing but did not graft the underarms with kitchener stitch (we’re talking a total of 12 stitches under each arm!) for WEEKS!. Lame, lame, lame, lame! (as Syndrome would say). I hate kitchener stitch. Feel better about your socks now?
    Good luck with your cherry trees!

  30. I once had a pair of socks that just needed one toe grafted sitting around for months!
    In fact, now that I think of it, there’s a pair of socks buried somewhere under a pile in the living room that just needs the second toe–it disappeared into the morass several months ago.

  31. I have a couple projects that only need the ends woven in and I’m pretending they are done. I can’t wear them because of the dangling ends but I’m still pretending they are done and not weaving.
    I can’t wait to see you next week in Portland! Do we have to bring offerings of yarn and chocolate?

  32. Heehee, Imagine the WANTED posters for those three!
    I have a sweater (that alpine thing in garter stitch out of Candide) that I knit, oh, probably 22 or more years ago, in lovely shades of blue and ecru. Needs seaming and a zipper. That.Is.All. And over the years I have contemplated giving it away as is (I do that when the charms of a project are lost on me-it happens), but I really do want this little jacket. I take it out every year with the intention of finishing it. I blogged about it once (, but not even the shame of a self induced challenge has worked. I ordered zippers just last year, thinking that would spur me along. Nope. And the thing is, I know I would wear that sweater in the fall. Bummer.

  33. That last unidentified littletinyshoe thief is a girl after my own heart. Please don’t tell Barbie. She will want a pair, and then she will decide they are actually elf-ears, and then she will want a night-elf dress, and the next thing you know, she’ll be carrying little elf-weapons and I will have to kill her off before she goes and does something stupid like bring home a troll.

  34. Thsoe children are all smiling. Why? Is it because they realize their mother has gone round the bend, and their work is done?

  35. Alice Starmore Fairisle jacket for my then 3 year old daughter- jacket size 4. ALL I had to do was weave in the ends (granted, its probably about 589 ends, but still) and put on a few buttons. Still not done, and daughter is 7.
    The goat solution is great- I have 5 Angoras and I let them out of their field every night to “mow” the lawn- they do love saplings…
    Cutest ear muffs I’ve ever seen! Save those pics, they’ll come in handy one day…

  36. Oh, and if you want to pass cherry pits around- I’d take some…

  37. Well, I had wondered how the cherry crop was this year… I am still knitting socks, as it is too hot for anything larger. Worked on the Meadow Flowers shawl today as it was so tiny I felt sorry for it. It is HOT in Alabama.

  38. I know its different when the fruit is on your property (we have a huge fig tree that has near ripened fruit) but I LOVE cherries and wish I could take some off your hands. Cherry pie, cherry cobbler, dipped in chocolate, in alcoholic beverages – mmmm, I’m making myself hungry.
    The buggie booties are a hoot!

  39. For this house, it is the black walnuts. They pop up right in the middle of the flower beds and I never see them until the root is permanent. The seedling may only be 3″, but the root…And the sad thing is, we even watch the squirrels bury them!! I had the kids pick the cherries (tart) a few weeks ago and made jelly. The kids ate them straight off the tree. I asked if they were maybe,ya know, a little sour? They looked at me like I was whacked. I don’t think their taste buds develop until they’re..what…30?

  40. For the unwanted cherry seedlings, try a 7-10% vinegar-and-water solution instead of Roundup, but spray it only on the plant you’re trying to get rid of. Reapply if it rains, otherwise the plant should wither, turn brown, and die within a few days. Works great getting rid of weeds in sidewalks, patios, and paving stones, though boiling water is quicker and easier.

  41. Oh man, I love the lady bird Spock ears! I need me a pair!
    Hmm Ingrid’s weed killing recipe is interesting – will have to try it.
    We get cotoneaster and privet seedlings. YUCK!

  42. Let’s see – I’ve got a mobius scarf that just needs to be grafted, but I was talked into using kitchener stitch on a 1×1 rib – which I haven’t tried yet – and just haven’t found the right amount of (booze)patience to sit down and do. This was supposed to have been a Christmas present Last Year – does that give me extra points? Also: a sweater for my son that needs 2.5 seams and the ends sewn in, and 3 comfort shawls that just need the ends sewn and the fringe attached. That is by no means my complete list of UFOs, just the ones that are so close I really should have just sucked it up and done ’em by now. But it’s been hot…
    Love the alternate use for the booties! (and I’m happy to report I’ve managed to still resist buying the book. If you knit the duck ones people have mentioned though, all may be lost.)
    Have you checked out the blow torch inspired weed killer at Lee Valley Tools? Probably quite satisfying to use, and environmentally friendly. Unless, of course, you lose control of the flame.

  43. I’m glad to hear that cherry trees don’t mind the cold, long winters; knowing that you can get one to thrive brings me hope that I can (will?) someday have one of my very own. (I’ll be sure to give you lots of notice so it won’t be a total surprise when I start emailing requests for cherry pits…)
    The girls are hilarious – was there an overwelming preference for the ladybug slippers, or is it just that way in the pictures? Both sets are wonderful, and have given me ideas for what I can do when I (someday) get around to making myself a pair. thanks for the inspiration.

  44. at my house…i have a christmas stocking in crewel that i started for my 4th child….when i was pregnant with her…it’s not finished…it’s still on the frame…and daughter just landed in boston this morning for her college orientation. that makes…18 years so far…where she’s not had a stocking but the older 3 have.. i’m a bad mommy….i know.
    hanging my head in shame. deeply.

  45. Those are great pictures. And the one with the Spock fingers is the best. Live long and prosper little bug shoes.
    I am so sad that I couldn’t see you in Memphis. That is probably the closest you will ever be to where I live. Maybe someday I will get to meet you. But at least I have your book to comfort me.

  46. stephanie – i love you!! you’re the best, truly. so funny and well, you know, everything πŸ™‚
    i wish i lived in toronto – i’d come and carefully dig out every one of your 10,000 cherry tree babies (that’s what i do … i have a not-for-profit tree nursery to grow urban trees and edibles are up there on my list of priorities) what i wouldn’t give for the head start those ‘volunteers’ offer! here’s a tip for you though, if you ask them nicely to come out, you won’t have to fight as hard (weird but true) and kudos to toronto for a brave new law! (guelph chickened out)
    your girls are great too πŸ™‚

  47. Nice earmuffs they have, although I would’ve thought it’d be too warm for that… I’m sorry to hear about your steaming cherry crop (and your weather that has apparently been worse than Philly’s), but maybe you still have processed cherries left from last year?

  48. oohh.. so sorry about the cherries. I find myself buried in berries, spending hour upon hour picking and finally running out of space in the freezer. Perhaps, with the ‘cooler’ weather predicted, I’ll be able to use another, heat realted method of storage. Beautiful ear muffbootie.

  49. Cherries! One of my all time favorite fruits. I would love to have a cherry tree…although I’m not sure if I’d love your troubles with them! That brings back memories of the cherry tree in my grandma’s yard. They were tiny, and possibly “sour”, but we kids loved them and ate them all summer, while our parents surely bitched about them covering the sidewalk, the garden, the lawn, the cars….well, you know. It has since succomed to some tree disease, but what great times…

  50. I started a Christening shawl for the wife of my boss (in London, England) when I learned she was pregnant – in 1980 I think it was.
    But the ends are not yet woven in nor has the blue ribbon been wound through the eyelets. (She had a boy.)
    I finished the knitting (in Nova Scotia, in the mid/late 80’s) thinking the child could wear it as a cape when he graduated from high school or university. (Although I don’t really know why that seemed to be a plausible alternative use.)
    Of course by that time it was a question of “Selwyn W., where are you?” And I still have it. Somewhere.

  51. Oh my, the heat has started to steam-cook the brains of your young ‘uns.
    Of course, it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen all day – nay, all week. πŸ™‚

  52. We had the same problems with the cherry tree this year. It’s not actually OUR cherry tree, but my next door neighbor’s sour cherry tree. She always shares the bounty, and I was really looking forward to making up some cherry cobbler this year for the July 4 picnic.
    Unfortunately, the wacky weather (cold, then really hot, then no rain for 2 months) messed up the harvest. Neighbor said they were ripe and rotten at the same time. Oh well, I had loads of raspberries this year and couldn’t keep up with picking them, so I’m sure I would have never gotten around to pitting all those cherries.
    As for the herbicide issue…I have been a staunch organic gardener and don’t use pesticides (even homemade ones like garlic/chili), chemical fertilizers like Miracle Gro, or herbicides. But then…well…my guilty secret is that after 3 years of trying to battle bindweed in the side lot of my house, I’ve given in and gotten Round Up. It would take pages of space to outline all the things I’ve tried to tame the bindweed beast organically, and why I finally gave in, but that would be overkill. Kind of funny to see me out there preparing to spray in the optimum conditions (no/low wind, full sun, active growth phase), which incidentally correspond to the most brutally hot and humid days of the week, while wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirt, socks, heavy garden clogs, and protective eyegear. The process and situation frustrate me, but I’ve got to be able to plant and grow something in this 1600 sq ft space in my lifetime besides bindweed.

  53. Oh, look you have elves, see if you can get them to take care of that cherry problem you are having, seeing they have nothing better to do and all.

  54. Love the pictures of the bootie interlopers… hope that the heat wave quits so that you can get back to having summer fun!

  55. You know you could always pick up those dried dead cherries, boil them and see what nice colour you get, then strain them and stick some wool in. Then sell your idea:)and think how clever you would be.

  56. I thought I was the only one that raised ’em *weird*. A couple of summers ago I went to pick my daughter up at my sister’s house (she was about 16 at the time). She greeted me and said, Look Mommy I have EarFeet! Somehow she’d gotten ahold of some baby socks, and came to a similar use for the baby socks as your girls. Let me tell you,
    Thanks for sharing! And those pics will definitely come in handy.

  57. I had a vest on my coffee table for two weeks, inside out, just waiting for the ends to cut off. Not weaved in, that was done, just cut off.
    Right now, Hope’s jacket, which just needs to a single row of crochet trim around the hood (and I even like to crochet!), and Jen’s poncho, which only needs fringe, are competing for the illustrious glory of being the closest things to completion without actually being complete. Why? I’m still not sure. Maybe when I find out, I’ll get them done!

  58. Just wanted to share my closest-to-finish and longest-wait-to-finish UFO: Long, long ago I made a pair of socks from less than fingering weight sock yarn. I had a full cone of the yarn, so I decided to make more socks. I made a pair for me. The first sock was ok, then I didn’t start the second one. When I started the second one it came out substantially shorter and narrower because my gauge had tightened up. I ribbed one version, and had to start over. At some point I finished the second sock but didn’t sew in the ends. Both socks still were a match, but wearable. Then came along tendonitis and a 9 year long hiatus from knitting (I did lots of other crafts, though). The socks ended up in my sewing basket, but I never sewed the ends in. When cleaning out the sewing basket last year (after about 1 year of constant knitting) I found those buggers and sewed in the ends. Or so I thought. There were more than just the start and the end thread, but I didn’t notice. After wearing and washing them several times I *did* notice and eventually sewed the remainig threads in, too. All in all these socks took more than 12 years to get finished.
    Chris 😎

  59. Ahhh, cherry trees…. I grew up with a massive one in my front yard and my mother always swore I was going to kill myself climbing it to pick and eat its seductive fruit. Mind you, I had to battle some pretty large birds trying to do the same. Dont’ worry about not getting enough to use, i can’t ever remember my mother baking pies or such with them..
    Maybe you can juice them for their dye color????

  60. Stalled Project(s): An abysmally dull and inner-bowel coloured crochetted (yes, acrylic…again!) afghan of which most of the squares are complete. I just need to get ONE MORE stinkin’ skein of BROWN yarn. How many times have I been in yarn shops over the last 6yrs and caved to the prettier, springier, catchier, lovelier skeins of not-brown? Yah.
    So I thought my 6 yrs was going to win, but the 1980-started one takes the cake so far.
    Mulberries – We have what must be an 80yr old grand old dame next to our driveway. The first year we moved in I stayed up til all hours baking pies and cobblers and selling them, and pints of the fresh berries, at the roadside. The birds eat out of the tops, and I fight the Newfies (our dogs, not the Joe-people) for the lower branched ones. Newfs look like bears eating berries, incidentally.
    Black Walnuts – The squirrels bury them in my raised beds too, and it’s the ONLY thing the chickens won’t eat! Stinkin’ birds. I make the sacrifice and take the spade to them, and rip their grip from the earth’s crust, but I can’t even COMPOST them because they’ll just find a way to grow there too. Ergh.

  61. 42/107 in Toronto?
    It hasn’t been that hot in Austin, TX for several years! In fact, it’s 23/73 deg here right now, unseasonably cool (of course, it is 9am).
    I feel your pain, woman
    (Incidently, since when is the fully-typed-out name of my state “questionable content”? truly weird

  62. I am so jealous that you have all those cherries πŸ™‚ I love cherries! You are lucky I am down here in boston, or else I would raid your garden… no, no, I would come and knock nicely and ask if you want to go cherry picking and do some knitting in the garden!

  63. Wow. You have single-handedly convinced me never to grow fruit trees. And here at the beginning of the entry, I was thinking how charming it would be to be able to grow cherries in my backyard.
    If they’re so prolific, though, why are they so freakin’ expensive when you try to buy them at the grocery store here in Indiana?

  64. Dang Stephaine! I expect so much more from you than a crappy, blankety CTV artical that say’s some physicians say some pesticides are bad. Undeniably evidence that some pesticides are dangerous. Wow!
    Glyphosate, commercially known as Roundup, was originally developed as a water softener. It’s happy little vegetation killing ability was only discovered later. Although not as cost-effective as water softening salt, Glyphosate has a lower LD 50 than table salt. Yes Roundup will kill you, so will Kraft Dinner.
    Roundup is not even mentioned in the article you link to. Some 70% of crop production in the states now depends on Roundup-ready GMO technology. As frightening as GMO’s may be, you didn’t have to eat your cherry crop off the lawn, sell it to the neighbours, or apply insecticides and fungicides to make sure it survived. You wasted a million cherries.
    Feel good legislation like the City of Toronto pesticide ban just serves to take the heat off all the incredibly environmentally destructive things the City of Toronto does every day.

  65. One of my favorite memories is of my Grandmother’s cherry tree in her back yard on the north side of Chicago. I have a photo of her, one of my sisters, and me standing beneath it on Easter morning, with the blossoms all around us. It was fairly touching the ground with fruit every summer. She would send us kids to climb the tree and pick the fruit. Of course we ate half of what we picked, but you still wouldn’t see any difference in the tree. I have some cherries that I bought at the grocery and each bite reminds me of my darling Grandma (who died when I was 9, in 1961).
    Send your kids out to pick the cherries.

  66. Ah Rams, as usual, you’ve gotten to the real crux of the matter: the Chinese Elm. These trees have a lot going for them in the contest of crappiest tree ever. Their seeds leave a veritable blanket over everything and they are too small and invasive to make clean-up a complete impossibility. All this results in an army of elm saplings prepared to conquer the tidiest of yards. Oh yes, they grow at the speed of light so yesterday’s sapling is today’s giant. Did I mention we have over twenty? As well as six black walnut trees? It’s a special kind of lucky. I’m heartened by the gansey progress – all things are possible.

  67. How about oldest not-yet-started project? I still have the yarn I bought to make a baby present for a little boy who turned 27 (years, not months) this year. . .

  68. Have you ever considered using vinegar to kill those bad boys? It works as long as you don’t mind your yard smelling like a tossed salad. Plus, it’s a lot greener than Roundup.
    To keep the vinigar from killing everything though you might want to put it in a little baggy, cut the mischevious plant (little cherry tree), then tye the baggy to the plant with a rubber band. This quickly took care a honey suckle vine that my mother-in-law swears her evil neighbor planted specifically to destroy her brand new fence. I’ve no idea about wether or not the neighbor was truely evil….but the honeysuckle didn’t survive very well.
    There’s some more information about it on these two pages.,,HGTV_3617_2224350,00.html,,HGTV_3600_1378214,00.html

  69. Rams, I had a Chinese elm and a thousand elmlets. The parent tree sadly left this world when it insisted on lifting the roof off our house, and we said no. We’d been hacking off the one side for years till there was this massive trunk leaning heavily at an impossible angle. It wanted so much to become one with that roof! Now it’s like the Star Wars armored clones coming after us in revenge for taking out their esteemed leader.
    Re projects: just needs a bit of ribbing around the neck, and then my handspun cabled coat–I doodled the pattern out on a napkin on an airplane, true designer style, ain’tcha proud of me?–for the Spinoff Rare Breeds ’99 contest will be ready to go.

  70. Don’t feel bad about your sock neglecting. I let a toe of a sock sit for almost two years. I couldn’t make myself pick up those size 2 dpns for anything until one day I had gotten fed up with letting them sit in my basket. So one day I decided to finish them and they are my favorite socks.

  71. Heh, earmuffs was my first thought as to what *I’d* do with the bootees.
    As for the cherries, granted there is still the problem of the heat, but couldn’t you convict the bootee-stealers of a crime sufficiently heinous to warrant being forced to rake the rancid cherries out of the garden? I swear my father used to make up crimes to get me to yard work.
    As far as finishing, two days ago discovered that my dining room table had become The Black Hole Of Finishing. A few ends to be woven in (OK, really more like 1,017,556 ends but still), a neckband to be picked up and knitted, a bit of seaming, and only one major project. I discovered the horde of unfinished objects as I was adding to the pile and pretty much had an obsessive-compulsive freakout and finished (no, really, finished finished) 5 of the 7 sweaters. The pile now consists of one sweater that needs buttons and a tank top that needs a neckband. I need to cast on for a few more things so The Black Hole Of Finishing can regenerate.

  72. Oh Steph, I’ll trade you some cherry pits for some black walnuts. I never yield the fruits of my tree either, the dang squerril nabs those nuts every single year, and I spend a good hour plus each spring fighting off the saplings. I hardly have enough room in that spot for this tree, let alone more.
    Your socks however are gorgeous, and Joe is going to love his sweater… I just know it.

  73. I definitely have a cardigan knit, blocked, seamed and threads buried that has been waiting for a crocheted edge and buttons for about 18 months. How’s that for bad? I have promised myself that as soon as the weather cools it will be the first thing I finish. (We’ll see)

  74. I’ll send over the birds and the deer from this side of the lake…I have yet to get a single apple, peach, cherry, or mulberry from any of a dozen trees. Ever. And they’ve been planted for 10 years now.

  75. Have I mentioned that I love your book, love your blog even more, and love the socks the most? I adore orange socks. I adore orange, period. And, yes, I know the almost-not-quite-finished project! I have about four afghans for charity, all done except weaving in the ends. I even have a husband trained to weave in ends, and you would think they would get woven in… nope…

  76. Thank you for the reminder – my knitting basket holds a pair of socks (one little toe remaining)
    maybe I should get a move on too. I still have the cherries you gave me last year I found them yesterday way back in my freezer . Any good recipes – anyone?

  77. I have a “fruitless” mulberry tree in my front yard that has PURPLE berries on it. The birds just love them. I don’t mind the birds eating them except for the dreaded “purple crap” disease that blights everything in the yard. . . The car, the deck, the sidewalks. However, it doesn’t seem to be spawning little trees like you would expect with all those processed seeds everywhere. Now, where is my power washer?

  78. Your comment purveyer is strange. First it didn’t like TX spelled out and now I had to edit my comment because it didn’t like “r e c y c l e d”. Weird! (And it did it again just now.)

  79. I’m thinking that the unedited versions of those booties-on-the-ears photos will make wonderful blackmail fodder some day.
    Or maybe they might show up in a “Child of Yarn Harlot” tell-all bio.

  80. I’m glad someone brought up dog eating garden goodies! My dogs eat my strawberries, the reachable raspberries, and my blueberries, well those plants must taste good, because they yank those right out of the ground (plan to fence my garden this year). But two years ago, I had three or four very productive grape tomato plants. I love grape tomatoes, and so did my dogs. The would eat tomatoes right off the plants. Well, eventually it all came out in the end I had volunteer tomato plants all over my back yard as a result of tomato seed containing puppy deposits. Funny, they don’t find roma tomatoes nearly as appealing.

  81. Darn it. I was counting on the cherry tree update to come over under stealth of darkness ( or whatever you said the neighbours did last year) and unburden you, so to speak.
    The girls look a little hot in the sockmuffs. Do you have the A/C on?

  82. Canada have worked out that it’s bad to spray poison all over everything AND they give you FREE CHERRIES??? That’s it. I am SO moving to Canada. I volunteer to come live in your garden and pull up unwanted cherry trees. It would be very Chekovian.

  83. It might be a good thing that your bootee thiefs chose to entertain themselves as such. The child in them lives on. Once it’s gone, it’s time to pack their bags and send them out to conquer the big scary world.

  84. Take some of my chickens! Please! They will certainly eat up those cherries. They certainly take care of the blueberries here πŸ˜‰

  85. LOVE the EarBugs!! Concerning the BBB, how do you JOIN one ball of cotton to the next? I’m having a hard time keeping my cotton Clapotis joins from becoming lumpy.

  86. I’ve licked the whole ‘garden’ problem– I’ve resolved to let my back yard fall into giant piles of dirt…the dog is doing her best to help…no work, no problem…(I feel for you in Toronto–Sacramento hits 105 on a regular basis–we seem to give Spring a miss and go straight from Winter rains to summer.) I’ve got a blanket on a 3 year UFO list, but it’s granny squares and I haven’t even finished the fourth round of all of them, so I don’t feel too bad… Once I get to 3/4 of a project, knit or crochet, I tend to miss sleep until it’s done…

  87. I would like to try to get in touch with you about visiting our yarn shops in North Carolina. Please email me.

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