Sunday, October 04, 2009

Duck! Bonk!

We are full of adventure these days, chez Sock Knitters.
On Sunday, the Fool and Jamie and I went apple picking, and then returned home to do a little gathering of our own.


We have two black walnut trees, and last year, after the Fool drove over the fallen walnuts with the mower (ka-thonk, ka-thonk, ka-thonk!), he asked, "how come we don't eat these?" I said, "Because they're a pain in the neck to get out of the shell."
This year, we decided to go pick the walnuts up before the Fool mows next weekend. Somehow, this turned into actually harvesting the walnuts. He consulted that valuable reference for squirrels everywhere, the Internet and Facebook, and decided the best way to get the husks off the walnuts would be to run them over repeatedly with the car. Now, there are trays of walnuts drying, a bunch of walnuts in the driveway (it's my job to drive over them) and I guess I'm going to make a black walnut pound cake at some point in the next couple months.
His fingers are stained black, because the rubber gloves he was wearing had holes in the fingers he didn't see, and so far, people have asked him if he has forgotten to wash his hands, or if he is a mechanic.


The Fool and Edward shake tree branches to knock down walnuts. We giggled about the bike helmets, but both of them got conked on the head with falling nuts.

Today, Jamie and I went to the Cosley Zoo in Wheaton. It's run by the park district, and is just about enough zoo for someone like Jamie to handle. They have a well-stocked duck pond, with many different kinds of ducks, a selection of wild animals native to the area, a pen of peacocks, a bunch of rabbits and a good assortment of farm animals. We were supposed to meet some playgroup friends, but it was raining, and they bailed. I decided we were not going to let some drizzle stop us from seeing animals, dammit, so fortified with the Power of Wool (socks for me and a hat for him), fleece jackets and an umbrella, Jamie and I had the run of the place and only got a little damp.

Damp llamas!

The knitting continues. I recovered from the case of Finish-itis I had contracted last week and cast on a brainless sock for playground knitting, another toe-up sock with Mini Mochi and a hat for Jamie that looks like an owl. Sigh. I thought I gained some ground on the projects, too. Well, the hat is a fast knit, at least.

7 comments:

LaurieM said...

The walnuts are nutty. Thanks for the LOL.

kim said...

You do realize that those outer hulls - the green part - makes a wonderful, no mordant needed, natural dye. You can put them in water in a closed jar out in the sun or simmer (outside to avoid stink) in a non-reactive pot full of water to create a dye liquor. You can also dry the hulls and use them later; as long as they don't get moldy, they'll still produce the same color when "reconstituted". Drying can be done in a low heat oven (180-200) or with a dehydrator, although if using a dehydrator, the plastic may end up stained.

the fiddlin' fool said...

Kim, I do realize that. That's why everyone I have met in the past few days thinks that I am a mechanic by trade.

Shy said...

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/003962.php

Perhaps next year the "Nut Wizard" is in order. No helmets necessary. And maybe worth it just for all fun you can have with the name....

Tallguy said...

Oh, I see someone has already mentioned the dyeing. I would so love to get a bag of some walnuts (they don't grow here) and do some dyeing. But alas, it's always people that have no use for walnuts that have the trees! There just ins't any fairness in the world. *sigh*

meg said...

we've got use for walnuts; just the insides of them. Actually, I've been thinking of doing some dyeing, but that would involve finding raw materials to dye and making a dyebath with a toddler underfoot.

meg said...

Hey, Tallguy, it occurs to me that I could ship you some....