Some interesting things I stumbled across:

There’s a “Jumpers and Jazz” festival in Warwick that includes a men’s knitting circle. How cool is that?

More cool knitting – there’s a guy offering scarf knitting via a stationary cycle matched up with a knitting machine in a train station (German article with picture and video link). That seems to be somewhere in Belgium… but maybe there will be more Cyclo-Knitters in the future, who knows?

Not interested in knitting? Here is an article about factories – to be more precise, it’s a book review, but it makes for an interesting read on its own.

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I’ve written about Amazon and its shitty work ethics before, and I’ve been not ordering things from there for years now. But I was totally and utterly flabberghasted and shocked when I heard that Amazon is flat out destroying returned goods. The reason behind this, it seems, is that it’s more lucrative for them to not sort returned goods ordered online back into the warehouses, but to just throw them away. Period.

This really floored me. I’m in the lucky situation that I very, very rarely get a return of goods (though you have the right to return stuff bought online, of course, if it does not meet expectations, based on German law), but I’d never have dreamed of throwing things away due to this. Admittedly, my “warehousing setup” is very small and very easy to keep track of… but, well.

It seems that the Big River Store is not the only one throwing away things that are returned – a study by the EHI Retail Institute shows that 55% of the retailers questioned destroy returned goods.

And there goes my happily ordering things online mindset. From now on, I’ll always wonder what happens if I return something… and I used to order things in several sizes when I was not sure about which size would fit me.

If you want to read more about this, here’s an article about it in German, and here a similar one in English. Also, Greenpeace is running a petition to illegalise the destruction of new and als-new goods.

 

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I have finished making my way up again on the first side of the Cushing Isle front part, and now I’m about to fix the mistake selvedge on the armhole side. Thankfully, it’s not as many rows to fix, and not as many decreases.

cushing_fronts

While it was theoretically absolutely clear to me what I had to do, it turned out to be more of a brainbendy thing to do than I had expected, and there are a few irregularities where the repeat at the edge is only half there due to the stitch count. Plus I sometimes had to go a few rows down with the decrease stitch, too, in order to make the proper cable crossing.

So the result is not perfect, but it’s okay for me, and since this all takes place right at the button band edge (which is looming ever nearer in the future)I figure nobody will notice after blocking and finishing.

So. Next steps: Sleeve knitting, blocking of the fronts, and figuring out the button band details. I’m not sure yet if I’m not going to add an extra button, and whether the buttonholes as described are what I will actually use, so there’s a bit of testing in my near future…

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I’ve been working on the new things, and they are successfully finished and in the shop – you can now get a sample package of the carded wools as well as a sample package of the washed wool to prep yourself.

To celebrate all this newness, there’s even more new things – I can now make coupons for the shop. Such as a coupon to get 10% off all the spinning fibres, for example. And though it’s not May anymore (there’s a German saying that goes “Alles neu macht der Mai”, May makes everything anew), in the spirit of all new things I have done exactly that.

So if you order spinning fibres (including the sample packages, of course) before July 7, you can get 10% off their price if you use the coupon code ichglaubichspinn (which is German, obviously, as it allows this delightful double-entendre. It both means “I think I am spinning” and “I think I am crazy”). The end date for the coupon is just before the start of my summer break, which will run from July 9 to August 12, by the way – consider yourselves forewarned, as there will also be no blogging during this time.

Even more other newness is coming up behind the scenes, where I am working on getting new info leaflets for my shop, with the very kind help of one of my friends. It will take a bit, though, before they are done completely.

I also have some progress on the wood stuff research going on low-key (but still going on) behind the scenes, too. There were gorgeously helpful finds in Schleswig, dated to the 11th century, which should make for good models for yarnwinder reproductions.

Still more, but smaller newness: I have found a way to tweak the blog’s typography a little bit, and hopefully the text now is a tad easier to read than before, when the letters were running just a little bit too densely. Let me know what you think of it in the comments, please!

 

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I spent yesterday doing research stuff in the library, and today is earmarked for getting things finished – things like getting the fibre sample packs into the shop.

This is how the almost-done stage of that task is looking:

tuetenhaufen

A huge heap of bags, ready to go into even more bags (so I have the sets nicely held together for direct sale) or boxes (if you buy it in the online shop).

In other status news: One of my backup disks in the RAID is failing, so there’s IT stuff to be taken care of. I’ve finished knitting the right front of my Cushing Isle, which means there’s currently nothing on the needles until I get to cast on for the first sleeve. (Which will happen, at the latest, on Saturday.) There was rain during the last days, which means I can go on with my wool-washing spree. I’ll have two friends visiting, one after the other, during the next week… and a summer break is coming up, and I’m so, so much looking forward to that!

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We have a small red currant bush in our garden, and now is the time when the fruits are ripe… so it’s glorious, glorious custard time!

I love red currants best in two ways: As jelly sandwiched between Christmas cookies, where there is just no replacement for their taste, and buried under hot vanilla custard in the summer. This is one of the childhood tastes that just lingers with me, even though I am making it with different custard today… but it still is a comfort food for me. And it’s utterly delicious (or at least I think so). And easy to make to boot:

Pick (or buy) ripe red currants. Make custard according to the instructions on your vanilla custard mix packet, or however else you prefer to make your vanilla custard. While it is cooking, wash the currants, shake them dry-ish, strip them from their stems, and place them into a bowl. If you like your sweet dishes sweet, sprinkle a little sugar on top of them.

Gently pour the hot custard on top of the fruit and let it sit for a bit. That’s it. Enjoy.

currant_custard

It’s not looking spectacular, I know… but the taste is wonderful.

I like it best when still warm, but it’s also delicious when cold. Currant season. I love it.

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If you’re interested in medieval cooking, here’s something new and exciting for you: Prospect Books is publishing “Zinziber: Sauces from Poitou. Twelfth century culinary recipes from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, MS 51“.

The book is featuring recipes found on a single sheet contained within a manuscript with medical recipes, and it dates to the middle of the 12th century. This makes is a very, very early document about medieval food and cooking.

The book contains a transcript and translation of the recipes plus an attempt to recreate the dishes, a discussion of culinary traditions and flavourings, and modern recipes to try yourself… and it definitely sounds very, very interesting.

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