Saturday, 5 June 2010

Vegetables and Greenish Knitting

Thank you for the vegetable lesson, Gretchen (yesterday's comments). I had always thought rutabaga was a leaf that you put in salads. For clarity, here is the item in question.

This is the only way I eat it, with haggis: it's good when it has enough butter and pepper on it, but then so do most things.

I was actually translating when I wrote 'Swede', because to me this is a turnip or a neep but when I lived in London that name seemed to be used for the small white ones and I've never established whether this was a local usage or a national difference, and to be fair, I didn't spend much time on the subject. I wonder why the name of this extremely humble vegetable should vary so much when carrots, which are equally humble, are so consistent. You would think that whatever else the pilgrims had with them, there would have been some of these left over when they arrived and that they would have an English-sounding name.

My aunt, who's 92 next month, says that milk used to taste horrible in the winter because the cattle were being fed on turnip, by which she meant the big yellow ones. I still tend to think of it as cattle feed.

Anyway, the swatch of neep-coloured wool served its purpose. I have 20 stitches to four inches and the pattern requires 21: this is close enough for government work and should give me the slight extra room I need to make the largest size fit me. I cast on last night and after toiling for hours, I have this, which is going to be the back.

It's Billie by Kim Hargreaves, from Precious. This is very like Georgie in Breeze, which I liked a lot but that's in Pima Cotton, while Billie is in Kid Classic. No contest. It took me a long time to choose between this colour and Tattoo, but I finally decided that I have enough dark blue things and that this will go with dark blue. Progress. It's called Teal, but it isn't at all; it's a faded bluish green verdigris with a lot of grey in, a sort of sea mist. Or perhaps Lichen. I don't think it's going to be finished in a hurry, but I hope not to need a warm hooded jacket in the next couple of months anyway.

Rue McClanahan died this week. That means Betty White is the only one of the Golden Girls left, which must be sad for her, like being the last left of siblings. Rue played Blanche, the insatiable Southern Belle.

Here's the real Rue, who is fortunately a lot calmer.

That's from a series of clips of an interview she and Betty did, along with some of the writers and others from the Girls, worth a watch if you werea fan. The bespectacled one at our left is Marc Cherry, who went on to create Desperate Housewives, which was funny until he left and it turned into what it had been a parody of in the first place. Glee seems to have done the same thing a lot faster, within the first series - first fairly savage lampoon and now, well, just a lot of singing and dancing.

I'm afraid there's another obituary; Duffy the photographer died this week. There's a good film about him, The Man Who Shot the Sixties, which is being shown again on BBC4 next Saturday, the 12th of June. He was famously grumpy and bad-tempered, and his friend David Bailey says he will have no-one to argue with now. 'If you said, "It's a nice day," to Duffy, he'd pick an argument with you.

John Lennon by Duffy
Before we get too miserable, here's another Golden Girls clip, with George Clooney.

George Clooney always lifts the spirits, I find.


Sea said...

If you vegetable garden..that is a swede, and the smaller white ones, that are slightly sweeter and nicer...perhaps just size...are turnips.
Saying the fairy tale the Enormous really must be s wede turnips split if they grow larger than a standard size onion.

Vivienne said...

Swedes are called turnips in Cornwall too. The proper vegetable for a Cornish pasty is a swede.

Judith said...

Chris Beetles had a rather good exhibition of Duffy's work last year and they produced a catalogue of his work which I think you can still buy.
Re vegetable categorisation! Ive always called the orange ones Swedes and the small white ones turnips!

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, wow! Does he look young -- but that jawline doesn't change at all, does it? I'd forgotten how much I liked Dorothy on that show...

And now I'm craving haggis and tatties and neeps. It's not exactly something you can get here in the States, you know.