Blueberry season has finally come to an end. I'm sure you're all sick to death of pictures from our local blueberry patch. I promise no more. Well, at least not until next year. Now we're in the thick of blackberry season.
I have mixed feelings about these berries. How can something that tastes so good be so wicked to pick? Plus I've noticed that not all blackberry patches are created equally. Some have yummy berries, and others have bitter things that are reminiscent of a nasty medicine I had to take for tonsillitis when I was a child. There's a patch along the highway right by where we live, but they are awful things. This deer doesn't seem to think so though. He was standing there munching away when I drove to town this morning.
Yesterday I drove to Ladner, a small community just outside Vancouver, to visit my friend Ellen. On our list of things to do was to go pick blackberries at a local park. This sounded like a good idea. After all, Ellen knew the berries there were tasty. And the price was right, since they were free for the taking. Plus the setting was very pretty. It reminds me a bit of Scotland.
Ellen, being an experienced blackberry picker, wore a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. I, being a rookie, had on shorts. Not a good idea. For every berry I picked Ellen must have picked ten. This was partly due to the fact that no matter how careful I tried to be, hidden thorns would attack me. (If you don't think it's possible for thorns to attack, I say you've never been to a blackberry patch!)
The other reason Ellen outpicked me (spell check is stroking out over this word, but I'm sticking with it) is because I quickly discovered it was more fun to take pictures than to pick.
The main lesson I learned picking blackberries was the larger bucket of picked berries will inevitably be the one that gets knocked over. An extension of this lesson was discovering that in spite of the strength of the thorny branches they come from, blackberries are actually quite fragile and will not withstand the trauma of being dumped all over the floor of one's vehicle.
Also on the agenda for my visit was to give Ellen her birthday present. Ellen is a knitter, and we usually end up exchanging yarn or fibre. But this time I decided to actually make her something. I know how much I appreciate getting handknit items, as it's something that doesn't happen very often when you happen to be a knitter yourself.
When the latest issue of Knitty came out I knew right away I would be knitting the Hidden Gusset mitts.
I've never knit a "travelling pattern" before, and found I really enjoyed it.
These fingerless mitts should be perfect for the cool autumn days that are just around the corner.
Hopefully they make up for the bucket of spilled berries, too!