Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

19 October 2006


I was timing myself as I knit this last night, and it takes me about 19 minutes to knit a row. I'm up to about the 18-20 stitch per minute speed. It was interesting to find that my knitting speed is about the same both on the pattern side and the purl side, and that the Quicksilver needle doesn't seem to slow me down.

It is a rainy, gray October day. Where is my "bright blue weather"? If we get a long enough period without rain, today I plan to dig up my four-o'clock roots.

Since I looked all over for information on this several years ago and ended up figuring it out for myself, here it is in one post:

Digging Four-O'clock Roots

After the leaves start to fall off, dig up the roots. The roots are black-skinned and very tough, like a very woody carrot. Rinse off loose soil and let them completely dry out. Put the roots in an open plastic bag and store someplace where you will remember them in the spring.

I plant mine back out in May, by which time they have knobby little buds, like a potato trying to sprout. If the bud is pinkish, the flowers will usually be the pink-to-red ones. If the bud is green, the flowers are usually the white or yellow ones. But I have had both all-pink flowers and all-white flowers on the same plant, and I've had plants go from white-with-pink speckles to half-white/half-pink over the course of the growing season.

If you have limited space and don't care what color you get, it is easier to save and replant the seeds. But if you get a flower you especially like, the roots are very easy to care for. They don't need damp sand or anything to preserve them.

I am aware that in the south four-o'clocks can be invasive. But here in Michigan, the frost has killed any roots I didn't dig.

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