Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Frog Party and an EZ kick

I am continuing to indulge the desire for simple, quick-ish projects. Enter the perfect remedy, Elizabeth Zimmerman's Snail Hat (Rav link):

Snail Hat #1

First one is pink shetland/silk handspun. This yarn took several incarnations before I was able to figure out what it really wanted to be. I like the pattern a LOT (easy to memorize), but I was hoping it would turn out a little more pointy. So I did another one:

Snail Hat #2

This one is commercial yarn, leftovers from another project. They're both adorable, and I already have plans for a third from some leftover Tour de Fleece yarn.

Aunt Janet's Fiber Mill Handspun

On top of all this, two of my local knitting circles got together last Sunday for a Frog Party.

Frog Party Victims

We all brought in store-bought or hand knit sweaters and spent a few hours chatting, picking out seams, eating tasty pastries,

Frog Party Brunch

and winding the yarn into skeins. I'm very excited to get double the normal knitting enjoyment from this yarn!

Reclaimed Desert Aran Cotton

I knit this grey cotton into a cropped bolero a few years ago, but never wore it because it was a size too big. I'm very excited to re-knit it into a better size.

Reclaimed Silky Wool

Next up, dark grey Silky Wool that was originally knit into a sweater that was simply a poor design choice on my part. The garment never looked good on me, but I have a fair amount of yarn (it was long-sleeved and the bottom hem went past my hips) and several buttons. Perhaps this one?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Parade of FO's

Here's what happens when you have two and a half weeks off with no blogging:

Fingerless Gloves
Pattern: Toast
Yarn: Handspun Wool/Seawool/Milk Protein from Creatively Dyed
Abalone Fingerless Glvoes

Another Cowl
Pattern: Loose Interpretation of Dolores Park Cowl
Yarn: "Night Sky" Hello Yarn Fiber Club handspun superwash BFL
Night Sky Cowl

Yet Another Cowl
Pattern: Same as above
Yarn: "Manka's Thicket" Verb Fiber Club handspun black BFL plied with purple silk hankies
Manka's Thicket Cowl

Finish Line #1: Tour de Fleece
Tour de Fleece Finish Line

I didn't finish my Tour goals, but this is how far I got. I had a plying party when I got back from Vancouver, so the all the balls of singles are now finished skeins waiting for a soak. I did some more spinning over the last two weeks to bring myself up to my goal level. These are both Hello Yarn, the first one is "Five Plum Pie" Falklands and the second one is "Illuminated" Wensleydale.

Five Plum Pie

Illuminated Wensleydale

And finally, Finish Line #2: the Halcyon
Nearly Finished Halcyon

It's so close to being done I can almost taste it. The neckline needs a tubular bindoff, ends need weaving in, and then the whole thing gets a good dunk. I can hardly wait for fall so I can wear it!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I have two weeks off before the new semester, and I've been taking advantage of the free time by staying at home and relaxing. Two days ago I was enjoying the quietness of my kitchen in the middle of the morning, when all of a sudden I saw a mouse scurry along the front of our kitchen cabinets! I was almost too slow to see him disappear between the wall and the stove. I figured he must have been hanging out behind the fridge, and that perhaps there was a hole in one of the walls leading to the inside of the building or the rest of the world.

My first thought was, "Well, this explains the clicking noises I thought our fridge was making." I didn't see him again that day, and was starting to wonder if he'd realized that his location had been compromised and high-tailed it out of our apartment. Ha. Wishful thinking. By the way, if you don't like seeing pictures of mice, now is the time to go.

He was back yesterday, this time making the trip back from stove to fridge. Time for me to take action. I decided to move the stove and the fridge away from the walls a bit, so I could get a better look. I didn't see a mouse hole, so I figured the chances of catching him were pretty good. Plus, if he's shown himself twice in two days he might be stuck in the apartment with no way out. I put up two "traps," neither of which I expected to work. Here's the first one:

Poor 1st attempt

Yup, cheese slices in a paper bag. The Fiance pointed out that mice can chew through paper. Not sure why I thought that one would work. Here's the second one, it's pretty unassuming:

Ingenious tube!

I'd moved the stove about a foot away from the back wall to look for a mouse hole, and in the meantime I decided to push the stove so it would lie flush with the cabinets and block the mouse's normal route. I also put a cardboard tube (leftover from wrapping paper) along the path I'd seen him take. Both times I'd seen the mouse so far had been between 9:30 and 11 AM. I figured maybe, if I was home at the right time, I could trap him in the tube. The idea was that he'd go into the tube rather than run around the outside and expose himself more, and by the time he reached the end and figured out his normal entrance was blocked, I'd have time to to close off the entrance and trap him.

That's exactly what happened, but I wasn't expecting it to work! I know, I know. I'm surprised to discover that I'm smarter than a mouse. I came home from running an errand this morning (around 9:30) and saw him go into the tube. I quickly grabbed a plate to close off the other end, then picked up the tube and folded the other end over. I managed to fold both ends over and keep them closed with clothespins:

Temporary holding for the mouse

Once he was secured in the tube, I realized I needed an easier way to carry him around. My plan is to walk into the park this afternoon and release him there, and I wanted something better than a cardboard tube and clothespins. So I prepared a little holding cell for him to stay in using a tupperware container with holes punched in the lid. This may be far more sympathy than the mouse deserves, but I gave him a toilet paper tube to hide in, some fleece bits, and a piece of bread to munch on.

Mouse holding area

The scary part was opening the lid, sticking the end of the tube in there, and then shaking it gently until the mouse popped out. He didn't come out right away, and I was a little worried that he'd died of a little mousie heart attack in the tube and my efforts to get him out of my apartment humanely would be wasted. But then he did fall out, and I got a nervous adrenaline rush. He was freaking out too, running around and around, crawling over the fleece and trying to find a way out. I got the lid on, and put a rubber band around the whole thing just in case he turned out to be strong enough to push the lid up.


He's a very small mouse, compared to the pet mice I'm used to seeing.


I'm glad he is not free to run around my kitchen anymore, and I'm even more glad that my trap worked as well as it did. I can't have guys like him poking around, acting like they own the place. Besides, he could get into my fleece stash and then there'd be a really huge problem.

ETA: While I was composing this post, another mouse appeared from under the fridge! I set the cardboard tube trap again, and this time baited it using an almond with nutella spread on it. Worked like a charm, and now I have two passengers to take with me to the park this afternoon. On the other hand, I will have to have a serious talk with our building manager when I get back.

Mouse Apartments