Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mystery Stole progress

I love this pattern! The pictures aren't awesome, but the stole looks amazing. I did block the stole out to see how long it is so that I could decide if I wanted to add or delete any length during clue 4. I've never blocked lace before and, like darn near everyone else, I am amazed at the difference. Here's the progress so far (with 3 lifelines - the white bits across the top).

In other news - the mouse is now up to 4 points to my 0. The little snot has destroyed 4 traps and now that we switched to metal traps he is avoiding them. At least he's not coming upstairs like he was before I switched to metal traps. *growl*

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mouse 2; BunnyQueen 0

We have a mouse, and he's quite the smart little snot, too. Mind you, I like mice, when they are invited in and contained as pets. I even like rats; well, actually, I like pet rats much more than I like pet mice. However, when the little fuzzy critters come into my house uninvited I am not happy. So, out came the live traps and the peanut butter.

The mouse was first spotted skittering under the door that goes down to the basement. Since there is a fairly large gap (3/4" or so) between the edge of the stair tread and the wall I wasn't sure if the mouse was coming up the stairs or up the studs of the unfinished walls and through that gap. For starters, I set the traps on the top step, at right angles to each other. I figured that way I had a chance of catching him either way.

The next morning, I check the traps and see that they are both closed. Now we've had mice before (5-6 years or so) and I know that a closed trap does not always equal a caught mouse. I carefully picked up both traps and took them out to the garage. I was pretty darn sure both were empty just by the feel. Because of this, I opened the traps into a plastic box that I could slap a lid on if I was wrong and then could use to transport Mr. Mouse to the nice island nearby. Sadly, no mouse. And a quick look in the traps (just to make sure he wasn't hanging on for dear life) confirmed that some of the peanut butter is gone. One point to Mr. Mouse.

After chatting with the partner, we recalled that the multi mouse traps were more successful last time around, so I trundled off to the hardware store and picked up a couple. I baited them and put one on the top step and one, perpendicular, one step down. Last night, DP heard a strange noise from the kitchen/garage end of the house. Now it could be the foster bunnies since they live in what the builder calls the breakfast nook. DP cautiously crept down the kitchen and listened intently. The noise repeated and no bunny had moved. In fact, she claims they were all looking at here as if to ask "What is your problem, lady?".

I finished up the pair of rows I was working in the MS3 and went to check the traps. The two multi-mouse traps were empty and the other two traps were several steps down from where they had been set. I feel like the darned mouse is thumbing his little nose at me. You guessed it. The two small traps are both empty and it appears that more peanut butter has been eaten. Second point for Mr. Mouse.

I did see the little guy last night when I opened the basement door to go down and get something out of the freezer, and noticed that he took a right turn at the bottom of the stairs. Now that the question has been answered (up the stairs or up the studs) I moved one of the traps to the bottom of the stairs, along the wall.

Wish us luck. I would really, really like it if I could outsmart the mouse.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

It's Raining, It's Storming

This morning when I got up it was somewhere between 88F and 92F. DP and I had to drive down to Hastings on an errand, and opted to go to Walmart and pick up a few things. When we went into Walmart, it was clear, hot, and sticky. By the time we came out, it was 72F and raining and blowing so hard I could not see the edge of the parking lot. We waited a bit, since it was too nasty to drive, and then started home once it started to clear. A few miles later, we had to pull into a parking lot and wait again as I literally could not see a single car length ahead of us. I knew there was a gas station at the top of the hill, right before the stop light, but I did not see it until we were about 2 car lengths away. Nasty.

Now that we are home, I'm staying inside and knitting lace. In addition to the Snowdrop Shawl, I decided to jump on the Mystery Stole bandwagon after seeing the first 50 or so rows at a knitting group last week. The yarn is a lovely slate/storm cloud blue and I'm using simple clear beads. I think they add a nice hint of flash without being really noticeable.

The bunnies are all doing well, although DP and I did annoy them all yesterday by cleaning litterboxes. Humans just do not put litterboxes back together correctly. *sigh*

Saturday, July 7, 2007

A new shawl started

I really love the look of lace, but every time I have tried something more complicated than a simple lace pattern in a sock I have ended up saying bad words and throwing the wool and needles.

I had downloaded the Yarn Harlot's Snowdrop Shawl pattern a few months ago, but in my crankiness with lace I had not even looked at it seriously. For whatever reason, the pattern literally fell off my desk at my feet a few days ago. I decided that maybe I should try the pattern and see what happened.

I love this pattern! It's pretty easy to knit (assuming yarn overs don't scare you silly) and very fun. Yes, there are charts, but the pattern itself is so straightforward that the charts are easy. I think that this might be a good introduction to charts for someone who wants to try them.

The knitting is slow going right now, but that is because I keep stopping to pet the pretty turquoise wool (Cherry Tree Hill merino lace) and admire the lovely pattern of yarn overs. Part of me hopes that I will soon stop that and just be able to knit but another part of me, and right now it's the bigger part, wants to always knit things that I love this much. It just seems right to love what you knit so much that you have to stop every few rows to appreciate it.

So, for the eye candy. First, the wide angle shot. This is only lightly "blocked" by tugging gently on it before snapping the picture.

The second shot is the detail of the snowdrops themselves. For some reason, the closeups all look like dark ink has been spilled on the yarn. There are variations in the shade of turquoise, but there is no dark blue. Weird.

So, that's the lace for now. As soon as I finish this repeat I am stringing a lifeline. Actually, now that I've blogged this, I should probably go string one right now before the knitting goddess decides I've got to much hubris and smacks me back down a few levels.

Happy weekend all. Hopefully it will be slightly cooler wherever you are.