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September 2008 Archives

September 10, 2008

They call me....

The Possum Wrangler. Well, no one really calls me that but me - because that's exactly what I was doing Tuesday morning before I even had my coffee.

It all started Monday night, when my little guard cat Bluefish spent most of the evening eyeing a corner under the cabinets in the kitchen. Then, just before I went to bed, there was some sort of kerfluffle in there, went to investigate and decided maybe we had mice again, so I loaded up a trap with peanut butter and went to bed.

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I knew something was up when I woke up and my little Bluefish didn't, as always, zoom to meet me in the bathroom where she knows I'm stuck in one spot, and that she can vamp for some good tickling there with me. I proceeded to the kitchen, where I found her now staring down the other end of the kitchen, right under the coffee pot and the diswasher. I got my latte going as usual, and then decided to investigate. I started pulling the brown grocery bags out from where they're wedged in the crack between the fridge and the diswasher and heard a very, very strange growly sound - definitely NOT a mouse. Rrrrr, rrrrrrrrrrrrr - holy cow - what was under there? I went looking for a flashlight, which, living with Captain America, always prepared for emergecy, I expected to find easily. Nope, no flashlight. But I did grab my trusty battery operated Coleman lantern that we keep on the mantel for power outages and headed back to the kitchen. I pulled the side of the cabinet away from the dishwasher - it's been loose since we bought the house, and there, at the bottom, saw a ball of grey fluff. Which I studied more closely with the lantern, which is when I saw the loooong ungly pink tail. The thing was upside down and made more growly sounds when I opened the diswasher to see if his head was stuck in there. I grabbed a pair of tongs - yeah - great idea. I paced the kitchen. I considered calling Animal Control to come remove it, but then realized I'd have to clear the counter and wash the dishes in the sink before I could let anyone in the house, so that was out. It was going to have to be me.

I managed to have the presence of mind to get the door from the kitchen to the laundry room and then the door out to the backyard open so if I did manage to somehow get the baby possum out of the cabinetry, I could get straight out the door. Armed in CA's leather work gloves, I grabbed the tongs again and even put my hands on our hammer in case I needed to bonk it on the head, but I quickly put that down after remembering I'm an animal lover and couldn't possibly imagine creating any blood and gore, especially before I'd even had my coffee. I was seriously reconsidering calling Animal Control again when I noticed the possum was now stretching one of its little pink feet out of theat spot, trying apparently to find the floor. So I grabbed that little pink foot and then squealed and dropped the little guy on the kitchen floor where he stood, stunned, staring straight up at me with his pointy, evil little mouth open. We both hesitated and then I pounced, grabbed him behind his head, and bee-lined it out the doors to the back deck and flung the little bugger out into the yard. I saw him thunk, and he actually stood there staring at me again with his evil long, pointy mouth open - ew. By the time I ran back in the house for the camera and ran back out, he was gone.

I wish I wish I wish I had been calm enough to have taken a photo of his little leg stretching out, but I didn't think of that til it was all over. I wish I was brave enough to go down into our spider-filled basement to see if his whole family is living down there, but I'm not, so Captain America wil have to do that when he gets home tomorrow (as well as procuring many flashlights to have at the ready in every room!). I hope momma possum has cautioned her other little baby possums on the dangers of climbing up into our kitchen - "your little brother tried that and now he's disappeared!" Bluefish has been rewarded for her extraordinary powers of possum detection, and once it was gone, she passed out and slept deeply all day after a long night of keeping him under the cabinets.

So Possum Wrangler - that's me.

Since I'm actually typing a post, I'll take this opportunity to show a few completed knitting projects - I have in fact been knitting a lot. Two more sweaters for Melissa Leapman - a Malabrigo Worsted Tweed jacket number that came out great, if I do say so myself. If you ever actually see this pattern out there, let me know!
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And a Reynolds Saucy cotton cardigan - this is an awful picture, but it's proof of knitting anyway:

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And a Knitting Pure and Simple top down cardigan from some Berocco Zen I scored on deeep discount. I'm not a huge fan of ribbon yarn, and even though I knit this on size 6 needles and not the recommended size 9s, it still stretches like a mofo by the end of a day of wear. It was a fun and quick knit, but not one of my all time faves:

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And then there are all the swatches for Melissa's next book on color knitting - I think seventeen of them, all slip stitch patterns. Lovelovelove these - great colors, great bang for such a simple techinque:

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I've got a giant box of Cascade 220 she sent waiting to be knit into more of these little jewels.

I also just finished all the knitting and seaming on a pale pink Calmer CeCe with three quarter sleeves, and this one actually fits! Photos as soon as it's blocked and I find a button. Also finished all but sewing the buttons, in hand, on my Henley Perfected - that Sheep Shop wool/silk FINALLY decided what it wanted to be, and fits and will be great once the weather changes. Photos soon on that one too.

Oh - and hey - did you know my good pal Mel over at purling plans is doing the Breast Cancer 3 Day walk (for the FIFTH time!!) next month in DC and looking for sponsors? Beside the fact that this is tremendously important to her, and to all of us, she's collected an astounding number and range of prizes and will be giving them out by random drawing to folks who contribute to the cause on her behalf. Go see for yourself!

September 22, 2008

Backwards

I'm a back-drafter. I'm a 100% self-taught spinner on my Lendrum DT wheel, and my natural inclination is to do a backwards draft. I've never figured out the inchworm trick, and when I try to do a forward draft I'm awkward and uncomfortable, so I do it backwards. I manage to turn out yarn, so it's not a bad thing, but one day, I'll manage to take a class or two and learn some new tricks.

Here's some merino tencel that I decided to spin from the fold, for no other reason than I heard it was a slippery fiber and I have wanted to try that trick.
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I pulled off sections a little longer than staple legnth, folded them around my fingers and did my usual backwards drafting. I did 3.8 oz of this stuff and ended up with 145 yards of three ply that I did navajo style - a technique I've been working on and feeling pretty darned good about. Close up:

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I have another 3.6oz of this same merino tencel which I'd like to try to make a decent sock yarn from - and will try to spin right from the roving instead of from the fold.

Then there's the lovely pink wool from three fluffy batts that I attempted to spin woolen with the long draw, and I'm pretty pleased with the results. I had overloaded two bobbins and wanted to cram the rest of the wool onto those two so I could do a two ply, so I, as advised in Aldon Amos' book, rewound the bobbins by running them back through the wheel. Before and after, aided by my trustee assistant, Bluefish:
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After the repacking of the bobbins, i was able to get the rest of the wool spun onto them and ended up with this:
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Which is 6oz turned into 376 yards of two-ply. Close up:

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I'm starting to build quite a stash of handspun with no plans for what I'll do with it, but I'm sure it will someday let me know what it wants to be.

I've just finished CeCe #2 from ChicKnits, and after the first disaster with the wrong yarn and the wrong size, I'm thrilled with the results of this one. I'm still not as enamored of Calmer yarn as some knitters seem to be, but it's growing on me. I must remember to wear a proper undergarment for photos, but since I don't wear one unless absolutely necessary, here's the model shot:
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I'm easily seduced by fabulous patterns but don't often take into account how I might wear them, and I feel like cropped things cut my short torso in half, and perhaps they're for the younger crowd, but this one is growing on me and I just have to learn how to wear it properly.

Just finished Charlene Schurch's corded ribbed socks too - these were a pretty quick knit and could have been even quicker if I was the sort that paid better attention to what I was doing.... I knit them both together from the cuff down and split them up to do the heels and feet. For the first sock, I managed to knit all the way to the start of the toe decreases before I realized I can't count and hadn't done enough gusset decreases so I ripped back and corrected that issue. Then on the second, I forgot to turn the heel before picking up stitches for the gusset, so I had to rip back and redo that too. And then since I can't possibly bothered to stop and check the pattern, and I can't possbly be bothered to remember which decrease slants which way, on the second sock I did half the toe decreases backward, but in the end can't tell a whole lot of difference, so I refused to rip back anymore! Absent minded knitter - that's me. But this Mountain colors yarn is soooo soft and squishy and comfortable - I think I'll get a lot of use out of these this winter.

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Next up - some merino/tussah silk/alpaca I've been spinning for a three ply sock yarn - almost done with the third bobbin now and hope to ply tomorrow night. It's undyed - gotta decide if I want to do that or make some nice natural colored socks for wear with khakis.
and now I've got the sock bug - next up are a pair for Captain America I'll cast on for tonght and will probably do in plain two by two rib since he's a pretty plain guy. But it's some lovely Knit Picks sage green yarn - good for his manly feet.

About September 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Dawn's Dream in September 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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