Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I don't think I'm going to finish stockings for all of our family members by Christmas. Right now I'm aiming for two--it seems a reasonable goal and takes into account other Christmas crafting I want to accomplish. Maybe three since there are three kiddos!

I hit a wall with Acedia & me and turned instead to A Mother's Rule of Life . I can't seem to muster enough focus for non-narrative books right now. It's been very busy around here--in a good way! We've had many birthdays and tomorrow, of course, is Thanksgiving. The snow arrived just in time ... I love snow on Thanksgiving. :)

I have fond memories of it snowing on Thanksgiving when my cousins were visiting, and we went outside and ran around barefoot in it. Because we liked to live on the wild side, you know. ;) 

Michael and I celebrated with some hot cocoa. 

He had a great chocolate goatee afterwards. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Linking up with Ginny's yarn along.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

More Stripes!

My blogging companion this afternoon. Gregory thinks he only needs one nap a day now. Yikes. He's pretty happy in that box as I type this. :)

A couple more stripes and I will finish the first sock up. It's coming along a bit more slowly than before. The past two weeks have been just ... kind of crazy. It seems to be all-cranky-all-the-time around here these days! There has been more than one evening when Keith's come home and I've just sort of given up on making dinner. Dominic was sick AND teething, so hopefully that's past!

Still reading Acedia & Me. Parts are narrative memoir, parts are a more intellectual discussion/exploration of acedia. I fly through the narrative parts because that's how I read; with the other chapters I feel the need to slow down more and let it sink in.

A few weeks ago I bought a yarn cupboard from Target. (My yarn is still in the freezer though.) It's not moth-proof, but it is better than open storage. Right now my knitting books and paraphernalia are in there, along with the box of yarn I'm using for my sock. It hasn't been eaten yet. (I did buy moth traps that arrived just today, and will be setting them out this evening.)

(Sometime in the next few weeks I'm going to move that changing table out of the living room. I moved the bag of poopy diapers out of the frame for this picture. You're welcome. ;) )

I'm thinking eventually I will store yarn in ziplocs in the cupboard. It will still be colorful but a little more safe.

Linking up with Ginny's yarn along.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How many battles make a war?

I know you were all dying to hear an update on the moth situation, right? Or maybe just assuming there was no update because I killed all the buggers?

There is, sadly, an update.

First of all, the downstairs freezer still looks like this.

So it's a really good thing we have an extra freezer downstairs. There are also shawls and sweaters shoved into the freezer upstairs, not to mention all the sweaters that went into my mother's chest freezer.

Last month I laundered EVERYTHING in our closet, took all the coats and suits to the drycleaners, scrubbed the HECK out of our closet with Pinesol, and moved the bookshelf that had my yarn and scrubbed the heck out of that whole area. I vacuumed our rugs every day for a few weeks. And I felt okay, because I'd done everything that I could reasonably do.

And then I found a wool cardigan in the bottom of another closet, complete with holes and moth poop.

Deep breaths. It looked like old damage. No larvae or moths or pupae to be seen. Scrub the closet. Wash all the things. Okay. Deep breaths.

Well, I had the vacuum out, so let's clear the dust bunny out of the twins' closet. Which has no wool. Just some shoes, some bins of baby clothes, some duffel bags on the floor.

Except look ... an old forgotten glove on the floor next to the duffel bags.

Freak out. Throw away the glove. Pull out the duffel bags. Find a LIVING MOTH running away from me! VACUUM IT TO DEATH. Scrub! Wash! PANIC! And while we're at it let's throw ALL THE TOWELS AND SHEETS from the linen closet in the washing machine and dump the rest of the Pinesol in there and banish the baby-towel basket to the deck for two weeks!

Because the last time I talked myself out of overreacting apparently I missed the moths.

That was two weeks ago.

Today, I found this.

A fingerless glove that was waiting for its missing mate in a bucket of odds and ends. The little white sandy stuff is either eggs or poop, and the whitish cylinder is either an old pupae or casing. There was a moth living at the bottom of the bucket.


Whenever enough time passes that I feel safe, perhaps up to tackling the yarn in the freezer, I find another place the moths have landed. The hard part is not knowing whether it's new or was simply there all along.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Stripes! Socks! Acedia!

Nothing like a yarn along to get you posting! I have several blog posts in draft stage, half of which will probably be abandoned because I find that post drafts don't age well. Sigh. 

But I started my stripey socks! 

I am using the Fish Lips Kiss heel and have high hopes for a good fit. I have weird feet (short, wide at the toes, with a narrow heel) and really want to learn how to knit socks that fit well. I think I will make the next foot just a few stitches smaller, but otherwise I am pleased with the foot. On to calf shaping!

The book is Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris. It's been on my to-read list for several years and finally I ordered it from Amazon. I am not very far yet, but it is really good. I think the idea of acedia--a sort of soul-weariness that leads to indifference or laziness--is especially relevant for homemakers, as we take part in work that is very repetitive and made to be undone (cleaning the dishes, washing the laundry, scrubbing the floors, all so that it can be made dirty again). The fact that acedia can express itself in both listlessness--not wanting to do anything--and active escapism I think makes it spiritually lethal for us who are by things that enable both urges at the same time (namely, portals to the internet--smart phones and tablets and the computer in the living room).

I hope to write about this more as I read the book--always an intention I have, seldom fulfilled--but in case I don't get around to it, this book is well worth your time!

(And maybe my blog posting habits are suffering from acedia as well ...)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hexipuffing Without Fear

Last night was craft night. But all my yarn was in the freezer. I debated pulling out a skein of sock yarn that I was relatively certain was clean, and starting the mate to a sock I found buried in my project bag during my house-wide wool inspection. But it felt like a risk move. 

Luckily a friend came to the rescue. Her sister-in-law entered the cloister recently, leaving behind an entire room full of yarn, beautiful lace shawls, and knitted monsters. The boys and I went over to visit, and I left with my arms full of yarn.

Isn't that beautiful sight? I also filled a large basket! 

I still miss my yarn, and am sad at the thought of losing part of it. But I'm very grateful for this generosity, and the timing was such a blessing. 

There were also a few hexipuffs in the box. I adopted them. :)

Anyway, right now that box is in a plastic storage bin with cedar blocks for company. I took some out for craft night last night, stuffed it and my hexipuff materials into a Ziploc bag, and whipped up a few puffs of my own. The Ziploc is maybe paranoia. Better safe than sorry, right?

I think I am okay with knitting in my own house now. Maybe. As long as the yarn never leaves my lap. 

I am thinking, though, that this yarn will not all be devoted to hexipuffs. The colors all together are a lovely sight, and there is so much of some of them ... maybe a pair of stripey, scrappy knee socks? Wouldn't that be fun?

Friday, October 10, 2014


Unfortunately I think I can say we have a moth infestation. I found eggs in some of my stash, larvae cases on a shawl, more cases and holes in some sweaters.

I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed right now. All of my yarn is in the freezer. Sweaters are going to be going to my mom's freezer. I'm going to have to take a trip to the laundromat and clean out my closet (which is where Gregory naps) very thoroughly, and will be steaming all handknits in the microwave. And vacuuming very thoroughly.

Typing it all out like that makes it sound somewhat doable, right?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

And we're under attack ...

What would be the opposite of a yarn along post? Probably something like this.

That's my husband's scarf that I didn't finish in time for Christmas last year. It's been sitting at the bottom of the basket for months. During naptime this afternoon, I pulled it out and put it back on the needles. I found my place on the chart. I turned on my podcast. I knit a row. I shook the whole thing out onto the couch beside me.

A piece of the end came off in my hand.

I blinked. I held it up. I saw holes. I saw ... mealy stuff. Maybe that milk I'd spilled on it and wiped off--not super thoroughly--shortly before I set the thing aside for the summer?

A worm poked its head out at me. The same shade of blue as the yarn. The beautiful Brooklyn Tweed yarn.

I dropped the scarf. Jumped off the couch. Maybe indulged in a little shriek before venting my horror on Facebook. 

Slowly I did what I needed to, working up the courage for each step. Shoved all the yarn in the basket into the freezer; wait five minutes. Take out all the papers that were in the basket and throw them out in a ziploc bag; wait five minutes. Shove the scarf into a plastic bag and then into the freezer. Wait again. Examine the basket, notice moth bodies in the bottom, set it outside to deal with later. Vacuum, put the vacuum bag into a ziploc and throw it out. 

I vacillated about the scarf itself. The actual damage was all within the first foot of the scarf. The remaining yard or so was hole-free. As it sat in my freezer while I looked at the stash on my shelf, I decided to just throw it all out. Better safe than sorry.

But when I unfurled it onto the deck ... it was a hard decision to make. I cut off the damaged part ... and noticed that the rest of the scarf was peppered with moth corpses. That answered my question.

still in disgrace

 I plan on washing the basket with hot soapy water and letting it sit awhile to make sure nothing else hatches. Because I really, really love this basket. And I'd really, really like to still use it for knitting projects. But I welcome any words of advice or warning.

I will probably throw out the yarn in the freezer, except for a skein I need for a sweater (should I just order another??) and half a skein of Tosh Sock, which I guess I'll have to wash.

And I will look through my entire stash. I am fairly certain it's safe, as it was in another room entirely (and had no milk spilled on it), but I need to check. But not until my husband comes home. And not without a glass of wine.

In the meantime I'll just sit here jumping a mile whenever I imagine I see a flutter in the corner of my vision.