Wendelene's Wools

Knitting, Spinning, Weaving and Life

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Smell a Rat


Back in February I woke up one night to hear ominous scratchy noises in the exterior wall of my bedroom. Banged on the wall and heard whatever it was scamper away. It was a very loud scamper. This was no cute little mousey. A few minutes later, it was back. To put it mildly, I freaked. I turned on all the lights in my house, and several radios at high volume, got dressed and went to work at 4 a.m. Around 7 I called my neighbor. Luckily he was off that day, so I persuaded him to go over to my house and look around in the attic for me. Nice guy that he is, he even turned off all the lights and radios, gave the dogs snacks, and locked up when he left. Neighbors don't come better. Unfortunately, he didn't find anything in the attic, but he put some poison up there and came back a few days later to see that nothing had changed. It hadn't. No more noises, poison undisturbed. We figured I had scared whatever it was off. YEAH!

So I haven't thought much about the fact that I had this poison up in the attic. I don't go up there. Ever. (And I'm sure you all can see where this is going, right?) Last Saturday I came home from running errands and smelled something when I walked in the door. My thought was, "Dang, how in the world did I forget to take out the garbage?" Went and emptied all the trashcans in the house and forgot about it. That night I went out to dinner (more on that later) and when I got home the smell was much stronger. And then the lightbulb went off, there's something in the attic. Well I wasn't going to even consider looking up there at 9:30 at night, so I opened my windows, threw extra blankets on the bed and hoped for the best.

Sunday morning the stench was getting pretty bad. I had another friend climb up there and look around, but no luck, and strangely, no smell in the attic. The thing must be in the walls. Called the wonderful neighbor (who happens to be a carpenter) and asked about trying to get into the walls. He was out of town. Spray lots of air freshener and leave the windows open again for another night. Thank goodness for mild weather.

Monday: The smell is now quite overwhelming. Nice Neighbor has agreed to help me out after work. He walks in and says he can't smell anything! I'm almost wretching. Turns out he has some serious hay fever going on and can't smell at all. A real godsend in this case. We cut some small holes in a few of the walls of my former office (now junk room) and I stick my nose in to see if we can locate the critter, but no luck. We cut bigger holes, still nothing. He finally goes back up in the attic to see if he can track the thing and after 2 hours finally finds one hugmongous (and extremely dead) rat buried deep in the insulation.

The worst part is that having talked to a lot of people about this (or in other words, freaking out all over the place) everyone says, "oh yeah, that happened to me too." It's one of the nice benefits of living in swampland. Oops, I mean The Lowcountry!

One silver lining. I'm going to learn how to repair sheetrock, and I now have a lot of incentive to start my home improvements.

I wonder how hard it would be to enclose my home in a plastic bubble?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Start


After many months of silence, I'm going to try this again. I now have at least an hour a day at work where I'm manning the Help Desk and am allowed to do whatever else I want in between calls. Mostly I've been a conscientious little employee and done my regular work, but I'm going to try taking some of this time to write blog entries too. Maybe I'll have better success this way, although because I don't have any access to my photo files, I'll still have to edit at home before I post.

On the knitting front, I seem to have become a sock knitter. Since Christmas I have finished 4 pair of socks. One pair was done in 2 days. Glad you liked them Mom, I'll have you know I actually got a blister while I was hurrying to get them done. Then I went and got sick so I couldn't get them into the mail. It figures. Anyway, you're lucky you got them. I was tempted to keep them.

Yarn: Elann Sock It To Me in red.

Pattern: Flame Wave Socks from Favorite Socks

I started these with Kollage square needles and really liked them - at first. By the time I fininshed the first sock and got about half way down the calf of the second, I had a sore spot on my left ring finger. By the time I reached the heel, it was a blister. The edge of the needles dug into my finger there and it became a real problem. I changed to round needles a size larger to finish.

Happy Birthday Mom!

More socks to come.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

For My Baby Sister

OK, your card is in the mail - honest! But I figured I'd give everyone a chance to see you in your glory.

Notice, she could wear her hair in pigtails before she could crawl. It took me many years to get that much hair!

And we have the elegant chignon for bathing.

Like the evil sister I am, I tried to sell you but there were no takers.

You were quite the party animal in your youth.

Then we had to have an intervention.

And your table manners left a little to be desired.

Of course, I had to include the cow picture for you.

I'm not sure who made a better pilgrim, you had a nicer collar and cuffs, but I have the solemn look down pat.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Auntie Wendelene returns

Hello, remember me? I was checking my google analytics account and see that someone in Maryland keeps checking in here almost everyday. Hello Sarah, Sam and Paula! (I'm taking a wild guess that Dave probably spend much time reading knitting blogs, but pass along my greetings).

So what have I been doing in the last few months? Not a whole lot that's interesting, which explains the lack of posts. I did start AND finish a stole from Victorian Lace Today. It has the unforgettable name of Scarf with No. 20 edging.
Unfortunately this is the only photo I have of it because I took it to ward off the AC. I'll try to remember to bring it home again to get a real picture. It turned out pretty nice if I do say so myself.

The big fun last month was the Middelton Place Sheep and Wool Days. The guild was asked to demonstrate spinning and weaving. We decided to do a sheep to shawl and raffle off the two shawls we wove. I was only able to attend Sunday, but we had a lot of fun. It was so nice to sit under the trees and spend the day talking about fiber with people.

Another thing I've been working on is a sweater for a friend who is having her first. They are fairly certain it's a girl, so I've taken a chance and am knitting this. I found the pattern on Ravelry. The woman who posted it has modified a pattern she got from Dale of Norway. Unfortunately, it seems she didn't write down exactly how she modified or else she has even worse problems with math than I do, because none of her numbers worked out, so I had to do a lot of figuring and ripping. Also for some reason she made this pretty lace sweater with the button holes set for a boy. Of course being directionally challenged, I didn't realize this until I was finished with the body. So know I'm having to rip out the button bands and switch the button holes to the other side. And of course knit the second sleeve. And be done by next Sunday.

This wouldn't be a problem except that this is also happening next Saturday. That means rehearsals Monday and Thursday evenings. And oh yeah, I have to go to work too. I am taking off next Friday though because we will be rehearsing in downtown Charleston on Thursday night with the orchestra and by the time we finish, and drive back to Summerville I'm going to be way too tired to get up at 5:15 Friday morn. Besides, that way I can finish the sweater.

Finally, it looks like I'm going to have to stay in this house a little while longer. My brother Tom (Hi Tom) gave me this gardenia as a congrats for getting a new job. Soon after I decided to buy the house and claimed it was because I needed a place to plant the gardenia. One of the first things I did after moving in was to plant it beside my back door. Amazingly enough, it's gotten a few blooms every year. I thought it might have gotten too cold this winter, but the other day I came out to find this.

My plant, I think I'll keep it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Obligatory New Year Post

So, it's 2008. Big Whoop. OK, I'm not quite that cynical, but New Year's really doesn't do much for me. However, my Christmas vacation was pretty interesting this year.

It started out with the flight to Wisconsin. In extreme winds and turbulence. And oh yes, I forgot to bring a coat. I mean really, it was in the 60's when I left my house at about 4:45 am. Why would I want a coat? Temperature in Milwaukee was in the high 20's I believe with a wind chill well below 0. Oh, THAT'S why I wanted a coat! Luckily my brother has a collection of odd coats in his closet, and one of them fit me.

Christmas Eve brought a real houseload to my parents. All told we had my parents, 4 brothers and sisters, 2 spouses, 6 nieces and nephews, 1 great niece, 1 great nephew, and me. One spouse had to work and one nephew is in China. Add the fact that few of us know how to speak with inside voices and you get massive chaos. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Ok, maybe we could use the inside voices to keep my head from exploding, but you can't have everything! Here are a few of the nieces and nephews and one great niece

I presented my younger sister with the Mediterranean Lace shawl. No photo, too many people in the way. She has been a great support for me through the years and especially since Paul died. When I started knitting the shawl Paul challenged me to finish it in time for a big night out for our un-anniversary in January. After he died, I let it lay for quite a while then decided I had to finish it. But I really didn't want the reminder of what should have been laying around the house. This was the perfect solution. I got to thank her for all she's done with a beautiful piece of lace and exorcised the ghost at the same time. Now I just hope her husband takes her somewhere really special to show it off. That's a hint Dave!

To keep myself sane in a houseload of people, I knit. I managed to knit 1 entire Monkey and about 3/4's of it's mate. Here's a really bad photo. I keep forgetting to take pictures when it's still light. The yarn is Trekking Pro Natura 75% wool, 25% bamboo. So far they're holding up well, they've been on my feet quite a bit in the last 2 weeks. I think I'll definitely try it again.

The biggest fun was the 7+ inches of snow that fell the day we travelled home; or
tried to travel home. I kept checking the airline website during the day. They were cancelling flights right and left, but mine was still on. So we started the 90 mile journey through the snow. I'm sure glad I wasn't driving. It's been way too many years since I've done real winter driving. We got there exactly on time, to see my flight had been cancelled. However, my sister and her family did get out and home right on time. I ended up in a hotel for the evening, and flew out the next morning.

I think next year I'll drive.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Paying it forward

Santa came early to my house, look what he brought! Well, actually I had to go out and get it, Santa didn't know how to get a loom down the chimney. It's a very old Macomber, the previous owner thinks 1940's. Everything is in pretty good shape, just in need of a little cleaning and love. Oh yes and tie ups for the treadles. I haven't figured out what the original system was or what I'm going to do. Research is ongoing. It's amazing (or not) how few people take photos of their treadles and tie-ups.

Any help out there would be appreciated.

Paying It Forward

I was lucky enough to be commentor one on Gurnseygal's blog. So here is my pledge:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

So have at it folks.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Much Thankfullness

Yes! The Mediterranean Lace Shawl is done. I started it at the end of May '06, but didn't touch it for about 6 months solid after Paul died. I picked it up again and it went like gangbusters for a month or two then I hit the border. When the number of stitches in a row numbers over 1,000, things just don't go fast. Add to that the ripping back of all those wrong leaning decreases, and I'm pretty amazed at my speed.

I blocked on Thanksgiving Day while watching my first Packer game this season. It's such a joy to see them playing this well! And Sophie picked up a new phrase. All Thursday night she kept yelling "go! go! go!" I tried to get it on tape, but as soon as I pull out the recorder, she shuts up.

My other FO is Peacock Plumes from Elann.com. I made this for my Singers of Summerville performances. It turned out very nice. I made both the body and sleeves a bit longer. I wanted more of a jacket length. I added one extra pattern repeat on the body and I can't remember how much on the sleeves. If there's one thing I dislike, it's too sleeves that are too short. The pattern says to just make the cuffs deeper to adjust sleeve length, but I was adding a couple inches so that would have looked a little ridiculous. I think I added two pattern repeats and the sleeves are just a tad long, but look great when I'm holding my music up. Definitely a success.

So after watching the game and blocking the shawl, it was time for Thanksgiving dinner. I didn't really want to go to friends and get into a big family type thing this year, I think it'll be a few years before I stop associating Thanksgiving with Paul's death, so I bought a nice roasting chicken and experimented with twice baked potatos. For me, this was a major cooking experience. It all came out very nice. I set the table with my nice blue dishes, lit a candle, put on some nice music and enjoyed my meal.
And Sophie got a plate too. I find it vaguely cannibalistic, but she loves chicken...and corn.
The girls got some chicken too. Hmm, considering I call them the Hairy Chickens, maybe that was cannibalistic too. Oh well, they gulped it down in a flash then ran back into their house. Lately they've been hiding in the house or under the swing a lot. They keep rushing over when I come out, looking for protection from the horror that has invaded the yard.

I believe they're called leaves.