27 December 2013

A Variegated Holiday

Lest ye think I am ignoring the holiday season, let me put your fears to rest. I know you all are just dying to know what I've been doing! Well, there was the aforementioned ice storm which tried to ruin not only my party but the entire Christmas of many, many Torontonians. Power was out for two or three days for some folks. The Daughter and I were warm and well lit throughout so I feel I have no right to complain about a poorly attended party. Other than that, the season was a surprising and unusual whirlwind. I didn't see many people I had hoped to yet ran into many others I hadn't expected at all. There was extended family time (stressful), some quiet romantic time (delightful) and one very, very scary time when The Daughter had a fall and I thought she had been severely injured. After a hospital visit and a sleepless watchful night, it was determined that she'll be fine. Thankful, thankful.

Amid all the chaos, (let's not forget all that vermin vacuuming!) there was no time to just sit and knit. My first opportunity was on the train to visit my parents on Boxing Day. I cast on some Sweet Georgia sock intending to knit an Arrowhead Shawl. But this yarn is too variegated to show off the textured pattern with all its increases, decreases and yarn overs. The colourway needs a flatter surface to highlight its beauty. So after knitting Arrowhead all the way there, I ripped back and started Traveling Woman on the way back. Much better.
sweetgeorgia Tough Love Sock: Stillwater
I'm still committed to knitting Arrowhead. I may just have to pop into Knitomatic for the Boxing Week sale and pick up a nice tonal. Hey, I lost a lot of stash from the beetles. I deserve a little Christmas present.

23 December 2013

Ice, Ice Baby

Toronto was hit by a big ice storm yesterday. Unfortunately, this was the day of our Christmas party and with little to no public transportation available, only 7 of the expected 30 people showed up. We were a small but happy group. Despite the best efforts of the young people to eat everything in sight, I am still in the possession of a massive amount of food. Anybody hungry?

My office stayed closed today. With this unexpected free time, I decided to go for a weekday morning walk in High Park; something I've not been able to do in a long while.
The ice was destructive. Yes, disruptive also. 
Still, one can't deny that it is pretty.

14 December 2013


Yes, they are every knitter's nightmare and now I have first hand knowledge as to why.  Before I begin my sad tale, let me tell you I have just confirmed that what I have been treating as a moth infestation is actually a carpet beetle infestation. Same result. I am down stash and have a much cleaner apartment.

It all began last week when The Daughter, who has just returned from 3 months at her Dad's, went into her long unused sock drawer and found holes in every single pair of her hand knit socks. After dealing with the initial nauseating feeling of shock, I flew into action. Everything in her drawers was laundered, the drawers were vacuumed and scrubbed with hot water and bleach. Every corner of the room, including the mattress, was vacuumed meticulously and then sprayed with lavender. Thus I thought the problem could be controlled...

Until I checked my stash a few days later. I'll spare you the gross details but will admit that I cried - a lot.
I realize I've no one to blame but myself here. I kept large amounts of stash in pretty baskets, arrogantly assuming that wool eating critters could never happen to me. Thankfully, the luxury yarn stored in plastic bins seems untouched. Those bins are still sitting out on the frigid balcony as we speak, freezing for 24 hours, just in case. Other stash has been rotating through the freezer and microwave all week. The yarn with visible larvae (brown larva means carpet beetles) has been tossed.
I no longer own baskets. Instead,. I am the proud owner of many, many new Ziploc bags and plastic storage bins purchased at my local hardware store. All of today, a Saturday, was spent turning my apartment upside down, getting into every corner. Diatomaceous earth is supposed to be effective and is non-toxic so I've spread it around the baseboards  Tomorrow will see more cleaning, more vacuuming. Supportive knitters who have had similar experiences assure me that my vigilance will get results. 

I am exhausted but determined.