Monday, April 06, 2009

I've regained my small portion of sanity.

I think. See, it hasn't been just about the stash around here.

Friday morning, I started my day with a call from my brother. He was so stressed out he was practically shouting (not at me), and since he's got a heart problem, that's not so good. So I followed through by having to call and snarl at some old-time, from-before-I-was-born (former) family friends. Not pleasant. I haven't heard back from the bro OR the others, so I'm assuming that situation resolved.

Friday afternoon during the Goob's nap was the discovery of the majority of the destruction in my stash, including the trashed Dale of Norway.

Friday afternoon at four PM the sewer backed up into the house (the Goob ran into the bathroom, slipped, fell, and SPLASHED), and we spent the next hours calling plumbers, landlords, county sewage, neighbors, and, well, the plumber left at ten PM after cutting a chunk of root out of our sewer line in the front yard. The Goob finally got to bed at around ten-thirty. She's still wasted, and splatted out in her bed right now.

That sort of set the tone for the rest of the weekend, which was spent cleaning up the wreckage and sifting through the damage. I did, however, get a chance to hang out with Terby on Saturday morning/afternoon (no knitting; we talked the whole time) and then I got on Skype - with video camera, no less - and talked to Bells in the evening (no knitting; we talked the whole time). The visits with Terby and Bells were definitely the highlights of the weekend. I fuckin' love the internet.

I missed nap time on Saturday (being out with Terby). Apparently the Goob and Sekhmet have declared peace again and we need to worry about them taking over the world and allocating it between them according to chocolate and catnip production.

Anyway, it's Monday, I'm on the down side of a case of PMS (oh yes, that too in the middle of the mess) the worst of the disaster is cleared up, and I shall attempt to discuss some comments I've gotten.

-Yes, I know carpet beetles fly and climb and do all other manner of devious, evil things. But all the carnage in The Pit was near the floor, except for the Dale of Norway yarns, which were eaten to scraps no matter where they were in the closet. Cotton was untouched. Mohair was untouched. Camelids were, weirdly, untouched. There are a kajillion different types of carpet beetles (or at least, protein-fiber-eating beetles), and I suspect each of them prefers a slightly different diet. I've bagged nearly everything, and will probably bag the rest in fits of paranoia in the next week or two, but the stuff they really go for is protected.

-The hanging bag in my closet is full of FINISHED knits, not unfinished. The only unfinished sweaters I have left are the Russian Prime (working now), Innsvenget, and the turquoise cotton circular cardigan.

-Sorry for making everyone suddenly paranoid. The Goob dropped a raisin on the floor this morning, I spotted it a little bit later (without glasses on) and about had a stroke. You aren't alone. Anything small is immediately thought to be a bug, and I freak.

-Brown Sheep produces utterly average, American-grown-wool yarn. For the price, it's a good value, don't get me wrong. I like it, but it's not the awesomest bestest yarn ever ohmygosh. (It is what I chose to learn on when I started knitting clothing, which is why I have so many sweaters out of it, and for that it was absolutely perfect.) It pills with a lot of wear, but if you pull off the pills it's fine after that. And apparently it's got serious anti-bug stinkum on it.

-I'm trying to avoid the big guns in terms of bug-proofing, because I have VERY bad reactions to pesticides, and I'm not wild about having them in the house as a long-term solution, with a little kid and a cat roaming around (and obviously they get into that closet). We live in a swamp. There is no amount of pesticide in the world that is going to keep this house bug-free. Not to mention, I think it got below freezing for one night all winter, and then it was for maybe six hours at about 25 F/-4 C. Not much of a bug die-off this winter. In fact I think the mild winter was a contributing factor to this whole clusterfuck with the carpet beetles.

-When we eventually move into a house we own (hopefully by the end of the year), I am hoping to find a work room with a tile floor, or hardwood, or some type of synthetic. I WILL rip up carpet with a song in my heart, as needed. More extreme measures will be taken to keep the stash safe, then.

-The 'tree of life' in black and white that was on the floor of my office in the Saturday (Friday?) blog post isn't a chart or a plan for a project. It's actually a knitting bag the husbeast gave me, years and years ago. You can find it on tee shirts and bags, usually under the title "Celtic Tree of Life".

I think that about does it for comments and questions over the weekend, through this whole mess. Thanks for the support, suggestions, help, and laughs, everyone. (Roxie, the movie is "High Road to China". I've seen it several times and knew exactly what scene you were talking about. Yes. Just like that.)

Right now I'm working on a gauge swatch for the Roulette sock, and trying to mellow out.

Over the weekend, the husbeast tried to cheer me up with some e-mailings. I'll share the ones that were funny.


nanacindynz said...

From what i remember the Brown sheep stuff has mohair in it too - maybe also helped with the prevention of bugginess of doom?

amy said...

Yep, that is one hellatious weekend.

Bells said...

hey we were both PMSy at the time of the skype chat? Wow. We're in sync!

The Goob and Sekhmet look very cosy together.

Love the tree of life image. I have it on my ankle.

FeyRhi said...

OMG Jedi Squirrels!! I just about sprayed coffee all over my computer screen. This is the funniestone I have seen.

Amy Lane said...

Wow-- THAT is an incredibly full weekend! But the visits, at least, sound lovely, and at least some shit survived. (I love the Jedi Squirrels!)

Louiz said...

What a miserable weekend! Fingers crossed that the worst is over. Love the faxing cat thing and the jedi squirrels!

Roxie said...

Husbeast is a good man. Jedi Squirrels should be done poster size.

Wonderful how the mental file system works (not.) Thanks for the movie title. Quigley Down Under is another fav. "Said I had no use for 'em. Didn't say I couldn't use one."

Donna Lee said...

I hate weekends when all hell breaks loose. It's never one thing, its everything. I hope thinks settle down.

And oh god. The Goober and Sekhmet as world rulers? What a thought.

Alwen said...

Well. That's a new variant of "Sekhmet, you fucker" - her on the Goob! Too cute.

Various organic controls for carpet beetles:

#1, move vulnerable stuff around and vacuum it, and under and around it.

#2, although they are expensive, you can buy pheromone sticky traps specifically for carpet beetles. Museums use these, no surprise there!

#3, if you can find diatomaceous earth, it's an organic control that remains effective as long as it's dry.

You might be able to get the yellow sticky card traps (no pheromones) - they use these to monitor pest populations in greenhouses.

I was already an organic gardener when I went to MSU. At the time, they were just starting "IPM" - integrated pest management, where they actually checked to see if there were bugs before spraying. Imagine!

Now my old advisor is the head of their organic program.

Robin said...

Sekhmet is doing a great job of holding The Goob down!