The islands history goes back to over a hundred and twenty years ago when white man first began to settle here. Even with the long history of steam boats servicing the island there have been no rats. All of this changed in the last year when black rats were trapped on the island. When I found a single dropping that was to big to be a mouse dropping on my covered back porch I was mortified. Five weeks later when I went out to town I purchased two plastic snap traps - each one made by a different manufacturer - just in case one did not work. I baited them with peanut butter and placed one on the back deck. I put it under a table and tied it to the table legs next to the cabin. The second went into a box with two small holes cut out as entrance ways and weighted with bricks. I put this trap under the foundation at the front of the cabin. Than I waited. The first night I caught nothing. The second morning I caught a red squirrel in the trap on the back deck. The third night I caught a deer mouse in the other trap. These rodents I am used to. In the four nights following that I caught nothing. It turns out that red squirrel droppings are similar to black rat droppings so this seems to be a case of mistaken identity. I am truly grateful. Nevertheless my trap line is still set up. I am sure none of you have any interest in seeing pictures of any of this......
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Wednesday, 15 March 2017
My daughter needed a new pair of mittens for her growing hands. She loved the fish pattern and colours from the last pair I made so I simply enlarged my pattern. I have a basic pattern that I use for all of my mittens. Each pair that I knit for her I write down how many stitches I used at the key points and that assists me in estimating how many stitches I need to enlarge another pair. (I also write down what yarn and what size double pointed needles I have used.) I only use double pointed needles to knit mittens. After knitting to where I want to place the thumb I estimate how many stitches I will put on a stitch holder. This is approximately a quarter of the total number of stitches you cast on. For this pair it was ten stitches. Immediately after placing them on the holder I will cast on the same number - ten stitches. I will then finish knitting the mitten. After the mitten is knit I will return to knitting the thumb. I put the stitches on the stitch holder on two double pointed needles - dividing the stitches equally between them. For this pair of mittens I put five stitches on each double pointed needle. Than I picked up ten stitches - putting five stitches on each needle. I now have four double pointed needles with five stitches on each of them. I will now knit these twenty stitches with a fifth double pointed needle until I have knit to the top of the thumb. ( You will have to try the mitten on to determine this.) At this point I will divide the stitches equally between two double pointed needles. For this pair of mittens it was ten stitches on each needle. The shaping for the top of the thumb is: knit 1, slip 1, psso, knit to the last two stitches on the needle and k2tog. I repeat this on both needles until I have 8- 10 stitches left - roughly half of how many stitches I started with. This is counting all the stitches on both needles. I will than do Kitchener stitch ( There are some excellent video's on utube demonstrating this finishing stitch.) to weave the opening shut. There are many other possibilities of doing this - but this has through trial and error become my signature way. I like to keep things simple and I look for repetitive patterns and I use proportions to assist me in this way.
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
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