Friday, July 2, 2010

Wipping Things Into Shape

Unlike the U.S. team, my WIP Cup project is still in the running.

I finished the sleeves last night and sewed all the seams while watching a couple episodes of "Medium". It hasn't been blocked yet, so it looks pretty lumpy, but I love these cables.

I'm going to get to work on the collar today and then block it while I choose some buttons from my little button stash.

But Spicy is only a small part of the wipping we've been up to around here. My other project yesterday was this:

See that massive pile of vines? Nine or ten years ago I planted two one-gallon vines, one on each side of the arbor over the dining room window, not visible in this picture. In the interim, those vines have all but taken over the back of my house. Initially I was really pleased with the way they grew and spread and completely covered the 30 year old patio cover that has seen better days. But they are amazingly messy, necessitating daily sweeping of the patio, and the patio cover itself is in desperate need of repair and paining.

So yesterday, with the aid of the KH, I tackled the removal of the vines. It was horrible. Hot, sweaty, and absolutely filthy. We live across from a nature preserve, which mostly seems to preserve millions of rats. They love our yard. There is food galore from my fruit trees and vegetables, a constant source of fresh water from the pool, and lots of vegetation they can hide in. Like piles of vines. When the KH fired up the hedge trimmer and made the first cut, half a dozen of them flew out of the vines like...well...rats.

In yanking and pulling and chopping down the vines, I came across at least half a dozen separate rats' nests. And the poop...oh, God, the poop! I'm sure I have hanta virus.

It took about four hours to yank down and chop up all the vines. I filled every trash can and yard waste can we own, and finally resorted to stuffing the cuttings in large trash bags for future pick up (the city will only take trash in city cans).

But here's the result.

Of course the sad state of the patio cover is now all the more obvious, but that will soon be remedied. We're going to repair it, beef up the posts, and paint the whole thing. I figure I can get at least a few more years out of it.

I can't believe how much more light there is in the house now! I had forgotten how bright the kitchen and family room were before the vines grew in. I love all the light.

Best of all, without the vines on the patio cover, I won't have to sweep the patio every day, and the kids and dogs won't be continually tracking leaves and debris into the house from the back yard.

The kids lost no time in taking advantage of the newly-cleaned patio with a nighttime pool party and S'mores roast:

All in all, a successful day.

Next week, after the trash cans are emptied, I have to tackle this:

That's my son's bedroom window in danger of being swallowed up by the same vines.

But as Scarlett said, I'll think about that tomorrow.


Wanderingcatstudio said...

Love the cardigan. Great colour!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so glad you cut down the vines, and I'm even more grateful you didn't take pictures of rats!! Do you think there will be any in the part above the window? Eek! I'm probably not being helpful right now.

Romi said...

Gorgeous sweater!

sophanne said...

Rats? Rats? Had that happened here it would have meant immediately putting the house up for sale and possibly moving to another country. Mr sophanne has a phobia and while it's never been tested, I might have one too.

Sharon said...

Hanta virus? Not likely, but if you do have it, I hope it's the 24-hour kind :]

We too have major viney vegetation growing in a couple of areas around our house. I tried to hack through it but then it rained every day for about 6 weeks. Now I can't even tell where I cut some of it down!

What a gorgeous sweater.

Lucie said...

The cardigan is lovely. Hope you wear it a lot. I watched a bit of medium and find the story lines bizarre. As for the vines, that was quite a big job and it makes a huge difference. We have a city managed composting system--they take away all the green stuff and compost it for next year.

weezalana said...

The cardi is looking great!

Very impressive tackling the vines like that. I myself would have run screaming (loudly) at the first sign of all those rats, hidden in the house, and called someone else to remove the vines. Or moved. Probably moved.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Great sweater!

You won a prize on my blog. The email address I had for you kept bouncing back to me. Email me at knitpurlmama at gmail dot com to claim your prize!

SwissKnits! said...

Ewww on the rats.

The fruits of your labor look great!!!!! Good luck on the next project.

Sweater looks wonderful!! My you keep busy!!!! ;)

janet said...

Check the stucco for holes or cracks. Mice can squeeze through an opening the size of a pencil hole. These small holes also allow termites, bees and other insects to get inside the house. You may need to get your attic inspected just to be safe.
You can buy a 5 gal. can of "Oops" paint for approx $30 at Frazee.