I’m afraid that I’m still having a very hard time finding the desire to knit. I know it’s there somewhere, but I’m just not feeling it this week. And so, I’ve been doing other things.

Like reading. It’s been a long time since I’ve just sat down and read a book. Last week, I read two; The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel, and Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammett. The Solace of Leaving Early was a good book, but it wasn’t a good book, in my opinion. Kimmel is a good writer, but not quite my style, I think. Born on a Blue Day was a fun peek into the mind of a synesthete (someone whose senses “cross,” so that they associate colors with sounds, for example). It was funny to see how many of the things Daniel wrote about were familiar to me, and also how many were just completely different from my way of perceiving the world. Always interesting to “get inside” someone else’s head.

Last night I started on a much longer book, which will probably take some time; Tragedy of an Optimist, a biography of Primo Levi. I’ve never read him, but my thesis advisor ranks him as one of the best authors of all time. I’ve heard so much about Levi that I thought it might be an interesting read.

For the first time in months, my Google Reader feed has no unread knitting items. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve actually been caught up. This is either due to my reading a lot more, or to others feeling the same draw away from knitting as summer progresses.

I’ve also been spinning some. I realized the other day that I’ve never actually blogged about spinning; it’s one of those things that occasionally goes on in the background for me, but never seems to make it to the blog. I may have to remedy that one of these days, but not tonight. I am not feeling inclined to get out the camera at the moment, and the sun is rapidly retreating from the sky, in any case, which decreases picture quality.

Some knitting has occurred, but I think that, too, is a post for another day. There will be some fibery news soon, though, I promise.

On the moth front, I continue to be skeptical of the efficacy of pheromone glue traps. We’ve caught one moth. We’ve seen 6 (and killed the other 5). So, new tactics must now come into play.

I don’t like pesticides. I’m a chemist. I read those MSDSs (materials safety data sheets), and pesticides are some very nasty chemicals. I know that things don’t get approved for household use unless they can be shown safe, but I don’t really want anything to do with any chemical that can kill insects. I mean really. Were going to take something that will poison the few species that would survive nuclear holocaust and call it safe for use in my home? Seems a little crazy to me. We’re not dogmatic, but we avoid pesticides where we can. We will save the big guns
for later. For now, natural products are our first line of defense.

Lavender, rosemary, and juniper (cedar) oils are said to repel moths. We obtained packets of fresh lavendar from the farmer’s market and cedar oil from WholeFoods this weekend. They have now been deployed in all of the most vulnerable areas (i.e. the stash). The only problem is that I’m very sensitive to strong smells, and usually develop an allergic response to essential oils with repeated exposure. Unfortunately, this means that the stash will not be bathed in lavendar, as it would cause me to itch and sneeze whenever I came near it. Instead, the yarn is all tucked inside plastic bins, with lavendar packets and cedar oil on the outside. Hopefully this smell-shield will dissuade any hungry moths from developing their taste for wool.

We are also fortunate to have citizen aid in our battle. The cats absolutely love chasing moths. It’s the one good thing about having them in the house; they’re the most popular cat toy ever. Unfortunately, our great huntresses couldn’t catch a moth if it landed on them (ask how I know…), but they are very good early warning systems. Just listen for the chittering…

Hopefully this strategy will aid in defending against the little guerrilla-warrior moths. It will at least make me feel like we’re doing something, rather than just sitting around waiting for them to get into our stored goods. For stash and pantry, we continue to fight.