Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Goodbye Summer! Don’t come back soon.


Brrrr, goodbye Summer, and welcome Winter!  It has been rather chilly around these parts for the past few days!  I had almost forgotten what it feels like to be cold.  I put on one layer, then another, and another, until feeling surprised at the amount of clothes I was wearing, remembered that this is what I normally wear in winter!  I am resisting lighting the fire (really, March is a bit too soon), although with the temperature forecast to drop to 3C /37F tonight, I’m not sure how long that resolution will last!

The drop in temperatures has brought about a fresh burst of enthusiasm for finishing things!

Mattingley Jumper

At long last, I have finished the Mattingley Jumper.  It is a very easy knit, and should have been finished ages ago.  I just got distracted by the socks…  I used a natural alpaca/merino blend (a small NZ producer that no longer makes yarn) and I really like how it turned out.  There is the natural annoyance that the sweater doesn’t make me look as svelte as the model in the pattern: a) she’s obviously quite a bit lighter than me, and b) her jumper was worn with at least a couple inches of positive ease, whereas mine has zero ease.  Never mind, I shall enjoy wearing it, and too bad I am not of modelesque proportions.

The cold weather has brought about an unwelcome event:  the rats and mice have returned.

When we moved into this house, I saw the hot water cupboard full of rat and mouse traps, and the little droppings – evidence of why the traps were in there.  I found the rat hole gnawed into the wall of the cupboard.  I noted it all, uncomfortably.  For those who don’t know, a hot water cupboard is where we put the hot water cylinder in NZ – in my case, my cylinder is very old and the pipes not well insulated, which makes it very warm and comfortable place for cold, furry, rodents.  During summer, when it was warm, the rats and mice lived outside.  The colder temperatures of the past few days have driven then back inside – obviously, to their familiar winter residence.

I have been looking for evidence of rodent life in the house and garden all summer, but found none.  I hoped that the traps in the cupboard were for a one-off incident.

Last night, dozing in my chair with the cat on my lap, he suddenly leaped off my lap and ran to the cupboard, sniffing excitedly under the door.  I put my ear to the cupboard, and sure enough, heard little scratchings and patterings inside…. Sigh.  I let the cat into the cupboard, and very gingerly shut the door.  Unfortunately, the miscreants had long since disappeared, back into the hole that I had so carefully taped shut (now gnawed open).

The worst was yet to come.  I went to bed, and had just fallen asleep, when there was the very.loud.sound of Gnawing in my ROOM!!!  Frantically, I called the cat to come, and focused the torch beam under the shelving where the sound had come from.  I found two holes in the floorboards that I hadn’t noticed when I moved in, and a panel in the skirting that had obviously been repaired.  Hmm.  This was bad.  There is obviously a rat’s nest behind the wall.

The cat belatedly arrived, and very considerately stayed in my room for the rest of the night, staring fixedly at the space under the shelf.

This evening after work, I got the rat trap out of the garage.  It is a Dept. of Conservation box model, and designed to deliver a quick and humane death to the animal who steps on the spring-loaded plate to get at the food beyond.  (It has a very small opening for the rat/mouse/stoat to creep through, and will not cause harm to other animals besides those that creep through the opening).  I used it to deal effectively to the rats who lived in my compost heap previously.  Then, I boarded over the holes in the floor of my room, and for good measure, weighted them with bricks. There will be no ratty incursions into my room, thank you very much!

Tonight, I will load up the box trap with a nice, delicious, juicy peanut butter and honey sandwich.   A tasty little oaty treat awaits the mice in the hot water cupboard.  Snap!! Snap!!  We will see how many times I have to do that before we get rid of all my unwelcome house guests!







Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

27 thoughts on “Goodbye Summer! Don’t come back soon.

  1. OMG, hope you can get rid of them all!
    I would be very happy to embrase a bit of your summer over here. In return, you can get a bit of our winter, with pleasure 🙂
    Spring is really around the corner here now.

    • Me too! Having thought about it a bit more, I think it is an issue that will be ongoing, given my proximity to a dairy shed, with ready supplies of animal feed that will no doubt be enjoyed by the local pests. The thing will be to work out how they are getting into the house and discourage any further incursions!

  2. For blocking the holes, I’ve found stuffing the hole with one of those metal pan scrubs and fixing it place with expanding foam filler, reasonably effective

  3. Even in your bedroom ?! :O OMG.. the horror….
    Hope the question will be soon solved..

    The sweater looks lovely, and warm & cozy too. Now that you’ve moved to a cooler area and season is changing, do you feel some sweater-knitting-frenzy coming ? 😉

    • Yes, the horror!! Let’s say I am glad of the cat’s company and his keen hearing. Oh yes, the sweaters have definitely been moved up the WIP queue!

  4. Definitely of modelesque proportions, rather than not!

  5. I had an entire basket of cashmere yarn destroyed by the creatures last winter. Now I have 2 cats and lots of traps.

    • An entire basket!?? Poor you! I would have cried I think. Good going on the traps and cats. Hope they have helped keep the critters out of your house.

  6. You look good. You have this energy of purpose and experience. Oh icky. Rats? *shudders* I’m sure you’ve remedied the issues.

  7. I definitely used the same method as JOEXNZ. Steel wool and expanding foam are great !!! I had a mouse under my kitchen sink (he loved the chicken bones in my trash-YUCK), and I closed the holes up with those 2 items. Good luck on getting rid of your pests.

  8. You look fantastic in the sweater! And good luck with your rodent issue. Hopefully it is resolved quickly.

  9. The sweater is beautiful and looks lovely! I can TOTALLY relate on the rat and mice issues… We’re dealing with the same here… NOT fun.

  10. My daughter is on a farm east of Masterton, and has the same problem year after year. But she does exactly what you are doing, and eventually her elderly cat dispatches or scares off the rodents. It just takes a while for the rats to get the message! Good luck.

  11. Maybe you could also wrap your hot water cylinder in one of those thermal wraps, so that the cupboard is less attractive to mice and rats seeking warmth.
    Like you, I’ve started wearing my winter woollies again. although I find that I’ve been putting them on in the cold morning only to have to completely change when the sun comes out and it gets too warm for them!

  12. Do you know if the previous owners had a cat? When we moved we were warned about mice by the previous (catless) owner, but thankfully we have never noticed any. I hope your invaders get used to you having a cat quickly and stay away!

    It is definitely cooling down, I’ve just given in and switched to the down duvet today. No fire yet, but we really need to get onto sorting the fireplace out so we can when we need it.

    • I know they had a dog given the ‘delightful’ aroma that was left in the carpet, but I don’t think there was a cat. Hopefully Mr. Puss will do a good job of helping to keep their numbers down.

  13. Back in the UK, it’s gone cold again. We are desperate to feel a bit of warmth on our skin.

  14. I’m in Perth, Western Australia and am sitting in bed as a mouse or rat scrambles overhead, standard autumn thing here too, but had to smile at the coincidence (but not at the creature). No cat, so it’s baits in the roof and shed… can generally get bulk buy steel wool at the hardware, in the paint section. We live on an acre and it seems to go with the territory. Humans 8, rats 0 at the moment. Joys of living in the country and we aren’t even totally rural.