Sunday, February 14, 2010

How To Knit-Without-Looking



Take one ball of giant-ply linen string, knitting needles with muscle and a promise to clean the oven. Experimental knitting of what looks to be a small doormat seems a worthy source of oven-cleaning procrastination.

Big knitting is the craft equivalent of large print books. Fingers can easily ‘read’ string without eyeball intervention – I can even manage a simultaneous, more than reasonable impression of puzzles-with-kid or TV-plotline-following. The future is clear: with any aged decline in eyesight, I shall cut a fine, bespectacled figure, gadding about in knitted-without-looking, big string fashion.



Sadly, string experimentary hasn’t made any oven issues go away. Ten days ago, someone (me), stashed leftover dinner for ongoing toasty warmth should ‘seconds’ be required. They weren’t – but removal from oven slipped someone’s (my) mind. The weather promptly came over hot, humid and distinctly not for the oven-baked: salads and barbecues only. Every now and then (and weirdly at various locations within the house), I would catch a whiff of something strangely sweet and faintly unnerving. The whole while, the contents of the oven were quietly festering, moistly covering their dark den in the finest film of pungent-est, palest green, fur-growth-stuff. Someone (me), will be needing breathing apparatus. Someone (me) thinks moving house a thoroughly viable option.



PS. After much eco-friendly but heavy-duty oven cleaning research I am utterly confused. To ammonia-fumigate-closed-oven or not to ammonia-fumigate-closed-oven: that is the question. It all seems noxious and toxic and awful to me – even though the wee-like whiff does have a better than ten day old (in moist weather) Morrocan Chicken attraction. Any top tips, wise and knowledgeable readers?

PPS. Valentine’s Day is not happening chez Myrtleandeunice – for obvious reasons. None of that usual baking of sweet, heart treats. Because I love them all, so very much.

28 comments:

CurlyPops said...

Oh dear, what a dilemma... I have the same fear of toxic oven cleaners.
Hmmmmm maybe some more time thinking about it while knitting string on the couch may be required.
Maybe the oven cleaning fairies will arrive in the meantime?

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Sorry to hear your tale of oven tragedy. Oven cleaners are such a necessary evil - just try not to breathe in while it is being applied. My friend recently used an oven cleaning service (ie paid someone else to do her dirty work) and they apparently removed years of baked on grime. Good Luck!!

PS Love your knitted string - such a glorious texture.

Rie said...

I too, cannot stand the smell of the toxic cleaners... but sometimes we have to use them as a last resort.
BUT first, try this.....
On the stove, boil some water in a saucepan with either lemons, vanilla or cloves (cloves are great at de-smelling things). Once this is boiling take off the heat and put straight into your cold oven, leave for about 15 minutes (remember to shut the oven door & no peeping).
When 15 minutes is almost up, get another saucepan, fill with water, boil (add your lemons, vanilla or cloves) and once boiling, turn off the heat and replace place into the oven (taking out the cooler saucepan).
Do this a couple of times for a good condensation to build up in the oven and this should eliminate any nasty smells & help you wipe out the grease.
Good luck!

Christy said...

such beautiful pics, so natural and organic.

happy valentine's day too Tania!xx

Mel said...

*sigh* whilst I have been trying to wean myself off my love of kill-everything-and-everyone-in-sight germ killing chemicals, opting instead for a bit of bi-carb and vinegar and some hand-me-down enjo stuff, when it comes to your current situation (which I have found myself in often though I usually blame the Mr), I say bomb it with hideous chemicals ;( Just get the kids out and wear a mask!

Hey what does Queen of Cleaning Shannon Lush suggest? Alas, I am probably the only person in the country that does not own a copy of that book.

Oh and nice knittin'!

May the oven cleaning force be with you.

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

I don;t know how to clean it - but in order to make ou feel better... and I was actuall nervous scrolling down that you may have photographed it... thanks for not doing so... but we once went ON HOLIDAYS for 2 weeks and left some dog mince that we had defrosted in the MICROWAVE... I too said' lets just move house"...
Chef managed to save the microwave... but only just - I was all for chucking the whole thing out... it was Summer too...

m.e (Cathie) said...

hmmmm, luckily our chicken is confined to the yard!
happy love & hug filled day chez Myrtleandeunice

Gina said...

I suggest going away for a few weeks and allowing visiting-parents-of-friends to house sit, then return home to find that they have spat-and-polished every nook and cranny of your house, INCLUDING your oven, and even replaced the oven light that got broken a few months back so you can now see its brand-spankingness in all its shiny glory. It's highly embarassing, but far much less work than actually cleaning your own oven.

BUT if you do go for it yourself, do an initial wipe out/removal of festering dish-of-death, sprinkle liberally with bicarb, splash pure vinegar over the top, and while they are still fizzing, scrub with a sponge or cloth. Rinse with water and do it all again if you need to, a few times even. It's pretty darn effective and there will be no death of family members in the process.

katiecrackernuts said...

Anastasia Drawing and Dreaming cleaned her oven recently with a laundry powder and white vinegar paste. She said it worked.

Becky said...

From one who is about to move and is currently trying to decide what household items to pack first, don't do it. Cleaning the oven would be easier...

Kylie said...

You are such a wonderful treat in my day Tania! You really write so beautifully - your tales always so familiar and funny. Why some prominent newspaper hasn't snapped you up to write a column I just don't understand.

I'm with you - move house! ;)

K x

p.s. loving the look of big knitting.

red or gray art said...

ok the knitting is superb...the dilemma nor so much!! You have gotten some good advice (MOVING!) the oven cleaners will probably be the best solution..great story to chuckle at at some day.

brownhairblueribbon said...

Hello big knitting! and then I scroll down and it is hello Lace Ribbon Scarf, oh you have some talented fingers there.
Best to use need to protect talented fingers as reason that you should not have to clean oven!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

For me this would have to be a Mr. Muscle moment . Ammonia can only do so much .
Whatever you use , it'll smell vile . You might find you've all gone off Marrocan chicken for a while too !

Kirsty said...

I can't help at all with the festy oven.

But...I am loving your string knitting.

Maggie said...

I really like Rie's suggestion of lemon, cloves etc. Then I would totally use the bicarb and vinegar. I haven't found anything it would work on yet. magic stuff. I'll consult Robyn Stewart and report back if she has another method.

Tweed Delights said...

Lovely string knitting! Sorry, I am the very last person to give domestic advice to anyone - enough said, hehe! :D

Susan Being Snippy said...

may surprise you, but ammonia is a natural substance -- foul smelling and toxic, but still natural and it does break down in the atmosphere --- use pure sudsy ammonia or just buy an oven cleaner with ammonia -- It does disinfect too, so used as per directions it does the job you want but remember it does become poisonous if mixed with chlorine (bleach) so NEVER use them together!

Champagne/StitchPoet said...

I love your photos! I hope your oven gets cleaned, but I probably won't wonder about it tomorrow like I'll wonder what size those needles are and what exact linen string you're using, what's the gauge and what did you make!!!! I wanna see, and I wanna do it too! Details!!!! And I gotta re-blog your photos, holler at me if you hate it when people do that and I'll take 'em down http://crushparty.blogspot.com
ovov (hugs and stitches)

Anna Bartlett said...

I'd save up and get someone else to do the oven. Because you've got big knitting to do with your valuable time. Life's too short. Don't clean any more than you have to. Big knit.

Lola Nova said...

Oh dear, I have to tell you that has never, ever happened to me. Alright, it has. I do feel for you.

crzylady said...

I am so sorry! what a valentine's day to be faced with. I'm in awe of Rie's comment. I think I have scrubbed two ovens. Nothing so scary as green chicken involved. I prefer to just not use the oven (especially our poor excuse as old as I am oven that came with our house and burns or leaves raw everything single thing I have ever tried to bake).

May the force be with you (and tequila).

Sandrine said...

Soo bicarb and white vinègre ...ZE way??Well I have been closing my eyes every time I come too dangerously close to my oven lately (for the smelly/intoxicating reason too) so if it works I may give it a go too, thanks for bringin the hot subject up ;)

Angus in Northcote said...

two issues to deal with: pong and grease.

I suggest the boiling water thing to moisten everything up and then use one of those microfibre cloths (enjo or the ersatz versions that the supermarkets sell now) with cold water.

I used that to clean the BBQ and it was amazing! True, it will take some time, but the grease hassle is totally solved by cold water, microfibre and then washing the clogged microfibre in warm water with bathsoap. Then repeat until you've got it all before finishing off with a light wash in vinegar and bicarb.

74 Lime Lane said...

there is nothing worse than oven cleaning! i read something the other day, which i now can't find, but it was something similar to Gina's. I would suggest a thick paste of the bicarb soda then spray with vinegar and let it do it's work and wipe

handmade charlotte said...

oh i love it! i am waiting to have this baby and have to be sitting around more than i want to be......soooo knitting has been on my mind!!

Fer said...

Uh oh! What about one of them fancy schamcy Enjo gloves?

Di said...

Sounds hilarious from here. Although our house is not entirely stink free at all times I must confess. I really should take the worm food out more often...
Congratulations on the braille knitting progress though!