Friday, January 15, 2010

The Last Word (I Promise) on that Home Reno

I'm sure a lot of you are getting sick of hearing about the big reno of this year, but Jane requested better snaps of the back splash, and I'm about to oblige.

However, I'll give you a couple of shots of knitting first, that way if you're truly sick to the teeth of hearing about my kitchen you can just move on quickly.

I think I've mentioned before how I'm completely smitten with Scottish designer Ysolda Teague, specifically, her patterns. Well, recently I bought her pattern set Whimisical Little Knits 2, having bought book 1 last year, and I promptly started the Peak's Island Hood.

I'm using Adagio by Skacel leftover from this project, recently finished. (I'm not sure what possessed me to buy 20 skeins of this yarn, even after finishing this second project I'm sure to have five to six still left.) I'm loving this pattern so far, I haven't reached the shaping for the hood part, but it just makes so much sense to me to have the bulk of the knitting in the central part of the scarf and the sensible closure on the front so the piece lays flat against the chest, not adding any bulk under a heavy winter coat. I also heartily approve of the use of vintage buttons.

I'm going to say it again, I love Ysolda.

I'll show you the finished project when I get to that point.

I finished the Kauni cardigan that I'd been knitting off and on since October.

The Kauni colours are fantastic, the only downside to this yarn is its "naturalness", if they could produce this kind of colourway in a superwash merino I'd buy reams and reams of the stuff.

Over the last few years I've been on a "gotta try that" sort of kick, where I see something advertised or being used by some other blogger and I rush out to experiment with the same thing myself, and I have to admit, that though I've found a few textiles, or patterns, or techniques that are keepers, I've found an awful lot of things that just aren't for me.

And so...

I think this year will be a year of a more (brace yourself) prudent me. Not to say that my blog title won't accurately describe me - I fear it shall - but I'm feeling the need for more thinking and less doing.

******I can hear friends and family snickering as I type******

Alright, on to the reno snaps.

I'd like to mention a few final numbers that are important to know in the event you plan to embark on a similar sized home renovation.

1/3 - one third, people. That's how much bigger our house is now - seems like such a small number, and yet it's a whole heck of a lotta' space.

72 - the number of days we had to wait between ordering the stove and when it was finally installed, that's a fair wait.

18 - the number of months we ACTUALLY went without a stove. The true story is that the stove that was here when we bought the house quit on us in June 2008, a repairman let us know that whoever installed the stove did so and THEN installed the kitchen floor (did I mention that there use to be someone who owned this house who thought they were some kind of fabulous Mr. Fixit - he wasn't). This is what pushed us to do the reno when we did.

Now stop and consider that for a moment - 18 months with no stove or oven, only a hotplate and a small toaster oven; 18 months of cooking for the family (Christmas, Birthdays, Wednesdays) with less than adequate equipment. I'm a saint.

186.5 - that's the number of feet of baseboards I painted. Remember, I did all the painting on the second level. If 186.5 feet doesn't sound like a lot to some of you, then get down on your hands and knees and just, say, wash the baseboards in an average sized room, then picture sanding, priming, sanding, painting(first coat), sanding, and painting(second coat) in five of those rooms.

Its a lot.

2 - that's the number of times I found myself shopping at the local supermarket wearing my slippers. I was a tad overwhelmed at times.

1 - one fabulous finished project. Hooray for being finished.

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Fear Conquered

How was everyone's holiday? I didn't mean to take an extended break from posting to this blog, but then, I suppose, I never intend to and yet...always seem to manage.

I finished Incognito for Ian's Christmas. It was a hit!

I asked him to "act naturally" for some photos...

Nicely done Ian...

and it fits Gus too!

Do you remember way,way back in the Autumn I was working on the Kauni Cardi? Yes? Well, it came time to cut the steeks back in October and I just couldn't quite bring myself to take the scissors to my knitting, so I set the project aside. I'd been telling people that the sewing machine was packed away due to the reno and I couldn't possibly dig it out and use it (that may have been a slight exaggeration). However, last week I decided since the year was ending it was time to clear out old projects and , if not finish them, then at least progress towards the end. One evening between Christmas and New Year's I thought I should take a look at where I was in the pattern (it was exactly where I'd left it, needing to run it through the sewing machine), and so, decided to unpack the sewing machine...

...and then well, just, perhaps, run the sections through the machine, which I did...

...and then, without even stopping to think (I'm clearly still exhausted from the reno) I grabbed the scissors and cut, cut, cut...

I hadn't even stopped to get the camera in order to document the momentous occasion.

so, that was that, steeks done, no problem.

Now, it's onwards to the sleeves...

I wonder what Yoda would stay, "Try not. Do!" I suppose.

On an unrelated note, let me show you one of the new calendars (I love calendars) that I have in the house:

Arthur Rackham - fabulous pictures - and my frind Bruce will find this one extra special..

He gets double the number of birthdays without aging an extra year! Sadly, November 9ths are out of luck this year.