Loose Ends

Loose Ends

the creative impulse gone awry

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Unpacking


I have to say there is something freeing about just packing all my works in progress into boxes and putting them on a truck, driving them to our new house and then just leaving them packed.  Ha ha.  I had a few things in my knitting bag for working on during the move, but I haven't really started up on anything that was on the needles.  I knit a little pressie for our real estate agent's dog -- really, when you work for/with me you get weird presents.  What can I say, the idea of our agent's Shitsu hanging out with this guy... it just cracks me up.






Have we gotten it to him yet?  No, somehow these things get difficult once the relationship is over.  We'll do it, soon, eventually, something.  Of course it wasn't finished when we sold our house, it took a little extra time and I felt so guilty about not finishing it on time that I refused to knit anything until it was done. 

Anyway, it has been kind of nice to pack up all the projects that I've started and not finished so I don't have the visual guilt lurking in the corner of the living room.  I do have to get on it, there are things that need to be finished.  I'm not insane, promising to finish everything that I've started, but I do need to unpack and re-evaluate.  Some projects are samples for the store that we don't need (like my Citron in Findley Dappled.  3 or 4 repeats in we finally get our sample from the manufacturer in the exact. same. color.  sigh.  best to frog that or decide who gets it as a present.) Some are things that maybe never should have been and we can just wind the yarn back up and put it back in the stash (or save it for the next sale's dollar bin) and some are things that I actually want to finish and I should get on it already.

My new house has a cedar closet right outside of my office (I know, it's like it was made for me -- except for the kitchen) and I've just been tossing things in there that look like projects.  (Does that count as unpacking?  just for me?)  I just looked and it's mostly clothes and stash - the only thing on needles in there is my modified inside out blanket in a long discontinued yarn that I had, um, 23 skeins of in my stash.  Right now I think I've used like 5 and it's already 4 ft square.  It should fit lots of Conterios under it when it's finished.  These things never photograph well on the needles so I've tried to show just one quadrant of it two feet long from center to edge, impressive...not.
It's really more of a burnt orange color than what you see here.  It will go great with the stripey pillows that I made back when we put our house on the market.  I have to say, oddly, that those Kochoran pillows have been the best ones.  The blue one and the ruffled one all look pretty shabby just a couple months later (it isn't easy when the ruffled one became one of our cat's special friends) but the stripey ones look like they just came off the needles and the angora doesn't shed as I expected.  A lovely surprise.  They have a little stripe of this orange in them, so the blanket will be excellent when it's finished.  Which will have to wait at least until this humidity goes away.

I had to put off a lot of the packed knitting (oh, had to is such a stretch) because we needed (what we thought would be) a quick sample for the store.  We've had a bunch of customers come into the shop with this little number and as we often do, we decided to knit it up in a (couple of) under-performing yarns.  I thought, oh you know, I do this for a living, I'll bang it out in a week.  4 weeks of slogging later I finally cast-off and sewed that bad boy up Sunday night.  It didn't help that I was knitting cotton (not my bestest friend), and that I skimmed the pattern (it looked so easy!) and screwed it up completely having to rip out a 3rd of it to add more inches to the middle section.  sigh.  But it's finished and in the shop, I made Naomi weave in the ends because I was so tired of staring at it.  I would show you a picture but I'm so tired of looking at it that I can't bear it.  You'll have to go to the shop, it's red.  You'll know it when you see it :)

As a reward for finishing all of that ribbing I cast on this pretty little jacket from the new Noro magazine.  I'm following the advice of one of the folks who knit it online and using one color of taiyo sock and just making sure the contrast stripes are contrasting.  I'm loving it:


This is one of those projects where I can tell it's going to go quickly.  With the stripes and the short rows it's all so interesting that I can't wait to get to the next step.  It doesn't hurt that I'm loving the colors and I can't wait to wear it (when it gets to be sweater weather) So somehow, I imagine that it will take less time to knit this on sock yarn with #4 needles (and sleeves) than it did to make that vest on larger needles.  less ribbing, less monotonous.  Also garter stitch is so fast. zoom zoom.

I really should show you my pile of boxes of yarn and unfinished objects in the garage (flooding in the basement means no yarn storage down there anymore... thank god it was all in plastic)  It's truly insane.  But there is so much unpacking to do that sometimes it's best to just pretend it's not there and start fresh for a while.  I'll get back to all of the things in boxes soon.  I have some yarn in there for sweaters for the girls for winter and so so many more things.  I'll share when I have the courage to dig them up.  In the meanwhile it's just so nice to have the time and energy in the evenings (when I'm not researching kitchen remodeling) to knit again. 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The more things Change...

the more they keep changing, actually.

But as much as things change, really, me neglecting the blog seems to be a theme.  Sorry about that.  We got a little busy as we suddenly had an offer on the house, then had to find a house to buy, and then had to MOVE, which was a haze of pain and paperwork. 

I'd love to give you a play-by-play of how it all went down, but that would take a long long time.  The short story is we moved from our beloved house to a different house that we are slowly making our home.  Some highlights: 

This house is in Warren, the town that we most wanted to move to.  I'm close enough to walk to work, which is really wonderful.  We're on a busy street, which is less awesome, but something I'm used to from my childhood home.  We're working on soundproofing some parts of the house where we notice the noise most and also just adjusting to the new noise level.  Let me tell you when the _way more enormous than I'm used to_ street cleaners went by in the middle of the night I honestly thought we were about to get abducted by aliens, it was straight out of the X Files, with flashing lights, vibrating house... that was... special.  It was much less traumatic last night, thank god.

This house is substantially larger which is taking some getting used to.  The girls don't have to share a room anymore, which was high on our list for our next house.  I have to say, it makes bedtime a lot easier to manage.  The cats are happier because there is lots of space to hide from eachother and us.  We have only lost the children a few times and it's mostly because Clara likes to play camping in her closet.  We have a magical third floor that is one big open room that we have dreams about converting into a master bedroom suite -- do all parents dream of having their own bathroom?  heck I would settle for being able to just close the door without someone freaking out.  one day, one day.  But right now it's mostly storage and really terrible guest accommodations. (we need to work on that as we have a grandparent visiting in a couple of days)

Our yard is 3 times the size of our old yard and flat, with easy access from the house... no more going through the basement to get to the backyard!  This was another priority for our new house.  We are not the best landscapers to begin with, so having this much more space will certainly be a bit of a challenge.  We're already thinking about upgrading our lawnmower so it doesn't take poor Josh two weekends to mow the yard... yikes.  The girls love having all of the space to run around like the crazy children they are.  We also have way more wildlife, which shocks me because it's not _that_ much more rural.  We have cicadas, which are awesome for our beetle loving Clara, and a bunny which thrills us all and means next summer we'll need a bit of fencing for our vegetable garden.  We have lots of birds, some nesting in our gutters... and we're an easy walk to the bike path and the audobon society so there is a lot more nature experience possible here.

The house hasn't been updated in quite some time, most visibly since the 80s.  So there is a lot of decor that needs to be removed and updated... oh the puffy crazy print window "treatments" -- more like window punishments, if you ask me.  And the ceiling fan that was so large in the master bedroom that we felt worried it was going to maim us whenever it was on, and the kitchen with it's interesting smells and 1950s cabinetry.  It has so many amazing features, this crazy huge new house, and so much of it is buried under neglect and poor taste.  So we're tackling the projects that are causing the most damage or distress first and letting the rest slide until that time where we have the energy and money to address it.  It is going to be a long process, but we're planning on being here for a long time, so that works for us.  Besides, what would I do without a project (or 50)?

Now that we've actually re-located, there is energy to think about things that I've been neglecting, the online store and the blog are two that come to mind.  I'm also working on spending more playtime with the girls, as the school year approaches I am very aware that I only have one more year with Clara at home, so I want to soak up as much of her as I can before that next step towards independence.  Of course, I say that while she plays happily with the babysitter, yesterday when she was screaming and doing terrible things to her sister I was dreaming about Kindergarten!

It's funny, I've dug up a few pictures of the house before we bought it and it's so weird to see the previous owners furniture in these rooms.  I'm already more attached to it than I thought! But check out the terrible curtains:
And the even scarier ceiling fan... I wish you could tell the scale of the thing, it hung down from the ceiling 2 feet. 
And the crazy paint (and the sad state of the hardwood floors, but that's another post altogether...) in Zoƫ's room:
But there is also so much good!  Making Smores in the little fire pit in the side yard:


So much room to run around:
And custom made swings that you DON'T HAVE TO SHARE WITH ANYONE (some days it feels like I'm the only one with toddlers...)
More, and sooner next time, I promise.  We have lots of projects that we've already finished -- I installed my first toilet!  Also many things that are on the needles -- some that I wish would just get off of my needles already, but one stitch at a time.  Now that I'm back in the loving embrace of regularly scheduled babysitters I have a bit more time to tell you what's going on.  Also, cleaning for showings was a full time job, so not having to do that is AWESOME.  I'm using that time to stare at my navel, though, not for blogging ;)

Talk to you soon!

Kim