although we opted not to put in our usual vegetable garden this year during the house renovation, we do still have a garden with lots happening—every day something new comes to light, like the mophead hydrangeas beginning their blooming cycle this week.
they are at that lovely stage where the buds and leaves are thick and unearthly green; the new petals are delicate and fresh, brushed with pale pink, blue, and purple washes of color. it might be my favorite blooming thing in the whole season.
from the number of buds weighting down the bushes, we are in for a treat this year in blooms, not to mention how much everything is filling out. our perennials are having a field day with all the rain we’re getting and continuing cool temps are keeping everything happy and lush. what a change from last year, yay.
what am i saying—not just a nice change from last year, but a spectacular change from what we are looking at inside the house, haha.
you wanted that wallpaper gone? well, it’s outta here.
the demo is going pretty well so far, though we had quite a shock on friday. it started out in the normal demo way, lots of noise and banging underfoot. my study and temporary office is just above the area where the work is happening; everyone else has moved to the downstairs office space. our kitchen has moved to the enclosed porch at the far end of the lower floor.
they have been making excellent progress ripping out cabinets, walls, flooring, etc.
and because of my new perch, i get to hear a lot of what’s going on in the work zone, for good or for bad, haha. i must not have been paying attention friday though, because all of a sudden, someone started up a gasoline powered tool of some kind and began sawing through the wall of the dining room where it joins to the old office space, to cut the new opening between the two rooms.
now in most homes, this would be a mere matter of knocking out a bunch of plaster and/or wallboard, but in our home it means cutting through two courses of foundation blocks because it used to be an exterior wall. our old office used to be an outdoor porch that was converted to indoor space many decades back to make a doctor or dentist office.
sawing through all that is a mighty chore for even the most robust of sawzall-type tools. i’m still not exactly sure what that mofo beast looked like but when it started doing its thang, the house instantly filled with billowing clouds of exhaust and brick dust. oy vey
it’s not that we didn’t know it was going to happen, we just didn’t know it was going to happen friday morning. and naturally, we were not prepared, haha. nothing was dust sheeted (not that that would have helped), nothing was protected (except the yarn; we keep the yarn in covered boxes at all times, as far away from the fray as we can get it).
haha, i leaped from my desk when i saw what was happening and ran to wake david up (yes, he was actually sleeping through the racket, which is either a testimonial to how thick our walls are or proof that he utterly exhausted himself getting the house ready while i was gone last week). well by that time of course, there was nothing to be done; within moments every single thing in my upstairs study was covered with a fine veil of brick dust and i was choking from the fumes. i couldn’t leave though, because i had to finish my june chapter! time to put on blinders and get the job done (oh wait, blinders might not be needed after all).
sometimes i’m just gobsmacked by extent to which i live in a parallel universe.
and now, i’ve got the portal to prove it, haha.
anyway, at first, it sounded smart for me to move up here where i could work alone and in my familiar space. however, there is a lot of fallout from the reno work that i didn’t visualize beforehand—the noise is one thing, but the air quality is quite compromised, too; i may be forced to move, not sure yet.
i’ve been lobbying for a while to find offsite accommodations for our growing office, but david has not been in favor of that option; this may tip the scales in that direction. we live in a neighborhood where floorspace can be had quite cheaply, so it wouldn’t hurt to explore . . .
oh, BTW, did you happen to notice the treasure that was uncovered when some of the old floral wallpaper was torn away? in case you thought the scenery in the dining room was just too cheerful, there’s always this option
birch trees, my favorite!
maybe not in such an insane density though; what do you think?
seriously, i thought i had seen everything.
i actually prefer this paper in some sort of weird way; it’s more “my colors” and certainly calmer than the schizoid flower pattern. of course, i say that now, but if i had to live with it for eleven years, i’d probably more than ready to rip it to shreds.
le sigh; let’s talk about something else, shall we?
my sea pearl cardigan is growing like crazy; it’s such easy knitting that it’s flying off the needles. last night i split the body from the sleeves and am now working my way down to the hem. with about half the sts on the needles now, it should go quickly. i will soon have to begin the pattern for the lower body, so i need to chart out my plan this and have that ready to go. i’m excited!
i haven’t really talked much about the design but my idea is to create a fabric surface that has the appearance of arts and crafts pottery, such as van briggle or roseville. the simple linear detail you see in the upper area will drop down to a more complex motif of interwoven leaves of some type. i’ve narrowed my choices down to a couple of options and i think i know which one is going to work best, but i may still change my mind.
i need to swatch those patterns out to see if the gauge will change and by how much—that way i’ll know if i need to change my stitch count for the lower body.
in other news, we’ll be working all week to prepare for TNNA; sarah and i leave friday morning to meet up with erica in columbus. this year we’ll have a booth space under the umbrella of deep south fibers, a new distributor for knitspot patterns. we’ll be doing a meet and greet on saturday afternoon in the mountain meadow wools booth and one on sunday in the deep south fibers area. we are so looking forward to seeing colleagues and meeting industry people who are new to us at the show; if you’re going, please stop by to say hello and chat.
now here’s a sight for sore eyes—it’s strawberry season in our area and we are getting ahead of things by packing the freezer with as many as we can before we lose the staircase to our basement, haha.
since i did get my chapter done with time to spare, beckie and i drove south to dover this morning in search of a farm stand we heard about from barb. this entailed some roundabout driving as we thought we might find a second stand in the area.
i worked on my ghillie sock while we chatted and got lost, then found. it was excellent.
in the end there was just the one farm stand, so we bought up all they had left and took them back to beckie’s house to prep and pack into freezer bags.
she was generous in letting me work in her kitchen and take home the berries we got today. i’ll go out again tomorrow and tuesday in search of more; hopefully we’ll get all we want this week, because after my trip they won’t be available any more.
after TNNA, i’m heading directly to ontario, canada to teach for several days (june 27 through 30) at shall we knit? in waterloo. we’re doing lace, charts, and blocking while i’m there—you should join us if you’re nearby. our all-day project class will be the pea vines shawl, a great project for summer.
which reminds me, i need to get my mini pea vines finished up before i leave.
alright then, time to go post some patterns. sorry i did not get that scottish reel pattern up on friday as planned; it literally got lost in the shuffle. and now it’s time to release a club pattern so tomorrow the sheltie triangle goes up for sale and the cowl will go up before i leave for TNNA instead. enjoy!