reno nation

captain, it appears we have achieved a ceiling for the unit in question.

if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that some part of our house is always under construction.

in december, we emptied the studio i’d been using for the last six years

so that david could gut and renovate it to match the adjoining newly-completed workroom

demo took a while; one wall that had three layers of old wallboard and the rest had multiple layers of wallpaper and “faux finishes”. plus, he had to “button up” the old areas of plaster he wanted to restore to secure them.

then he found a leak in the roof once the dropped ceiling was removed; while he waited for the roofer to fix it, he completely rewired the room and fixed a bad vent pipe situation that was going on.

the room has been completely sealed off during all this to keep the rest of the house free from grit and i haven’t traversed the triple-plastic-sheeted doorway or ventured through plastic-lined tunnel to see the progress; i mean, what progress and what would i have to add to it, right??

i just pay the roofer and the credit card bill—that’s my job.
at the end of our work day on friday, david casually mentioned he was making a trek to home depot.

two hours later, he drove up in a big rental truck with a load of over-sized wallboard, about a dozen bags of plaster, all sorts of other stuff, and—the icing on the cake if you love DIY—a wallboard lift.

you know what that means?

we are getting walls and a ceiling. yay.
now that we are rid of the old dropped ceiling, the new one one could be placed back in the original position (about a foot higher) which will improve the lighting angles immensely.

it was a noisy weekend, full of the whining sound of screws going through wallboard, but worth it. i think the next step is plastering, which will bring the room out of the dark and into the light (pssst, my personal stash is sealed inside that closet, like a time capsule).

david likes to restore the old plaster whenever possible (i just love that scraped surface; i wish we could keep it that way), and this is possible for three walls, but one whole wall needs to be replaced as well as the ceiling, so he’ll do new plaster over the wallboard he’s installing (as in all the other rooms he’s done).

i tried not to let the incessant noise get to me—i know there’s no way around it and that some day, this house will be a light-filled sanctuary of clean and quiet (at least, that’s what i tell myself). but the whining drill does wear on one after a bit . . .
so as much as possible, i plugged in my headphones this weekend and escaped into my knitting and my book (i didn’t think this book would be so engrossing, but it is).

i got a couple more repeats done on the knitting notions baby blanket. it looks so neat and crisp, i can’t get over it. the yarn is super soft so i didn’t expect such great stitch definition and clean edges. the fabric has the merest amount of stiffness, which i’m glad for, because that means there’s room to grow in the blocking without losing the texture.

the washes of subtle color changes are fully visible now and looking gorgeous—like a really successful sky-and-cloud painted ceiling. kudos on the yarn and colorway catherine, it’s beautiful!

i also got lots done on my neon STR sock; working with heavier sock yarn is so gratifying and the colorway is sheer joy (a rare gem). i wrote the pattern for a normal leg length, but after weighing my yarn, i decided to add a repeat for my own pair. it’s nice if heavy socks are higher than my boots to keep the wind out. i hope i won’t end up paying for this later . . .

i love the texture and what it does to the overall fabric. mmm.

part of the weekend was spent working on patterns, bookkeeping, and meeting with the tax accountant (they’re done, yay!). i think i’m honing in on a new design for the beret, which i hope to begin working on that tonight. and i have a new shawl design brewing that is keeping me preoccupied . . .

in the meantime, i also got some inches added on to the other new sock, a cabled affair in fearless fibers MCN luxury in colorway sublime.

it’s a completely different sock knitting experience and a nice change of pace from the heavier, brighter sock—soothing. this cable has a bit of lace to lighten it up—i tried to get a photo, but i’m not sure if you can really see the full texture.

it’ll be easier to see once i can put it on my foot.

i gotta get going soon, but before i do, i want to mention a change in my schedule for the philly trip . . . i will now be teaching at loop both days of that weekend (april 10-11). we are adding a day of saturday lace classes to the loop lineup; please visit craig’s site to read more information about them and to register; it promises to be a really fun weekend!

tomorrow, i’ll be guest blogging at craig’s blog—i’ll let you know where to look . . .

29 Responses to “reno nation”

  1. Jody says:

    I do love the smell of Home Depot…it’s fun to see your project progressing. And much less noisy from over here! I’ve lived through a major remodel, so I feel for you in the noise dept. It will be wonderful when it’s done though!! Love that neon sock–that makes me want to buy something bright and cheery to work on! And that baby blanket is just scrumptious. Sending warmer weather your way–we’re to hit 70 on Wed. Woo hoo! No sign of my May Apples yet, but I did spot a Trillium and my Jacob’s Twin Leaf is making a move–it goes from ‘where is it?’ to blooming in a pretty short span.

  2. Elizabeth in VT says:

    I need to rent David. For a month or so. Please …

  3. jill says:

    I am convinced that no one sleeps at your house. Srsly!

  4. livnletlrn says:

    Oh, a wallboard lift, a DIY old house reno-er’s best friend! To me, that signals light at the end of the tunnel, at least for the room du jour! Until then, it feels like we’re working backwards, undoing all the previous remuddling. Once that first zzzzippp sounds to signal sheetrock being held in place, it seems to go fast(er). (“Fast” is, of course, relative, considering that it takes us about a year per room.) Yay for those 8- and 12-foot sheets!

  5. Carol Cairns says:

    So, is anyone test knitting those beautiful neon STR socks yet? They are just wonderful! Tina really has a gift for color, and, it’s possible that I have a skein or seven of STR lying around. I can’t wait until the pattern is available!

  6. Kim says:

    Oohh…I LOVE the fearless fiber sock pattern!

    Yay to David for getting a sheetrock lift!! I won’t tell you about my experience while putting up the ceiling in my studio this summer other than to say I am very lucky to be alive. ;-)

  7. Yes, good patterns for STR are quite welcome!

    You are so lucky that David is so motivated! But you knew that…

  8. Claudine says:

    Cool renovations!

    I was wondering with the baby blanket if you are alternating skeins at all to create the tonal/pooling shifts or if you are just letting the skeins do their thing. I am in the middle of a project right now where I did some spit splicing as recommended to even things out and now wish I would have let things go.

    I really like the cables. Totally new looking. I like how they undulate with the colors.

  9. Shelda says:

    Wow! Now that’s a remodeling project! Serious stuff, that. David is so cool. I’m so impressed I’m nearly speechless ;)

  10. jody says:

    Oh how I wish that Scott knew David before he tore out our 160 yr old plaster walls! We are also under construction – small world.
    The baby blanket is amazing – will the pattern be ready soon?
    Jody from TheDailyFiber

  11. June says:

    How lucky you are to have a dedicated Handy Hubby! That’s awesome. My hubby can fix anything related to computers (and I mean that literally), but when it comes on to getting his hands dirty, we hire plumbers, electricians, etc, or learn to live without.

  12. nancy schwartz sternoff says:

    wow your project is huge! thank heavens for the perfect david.
    love the baby blanket, just love it.
    and i’m jealous because all i’ve been doing is cooking for Passover!

  13. catherine says:

    Thank you! I love how the blankie is looking so far and will definitely have to make one for our new little one. :)

  14. Ann says:

    The cables on your sock look great. You are so amazing to put up with all the renovation & still coming up with new designs. I don’t think I can do anything as I am easily distracted. Have a great weekend.

  15. Roseann says:

    Anne you and your life amaze me. Biggest thing in my life this weekend was the schnauzer eating the hummus. Can we trade?

  16. Theresa says:

    David is awesome. But what will he do with himself once the house is all done? As someone else said – perhaps you could rent him out… ;)

  17. amanda says:

    wallboard – how exciting! i think it’s really neat that david redoes the plastering/saves it where possible – you don’t really see that anymore (to my knowledge).

    i really like the wavy pattern of that last sock. it’s fun!

  18. vickie says:

    The FF fibers MCN sock is reminding me of your Open and Folds scarf which is very exciting to me. I just love that pattern!

  19. Gina says:

    LOVE the new cabled sock and Oh….do you think you could clone David??

  20. Sarah says:

    Isn’t it wonderful to have a handy husband around to renovate for you? I’m very envious!

  21. Mary says:

    I was the wallboard lift for my father when as a teenager I helped him remodel the basement of our home into a bedroom, a darkroom, a laundry room and a family room. Did I mention that I also hauled bricks (up a hill) one summer and mixed cement to build a 10′ long fireplace and the chimney? Let’s just say I can really appreciate all David’s hard work. Great job.

  22. Laurie says:

    Wow, wow, WOW, for the knitting projects, especially that neon sock!

    Could I borrow David? I think I’m just a couple hours south of you and need a lot of work done… ;-) My husband is the singularly most UNhandy man on this planet…

  23. Lorraine says:

    Anne- I love plaster walls- alas, it is a dying art.

    Just think how wonderful it will be when it’s done.

  24. Linda says:

    That room is going to be so nice when it is done. Its hard work!

  25. Dolores says:

    I’m so impressed with what both of you accomplish!! How do you both stay so focused and motivated day after day??

    (Any suggestions?)

  26. Helen says:

    Sighhh. David does drywall? By himself? I am sure he could fix the leak from the skylight that abuts our pantry that was “fixed” five years ago.
    I would take the plaster walls any day over drywall. Especially with all that dust. Ewww.
    Your house is going to be magnificent when it is done.

  27. janna says:

    You’re so lucky David is so handy! And so cool that he’s ‘restoring’ the plaster! (Also – love the lacey cabley sock.)

  28. Beth says:

    I am curious. Why does he like keeping the plaster so much? Everyone I’ve talked to says rip it out in tones that make me think they’re gardeners talking about invasive plants. It seemed a little irrational, but they all say it’s just too much trouble to deal with and should be ripped out altogether.

    Do you or he have any pointers for learning how to deal with plaster as we have plaster walls and I have been petrified of starting any minor renovation projects for fear of having to remove/redo entire walls.

    Thank You!

  29. Jeanann says:

    Wow, I am impressed! Isn’t it nice to have a man that’s handy like that! I have one of those too and its always fun around the house. Love, Love Love the sock by the way!