the most recent development in my second-floor workroom renovation involves the kitchen.
(raise your hand if you just knew it would come to this)
no, we are not installing a shower. we are two months into this one-month project and of course, there’s a long, drawn-out story as to why there’s a big hole with a plastic booth around it in my kitchen as a result of the “cosmetic” renovation we’re doing on the second floor. and of course the story involves getting to the bottom of a mysterious sag in the house in just that spot. but thankfully, it does not involve water or damage due to leakage (when did i start being thankful for not having leakage??).
the sag is pretty significant and localized; you can feel the dip when you walk across the floor near the kitchen door. we just never knew where it came from because nothing about the structure in that area seemed broken or unduly weighty (no bathroom above, for instance). except that little fireplace in my workroom.
then david started exploring and found that the fireplace is essentially sitting unsupported on top of nothing but the floor. behind it in the wall (not a load-bearing wall, mind you), was a defunct vent stack with three huge, cast-iron vent pipes attached, all leading nowhere. previously used for the fireplace that doesn’t work anymore, the old coal stove in the kitchen, and some coal-fired device in the basement that was removed long ago, the hundreds of pounds of cast iron hidden inside the wall were literally dragging us down. plus, they were smack-dab where we’d like to place the opening between the kitchen and dining/gathering room some day. it would mean losing my charming little fireplace, though—we wavered a bit over that. but then we realized we’d be clearing out a huge space between the walls that would be perfectly suited for a
yarn walk-in closet.
we decided that most people would find a big walk-in closet at least as charming as a defunct fireplace that could come crashing through the floor into the dining room at any moment. and certainly it would serve one of my biggest needs from the space. the pipes had to come out.
(now, before we get all weepy about the fireplace going, let me say that the original house plans don’t have a fireplace in that spot, nor the structure to support the brick, concrete, and cast iron involved in having one there. my guess is that someone just had to have it and went ahead regardless of the result—which was the sag, apparently. i bet they were even sorry later . . .).
here are the hundreds of pounds (actually david says it’s about 1,000 pounds) of pipe that came out of the wall
my house is swinging its hair and dancing fancy-free in a sunny meadow just thinking about the weight that’s been lifted from its shoulders.
and the kitchen? not sure where we’re going with that right now; this morning it looked like this
certainly a lot better than the plastic booth we’ve been living with all week, BUT, i’m not sure if it’s temporary (as in two days) or what (as in “might as well leave it til we’re ready to gut that whole room”). who wants to ask something like that?
i have the creeping suspicion that events are forcing the situation closer toward the dreaded kitchen reno, which i try not to think about whenever possible.
i do like the new, conceptual switchplate in there
we always warn people that the place is not terribly kid-friendly.
so, this is a knitting blog and so far i’ve shown you no knitting, even though knitting is my best escape from all that other stuff. and let me just say that escapism is great for getting knitting done.
i’ve got sock progress—lots of it. i’m tooling right along on rimefrost and have about half the foot to go on the first sock. the pattern is written and rachel is proofing it before i send it off to gail for test knitting this week.
bricker has a leg and a heel and i started on the foot. the yarn is so beautiful—miss babs yummy sock in terracopper. it has gorgeous depth and tonal highlights; a really nice color for david. the pattern is easy-going and nice for TV knitting; the cushy merino has a nice twist that makes me happy.
the second holidazed sock is stalled because, well, i sorta forgot about it. it was in my travel bag all week and completely slipped my mind. i’ll catch up with it over the next few days—i don’t want to get behind on second socks.
of course there are good reasons why these things get forgotten—for one, out of sight, out of mind. and for another i’m making great progress on other knits.
i probably have too many items on the needles that are in the same stage of construction right at the moment—everything is about midway to the finish. the coral gables scarf (in shivaya prime merino lace) is my biggest priority for getting finished first. i’m staying on track more or less; i’d like to have it off the needles and blocking by midweek. i think that’s doable if i work on it diligently today and tomorrow.
i do stray though—after a few repeats on the scarf i’m usually ready to take a break and work on something else. my second-string project has been the boxleaf wrap
in briar rose josephine. it’s working up very quickly on size 6 needles in this rustic artisan mohair/coopworth yarn. you can see that the texture of this fabric is fuzzier and has a consistently more like handspun—this yarn is quite different from the one i used for the boxleaf triangle. but so many sport weight yarns would work—this wrap would also knit up beautifully in chris’s grandma’s blessing if you prefer a softer, smoother hand.
another effective escape i took advantage of this week was “getting out of dodge”. my friend beckie emailed me last friday and said: i need a day off, let’s make plans to get out of here.
so we decided that a day of shopping for and eating unusual foods was the thing.
we hit the trail early yesterday for the west side market in cleveland, so as not to miss anything. we shouldn’t really have worried; the market wasn’t nearly as busy on friday as it is on the saturdays i’ve been there.
i stocked up on bread from mediterra, new-to-me salts from narrin’s (i tried hawaiian pink salt and hawaiian salt mix this time), and some fresh pasta. we also went to the asian market and then out for a great thai lunch afterward. and of course we talked the whole time—that’s the best part, right?
have a good weekend everyone; thank you so very much for all your nice compliments and email about maplewing—i’m so happy everyone likes it so well.