she’s a head-banger and plastered, too

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so, i came home from new mexico last week to discover that, after three years of looking at the dark underside of the third floor sub-floor (say it three times fast), we are finally getting a new ceiling in the center stair hall.

david said he wanted to do the job himself (natch), even though it would require some special equipment and could possibly be dangerous (oh joy). he figgers he’s saving about $1200 (we’ll see about that). so he decided to do the job while i was away. i was glad . . . working in the two-story space normally requires this

i can’t rest at all when that is going on, much less knit with peace of mind. david wisely suggested that if he worked on it while he was alone in the house (i had visions of dead husband sprawled over the lower-hall floorboards), the mess and turmoil would be mostly cleared away by the time i got back. so it was with much anticipation that i entered the house last sunday.

but alas, things were as normal—all behind schedule. nothing is as efficient in reality as it is in one’s mind during the planning. that said, the project has not caused as much disturbance as we’d imagined (maybe that’s why “we” are not feeling so much urgency to make it move faster).

david set up a good, sturdy staging platform from which to work

with sliding plywood sheets that he can move across the gap as needed. and since he is a very clean worker and always tidies up nicely each night, the mess isn’t too bad either.
there’s just one thing . . .

wanna guess how many times i have knocked my head on the @&%$* joist supporting the platform? geesh.
i’ll go way out on a limb here and predict that i’ll just about have it down to a science when that platform needs to be dismantled. such is life.

so anyway . . . i do have to say that the new ceiling is excellent. the light up there is already enthralling and the skim coat of plaster hasn’t even been applied yet. once that’s up, burnished and waxed, that space is going to be awesome (well, as much as it can be for now; we still need to rip down that wallpaper and do something about the tacky railings someone installed on the cheap).

with all that soft, glowy light, we should be able to use it for photo shoots. that’ll be a lot warmer than doing them all out in the snow.

david’s also playing with something new he bought on ebay. ok, actually, he’s re-doing the bathroom he just finished re-doing. just one part (so he says)—apparently the wood slab he installed as a vanity was temporary (wow, really, coulda fooled me; i thought it looked great). he intended all along to replace it with this

who knew you could buy slabs of black walnut on ebay. (well, obviously david knew . . .)
i admit, it’s pretty stunning. it’s going to look great up there. and hopefully then we’ll be really done.
as in fini.

ok, now that i have that off my mind, let’s talk about knitting.

first, i need to announce that anne at wooly wonka fibers is taking signups now for her 2009 Shakespeare in Lace Club. her Change in Seasons club was very popular this year, featuring unique, hand-dyed and artisan yarns along with fresh, new designs for each installment. the new club promises to be equally intriguing.

like i said, there hasn’t been much quantifiable knitting going on around there this week. i’m still feeling a bit jumbled in my mind from traveling, but also i’ve been working hard to systematically reduce the number of items on my to-do list.

i had several submissions i needed to get ready which required plenty of swatching and knitting but nothing to show for it really.. however, i did start a much-needed hat

this is a nice, lightweight-but-warm hat which will have cables next time you see it. it’ll match the wiggle mitts i finished up recently.

i just love this yarn from new hue handspuns . . . it’s truly soft enough to wear against my ears and across my forehead, where most yarns are troublesomely itchy. it’s so cozy; i’m gonna love having a hat in it.

i’ll need a heavier hat too, for the bitter cold months, so i’m thinking about starting that next. i tend to put off knitting for myself, so this year i’m thinking that if i do the ones for me first, then i’ll finally have what i need, instead of borrowing that old army-colored one from bin (army-colored hat + gray hair = bleccch).

i do love to knit a hat alright—they are quick and fun and i can do them while i watch TV. it’s a great way to use up a skein that’s too little for a scarf. it’s also a great way to use up DK and worsted yarns.

i have some gorgeous nearly-black color blends from briar rose that i’m going to look at for winter hats and mitts this year, as well as some beefier sport weight yarns i’ve been saving for the same type of project. as we head toward deep winter and the holidays, i’d like to have these projects coming off the needles on a regular basis—someone always needs a hat or mitts, including me.

it’s nice to be thinking about denser knits and heavier yarns that wait patiently in my stash.

yesterday i got a nice box in the mail from norma, whose hilariously addictive blog is an absolute must-read for me (she writes every day, too). well, recently norma had a little fund-raiser for the red scarf project and the orphan foundation of america, two organizations that give a leg up to kids who are aging out of the foster care system and want to go to school or pursue careers (they do great work; please take a moment to read about it).

anyway, i won a prize in her fundraising raffle, which arrived yesterday

eight skeins of magpie tweed—whoa. that’s enough to make a really nice sweater.
and i love the color. thanks norma!

BTW, the red scarf project will be accepting scarves for care packages until december 15th. the packages are sent to college kids without families at valentine’s day i think. please consider sending a scarf (there are guidelines and patterns on the red scarf blog) along for this wonderful cause—kids really appreciate receiving the care packages. and if you’d rather forward a few bucks instead, that wouldn’t be at all unappreciated.

all in all norma’s fundraiser collected a whopping sum of somewhere near $8,000 which goes to supply kids with necessities such as postage, stationery, toiletries, snacks, and other useful items that are often priced out of a strict budget.

well done norma—thank you so much.

and now i’m done too . . . until next time.

21 thoughts on “she’s a head-banger and plastered, too

  1. Can you hang a sheet or something off that beam so you are reminded of its presence before you bonk your head?
    (And also, whenever DH tells me how long a project will take, I mentally double it and still come out too optimistic…)

  2. ouch. I would have been sprawling on the stairs by know if I was you, from repetitive forehead smashings. It looks great though!

  3. You could use the headbanger to hang your laundry!!
    But he deserves a Yeah! for a great job on the ceiling.

  4. For a minute there I thought you had solved my problem of how to work in the stairwell, but not quite. I refuse to make the scaffolding my father made that scared me to death just watching him clean the wallpaper! Now that wallpaper has been painted over and, you guessed it, not doing well in the farrrrr corner of the stairwell. Sigh. So glad you and David are OK through this chore. Can hardly wait for the next chapter!

  5. Ooh, head-wackage is back. Rick does it all the time, and it looks like it really, really hurts! I love the Red Scarf project; I’m so glad they’re accepting later this year! Must go find red yarn…

  6. I knew when norma announced you’d won that,you’d be thrilled. She’s a peach to do so much for that organization.

    I have to tell MY David about the Ebay wood purchasing. He’s been worried about where to find hardwoods in NM.

  7. Wow! I have the exact same staging in my hallway right now compliments of my husband but I think I’ll keep to myself how long it has been out there ; )

  8. You’re always little busy beavers over there! The yarns are gorgeous, and I love the wiggle mitts. I had seen where you won the yarn (I look at her blog, occasionally). Like you need more yarn flung at you!!! HA! I laughed when I saw you had won that yarn. You lucky girl, you.

  9. I’m still laughing at your title. This post was filled with so much! Slabs of wood on eBay? I guess you can buy ANYthing on eBay. Which is pretty cool, when you think about it. 😀

    Glad you love the yarn — I knew you would, and I’m so glad it went to somebody who will truly know what to do with it! Can’t wait to see what that turns out to be. I’ll be honest here: I had serious donor remorse about it, but knowing it went to you made it all better. 🙂

    XO

  10. Hi Anne,
    i think it is very difficult to express what i would like to say…. i love houses with such pretty stairs – it is also a room of the house and this warm wood.
    We have an old schoolhouse (approx. 104 years old) and the stairs are also very nice

    thanks for this fotos

  11. Sympathies on the home remodeling — our 115-year-old house still isn’t ‘done’ (of course) and every project turns into a very complicated situation, some how. Right now, my back porch was ripped off two and half years ago by my husband (because it was leaky; it was actually added on later) and he still hasn’t reconstructed it. We go up stairs cobbled together right into the kitchen. Sigh. He’s a busy musician (and does much of the kid chauffeuring) so even though he knows how to do all this stuff, the time and tunnel vision is lacking.

    The wood is — just Wow.

    And you are a slightly evil enabler and I love it. I signed up for the Woolly Wonka Shakespeare in Lace Club. It sounds amazing. I’m rather picky about the lace I knit, and wouldn’t sign up sight unseen, but the descriptions of the patterns and yarn are extremely enticing. Yay!

  12. Oh, all of your handsome DIY remodeling projects make me green! My fiancee and I just bought a beautiful, 1947 house that we’d like to remodel a bit (the last owners did several things, as you called it, on the cheap). Can you send your apparently talented husband to Atlanta for a bit? We promise we’d send him back! 🙂

  13. heh heh… perhaps you need to be wearing one of those lovely woolen hats you’ve made whenever you climb the stairs (giggles)
    I’m so glad that you and Cheryl connected up – her yarns are amazing.

  14. Great, another Etsy seller to add to my list of favourites… And even though I’m sure the constant renovations are a pain in the arse (or in this case, the head!), I envy the space and history of your house.

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