Renovation Thinking

We had a sad moment yesterday when we realized that one of the new bathroom light fixtures was too messed up to use and must be returned and exchanged. I am so eager to have the bathroom project done, but I had to order that light fixture in, so no telling when the next one can be procured.

If I am smart, I’ll use this time without the light fixture to install recessed lighting over the bathtub, as it seems the darker paint has darkened the entire room down a little too well. But I am not sure if I am feeling that smart at the moment.

So, as I am on hold with the bathroom, and STILL regularly changing my mind about flooring in the kitchen/dining room, I figured I’d take a few photos of that and try to gear myself into looking at flooring options rather than obsessing over the not quite finished bathroom.

Here’s the dining room, with the transition between living room and dining room. We have lovely hardwood floors throughout the entire house, except the kitchen and dining room, which is carpeted. I believe that a kitchen has NO BUSINESS being carpeted. And I had hoped that this would be the first change we’d make. It didn’t work out that way, when I realized that the moisture in the bathroom was getting behind the walls badly, and I don’t regret taking care of that before it became a very large problem. But now I need to think about flooring again.

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Under the carpet is 1960s linoleum. (Or vinyl, not sure which, but I am learning that they are two different things.) It’s covered in carpet glue, and even if it wasn’t, I couldn’t restore it and stick with blue, as it seems to be orange and yellow tones. Our kitchen and dining room are blue, and the countertops are blue toned as well, so orange and yellow are right out.

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Here’s the transition into the kitchen. Beyond that is the entryway for the side door and also leading into the basement.

Now, let’s talk about this kitchen and this house for a moment. The home has wonderful mid century details, and Mr. Ink and I have been working hard to keep as many of those details as possible while still keeping up the house properly. Unfortunately, this kitchen was redone in the mid 1980s, and there ARE no mid century details left. Those cabinets look pure ’80s to me. And I do not like them.

I originally wanted to go with marmoleum flooring, as it’s as close to original linoleum (not vinyl) that I could get. But, I had trouble finding places that sell it and install it.

I switched my thoughts to laminate flooring in my overwhelming urge to do as much of the work myself as is possible. I even had settled on something I liked well enough. And then kept hearing reports that maybe it wasn’t the wisest choice for a kitchen. While I am not too worried about the kitchen itself (besides a disaster like a sink leak or dishwasher leak while we weren’t home) I did start to think about the fact that the entryways we use the most all put us on that flooring first. And in the snow or rain, I will need something that really holds up.

So while I had repeatedly said I most certainly did NOT want vinyl, I changed my mind, decided on vinyl for the ease of taking care of it, and as a cheap option in case I decide to redo the kitchen completely in the future.

And in my search for vinyl I liked, I came across a company that seems to install marmoleum. So I’ve come full circle. We look at flooring this week or this weekend.

But, as far as that kitchen goes, I think that painting the cabinets and getting new hardware for them will freshen things up quite a bit, in addition to new flooring. In the future, perhaps we can get cabinets that are a bit more simple looking, and fit our mid century theme.

 

Singles

My work on the 8 oz. of BMFA sheep to shoe kit continues. I’d say I am about 2/3 of the way through the fiber at this point.

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I’ve been spinning it both on the wheel and on spindles, as spindles hurt my hands less, but wheel spinning is faster. I just keep switching things up. And considering the progress, that seems to be working for me.

Mr. Ink wants to go out to see a movie. I am willing to admit it, I’d rather stay at home, clean the house, and spin! Especially since it’s only going to be 5F when we leave the house. Just a bit too cold for my taste. At least this weekend.

I hope everyone else is staying nice and toasty warm this weekend!

Knitting

As with spinning, my knitting has been taken in very small chunks lately. Thankfully, the current project lends itself well to small chunks of time. The entrelac lace is engaging, and finishing one block feels very satisfying.

Unfortunately, in the current state of my hands, I can’t actually complete an entire block at once. But, still, I do get small completions on a regular basis.

It’s grown quite a bit since I last took a photograph so I figured today was a good day for that, as I am at the end of a row.

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I used a red bead for the first row of lily of the valley patterned blocks, and then realizing I wouldn’t have enough for the entire project, switched to a white/clear bead combo for the second row. I think I’ll get some dark green for the third row.

I’ve always wanted to create a perfectly blocked lace project as a wall hanging, and in the end, this might be it. It matches my living room so perfectly, and all that lovely lace is just likely to get a little lost in scarf form. This is also great since I won’t have to worry too much about length. I’ll knit until it looks like I’ve just enough yarn for the borders, do them, and then I’ll have a completed wall hanging.

I can’t wait to see it blocked out!

A Little Bit

As with all my projects right now, everything is moving forward a little bit at a time. I got a little more time during an evening meeting on the scarf I posted yesterday. The meeting was about 20 minutes long, and basically all of my crafting works best in 20 minute increments. So it was perfect. 20 minutes of knitting time, then rest and return home.

I’ve also been spinning in about 20 minute increments. I am working on a Blue Moon Fiber Arts sheep to shoe kit. Those of you who have worked with these know it’s 8 oz. of fiber. I am spinning it quite thin, because it has so very little color that I want to 3 ply and pop as much color in different areas of the final yarn that I can.

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I am also predrafting this really well, which is unnecessary with a sheep to shoe kit, but it seems to be easier on my hands. I’ve always been slightly scornful of predrafting good fiber, as I’ve just never been a person who has needed to. But I am NOT scornful now! It allows me to actually get spinning done, and I kinda like that.

AS it’s 8 oz, I doubt it’ll get done this weekend, but I do hope to put in as much time as is possible on it.

Growth

I would like to stop saying this, but it’s been a rough week around here! Getting back into the swing of things at work while still being quite ill, and too many terrible bits of news about different people in my life, I am, again, feeling I am at a limit.

It really doesn’t help that scraping the backs of all those tiles really ruined my hands. I suspect it’s going to take a good long while for them to heal. I wake up at about 4:30 am, and sleep only a little between that time and the time I have to get up, because my hands are fast asleep or in a good deal of pain during that time. Knitting and spinning are both causing a good deal of pain a lot more quickly than they normally would.

And, being ill, biking is out of the question. So, basically, all my coping mechanisms are off the table. So frustrating!

This week at work, I’ve put in a total of 3 hours on the scarf for Mr. Ink’s mom. I suspect this knit is going to bore me to tears, but at least there’s progress. Consistent progress. It’s an easy pattern, I have it memorized, and best of all, I REALLY like the way it’s turning out. The colors are lining up well, the texture breaks up any pooling that might be noticeable, it’s really good! If I felt better, I think I’d be very pleased with it.

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Yarn is Yarn Pirate Merino Tencel. I am not a huge fan of tencel blends, but the soft silkiness is really quite appealing on this one.

 

More Spinning

Once my cold left me feeling well enough to be a bit more upright, I started spinning on support spindles. Knitting was too hard, sitting in a chair to spin on my wheel was too hard, but spinning with support spindles was just right.

In no time flat, I had managed to finish a braid entirely on my support spindles. So, I decided to ply it on my wheel once I felt better.

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I wanted to do a nice soft low twist ply 2 ply for lace knitting. I achieved that, this BFL silk combo is extremely soft! And it’s 470 yards, which is great!

I had really hoped it would match the skein I did of this colorway in the past. But that? Didn’t quite happen…

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The saturation point of these two were vastly different. But, combined, I have almost 1000 yards. So, I might have to make it a case of alternating every other row to use them together.

That being said, I have no particular project in mind, so I don’t really know exactly what I’ll do with them.

A Scarf Owed

I meant to knit Mr. Ink’s mom a scarf for Christmas. I decided on a clapotis, because I figured it would be a fun little knit I could work on anywhere. Except….I got to the decreases and realized it wasn’t much more than a neck warmer. It wasn’t going to be scarf length AT ALL. I realized this a couple days before Christmas, at the same time that the bathroom walls were coming down.

Leaving me no time at all to do anything about it except rip back and try something new in the new year. I gave her a card for Christmas, with an “I owe you” message.

With the bathroom done, and me having a bit more knitting time, I started that scarf. I chose the Railyard Scarf, as it looked simple and like it might lend itself nicely to the chosen yarn.

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I like it! The pattern is easily memorizable and repetative, and the colors aren’t doing terrible things to the scarf. This is a MUCH better option and I am glad I chose it. All that needs done now is just to knit until I have no yarn left.