More homework, less knitting.

The success of the sewing area reorganization inspired us to move on to another problem area in our house. We have a hallway that leads to our one bathroom, and it was a hot mess. We should have dealt with it before we even moved into the house. But we didn’t. Anyway, we ripped out the ugly built in storage shelves, took down the faux wood paneling, painted the walls, pulled up the carpet and old linoleum, and put down a tile floor.

My Dad and I laid the tile, and it was the first time either of us did tiles. I must say, we did a very good job. The room still needs more work; painting, electrical stuff, baseboards, and all those little things to make it look finished. Then I’ll head back to IKEA for more Expedit shelves, because I love them so much. When it’s “finished finished” I’ll show you fancy pictures. If you’re interested, here are some progress pictures.

All this very satisfying home improvement work has left me little time for knitting. I’m working on a pair of stranded mittens (big surprise, right?) for a swap, thinking about potholders for a swap, and doing more of the “behind the scenes” work on my blog that I’ve mentioned before.

By the way, if you are reading on the blog, I hope you like the new look! If you’re reading via feed reader, click through and check it out.  I’ll talk more about the new look next time, and hopefully there will also be more knitting content, instead of just a random picture of my favorite forsythia in the whole neighborhood (which also happens to be in my very own back yard). Spring, it is nigh.



I Want to Sew

Showing you the “before” picture in the last post was the best idea I ever had. It motivated me to get the space cleaned up and quick, so I could get to the “after” picture. I posted the picture on Monday. Here’s another (worse?) before picture:

Sewing Table - before

After I had everything removed from this corner and put in bins or bags for temporary containment, I cut the table in half. The goal was to make it fit directly under the shelves.  But then I had a eureka moment and realized I could move the shelves to the wall next to the window in order to give me more room for the new shelf.

By Monday night, the table and the shelves were in their new location, ready for me to come home from Ikea on Tuesday with a 4×4 Expedit. It was insanely fun to put together, took well under an hour (40 minutes maybe?), and was finished just in time for Gerald to come home from work and help me move it into place.

On Wednesday morning I began filling up the new shelf. My main goal was to get things contained. Like, literally, in a container. I used a bunch of containers that I got at Ikea, some that I picked up at Walmart, and a whole lot of bins that I already had. As I was putting things on the new shelf, I was realized that even with all the new space, I wasn’t going to have room for everything. Then I had Eureka moment #2. I had about 3 bins full of dyeing supplies and equipment. I can’t even remember when I used them last, so they got moved out to the shed. Now everything inside has a home, without looking stuffed or cluttered.

I’m very proud of how the new shelf works in my room!

skirt and sewing machine cover

I sewed a matchy-matchy sewing machine cover and table skirt. Although it’s a lot of green, I think I like how it all looks! Everything has a home, and everything is contained! Makes me want to sew something! I actually found a few projects while cleaning up that I could work on…a few quilts, pajama patterns for the kids.

I’ve always enjoyed my Longaberber baskets, and now they are actually being useful and pretty!


Below is the whole shelf, and organized and looking tidy! The large white and green boxes have yarn. The bottom row of bins holds a mix of yarn and sewing notions. I’m so happy to know that if I ever need hook and eye closures in a future sewing project I DO NOT NEED TO BUY ANYMORE.

Sewing Table - After!

I put sticky, removable hooks on the side of the shelf to hold bags. Since they’re isn’t much space between the shelf and the table (about 14″), this was a perfect place to put them.

hooks on the side

When I’m ready to sew, I can set up the ironing board right in front of my new shelf, now that I have all this space! The picture below also shows the stool I got at Ikea, that I almost didn’t buy because I had bought so much already. But everyone loves it (esp. Maggie) and I’m so glad I decided to buy it.

Sewing Table - After!

Below is how this corner looks in the context of my bedroom, with my little helper flopping around trying to hide from the camera.

Sewing Table - After!

Yay for reorganization!

her red shoes

Finally got the required gauge on my Talkeetna hat, and it turned out super cute!

my sweet, sweet Maggie

my sweet, sweet Maggie

More than anything, I really, really love all the pictures Maggie and I just took outside. She was up for a photo shoot today, probably because we’ve been spending too much time inside this week as we get over our icky colds. And I’m loving the new lens I have on my camera, which takes very nice photos when I set it on auto.

I told her to wear jeans for the pictures, but the red shoes were totally her idea. I love this girl so much!

my sweet, sweet Maggie

The reason I re-made this pattern was two-fold. First, the original mittens are muddy and felted and too small. The hat is fine, but has seen better days. Second, Petite Purls requested samples to take on the road for some trunk shows they’re doing this year. They’ve been so supportive of me and I just love every issue they put out that I couldn’t say no!  I’ll be sending this hat and mitten set off to them next week!

The pattern, which includes both the hat and mittens, is Talkeetna. You can download a pdf here for free, or visit Petite Purls!

In other news, you might have noticed things look somewhat different around here! I’ve updated my blog and will probably spend the next few weeks or so tweaking things. Behind the scenes things like this are most decidedly Not Fun, nor is it my forte, so it might be a while until I get it exactly how I want it. If you have any trouble navigating the site, please let me know, but links should work and you should still be able to get around.

my sweet, sweet Maggie

my sweet, sweet Maggie