Creating a Studio - Part 2
I am still quite a ways from being done, but additional work upstairs today has led to a mostly-complete storage room, with sitting area!
This is a poor-quality shot of my sitting area... to be improved over time with a second chair, so I can have a visitor while knitting. The upstairs of our 1854 house is much warmer and cozier in winter, and very nice light filters in through the window, even though it is small. This chair was upholstered by my step-son's grandmother about 20 years ago (she was a neighbor at the time and taking a class in upholstery at the same time I stumbled upon the chair at a yard sale for $5.00). The stepstool was originally part of a kit I intended to needlepoint for my mother; got the stool stained and constructed, but then covered it with leftover fabric to go with this chair, and made my mama something else).
I would like to install a tabletop/cutting counter along the wall where the large dresser currently sits; that will have to be later this winter.
What you can't tell from this photo is that off to the viewer's left, where the train layout described below, formerly resided, is a huge pile of boxes and tins, containing our excess of Christmas decorations. One thing my DH and I had in common when we wed was a sense of extravagence about decorating for the Christmas season. There are the trimmings to drape the front peak of our Gothic house in icicle lights (see yesterday's post to help you visualize that), enough German glass ornaments and bubble lights to decorate a 10-foot tree in our parlor downstairs, and the trimmings for a tiny tabletop modern tree, and a country-style woodland tree (about 3-4 feet tall), full of bird ornaments I have collected over the years... as well as assorted other decorations.
I have often wished as Christmas approached that I could take the month of December off, and completely decorate every single room of our house, then have parties where children could troop through and visit Santa and Mrs. Claus (I actually happen to know that they spend the off-season in south San Francisco, posing as my friends Kevin and Susan). And, of course, there would be a kitchen full of cookies, cocoa and hot cider waiting at the end of each tour... don't you just love having fantasies!
Aren't these shelves nicely organized! This is probably the only photo I will ever post, as I doubt they will stay so pretty over time... the green plastic box holds cones of sock-machine wools, there are two tall cotton cones on the top white shelf, the vertical loom-type thingie is to weave mohair cinches for equines (something I haven't gotten to yet, although I am part-way through braiding a set of mohair reins). My portable sewing machine capable of machine quilting is in the blue plastic box on the floor far right. there is a colorful basket of washcloth cottons, donated to the Cloths for Katrina project by the Elmer-Pisgah Mills on the middle black shelf.... and that cute stuffed dog, Buster, is sporting the one and only knitted project youngest son ever made, to adorn his favorite toy when he was about six.
This is the reason my DH has been so helpful' he is in the process of moving his train layout from my new studio, into the larger room vacated by my daughter's departure... together, we moved the layout board (with track attached), then the table it rests on, and, after he vacuumed the tracks thoroughly, re-positioned the layout board in it's new location, all this morning!
Destashing by Gifting
I have also been able to do some significant de-cluttering, with DH hauling off a chair and couch my son left behind (that nobody had considered comfortable since my in-laws passed it along to us six years ago), as well as a defunct washing machine. I also put clothes into seasonal storage, and sorted through my large collection of winter hats, scarves, and gloves. I am pleased to report that I will also be helping keep others warm this winter by donating several of these to Women of Worth, a local thrift store run by our battered womens' shelter.
While sorting through old videos, I came across Alice Starmore's Fair Isle video, which I want to watch again, as well as several books/patterns that I am going to offer to you, my dear blog pals. I am NOT putting stuff up for sale, but requesting that if something interests you, and you know you will use it, you send me a few dollars for postage through PayPal.
Here's the list so far:
Mariner's Compass, a quilt mystery by Earlene Fowler
Raw-Edge Applique, by Jodie Davis - "14 fast and fun frayed quilt projects"
Trail of Thread: Historical Letters 1854-1855, A Woman's Westward Journey, by Linda K. Hubalek - this book is considered juvenile fiction, but was an interesting portrayal of the western migration from a woman's point of view
How To Make An American Quilt, by Whitney Otto, a novel that was a bestseller back in the early 1990s.
Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom, by Betty Linn Davenport. Published in 1980, this may well be out of print, but is a great resource for weavers. Yep, I used to have two rigid heddle looms; one is now in use at the local elementary school, under the direction of my dear friend and artist extraordinaire, Cheryl Durrett. Her specialities are hand-made paper and painted gourds, but we figured out how to set this up so that the experience of weaving could always be available in the background of the school day.
Bernat Classics for Babies and Toddlers - 1963; I recently saw one of the children's cardigans reproduced somewhere on the web... great baby and child patterns
Bernat "The School and College Look" - 1958; some patterns definitely vintage, but others classic, including a fair isle cardigan and fair isle round yoke sweater
Spinnerin Continental & Classic Knits - 1958; has some very cute ski sweaters and a couple of vintage 50's coats in it
Hand Knits by Beehive - 1944; twinsets, fine-gauge dresses, a swing coat ... this is totally vintage. I used to pick up these dresses at thrift stores and wear them regularly, back when I was a slim twenty-something, and they could be found for a few dollars apiece. I will NEVER spend my fine-gauge knitting time on these, but will do lace instead!
Columbia Minerva Beehive Yarns Hand Knit and Hand Crochet Fashions - No date, but same era as the above Beehive booklet; the coolest pattern in here is a "short jacketed sheath with lace overskirt", just the kind of outfit Lucy Arnez would have worn. Several suits and a ribbed fingertip coat in worsted (the only pattern I copied with the idea of ever making in this lifetime).
The Crochet Sweater Book, by Sylvia Cosh - 1987; lots of crochet color and texture, but the sweaters were really huge back then. I did make a vest from this book that I still have tucked away in my cedar chest.
Australian Patchwork & Quilting Yearbook, 2002
Knit 1, Spring 2005
Knitting with Dog Hair, by Kendall Crolius and Anne Montgomery - 1994. This is a great resource for you spinners with shaggy dogs, as it details the pluses and minuses of various breeds; I actually spun up some of the brushings from my Aussie Shepherd back in those days.
As you can see, I have been quite the collector, and used to snatch up vintage patterns at the thrift stores... I now don't want to be responsible for all this clutter, and will also be listing many back issues of Vogue Knitting, Knitters, and Interweave over the next few weeks; same deal, free if you will pay postage. If you don't see something you want now, check back later, and I just might have it. I would much rather see someone else get some use out of these items than keep moving them around :)