A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Creating a Studio

I was so excited to wake up and find that it was fully light outside this morning, not the usual inky black I face... we had a leisurely time over coffee and my DH cooked me breakfast, before we dug in and got to work on the room upstairs that has been designated my studio, now that there are just two of us in this rambling old Gothic house.

Here's a view of our house, as it looked this afternoon, with the donkeys grazing while waiting their turns for foot-trimming from the farrier. From left to right are: Rose, Louise and Rita.

While Glenn fixed the window so that I could open it and let the heat in on sunny winter days, I was busy moving storage objects in place.

I had rounded up a large dresser that my DD had left behind in August and a shelf unit from her former room and my littlest son's, who departed to Sacramento back in April. I was thinking this would be adequate until we decided not to incorporate the vanity that has been storing my (some of )fabric collection in the supposed guest room next door to my now-studio. I may need to round up an additional dresser or plastic storage bins for fabric, even with some moderate de-stashing.

I have been using this creation process as a decluttering one at the same time. I was going through the yarn stash, and recycling the zip containers saved from drapes and sheets to repackage the wools I want to keep (most). I also set aside this pile to use for Knitting Unto Others projects in the next couple of weeks:

These yarns are all destined to become hats... they include turquoise and purple Lopi, medium brown Lambs Pride Bulky, red Lion Brand Cotton Ease, mystery olive green worsted (probably partly synthetic), dark green Lion Brand Homespun, and a couple of blue-greens that I should, but can't remember the names of.

Do you think I am overambitious? After all, it is almost half-way into a two-week KAL. However, in my usual mode of operation, it may well take me the entire two weeks just to get organized and started, and I will probably plug away at several children's hats out of this pile, over the month of December. I did find a great cabled toque pattern on Jae's blog yesterday, and it is free, so check it out. She's from Canada, where they need to work at staying warm through the winter much longer than I do in the sunny Sierras. Marguerite, who routinely knits for Children in Common, also has some great, free, warm patterns available at her site.

As a followup to last week's post about two hats, my son's hat will get reworked in the next month, in between the charity hats and washcloths, and I did decide to keep my cozy brown Shetland wool hat just the way it is, at least through the road trip we are planning as our alternative to Thanksgiving this year. I may be very thankful to have such a large hat to pull down to my chin while camping in the backwoods! Look for details after the holiday weekend.

Now, as I was saying, working on organizing the studio has been very rewarding. I realized I have tons of yarns already, and ought to be branching out on my projects, trying some of those things I bought the yarns for in the first place, such as lace knitting with the two alpacas I have, and modular knitting with some golds and creams set aside. I found some important labels and instructions that I had misplaced, which will help with such things as determining how many yards there are, and if I have enough for that project in mind.

I also realized that there are still a few projects I will absolutely never get around to finishing. One such WIP will become the object of a holiday season contest on my blog, similar to the sock kit I gave away at the end of June.

Shelves and dresser before they started getting loaded down. A few favorites visible are Knitting Without Tears (second copy I have owned) and the three-bobbin rack for my Ashford wheel - no, it's not the contest prize. Even though I haven't spun in recent years, I am not ready to part with my wheel.

Watch for contest details... hint, it's red.

I got most of my stored boxes moved out of the guest room today, and rounded up about half of my crafting books to fill those shelves, so a new photo tomorrow is called for. I laid down a halfway decent rug, leftover from youngest son, and plan to install my wicker rocking chair, pole lamp, and collection of pincushions on the top of that two-tiered table you saw, laden down with bags of yarn in the photo above. That table is left over from my parents' living room during my childhood, and although a little rough around the edges, will be a perfect accompaniment for the reading and knitting nook this will make! I could have written that decorating book out a few years back, Use What You Have Decorating, but they thought my stuff was too old and funky :)

We took a break in the early afternoon for the farrier's visit; three out of five donkeys had hoof trimming, Rose refused to be a good girl, and April wasn't on the schedule this time. Our weather has been unseasonably balmy for the past two weeks, with temperatures in the high 60s during the midday, and mid 30s at night. I know it won't last, but it sure made for a delightful donkey afternoon.

As the afternoon waned, I was back inside, thinking about charity knitting. This photo is the third box I am sending off to Cloths for Katrina. I cut apart my printed labels and tucked them into 15 folded cloths, 11 of which were made by me in the past five weeks, and four by my fellow Mountain Harvest Crafts Cooperative member, Peggy (two were actually knitted up during the KAL). I have the flat rate box, which includes 19 bars of soap, ready to mail on Monday. This shipment is going to Margaret in Woodland, who has made contact with the Sacramento Volunteers of America, who rehabbed officers' quarters at the decommissioned Mather AFB in Sacramento into apartments for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina to live in for up to a year, while they sort out their lives and decide where they want to live.

Tomorrow's post will include a more finished version of my new room, and hopefully a finished hat of one kind or another. Happy Knitting!


Blogger FaeryCrafty said...

I love your house!!

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Janine said...

I'm so envious! A whole room for your crafty bits. I have to make do witha cupboard under the stairs and a little corner in the lounge

2:25 AM  
Blogger margene said...

Your house looks very cool with the very peaked roof. How nice to see the donkeys enjoying a little time in front. I did the same with my stash...winnowed and found a bag full of yarn to use for charity projects. It might be ambitious but we don't have to use it all up right away, right?

6:15 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

Thank you so much for the photo of house and burros! Wow, just love it...and the craft room will be such a welcome refuge - even if you don't have a moment that day to craft, just stepping in for a few moments before bed, can make "everything right with the world!"
I hope Better Pal will be better for you than Secret Pal has been for me...such a disappointment...

2:31 PM  

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