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Monday, June 28, 2010

My New Favorite Place


Given the chaos inside my house, it's only natural that I would seek respite outside. The front porch has become my new favorite place. Tonight, it's me, the netbook (the WiFi signal is better on the porch than it is inside--how weird), some incense to ward off the bitey bugs, scads of lightning bugs (which I adore and which are not bitey), and a nice cool breeze.

I've been spending my days knitting, computing, reading, brewing sun tea, and just generally relaxing out here.
Yesterday's Brew: Octavia Organic White Blueberry Tea--yum!
Today's Brew: Intelligentsia King Crimson Organic Hibiscus and Lemongrass Blend
Once the workmen have cleared the upstairs, I will likely shift operations up to the second floor balcony (where the cats also get to hang out), though the exposed balcony does get strong afternoon sun. I've really been thinking I need a hammock, though that would probably be best placed in the backyard. I am so fortunate to have these lovely outdoor spaces here in my little corner of the city, and I am taking greater advantage of them than ever.
There has been knitting. A few weeks prior to her being "Harloted", I bought some yarn from Wolle's Color Creations. My intention was to double strand it with Diaketo DiaSantaFe, which has been working out well. What am I making? Another skirt--one in a long line of them, it seems. The long color shifts of the WCC and the shorter shifts of the Diaketo are making an interesting tweedy fabric of a very nice weight. (Sorry for the weirdly skewed shot that is not only sideways, but makes the skirt look wider than it is long. The striping is, in fact, horizontal, and the skirt goes from navy at the top to gray to light blue at the bottom. I so wish I had been able to take Franklin Habit's knitwear photography class this past weekend.)
I have to weave in the ends, add the tulle ruffle trim to the hem, and make a cord for the waist before she is street ready. (Hmmm...that doesn't sound quite right.)
Last night at SnB, I swatched for my next skirty project. I'm going to use a pattern I got at Churchmouse (my favorite yarn store--wish I didn't have to fly 4 hours and take a ferry to get there!) and some dark purple CotLin.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Knitting the Old and the New Together

As I have mentioned before, I live in an old house. This is her 100th anniversary year, and, to be frank, she is showing her age in some places. I would love to make all of the updates and changes she needs in one fell swoop, but unless there is some great windfall, the changes will be made as we can. We are in the first stage of renovating both bathrooms and turning the upstairs kitchen into a laundry. (We live on both floors of our two-flat, so we have duplicates of everything.)

I have felt very strongly that we need to respect the house and her architectural style. While we don't live in a neighborhood of tear downs (many neighborhoods in Chicago suffer from this), lots of folks buy homes similar to ours and gut them, creating more modern, open floor plans. Sure, I would love one of those houses where the spaces flow seamlessly, but I feel compelled to retain the integrity of the house's historical period. That's not to say that we're not making updates--we are--but those updates are done with an eye toward what makes sense for the old girl. So, as I hunt for floor tiles, fixtures, and amenities, I'm trying to knit together modern aesthetics with historic sensibilities. We are exiting the "Oh my, this will never be over, and it will never look like anything but dog food" phase and entering the "Hey, there really is a bathroom under all that dust" phase. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

By the way, if you are going to have only one working bathroom downstairs due to the demolition of the upstairs loo, and you sleep upstairs, it might not be the best idea to drink gallons of iced tea every day unless you want to make the nightly treacherous decent through the obstacle course that has become your home. Strangely, it's a lesson I have yet to learn, and it has been weeks.