Thursday, May 31, 2007

Incredibly cool -- Andy Shelton

So, I've been hearing some tracks from this album called "Shelton" on an internet radio station I listen to. There's one that really caught my ear, called 8th Avenue. You can listen to the whole thing here. (I love it when artists stream their entire songs, so you can actually know if you like them or not. The 30-second previews are only good if you're trying to identify a song you've already heard.)

He made his way down 8th Avenue
With all the same buildings and faces he knew
Stepped to the side where he always sits down
Opened up his case, the city goes out around

And there he plays
Throw him a dime, he will sing you the ryhmes
Of a song that he made
About his life on a street where...

It's all the same
La da dee day
It's all the same

Now he has visions that lift him off his feet
Of playing great big shows up on Market Street
But just as he dreams up the screaming crowd
He wakes up on 8th Avenue and sits back down

And there he plays
But there's no one around now to hear the sound
Of a song that he made
About his life on a street where...

It's all the same
La da dee day
But everything's about to change

He played his last song that afternoon
To a rock, a crack in the sidewalk, and a bird he knew
Then mentioned something about being late
He took bow and said: "Thanks, you've all been great."

"But I can't stay."
"I hope you don't mind but I have arranged that a cold wind take my place."
And now 8th Avenue has never been the same.

La da dee day

The lyrics are good, just taking them on their own. (And I studied this stuff in my University days, so I do have some idea of that of which I speak. ;o) But you've got to hear this one. It's good music, and makes you think. Stylistically, it reminds me a little of Harry Connick Jr., but easier to listen to. (I can only take so much Harry, he's so, um, improvisational.) You can even buy it by itself, if you don't fall in love with the other stuff he has done before you can click the "buy" link. ;o)

So, go listen to some Shelton. I'm going to to take the munchkins & DH, grab some Subway, and have a picnic somewhere in this summery weather.

Some nifty handspun.

I have three skeins, and they aren't a matched set. Compliment each other nicely, yes. Match, no way. I've been trying to figure out what to do with them, but haven't come up with much yet. The darker skeined one is spun in the grease, and has a wonderful lanolin smell. The photos don't do them justice, really. The camera has a hard time picking up both the dark & light fibers and doing them justice side-by-side. Just try to use your imagination, if you would. ;o)

I bought these quite a while ago, sight-unseen. I know now that the spinning isn't the best, but I haven't tried washing them or setting the twist. I'm hoping that will help, and make them easier to work with. I still like them more than I probably should, though. ;o)

When I first received this, I wound the last ball and tried knitting a Warm Heart Woolies soaker with it, but didn't get very far. The over-twisted sections were just too hard to manage, and the variations in thickness and really dense nature of the yarn made for a fairly unyielding fabric. Not a good thing for sensitive baby skin.

Anyway, here 'tis. Any ideas, anyone?

This first photo is pretty close to real. The light fibers aren't quite that bright.

This one is the closest to reality of the lot.

(This one is a lot darker, and more chocolate-y.)

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Representers, Unite!

After reading Stephanie's account of her hometown hurrah, I decided enough was enough. No more morning-after apologies from bookstore managers who didn't have a clue. I've built a web page at Squidoo called Knitting Culture. The vision is that other knit bloggers will take advantage of the wiki-type features Squidoo has (called Plexoes, or Plexo singularly) to add links to their own blog entries about attending one of the Yarn Harlot's appearances*, or photos from their Flickr accounts, or links to other sites pertinent to the Knitters of Today and how great, good, and awesome a force they are. I have a vauge idea of adding more plexoes for more topics, like the phenomena of Stash and Knitterly Goodness, but those are still in the formative stages. There is a guestbook where you can leave helpful suggestions, constructive comments or lavish praise, if you feel so inclined. ;o) (Read: Pretty, pretty please, trying not to beg, wouldn't you take a minute to go see?)

So, long post short, go check out Knitting Culture, and let me know what you think!

* Somehow I'm sure that she'd laugh at my use of that word, and insist that she's just a regular person like anybody else. Except for one thing: she's extraordinary.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

And the winner is . . .

Two people.

The person who submitted the winning name was Sarah. (Who I must admit is my SIL--and a good friend. Isn't it great when those two things coincide?). But, as Sarah doesn't knit (yet), and I'm not the sort to endorse nepotism (for a multitude of reasons), I opted to award the yarn to the first runner-up, which was Julia of Knitting History. She suggested Scheherezade, "after the legendary Persian queen who told the tales of the 'Thousand and One Nights'." The romanticism surrounding that name had a very strong pull. :o) So, Julia, if you'd let me know where you'd like your prize sent, I'll get it on it's way first thing when the mailman comes round again.

I really appreciate all of the suggestions, and it was fun to see what they all were. I'll post a full list soon . . . I'm just covered with dirt from yardwork outside, and I'm not nearly done yet. I just figured that I had better not leave you all in suspense for much longer. ;o) The name I chose is one that kept popping into my mind as I read all of the other suggestions. While it isn't quite as flowery as I had thought I wanted, it just fits so very well.

Oh, what's the name, you say?

Well, I'd like to introduce you to . . .


Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Photo Friday

Someday I'll remember to submit a link to the Eye Candy Friday thing-a-ma-jig, but for now I'll just run my own Photo Friday.

First, a gratuitous cat photo.

And next, look!, an actual Finished Object. (Two, even!)

Knit Picks "Simple Stripes" sock yarn (he loves the colors, and I could barely tolerate them, lol).
Crystal Palace 2mm dpn's.
Pattern: I made it up as I went along, and learned tons. 56 stitches, 2x2 ribbing, short row heel, standard toe (with late, sharp decreases to fit his little square feet ;o).

And a few from the yard:

The "Not President Grevy" lilac smells heavenly.

Serendipity. I couldn't have planned this combination, but I love it. The photo could be better, sure. But the foliage contrast, and the chives blossoms against the burning bush's new chartreuse leaves, make me smile.

And sea thrift, doing it's level best to make up for the tardiness of everything else in the yard to bloom.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Off my Game

Sorry for the silence yesterday, after alluding to making an appearance in Monday's post. Yesterday started out so very well, with exuberant sunshine and taking pictures outside, clean laundry put away, seeing the floor in the laundry room, and so on. Breakfast was done and cleaned up, kids dressed & playing nicely, laundry apparatus humming away, and it was only 10:30. I sat down, fired Blogger up and stretched my fingers over the keyboard.

The phone rang.

The 3 year old answered, and brought me the phone.

It was a call from the secretary of the children's program at church, wondering if I was planning on appearing at the meeting that began at 10. Oops. (I've just had this job for two weeks, and it still hasn't sunk in completely.) On the bright side, it only took 15 minutes to get out of the house and on the road, and I was there in 20. Only 50 minutes late. Doh.

From there on out, the day was pretty much shot. I managed to stick my foot in my mouth after the meeting and make someone Really. Mad. You know--so mad that when they look you in the eye, the rest of the room disappears, and all you see is their stare? Cried quietly most of the way home. (I have a tendency to do that when someone gets Really Mad at me, especially when I was only sharing something I had experienced. I'm not one to go for people or pick fights.) Managed to get a few more things done around the house, and get together a basic list for shopping night. (I go without the kids, pick up my mom, and we have a nice evening doing some basic shopping and spend a couple hours at the Stitchin' Sisters UFO night, gabbing and knitting, with an occasional, eensy weensy bit of stash enhancement.) Left an hour late for town (6:30 instead of 5:30), barely made it before one of my stops closed, went to Stitchin' Sisters, finished the shopping, and headed home at about 10:20pm. Two hours later than usual. Don't you hate it when your day starts out so very, very well, and then it ends so very, very poorly? So do I.

So, in leiu of something far more interesting, I leave you with a couple of photos that give my heart a warm glow. After yesterday, I need it.

Vanhouttei Spirea, about to bloom in my yard. Back when Vern and I were newlyweds, taking evening walks when I was expecting our first, we would walk through the old neighborhood in Springville where we lived, and look at all of the beautiful things blooming. There were cheery cherry trees with pink carnation blooms hanging like impossible petticoats. There were copper roses that bloomed bright yellow or intense red and yellow. Peonies, lilacs, and spireas, looking for all the world like white fountains frozen in time. I could just see the early Utah pioneers cutting branches of spirea to make bouquets for the May brides, and I've dreamed of having one of those beauties in my own yard for years. And now there's one, right outside my window, doing what spireas do, and making me smile a simple, silly, happy smile.

Hosta "June".

Lamium "White Nancy" with chocolate mint. Taking this photo made me feel a bit like Jane Brocket, but it didn't turn out as nicely as I imagined. I loved the smooth, round mint leaves and the lacy, detailed lamium growing together.

This is another dream come true--and it's almost bigger than life. The little bleeding heart I photoed a few weeks ago is now much larger than I am, and makes me so happy to see. I've never seen a plant grow so huge, so fast. It must like the eastern exposure and mostly-compost soil.

And lastly, the funniest thing I've seen in a long time:

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone.

(And keep those name suggestion coming! There are still two more days in the contest.)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Nomenclatural Notions

So far I've gotten some fun suggestions for the black beauty's name. I thought I'd share a few parameters that I've decided on, as I've thought about it over the weekend.

1) My piano is definitely a "she".

2) I'm looking for a feminine, pretty name. It doesn't have to be a "standard", like Elizabeth or Caroline (both family members of mine, so those names aren't in the running). It just needs to connote refinement, detailed beauty, and a little mystique or fun.

3) Anyone who has already made a submission can resubmit if they have a rash of new ideas, sparked by this post.

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and a "real" post to come tomorrow. :o)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

WIP: State of the Knit Adress

Well, a lot has been happening at my house lately. We've ditched the TV & entertainment center (woo-hoo!), and now there's a big hole in my living room decor. I've gone through my rather moderate stash, recovered the lost UFO's, and restored some order to the craft closet. As I was rummaging and sorting, I found a few things that needed attention.

First, I uncovered the Anderman's finished sock, so I could better complete the second one. (Which is getting very close, really.)

I'm thinking I may have to clip and unravel the heel on the first sock and reknit it. It's a fair bit smaller than the first due to some short row-inaccuracies (it was my first short row heel, after all), and I don't think it'll fit the little guy's foot anymore. He's growing like a weed, and eating like a hippopotamus.

I also found this:

Any guesses? If I had remembered to take a photo before I took it off the needles and all of the stitch markers were in place, you'd probably have known right off that it's the beginning of a clapotis. (I know, I know. I'm terribly behind the times with this one.) I've decided that the neopolitan merino isn't what I want to use. Add to that the fact that I had forgotten completely about its existence, and that spelled f-r-o-g for the poor little thing. It's now happily rewound into a neat ball, awaiting something more interesting . . . like a new pullover for the baby or some such warm and cozy thing.

My next discovery was the Forest Canopy Shawl.

Not looking too bad, eh? There was only one problem. Knitting on it brought me joy no longer. I love the lace pattern, but now that I've got it down I really want to be able to see the lace pattern clearly. I just can't see working so hard to execute such a pretty pattern and having everything camoflauged by stripes. Maybe someday I'll invent a lace pattern that's more suitable to handpainted yarns. (I know there are shawl patterns out there in garter stitch, but I'd like a little more stitch interest than that.) So, I'm gathering up my courage to frog this poor thing. I've been stalking the internet, looking for suitable fingering weight yarn to knit a FCSS, but I haven't found anything yet that's a color I like. I've been trying to work on this instead:

But the alpaca laceweight and I just aren't getting along well. I'm toying with the idea of ordering another skein, over-twisting them on my stiff old Ashford Traditional (still haven't managed to get that old girl working properly), and then plying the two skeins together to make something closer to fingering. I love the color dearly . . . I just wish it was a mite heavier. (Four ply would be perfect, I think.) I have some Vineyard merino laceweight that feels much heavier, even though it's supposed to be the very same yardage per gram, that I might pick up to try working this in laceweight again. The pink swatch is on US1 needles, and I rather like the gauge I'm getting. I had been working the fingering weight version on 4's. Much slower progress with the 1's, but a very nice drape and feel it has. The swatch has since been frogged (couldn't find the stitch I dropped and gave up in frustration), but there will be another FCSS started soon . . . possibly tonight. I've got those setup rows memorized.

And almost lastly, something new.

Any guesses on what it is?

Let me give you a hint:

That's 55% hemp 45% wool yarn in Chili red. (I didn't buy it from Hemp Traders, but that's where you can see a pic.) The yarn is pretty uneven in texture--there are a fair number of slubs that couldn't be picked out safely--but it blooms a fair bit after washing, so I'm hoping the inconsistencies will fade some after it's blocked. I'm not going to tell you what it is just yet. You can all let me know if you have any ideas, though. ;o) I'm making it up as I go along, but have a very specific purpose in mind for the finished project. Doesn't it go nicely with my coverlet, though?

And very lastly, I had a helper with my stash reorg:

Oh, and I guess that's an FO, isn't it? lol Details:

Pattern: Swatchcap from Knitting Workshop.
Yarn: Auraucania Nature Cotton in purple.
Needles: KP Options, US6/Addi Turbo US6
Modifications: I cast on fewer stitches for a smaller head, and I alternated decrease stitches to make a straight-sided star at the crown. I also experimented with Kitchenering the last eight stitches closed. I'm not sure I like it, but my tecnhique is a bit rough yet. We'll see.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Piano Tuner and a Contest

So, after 3 1/2 years, it was time for a tune up. The music shop we bought the instrument from never contacted us regarding the initial tuning, and I've just been swamped with babies and housework and laundry and . . . well, life just happened. Today David the Piano Tuner arrived two hours before I was expecting him (good thing everybody was dressed!!!), and commenced his 90 minute tuning job. (Note to self: When the piano tuner calls and talks to Vern the day before the appointment, ask Vern if there has been a change.) I knew that it needed a tuning, but hadn't realized just how flat it was until David brought a couple of keys up to pitch. (I've also learned that there's a lot more to piano care than tuning.) It just sounded so great to hear, one by one, the strings vibrating at the proper frequency.

After a little while I took a look, and saw this:

Yep. That's an iPac perched in my piano. Fascinated, I exclaimed: "You're using your PDA to tune the piano?" Long story short, yes. I got a two sentence answer, but when Vern came up from work to see this, David gave him a full tour of the software, and explained a lot about how the piano produces sound, how sound has overtones, how those overtones interact to make the sounds we hear, and how this software has changed the tuning industry. I'm not sure if it was a chauvanistic thing, but it was interesting how differently he responded to my husband. I got to listen in, though, and didn't mind, since I was busy making breakfast. Vern has a much higher appreciation for how amazing a piano is, and the almost magical way it produces sound, now that he has had a technical explanation. I guess if you've got your head in code all day long, seeing bar graphs and numbers and talking about frequencies and tuning peg dynamics really helps. ;o)

And how does it sound now? Right. The sound feels like a precisely engineered and well-constructed machine, if that makes any sense. Every tone and overtone matches precisely, and it's a wonderful feeling. Now, if I can just get the kids to leave the piano alone so I can play . . .

After typing "the piano" so many times, I think my piano needs a name. Let's hold the first Passionate Mind contest: Name The Piano. Now, for the rules and prize. Prize first, because it's more fun that way:

This is hand-dyed handspun I bought a while back. It's 5oz of a softly spun, bouncy, lofty wool (a Corriedale, Coopworth, and/or Romney cross--can't remember). It's not cashmere or alpaca, but it's a good wool. And pretty--you can see the barberpole striping, and the play of soft color. The skein, twisted as shown, is 10" long and about 12 1/2" in circumference at mid-point. (Sorry I forgot to put a ruler in the photo for scale.) This photo is the closest I could get to real life on my monitor. The colors are reminiscent of fall leaves, but not the fiery fall leaves of the east. They're more the soft brown and khaki fall colors, with a touch of russet here and there. I think the pic is more red than real life, so mentally change this so it's a little more toward the khaki part of the spectrum. (Is there a khaki part of the spectrum? lol) Either way, it's free . . . and if the colors don't suit you, I'm sure they'll suit someone on your Christmas list. ;o) So fire up your brain and get to thinking of some good names.

Oh, you said you wanted to see the instrument in question? I can see how that might be helpful.

Oh. Almost forgot.

Le Rules
  • I'll select one name of those suggested for the prize. It's my piano, after all. ;o)
  • You can email me as many as you'd like.
  • If there's a duplicate entry, the earlier submission takes precedence.
  • Different spellings will count as different submissions.
  • Please email me your ideas, and I'll post all of them together when I announce the winner.
  • I'll continue to accept suggestions until a week from today: Friday, May 25th.
Let the games begin!

**Sarah requested this further info on the instrument:

It's a Yamaha, and I believe it was manufactured in Japan.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

No. Way.

My Fortune Cookie told me:
You need... a shrubbery.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

If you were there in 1992, you'd understand.

Miss Fortune rocks.

What are your favorites?

So, today I discovered Beaverslide Dry Goods. Wow. Sample cards are on their way, and I can hardly wait to see what their yarns in real life. I've been reading the Foxfire Fiber blog, What I'm wondering now, since I've been unable to make it to any fiber shows (Rhinebeck and MD Sheep & Wool are a trans-continental endeavor where I am, and I'm just not finding them in the Northwest yet), I want to know if any of you have favorite small-time producers whose booths you haunt at shows, or whose fiber you just can't resist. I love supporting small-time, fiber producers; local to me is a huge bonus. In fact, I've just discovered one a few miles from me, and am going to give her a call soon to chat about how she preps her fiber and to see if she sells any ready-to-spin. All of her yarn I've seen at a local health food store is handspun, and it's exceptionally even and nice. (Her colors just aren't my thing, though.) But the wool is very, very springy and nice. Not really soft, but not scratchy at all.

Sooooo anyway, what are you favorites?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Springtime Color

I couldn't help myself. For some reason tonight, the code in the template was making more sense than usual, and what was originally an effort to simply lighten the gray background became a completely new outfit.

I think it goes nicely with Sweet River, don't you?


Juno said it very, very well.

Monday, May 7, 2007


This was a good weekend. Knitting & blocking on Friday, home improvement projects and some family time on Saturday, and church and a get-together with some friends on Sunday. Work, play and rest.

As mentioned, Friday I finished and blocked the little Sweet River. It took a little extra knitting and a some frogging, since I didn't have quite enough yarn to do as many repeats as I wanted.

There wasn't any way that much yarn would knit up another eight rows. So, I had to frog back. (Doesn't the reverse look cool?) Here's my preferred way for doing that with lace:

Lifeline on the fly. US3 circular needle with the right legs of a purl/ws row picked up. (Or any needle smaller than what you're using.) I picked them up from left to right, even though the pic looks like I did it right to left. Working from the inside of a stitch is easier to me for some reason, but taking a photo of the right side of the scarf looked backward. (Idiosyncratic, I know.)

So, I worked the final four plain rows and border and cast of with EZ's Sewn cast-off (sewing a duplicate of the long-tail cast-on edge over the live stitches), and tacked my first blocking session.



(You didn't think I'd spoil the final reveal with a full photo, did you? ;o)

While pinned out, it measured 28" x 8.5". After waiting what seemed like a reeeeeeeeeallllllly long time, (just 24 hours, really), the moment of truth had arrived. After unpinning, it relaxed to 26" x 8.5". I really stretched it along the length, wanting to get all the length out of the stitches I could. I didn't think the alpaca would really spring back much, since it hasn't kept its shape very well in other things I've knit. (Hint: if you're knitting a hat for a youngster, get an alpaca/wool blend. You really need wool's crimp and spring to keep the hat in shape.)

So, without further ado, here's Sweet River's first run:

Pretty drape, and it compliments the new green of the burning bush nicely.

The back is pretty in it's own right, I think. Like a modernist interpretation of cables. (Like other modernist interpretations, it eliminates the curves and keeps only the most basic of the forms. I think it's fun.)

And a neck shot. Just barely long enough to go under a coat collar. For practical use, I'd probably shift it so it's centered at the back of my neck and the corners meet in front. But hindsight is 20/20. (I think it's more like 200/20, but that's just me.)

Conclusion? With the chart written as it is, it really needs two skeins of Decadence (or something similar) to make a very useful scarf. I'm thinking I'll frog it and try again with 1 1/2 repeats wide and see how long I can get it. Or maybe I'll let one of you do that. ;o) Additional charts and revisions to the pattern notes to come soon. Maybe some progress shots of some of the wip's, as well.

You can download the pattern (as it is so far) here: Sweet River PDF

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Stealth Project: Sweet River

The other night I was feeling tired and a little shaken up by some family stuff (long story short, it's all okay now), and I just wanted to have some nice, soft yarn in my hands and knit something pretty. (I had been struggling with a couple other lace projects (my very first), and just needed something simpler around which to wrap my brain.) My eyes landed on a skein of purple Knit Picks Decadence, and I began flipping through my one stitch dictionary. A lace pattern caught my eye, and the chart made sense to me for a change. With just two patterned rows, and something other than "purl every stitch" on the return rows, (each stitch is worked as presented--purls are purled and knits are knit), its appeal grew on me. So, I picked up my yarn and started something. Here's what happened. :o)

Looks kinda nifty in real life . . . honest it does. Well . . . let's just call this progress shot a "driver's license photo" and move on. Here's a more flattering shot:

And no, that little hand in the bottom left isn't over-exposed. We're seriously white around here. lol

So, without further ado, here's how you, too, can knit a Sweet River. (Much better than crying a river, I'd say. :o)

Sweet River (Beta)

You can download a pdf copy here: Sweet River PDF

This little scarf happened one evening when I needed some comfort knitting, and had lace on the brain. Adapted from “Gentle Curves” in The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns, this piece has a moss stitch border and only two pattern rows to remember. The instructions are written out below, with a lace chart to follow.

I used one skein of Knit Picks Decadence in Grape, and it made a scarf long enough to go nicely under my winter coat. (Not that I’ll need it anytime soon, since it’s Spring already . . . ) If you want to use a much lighter weight yarn, just add a repeat or two across to make it wider. (If that's confusing, just knit one full repeat as a swatch, and you'll get it.)

Gauge doesn’t matter a whole lot–my scarf was about 5 ½" wide, unblocked. I’ll update the file with finished dimensions once I do get it blocked. Since this is the first rev of the pattern, I'd appreciate comments, especially the "Hey! You messed up this one thing on row 14 . . . " if you have any.

Let the games begin!

Co 35 st.

Rows 1-4: k1, p1 across. (You should end with a knit stitch.)

Row 5: (k1, p1, k1) (moss border stitches), k29, (k1, p1, k1)

Row 6: (k1, p1, k1), p29, (k1, p1, k1)

Rows 7-8: Repeat rows 5-6.

Row 9: (k1, p1, k1), (Lace pattern begins) p1, yo, k4, ssk, p1, k2tog, k4, yo, p1, yo, k4, ssk, p1, k2tog, k4, yo, p1, (k1, p1, k1).

Row 10: (k1, p1, k1), work next 29 stitches as they appear and purl all yo’s, (k1, p1, k1)

Row 11-14: Repeat rows 9-10 twice.

Row 15-18: Repeat rows 5-6 twice.

Row 19: (k1, p1, k1), p1, k2tog, k4, yo, p1, yo, k4, ssk, p1, k2tog, k4, yo, p1, yo, k4, ssk, (p1, k1, p1, k1).

Row 20: (k1, p1, k1), work next 29 st as they appear, purling all yo’s, (k1, p1, k1)

Row 21-24: Repeat rows 19-20 twice. One pattern repeat completed. Repeat rows 5-24 until your scarf is long enough to suit you.

(Just click on this baby to bring up a truly monstrously huge version.)

Chart notes: This pattern is worked over a multiple of 14 stitches, plus one (the first or last, whichever way you want to look at it). I used two sets of 14, with that “plus one” tacked on the end to make it symmetrical. Usually I find written lace instructions easier to memorize and understand, but with this one, the chart makes it a piece of cake. After one full repeat, I’m sure that you’ll be leaving the pattern in the work basket, or even at home when you take this to your Knit Night. :o)

And remember, you can download a pdf version here: Sweet River PDF

Questions, comments, or accolades? Bring ‘em on.

Annalea blogs at

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

It's all her fault.

DH's aunt, that is. A short while back, she asked to see photos of the family's home improvement projects. When she asked, I didn't really have any (other than weeding the interminable flower beds, but that's a story for another day).

Well, things have changed.

(Well, mostly before. I forgot to take pictures until after I had the brackets up.)


Quite the helpers, actually. They made it a lot of fun, and the big guy was an excellent gopher. (And this shot just cracks me up.)


(Baby included for scale. :o)

There are further plans for the living room, including the permanent relocation of the entertainment center, TV, VCR & DVD Player to a place as yet undetermined; (the only criteria is that place will not be our home). We will be painting, and eventually furniture better suited to a family will be coming into the picture. (Costco had The Perfect Sectional a few months ago, but like most Costco items, it's long gone now.) Before winter we will install a wood stove in the center of the wall to the left of the photo, and I'm hoping for some built-in bookshelves for the piano room, but we'll have to see. And to add a pie-in-the-sky item, we'd love to replace all of the uber-cheap builder flooring with something that's actually beautiful and comfortable (hardwood with wool area rugs, most likely). But what we've got now is working alright, and replacing it would be a Major Pain, so that's a low priority item.

With it's new duds, the living room coordinates far better with the kitchen, which got new curtain hardware about a month ago:

Previously, the white panels in the dining room were hanging lazily on copper wire wound around finishing nails. I wish I had a before photo to show you. It was pathetic.

I'd rather not talk much about the other works-in-progress just yet . . .

The photo speaks for itself. I'm working on it. Let's just say that paint chips are filthy little liars. . . .

Knitting content coming tomorrow. I've been having too much fun to not blog about it. :o)