The Wiring Has Begun

I know yinz cannot begin to enjoy your weekend without an update on the progress being made on my big kitchen remodel. So here it is, mostly in pictures, but some words are necessary. Deal.

Recessed lighting is going into the breakfast nook.

Recessed lighting is going into the breakfast nook.

More recessed lighting in the kitchen, too. I won't miss the ceiling fan.

More recessed lighting in the kitchen, too. I won’t miss the ceiling fan.

I wanted to have a recessed light above the sink, but the location of a floor joist prevents  being able to center a recessed light over the sink, so I'll have to get a pendant light instead. I know, first world problems.

I wanted to have a recessed light above the sink, but the location of a floor joist prevents centering a recessed light over the sink, so I’ll have to get a pendant light instead. I know, first world problems.

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Lots of new boxes for switches and outlets

Lots of new boxes for switches and outlets

The work will resume bright and early Monday morning. YAY!

The Demolition Is (Almost) Complete

The demolition guys worked hard all morning removing the flooring and pounding down nails and staples. They also removed the old dishwasher and cleaned the remaining wallpaper glue from the breakfast nook walls.

Everything is done except for around the front hall doorway, where the plaster wall needs to be scored so it can be removed without damaging a wall we are keeping, and around the kitchen window, where the window needs to be taken out before the rest of the plaster can be removed.

The electrician is supposed to start work tomorrow, so things are progressing nicely.

The breakfast nook sans flooring. The wet spots are from the cleanup.

The breakfast nook sans flooring. The wet spots are from the cleanup.

There was oak hardwood under two layers of floor tiles.

There was oak hardwood under two layers of floor tiles.

We haven’t had any major surprises of the unwanted variety, but there may be a potential problem where the bathroom connects to the stack. Only a plumber will be able to tell for sure whether or not everything is copacetic, but if the pipe needs replacing, now is the time to do it, when everything is exposed. So far, so good. :-)

 

The Destruction Has Begun

Finally. After moving into our “new” house (built in 1927), the kitchen remodeling has begun. It was supposed to have started back in March, but there were a number of unexpected delays that kept us waiting (and frustrated). But work finally began on Monday, and since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll share the progress to date in photographs.

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The breakfast nook it all its 1970s pink splendor before the destruction began

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The breakfast nook after losing its wallpaper, chair rail, and trim. Honestly, it looks better nekkid. :-)

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On Sunday, the white ceiling fan was still dominating the entire kitchen.

Today, not so much. Buh-bye, fan!

Today, not so much. Buh-bye, fan!

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This…

became this…

became this…

and is now this.

and is now this.

I had an outdated but still relatively functional kitchen on Sunday…

I had an outdated but still relatively functional kitchen on Sunday…

But on Monday, it looked a lot different.

But on Monday, it looked a lot different.

And today, the walls disappeared. Zowie!

And today, the walls disappeared. Zowie!

You never know what you will find when you open up the walls of an old house, especially one that had some remodeling done in the past.

I'm not an electrician, but even I know that this isn't up to code.

I’m not an electrician, but even I know that this isn’t up to code.

And when was it ever okay to run the wiring for the range hood through the cold air return?

And when was it ever okay to run the wiring for a range hood through  a heat run?  (Or is it a cold air return?)

Maybe the floor will come up tomorrow. Who knows what amazing things are hidden under the vinyl tile atop linoleum tile atop unfinished oak hardwood atop a 3-inch-wide-plank subfloor?

Note To Self

I got a package from Amazon today. These are the contents.

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The book Sock Architecture has been in my Amazon Wish List for quite a while, but the HiyaHiya sock needles were sort of an impulse purchase. I have been wanting to try HiyaHiya knitting needles for years, and I do have some HiyaHiya needles in my Amazon Wish List, but I just never got around to actually ordering them.

In the meantime, I kind of fell in love with Chiao Goo Red Lace circular needles. The needles are beautifully polished stainless steel, the cables are plastic covered steel cable, and the joins are smooth as can be. The cable has virtually no memory and is flexible without being floppy, so these needles are perfect for knitting in Magic Loop, which is a technique for knitting an item with a small circumference in the round using just one circular needle instead four or more double-pointed needles.

"Gray Vanilla" sock on the Chiao Goo using Magic Loop

“Gray Vanilla” sock on the Chiao Goo using Magic Loop

I have one Chiao Goo circular needle in size 2.5mm (US 1.5) with a cable that is long enough for doing Magic Loop, and when that needle is in use, I can’t start another sock unless I use double-pointed needles. I used to be a die-hard, double-pointed-needle kind of sock knitter. I used the Magic Loop technique for knitting sweater sleeves and neckbands in the round, and for finishing hats. But I didn’t like the technique for socks. I sometimes would knit socks using two circular needles, but not Magic Loop. In fact, I actually started the Gray Vanilla sock on DPNs because my Chiao Goo was in use for another sock, the infamous Opal Cloud socks. But as soon as I knitted the last stitch on the second Opal Cloud, my Chiao Goo 2.5mm circular needle replaced the DPNs in Gray Vanilla.

I don’t know when everything changed and Magic Loop became my favorite technique for knitting socks. Probably when I found a short-row heel technique that fit me well. Anyway, I am now a Magic Loop convert. And when I saw this set of HiyaHiya circulars in sizes most used for socks–I use mostly 2.5mm and 2.25mm needles for sock knit in fingering weight yarn–that came in a beautiful needle case at a very reasonable price, I just couldn’t resist.

Four 40-inch circular needles all snug in the case.

Four 40-inch circular needles all snug in the case. The lining of the case is black; it looks blue in this picture because the flash washed it out.

The sizes include 2.25mm, 2.5mm, 2.75mm, and 3.0mm.

The sizes include 2.25mm, 2.5mm, 2.75mm, and 3.0mm. And there are pockets to hold two more circular needles, and also pockets to hold DPNs and/or crochet hooks.

The case folds and buttons shut. It's really beautiful.

The case folds and buttons shut. It’s really beautiful.

There is a zippered compartment on the outside that is perfect for storing a yarn gauge, stitch markers, Chibis, or even a small pair of scissors.

There is a zippered compartment on the outside that is perfect for storing a yarn gauge, stitch markers, tapestry needles, and a small pair of scissors.

I don’t know whether I will like the HiyaHiya needles as well as the Chiao Goo, but I’m going to have fun finding out. :-)

Note to self: don’t buy any more knitting books about socks, no matter how many rave reviews it gets.  Just. Don’t. (More on the book at a later date.)

PS: If you are interested in exploring Magic Loop, there is a pretty good video here. If this link doesn’t work, just google Magic Loop, and there will be lots of links to direct you to information on how to do Magic Loop.

Joy!

That gray “vanilla” sock I told you about? You know, the one that I couldn’t finish because I couldn’t find the rest of the yarn? Well, here it is.

A plain vanilla sock nearing completion. It’s definitely autopilot knitting.

Yes, that’s two more balls of gray Socka Sport & Strumpf you see.

The other night, I decided to sort through my handspun and pick some out to knit. My handspun was was still sealed up in the plastic storage bin from the move last December.

While I was opening the bin containing my handspun, I decided to open up the three other still-sealed bins that I had stored in the closet of my spinning lair/computer room/library. And what do you suppose I found? You got it! There, in one of the bins, were the other two balls of gray sock yarn, just hanging out with some the other yarn.

I don’t know why my yarn and knitting needles and even finished objects like to hide from me, but they do. I wish they’d stop it.

Pretty Yarn, Ugly Socks

You remember August, don’t you? Back in August of last year, I posted this picture of the first sock of a pair I had started using some Opal sock yarn from deep in my stash.

The leg unstretched

The leg unstretched

I mentioned that I thought the yarn was supposed to look like clouds in a blue sky, but although the yarn looks beautiful in the ball, when knitted up it isn’t all that attractive. The leg of the sock doesn’t look much better when stretched.

The leg stretched on the sock blocker

The leg stretched on the sock blocker

At first the yarn did knit up looking sort of like clouds in a blue sky if you really wind up your imagination, but the patterning changed as I continued knitting the leg, and then it changed again when I got to the heel and foot, probably because while the instep was still ribbed, the sole was stocking stitch. Purl stitches use a teeny tiny bit more yarn than knit stitches, and that difference is enough to change the way the colors stack up. And naturally, the second sock looks a lot different from the first.

The legs of the socks don’t look like they were knitted from the same yarn, do they.

You’d never guess that both these socks were knitted with the same yarn on the same needles with the same stitch count and same gauge.

First sock is on the left, second sock is on the right.

I guess I knitted the leg of the second sock slightly looser (or maybe tighter) than the first sock. Notice that on the first sock, the patterning changes from looking a little bit like clouds in a blue sky to ugly flashing. I loathe flashing, which is that zig-zag type of pooling that often occurs on handpainted or space-dyed yarn with short color repeats. On the leg of the second sock, the colors just spiral around the sock. I much prefer the spiraling that you see on the leg of the second sock to the flashing on the first sock.

I worked a Fish Lips Kiss heel, which is a short-row heel that fits me better than any other heel I have worked, and it’s easy to knit, too. The great fit makes up for the lack of aesthetic value. I can live with the turning stitches not being very pretty when it means having a perfect fit.

The Fish Lips Kiss heel fits great, but it isn't especially attractive.

The Fish Lips Kiss heel fits great, but it isn’t especially attractive.

The feet of the socks look pretty decent. The yarn pattern didn’t spiral, nor did it flash. While the top part of these socks is flat-out ugly, the bottom part is only semi-ugly. I think they actually turned out the way the yarn supposed to look.

Does the patterning on the feet look like clouds in a blue sky to you?

Once upon a time I was quite enamored of Opal sock yarn, and I have quite a bit of it in deep stash. But that was back in the 1990s. After knitting a few pairs of socks in Opal, I finally realized that while the Opal colorways look really pretty in the ball, when they are knitted up they all too often are just a hot mess. And the yarn itself isn’t that great. It’s a little rough and not that pleasant to knit with.  I am so over Opal. What took me so long?

 

Sweet Georgia Starry Night, Also Know As Installment Three

I know you have all been waiting with bated breath for Installment Three of my Sweet Georgia Fibre Club. And who can blame you? Installments One and Two were so incredibly fabulous, people have been lining up to see Installment Three like folks line up for the new iPhone. I exaggerate, but still. The fiber and resulting yarn are both lovely. You’ll see.

I started with this beautiful pencil roving that is 63% Superwash Merino, 20% Silk, 15% Manufactured Fibers – Nylon, and 2% Manufactured Fibers – Silver. Yes, you read that correctly. Silver. This yarn is pure bling.

The colorway of this fiber is called Starry Night, and Felicia Lo (Sweet Georgia herself) dyed it to be spun from end to end, then chain plied to create the effect of a night-time sky with clouds and stars.

Yards and yards of pencil roving in gorgeous shades of blue with white and silver, too.

Yards and yards of pencil roving in gorgeous shades of blue with white and silver, too.

I spun and then chain plied this yarn on my Lendrum folding wheel.

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It took three bobbins to hold all the plied yarn. Can you see the sparkle of the silver?

When I wound the yarn off onto the niddy noddy, I started with the last bobbin plied, then the second, then the first. This kept the colorway in the correct order.

I ended up with about 640 yards (228g) of DK weight yarn. I think it will be beautiful knitted up into something.

The finished skein

The finished skein

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