Saturday, December 28, 2013

Into the Closet

Last post I showed you the gifts I gave- but I also was the fortunate recipient of some cool crafty gifts.   My mom noticed a lack of couch cushions in the library (I threw out the old ones- they were disgusting).   And so she gave me some new ones she had made (the quilted one) and a couple more she had been given- cat and yarn themed, even!
And look at the colors! They're a great match for the couch.  My mom has a really terrific eye for color. 

And then my sister, who has some kind of magic superpower for finding things in secondhand shops, scored an absolute treasure trove of knitting books. 
No less than four fabulous books on lace knitting, a book on traditional Fair Isle, and another book of patterns.  This is going to provide years of knitting inspiration. 

And then my dad joined in on the crafty action with a card case.  Index cards in fact (which we were low on and needed more of...he may be psychic too).
But where is the craft connection, you wonder?  Look more closely:
The case was an advertising piece for the Franklin Process Company- the calendar is from 1934.  The Franklin company was a yarn dyer- weavers would send natural thread to them for dyeing, and they would return it in the ordered color wound onto rods ready to load into the commercial looms.  A rather cute piece of textile history.  I've put it on the shelf in front of my recipe box, but a bunch of the index cards are already planned to be used for notes on a space battle (in a game we'll be playing at New Year's).

It's been rather an odd holiday week.  Having Wednesday off, then going back to work on Thursday and Friday has me all turned around- I don't know which day is up.  Today, Saturday?  Still, I've been moving along with various projects. 
The last of the bulky-weight hats is done:

Once I cast it off, I experienced a state of mild confusion...I don't have any knitting deadlines!   Quite odd.  While I was trying to organize my thoughts and decide what to do next, I cast on another sock.   It always helps the thinking process to have my hands moving. 

I pulled out a couple of skeins of Panda Silk (wool/bamboo/silk blend) that I had in stash and cast on a toe up version of the Sagittarius socks- still having the pattern in memory was convenient and I also wanted to see it in a solid color- a good choice, as it's even more stunning than it was in the multicolor yarn. 

I actually sort of do know what I'm doing next- there are a couple of sweater WIPs that need to be finished up-- but they're not all that portable, so having a pair of socks on the needles is never a bad plan. 

Also, since I was home today with (surprisingly) no commitments, I was determined to try and get some house projects moving.  I got a start on one off the Lost Projects list .  (I'll show you that one later- I've got to wait for glue to dry, and I'm not altogether sure it's going to work anyway.) 

I did get one small project completely finished, however.  Technically, it's not a lost project, as it's only been on the list a couple of weeks.  But I figured that heading it off before it became lost was a worthy endeavor.  Plus, it's really annoying having most of my work clothes in a pile on the chest in the bedroom.   See, my closet had a small structural failure. 
See the bracket bend over double?  That hook is what used to hold up the west end of the clothes rod in the closet.   This, of course, is a classic case of procrastination not paying off.  My husband told me that bracket was pulling out of the wall 6 months ago.  And I knew when I originally put up the darned bracket that it wasn't as secure as it ought to be.   The problem was, the wall on the right had no studs located where I could easily put a support on the wall.   And while the other end of the pole does have a stud and I did put a support on it (which is the only reason both brackets didn't pull out), it was a crappy plastic support.   Add to this my laziness in not putting my summer clothes away in the cedar closet downstairs when I got the winter things out (I just crammed everything into the upstairs closet thinking I'd deal with it later)--well, the results were predictable. The whole thing collapsed with an almighty crash in the middle of the afternoon a few weeks ago. 

Being as I had knitting deadlines for Christmas, I didn't jump right on it.  But the whole lack of functional closet space has gotten old fast.  So I did hit the hardware store for some replacement rod brackets last week, and this afternoon I tackled the job in sensible steps.   First I found the inconveniently located studs and installed some cross-bracing, so I'd have something solid to mount the clothes rod hardware to.  (This was accompanied by a certain feeling of chagrin, as it was what I knew I should have done in the first place.  Can't complain too much, however, as the crappy original job did last 7 years.)   Then I measured, re-measured, checked levels, and finally mounted the new (and much stronger) hardware.   The rod had to be cut to length- the room taken up by the bracing meant it needed to be shortened.  And finally I straightened the bent bracket and re-mounted it, moving it over a stud for additional security.  Overkill, since I wasn't planning on hanging clothes from it again, but I figured that since I had to move the bracket anyway, I might as well do it right.  Really, there's a remarkable amount of fussy measuring and fitting for even a simple job like this one.  But the in end I got a functional closet.   
Of course the job wasn't complete until Biscuit had inspected it, and pronounced it satisfactory. 
Either that, or he was dismayed that I'd vacuumed up all the cat hair along with the drill droppings, and is now planning to start over covering it with fluff. 

I'm torn between being pleased it's fixed, and annoyed because if I'd done it this way to begin with, I'd never have had this problem.   It is very gratifying to have had all the tools on hand to deal with it, however.  Now I just need to keep up my momentum, and knock some more projects off the list while I have the chance....we'll see if that plan survives contact with the enemy!


  1. OMG - I have two skeins of Panda Silk in off-white - and I've been so tempted to start Sagittarius with it...

    1. One thing I've noticed is that the naive is greater- I'n working on the same number of stitches as the last air, but the socks are two sizes smaller.

    2. Gauge. Gauge is greater. Darn spellcheck!

  2. Wow! Your family does craft gifts well! I especially love the pillows--they look perfect!

  3. Love what your mom and dad and sister did! And you too--we've got a closet rod that will go one of these days but hasn't yet. We just chalked it up to one more place where the contractor did things on the cheap. Yours looks so much nicer that it's giving me incentive to do something about it--thank you.