Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Progress Report - Heavy With Photos

Let's start out with the pantry that was. It's a 2' wide & 3' deep area that's situated over the basement stairwell resulting in a "floor" that's on a 45° angle. The shelves that were in it were ClosetMaid fastened to the back wall with the front edges about 18" in and the items in the back the full 3' - in other words, an almost impossible reach to get something in the back. In addition, the brackets for the shelves weren't fastened into studs so the shelves were slightly cockeyed, kept in place only because there wasn't room from side to side for them to fall.

This is the new pantry - four pull out shelves, 19" wide that come the full 3' out with a little room on the door side for small cans like mushrooms & tomato sauce.

Another view showing how everything is accessible. What a difference!

Once the old cabinets were torn out and the walls patched and painted, the kitchen looked like this.

Another view looking toward the refrigerator. We patched and painted the areas that weren't going to be covered by the new cabinets. You can see where the old cabinets had been *glued* to the wall without backs or even sides if there was a wall that could take their place.

The new cupboards in the process of being installed. The space on the left is for a new stove - no more cooktops & built in ovens & microwaves!! The space on the right in the corner is for the dishwasher.

This is the peninsula that's replacing the island making the kitchen a "U" instead of a "L". There are two pull out shelves in each of the cabinets and those drawers are big! Not only counter space but storage space!! The cabinets are quarter-sawn oak, my favorite wood as it was used in the Mission Oak furniture that I collect.

This is the area where we had a miscommunication with the gentleman who designed the kitchen for us. He left space for a 36" wide, 72" high refrigerator and the one we have isn't that big. The previous cabinets were larger in this area and I'm going to have to patch and paint a bit more of the wall.

On Friday the countertops will be installed and we still need to go shopping for a stove, microwave & dishwasher plus a new kitchen faucet.

While the men were installing all of this, I was down in the basement doing more sorting, storing & tossing. My quilting corner is just about clear and it's getting more organized down there all the time. Today, we picked up a number of 6 quart see-through boxes to store things that don't require a full tote. Slowly but surely, we're getting there..

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Not A Christmas Stocking

No, it's not going to be a Christmas stocking - for one thing, it's too small {g} But it is the first sock of my second pair and I'm knitting it on Xmas Eve. I just finished turning the heel without having to resort to tranquilizers thanks to my friend Sallee. Now this is not to say that she might have felt like taking a couple before I got the method through my sometimes thick skull, but I've got it now. Thanks, Sallee!!

I like this yarn better than the red & pink Sassy Stripes that I made my first pair with - the denim blue (it's a bit darker than it shows in the photo) with little bits of grey, darker blue & light blue) is more my speed. This is also my first pair of wool socks - I don't know the brand because I bought it unbanded at a garage sale for $5. There are 4 oz in the skein and it's working up nicely on size 2 needles. If anyone recognizes it, could you let me know?

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Too Late For Xmas

Not that I really planned on getting these to California before the 25th, so they'll be belated. A couple weeks ago, my grand-daughter called to ask if I could make her a fuzzy hat & scarf like the ones she saw at a store in their town. Now I didn't have a photo of those and only two mismatched skeins of Fancy Fur, so I did my best.

One skein of yarn was neon pink and the other was black, so I put them together and matched a cranberry worsted with them. By the time I finished the hat, both skeins were a bit lean so I only worked one stitch up the center of the scarf.

Not wanting to slight my grandson, I knit a scarf & a fair isle hat to match his winter coat which is pumpkin orange with black trim. The fair isle design is from The Opinionated Knitter - one of the many charts in one of the early chapters. I worked it first in orange on black & then transitioned to black on orange.

The secondary color is really a pumpkin orange, not the rather gold color it shows in the photo. Now I need to find a box and get these shipped off.

On the moving front, the kitchen is painted and ready for the cabinet installation to start on Wednesday. We still need to pick out a stove, a microwave and a dishwasher. I spent a good part of today with the shop vac trying to make all the plaster dust from the patching & sanding disappear. That stuff is tenacious!

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Ever Wonder?

Ever wonder what 101 hat & scarf sets would look like? Wonder no more....

Last night, I packed up the sets our K4 group has been making for the shelter for homeless vets in Detroit so they'd be ready to deliver this weekend. Each of four bags contains twenty sets and the fifth one has twenty-one sets.

This entire week, we've been having a craft sale at the Senior Center with not only our K4 group, but also the Ceramics, China Painting & Quilting groups participating. Our knitting group sold over $400 worth of hats, scarves, afghans, shawls and baby items. That money will go to buy more yarn for next year's projects. In addition, we donated fourteen sets, two caps & a pair of mittens to the Head Start tree at the center and we're still trying to find a charity to present with a tote and a half of afghans & lap robes. It was fun being at the center all week, meeting folks that come for activities on days I'm not normally there, chatting, knitting & drinking coffee.

On the personal front, we're still getting ready for the move to the other house. The storage shelves are done in the basement.

All those totes on the second shelf are full of yarn - the stuff I sorted back in November. The larger totes on the floor have dishes in them. We're also starting to move our books. These book shelves are on the back of the shelves on the left of the photo above. Eventually, my quilting area will be in the area to the left. The basement is unfinished so far, but we may doing something about that down the road.

After a lot of thought, we decided to remodel the kitchen before moving. The original just wouldn't adapt to two people using it at the same time. DH & I enjoy cooking, but this "L" shaped layout wasn't going to work so this is the kitchen that was.

The cupboards look nice, but they really weren't. None of the base cabinets had shelves, doors were hung lopsided, drawer fronts tended to come loose and edges were rough enough to scrape if you brushed against them. Right now, the only things that look the same are the refrigerator and the window. The walls are in the process of being patched and painted and new cabinets are on order, due to be installed between Xmas & New Year's. Stay tuned.

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