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Posts from August 2012

No medal, but I have a snazzy new wrap!

Presenting All the Shades of Indigodragonfly (aka All the Shades of Truth)


This was my Olympic project.  I finished it Tuesday, so it was a bit late, but I didn't knit anything else but this wrap since July 28th--it was that much fun.

See here I am having fun knitting on a break at work:


The yarns are all Indigodragonfly.  Three were Smart Ass Knitters/World Domination Club yarns and the remaining two I ordered to fill in the gaps.  All but one had 20% cashmere meaning this is a soft, snuggly wrap.  It already did the trick in an overly air conditioned showing of Paranorman (which you should totally go see--it's great).


I love colourful garter stitch knitting.  It was great fun.  See my Ravelry page for all the colour details etc.  I did fiddle with the colours a bit because I was a bit short on the yardage for a few colours.  I don't think it matters though--that was part of the fun.


The Big Kitchen Reveal

It's done!  Everything is unpacked!  I made banana bread, granola and dinner last night!

We love it.  What a transformation.  See for yourself:

Sink before and after

sink before and after

No more getting soaked doing the dishes. And now I can look out the window instead of feeling pushed into a teeny corner.

The view from our back door has improved

view from door before and after

No more walking into the stove. There's also more room to get into and out of the kitchen. Man that cooktop was UGLY.  And now the air vent is free and open to keep the room appropriately heated/cooled.

The north wall before and after

north wall before and after

The room is now 10x14 and was 10x12. It's a bit tricky to photograph this part since there's no where to stand. The window, cooktop, portable dishwasher and old pantry have been replaced with the most amazing pantry ever. It hold everything including cookbooks, linens and our beer empties and it's not too deep so nothing can go missing in the back.

The new bamboo floor is fantastic

floor before and after

As is the fact that the floor is now level with the rest of the house. My kids will be pleased that the tripping hazard is gone.

New backsplash

backsplash before and after

I think the photo says it all.

Now the big picture pictures. This is the view from the back door. I only had a little photo from when we first bought the house, but it gives you a good sense of the new layout of the space.  The yellow wall is gone and all the pipes inside were moved.  This made room for the fridge and created a long counter/workspace.

 sink wall before and after

Here's a bigger shot of it finished


And here's the view from the other direction

window before and after

We lost the wall oven, but replacing it with a single unit range with a microwave above created more space and allowed for a second long run of countertop. Three people could easily work in this kitchen now.

It's amazing how important a well thought out floor plan is to a kitchen. We have far more cupboards and counters now without adding much to the room. And the updating is just really beautiful.  Everything is clean and new.  The colours make me happy.  A renovation totally worth doing.

All the Shades of Crazy

I blame it on the kitchen reno and my completely failed attempt at participating in the Tour de Fleece (it was such a failure I didn't even mention it here or on Twitter)...I'm doing an O-y-p-c project (you know, that big event in London).

I decided to knit All the Shades of Truth because it's beautiful and I had almost enough yarn in my stash to knit it.  Well 3 out of 5 colours; all of which are club yarns from the Smartass Knitters/World Domination one skein club from Indigodragonfly.  I ordered two more colours to round things out, picked them up in person (and had a lovely visit at Indigodragonfly headquarters) and got started a day late.

It's been fun knitting.  I love me a good garter stitch project and 4 out of 5 yarns have cashmere in them...all good.

All the shades

Pretty eh?

On Monday I took stock.  I noticed the Olympics are half over (and I haven't watched anything more than what's on the restaurant tvs) and wondered how much more I had to do.

Oh, that's a lot.

Then the crazy set in.  I got out a calculator, opened my Evernote app and this is what I wrote:

Remaining rows:

Section 2: 30 @ 280sts 8400
Section 3: 78 @ 75 sts 5850
Section 4: 28 @ 319 sts 8932
Section 5: 110 @ 89sts 9790
Section 6: 124 @ 89sts 11036
Edging: 48 @ 431sts 10344
Total rows: 394
Total sts: 54352
6 days: 9108 sts per day
Average sts/row = 138
Finish section 2 plus 10 rows section 3
Finish section 3 plus 13 rows section 4
Finish section 4 plus 49 rows section 5
Finish section 5 plus 41 rows section 6
Finish section 6 plus 4 rows edging
Finish 20 rows edging.  Weave in ends

First off, that's a lot of knitting to do for someone who doesn't have a kitchen and has a job and children (well one is away canoeing in Algonquin Park, but still). 


Second, I must be going insane to have calculated a full plan based on an average row based on calculating all the remaining stitches in the project.
What have I become?

All the shades of crazy

Oh, and as of this morning I'm 46 rows behind. Crap.
Maybe this will also be a Paralympics project. 


We're cooking in the kitchen (but it's not done yet)

As of Friday afternoon we were able to cook in our kitchen.  Except there are no doors on our cupboards and we aren't allowed to unpack and move back in until that part is done.

Here's a recap of those days...

Day 17:

More of the molding went up on the cabinets.  I especially like how the pantry looks now.

Day 17: Pantry

The paint was also done on the trim. It's the same colour as what we have in the rest of the main floor. It's Benjamin Moore Natural Linen. And no, it's not white, it's beige. It's also the colour of the ceiling in our living/dining room and we love it. We don't have a white ceiling in our entire house.

Day 17: Door trim

The ceiling was also painted in the kitchen. It looks white but is actually very light blue/grey. It's the lightest colour on the card from which we chose our wall paint. Benjamin Moore Whispering Spring for those playing along at home.

Day 18:

Today the kitchen gets colour and it is good.

The walls are Benjamin Moore Colorado Gray. My smart friends told me to choose a colour that would make me happy in the morning and this absolutely does. We have similar coloured chest of drawers in our entrance way to tie in the kitchen to the rest of the open-concept house. And blue is bright and cheery and works really well with the maple cabinetry.

Day 18 was also first major glitch day.  

I got a call at work from my contractor.  It seems the granite people ordered the wrong counter and it was cut and laying on our cabinets.

I came home expecting it to be awful.  I was worried they would bully me into something I didn't want.  I also worried a replacement would take long weeks where I would be without my kitchen.

Not what we ordered

It wasn't so bad.  In fact, I liked it better than the one we picked.  This wasn't in the samples we were given.  It's a dark brown with lighter brown stuff in it.  It goes better with my backsplash tiles.  

I still acted disappointed and we got a good discount.  Here it is with the sink:

Day 18 sink

After that drama, Kenny finished the paint and started on the backsplash.


Day 18: Blue!

It's better with a close up:


























Or with paint for the whole look

Day 18

That was the day I started to really see it coming together. 

The tiles are 1"x6" slate and they are irregular.  They aren't the same thickness and stuff so you have to be okay with random.  They're just rock so they're not scared of a bit of scrubbing to keep them clean. They've been sealed and I believe Kenny is going to put some other kind of finish on them to bring out the colours.  I love them.  

Day 19:

I'm sure little things get done that I don't see.  Molding goes up, kick boards are installed, stuff is caulked and sealed and joins are glued.  That stuff is important and makes the room look finished.  I'm glad it's being done and I can tell when it isn't done...but me, I'm seeing the big stuff.

Tiles were grouted and they went from fantastic to FREAKIN' FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC!

Grouted tiles

The under cabinet lighting was installed and all the plug ins and stuff were put in.

Day 19 Tiles are grouted

The fridge was moved back into the kitchen (this is shot on the morning of day 20--see how the colour makes you happy?)

Day 19 Fridge is back in the kitchen




















Day 20

Today is not a work day for my contractor. He is waiting on the cabinet doors and it's the Friday before a long weekend. He wants them to be right and doesn't want anyone to rush. I'm good with this and they will be installed on Tuesday. My stove is delivered and Kenny hooks it up. It's an LG gas convection, self cleaning oven. I have never had a self-cleaning oven and I'm super excited about the fact that it won't get all disgusting.

Day 20 My stove

Swanky eh? We didn't choose it because it has bright blue enamel inside, but we love that fact all the same.

In fact, our choices were guided by the July 2012 issue of Consumers Reports which was all about kitchen renovations. We brought it with us appliance shopping and used it to cut through the clutter of too many choices. It was super helpful. I don't know if it's a guarantee of reliability, but it's a good start and really there are too many choices out there!

Now we're using the kitchen and it is amazing. We can all be in there at once working and not bump into each other. I can wash dishes and not get soaked. I don't have to roll the dishwasher to the tap. I'm already planning all the yummy things I can cook.

Sometimes I look at it and feel like it's someone else's house.  It's hard to believe we own something so lovely.

It was a big expense and we'll be paying it down for a while. But it's worth it. I have a big stash to knit up and our kids will only be home for a few more years. It's our prime cooking years and we're going to do it in style. Next post will be the big reveal!