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Posts from April 2005

I have not been knitting

But I've been thinking a lot about knitting.  Mostly because I have a design I'm working on and I want to be thinking about it less and knitting it more.  I can't say much about it except that it's red and I'm having fun with it.

What I have been doing is haunting IKEA buying stuff for the house and planning other stuff to buy for the house.  I love IKEA--I'm not much of a decorator, and I like that they do all the work for me.  And the price fits my budget and all their little organize-y things fit my style.  I found a bunch of cute extras for the kids' rooms (which will make their blog debut really soon), some window coverings for our room and some much needed storage for the bathroom (no linen closet in this house poses problems).  Now I need to get on the dust mask and start sanding that room so we can paint it, but it's a messy job (we had major wall repairs to do) and I'm procrastinating.

And we're getting all DIY here--I've been fixing appliances.  Under Craig's tutelage (and I say this lightly since he just dove in and tried to figure stuff out, he's no appliance pro) I've learned about rudimentary washer and dryer repair, and even helped fix our ailing dishwasher, which now actually cleans the dishes again HOORAY (I hate washing dishes). 

I've also been hanging doors (learned about hinges and door knobs), hanging window treatments, using drills and levels and all manner of tools and unpacking boxes.  The house is starting to feel livable even though we have lots still to do.  Hopefully I'll be back in full knitting/blogging mode soon.  I'm having fun with all the new-house stuff, but it's also a tad stressful and can take over all of one's life.  It would be better if I didn't need to have it all done right now.  But I'm not like that I guess.

Even a bit of knitting

The painting of the kids' rooms is complete!!!!!  They look great.  We haven't got the curtains up and the beds together and all those finishing touches done yet, but the paint is back in the basement and away until we tackle the bathroom (next weekend).  So these teaser photos will have to do for now:



Looking snazzy eh?  I'll take more photos when the rooms are together just to show off a bit.  I tried some new things and I'm rather proud of how it all turned out.  There are still shelves to be painted and toys to be unpacked, but I'm going to take my time with all that.  What's great is that we can get the kids' mattresses off our floor and have our room back again.

And this time the paint appears to be staying put.  There is definitely old oil paint under the latex trim and doors, but with some gentle sanding and priming it appears to be holding on.  I also think the slack-jawed painters just slapped on the paint in one too-thick coat and it's taking some time to properly cure and adhere to the walls.  We're just going to have to be careful from now on.

There was even a teeny bit of knitting completed on Friday.  I finished the first Jungle Stripe Sock.  I used a garter stitch cuff with a crenalleted bind off.  I figured crazy socks need a crazy cuff.


Before I go to work today I'm going to start the next one.  The subway seems to be the only place I have time to knit and I can't stand not having something portable on the needles.

This is not good.

Tuesday night, as we were nearly finishing Emma's room, we decided to take a gander at Xander's (I'm a poet and didn't know it) to see how bad the red trim was.  Remember how I mentioned it'll take 5 coats to look nice and red?  Well, that's the least of my worries.


Yes, that's my hand going under the paint as it peels off the trim.  This is bad.  The paint is not sticking on the wall.

All the DIY sites say that wall preparation is the most important part of painting.  Well, our entire house was painted the week before we moved in, so we figured we'd have nice clean walls to paint on.  Seems this place was painted by crack-smoking monkeys*.  The white paint they used is not sticking to the wall.  We know it's not our paint because it has a white backing.  The red paint sticks nicely to the white paint, but that paint is not sticking to the fucking trim.

So last night I peeled back to a point where it peeled no more (the whole fucking place may be like this, but I'm not going on an expedition to find out) then I sanded and primed.  I'll repaint tonight (I'd do it today but I have to go to work to make one bloody phone call because I don't have my phone yet).

This means that we'll have to prime all the walls and hope for the best.  We've disovered they've painted over unprimed drywall and filler in places and the whole paint job is lousy.  We weren't expecting much (same owner as the last place) but it's pretty bad.  Now I'm having visions of sheets of dry colourful latex paint sliding off the walls.  Yikes.  Maybe this was a one-off.  Maybe they didn't paint latex over oil paint.  Could they be that stupid?  Will I make it to the summer with my sanity intact?

*My apologies to all monkeys in the animal kingdom.  The painters are far stupider than any members of your species.

Springtime is for drinking beer

It was warm, the sun was shining, we were on a patio and it was good.

What was not good was coming home (with a warm glow courtesy of Guinness) and discovering that Xander, in a quiet unsupervised moment, "helped" paint his room.  So we had to scrub red off the blue and blue off the red, and will need to buy new paint because they're now mixed together--he didn't think to use two brushes.  And, Xander ruined a newish pair of pants and favourite polo shirt and a brand new white hand towel.  (Another painting tip--do not leave all the tools for destruction out in your child's room). 

In the end there were some tears, a lesson was learned by all and there wasn't too much damage done.  It wasn't like he unravelled or cut a WIP or anything...

Paint Fumes

The weekend painting party went pretty good.  Thank You Thank You Thank You to Steve H., Maria Cristina, Alejandra, David, Jonathan and Steve L. for coming over and helping out. 

Both Emma's and Alexander's rooms are almost done.  And, while I really want to take a break tonight and not paint, the fact that both their mattresses and all their boxes are in our room and I can't find a damn thing is annoying me enough to put my head down and get at least one room done tonight. 

And while I certainly am not Debbie Travis, I have learned a few more things about painting.

1. Do the fucking trim first.  I didn't do that and now I have to tape the walls and try to get a straight line where the two colours meet up.  This in an old, poorly repaired house where there isn't a straight wall (horizontally or vertically).

2. Use a tinted primer under red paint.  The trim in Alexander's room is red.  And after two coats, it looks like we'll need at least two more.  There will be no more red in this house (despite the fact that I love red walls).

3. Don't be afraid of colour.  Though my children's rooms clearly follow traditional gender lines (big time) the bright bold colours rock.  And I promise I'll have photos when they're done.

4. Choosing fancy techinques is great, but not when you have a whole house to paint.  I decided to paint some circles on Emma's wall, and it'll take another weekend to get that done.  I was seduced by the cool brochure.  I will be wary of this in the future. 

Now to work, which seems perfectly relaxing and paint-fume free.  And at three I'm off to see friends who planned a "Springtime is for drinking beer" gab fest.  Mmmmmm beer.

50 cent tour

I found the both the camera cable, and the time so I can post a mini tour of the place.  I'm not showing you all the rooms right now because some of my super-fab friends have arranged a painting party and are coming on the weekend to help us out.  Right now we have a big beige house and we need some colour (but not the honeydew green (think of the melon) I bought a small can of for the kitchen--it glows).

Here's the exterior:


And the entrance way/hall:


The living room and dining room (the fireplace doesn't work--but it looks cool):


Our room--we have the second floor balcony.


And our view (look closely between the houses to see Lake Ontario):


And the attic which will house the tv, computer, and the yarn.  It's as big as our living/dining room of our old place so you can see we've gained a tonne of space.


Finally, our tiny Toronto backyard--which holds a deck and garage.  It suits us fine (no grass to mow) and Happy Craig has somewhere to play with his tools.


Still no knitting right now.  I'm pooped.  I figure it'll take a month for things to get back into the regular groove.  But I see some great times ahead.  This is the best move I've made and I'd be partying, if I wasn't exhausted.

We're in

Just thought I would pop in and say hi.  Thankfully one of our neighbours has an unsecured wireless line and we're borrowing some internet until the phone is connected.  The new place is FANTASTIC.  The neighbours are friendly, there are kids to play with, we have tons of space and we're going to be super happy living here.

I took some pictures right after the movers left, but I can't find my camera cables.  The standard answer to "where is X" is "in a box somewhere".  Maybe I'll find it tomorrow and give you the 50 cent tour.  And maybe I'll knit a bit too. 

The coolest feature of the house so far: I can see a tiny piece of Lake Ontario from my bedroom window.


Cracking open a beer and sitting to watch The Daily Show was probably a mistake, but I needed to unwind after a long day of packing.  My phone and internet went down yesterday inexplicably motivating me to come to work even though I want to be in bed hiding from the inevitable.  Or reading the new Knitty.

The movers come tomorrow and there's still a lot to do.  It'll get done, but we're gonna be cracking open beers at midnight or later tonight.  I'll be really glad to be out of the old place and making progress on the new one. 

I'll likely be offline for a few days because a labour dispute prevents my phone/internet from being connected.  It's an inconvenience, but I think the workers are being screwed so I'll put up with it for a while.

*Reference: Blackadder III, Ink and Incapability

Where the f**k did all this stuff come from?

I'm still here, but I'm standing in a half empty room marvelling at how much stuff we own.  I keep packing and moving boxes to the new place and there's still more.  The funny thing is, that I've missed very little of it in the last month (though I have been interested in making a Flower Basket shawl but my yarn and IKs are packed).  So why do I have it? 

The moving process makes me remember a photo essay I saw in a magazine (Utne ReaderHarper's?) a long time ago.  It consisted of photos of families standing outside their home with all their stuff piled behind them.  It was an amazing display of affluence to see a typical US family and their belongings contrasted with a families in the Middle East and Europe and Africa.  We comfortable North Americans got a lot of stuff.  I think we only see it when we lose it due to some disaster or move it like I am right now.

Funny thing is, I'll surely buy more.  We have all the toys and books and knick knacks but very little furniture to put it on--that's likely what's next.  But for the first little while I hope I'll ask myself--"Do I really need it?" before I buy.

The packing isn't the only reason I haven't been blogging or knitting.  Yesterday, Alexander took it on the chin while jumping in the pool at school.  He jumped in and tried to grab the edge and bonked his chin on the pool deck (ouch).  I didn't see it, but it must have been pretty spectacular because he's got six stitches (don't click if you're overly squeamish). 

He was a brave kid again and actually fell asleep in Craig's arms waiting for the topical anesthetic to take and slept through the whole suturing part.  And it hasn't slowed him down at all.  I'm going to lose a lot of sleep over this kid in the future. 

knitting therapy

I just knit three rows on my Sophie sleeve.  It's the first time I've picked up the needles since Friday.  I needed that.


And for the curious.  We moved some boxes in an open pickup truck yesterday (I say we when I was in the house with the kids--Craig and our uber-pal Jonathan did the moving--he didn't look outside when he said he would help).  Some boxes had to be unpacked immediately because they were rather wet, but it went okay considering the crappy weather.  We don't have to be (thanks mmb) out of the old place until Sunday so we'll ferry more boxes over this week since it's bright and sunny.