Monday, January 29, 2007

Baseboards? What baseboards?

Sock knitting continues apace, the blue sock and the tan sock competing for my affections. One sock of each is finished up to the heel, and the blue sock is taking the lead (alpaca feels so much nicer in the hand than cotton!). But the tan sock is nagging me... And the orange socks, they're just such a simple pattern; I can work on them anywhere so they're cruising along guilt-free. Nothing much else on the needles, just the boss's baby's sweater waiting for a zipper. So many projects in the wings...

Another fun-filled home improvement weekend, and another set of learning points to add to the growing list.
1) When someone suggests you should rent an apartment, gut the house, and fix it all at the same time, don't completely laugh them off.
2) Always allow for the following time calculation: [amount of time estimated to complete project] + [amount of time estimated to complete project] x 3. This accounts for the time it takes to prepare the area before actually beginning the project. Our goal this weekend: put up baseboards in living room. Score? Zero baseboards installed. Time was instead spent on preparing walls and removing old baseboards.
3) Similarly, always allow for the following financial calculation: [estimated cost] x 3. This accounts for the little things you don't take into consideration, the things you didn't expect to have to deal with, and the unavoidable 2nd and 3rd trip to the hardware store.
4) If you finish the floor before you do the walls, you will damage the floor.
5) Outlet box, then drywall.
6) There's a reason some people stuff empty spaces with newspaper and use cardboard as drywall - it's really damn hard to do home improvement correctly. What's even harder is being the latter type of home owner in a house previously owned by the former.

I also insisted this weekend on purchasing my own set of basic tools, to be placed in a toolbox that no one but me can touch. Needless to say, one screwdriver is already missing, and I know without a shadow of doubt that I'm responsible. Damnit.

In the continuing parade of finished objects of recent months:
shedir back
I love this hat, and it breaks my heart that it doesn't fit my head better. Further experimenting with blocking will hopefully change that.
Shedir hat by Jenna Wilson from special Knitty issue. Completed early January, knit almost entirely in Grenada.
Yarn: Special Alpaca yarn, purchased at NJ Fiber Festival
Needles: Size 3 16" circular
Modifications: None. I will probably tack up the front edge, as I like that it's long enough to cover my ears, but in the front it hits my eyebrows.
Would I make it again? Absolutely. A bit of a pain doing the cables with this yarn (not very forgiving), but the pattern was very clear and a joy to knit. Check out some of the other versions other people have made to see clearer stitch definition.

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