January 2011

Wednesday night I finished my lace project and put it on the blocking wires. Getting a project like this wet is awesome and terrifying, awesome because the lace really opens up and becomes truly lovely, terrifying because I had no idea how big it might get. (I generally only do gauge swatches for sweaters).

Border & Waves

Fortunately this “scarf on steroids” project, as I’ve come to call it, ended up wider, but not substantially longer than the pattern. Not to say it isn’t huge anyway – for a sense of scale, the orange strip on the ground is a yard stick.

On the wires

This weekend I’ll pull it off the wires and do some wearing demo photos and then it’ll be packed up and shipped off to my mother in Northern California.

Reaching to Infinity

My long-neglected second sock not piquing my interest enough, I immediately cast on a new project (after swatching!) yesterday morning and I’ve already knit through a ball and a half. Lord love bulky yarn!!

Knitting Bulky

Here’s what I’ve done so far.
FLOGS Collar

Must knit more!!

So the day after I moved in, I naturally invited a bunch of people over for my second annual National Pie Day celebration, like you do.

Karen & Chris

Maria & Bristol

There were knitting quizzes and pie trivia!

There were door prizes!

There was much tea consumed!

There were rows knitted!

And there was a pie per person! (and some creme brulee that snuck in, but who can complain?)
Dessert Pie Sampler

Pies!(Counterclockwise from bottom right: quiche (egg pie), shepherd’s pie, vegetarian shepherd’s pie, banana’s foster pie, cherry cream pie, spinach feta and phyllo pie, lemon meringue, and s’more pie.)

In other news, it’s -10° F outside, but the house is warm and there were a pair of beautiful cardinals chirping outside my living room window as I ate my breakfast this morning.


And I have a bunch of leftover savory pies for my lunch. Not a bad start to a cold day!!

Moving Out:

Moving Day Part 1

Moving Day Part I

See you on the other side!

At the start of the weekend, the master bedroom looked like this:

Bedroom - </p> <p><br /> <a title=

Now it looks a little something like this:
Bedroom - Paint Try #1

Bedroom - Paint Try #1

The bad news: I don’t like the color, it’s just too saturated/bright. I was going for a robin’s egg blue and this is much more tropical than I was aiming for, if that makes any sense.

The good news: The paint only cost $10 on sale, so it’s no big deal to buy a different can and try again.  I’m leaning toward the following color.

Water .01

Yolo Water .01

In the living room things are more certain.


Living Room

Living Room


Living Room - Primed

Living Room - During


Living Room- Painted

Living Room- Painted

Living Room- Painted

Both Mr. Cleaver and I absolutely love the transformation. The original color made the room so dark and den-like – it’s so much brighter and more modern now! Eventually I’ll make some curtains to cover the lower bookcase and we’ll paint the doors to match the trim, but aside from a few touch-ups and painting the built-in’s shelves, we’re done in this room – which is huge.

Once again, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our friends, who helped out enormously!!

Lace in Progress

In the midst of all the painting, packing and scraping, it’s nice to have a simple lace pattern to turn to at night.

Mr. Cleaver and I have our apartment through the end of January, so we’re taking advantage of this time to get some work done in the house before we move in.

The goal: to paint the master bedroom and living room.

Our Friday, December 31st, the master bedroom in our new house looked like this:

Master Bedroom

Yesterday, on Friday January 7th, it looked like this:

Master Bedroom- During (Skim Coated)

For the week in between, it looked more like this:

Wallpaper Removal

and this:
Wallpaper Removal

and this:
Wallpaper Removal

I had been told that whenever you do a remodeling project expect it to take twice as long and cost at least 10% more than you think.

I don’t think I was prepared for the “dear God, what have I done!!” feeling that happens in the middle when everything looks terrible and you’re too far into the project to turn back, but not near enough to being done that you can see the end yet.

Deciding to remove the early 90’s style wallpaper seemed an easy enough decision. And it was easy enough to remove.

It was the other 3-4 generations under it that were more difficult, particularly the charming at first, but stupidly stubborn later, patriotic print that was the bottom layer. We guessed the lowest level of paper was put on in 1962, based on a note written on the underlying wall.  The house was built in 1948, but there had obviously been some patches and repairs done since then.

Bottom Layer

It was interesting to see all the levels and think about the people who lived there before. The eagle print aside, there were a lot of muted florals on greyish-pink pastel backgrounds.

Thanks to some paperwork passed down from owner to owner, we know the names of at least three previous owners who lived in the house during 1982, 1989, and 1997 (at least), and it’s interest to guess which paper belong to which owner. It was like wallpaper archeology. In someways, I felt bad pulling out all that history. On the other hand, we made things so much easier for whoever may own the house after us.

All in all it took 3 days and 3 garbage bags worth of wallpaper. Fortunately, there were no big surprises under all that paper, though we’re still not sure what all the walls are made of – it seems to be pressboard/paperboard in some places, maybe plaster or plywood in others.

Since the walls weren’t in great condition after the wallpaper removal, Mr. Cleaver and I skim coated the walls with joint compound and caulked the seams between the molding and the walls. All new skills we didn’t know a week before!! I wouldn’t call us experts by any means, but we did a fair enough job – and hopefully by the end of next week, it’ll all be painted and ready to move in.

Master Bedroom- During (Skim Coated)


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