Monday, September 04, 2006

The Knitting Oasis Is Finally Complete!

Mike and I are not that handy, so when I decided to remodel the garage, I called my dad. After a few hours of planning, he and I jumped right in and spent the summer doing hard labor. Drywall, insulation, hanging a ceiling, patching, sanding, painting, carpet...whew! It is so good to be done. Built in 1923, this relic was never finished, just tar paper and studs. Bare bones. The weather got in, the growing vines got in and the spiders got it. I never liked storing important stuff out there since there was no guarantee that it would be safe. My summer project was to turn this dusty, dirty, scary place into a knitting oasis. A place where my friends can come over to do all things crafty. And play Ms. Pac Man, of course.
The garage is two-story, so I put a lot of the "stuff" upstairs in plastic bins, but kept the important junk downstairs. The X-mas stuff, Halloween decorations, etc.
Here is a view of the back corner, with stairs, BEFORE all of the hard work:

...and here is the same corner, after a few weeks of attention and many trips to Home Depot:

Here is a before view of the back of the garage, with window facing out to a big walnut tree.

...and here it is transformed into the sewing center and arcade. We leveled out the floor and put down carpet, even carpeted the stairs. You can sit here and sew something up while watching the squirrels play on the neighbor's garage.

Here is my desk. Since we moved to our new house (2 years and counting) I haven't had a desk. I use the dining room table, which is typically covered in whatever project I am currently working on. Forget about having a meal at the table, I have my sewing out, or I am blocking a big item. Now, I can retire to my knitting oasis, and dive right into whichever project I choose. The table and shelving came from Ikea. The silver cabinet is vintage from an old pharmacy, my dad gave it to me years ago, my first piece of furniture. I LOVE it! The chair was also from my dad. We have similar taste in second-hand furniture.

I had my first visitor on Saturday! Leyla, my friend from Yarn Garden, came over and we went downtown to Michael Levine's. We spent 2 hours picking out fabric for our felted purse lining (I got some great stuff, to be posted next week) and I picked up some needle felting supplies. Here are some of our victories! We felted onto felt, then felted onto a shirt. I even got it to work on paper.

I also have some punch embroidery stuff, seen here in the jars. I tried to get it to work, but I think I need more practice. I keep pulling out the previous stitches as I move forward. Practice, practice, practice.

The teddy bear project: I bought these little guys and am planning to knit sweaters for them. I am designing a cardigan and a pull-over. The book pictured is GREAT if you ever want to knit a bear. I have made a few of the small ones, and am gathering the courage to knit a really big bear.


Petunia Honeysuckle said...

Hecuba! the end of your summer is nigh! I really enjoyed following your knitting blog this year, thanks for all the heads-up notices on snbla :) btw, AWESOME new oasis, I'm coming over LOL! ~Jules.

Mimi said...

It turned out fantastic. Congrats!!!! and happy sewing, knitting and relaxing in your new oasis.

Toni said...

Love the before/after photos--congratulations on your accomplishment!

MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Hey, Karen. I feel like I know you, b/c I'm always reading your updates on the SnB LA Digest! :) Anyway, I think I actually hate you. Kinda harsh, huh? Maybe I just really, really, really, really, REALLY envy you. Beautiful oasis. I'm glad I came to check it out, but really wish it was mine.

On another note, I have a bunch of yarn. I was thinking about donating the bulk of it to Stitches from the Heart, but wanted to know if you were interested in it for your students. Leave a comment on my blog if so (my email is acting up).

MonkeyGurrrrrl said...
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Miss Rakai said...
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Miss Rakai said...

My goodness...your knitting oasis is AMAZING!!! wanna be my newest friend? lolol Incidentally, I am in the midst of starting up a little oasis of my own...a gathering I'm calling "Gone Stitchin'" on campus at Antioch University in Culver City, where I am an MA in Education/Teaching Credential Student. I am so pleased to know that people are interested! Again, congrats to you!!