Step Into My Parlor

Welcome to my little corner of the knitting universe.  And I do mean little corner.  And yes, before you ask, I did begin life as a quilter (one of my Amish interpretations in the stairwell against which my "office" rests.  Small world, no?

My blog, my book, and all my knitting work happen here, in less than 70 square feet that I claimed for my own, between the front door and the dining room.  No room for a legitimate workspace?  Ha!  I laugh at cramped quarters!  A bucket of paint and a trip to Ikea, financed by my first published knitting pattern were all it took.  It wasn't that I couldn't work at the dining room table.  I'd been making it work just any old way for years.  No, the real reason I needed a workspace to call my own was to legitimize my pursuit in the eyes of the others in my home.  Or so I thought.  Little did I know that I was the one who really needed convincing.  You see, dedicating 70 square feet of my home to my pursuit of art both validated and elevated the time I spend working at it. 

My workspace coexists happily with my family living room and consists of three distinct zones.  First is the Office:
 

My desk, surrounded by tack boards and baskets of, what else? YARN!  Notice how the simple act of painting the wall behind my desk delineates the space and makes it special?

My desk, surrounded by tack boards and baskets of, what else? YARN!  Notice how the simple act of painting the wall behind my desk delineates the space and makes it special?

My most-often referenced books, patterns and materials all live near where I write.  On the top shelf is Woody, my artist's model, sporting a miniature gansey I made in class, as well as a wee hat.  Woody provides the constant supervision required by my kind of behavior.

My most-often referenced books, patterns and materials all live near where I write.  On the top shelf is Woody, my artist's model, sporting a miniature gansey I made in class, as well as a wee hat.  Woody provides the constant supervision required by my kind of behavior.

Here's a closer look at my desk.  Swatches, postcards, buttons I love, and other inspirational ephemera are all here in a rotating display that keeps me inspired, or at least tenacious.  In the foreground is some artwork from my book, The New Stranded Colorwork

Here's a closer look at my desk.  Swatches, postcards, buttons I love, and other inspirational ephemera are all here in a rotating display that keeps me inspired, or at least tenacious.  In the foreground is some artwork from my book, The New Stranded Colorwork

My second work zone is for knitting, and it's across from my desk in the living room.  This is my favorite place to knit, and where the rubber meets the road for every design:  All my samples are made right here, by me.  I knit here in my favorite chair with a good light, while my family watch TV, play games and read books.  I'd love an office with a door someday, but I'm sure I'd miss all the action of the living room.  

My knitting chair, with the Frog Prince in progress.  The lion's share of my yarn stash lives in the bookcase in the background, inside pull-out bins.  The Knot Garden cardigan is also in progress here, hanging from a bin.  Do yourself the favor of a decent light wherever you like to work:  Mine is the finest that $12 can buy, and serves me perfectly.

My knitting chair, with the Frog Prince in progress.  The lion's share of my yarn stash lives in the bookcase in the background, inside pull-out bins.  The Knot Garden cardigan is also in progress here, hanging from a bin.  Do yourself the favor of a decent light wherever you like to work:  Mine is the finest that $12 can buy, and serves me perfectly.

The last work zone was added when my sample knitting went thermonuclear.  I invested in some yarn management tools, which have greatly improved my life, and those of my family (who are no longer required to hold my skeins while I wind them)  The wheel was added this spring, when I took up spinning.  

My Lendrum DT wheel, personalized with a favorite verse.  The chair is borrowed from the dining room.  Really uncomfortable, and slated for replacement.  Everything is a work in progress.

My Lendrum DT wheel, personalized with a favorite verse.  The chair is borrowed from the dining room.  Really uncomfortable, and slated for replacement.  Everything is a work in progress.

And back to the desk, where I'm sitting right now, to complete our tour.

 One large cork board wouldn't fit the triangular stair wall, so I improvised this set of four small ones from craft-store cork squares and bargain-bin frames.  My sister added the words "Dream", "Imagine" and "Believe" to my cork board arrangement as a special message. 

 One large cork board wouldn't fit the triangular stair wall, so I improvised this set of four small ones from craft-store cork squares and bargain-bin frames.  My sister added the words "Dream", "Imagine" and "Believe" to my cork board arrangement as a special message. 

If you have ever thought that your "hobby" doesn't warrant a physical space of its own, I challenge you to devote whatever you can to just yourself and your art.  One corner of one shelf.  One drawer.  Claim it in the name of your craft, like a flag on a mountain top, and see if you don't start to take yourself a little more seriously.  You are worth it, and so is your beautiful work. 

Come back to my parlour soon.  I'll put the kettle on.