Nothing in the world would make me take on a project like this:

A truly God-Awful specimen from the early 1980's, complete with oak-tone veneered particle board, broken hardware and mirrored panels that defy explanation. And the filth? So. Very. Dirty. And yet, my children decreed that it was the very thing we needed, and convinced me that it could become wonderful, with their help. So we parted with $5 at Goodwill, and home it came. I am such a sucker.

We cut the all the sides out and replaced them (along with the mirrors) with punched sheet metal. We replaced all the hardware, and added new feet.

After a solid week of filling, sanding, painting, sanding, painting again, steel-wooling, distressing and waxing, it started to come around. The children were right. It had become, if not wonderful, a suitable nest. And a not half-bad shabby chic end table for the living room. Which we would not have needed, but for this:

Her name is Ruby, and she came home to live with us yesterday, on Easter.

Ruby is a wee little Scotty, who has stolen our hearts. She's already supervising my work, as you can see. Born on Valentine's Day, she's just eight weeks old, but already completely full of Scottitude. She knows her name, how to get our attention, and even, thankfully, likes her little nest.

To all of you who sent your kind words of comfort last December when we lost our Paisley, I knew you'd want to see this update. Order has been restored to our universe. 


For the Good of the Order, I offer today a definitive answer. Isn't that reassuring? Unfortunately it's not about knitting, for definitive answers are thin on the ground in the realm of string. But this is almost as good.

As I bet many of you have, Gentle Readers, I have more than once struggled with a particular First World Problem: How do we match a lampshade to a base? Use The Force? Trust the manufacturers? Call an expert? White-knuckle and hope? 

No, my friends. At last, I have learned that there is an actual formula! Thanks, Maths! It is with profound relief that I present:

The Answer:

Thank you, Ballard Designs

Thank you, Ballard Designs

If you click on the above, you will be taken to the font of lampshade-selection-wisdom. Now all you have to do is remember that you found the answer on somebody's knitting blog once. Good luck with that.

You're Welcome. May we all sleep more soundly now.

On Floors and Fugl

Greetings, Gentle Readers;

It's been a while since I posted, and to those of you who noticed and sent me good wishes, I offer my heartfelt gratitude. Having sensed a disturbance in the Force, you correctly guessed that something was amiss with me.

Truth is, I got sick. Go-to-the-hospital-for-a-month sick.

But the good news is I survived, and I'm better now. Much, much better, in fact. And the improvement continues, so I expect to be back up to my usual high jinx before long. 

While I have been on the mend, we took the opportunity to revisit The Flooring Situation:

You may remember that many moons ago, I hatched the Cunning Plan to recover the ground floor of my house with paper mache. That worked out better than I could have expected; actually holding up for years longer than it had any right to. Until the heavy traffic areas started to peel. And were badly patched. And then got held together with duct tape:

Hello Kitty duct tape, to be precise. We are not savages, after all.

But having duct tape on a floor whose surface was already a "short-term" stopgap was really keeping me up at night, surprising nobody.

So at long last, we finally hired some delightful fellas, who in only two days installed what we call "Grownup Floors" for us:

Bailey, like the rest of us, approves. We like to run in our (handknit) socks on it just because it's hard to stop. Lindsay thinks we should put socks on the dogs and make them race. But then someone would have to knit 8 small socks. Not necessarily a dealbreaker.

And then I felt (nearly) recuperated enough to hang some big, sexy baseboards. I got a nail gun (Phillip expressed misgivings about my being so armed) and made the family help. We all now share a deep appreciation for the finish carpenters of the world. Crawling around on ones hands and knees to install, patch and paint 200 linear feet of sexy baseboards will do that for you. Funny thing about baseboards: They are totally unnoticeable unless they are absent. They really blend into the landscape when you have them, but if you don't, it's like a mouthful of missing teeth. Yep. We have worked our butts (knees?) off for something we will now ignore. Thanks, home-ownership!

In better news, Lookit what came in the mail today! I found an incredible bargain on limited colors HERE.  

I've been infected by a Lopi-Virus, which malady I am enjoying immensely. Care to contract the bug? 

Here is a gorgeous pattern called "Fugl", by Vedis Jonsdotter (Istex Lopi #25, 2006), now sadly out of print. The original was designed for the bulky-weight Alafloss Lopi, and includes a zipper, as you can see.

I'm going to rework it for the worsted-weight Lett Lopi, add optional short rows at the back of the neck, and change to a button placket. And of course, mine will be in the zany Disco colors you see above, rather than the totally-sane neutrals pictured. Since I feel it's a loss to knitting that it's no longer in print, I plan to publish the pattern when I'm done. Thoughts?

Thanks again to those who missed me. Stay tuned for more on Fugl Redux!