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Sewing Room: Mission Accomplished!

I’ve missed a few updates.

Thursday night was not as productive as previous nights, but part of that was that I was having bad sciatic pain, and part was that it was family haircut night, so I got a late start.  Once I forced myself to drag up the stairs, my back loosened up after a while.  I didn’t get as far square footage wise as I have been, but it was a head-scratcher of a set of shelves – all the yarn, knitting, crocheting, and weaving supplies, which are a little problematic to store.  After pulling everything down, I decided that my current storage solution of sealing the yarn in two gallon ziplock bags, squeezing out the air, and stacking them like cordwood is actually mostly working.  Ninety percent of that yarn is my scarf stash – I hit a really good sale on Lion yarn years ago, and stocked up.  I won’t need to buy any of that for a while, but I DO need to knit up some of it and get it out of there!

I managed to get most of those shelves sorted out, and now they have all the heddles and bits and pieces for the loom, the fiber for the rigid heddle loom and tablet weaving (I left lots of room for that to expand,) and my knitting yarn.  The only thing that I’m a little baffled by is a good way to store my growing collection of knitting needles.  Flat on a shelf is a huge waste of space and they’re too long to store in a mug.  I need something I can hang that they can drop into – basically, a more attractive/appealing Pringles can would be good.  I have them set aside until I come up with a solution I like.

As much as I’ve been trying to get away from copy paper boxes stuffed under shelves, it turned out to be a good solution for my collection of legacy yarn: “You knit, right?  Here’s a bag full of yarn from my mother / neighbor / kid.”  I’m keeping the decent stuff because it’s good practice fodder for the loom, but where to put it?  In this case a copy paper box underneath the shelves is a perfect solution.  I threw in some cedar off-cuts, just ‘cause.  I also emptied out two baskets that used to be favorites until I decided to use them for storage – I guess my theory was that if they were taking up space anyhow, they may as well hold something.  I threw out everything in them.  Half-finished projects from fifteen years ago in which I’ve lost all interest – don’t need to take up space in my room.  Now I need a better place to store those baskets, because I still really like them and they’re still really useful.

Friday did NOT go as planned.  I got into work and was barely settled in when day care called – “come get your child.”  They’ve had an intestinal virus running rampant through the place, and Charlotte had an accident of galloping diarrhea.  Of course, when I got there she was happy and bouncy, but they (rightfully) have a policy about diarrhea – and I could see that she was off her game.  And if I’m honest, I’ll admit that I wasn’t heartbroken to be sent home on an absolutely gorgeous Friday.  So I let her have soda crackers, and go outside.  She did some swinging, and we blew a LOT of bubbles.  Bubbles are fun.  She was resting in between a lot more than usual, and took a few huge naps.  In between, I went up and kept working on the sewing room.  Hey – it beats daytime television.  I got the remaining six perimeter shelves tidied up – those are in more regular use, so they weren’t as bad as the rest. 

My big “mistake” is that I should never have touched the quilting fabric.  That snowballed.  I had intended to leave those bins closed and deal with them later, but I cracked open two small cases (because they were on one of the perimeter shelves,) and the next thing you know I was in full fabric reorganization mode.  The good part is now all the loose pieces of yardage that were floating around the room are not merely put away, but they’re put away in the correct box.  I also filled up a bag with lengths that just no longer tickle my fancy – I’m hoping to find someone to take those, or someplace to donate them.

Saturday would have been a beautiful day to work in the yard, but the work inside was more mission-critical, sadly.  I did open all the windows in the house though, which was nice.  Unfortunately for me, Saturday was the day that I had to address all the “other” stuff that I’d been pushing into the center of the room or stacking on the ironing board and sewing table.  It was an entire day of pick up the item, decide whether or not to keep the item, try to figure out where to put the item, find room and put it down.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  The hardest part was finding a good way to manage the projects that are in progress that I decided are worth keeping.  I’m trying to get away from random canvas bags stuffed with half-done projects, and for good reason.  I found a bag full of the mostly-done underthings that I didn’t get finished for LAST Pennsic that I had completely forgotten about.  Three pair of braes for Bob, a chemise for me, three chemises for Charlotte, and two dresses for Charlotte.  Mostly they just need hems.  Even better – Charlotte’s things will still fit.  It’s a plus for me, but I’m a bit horrified that they just disappeared into that room and were forgotten – for year!

Bob installed the remaining three light fixtures for me, and I finished up late by running the shop vac over everything.  Sunday morning I went up and gave the sewing table surface a good scrub, tweaked a few things into place, and put on a new ironing board cover.  I’m ready to go in there.  I’ll try to take some pictures while it’s still neat and pretty.  I’m VERY happy – I love my new lights, I really do.  But now I need a clock in there, because it’s going to be scary easy to lose track of time.

So of course I rolled into cleaning up the library.  There’s a good reason though – I need to get to my drawing board, which I couldn’t do this time yesterday.  It’s all better now.

The real challenge in the sewing room is going to be keeping it like this, which is a problem on two fronts.  The first challenge is having the discipline to always pick up a project before I start the next one.  The second one is more insidious, which is resisting the urge to use that room (and its big, open expanse of floor) as a dumping ground for other parts of the house.  “Just put it in the sewing room for now” is a phrase that needs to stop.  I don’t know how long we can keep ourselves honest about that, but it’s worth it to try.  It is *beautiful* in there right now.  I’ll try to get some pictures.

I *FILLED* a ninety gallon trash can.  Scary, that.

Of course, I gained a room and lost a hallway.  It’s not as bad as it was when the fabric was out there, but it’s not good.  Most of the fabric I’m divesting is currently in Bob’s trunk – I’m taking it to barony meeting tonight, and I’m really hoping that people will take it home.  ALL of it would be ideal, but I don’t expect that to happen.  Instead, I need to figure out what to do with the things people don’t take.  Much as I hate to just throw it out, that’s probably the answer.  In the past, I’ve stored things I didn’t want for *years* waiting to find homes for them.  I’m over that, and I’m not doing it any longer.

Love my sewing room.  Now if I could just get the *rest* of the house that neat.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 18th, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
I envy your energy and drive :)
Jun. 18th, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
It comes and goes. This was a pretty good run, partly fueled by desperation. Until I found that bag full of mostly finished underthings, I was quite worried about having enough clothes for Pennsic.

The problem is that when I get like this, I get *focused.* That doesn't seem bad until you think about all the other usual things that aren't getting done - it drives my husband NUTS.

Now, if I could just work up that enthusiasm for getting the doors finished and the new casing on, the house might look less like a construction site. I need to borrow Hugh's roommate for a week, I think. :-)
Jun. 18th, 2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
I'm so with you on the organization. And I do worry that all my efforts will be for naught as soon as we have something that we don't know where to put. Every since we closed the shop, the downstairs hallway has become storage and I HATE it.

For me, it was outside this weekend. I ripped up weeds as tall I am and cut down bushes and vines that had overtaken the driveway to such an extent that driving through them was a little harrowing. Now the driveway is dusty, but Bob and I dragged two tarps full of cut branches to the canal and both sides of the house are visible now. The roses and wisteria still need to be cut back, but it's so much better than it was.

Next week, the attic!
Jun. 18th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
"And I do worry that all my efforts will be for naught as soon as we have something that we don't know where to put."

That is EXACTLY my fear, because it happens every damn time - and it snowballs. One thing becomes three becomes twenty-five becomes "I can't walk in here."

I need to do what you did, and I fear that I missed the window of good weather. In my case, I have some things to plant, lots of things to weed, and some more trees to beat back. I am kind of glad to hear that I'm not the only one who needs to weed the sides of the driveway...

Don't wait too long on the wisteria - that stuff is thuggish, and will take over if you turn your back on it!
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:51 pm (UTC)
That's a pretty good rule. In this particular case, I'm pretty much putting a moritorium on anything coming in, at least until I sew down the volume a good bit. There's a span of shelving that I would like to get rid of. I've hugely reduced the volume on it, but not enough to pull it out.

Clearly, the answer is that I need to piece a bunch of quilt tops.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
It really does feel good - there's something very freeing about getting the trash and clutter out of your life.
Jun. 18th, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
Good to hear you've got it done. Hopefully this will help you with the projects you've been mentioning that need to be done.
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
I'm good with the ones that just require an application of intent and elbow grease. It's the ones that require *money* that trip me up. We'll get there.
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:36 am (UTC)
Exploiting friendship of 25 years here...
Hey there. What an awesome project. I've been following it with high interest. Congratulations!

Anyhow, we were out for Father's Day yesterday and somehow the topic that "Mama and Daddy used to dress up and do Medeival things" came up in conversation with Margaret. Her eyes got big and she wants to check it out. How would you feel about an 8-year-old tagging along to a close by event?

She is very well behaved, if a little chatty and dramatic, but not disobedient or uncooperative. She likes little kids and could hang out with Charlotte some, prevent basic death (she does some of this with my 3-year-old niece, who is, quite frankly, a terror), and walk around and be charming. (Oh is Margaret charming.)

I could bring her over to your house for an inspection--ahem, introduction--and you could think about it.

Isn't Simple Faire usually held in Manchester these days? That might be ideal...
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Exploiting friendship of 25 years here...
Short answer: I'm sure we can do that! We'll just need to puzzle over the logistics. AFTER Pennsic, if you please. :-)

Simplefare has been in Manchester, and we're looking at the end of October/beginning of November. There's additional paperwork since you've played regarding minors at events with adults other than their parents, but we can work that out.

If Cormac and Aurelia are there with their daughter Francesca, this could be a play group made in heaven!

Let me think about it, and we'll figure it out.
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Exploiting friendship of 25 years here...
Excellent! Thank you! Simplefare sounds like a good event to aim for. I'm only 20 minutes away, Miriam is almost literally just around the corner, and if necessary, I can show up to register her, depending on the requirements you mention.

In the meantime, we should set a date for us to come over and for you to get to know her and show her some SCA stuff.

Now, to come up with a persona...we need to go for simple garb here. (I did promise her a wimple, though.)
Jun. 24th, 2012 02:08 am (UTC)
I'm thinking about a quiver-like thing for my knitting needles...I spotted this DIY yoga mat bag and had just been fussing with needles that didn't like the basket they were in... I'm considering using a pair of Victoria's PJs actually, since the patterns are adorable.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )