Tag Archives: garage project

Moving Day!

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Monday was moving day around here.   I was excited and totally willing to help because this meant I was getting my garage spot back.  I’ve been waiting ALL WINTER for this.  Yes, winter is only a month old, but it seems like 80 months with all the snow and cold weather we’ve been having.

We had to get this thing with no motor – but filled to the brim with every car part imaginable- out of the garage-garage and down to the new garage:


(the 1970 Buick Skylark that Paul has deemed “my” car, once he fixes it up)

I’m telling you – that ATV purchase (used) was the best investment ever. It has come in handy in so many ways simply for the winch alone.  I got to drive.

We pulled the car out of the garage-garage, then backed down (as in downhill) the driveway toward the new garage:


All the while, worried that it would roll into me.  Paul assured me it wouldn’t and, just in case, had a teeny tiny piece of wood to put behind a wheel if things got out of hand.  That teeny tiny piece of wood didn’t give me much confidence., but I also knew I could pretty quickly just jump off the ATV if I needed to.  I didn’t.

By the way, we pulled it down backward so that it could be pushed into the garage back-first without too much adjusting.  Cars with no motors are a pain.

Got to here, unhooked and went around to the front to pull it into position:



Then pushed with the ATV until it got into the garage:


Then watched Paul try to push it to the back of the garage:


….until he asked for my help. Then I helped push.  But only after he listed several places I shouldn’t use to push since apparently none of the body parts are attached (hood, fenders).

This brandy-new garage suddenly looks awfully small with two cars in it:


Then, my duties were over and Paul was left to deal with the rest of the move:


….while I went inside and knit!

TA-DA! Got my garage spot back:


Just in time! (see the snow?)

Spiked Shoes and All…

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My Saturday started off busy.  Two classes to teach in the morning – the aran sweater class to 2 people who couldn’t make the first class on Thursday, and the Mobius cowl class:


Those are their works-in-progress all cast on and working on the knitting.  Don’t all the colors look pretty?  During the class, I was telling the students my plans for the afternoon:  PAINTING THE GARAGE FLOOR.  They immediately picked up on my “enthusiasm” for the impending project and graciously started telling me they thought they would need hours of extra help with this class and that I likely would not be making it home to do the painting.  How sweet!

Needless to say, the going-home-to-paint had to happen eventually and I arrived home to Paul all organized and ready to go.  The garage walls were littered with these:


They mean something to Paul.

We donned the soon-to-be-cursed-for-many-hours spiked shoes:



They are only about an inch high but it feels like you are walking on stilts.  Plus, the do not bend so you clomp around like you have concrete blocks on the bottom of your feet.  And forget about picking something up off the floor.  Even though they are only an inch high, you then have your shoes on, so bending to the floor is a huge feat!

These are used so we could walk in the wet paint to do the “backrolling”, or as I liked to call it, the pain-in-the-neck-we-already-rolled-this-section-why-on-earth-do-we-have-to-do-it-again-ing.

Paul mixed and mixed and mixed.


Each section had to be mixed separately because the set-up time for epoxy is so short.  We had eleven sections.  Each portion had to be mixed for three minutes and I’m telling you when you are just standing there (in uncomfortable, rigid, spiked shoes that felt like stilts) waiting for three minutes, it seems like three hours.  Seriously.


Section one done! Ten more to go…

I took a picture after almost every section and thought about putting them all in here, but I will spare you the boredom.  Even though it would be nice to have others feel my pain.  This project was everything I thought it was going to be including: long, hard, boring, tedious, painful to my feet and boring (did I already say that?).

The only “fun” part was throwing the paint chips onto the gray paint:


They had to be thrown as high as possible to make for the best, even, coverage:


The first coat of gray paint and throwing paint chips took us close to 6 hours. SIX. HOURS.


We were so tired.  The next day was Sunday and I was supposed to go have a nice afternoon with my new spinning group.  But, the painting was started, and it had to be finished so I cancelled going.  (Paul owes me a nice dinner out for that one.)

We got up the next day and spent another 4 hours doing the clear top coat:

Here is Paul in his spiked shoes (which I did not wear the second day because my feet hurt so much from the previous day) applying the last layer of clear on the last square:


So, I figured out that we basically painted FOUR floors during this project.  Each section had to be painted, then gone over a second time ten minutes later.  We put two coats on the floor.  That equals four floors or 5200 square feet of painting.

Looking back, it still feels long and tedious and boring, but I grudgingly admit that I feel proud to have done such a big project ourselves.  Don’t tell Paul.  And I’m still going to cash in on a nice dinner out.

And then there was this!:


My reminder to log onto my computer and try for a ball of Lollipop Yarns sock yarn.  I was so worried I would forget that at 6pm I set the timer on the microwave, in case I got distracted doing something else.

I logged on at 6:50pm and started refreshing the computer screen nonstop at 6:55.  AND I GOT ONE! In the colorway “Pillow Talk” which is a pink and gray striping yarn.  I was so excited.  Paul said, “You already got one?  You should try for another.”  So I did. There were not many left but I tried.  AND I GOT ANOTHER ONE!  In the colorway “Squeak” which is three shades of gray.  Pictures to come when they arrive.

THEN, I watched Downton Abbey and the Golden Globes.

After the ridiculously long, hard and boring floor painting, a terrific way to end the weekend.

Future Fodder

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See this?


That’s the heating guy installing the much awaited piece for the heater in the new garage.  AND it’s going to be 50 degrees here tomorrow.  Know what that means?  Painting of the floor will likely take place this weekend. (As long as the temperature of the floor is ok.)  Painting an epoxy floor appears to be a somewhat complicated process. Hence, the need for me to view a DVD about it.  Lots of mixing, timing the mixing, painting, then re-painting, timing the time between those paintings, then more mixing, then throwing paint chips, then the next day putting on a clear coat.  On a 1400 square foot area.

While you await the very-likely-good-fodder-for-the-blog story of the painting of the floor, how about a knitting update?

I’m on a starting binge.

I started my Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-a-Long shawl on Sunday:


It’s not much to look at until I get the next clue this Sunday before the next episode.  Stay tuned. Ha!  That joke never gets old.

I also started the Snow on the Laurel arm warmers :


It looks a little weird, right?  That is because they are knit inside out!  Here is the “right” side:


A pretty, basic, arm warmer with an easy cable on a reverse stockinette background.  Since the knitting is all purling except for the cable part, they are knit inside out so you can knit most of the stitches instead of purl them.  So cool.  Hoping to make these a class.

I also started the Easy Brioche Scarf:



I’m hoping this will make a good class too since it would be a good introduction to the brioche knitting technique.  Very easy, one line pattern!  It will be a short class.

And, finally, I’m making progress on Princess Franklin’s Plaid cowl:


The first section is done – knitted stripes in garter stitch.  Now, on to the garter stitch grafting, which I have never done before.  Then on to the weaving – using a yarn needle to weave 74 strands of yarn horizontally across that piece above.  I can’t wait to see what it will look like!

Now, I’m off to re-view the epoxy floor painting DVD.

It’s Damn Cold and I Still Don’t Have a Garage Spot

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The painting-of-the-new-garage-floor is on hold. The heater installers came and discovered that the heater company didn’t send the natural-gas-to-propane-gas converter.  So it had to be ordered.  The company said they would send it two-day mail. When it comes in.  Since then, there has been this very cold snap and the building, while very well insulated, is very cold.  Paul fears that the new heater will not be able to heat up the concrete floor enough, and maintain the temperature, to put down the epoxy paint floor.  Until spring.  I’m trying to remain optimistic and maybe the heater will keep up just fine.  Hence the purchase of the infrared temperature gauge: to see if the floor will stay up to temperature.  When the part comes in.  So, dig out from the second foot-high snowfall I will.

In the meantime, there is always knitting.  Always.

I started the Brickless scarf/shawl and I’m almost done:


A terrible picture.  That’s what you get when it’s too cold to go upstairs to the room with the good light and white background.  I’m staying here next to the fire, thanks.  Better pictures will come when it’s done.  It is very easy and I love how this Periwinkle Sheep Merino DK in the Wallflower colorway is knitting up.  And it will be an upcoming class at The Spinning Room.

Here is my Princess Franklin Plaid cowl in progress (also an upcoming class):


This is the back.  And I’m showing it to you so you can see that I’m actually weaving in ends as I go. Shocker I know.  To be actually planning ahead like that.  But as you see, there are TONS of ends.  I’m about half way through with the first part of the pattern which is actually very easy:  garter stitch (knitting every row) and changing colors as directed.  You cannot carry one color more than 4 rows, which means lots of ends.

Here they are all snipped and you can see the ends are fairly well hidden.  They will be on the inside anyway.


The second part of this pattern seems, at the outset at least, pretty fun because it’s different.  Weaving in strands on the right side of the fabric with a yarn needle, perpendicular to the knitting, to create the plaid look.  There will be 72 individual pieces of yarn woven in.  Which means 144 more ends to weave in.  But I don’t mind right now because I’m not there yet.  And also because I love the designer Franklin Habit.  He is silly.

A New Pair of Mitt(en)s

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Before I get to the mitt(en)s…. Look what came in the mail so fast I couldn’t believe it:


My Phat Fiber sampler box with all these wonderful goodies in it:


The theme for this month was “Hollywood Glamour” so all the independent dyers/artists were to submit samples with their interpretation of that theme.  I haven’t had a chance to really look at all of it yet but there are yarn samples, and wool roving samples and a pattern and stitch markers and chocolate.  Yes, chocolate.  Mmmmm.

On to the mitt(en)s…. I made my Bird in Hand mittens several years ago:

bird in hand mittens

I thought they were so cute, and pretty, and I loved the little sideways braid thing.  Yes, this is a pair.  I decided to reverse the colors on the second mitten because I though it would be cool and eclectic.  That, and I was trying to conserve yarn and use only one ball of each color.

So, they are not technically new.  However, they were too big.  Way too big.  I thought I could deal with it, but every winter, when I drag them out and try to wear them, they are floppy and fall off.  Want to know why they are too big?  The pattern sizing is done by changing the needle size.  I made these on a size 3 needle which was the 3rd largest of 4 sizes.  The smaller sizes were knit with size 2 or size 1 needles.  With worsted weight yarn!  For non-knitters, usually you use a size 5 or 6 for mittens and worsted weight yarn.  I just couldn’t bring myself to knit with the size 2 or size 1, knowing it was going to be very tight and very hard to do.  So, I reasoned away that the size made with size 3 needles would probably fit just fine.  Ha – we now know how that turned out.

Back to the other day when I’d just had enough of them not fitting right, but wanted to wear them.  I decided to shrink them.  So I soaked them in the sink, soueezed out the excess and put them in the dryer.



The one on the left had knitted up a little bigger.  Probably because it was my second mitten and I was used to the pattern and therefore a little more relaxed when knitting it.



Don’t ask me why I didn’t put them in the same order as the first picture, which would have been the smart thing to do when doing a comparison.

The formerly left mitt, now the right mitt, was still bigger, so I put that back in the dryer and now they are approximately the same size!  Yay!  A new pair of mittens, sort of.

AND, I knit the Maine Morning Mitts for my mother-in-law:


These match.

Look how funny they are when not worn:


And finished in time to block and dry and give them to her on Christmas.  Now on to the cookie baking. (I’m making these today.)

A heads up for an upcoming blog post: The two days after Christmas are apparently new garage floor painting days, for which I need to help.  I had to watch a video in preparation for this today.  It was riveting.

Let There be Heat (almost)

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The day was coming when we’d have to install that heater the heating companies wouldn’t install.  And it happened to be this past Saturday, when it had already started snowing the 12 plus inches we were supposed to be getting.   I got the call from the garage that Paul was ready for me to come help with the installation.

I left the cozy warm fire and the lit Christmas tree and headed out:


There it sat, waiting to be installed 10 feet off the floor:


The first part was easy.  Getting it onto the scaffold:


The next part? Getting it up that last foot or so to thread the huge long bolts into it?  Not so much.  After a bunch of scooching and shifting and lifting and ratcheting and yelling calmly talking it through, we got to here:


(Do NOT try this at home.)  Paul did the last lifting/turning the bolts into place while I worried the ratchet straps would fail and our Jenga tower would collapse.  Whew. It was crazy.  Then we realized the heater was trapped in the scaffold contraption, so we had to take the wood rails off one side to get it out!

And there it waits for electric/duct connections:



How fitting after a stressful, slightly aggravating and nerve wracking project that we went back to the house and found the reminder that the FedEx truck unknowingly left us:


The next morning we woke up to this:


Our trusty (fingers double-crossed) plow Jeep started right up and got to work:


It amazes us that this 50 plus year old relic is still running.  Every winter we think, “This is the year it will conk out for good.” And every year we are wrong.  We bought it for $500 seven years ago and it has more than paid for itself.   I hope I’m not jinxing myself.

After digging out of the snow it was time for me to go teach the final class for the Felted Clogs where I forgot to take a picture of the works in progress.  I did remember to head to the Masonic Hall and the Festival of Trees to vote for The Spinning Room’s entry:


(Thanks to Deirdre for taking the picture that I lifted from Facebook!)  A wonderful assortment of hats (my hat donation is in there somewhere),  mittens and scarves, knit by customers.  They will all be donated to a local shelter.  I hope it wins!


Backing up

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I want to help Paul with the getting-ready-to-demolish-the-garage chores.  I really do.  It’s a big task and just like any big task, with two of us, it would go faster.  But I just don’t like it.  It’s boring.  And hard. And I get really cranky about it.

Since I can’t really haul around big, heavy things because my back is fussy, I just knew I was going to get this job:

nov 23 2013 (8)


Hauling around smaller, not as heavy things.  I’ve looked at that pile many times over the past few weeks, as we’ve been doing these preparations.  I knew it was going to have to be moved.  And I dreaded that knew it was going to be my job.

From the garage, put them in the ATV trailer:

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Drive them around the back of the house and re-stack them behind the wood shed:

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I couldn’t think of anything more fun to do.  Especially since it involved backing the trailer up to the garage door.  I am so bad at that.  No matter how much I do it, I never get better at it.  In the past, I’ve wrecked gutter downspouts and bent the trailer hook-up thingy.  After my first go at it this time, I got really cranky.  Terrible words were coming out of my mouth.  Who wants to do a boring job that is made infinitely worse by having to back up a trailer?  So, my best course of action was to get my earbuds and listen to knitting, book and food podcasts while I made several trips (can’t put too much weight in the trailer) and eighty million backing-up adjustments.  And after those eighty million adjustments?  Still no better at it.

Here is the best part of having finished that job:  I’m pretty sure we are saving these for no reason.  I bet that they will be here for a long time and we may even move them again, say, when we decide the woodshed needs to be expanded.  There is no project in mind for them.  Awesomesauce.

Next up:  The Demolition