Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Corner of the Basement of One's Own

Since we've moved here last Feb I haven't had any kind of office-ish space. I've taken over a corner of the living room where I work, and the front porch where I stash most of my yarn and finished projects, but I don't have a PLACE for me to work.

I'm thinking that might be behind much of my inability to focus on one project at a time - well, that and other stuff... But it's hard to feel that I need to put away all my 'toys' in order to keep the living room livable (I'm a Virgo, it's what I do.)

More than once I've found this need to put a project away in mid-inspiration* and take it out again later standing the way of getting REAL work done. *Or midspiration, there - I've made up a word!

The answer? A space of my own where I can just LEAVE my work in its' half finished state, and return to it later.

Ironically, the reason we chose this house above others was that although the bedrooms were small, there were four of them - leaving one as an office for me.

But life took over and Gerry and the kids adopted the extra room as their own, which I was happy to sanction (Gerry had such a hard time getting up and down stairs at that time, and the small bedrooms meant the kids HAD to have some place to stretch out and relax)

But this left me knitting in the living room and grabbing my yarn from the front porch. Not the best setup if you're trying to be professional about the whole yarn biz thing.

Well, that's all about to change!

The basement was a sad place. It was clean and dry, but unfinished. We'd just been shoving stuff down there. During the bathroom creation on the ground floor last Summer more stuff got shoved there, and it was getting insane.

Time for things to change.

We had to move one of the walls because it was sitting on a drain that had to be relocated (by order of the St. Paul plumbing inspector because now we have THREE toilets, woo hoo!) So while the wall moving was goingn onwe used this opportunity to insulate and drywall one corner of the basement which will be [drumroll] MY OFFICE!!

I've been painting the floor over the past week - a section here, a section there - waiting 24 hours for the paint to dry before I can move all of the shelves and basement stuff over to the new, dry section and paint the next section. As I move it, I've been dusting it (it's filthy) and the kids have been helping. Just like when they used to work in the mines. Happy days....

And now the floor is done! It's been an excellent opportunity to reorganize how we have the stuff downstairs, and I think we'll be able to fit so much more stuff in a more easily accessible way. This week, while the kids are home on Spring Break, we'll be doing a lot of moving things BACK onto shelves and helping Mommy create her own space. Evidently Mommy thinks she's Virginia Woolf.

Gerry will have an area where he store tools and hardware things, and I'll have an area where I can store my yarn and books, get away to do quiet work when the kids have friends over, and just HIDE sometimes. I'm not even going to set it up like an office, but more like a little sitting room with comfy chairs and bookshelves. Yay, my own space!

I've also been working on the knitted wire screens for our cabinets, but have been seeing little progress. I have so many other projects to work on right now - which is good - that I'm not giving the wire top priority. And it's not exactly the best thing to take through airport security when I fly, so I only work on it at home.

It's an adventure though - when I have a half decent screen to show, I'll post photos. In the mean time here is my work on the wire!

OH, Wool!
One of those aforementioned projects is my O-Wool Cardigan that I've been working on. It's so much fun to knit- I'm really enjoying it - and now I'm just about ready to join the sleeves to the body and continue working the whole thing as a yoke with raglan shaping.

Does anyone else get this damned excited over joining a front and back and two sleeves? I always cry at weddings...

Shopping yesterday at Rainbow I saw these pears - so beautiful - I bought two. A nice lookin' pair.

And I have just the goat cheese and sausage to go with them in a nice salad!
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posted by Annie at


Blogger Nancy said...

Yes, we Virgos count the angels on the head of a pin...and we are like Virginia Woolf, we do need a room of our own. So glad you're getting yours!

March 30, 2008 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Rosie said...

Iam so glad that you will finally have your own space. I love mine, nothing elaborate, my book case with all my knitting books and all of my yarn, needles etc in the same room. Yay, finally. Best of luck to you Annie.

March 30, 2008 5:23 PM  
Blogger ...e... said...

while you're fixing this up, let me give you a tip: invest in a roomba. i know it sounds silly, but you can get one for around a hundred bucks on and you will be absolutely amazed. especially in a basement room? this thing will change your life, i'm tellin' ya! amazed. he'll become your new best friend.

March 30, 2008 5:41 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

A room of one's own makes such a difference! I have seen such a ginormous increase in my own creative productivity when I have that space. I'm so glad that you're finding a space in your new house for you! (I've just been looking at houses--we might move- and thinking, will I be creative here? Is there enough light? It's not a minor concern...this room thing.)

The pears, etc. look good, and I am writing just to be a positive support. You do beautiful work and deserve all good things!

March 30, 2008 6:05 PM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

I had to chuckle at the idea of you taking your wire project through airport security :) I really need to get my backside in gear and get my space in order!

March 30, 2008 6:21 PM  
Anonymous BalletMommy said...

Oooo! Finally, your own space! I've had the room for mine for the past 5 years but we JUST met with a cabinetmaker to make lower cabinets to actually turn this into MY sanctuary, knitting room, sewing and craft room. Yea! And like you, it's not too "officy" it's got a lovely comfy wingback chair and ottoman next to the window...dock for my's I can listen to my podcasts and audiobooks whilst I knit! Yippee!

March 30, 2008 6:53 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Glad you're getting your own space. I had to wait until kids moved out, but I love having a place to keep my sewing and knitting stuff.

I took your lace class in Edmonton at River City Yarns last November and this week it totally clicked for me. I've been looking at the things I knit and thinking about what you said about seeing how the stitches shape the fabric and suddenly I can follow the chart for Backyard Leaves and see how the stitches become the leaves and background. I've started this scarf at least six times but this weekend I can see why each square exists!

You're an awesome teacher. There are things from that class I think about every time I pick my knitting up! Thank you!

March 30, 2008 11:14 PM  
Blogger Lisa C. said...

Congratulations on getting your own space. I, too, have a corner of our basement to call my own. However, we are planning a move within the next year and hubby has already agreed that the new house will have an extra room (with windows) for me. This one will be set up more comfy/cozy, sitting room like.

March 31, 2008 5:45 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

WooHoo! on your own space!! There's nothing like an area to call your own and to be able to just leave all your "stuff" out just where you want it! Congratulations!

March 31, 2008 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Yes, I have to second the motion for a Roomba--I just got one a couple of weeks ago and it's great!!! He gets under the furniture and just does his thing and that's one less thing I have to do--which is good since I HATE vacuuming. A friend of mine got TWO so that she can use one in each end of the house at the same time. And oh, a "space of your own"--that's my dream too (and my husband's dream--he would like all my knitting stuff in ONE place too!!) And what wonderful news about Hannah!! Roz

April 02, 2008 4:22 PM  

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