Thursday, August 30, 2007

Grump, Grump, Grump

I've been living my non-knitting life, lately. This is not a good thing. It has also been pointed out to me that I obsess over one project, and that this is supposed to be a knitting blog, not a blog filled up with non-knitting stuff. Sorry. It's just that I can't seem to do both. If you only want me to write about knitting, well, that's why I'm not obsessing over SI posting. I been busy. There's been closet clearing. Shiftings. Baggings-up and haulings-out. Worse. There've been meetings. So, if you came for knitting today, all I can say is "Oh, well." Because today, I'm going to start you off with bookcases.

I found them at Ikea. It all started when all the boxes wouldn't fit in my trunk, even with the passenger seats folded down. Right then, right there, I should have known I was in trouble. I ignored the signs and portents. Dismissed the whispers of the Fates. Hubris, people, hubris. That same tragic flaw that effected the downfall of the mythic hero.

I am, let's say, carpenterially (fine word, just invented it, my spell checker is offended) challenged. I know this, and never intended to build 3 bookcases in a day. The plan always called for easy stages, with Clare trying as discreetly as possible to point out that I don't follow directions for illiterates well; all of Ikea's are pictorial. I am verbal, not visual. Actually, so is Clare. Building the first bookcase was interesting.

The screws are too long. The leveling feet fall out. Maybe we have them in the wrong places. Let's switch them. Now they all fall out. What in bloody blue blazes is this?

Oh. Wait. There's supposed to be these 12 inch long wooden spacers that you attach to the underside of the first shelf. Where are they? Nowhere. Oh. Wait. There's another box. But they wouldn't put the 2nd piece you need to assemble a bookcase in a different box from everything else you need to start assembling a bookcase, would they? Of course they would. Wouldn't we all?

We put the wooden spacers on. Why won't this screw screw down all the way? Because I forgot to take off one of the levelling feet.

What else? Well . . .

It's possible to put the vertical supports on upside down. This isn't a problem until you get the 6 foot long shelf in place and try to insert the screw in a hole that isn't there.

Humidity causes wood to swell. This can make inserting the wooden pegs you use to align the supports to the shelves trying. The pegs become recalcitrant, obnoxious, even. I think I hear them snicker. I begin to feel a burning desire for a mallet. A BIG one.

When you finally get to the top shelf (and I'm only building this up to 4 shelves, mind you), the wooden pegs and the screws need to be shorter. Ikea provides you with the right ones, it's just that by this time, having finally screwed three supports to one shelf in a manner free from error, I think I'm on a roll. Of course I tried to put the top shelf on with the long ones.

Interspersed with all this are lost hex wrenches (in my pocket), dropped screws (they roll under things) and 2 boys competing for the portable DVD player who have been bribed into a modicum of cooperation by the promise of calling the pizza man for supper.

Okay, this has been a long post, with no pictures, about wood not yarn. So how am I going to turn this from a rant to a charming knitting story? I have a knitting daughter. I am about to take shameless advantage of that.

Clare is knitting for the church bazaar. She thinks spa-type sets of handmade soap with hand-knitted washcloths will sell. We found a wonderful pattern at Knitting Sisters.

It's a starfish. It is fiendishly clever. It involves flat knitting, circular knitting, picking up stitches, making bobbles.

Many false starts. Lots of tinking. Frogging when tinking proves to be not enough. After her 4th attempt to pick up 22 stitches alternately in the front and back of a 12 stitch cast-off row, Clare dropped her hands into her lap, looked at her not-quite a starfish and said,

"I'm making a bookcase here."

A metaphor is born. An idiom added to the family lexicon, right there with "splitting the baby."

I've had enough reality. I'm going to go build a bookcase (metaphorically speaking).


Cheesehead With Sticks said...

Well personally, if it were all knitting all the time, I'd be bored. But, I like being a fly on people's walls.

Super bummer with the bookcase! Why is it that kind of stuff is so danged impossible? Even if you can find all the right parts and pieces, most the time a hole isn't drilled right or something. gah! They do it to keep us down I tell you! A big huge plot.

Those dishrags are cute - I sure hope Clare can get it to work out.

diane h said...

Hurray for daughters with a sense of humor who come to the rescue!

Jess said...

That girl has a great sense of humor! Sorry the bookcase isn't working out, but hopefully you'll have a good place to put your stuff soon enough. Ikea things are not nearly as easy to put together as they'd have you believe, that much is for sure.