Thursday, May 21, 2015

Phase 2

It's been a week of  peace here at Chez WoolGathering.  Well, I say peace.  No contractors since the stove hook-up. Well, I say no contractors.  Three came in to give estimates to repair the demolition done by water damage and the installation of the new pipes, but their visits were short and didn't involve any noise, dust, or relocation of major portion of our living space.  By my lowered standards, they don't count. Other areas of life burst forth like 5-year-olds denied recess, but most of that has now settled down, too.  Just in time for the next wave of contractors.

They're looking at tearing out between 64 and 100 square feet of my kitchen ceiling. It sounds like a lot, doesn't it?  I've done the math, though. Several times.  That's what an 8' to 10' square area comes out to.  That's a sizable chunk of my ceiling.  The kitchen itself only measures 15' by 19', with a cut out for the small bathroom hall.

It's surprising how disturbing it feels to sit here typing, listening to chunks of my ceiling hit the floor while the workmen mutter things like, "Oh, man." and "Look at that." I begin to wonder if more of my ceiling is coming down than expected, and I expected a lot.

I tell myself that this is the worst part.  Once this is over, we'll move on to putting things back together. Then the noise will, not abate, but at least change. From thunks and crashes to sawing and hammering and sanding.

Any guesses about what I've been doing to soothe my nerves and soften my flinches?

Ta-da! It's Super Walt. Or Walt all grown up. It's big.  Taller than the Lord Protector.  Almost as handsome as he is. 

Cast off.  Not really finished, because of all those ends to weave in - the curse of wide-striped blankets. Not washed/blocked yet either.  Sweet Georgia Superwash is a very round, tight, almost hard yarn to knit with, but experience has taught me that it will soften up considerably once it meets water.

Pattern: The Walt Painted Chevron Baby Blanket (substantially enlarged).
Yarn: Sweet Georgia Superwash Worsted in Nightshade (MC), Silver (CC1), Slate (CC2) and just a touch of Cypress, with a little bit of Madelinetosh Ink filling in where I ran out of yarn for the last of the narrow navy stripes. Fifteen skeins altogether.
Needles: Addi Turbos, US 9/5.5mm.

Maybe I'll start a sweater now, as long as the ceiling is still falling.

Friday, May 01, 2015

April was the cruellest month

Fair warning. No knitting.

I don't think I've written much about this, but I hate my kitchen. I've hated it since the first meal I prepared in it. 

Back when the building was converted to condo, someone decided to enlarge the kitchen. They took out most of the wall between the kitchen and the maid's room (circa 1920's apartments in my neighborhood pretty much all had a maid's room), then went on to appropriate a couple of closets. What they didn't do was move the plumbing. In the middle of this 20' by 15' kitchen, is a 3' by 6" floor to ceiling piece of wall that the pipes run through, remnant of the maid's room wall (remember I said "most"?). I assume they thought that by arranging cabinets and appliances around it, it would function like the ubiquitous island. Just to make things more annoying, the kitchen sink is on one side of this piece of wall, and the stove is on the other, with a set of cabinets boxing them in. The refrigerator is opposite the stove.

Think about that for a minute. The water supply is around the corner and across two cabinets from the U-shaped food supply and cooking area. I'm pretty sure, even back in the '70s the kitchen standard was the triangle, and if you couldn't achieve that, the L-shape.

Also, keep in mind this is a condo. No attic. No basement. No garage. Why would you give up two closets? I figure the original developer/owner/designer/whoever was deeply attached to inefficiency.

Something further to keep in mind - they didn't move the pipes. When were these pipes installed? 1920-something, right? No surprise that we have been plagued by water issues almost since Day One and Day One was a long time ago.

I have always planned to redo the kitchen. Shift the pipes to a different wall and lose the wannabe island. Move the remaining appliances into a triangle. Shrink the kitchen to restore the closet space into one big storage closet (I'm pretty sure I'll be perfectly happy with a 15' by 15' kitchen). I just thought we'd do it in a couple of years (we won't go into just how many "couple of years" it's been).

Fast forward to this April, when a waterfall of dirty water cascaded through my ceiling as the drain pipes finally failed. Factor in scheduling issues which meant the repair didn't start until last week. Consider further that three units are involved in the scheduling. I'm getting my kitchen reconfigured whether I'm ready or not.

Do I need to mention that I am not ready? Not ready for demolition. Not ready for holes in my walls. Not ready to lose my dining room to storing what had been in the cabinets the plumbing contractors had to take down to get to the pipes. Not ready for the most recent indignity: finding out that the floor tile didn't extend under the cabinets so now I have exposed sub-floor where I had imagined I'd put the kitchen table.

I could learn to hate April.