Oh, I guess I meant “Dear Ellen,” but I was so pleased by the fact that even with the construction noise and disturbances, the deer are still frequenting our backyard. I do realize that I may not appreciate this when I am trying to keep them from eating my plantings one day. For now, though, I’m very pleased that we’ll have visitors once we’ve moved in.
I became acquainted with some other animal friends while we visited our cabinetry guy, Levi. He’s an Amish craftsman who works on his farm. Our timing is perfect as the farming workload is down in the winter and there’s more time to work on furniture and cabinetry. It’s also the end of the Amish wedding season, so our order will be started right away. We spent about 3 hours with Levi going over plans, picking finishes and hardware and watching him work — as you might expect, he drafts the old-fashioned way, with paper and pencil and the shop was illuminated with a really big “Coleman lantern”. The quality of his work is great and he made some really nice suggestions. The kitchen is going to have farm-style cabinetry — a pale straw (barely yellow) color with black hardware. It’ll look great with our soapstone countertops and island surface. Our appliances are all Kitchenaid — a professional line stainless steel stove and the remainder are their quality line in black. It will be about 10 weeks before the kitchen comes together, but we’re getting a good feel for it now.
The house itself really is moving along quickly…when we showed up to do the walk through with the electrician on Saturday, there was a crew of roofers putting shingles on. You can see the stacks of shingles at the roof peaks and the strips of wood that are tacked onto the roof so they can walk around up there as they work. By the end of the day they had done about half of the job…amazing. The rooftop that no longer has the wood strips is the part that is finished. The photo doesn’t show it well, but the shingles have a lovely cinnamon grit along with charcoal gray and black. They will complement the copper roof that is going to go on the porch and the pineapple weathervane that will go on top of the turret.
We were pleased to see the front door in place — it will be stained…a dark, dark burgundy/mahogany red. The house itself will be coastal blue — Dale’s holding up a sample piece of the cement-fiber composite siding that we’re using. It will go up soon and I think will look fantastic with the crisp white trim and antique white soffits.
In the back you can see where the screened in porch will be framed out just to the left of the pop out dining area at the back of the kitchen. The wrap around porch in front will give the screened porch some good competition for sitting and knitting. The area at the end that is closest in this photo has enough room for a table and chairs or just for plenty of rocking chairs. I keep imagining the small fiber retreats that could be held out there!
Inside there is some more progress too…the rough installation of the the gas fireplace and the staircase being the most obvious. The staircase will be adjusted before it’s made permanent, but it is safe to use now which makes going up to see the great second floor views far easier. The view looking up from the great room to the 2nd floor landing is now framed an archway that is echoed in the front window seat — still visible on the 2nd floor until the dry wall goes up. Other archways throughout the house soften all the angles seen in the window selection. The one framing the view out of the dining area from the kitchen is one of my favorites. The area can accommodate a 12 foot table, but we’ve decided to go for a 10 and a 1/2 footer instead. We picked out some bowback chairs that can benefit from the extra room. We’re having another Amish guy build the table and chairs. They’ll look much like the ones shown, but the table top will be much thicker to give better proportion to a table that long.
I get to do a good bit of knitting on our trips up and back to visit the property and do the work of making decisions to support the building process. I’m now down to a single WIP from 2010. A Sweater from Down Under. I think I’ll finish it fairly soon — am really enjoying knitting it, so will have one more sweater for my repertoire this winter. Here I am in Woodland Vines. I got some great buttons on etsy and quickly stitched them on. I do think I need to go ahead and find some matching grosgrain and redo them as my “eyeball” technique makes their spacing a tiny bit wonky. I’ll wear it in the meantime…very comfortable and I’ve gotten lots of compliments on it while wearing it out and about.
On travel for work this week I finished A Simple Lace Scarf, another 2010 project completed! I tried a new blocking approach by feeding the scarf onto blocking wires while dry and then soaking them with the wires in them. Wow! It was so much easier to slip the wires into place and though I had to fill the sink to a higher level so the scarf would be fully submerged, there was no problem doing so. After its soak, it was easy enough to wrap with a fluffy towel and squeeze to damp. And then, a double miracle…the emergence of the lace pattern at lightning speed — it only took about 5 minutes to pin out! I will definitely do this again for smaller pieces that can be managed. I don’t think larger sweater pieces that won’t scrunch up into a small ball at the end of the wires would work very well, but scarves and shawls — absolutely! I wasn’t able to hold out on not casting anything else on until I finished the 2010 projects as I had decided that hauling the sweater on travel with me would be too much. (It’s a tunic length medium weight pullover and is at least 60% done.) As I knew the scarf was within a few hours of completion (and therefore would be done before I ran out of travel time) I brought along a skein of Socrates from Alpaca with a Twist. I now have another pair of socks on the needle. More on them later.
I hope you are feeling better and that you enjoy your three-day weekend!