H is for Haven. In my G post, I mentioned that we had added onto our house several years ago. The main reason for the addition was to provide an apartment for our mentally handicapped son so that he would have a place to live and lead a fairly independent life. By the grace of God and an extremely competent and principled contractor, we were able to fulfill another dream and expand our bedroom. You have to understand that for 18 of the 20 years we have lived in this house, in order for me to walk from my bed to our one bathroom, I had to turn sideways and squeeze in between the dresser and the bed. I always dreamed of having a big bedroom with a private bath, but never thought it would be a possibility. We were told by several contractors that it wasn’t possible to do this in addition to the apartment for our son and still keep within our budget. We had almost given up the idea when we found a contractor who showed us all the areas in which the other contractors were not being exactly “economical” with our money. For instance, all of the other contractors insisted on installing custom made cabinets. Jesse explained that we didn’t need custom made cabinets – he could go down to Home Depot and buy perfectly beautiful cabinets in standard sizes for a quarter of the price. He showed how we could save money by doing all of the painting ourselves. There were numerous other instances where he pointed out that he could economize and still do a quality job, especially if we were willing to invest a little “sweat equity”. So, in addition to the apartment, we achieved our dream of having this beautiful space – thanks to an honest contractor, who, I might add, came in on time (actually a week early) and under budget. Here is my Haven:

Bedroom

I still walk in this room and am filled with delight. I feel such a peace when I enter. I do have to admit, though, that I rarely knit in here. That’s because I usually watch TV while I knit and we absolutely refuse to have a TV in our bedroom – never have and never will have one. It is a refuge from the outside world!

On the knitting front – I finished the Embossed Leaves socks:

Embossed

I’m not a big fan of the “photo of your own feet”, but these socks must be stretched out on a foot or a sock blocker to show their true beauty. I don’t own any sock blockers, but just happened to have two feet sticking out at the end of my legs, so there you go. These are made of Regia Silk and this yarn gets a perfect 10.0! It is so soft and lovely and a joy to knit. I wish I could afford to make an entire sweater out of this yarn! The pattern gets a 9.5, but only because she has you break the yarn when you start the gussets and reattach to start your row at the gusset side instead of in the middle of the heel. I think this is entirely unnecessary. I did it on one sock and not on the other and I can’t tell the difference.

I got my copy of this in the mail this week.

Wendy

I read it from cover to cover in two nights and really enjoyed it. At first I was a little disappointed in her patterns – they seemed kind of “plain” when you consider all of the beautiful and complicated things that Wendy knits. But it really got me to thinking about the kind of knitting I do and what happens to the finished items. I tend to do very complicated knits – I love doing them and the elaborate Aran and lace patterns really speak to me. But I really don’t wear them that often. Our weather is fairly moderate and only occasionally gets cold enough for an Aran (wouldn’t you know, though, that today was one one of them – it’s almost May for cryin’ out loud!). And the lace shawls are only worn occasionally because my work attire is slacks and blazers and my home attire is jeans and sweatshirts.

So . . . . in assessing my knitting program, I’m wondering if that’s why socks are appealing to me so much lately. I wear every pair of socks I make (except the ones I give away – wearing those would just be wrong!). So . . . . why don’t I knit more things that I will wear frequently? Because the things that I wear frequently have simple lines and are not elaborate. So . . . . I’m making it a goal to at least once a season (or failing that, at least a couple of times during the year) make something in simple, elegant lines that I will actually wear as part of my wardrobe. My first project is going to be the “Lucy Tank Top” from Wendy’s book. It’s a very simple ribbed tank top with a lace eding on the bottom. I think it will be extremely wearable out of this.

Don’t get me wrong – elaborate Arans and lacey shawls will still be coming off the needles. But I’m going to make an attempt to knit a few things that I will actually wear. Stay tuned!

9 thoughts on “

  1. I love your “H”aven! I hope you knit your contractor a killer sweater as thanks!

    I agree with you on wearable knit good…the complicated fancies and great to knit but they aren’t so happy in the closet! I do have a suggestion tho….do you really want to knit a nice cool summer tank in HOT alpaca? Even tho the yarn is fine, it’s HOT!!

    Your embossed leaves are beautiful!

  2. The socks are lovely! I’ve been on a sock jag lately, too.

    I’m a SAHM, so I don’t wear fancy clothes all that often. I do wear my shawls out though – to the library, grocery store, etc. I figure I made it, I’m going to wear it.

  3. I agree with the “simple knits” thing. The plain sweaters are more my style to wear, though miles of plain stockinette isn’t exactly exciting to do.

    I’m also thinking you might not wear a tank in alpaca. Look at the Luna yarn on Elann’s site. Though it lists the gauge as 22st/4in, I am swatching it at 28 and it makes a nice drapey fabric; at 22 it’s too floppy. It’s rayon and cotton so might fit the bill.

    I love your Embossed Leaves socks! And having a principled contractor is truly a gift; ours is one of those guys that I would trust implicitly.

  4. I’m totally envious of your contractor. We would love to add on a garage, but have no idea who to call. Seems like all my acquaintances have nothing but contractor horror stories.

    Your embossed leaves are lovely. Looks like they’re a perfect fit for you.

    Right along with the lace/cable vs plain knit conflict is the machine washable vs natural fiber yarn conflict. I love to knit complex patterns in natural fibers that need to be hand washed and blocked. I wear simple garments that I can throw in the laundry. What’s a knitter to do?

    I just don’t see the point in knitting simple (boring to knit), washable (yucky to knit) garments when there is Land’s End.

  5. I would love to see a picture of the Lucy Tank…looking for simple and flattering, you know! Isn’t it wonderful to have such a haven? Our haven also came as a result of an addition, and it is the place i look forward to each night and as I awake each morning.

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