Thursday, February 02, 2006

So I've had this itch in my knickers to spiff up our place for a long time, so bit by bit, a little each month, I replace someting or make something shiny. My goal is to have it kinda sorted before we move this summer. It's not that I want some designer house but I'd like things to look less crappy. Most of our furniture with the exception of a couple of badly engineered IKEA pieces was previously owned and totally came from one of 3 places.

1. the parkway (narrow strip of green between sidewalk and street) where it was liberated for free instead of heading to the municipal dump. I should think of a witty name for this, something that indicates hipster boutique, but really, yeah, parkway. Other people's cast offs. Which, given that people in LA sometimes cast off perfectly good stuff? Hey, no worries, I'm down to use them.

2. garage sales/thrift stores - this is very similar to the parkway, only you pay money for it. The principle is the same, however. Think, cast off. Other people. Gently used.

3. Friends and family. See #1 and #2 for continuation of theme.

Like, our sofas. See #1. We got them 11 years ago, off the parkway. They are both serviceable sofas but ancient, shabby and cat-scratched. About the only thing that keeps 'em looking even halfway stylish is the artful use of throws and pillows by moi, and thank G-D those things are cheap at Target, s'all I have to say. My IKEA desk (bought new, go figure) broke a few months ago. I had this temporary card table arrangement housing the computer, it was loathesome and didn't work particularly well (particularly because someone borrowed my card table and left it in the rain till it warped so it had this big DIP in the middle. Every time I sat down at it, I'd get angry all over again. I'm happy to lend my stuff, just please treat it nicely. I don't have a lot of money to replace it.) so today I re-purposed (I got that word from Clean Sweep, repurposed, it means, "taking your old crap and putting something else on it.") two antique tables and turned 'em into the new home for the imac and got a nifty basket/shelfy thing to hold stuff that might otherwise go in a desk. And I LOVE it. I managed to clear out a bunch of storage containers that were housing desk things and can now be repurposed to house yarn.

new look

It really looks pretty nice. If, um, you ignore the shredded sofa and the crappy carpet and stuff.

So here I was, wandering around Target with shelves in my cart and lo, a light shone down and I saw area rugs and it got me to thinking about our horrible living room carpet which is stained and awful (and in dire need of the vacuum) and which my landlord didn't replace when we moved in 5 years ago and is just getting worse and worse and worse what with 4 people, lots of extra teenagers, two cats and a barfy dog. Trust me on this one, even Stanley Steemer cannot work carpet mojo here.


It covers up some serious stainage and helps pull things together a bit more. Please to be ignoring the crappy carpet UNDER it and the aforementioned horrible sofas. Also ignore that I need to vacuum. It looks nice, right? I mean, aside from all the stuff I told you to ignore?

bless me, for I am weak

Also today I went to get some needles with which to knit the yarn on the right, 3 balls of Jaeger Sienna in "phlox" which is my Olympics yarn. And look what jumped me. I was mugged, I tell you. Mugged by sock yarn. 3 skeins of Socks That Rock. Delicious and each skein is 2 socks worth of yarn. Not a bad deal.

This reminds me, while we're talking about mugging, my daughter's ex boyfriend got mugged on his way home from school yesterday and the kid pulled a gun on him. And her best friend got mugged after school a few weeks ago and they stole her Blackberry, again, with the gun in the backpack. And this is in a nice suburban neighborhood and it took place near a California Distinguished School so naturally they have no metal detectors. Seems like maybe they should. Obviously, if the muggings are happening after school, the kids have the guns DURING school. So really, sock yarn mugging me is not nearly so dramatic. Also, I digress again.

up close
Roving from Beaverslide Dry Goods. Pretty colors. If you look closely, you can see how the fiber wants for combing or carding or something. Nice stuff though.

Merino. Very low price. A LOT of Merino for a low price. I do hope one of those balls is a sweater's worth.

and lastly, speaking of sweaters.
garter baby
It was a valuable learning experience. It has a TON of mistakes. It is not the best sweater ever. I learned a lot from making it though (mostly what not to do again) and I think the next one will be really good. I still have to sew the buttons on it and do some finishing, steam it, block it, all that. I have learned two things in particular. I do not like knitting in cotton and I do not like entire garments made of garter stitch. Golden.

EDIT: I had to use different buttons, the giraffes were too big. I hate button holes more than I hate using Excel and that is a mighty powerful hate. However, buttons done, some extra finishing work and we're ready to steam and block. It doesn't look as bad as I thought at first. I still think I prefer wool.


Franklin said...

My first partner and I had an equivalent of your parkway. It was located across from our cheap little apartment and we called it the Magical Furniture-Spitting Dumpster. People moving into the adjacent old folks' apartment house would leave things there that wouldn't fit. It coughed up antiques, some of which I still use, with gratifying regularity.

Accessories cover a multitude of sins, and you've done very nicely it seems to me. Good for you!

Will Pillage For Yarn said...

thanks Franklin :-) It seems like the stuff we've gotten new from places like Ikea falls apart rather easily while antiques and older pieces acquired from parents seem to last forever and ever.

There may be something to an honest appreciation of parkway offerings.

Or maybe I need to stop being cheap and buy quality furniture when I do buy new things.

Z said...

We do the second hand furniture route too. None of us has a decent bed or bedroom furniture! LOL We got a leather couch and chair from a coworker who was quitting last year and I actually have two whole dining room sets (one from my grandmother and one from Anth's aunt) as well as some old art deco stuff for the DR from an old coworker who wanted to dump it. Too much...but how can you say no to that even if you don't have room???

I hate cotton too. I don't like it. It's hard to knit and it's dull. I haven't tried wool but merino would be my choice!

The sweater is cute...too bad about the giraffe buttons though.

Atla said...

The sweater is adorable even without the giraffes :)

It seems that blogger doesn't want me to comment on your latest entry, so I'll leave that comment here as well.

I don't think I've ever complimented you on your henna work. I'm sure you know that it's beautiful, but I thought I'd tell you anyway. So yes, beautiful henna.

Are there any good spinning resources you can share with me? Suppliers of roving, tutorials.. anything? I have a spindle on the way, and I am heavily lusting after a spinning wheel.

Will Pillage For Yarn said...

Atla, I like Carolina Homespun a lot - Morgaine is a great vendor and if you can make it to a fiber fest where she's showing, she's always happy to give tutorials and help new spinners. I think if I were going to buy a wheel, I'd get it from her just because the support she gives her customers is so damn amazing.

I like Copper Moose (they have a store on ebay) a great deal, I get most of my roving from them. They usually have good deals. The fiber is always perfectly prepped and I've never had any complaints.

What kind of spindle are you getting?