wip wednesday

My knitting has been upended first by Joji’s Starting Point mystery knitalong and then by Camp Loopy.

The result of Starting Point was that I set my Comfy Lace aside sure that I would be able to knit both, which was predicated on the belief that I would knit.  I didn’t.


I am barely beginning Clue 3 of the Mystery Wrap.


Imagine another piece that looks just like this one.  I have to imagine it as well because this is all I have gotten done.  Clue 2 on one triangle.

Camp Loopy has a deadline.  I have to have my item finished, photographed, and posted by June 30.

I have been making a lot of rookie mistakes lately.  I don’t know how many times I started Starting Point nor can I remember how many times I had to tink back rows once it was started, but that led to the abysmally small amount of knitting shown above.

The same thing happened with Delilah, which I am knitting for Camp Loopy.  I restarted it multiple times and only finally got going this past weekend.


I have it on 32″ circs and it is taking up every inch of cable, needles, and then some, so it’s long.  I calculated how many rows I would have to knit every day to make the deadline and was feeling smug about how much time I had.  Then today I noticed that after Row 8 of the Stocking Stitch and Eyelet portion of the pattern it said, and I quote, “Rows 1 to 8 form the st st and eyelet patt.  Work rounds 1 to 8 three times more.”  That’s 24 rows I did not include in my calculations.

It will be Delilah and me for the foreseeable future.

the light at the end of the tunnel

We first looked at the Fresno Square condos when they were built about the time we married back in the mid-70’s.  We could not afford them, but we liked them.

We tried to buy one several years ago when the housing bubble burst because we wanted something we could pay cash for; something no one could take away from us no matter what.  We put an offer in on a unit that we knew we would need to completely gut, but the bank never responded.

Bob kept the complex on his radar.  A lot of the units are rented since they are located 1/4 mile from California State University, Fresno.  Several things seem to happen there.  Either some of the units were purchased about the same time we put in our initial offer and people gave them a cursory upgrade and flipped them or, at the end of semester, the owners decided to get out of the rental business.  Some are still rentals.

My mother-in-law’s family trust bought one of the first type, and we bought one of the second type.

The flipped unit had more done to it than the one we bought; however, we still gutted the kitchen (although we certainly kept the granite countertop the flippers installed).  But we repainted (I swear they spray-painted the entire unit  — Tristan still shudders at the word “taupe”) and redid the flooring on the ground floor.  We tore out closets — the units have the only floor-to-ceiling closet doors I have ever seen, which were nice in 1975 but dated now — and made the vanity space IN the main bedroom into a closet.

There are still things we need to do in that unit (the original particleboard cabinetry in the bathrooms and that bathroom fan which vents into the attic, for example), but Bob feels it will be easier once we are on site in our own unit instead of a 20- to 30-minute drive away.  It’s in good shape, and Brenna and Tristan enjoy their independence.

The units have been thoroughly upgraded (as we are doing), cursorily upgraded, or left just the way they were in the mid-70’s.  We know because it is customary these days for real estate agents to post pictures of the property they are selling and, when it’s Fresno Square, we always look.

This past weekend Bob and I worked on the downstairs bathroom.


This is the LAST big deal in the unit.  We were going to tear out the already modified closet in the downstairs bedroom and put in a built-in desk like the one in Tristan’s den, but I had the brilliant idea to just put doors on it so that I could keep my yarn and fabric there and otherwise lay out the room so that Bob could have one end for his desk and GIGANTIC landscape printer and I could have the closet end for my sewing.  I laid it out in an online program called Floorplanner and it fits nicely.  This put us a wee bit closer to finished.

The design on the walls of the shower upstairs and the tub/shower combination downstairs are the result of necessity.


Bob really fell in love with the rippled white tiles months and months ago when we saw them at Home Depot.  He also liked the blue and white tiles, but could not figure out how to use them.  When the time came to purchase them however, none of the area stores (Fresno, Clovis, Madera) had enough tiles to do what he wanted.  He bought the entire stock of all three locations and still did not have enough.

He ran into the same problem with the kitchen tiles, which is why the backsplash and the area behind the stove are the same tile only in different sizes.


He found the small tiles in white (like the rippled tiles and the blue-and-white tiles).  Then, we spent a week in Incline Village’s High Sierra Lodge where we own a timeshare.  They had redone the showers with an inset of a different tile, and an idea was born.  He found a way to make the rippled tile go the distance and he found a way to use the blue-and-white tile (which comes in sheets just like the small tile only he cut it into strips).

He basically did what we do in knitting when a solution for a problem becomes a “design element.”  It was his idea also to use the rippled tile vertically so it looks like water sheeting down the wall.  I think it looks nice.  My cousin thinks it’s creative.  Brenna didn’t recognize it as the same room when I sent her a picture.  Whatever it is, it solved a problem and it works.

The rippled tile is also going behind the vanity in the upstairs bath, but we must await the arrival of the countertop before installing it.


We purchased the replacement outlets and light switches for the bathrooms this past weekend.  They measure for the carpet in the two bedrooms this week and the countertops for the bathrooms and utility room next week.

This week I will paint the ceiling in the entryway and start trying to paint the downstairs bedroom, which will be our den/office.  (I say trying because the boxes of wood flooring, among other things, are stacked in there.  It will take some maneuvering.)

Bob needs to paint the popcorn ceilings to seal off the asbestos (I have vertigo issues and stenosis at C7, so looking up is not good — the entryway ceiling is low and I can use the paint roller on an extension and avoid looking straight up, so it’s doable.)

After that, the wood floor goes down and door trim and baseboards go in and we’re done!

We DO need to rent a scaffold so we can finish those upper edges in the stairwell.


I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel!




The bathrooms in the condo were basically dark caves when we bought it.  I went through the condos when they were built 40 years ago and I don’t think think they had ever been renovated.  Damaged, yes.  Renovated, no.

Mr. B believes that many of the skilled carpenters went to war in Europe, the Pacific, and Korea and never came back leaving us with ugly strip malls and badly constructed houses.  I know that our house on Alluvial in Fresno did not have straight walls because we tiled the hallway and, well, the lines did not line up.

The upstairs bathroom was two rooms.  One room had the toilet and the shower and the other room had the vanity.  The room with the vanity had two doors.  One from the hallway and one from the master bedroom.

We needed an unbroken wall in the bedroom to accommodate our dresser and the bathroom was too choppy.  We would have torn out the entire wall between the vanity section and shower/toilet section, but we were afraid it was load-bearing.  Instead we removed two doorways, making one a passageway and the other a wall.

The door between the bedroom and bathroom.



The shower and rocking toilet were torn out and replaced.





The vanity is not quite finished as we await the “official” measuring for the countertop, which it turns out will probably be quartz as the solid surface would have blocked the drawers.

The downstairs was deconstructed this past weekend.


And partially reconstructed and ready for tiling this coming weekend.  It is a tiny room and should go quickly.


Then it is laying down the floors and adding trim and it will be a house!




wip wednesday

There is not much to show.

I am working on a shawl.


I have gotten past the point where I frogged it all back and started again on the summer top I am calling Comfy Lace (the name is a combination of the yarn, Knit Picks Comfy, and the pattern name, Lace Top).  The yarn, a cotton and acrylic combo, is freaking divine; it is soooo soft!


I want to make Pippi by Kirsten Kapur by June 25 so that I can gift it to someone, although that person is not really in my life any more and I want to finish Comfy Lace and I want to finish the new shawl and I signed up to do Camp Loopy after reading about it for years.

I am thinking I should forego the making of the me crazy over adding another deadline to the mix.

I think this because 1) I have plenty to keep me busy what with the sudden signing up for knitted projects that have calendar deadlines (Camp Loopy is three projects over June, July, and August), and 2) we are still working on the condo every weekend.

I’m crazy enough as it is.


almost a bathroom

The bathroom with the rocking toilet was revolting, even when substantially cleaned up.


First there was the repair of the walls of the shower.


Then the Kerdi went into place to create a waterproof barrier.


And the tile was applied.


And to the floor.


Tomorrow we grout and I attempt to make the walls deserving of the floor and shower.

bit by bit

Mr. B had expected to get the entire shower tiled this weekend.  I try not to get in the way of his delusions as it never ends well.

First he had to basically reconstruct the shower.


The mess on the floor is the shower pan covered with painter’s dropcloth and cardboard for protection.

He had to come up with a clever design fix because neither Lowes nor Home Depot in the combined Fresno-Clovis-Madera area had enough of the selected tiles to do what was needed.


Thus only the back wall of the shower got tiled.  The two side walls should go quickly next weekend because they do not have a design element or a shelf to deal with.

Just in case anyone wondered, tiling vertical surfaces bites.

The extra bedroom is pretty much finished and I find it a very pleasant space.


I apologize for the vacuum cleaner and clothes flung on the bed when I changed to my work clothes.  It does NOT add to the ambiance.

I am making this quilt, not in grays, to hang behind the bed.


It is from Annie’s Craft Store and I hope it will be lovely.

The closet door is even in place.


There is not much more I can do until the bathroom is ready for painting.  I think I will go shopping for quilt fabric next weekend.


Except for installing the curtain rod and hanging curtains and artwork, the extra bedroom is done.


The bathroom has come a long way and tilework should start this weekend, with me getting in the way to paint.


I thought I had taken a picture after the walls were mudded, but I guess I only looked and admired.

The utility room only needs the granite for the countertop ordered — although I keep vainly lobbying for something less expensive.  Do I really need to fold clothes on granite?  I don’t think so, but Mr. B holds veto power.

The current WIP is looking better.

Comfy Lace

I know it’s not WIP Wednesday.  I will try to do better next week.  I seem to finally be lifting my head above the depression and noticing things again.  Anyway this is my WIP update.

Despite having four large Rubbermaid bins of yarn, I have been acquiring Tosh Sock monthly from Jimmy Beans Wool.


From left to right:  Rhodonite (April), Garnet (February), Labradorite (January), and Chrysocolla (March).  I wonder what May will bring?

Yesterday, Sheri at The Loopy Ewe sent out her newsletter and I was immediately captivated by a new Mystery KAL starting May 12.  I immediately ordered the required set of yarns (which turned out darker than originally planned, but ended up being driven by the variegated yarn I chose for Color #3.


Color #1 is a light color.


Color #2 is an accent color.

Chalk Violet

Color #4 is a dark color.


And Color #5 is another accent color.

Marine Blue

I know only that it will be a large rectangle.  I have done this once before and liked the result, so my fingers are crossed for this Mystery KAL.  The Loopy Ewe website says they have shipped my yarn so it should be here in good time for Clue #1.