There's an excellent reason I haven't been blogging for the past week: I've been busy putting together my new knitting room...and it's done! My goal for this room was to make a functional, beautiful, comfortable space to accommodate knitting, spinning, and a little sewing, spending as little as possible and reusing as much as possible. Want a tour? Thought so!
This room is upstairs and faces west. It has a beautiful view of the trees in my front yard. In fact, that's pretty much all that is visible out the window; it's like being in a tree house. It's 10'x12', with a small walk in closet. We're going to look around the room clockwise, starting at the door (it's to the left in the first picture).
This is the closet door. I installed the mirror so that I would have a spot for trying things on. To the right, you can see hints of things to come. I'm going to make you wait just a minute, though, while I show off the closet (click here to see before pics):
It's all cleaned out now, and I can actually see and access everything in it. The bins on the floor are full of spinning fiber. So are the bins on the shelf. I don't need these out and available to me, since I don't spin nearly as often or as quickly as I knit. I can get to them easily when I want some new spinning fiber. The bags hanging from the rod are my knitting bags.
All my knitting books and magazines are now organized and accessible on the bookshelf, too.
Moving to the right of the closet, we have the part you really want to see...
The Great Wall of Yarn!
This is the IKEA Expedit bookcase that just about everyone who has a craft room seems to own. It is the only new piece of furniture I bought for this space, and worth every penny of its $199 price tag. It is, in my opinion, the perfect yarn storage unit. I know, I know--I just heard a dozen knitters gasp in unison because my yarn is not stored in plastic bags and guarded from moths! I thought long and hard about this. I really wanted my yarn out and touchable. That was one of my major goals in putting this room together, in fact. It always seemed such a shame to me that all my gorgeous, colorful, wonderfully textured yarn was packed away where I couldn't see or enjoy it. I couldn't even remember what I had (as I discovered while unpacking it today). But I was worried about moths. Here's my reasoning on that: I have never, ever seen a clothes moth or any signs of one. I'm not even certain they live in this part of the country, where it is generally hot and dry. Even if they do live hereabouts, I figure, having all the yarn out in the light and the air is likely to discourage any nesting. And, just to be on the safe side, I'm putting lavender sachets in every one of those cubbies to stink the little buggers out. The bottom line it, it's a risk I'm willing to take to have all my beautiful yarns out where I can enjoy them.
On top of the Great Wall of Yarn are my two antique sewing machines. The one on the left (blogged about at length here) was made in the 1940s and belonged to my great-grandmother. She, my great aunt, and my mother all used it to make their clothes. It is in perfect working order, and I had it cleaned an adjusted a couple of years ago. I intend to use it myself, but I am having some trouble finding needles that fit, so for now it's on display. The one on the right came from an old house my parents bought when I was a little girl. I used it as a kid, and it still works.
The baskets in between the sewing machines contain UFOs that I haven't yet decided to finish or frog.
This is another juicy shot of the yarn, just because. This bookcase is six feet square and 15 inches deep. Each cubby can hold at least three sweaters' worth of yarn!
Continuing our clockwise rotation, we move to the inspiration wall:
I did buy the cork board, but it was on clearance for $11.83 (marked down from $49.99), so I'm okay with that. I also bought some ribbon from Michaels to hot glue over the original aluminum frame, so I suppose I need to add the $3.99 I spent on that. The little chests were nightstands in the former guestroom, and they were in pretty bad shape. Here's a before pic:
After some sanding and primer and a couple of coats of white paint, they look a lot better. I found some drawer pulls in the garage that I liked better than the ones that were on these, so I switched them out as well.
The shutters on the wall came from my mom's house several years ago. She replaced her wood shutters with vinyl (why, I have no idea), and I couldn't bear to see all the pretty wood shutters get thrown out, so I grabbed these. They've been stored in the closet of this room ever since. I pulled them out and got hubby to help me hang them on the wall. The shelf used to be in the nursery; I rescued it from the garage. The baskets (as well as the ones on top of the Great Wall) were under my bed, full of paperbacks. I relocated the books, and the baskets now hold WIPs. The lamps were already on the wall; I used them as reading lamps over the bed when this was the guest room. Oh, and all those pictures on the cork board are inspiration pictures for this room. Google "craft room" sometime. You'll be blown away.
Rotating again, here is my new desk:
Actually, it's not new at all. My husband bought this desk 15 years ago for $5 from the aerospace company he used to work for. They were selling off some old furniture. This thing has probably been around since the 1950s. The base is solid steel; the top is heavy particle board with a fake wood laminate. The base was originally orange. My husband painted it black when he bought it. I repainted it cream ($12 for spray paint), and covered the top with self-adhesive contact paper in a black and white floral print ($12.99 for the paper).
Here's the "before":
I much prefer the "after". I can't tell you how happy I am to have a place to leave my swift and ball winder set up permanently. It's always been such a hassle to drag them out of storage and clear a space to set them up every time I need to wind yarn. Now I can wind at will!
The old folding chair will do until the budget allows for something nicer. On the floor next to the desk is a sewing box I bought for a couple bucks at a neighbor's garage sale, and next to that is my spinning-in-progress basket.
To the right of the desk is what I'm calling "Bertha's Corner" (Bertha is my dress form):
This chest was also brown and worn. I used the same paint on this as on the nightstands (it was "oops" paint I got for $5/gallon from Home Depot years ago and have used for multiple projects). This was a yard sale find my husband also bought for $5 before we were married (we don't buy $5 furniture anymore). It's solid hardwood with dovetailed drawers, and the hardware is solid brass. It holds a lot of stuff, including the fabrics for some projects I'm working on.
The basket on top of the chest holds my various knitting tools: tape measure, needle gauge, small tool bag, interchangeable needles, etc. I have more needles in the top drawer of the chest.
The picture above the chest came from my mother-in-law's house. I never met her; she died before I met my husband. But the picture has been in our garage for more than 20 years. I came across it last week and decided I like it, so up it went.
To the left of the chest you can just see my spinning wheel on the floor.
And finally, the last wall:
Very boring. Eventually, I plan to buy another Expedit unit, but one with a cutout for a flat panel tv. That will go on this wall with a new tv and satellite hook up. Someday. My birthday's in September, so, Honey, if you're reading this...hint, hint.
After I took the pictures, my husband hauled an old rocking chair up from the garage--do I even need to tell you he bought it at a yard sale before we were married?.
I think this chair has now been in every room in the house. It's a nice chair. I used it for nursing babies and reading to toddlers and studying for law school. Now it will be my knitting chair in here. It could use a cushion, but otherwise is in perfect shape, and very comfortable.
The bag to the right was my knitting bag in college. I haven't used it in a while, but I came across it while I was shoveling out the closet and thought it would work well here. It's full of the Noro Yuzen I'm using for my Noro Log Cabin blanket (which is going swimmingly, by the way).
So there you have it: a wonderful new space for my crafting activities with a pretty minimal investment of time and money. I spent all day organizing the space and haven't even had a chance to sit down and enjoy it, but I just couldn't wait to share it with people I know will appreciate it as much as I do!