Tuesday, March 9, 2010

FO: My Knitting Room!

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!

40 comments:

Wollgut said...

Woohoo! Terrific craft room. Have fun using it!

marit said...

Perfect! It looks so cozy! You've done really well. Enjoy it:-)
Oh, and thanks for sharing! I have a sewingroom, but I don't think I can share it right now...it is not very inspirational...

knitwych said...

::dies of envy::

Fibra Artysta said...

Its fantastic in every way!!! I love the expedit bookshelves, I've got several. Although I opted for the two row ones so I could move them easily from room to room.

I love that you have all your yarn out, I've been thinking about doing the same thing but I can't stand the smell of lavendar.

And as far as chairs go, I have one from IKEA that is pretty nice. And I've got tons of back troubles so I was surprised that I found one there I liked. I think I paid $79 for it.

punkin said...

It is wonderful. I enjoyed the before-and-after pics of the re-purposed furniture. inspiring.

Cynthia said...

Heavenly.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

I looks fantastic. I'm jealous. My room isn't near as nice!

kmkat said...

Thanks for the tour -- what a great room. I too have an Expedit unit, but still in the box. It will get assembled and installed when we finally putflooring in my office.

melissaknits said...

I think I recognize one of those books ;)
Wonderful workspace!!

5elementknitr said...

It's so lovely!

Suzanne said...

Oh my!! Its like a dream!!! It is beautiful! Perfect!! You sure did a nice job refurbishing the furniture. Everything is truly gorgeous!

Booklassie Dee said...

Fantastic job on your new craft room. Isn't it a great feeling to reclaim a room AND do it so inexpensively but with your own unique stamp? I love the color, too.

martha - caknitter said...

What a gorgeous room! I am so loving your wall of yarn and that rocking chair...wow!
Thank you for sharing...it brings me hope of someday having my own knitting room. :-)

toni in florida said...

Gorgeous! Thanks for the inspiration.

heidi said...

wow!!!

It looks really wonderful!

Addicted to Knitting said...

love love love...

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Gorgeous space. Perfect for all that crafting. Fantastic repurposing/refinishing of all your furniture! Love it.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

What a great room! I'm jealous!

Mary LeMaster said...

Wow Oh Wow It is wonderful. I would love to someday have something en a lil close to that!! Enjoy!!!

Sharon said...

Congratulations, what a lovely room!

SwissKnits! said...

oooooooo I love your craft room!!
I want a room like that so badly!!! In the meantime, I have the stuff in the family room, our closet in the bedroom and some in our guest room...
I'm looking for inspiration, and you have provided quite a bit!
One day... one day...

sophanne said...

That is great great great. I like the shutters the best. They make it feel like you're looking out onto a landscape of possibilities. Whenever I've had boards like that, the visual images become static to me- I don't see them any more. Those shutters would make a difference I believe.

sophanne said...

knitting bags on hangers- "doh" say I.

sophanne said...

I knew there was one more thing... I'm having trouble keeping my thoughts gathered today. I'm with you on the wall of yarn. I just put out and invisible sign that says "no bugs allowed." and put some smelly soaps on the shelves

Mother of Chaos said...

Oh, envy! It's wonderful!!

Tammy said...

Omigosh! My yarn and I are both incredibly jealous! Enjoy. :)

Haley said...

I am SO jealous. I LOVE it! I love that you have all your beautiful yarn on display. so happy for you to have this space. enjoy!

Gail said...

OMG... Your craft room looks like a yarn store. I am green with envy!

LoriD said...

Absolutely perfect! You did an AMAZING job! I now have a new dream for my room - again I am so very impressed with what you did!

Steph B said...

Beautiful! I am a teensy bit envious...both of the room, and of your stash! Hope you enjoy your lovely "new" space.

Knitcoach said...

Absolutely lovely and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

knittingknirvana said...

I love it! Like a dream come true!! :)

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Expedit FTW!! Everytime!!

Strickmuse said...

It is absolutely beautiful and so inviting. Very practical and I love that the yarn is out there to be looked at and touched. I don't know about moths here in our region but you could put some Baygon mothpaper in there, it is supposed to be odorless. The wall color is great, too.
S

seashells said...

OH, now I am just insanely jealous! What a wonderful room.

French Press Knits said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this link. I do already have a few Expedit bookshelves on order with Ikea. Next week I am meeting with a furniture consultant to pick out even more :)

Knitterella said...

Love the great wall of yarn - isn't that just beautiful to stare at. And the dress form lamp! This space is great!!

hotpinkpeonies said...

It's WONDERFUL! You have space for all kinds of activites and I would guess that it helps keep you inspired. I love the old sewing machines too - how wonderful to keep them in the family and in working order. I stumbled over here from Ravelry, where I'm gardengirl611. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous workspace!

Tanya said...

Wow! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your craft room. Such a nice flow and you have really done a great job finding pretty storage for all your crafts. Nice!

Kniftyknittingmom on Rav

TheTwistedYarn.com said...

Beautiful. I think that having a beautiful space in which to create can inspire you to make beautiful things.