Saturday, November 12, 2011

Finished: Haruni Shawl

So I knit this shawl, and I wanted to take a picture of it so I can show you my skillz. First I took it outside, but this ended up as a lesson in perspective. I promise my hands are not the same size as my head in real life. (or maybe they are...)

Ok, but you can't really see the pattern. How about a real-life pose?

Hmm. Maybe I'll take it inside and lay it on a white comforter, so the pattern shows up more.

Blegch. It's all weird and dark. How about hanging it up on a shelf?

Ok, we're getting there. So close... ooh, the window!

Yay! You can see it now, right? Just combine all of these pictures in your head, and that's what it looks like.
(Pattern: Haruni. Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Persia. Needles: size... 4... or 5? who knows, really) This is a contender for my favorite knit yet. Because I have so many uses for knitted lace, mostly.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Home Improvement: Kitchen Progress

I had hoped to post a fabulous "look at my kitchen before and after, which I accomplished for $0 and in only one weekend" post, but since I live in reality and not in DIY magazine land, this is what you get. When we moved in 2 1/2 years ago, the kitchen wasn't bad. The previous owners had already replaced the floor and painted the gross 80's oak cabinets that every builder insists on using. The countertop was off-white laminate, and stained and scratched.

This is how the kitchen looked when we bought the house, with off-white cabinets, silver handles, visible hinges, and black appliances:

Right away we bought a new stove, as the old one was, well, old. About a year later we got a new dishwasher, after the old one started laughing at us and just spat back out dirty dishes rather inconveniencing itself by actually cleaning them. [I should also note that this is the second stove and dishwasher we got, after both were broken when they arrived. This actually worked out to our advantage because they brought us a more expensive, stainless interior dishwasher the second time around, for the same price.]

This summer I got tired of looking at the off-white cabinets and painted them all again a brighter white (Benjamin Moore White Dove). You can see the contrast with the countertops below:

We also took on what proved to be the most frustrating, terrible project ever: replacing the visible hinges with hidden ones. There was no way to level the hinges, so we had to drill holes into the cabinet faces, basically blindly, and hope that the doors were level. If not, we had to start all over again. I wanted to stab myself in the face, and I'm sure Jason did too. But it looks good! We also replaced the silver handles with black knobs (which we got for free from my parents, who replaced theirs with stainless steel knobs.)

Next we ripped out the countertop. This is an accurate description because the countertops had been glued down (!?!?!). Also apparently it had been used as a trash can by someone in 1984 (see Twix wrapper below.)

Now we have black granite countertops and a new undermount sink and faucet! When I went shopping for them, the first salesman I consulted told me that black countertops in a kitchen would be "deadly." He also referred to me as "young lady." Blerg.

Moving forward, obviously the torn drywall and old caulking stuck to the wall need to go. We're going to tile the backsplash ourselves, once I actually make a decision on the tile. I like all of the examples below, so I should probably actually drag myself to a tile showroom to see how much this stuff costs. I also need to paint the black kickboards below the cabinet (I knew something was off but didn't realize what until I looked at the last photo below), frame the window with molding, replace the old vent hood, replace the fluorescent light, and probably paint. Have you ever read If You Give A Mouse A Cookie? I am a home-improvement mouse, and I have been given a cookie.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest
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