25 January 2010

Decorating 101

As I spent a few minutes this morning clearing off the mounds of paper and books from my desk (really just an old, long table) in my studio I took a good look around. It's a nice room. Actually it's the biggest bedroom in the house. Because it's located downstairs without a connected bathroom, no one minded when I claimed it as mine, mine, all mine. A tray ceiling, storage cubes like those in yarn shops, a floor-to-ceiling bookcase that offers no more space for knitting books so now they're piling up on the floor, and a view of the birds outside in the snow, snow, snow. Beautiful, except...those squares of cork that are supposed to stick to the wall with double-sided sticky tape are not living up to expectations. The tape does not stick and the cork is so thin that a thumbtack (push-pin to you Pittsburghers) pokes right through and into the wall. Quick trip to Target and wow, great, new, black-framed cork board. Just hang it and voila!

No attached hanger-thingies. That should have been my first warning of impending doom. The kind manufacturers did think of adding little hanger-thingies with matching mini-screws. I can do this. Carry the shiny new cork board to the workroom and situate it gently on the workbench. Find appropriately small Phillips head screwdriver. Ah, look - the kind manufacturers have even pre-drilled little holes for me. Easy-peasy.

Half way through turning the screws, they stop. Done. Not going any more. Okey-dokey...power tools. I spot Dave's battery operated drill/screw driver. (It's wonderful that's he's so organized.) Zrrrr! - and the battery's charged! Oh, and here are the drill bits, etc. in their locking, size-arranged plastic container. Life is good. Problem solved. I insert the screwdriver tip and tighten that ring-thing around it. I am woman! Set screwdriver bit to screw. Push down. Pull trigger. Zrrrr! Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Nope. Zero. The drill bit spins, but the little itty-bitty, almost-microscopic screw holds fast and doesn't budge. Rats!

At this point I should "Step away from the power tool, Ma'am." But, no, not me. This moment is followed by a quick progression (or maybe, regression) of going back to the hand screwdriver with bouts of power screwdriver, hammering (Jesse, the dog runs from room at this point), swearing, pouting,and finally concluding that it really won't matter that much if the screws aren't completely flush with the cork board.

Now off to measure the wall. The afore-mentioned screws hold little hook-things that will be held by nails to the wall. They appear to be even (-ish) so we'll just measure the distance between the hook-things. "33 inches and the middle of that 5." That 5, it appears, refers to 85 centimeters. This will work. With pencil, mark on wall the beginning and end of length "0 to 33 and the middle of that 5." It needs to be level? No prob. I just downloaded this cool handy level App on my phone.

So, wait a minute...isn't this suppposed to be a blog about knitting? Didn't someone hear me swear that I wasn't going to natter on about my life? Well, of course. This has oodles to do with knitting. Take, for instance s-w-a-t-c-h-i-n-g. I know. Most people want to gag at the mention of that word. But, thank goodness, I learned to do this swatching step, and to do it well. No guessing. No thinking that it will probably work. It has to be accurate or my sleeves will hang down to the floor. And what about lengthening or shortening a sweater? 16 inches plus most-of-my-hand length will get me an ill-fitting sweater.

As my favorite Norm says, "Measure twice, cut once."

I think I'll have Dave finish hanging my cork board.


  1. Hah, hah! I can so picture the wild glint that you undoubtedly had in your eyes toward the end of your screwdriver escapade. Life is all about the little victories, isn't it? And the addition of power tools just makes everything more fun.

  2. I'd feel so much better if the cork board wasn't still sitting on the floor! I guess I lost some of my nerve to whack holes in my wall based on "33 and the middle of that 5"! Scary or smart?

  3. Just take a lesson from Michael Keaton as "Mr. Mom." I love the part in that movie when one of his kids comes to him with a gaping hole in his/her (can't remember the gender) security blanket, and Michael Keaton pulls out an industrial-size stapler and staples the hole shut. "Two-twenty, two-twenty-one,... whatever it takes." (If you've never seen the movie, rent it; watch it; then go hang your cork board. I think you'll be fine.)