I was planning to blog about how the kitchen saga was finally almost over after four weeks. But this afternoon I was getting ready to plumb in our dishwasher and discovered the [insert expletive here] kitchen company hasn't provided anywhere to plug the darn thing in. There is provision for the waste, and for water connection, but no plug point. I sincerely hope they don't have to rip the kitchen apart or carve up the walls AGAIN to get a cable through neatly to the dishwasher alcove. Honestly.
Apart from that, and from a bit of plastering around the extractor fan, and a few doors and brackets on back order, the kitchen is mostly finished. The floor in the dining room and kitchen is as finished as it is going to get - it is not in any way perfect as the kitchen fitter, however well meaning, did not have the skill set to make the floor look very good. So there are plenty of blemishes, cracks, gaps and outright holes, and some pretty big variations in colour, but it is done for now. Perhaps in a few years we might get somebody in who can do it better - but who am I kidding, that's probably it until we sell the house in 15 years :) I spent two evenings this week crawling around on my knees on the floor - first painting in all the lighter coloured spots of filler with some Games Workshop acrylic paints to blend them in, and then painting a final coat of floor varnish over both floors. I like the colour in the dining room, it looks good with the fireplace.
So today we did a massive clean up in the dining room, wiping thick layers of builder's dust off of every level surface, to get it all ready for painting when the painter gets back from holiday week after next. We need to do the same in the kitchen but now I don't know if we should bother, with the plasterer and the electrician needing to come back.
The kitchen company in their wisdom left the extractor fan until last, so drilling the hole for that through our massively thick solid walls left a thick coating of red brick dust over the entire kitchen, vertical as well as horizontal surfaces. It took the guy about an hour to drill through then he went outside to finish cutting the hole through from outside. I could hear him pounding away with a chisel and mallet while I was talking to the carpenter who was hanging the door in the dining room. But as I walked down the hallway towards him, it seemed oddly like the sound was coming from the right side of the hallway (the study) and not the left side (the kitchen). I looked out the hall way window, and danged if he wasn't merrily cutting a hole through our study wall. I waved frantically through the window and he looked but kept banging away while I feverishly located the key and unlocked the window before shrieking "What are you doing???!!!!!"
"Cutting the hole for your extractor fan."
"Do I look like I'm standing in a kitchen????"
"Uuh. Hmmm. I wondered why I wasn't finding the hole..."
Luckily he hadn't damaged the actual brick, just chiselled the mortar away all around it. We've now got people up on the scaffolding doing re-pointing anyway so they can scoop that up in their work.
As you can see in the picture, our fridge-freezer is finally out of the hallway and in the kitchen where it belongs, although it still needs some trim added above it. Sadly while it was in the hallway for a month, its weight caused two more severe cracks to appear in our lovely but quite damaged Victorian tiled hallway. But after having a pint-sized fridge since December, it was amazing to go shopping today and actually buy quantities of food for more than just the next couple of days. One day if we win the lottery, we will have the tiled floor restored.
We also have an oven now, so for the first time since we moved I am roasting a chicken - not something I could do on a two-burner hot plate - so we will have a roast dinner tonight, yummy. I'm also trying out the new hob to make sure it works, although it's a bit awkward cooking across two floors. It will be so nice to finally just have one kitchen that is all finished.
The furniture-moving game also continues. Friday night we emptied out the lounge and one of the bedrooms, and part of the study, to make room for the kitchen fitter and his mate to come in on Saturday and do some extra jobs for us. They fitted picture rail in the lounge and bedroom, to match the picture rail already in the dining room and other bedroom. They did a great job, really neatly, apart from they have installed the rail at 'true level' which makes it very clear how very not-level the rooms themselves are. The doors are suddenly obviously wonky, and the gap between the rail and one corner of the lounge ceiling must be at least three inches wider at one end than the other. I'm trying to ignore it and hopefully it will be less obvious when the rooms are painted a nice neutral light colour. The joys of an old house.
The bedroom and boxroom are all painted now and they look so incredibly better, we're really pleased with them and can't wait for the rest of the house to catch up. Hopefully week after next the kitchen and dining room will be done, then the study, then the other bedroom, lounge and finally the upper and lower hallways. Lots more furniture moving in my future then.
And one special night, after the floors were sanded for the final time so no more dust was going to be generated, I unpacked my yarn stash (or at least the part of it that I have found - there is more in some of the other boxes not opened yet I think). It was really lovely to uncover lots of treasures including some I had forgotten about. I went to B&Q and got them to cut up some white furniture board into squares so I could divide the shelves diagonally - just like my own yarn shop! The main unit is roughly sorted by weight of yarn, and the lower unit will be my sock yarn stash.
Did I do any crafts this week?
Yes, I did manage some knitting, although some nights I was so tired and stressed that I didn't get much done really.
I did finish darning in the ends and sewing together the Colourwork Baby Jumper, and sewed on the buttons in green, pink and lavender to match the stripes. I just need to flatten the seams a little then this is done. It is a six month size and the yarn has a nice sparkle running through it.
I did a bit more on my current GAA Afghan square, this is the Marian Tabler square and is complicated enough that I am having to keep track of the charts using Goodreader on my iPad.
And when I was unpacking my stash, I came across a book I had forgotten I owned: Knit London - 10 iconic projects by Emma King. Since I had just unpacked my DK yarn and knew exactly where it was, I grabbed red, black and white and started knitting this:
Unfortunately there are mistakes in the pattern around the domed top area, so I had to pull that out and reknit it to look more like the picture in the book, but it's been a fun knit. I have to knit two more of these, and a back, top and base, and then stuff it - and I will have my own little red telephone box.
The other thing I did this week was to knit the rosette for the Ruffled and Ruched scarf but it needs to have a back and pin sewn on to it at some time, and the scarf still needs to be blocked. I liked it though.
Now that the main dirty work is done inside the house (don't get me started on the dust outside now that the repointing is going on), I could even start unpacking my machine knitting room so I might do that this week. The sewing room is still a no-go area, although I did snap up a couple of small folding tables at the charity shop today, to put behind my machine table when I am machine quilting. I am trying to buy some more IKEA Billy bookcases for fabric storage on eBay but keep getting outbid.