Calgon, Take Me Away! Foundations in My House & My Knitting

I have talked a little bit about the remodeling going on around “the old girl”, as I have been known to call our house. My studio in particular I have been very excited about and am looking forward to getting done. Having all my stuff in a more central location will be nice. Some of the contractors working on the old girl look a little bemused when I tell them that nice room is going to be my studio, and that I have a knitting design business. I can understand, really. Who would expect to run into a knitwear designer in Fort Wayne, Indiana? The corn is as tall as we are.

We have been working on this room since May, and it is still not done. Tantalizingly close, but not done yet. The latest set back is a crack that has developed in the slab, along the back side towards the left side of the room. It started as a hairline and has widened enough to be a concern (this is in the garage being converted to living space, so this is not a new space).

I called a concrete leveling company and they came out and looked at it, and talked with my contractor and me. I know we have a bit of a foundation issue back in that corner. While I don’t know what all contributed to it (some of that won’t be known until our contractor digs along the foundation to the footer to see if the footer is too shallow or puny), I do know that we need to fix it. I guess I need to call the carpet folks so that they know they won’t be able to install the carpet on Monday.

I was hoping to have the carpet in Monday, as I pick up Beth Brown-Reinsel at the airport on Tuesday. At least the room is painted now and the curtains will be up. You would have to have seen it before to understand why those things would provoke such joy. The old girl was in sad need of getting her rooms spruced up.

One thing that I find interesting in this process is watching professionals do their job. The painters, and drywalle guys, for instance. There is a lot of preparation that goes into the job before the finish work is done. It is this “foundation” which makes a good job possible.

Interestingly, knitting is not any different. There is a lot to knitting that goes beyond the actual project itself that will make or break a garment. Choices in cast on and bind off’s, for example. Choices in selvage stitch (whether you consciously choose to work a stitch in a “selvage stitch pattern” or not does not have a bearing on whether the stitches at the edges of the piece you are knitting is a selvage stitch or not), whether you work the shoulder as a three needle bind off, or whether you short row the shoulders. Whether the seams in the garment are providing structure or not (as they often are) when thinking of converting from flat knitting to in-the-round is another finishing question to think about before the knitting starts.

While I have no desire to tell anyone what to do with their knitting, I don’t mind telling you it pays off to consider the finishing of our garment before you get into the knitting. Choices in technique can and will mean the difference between so-so garment and one that looks professionlly done.  There are some good resources out there in books that give knitters a firm foundation (no pun intended).

Peace & Knitting, JoLene Treace


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