Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The New Studio, and Zorro

Like most professors, even non-knitty ones, I do a lot of work from home. My studio serves as both a writing sanctuary and a creative space for fiber arts. I have always really liked having all of my creative work in one space together. The challenge, of course, is getting the different materials to coexist nicely.

We moved at the beginning of December (more on that in another post), and the new house has a great studio space. It's a large room in the walk-out basement. I claimed it as my own as soon as I saw it. Last night, to celebrate New Year's (and because we are LAME), my husband and I finally got the furniture into the space and cleaned it up. (Thank you, husband!)

Here's a short photo-tour. First, the view when you first walk in:

That's a small kitchenette to the left, complete with 1965-vintage stove for dyeing wool. Sweet! (Love the avocado green, by the way.)

Here's the view from the other end of the studio. This is more of the "knitty" end. You can see that I have two desks. One is more of a "serious" desk, with my second monitor and a bunch of supplies. This secondary desk only has a Tiffany lamp on it, and it sits next to a big window. This one is for those moments when I need to get away from the business on my other desk or for when I have a friend come over to work.

Now, the yarn! The yarn! I still keep it in the dollar-store wire racks because I can't find anything I like better. (I use zip-ties to keep the shelves intact.) 

Ain't nothing better than a stash. The purple bins in the background are filled with raw wool and roving. Which leads me too...

My carding station! Michael had some furniture stored at his warehouse (he has a very interesting job that requires a very interesting, and very large, warehouse. Go here: atlasstageworks.com). One piece was a table he made when he was younger (as in, 16 or so) that mounted on his great-grandmother's sewing table base. It weighs a ton, so it is perfect for mounting the drum carder on. Of course, I had to test the carder, so I made that butter-licious roving you see there while Michael watched. 

Next, there's the antique cabinet that looks like it's straight out of Zorro. In it, I've stored WIPs, FOs, sewing projects, and mending. I've never had such a nice-looking place to store stuff that essentially is ugly to look at. The top drawer is great, too—it's holding odds and ends. 

Below is a picture of Promenade that you can see through the metal fixtures of the furniture.

The top of the Zorro unit is covered in the contents of my knitting bag, contents that desperately need to be organized. First, there's my aptly named fun-fun-fun* bag. I got this in Tokyo and have used it to hold knitting notions ever since. But it always gets full of the wrong things and empty of the things I need most. 

Then there's the never-ending challenge of figuring out how to store one's interchangeable needle collection(s). I have Denise, Bamboo, AND Harmony (from Knit Picks). I tried this gigantic Della Q bag but it isn't doing it for me. Ideas, anyone?? 

And then there's the regular circulars, which inevitable turn into this rat's nest.

But it's fun to discover old sketches of knit designs. This one looks interesting. Maybe I'll try it out now that I've found it again. It's dated from last June. Where did the time go?

It's time to reassemble the wheel. (See my Beech Tree forest out the window? Yes.)

And I found this cross-stitch piece done by my mother-in-law Mary inside the Zorro cabinet, because the cabinet used to be hers. I'll keep it on the mantlepiece.

Lest we forget, this is also a room for writing. My journals have officially filled up an entire shelf on my bookshelf. They'll be moving on to shelf two when I finish this next volume. Crazy.

And a little reminder about why I'm here, for those times when I get discouraged. 

Does anyone else have links to virtual tours of their studios? I saw pictures of Ysolda Teague's once, and that was jealousy-inducing. Indeed, it looks like she's gone and published pictures of it again. Go check it out, and be jealous, too.

--Katie Rose

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