I know at least a couple of you have been wondering where I’ve been – I’m not going to give a blow by blow account of the last year, but I will try to explain my absence jut a little bit.
Mainly, the move and subsequent renovations ended up being much more time consuming than anticipated – in retrospect, selling the old house and finding the new one went fairly quickly (some work was needed to ready the old abode for sale but, painful as living in dust and paint is, it was done in a few weeks). We didn’t have to live through multiple open houses, and that was great.
The renos on the new house were a different story. We began with unfailing optimism – the company we hired had built a new porch for the old place as well as built an addition for Marcel’s sister’s house, so what could go wrong? Well, plenty. The first week seemed ok but everything seemed to slow down afterwards. We foolishly followed the recommendation to pay on an hourly basis, as a fixed estimate entailed a 25% surcharge. It soon became evident that if we didn’t hover constantly, grave mistakes ensued – actually, mistakes happened even if we hovered all day. The alarm system was short circuited, a too small window (by 7″!) was purchased and installed, cement poured through the cracks of the kitchen floor into the basement, the tiles in the kitchen were installed incorrectly twice, wiring stuck out of the wall in odd spots, cabinets were installed then uninstalled because of lack of organization, pieces had to be thrown away because of cutting errors while some that were installed have chips from being cut with the wrong tools. On and on. Later, when we hired someone else to complete plastering and painting the spare bedroom, he asked why we had such a large bulkhead in the room (we believed it was an air return for the forced air heating system) and asked if he could make a hole in order to see inside and perhaps shrink it. We agreed and he did – and found that not only had they not changed the tape on a conduit inside, but had not even connected it and so hot air was being blown into the ceiling. Then, he looked into the aforementioned air return… and saw that it wasn’t connected to anything at all. It had been been boxed in and plastered for no reason at all.
The other disappointing thing that happened of late was my having to cancel my trip to NYC for Vogue Knitting Live, as I don’t have the necessary papers to teach in the united states. It’s unfortunate, but the repercussions could be huge if caught working without the proper visa – it usually entails being barred from entering the country for 5 years. With family and friends across the border, it’s a risk that I cannot afford to take.
All was not so dark, however – the new house is only a couple of blocks away from Marcel’s sister, Monique. She’s one of my favourite persons in the world and now that we live so close to one another, we can work together – she is the new administrative director of St-Denis Yarns. She’s turning into a knitter, too – her first project has been the bear claw blanket, which she is making with some modifications out of nordique. We’ll blog that one of these days. The pullover above is for her, which she’ll model when it’s done. Speaking of models, her sons are also born models – expect more boy patterns in the future.
I’ll leave you with a sneak peek of the next magazine (soon! I promise!) – A photograph of Tanis wearing one of the sweaters: