21 July 2014

And for the trifecta…

… I cleared out the loft today.

I wore shoes this time, but my feet still hurt. As does my thumb, I poked it on something sharp.

A little back history here: the loft was, originally, The Boy’s bedroom. Then the addition was built when The Reluctant Farmer and his kids arrived, and I moved out of the downstairs bedroom in the south wing. It got stuffed full of storage things and fibre things and before long you couldn’t even walk in there.

One day, The Boy and I decided to switch rooms. He got a door, I got more space, things were good. There was room for the store stock, a loom, plus some storage.

Then the shop moved out, and the upstairs was just … a catastrophe. It wasn’t anyplace you wanted to spend any time. It was a place to go dig up what you needed and escape as quickly as possible.

Right now I seem to be in the place where I want all the spaces to be user-friendly. At least mostly tidy (there is still a good ways to go with some of the piles that have been removed from their original locations, but we are making definite progress here) and welcoming. Light. Comfortable.

The loft was none of these things. It was quite frightening in fact. So I got started.

Photo 2014-07-21, 2 48 18 PM

Like I said, frightening.

But I firmly believe that good infrastructure eases most problems … so I set out to improve the infrastructure. Hence the power tools and lumber in the picture.

I’ve been dreaming of a little spinning/reading nook … I spent a bunch of time last night online looking at ideas, but of course I am constrained to work with only materials I already have at hand – no purchases allowed. I think that this new spinning/reading nook should earn me a place of honour on the Ikea Hacker’s website: using the framework from one IVAR section and several no-longer-needed wine rack shelves, I made a base; then covered it with tongue and groove pine (we still have some outside: I used some of the watermarked stuff, partly as an experiment to see how it looks when stained – and honestly it looks fine). Then I took three IVAR shelves and the two remaining wine racks and built a bookshelf, which I screwed to the end of the platform surface, using four of the predrilled holes in the side rails as guides. A few more pieces of pine and the shelf had a top rail and was sufficiently sturdy that it wouldn’t wobble.

Pictures are a little strange as it was dark by the time I was ready for photos but here you go:

Photo 2014-07-21, 10 26 12 PM

The platform will get some kind of mattress, some day … probably in the short term it’ll get a down quilt and several blankets piled on it. For the purposes of the picture I spread out two cotton blankets I wove and tucked a little hand knit pillow in the corner … I took it all off afterwards, though, as the stain needs to cure the rest of the way (I love Watco Danish Oil!)

This one shows the bookcase a little better: it’s not got any books on it, just spinning and knitting stuff. though that may change as I improve my stash storage.

Photo 2014-07-21, 10 26 01 PM

Under the platform there’s room between the shelves (which act as cross-braces) to tuck banker’s boxes and assorted other bits and pieces. The edge of the platform is surrounded by an old bed dust ruffle – if I am not mistaken, it once belonged to my cousin who is a big Texas A&M fan, it’s a lovely shade of burgundy! I’ll try to get some better pictures in daylight tomorrow. If I can still climb the stairs.

The lamp base is a piece of wood – I think my Dad made this, I should ask where it came from! It’s been around pretty much as long as I can remember, anyway!

The pony wall at the top of the stairs had never been properly finished: I added one more piece of tongue and groove, which created about an inch and a half ‘lip’ at the back of the wall, then used two boards of different widths to surface the rail. At the left, where a person might be leaning back against the wall (like a headboard), the shelf is flush with the edge of the panelling, but further out, it widens and has a bit of an overhang. It’ll be a lovely spot to put treasures once the stain dries!

Photo 2014-07-21, 10 26 27 PM

The two shelves are positioned to be easily accessible from the platform, but without being so deep as to get in the way as you round the corner. The bottom shelf is quite close to the floor, but I’ve found it is much easier to keep the floors clean if stuff is up … even by a few inches! That shelf is wide enough to hold two of my favourite baskets for yarn and knitting. The top shelf is narrower and presently has a couple of cones of yarn (including one that is stuck full of the various circular needles I found while cleaning up) and some thread. I’m sure it’ll find more appropriate contents before long.

The bin on the right contains various knitting patterns in hanging file folders. I need a better spot for it, but that was sufficiently out of the way for now.

What you can’t see is the big pile in the corner: several boxes that are going to the ‘take it or leave it’ at the dump, three HUGE Rubbermaid type bins of fibre goodness that are going to be listed for local Ravellers to take off my hands, another bin for the new owner of Flannelberry Creek, and one for my fibre neighbour. Two huge bags of garbage left as well, plus a pile of boxes bigger than I am.

The loom has a spot just to the left of the ‘nook’, there’s lots of room to work there and it doesn’t impede traffic. The roof slants sharply down at that corner, so I mounted a very wide shelf and hung a fabric skirt all around it: underneath is storage for banker’s boxes, the sewing machine, and some more fibre. It’s much tidier having it out of sight like that! The shelf is currently covered with a disorganized pile of books – I need to figure out some proper bookcase management, but that can wait. The small loom and a couple of bins of useful things are over by the front of the loft, and two spinning wheels are upstairs now. And the gold tub chair, which is ugly but so ridiculously comfortable.


I am amazed.

Yes, there are still several ‘landing zones’ of stuff to be cleared up yet … piles of books in the basement, hats and mittens in the hallway, a corner of assorted fibre stash oddities, and some things to rehome or sell … but oh my goodness, what a relief.

Tomorrow, I promise, I’ll stay in the recliner. I have computer work to do … and sore feet!

ETA: Daylight view!


  1. flannelberry7:43 am

    Nice work!!! The before shot looks rather like my basement and now I'm all inspired too.

    Enjoy your rest - you earned it!

  2. Anonymous9:03 am

    As you have long known, I believe an organized life makes for a better life - in so many ways. I'm glad you've met the challenges and am sure you will both enjoy and reap the benefits of having tackled this task! mom

  3. Anonymous12:02 pm

    I am in awe.


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