Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Triumph of Knitting Needles & Algebra

Several months ago, we made plans to work on our living room. We wanted to take down some old curtains (photo here) and that led to a damaged ceiling which led to the ceilings being scraped, recessed lighting installed, the ceiling painted, the walls painted, and then we lost our funding. (Looking back on my old posts, I realize that I never wrote about this. My husband has been looking for a job since early June. He had a contract job for most of the summer, which helped us quite a bit. He was offered a job two weeks ago and starts Monday. God has been very good to us again.) The living room project has been on hold.

But somewhere along the way, I think around the time of the lights being installed, we purchased vertical blinds. I was planning on putting them up before the carpet was ripped out, but then with everything on hold, I just couldn't even go into the living room. It was a deposit for toys and books and the stroller and people's bags and shoes and I just pretended that everything about that room was on hold. Occasionally I'd apoligize to my husband for my lack of effort with the living room, but good guy that he is, he told me he understood. Maybe he was ignoring that room, too.

So, finally, I decide to hang those blinds. I get down to the project, only to be derailed by the fact that there are no instructions. No instructions to hang them. So I call the company (after I look up the number on the internet - blogging gives you good research skills) and they email me the instructions, which takes over an hour to reach my inbox. Why is that? Anyway, it's too much for me and I print out the instructions and tell myself I'll hang them the next day.

Next day, I get all set again, only to be foiled by the instructions. How do I adjust the width? It clearly states on the box that these will fit a range of window sizes, but there are no instructions on how to adjust the darn thing. This time, I email them with my question. And wait.
The day after that, I get an email. I have to take them back to the store where they will cut them for me with a special cutter. Great. Now I have to take three sets of headrails back to the store with my two kids to get them cut. The blind project gets put on hold again.

Sometime last week I took the two smaller blinds (there are three windows in the living room, and the big one is 95 inches wide) to the hardware store to get them cut. The first one, no problem. The second one - hey! this has already been cut! - to smaller than my window. I guess that's why it was such a good bargain. Grrrr. (Don't worry, though - we've found a smaller window for that one. It's all good.)

Meantime, Stuart and I decide to totally rearrange our bedroom. We need a change, we tell ourselves, and this will be a great project and won't cost us a thing. Two hours later, a whole new room. We both love it. While putting the answering machine and phone into a bookshelf, my husband suggests that I poke a small hole in the back (it is a cheap bookcase with a cardboard type backing) and I tell him to hand me something pokey and he hands me a knitting needle. It worked perfectly. Later we are re-hanging some artwork and he is putting in a drywall anchor and uses another knitting needle to make a small hole where he wants the picture to go. Again, it worked perfectly. (I have awarded myself The “MacGyver” Badge (Level Two) for use of a knitting tool in a non-knitting situation. (Thanks to Brenda at Cast On for the badge!))

Today, inspired by the success with the bedroom, I once again set to work on the blinds. One goes up. It's great. I run off to the hardware store, leaving the kiddos at home with Daddy, and get the long headrail cut and get a new short headrail and have it cut to the right size. I pay for it with a gift card that I got for a return I made the week before - and I am only 48 cents short. 48 cents. That's not very much at all. Encouraged by the appearance of things going well, I come home and hang the last two blinds. For the long blind, I must use four brackets. The end ones are easy to place - four inches from the edge of the window. But those middle ones? Where do they go? Oh, that's just some algebra. I grab my pencil and the instructions, and after a few calculations, I have it. I put them up - perfectly spaced. (I am quite smug that knitting and algebra have come out winners in the last two days. It makes me very very happy. I will probably be very difficult to live with tomorrow.) I cut all the little louvers and click them into place. And guess what? It's done. The blinds are up. They work great. They fit great.

You know what this means, right? It means that something is going to break next week. Maybe now that I've said it out loud, it will be something small like a lightbulb going out. Or maybe, just maybe, this is the beginning of an upswing. The universe righting itself, manifested through successful house projects. It's possible, right?


Mel said...


*clapping happily*

And no worries. I'll shoulder the breaking of things FOR you.

(broke a glass in the sink just this evening.........LOL)

Sheila said...

Thanks, Mel, but I've already discovered a can of grease that spilled on the stove and had to punish my kids for excessive fighting (to which the girl replied, gosh, mom, we're only kids. we're gonna fight.)