Thursday, August 31, 2006

On wool and being cool

I've joined the challenge of knitting a sweater by Rhinebeck, though I am cheating just a bit: I'm making a sweater vest. BUT, I should still get props for designing my own pattern:

What started out as a sketch on a small piece of paper has now been drawn up and out and knit several times. I finally got the right gauge, the right yarn mix, and the right opportunity to make real progress on this sweater earlier this week. This is what two days of knitting looks like (note the essentials to a good knitting marathon):

The final yarn? Brooks Farm Duet in Carnival and Cascade Pastaza in 043. The llama in the Pastaza beautifully compliments the kid mohair in the Brooks Farm. This sweater vest, if nothing else, will literally be warm and fuzzy. I'm already thinking that this will be the project I finish in Hershey this year, because what good is attending a cross-stitch festival if one doesn't bring one's knitting? Exactly!

Now, perhaps you ask, "Why did Sparksy have two days of nothing but the knit?" I'll tell you: we had central air installed in our 1920s row house. And while I didn't need to necessarily sit there and hold the hands of the contractors, it sure was a good thing I was home. Here are some of the highlights of the installation of our high velocity air conditioning system below.

This is my back yard. In addition to Killer Cherry Tomatos from Outer Space and Sideshow Bob, I temporarily had some odd number feet of duct, a condenser, and contractor stuff crammed in between the table and chimenea.

One quarter of my dining room was devoted entirely to central air installation stuff. It was really only fun for the cat, and actually, he probably found it kind of stressful...

The air handler was to be installed in the crawl space that is our attic. While we'd argued, originally, for it to be towards the rear of the house, we are actually kind of happy that the unit's in the front of the house. However, to get to the unit and its installation, an access hole had to be cut. This is looking down from that freshly cut hole and at my (covered) bed.

To get into the living room ceiling, the contractors first cut holes in the bedroom ceiling and then chased the ducts down through the closet and the floor. Unfortunately for us, we had to empty out not only our bedroom closets, but also our linen closet.

And, so, this is what our closets would look like if we used a bed for a closet. Not nearly as convenient, and amusing for only 47 minutes. What you can't see on the other side of the bed is the collection of sheets that were removed from the linen cloest. Also of note: shoes. One third of the shoes are Mike's!

Here's the air handler unit. You know, the one that pretty much sits over my head? It's actually pretty cool (har har)--the air handler is constructed and manufactured just so and when it's running, you hear nary a squeak from this miniature cooling power house. We also have a condenser outside, but that's just your typical Lennox dealie.

Finally, the fruits of their labors (and our dollars... Oh, our dollars...): the diffusers.

The high velocity system is designed to be easily retrofitted into homes that use radiator heat, or, that were not designed with the space for traditional ductwork. Where we would have had to deal with ugly soffits and huge registers, we now instead have these 2-inch diameter diffusers that deliver cool air throughout the house. You can read more about the system itself here and here (the second being the link for the company that did our installation).

Overall, I'm happy with both my knitting progress and the central air installation. Of course, I learned that knitting for more than two hours straight (say, 8 hours with only bathroom and lunch breaks) is not for the weak-knuckled. And that it is certain to bust any heat wave if you fork over the money and install central air. Ah, life.

1 comment:

Merriann (aka squirrly) said...

I love it!