Monday, November 3, 2014

A knitter's dwelling place

When it comes to where we live, knitters have special needs.

I joked a couple of weeks ago about the perfect entry to a knitter's home, but in all seriousness: there are some things that knitters simply must have:

space to store the yarn stash and tools

a bookshelf for the hard copies of their patterns (or to hold baskets of works in progress, if they've gone paperless)

a good chair to work in

a good light to work by

Also, teacups and cookie plates.  But that might just be me.

If you are a knit blogger... well, you also need natural light, because Photography.

And folks, that one is a toughie.  Here at my tiny house, I can take knits out onto the porch to photograph flat, or I can wear knits out to the private back yard to photograph on.  But downtown? in a condo?  You're talking balcony, community terrace (usually on the roof, hello residents of all neighbouring buildings), or public park, plus all the time and planning required to cart the knits to these places.  And frankly, if it's Public Park, then I'm sorry, we are looking at a year without a new hat pattern because omigosh embarrassing.

As we've hunted for a place to stay while our house is renovated, realizing that this extra tiny hope for natural light is apparently too much to ask on top of all the rest of our considerations, I have been asking different questions.  Questions like,

Why are we doing this?  isn't it easier just to stay in the tiny house and live with the Cramped?

Why not just stay in the neighbourhood where we are, and rent a whole house with a 2-car driveway and a whole back yard for the same price we'd pay for a box plus a single spot in an underground lot downtown?

Again, why are we doing this?

I've only been able to come up with two answers.  One is that living downtown for a short time will allow us both to relax a little - okay, a lot - from the commute, which has been wearing us (me) down for a few years now.  Not least because the house I come home to after the difficult drive is so overcrowded and so not rejuvenating.  The other is that after 18 years in one place, I for one have been longing for a major change that will let us track four seasons somewhere new.

Oh, and this one doesn't really count, but is intriguing: INDOOR POOL.  Lots of condos have them, while houses, oddly, do not.

Here is what the whole 'hunt for alternate housing' experience has taught me about dwelling places for knitters.

If you are looking to move out of your house for what may prove to be an 8-month renovation, your rental options are very, very limited.  It is much easier to find a place for a minimum of 12 months, and if you are renovating because your house is very very small, it's pretty attractive to think of spreading stuff out between two places for 4 expensive bonus months of luxury before the roof comes off.

If you are in the habit of receiving yarn and yarn accessories by mail, and plan to move downtown where the sanctity of mailboxes is not necessarily as respected as elsewhere, there is something to be said for a condo with a concierge to take charge of any parcels that arrive.  (without the concierge, they may get shunted all the way back to the post office for pickup, and who can wait for new yarn??)

If you want to bring your entire stash with you to a condo, then you are limited to condos built when the idea was still new and there had to be enough closet space to attract people away from houses.  Or else make space bags your friend.  Probably both.

If you want a condo with a concierge and a lot of closet space and huge square footage plus access to a lot of natural light so your blog doesn't curl up and die from a lack of pretty photography, AND a swimming pool to compensate for all the sitting-to-knit that you do since you're paying all that rent anyway, you are probably going to find yourself narrowed down to one building.


Given all of that, I'm sure you guys will totally understand why we have responded to the need to move out of our house for its renovation by... buying a condo.   I've been watching for months now and there just wasn't anything in that one building for rent!

Taken at dusk. All that green: the deep border of a roof garden, complete with pine trees.  swoon.

What this means to you, a Hugs reader:

The condo needs a little love if we're to make back what we spent on it, which means I'll have to allocate some of my future knitting time to fixer-uppering.

It's in a building with a variety of amazing courtyard terraces and views of the Toronto skyline (even of Lake Ontario!), so Hugs will still feature pretty pictures anyway.

The type of fixer-uppering I have in mind may result in an uptick of do-it-yourself decorating/organizing tips and tricks mixed in with the knits.  Or... maybe not.

Sound okay?  Sounds terrifying to me, but exciting too.  See you tomorrow! 


Pauline said...

After the condo has been fixed up and the house roof has been raised and you've both been spoiled by short commutes, how will you decide which place to sell?

Mary Keenan said...

Pauline, that is a problem I'm not going to think about till we have to :^) Worst case, when it comes to the point we can rent one out! Or both, in turns. Oh, I shouldn't have typed that, now I'm going to consider it.