Sunday, August 23, 2009

Unproven Theories and Wotnot

I have a theory that one of those island bench wotsits plonked in the middle of a bright airy kitchen is the key to household harmony. After conducting a semi-official survey over the last decade or two, it’s bleedingly obvious to me that the kitchen is the hub of any house. Or at least houses that ooze welcome and warmth: the ones that feel loved and properly lived in. The bit of my theory that remains somewhat untested is that communication with kids – particularly older ones with hormones – works best when it looks as though you aren’t paying attention. There’s always stuff to be doing in the kitchen and an island bench has gravitational pull. I’m betting that it’s entirely feasible to chop carrots and have the simultaneous lowdown on the latest kid saga.

We do not have an island bench wotsit. One day we will. We just need to make a whole heap of space by knocking down three load-bearing walls surrounding the existing kitchen while figuring out how to keep the roof where it’s supposed to be.

In the meanwhile, I find knitting to be an excellent substitute. While it looks like I am immersed in the stitchery (because I still can’t knit without looking), it’s really just a fine motor skill version of sitting in a comfy chair, meditatively rocking back and forth. Good conversations happen around knitting. Although I do have a somewhat alarming tendency to throw extremely direct questioning into the mix, then seemingly submerge myself in a tricky bit of the pattern. The on the road bit of Thursday’s 24 hour road trip was spent entirely knitting and nattering, as was much of the evening huddled around an extremely cosy fire with close friends. Food for the soul. Also a new top for the two year old:



The photographic honeymoon period is over. The kid is now calling the shots. Use your imagination and look at the ingredients here and the free pattern here. I made allowances given I had neither the correct size circulars, nor the appropriate wool and the pattern is for a three to five year old. I just couldn’t go past the variegated sock yarn (with its ‘OOOH! Look, now it’s red! OOOH! Look, now it’s green!’ appeal) and the fact that the entire top is easy peasy, knit in the round and without any of that joinery malarkey at the end. More food for the soul.

EDIT: My apologies, but it seems that the free pattern has turned paid pattern, although sizes are now available up to a child’s 8-10...

21 comments:

Bowlby said...

Down with joinery malarky! The sweater looks adorable.

One Flew Over said...

That sweater looks fantastic and hey?!? What's a few load bearing walls to contend with ;)

sushipie said...

Nice little sweater. love that yarn colorway, going to check out the ingredients. i still can't knit without looking either!

M* (Melanie) said...

It's a gorgeous sweater and a gorgeous post =)

Bek said...

It looks good! (I can see enough to draw that conclusion around the head held in hands. A posture I am most familiar with around here!)

Amanda said...

Oh I would so love a kitchen like that...We are currently stuck with a tiny alley kitchen and I am anxious to move on from it...Glad to hear you had a great time and what a productive drive you had..I love the sweater..don't you just adore when they get to that photographic stage haha...Cute

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

What the Greta Garbo of the knitwear world doesn't know is that from Melbourne to Mongolia we're all still going , "Aww , sweet ! ".
Smitonius knits in the car ...and Sonata , when sitting in the back , worries about pointy needles in a moving vehicle . Certainly if Smitonius is saying "Look it's red , Look it's green !! "Traffic light confusion does add so to her worries .

Kylie said...

Love it - what a fabulous sweater! Very impressive, I say :) Re: conversations with teens, I'm not quite there yet but I too have been reliably informed that the less you seem to be attentive the more you'll get out of it... funny old world. K

dillpickle said...

Very lovely :-) I can't knit without looking either (just adds to the inability to knit on the move) and I really can't knit that fast!! I'm impressed that it was done in 24 hours. Even if it was easy peasy!

I also think island benches solve everything. Too bad I don't have one. Yet ;-)

Loz and Dinny said...

I'm hearing you about the island bench - I am a great believer in the kitchen table smack bang in the middle of the kitchen - hell everyone gravitates there anyways - may as well make yourselves comfy - ps the sweater is just tickity boo - aaah to knit ...

Angus in Northcote said...

*dipping his toe into the designery waters*

1. Absolutely, the kitchen is the heart of the house and where everyone naturally gravitates to (especially at dinner/house parties).

2. Be very careful with an island bench: like kerning, it is your friend, but you must respect its power. To whit, allowing others into the kitchen space but having a construct that keeps them at one remove from the "business end" of the space is very good BUT the best kitchens are NOT thoroughfares. So the island bench must be placed so as not to turn the "business end" into a corridor "to" somewhere.

Follow this rule and you won't have dogs running through on their way outside; you won't have children rumbling through as you're pulling the chook out of the oven; and you won't have your dishwasher door open and in the way while you're trying to take the wet washing out to the clothesline.

So, everyone say it together, "boyfriend hat". ;)

Sandrine said...

We knocked a wall down to make an open kitchen...and its middle piece;)But was not a load bearing wall thanks goodness!Hope you eventually get your dream kitchen...Gorgeous knitting Tania and love the photo too ;)

Anonymous said...

As we are living in a Flat/apartment we have our 'dining table' in our kitchen and I can definitely vouch for the kitchen being the hub of all activity.
Love the knitted top Tarn!

Glad to hear your adventure went well!
Love Jen xo

GUGAW said...

completely agree with you on the magic of kitchens for conversation...i love sitting around and chatting whilst meals are being prepared and eaten

Madeline said...

I think you might just be on to something with that lovely piece of wisdom! The sweater is adorable.

Brambleberry said...

Love the sweater and the theory. Sounds just about right!

Nikki Cardigan said...

So I did the maths. You have to remove 3 load-bearing walls... and you have 3 children... hmmmmmm. I'm sure there would be some law against it and after a while, the joy of an island bench would be buried beneath the "my arms are hurting Mum" or "I'm tired and need to sit down" or "I have to go to the toilet"...

Your knitted top is beautiful and while you see a child calling the shots, I just see cuteness!

Tinniegirl said...

She sews, she knits, she writes with great wit. Were does your talent end? Oh, it's at the breakfast table yes?

Your evening around the fire sounds just lovely.

Tinniegirl said...

Oh, and I meant to say - I love that gorgeous jumper. Love it.

PottyMouthMama said...

I'd like some bench space to start with. That would be nice instead of having to serve in rounds. Like some kind of dinner medley.

I love the new top, super cute and the yarn is divine. You are one tricky knitter.

Christie said...

I love that jumper, but the free pattern has gone-boo!

I hear you with the photo thing, my 2 will not pose on demand.

Island bench sounds fab. When we renovated we put in a kitchen bench big enough so that we could both read the age newspaper! Kitchen benches are important!