Last weekend, I started a new project:  the On The Road shawl by Janina Kallio.  I’m in a bit of a money crunch again lately so I needed to find yarn from my existing stash that would work for this pattern.  I decided on this:

Etsy 001

I picked Madelintosh Tosh Merino Light in the colorways Norway Spruce (bottom) and Composition Book Gray (top).  The shawl is primarily knit in garter stitch, so I’m whizzing right along with it and as of now, the shawl is about half-way complete.   I can’t wait to see it blocked.

Last weekend was a fairly busy one, and I got a lot done.  I had a work-related event Friday evening, and then Saturday I did more job-related work at home.  I got yard work done, and shopping, and I started my new shawl.  Sunday, I went to see my mom for Mother’s Day, and spent most of the day visiting with her and my sister and nephew.  I brought the shawl along since I knew I would have down-time there.  As the evening approached, a storm was moving in, and I headed home, trying to stay ahead of it.

I had some new cargo on the way back:  an old cedar blanket chest that I purchased at a local resale shop for $20.

Etsy 001a

Etsy 007

I’ve been searching for an old cedar chest for around two years now.  I have mentioned before that I enjoy knitting-related antiques and vintage items, and I have been hoping to find a cedar chest that I could use for storage of my wool yarn and woolen knits.  Natural cedar repels moths, and it smells wonderful.

I have seen a few old chests over the last year or so, but none of them really spoke to me, or were exactly what I had pictured in my mind.  About three months ago, I stopped at this resale shop in town to find a small curio cabinet, and as I made my way to the back of the shop, I noticed this chest.  It was in pieces, but I realized that it was cedar, and it had the rustic, simple appearance that I was looking for. 

I talked the proprietor down from $24 to $20 and took it to my parent’s house, where it has been since then, so that my dad could repair the lid which was missing some wood.  My plan now is to refinish it for use in my home.  As you can see, the outside is a little rough-looking, with scratches and white paint spatter, but the inside is just lovely!  I so prefer the look of natural wood.

Etsy 001b

So I finally brought the chest home last weekend, and the storm rolled in about 30 minutes after I got the chest in the house.  I was looking forward to my evening, and to unwinding for a few hours in preparation for the work week.  I hoped to get my laundry done, and do a bit more knitting.

I had just started the first laundry load when the brunt of the storm hit and knocked the power out.  I had to take the dogs and relocate to the basement in the dark to the sound of tornado sirens outside.  The storm was intense, and it flooded my street.  As I sat on the floor of an interior room of my basement, I realized that water was seeping in along a crack in the wall.  So much for a relaxing evening!

Wet dogs wearing rain coats.

Wet dogs wearing rain coats.

After a few trips out into the pouring rain to address the cause of the seepage issue, and three phone conversations with a dismissive power company representative, I finally decided that my evening was toast.  The house was hot and humid since I couldn’t run the AC without electricity, I was going to have no clean laundry for the next day at work, and the realization of these things was making me increasingly irritable. 

In an attempt to save some part of my evening, I decided to try to knit by lantern light.  I really wanted to get through a few more rows of my shawl, and since I couldn’t work or do laundry without power, trying would at least make me feel like the night was not a total loss. 

The LEDs in the emergency lantern were making my eyes strain as I tried to see my stitches, so I tried to add candle light, which didn’t really help.  Then I tried to employ the use of a strategically placed book light.  I spent three hours knitting, nearly cross-eyed, in the dark.  It made me realize that I need to be better prepared for events like this.  The power was out for five hours.

At work on Tuesday, I decided to check out the Internet for a weather radio and some high power emergency lighting.  In my search, I actually found a store called the Weather Radio Store!  They sell only weather radios and emergency preparedness supplies.  I found this fascinating.  I made an order for some essentials, but I think it would really take a head-lamp (which the store also happens to offer) to knit in the dark without going blind.

I’m hoping to have a more relaxing weekend this time around.  I’m picturing knitting by visible light while wearing freshly laundered clothes above a dry basement.  I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Have a great weekend and happy knitting!