Monday, August 17, 2009

how the curtains go

Well, now everyone can feel free to look up without embarrassment as they walk along Stafford St. (whew!) We have curtains that really cover up the bathroom windows. (a big relief!) We went to Fabricland together, they had a big sale on. The professor's mother sewed a lot and he is well versed in both fabric stores and purchases, so I needed him along. We got 2 meters each of these decorating fabrics for $33 CDN, which seemed like a good deal when compared to finding pre-made curtains to fit these old windows. (If this was a terrible deal, I'm not sure I want to know right now!)

The bathroom windows needed a sheer that would match the rest of the room and allow in light. We found this light sage green embroidered fabric that I loved. I used the old hooks that were already mounted in the wall...and each curtain only took about 4 or 5 sewing machine seams, very fast to make once I figured out which boxes to open for sewing supplies and did all the math and measurements. I used very skinny dowels as curtain rods as the hooks were old and narrowed with age and paint.

I love how the knitted curtains look underneath the sheers--it looks a lot like the windows are wearing expensive, knitted lingerie!

The hall curtains were a bit more challenging. These hang on a small landing in between the first and second story of the house. Unfortunately, if our bedroom door is open (which it usually is), you can see Stafford St. from bed! The street, which is busy, includes a stop light that shifts green, amber,* red and some bright backlit business signs. Obviously, curtains were in order.

*Note my use of "amber" here. Some Canadians call a yellow light an "amber". That would be all new vocabulary for me!

We chose a beige eyelet for this staircase. Remarkably, the hardware store around the corner had a new version of the same hooks that were in the bathroom. I'd never seen this kind of curtain hardware before, but it looks great here, as I think long ago, these very same hooks were used. (we were able to put the hardware right into at least one pre-established hole.)

These do limit the daylight on the staircase but even with the curtains sewn double thickness, the traffic lights still shine through a little at night. It's a compromise, but I think it's an ok one. The curtains, in both cases, look clean and new but like they were always here, and that's a great thing in an old house, in my opinion!

We really like the old Craftsman woodwork on the windows in this house, so we'd like to avoid curtains in the public rooms. However, if it's drafty in winter, we will, of course, revise that decision...

In other news, I met a lot of really fabulous and friendly knitters at the annual Assiniboine Park Knit Out yesterday. It was pouring rain and about 64F. Chilly, but inside a roofed pavilion with a raincoat, I enjoyed myself! (no photos, I forgot the camera and it was raining hard!)

There was a yarn swap and I came home with some delightful goodies, but I will bring that up in another post...the short version? Everyone was so welcoming!

Many commenters thought I sounded very happy. I am, I'm really enjoying it here, but coping with all the details of this shift to another country is frequently overwhelming. It feels a bit like the TV and the radio are on (in my head) while I'm trying to cope with the daily details. Everything's just a bit (or a lot) different. It's exhausting.

Luckily--a vacation is coming up! The professor is going to a conference in Crete. (yes, that's in Greece!) I am going along for the ride. If you're read my blog for a while, you may remember we went last in August/September 2006. We're really looking forward to this repeat trip. I plan to eat, sleep, knit, read, and enjoy the scenery, not necessarily in that order. I'll likely get in one more post before our next travelling adventure begins.

So, what do you think about those curtains?! Comments? (it's not knitting or spinning but it's close!)

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Geek Knitter said...

LOVE the idea of windows wearing knitted lingerie!

So good to see you settling in, and I'm happy that you've met the knitters.

August 17, 2009 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Curtains look great.

"Amber(s)" is a term school bus drivers use for their 8-way yellow (flashing) lights! My DH talks about ambers all the time here in PA!

Wow! Crete! You'll probably get house unpacking/decorating ideas a-plenty!

August 17, 2009 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

I have been following your journey to your new home and I am so happy that you are settling and meeting many wonderful people.

Your new curtains look lovely. Knitted curtains?! WOW - I'm sure they are perfect in that window. Your making your new home your own in leaps and bounds. Good for you.

I hope you and the Professor have a wonderful trip to Crete. I look forward to reading all about it with photos, of course :)


August 18, 2009 at 5:09 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

You did a nicer job than the curtains I made. I bought a plasticized cotton shower curtain and cut it up into two bathroom-window curtains. It worked.

--AlisonH at

August 18, 2009 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger PghCathy said...

The curtains look great. I like the idea of window lingerie...that made me chuckle, but I don't think I'll be making any for my windows anytime soon.

Isn't it interesting the differences you're finding in Canada....meters instead of yards, CDN instead of US dollars, amber instead of yellow? When you start spelling 'color' as 'colour' & calling your futon a 'chesterfield' I'll know you're fitting right in.

Well, it sounds like you're fitting right in anyways. The Knit Out (not even going to try to spell the name!) sounds like lots of fun. Do they meet often or was it special program?

And now you're off to Crete. I'm reading your old posts, but haven't gotten to your Crete adventure yet. Have a wonderful time. Relax & enjoy!


August 18, 2009 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Willow said...

The curtains look fine!

It does take time to learn to navigate around the new environment. Remember that you are in the honeymoon stage. It is wonderful that everyone is so welcoming. There may come a time in about six months when you hit a little wall and think, I just don't understand 'those' people. Maybe it won't happen in Canada because we really are very similar people. (I'm writing this from my experience of moving back and forth to Asia, and from moving around in very different regions in the US.)

August 19, 2009 at 12:05 AM  
Blogger SueJ said...

Good work with the curtains - like the lingerie for windows images that are springing up as I type!
Amber for yellow hmm... do I spot a British influence? Have a wonderful time in Crete both of you -store up the sunshine in preparation for a Canadian winter! Actually, remember that winter is just an opportunity to wear lots of knitted things!

August 20, 2009 at 3:58 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home