Spun Yarn 73
In which I go on and on about doors and DIY
Spring is bouncing here at last. The snow is melting and desperate bulbs are surging towards the light of day. The sudden outbreak of spring sunshine spurred me into action and my great Tancook kitchen door installation is nearly complete! For those of you who have been following my progress in modifying my island home, here is another step in what has been a very incremental process.
Many years ago, the door between the mud room and the kitchen became accidentally locked without a key in sight. The only way we could break in was to pull the
hinge pins out and pry the door open. It was slightly damaged in the process and a temporary fix was installed using tuck tape. This little incident brought the nature of the
door to my attention.
It was not a handsome door and, on a sunny day, shutting it to the bright south-facing mud room plunged the entire kitchen into gloom. However, it was necessary to keep warmth in the house, as the mud room stays pretty cold most of the year.
I started dreaming of the installation of a new glass paned door. I must have hoped that it could happen by magic, but evidently this wasn't an option and several years slipped by.
Holly was back home last year, and we decided that, between two of us, we could replace the door ourselves! I measured the door and
began looking for one of a suitable size.
First, I needed to find one at a store in Chester that would be willing to deliver to the ferry, as I couldn't fit a door into a Mini. By October, the door was sourced and purchased.
Then, a snag: our beloved Tancook ferry was taken out of service with a mechanical issue. In her stead, a whale watching launch was substituted, but now we couldn't bring building supplies out, as even groceries were a challenge on this much smaller vessel.
After a month's wait, the door, which had been held at the store, was delivered to the newly returned ferry and transported to my house by my kind neighbour David and his island truck.
The door sat on its side in the mud room awaiting my attention. I brought a few more tools across and gave it a good coat of looking at. Winter came. Too cold to work outside and not enough space in the mud room. Holly's and my timing was off and our stays on Tancook never seemed to coincide. Eventually, she became gainfully employed and no longer available to labour. Still no magic.
After an extended winter season, the snow on the back door slab finally melted and left the area sunny and sheltered. I found myself inspired. How hard could this be?
I attempted measurements of the old door in place, but they seemed imprecise. A friend sagely advised that I take off the old door and copy it. It was just about warm enough to contemplate living without a door for a day and this made perfect sense.
I placed the old door on top of the new one and copied it. I then cut the top and bottom of the new door to fit. Then came the fun with the chisels, cutting out rebates for the hinges (this took me back
years to working with my dad in the shed).
I discovered that the secret to re-hanging a door, especially when juggling one solo, was to leave some play in the screws holding the hinge plate. Once the pins were in, the tightening could proceed. The first fitting didn't look exactly promising, with a distinctly diagonal appearance. Would the door ever fit nicely?
I stepped away from the project for the day and gave it an additional coat of thinking about. Further advice from another wise friend helped me to see that the door
eventually fitting was a distinct possibility. Meanwhile, I was becoming anxious to remove the primer covered plastic that obscured the pane. For once in my life, I thought ahead and decided to paint all
the fiddly bits before calling it a day.
What a difference a 1/16" makes! I set to planing down the door edge. Trying to remove an even 1/16" and chamfer the
leading edge with the door on the hinges was tricky (and, of course, there were two hard knots just to add challenge). Taking the door off would make planing it
easier but I'd have to rehang it before I could determine my success. I was trying to preserve my hands from damage as my filming date with Craftsy was only
Eventually it appeared that the edge of the door would fit in the hole but it still wasn't closing.
I found a piece of card to slide around the edge. Whilst looking from the other side, I spotted the problem. The lower door sill was catching,
it was slightly arced. Plane to the rescue for the last magic touch.
Now the door fits like a glove, in fact, even better than the old one. Removing the plastic was a joy!
I still have the issue of a door handle and latch but that's for another day.
In Sadder News
You may remember Holly's lovely cat Poseidon, famous chewer of knitted gifts, regular visitor to my blog and star model of my latest pattern, The Fishbone DK Blankets.
Unfortunately, this wonderful companion of ours was suffering from an undiagnosed genetic heart defect. Sadly, Poseidon passed away last month, after one last glorious morning of sunbathing and bird watching in the backyard. We are sorry for his loss, and Holly is devastated. Poseidon was a cat in a million.
Pattern Of the Week
Have you been keeping an eye on the Newsbox? We've been featuring a different half-price pattern every week. This week only, try the outrageously fun Udderly Divine Bag!
Wishing you many Warm and Happy Stitches,
The Fishbone DK Blankets
pattern is a fun knit. It's not as complex as some dissimilar sided projects as there are only three kinds of stitch pairs used (Knit Light/purl Dark, Knit Dark/purl
Light, Knit Dark/purl Dark). The Minnow Mat makes a fun swatch. I've recently added the following links to the pattern, which Spun Yarn subscribers can see for themselves
by clicking on the following links:
Rows 1 and 2
Non Negative Positive DK
If you wish to receive email notification when a new Spun Yarn is published, please write a note to email@example.com and put "Subscribe" in the Subject line. If you wish to unsubscribe, please put "Unsubscribe" in the Subject line.