Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Do you have a fiber arts studio?

While I was dyeing with walnut husks last week, I found myself wishing I had a second kitchen. My microwave is over the stove, so the tall dye pots get in the way of my nuking a cup of coffee. I don't cover all surfaces with plastic wrap like some dye books recommend, but I do try to keep food prep and dye prep separate. Then there are the multiple trips to the utility sink in the laundry room and to the dye cupboards in the garage. It's just annoying.

I decided what I needed to do was SELL my house and BUY a duplex. I could live in one unit while the second one became a multi-room FIBER ARTS STUDIO. Oh, I had it all planned out in my head. Reality is most of the duplexes in this city are in sketchy neighborhoods and/or are smack dab up against their neighbors and/or if in decent shape and in a decent neighborhood and have a bit of yard, get snatched up immediately. I found one I considered move-in ready, and within one day it was off the market.

Other than that SECOND KITCHEN, my house actually has as much square footage as that duplex I coveted. I just need to rearrange and reorganize. Using one of the spare bedrooms as a fiber arts studio has not been working out. It is just too small. And yarn keeps tumbling out of the closet. And roving has to be stored in the closet of the other spare bedroom, where the dresser and the bookcase hold more fiber stuff. Even my diningroom has become unusable as a place to dine because of the inkle loom and sewing machine. Using my entire house as a fiber arts studio is not working out.

With the help of my SO, some rearranging and reorganizing went on the other day, in an attempt to turn the spare bedrooms back into bedrooms and to make the den into a studio. Or at least half of the den, as that is also where the TV is. There is still fiber in the bedroom closets and dresser and bookcase, but much of the rest of my accouterments are now in the den. And there is room to spare, even enough floor space for yoga.

I did winnow out some books. And it would be best if I let a few pieces of furniture find their way to new owners. And the inkle loom is still on the diningroom table. I have yet to actually do any fiber arting in the studio, to see how functional it is. But as long as Beau the Feline Destroyer of All Things Nice doesn't wreak havoc out there, I think this may work out. Fingers crossed.

SO my question to you is, Do you have a fiber arts studio? How do you keep your fiber things organized? Do tell!


Wanderingcatstudio said...

I technically have two: My crafting studio/home office, and the dye studio.

It's just Dave and I in a three-bedroom townhouse, so the smallest bedroom is my studio/office (he has the mid-sized room for his music studio, and the largest is our actual bedroom.)

The office/studio has my personal yarn stash (in the closet), two large book cases full of fabric, two larger book cases full of books (reading and knitting), my vintage Singer, my modern Singer, as well as shelves full of various other crafting/sewing supplies. A plastic four drawer organizer with office supplies, and my work desk.

The key to keeping it all in hand is 1) Shelves, and lots of them, and 2) optimizing space. The Singer desk folds open, so when I'm sewing I can put my small portable ironing board on it. The modern Singer is stored away underneath. It only comes out to play when I need to do something the vintage one can't. In that case, The desk is closed and I put the modern Singer on top and sew right there.

My day job requires only the use of a lap top, so when I'm not actually working, the lap top is tucked away, leaving the desk free for other things. Usually cutting quilt pieces, but also beading and whatever else strikes my fancy.

I'm not great at being tidy, but since the space is small, things can easily get out of hand if I don't put things back right away. So that's the other trick.

My dye studio is in a corner of the basement which is Dave's domain (he repairs instruments and amplifiers), so I really have to keep it tidy. I have a large collapsible table (like the type they use in community centres) as my workspace. I don't bother to cover it with plastic since I only use it for dyeing. One one end, I have a dedicated microwave for setting my dyes (I use hot kettle water when mixing, and microwave for setting - no need for stove for me)

Kitty corner to the table is a shelf leftover from an entertainment unit that hold all my dyes, mixing bowls, and other dye tools. Under the table, I have rubbermaid tubs to hold my un-dyed and "in-shop" yarns.
The table is set up about three feet from our laundry set up, so I have the washtub handy for easy water, as well as clean-up, and the washer handy for wringing out yarns before drying. Some ingenious previous tenant hung several laundry lines just below the ceiling, so I have a convenient place to hang my yarns.
Like the upstairs studio, it's a small space, but it's eminently functional. As long as I stay on top of keeping it clean, it's perfect.

Seajaes said...

Your thoughts on craft studio. What about buying a house that has an apartment built in or big enough to build one. My husband had a garage extension built a few years ago with a heated shop for him. My dream had been a room above for me but the city wouldn’t allow it. Dang. So I’m doing basically what you do.