Instead of going to the gym yesterday, #2 daughter and I took advantage of the boys’ absence to start redoing their room. If you spend an hour carrying furniture to and fro, it feels a lot like exercise.

We took down the big, heavy, antique wooden bed and carted it out to the garage. It didn’t want to go. The springs pinched us, the slats punched us, and the handmade mattress did a sort of civil disobedience slump and made itself nearly impossible to carry. However, we persevered.

Now the boys have smaller beds, nightstands, and a computer desk with computer. They can walk around. Before, there was one big bed, one small one, and an assortment of amps. #1 son has agreed that the new arrangement is an improvement.

Dr. Drew said that a guy’s room should be reminiscent of the inside of a car, and the boys warned me that any discernible theme would be unacceptable, so we went with neutrals relieved by dark blue. Gray laminate plays a large part in the look, and I have gray laminte shelves to put up, too (#2 daughter insists that we have Daddy do it, on the spurious grounds that he will do it right). The only decorative items are a neon “OPEN” sign and a small but functional traffic light.

Next chance we get, we will do things with fabrics.

#2 daughter finished knitting the Carried Away bag from Simple Knits for Sophisticated Living. Here it is before felting, with a cat for size comparison. She made it on size 8 needles with Lamb’s Pride worsted wool — one of the two yarns recommended in the pattern.

And here it is felted, with the same cat for size comparison. She put it through the washer with hot water, and then made it spend a while in the dryer. We then pummeled it a bit and put a DVD into it to remind it that it was supposed to be a nice rectangle and not a skinny little tube. It didn’t end up being the shape she expected, but I think it will be a nice bag — a variety of shapes is good in a bag wardrobe. It has pencils at the strap openings, to encourage them to remember to be openings while it dries. She still has the straps to do.

Once again, this book shows itself to be inaccurate or perhaps capricious. The bag was knitted to the dimensions specified in the pattern, with the specified yarn, and felted to a completely different shape from the pictured examples. #2 daughter checked frequently during the felting, but there was no point at which the bag reached the intended shape. I notice that the pattern claims that a 16″ x 18″ bag will felt to 12″ by 9″. I cannot help but wonder whether they meant to make the bag 18″ by 16″ instead. We have, between us, made a lot of things from this book, and they are mostly rectangles, so you can often adjust for its little foibles,  but really you just can’t trust it. Still, the fact that we continue to make projects from this book even after so much untrustworthy behavior says that there is a lot of good stuff in it.

Fuzzy Mabel is having a free shipping offer for U.S. customers in July and August. So if you need yarn that your local LYS does not carry, this is your chance to avoid the heartbreak of S&H.