February 20, 2006
As the indomitable Snow put it, I'm suffering from Post Ikea Stress Syndrome. P.I.S.S. How great is that?
When last you found our intrepid Heroine, I was going to take the fucker apart and show it who's BOSS! On Saturday G and I ventured out to a Lowe's to get some supplies for rip down and rebuild. I think we were successful. Things were looking up!
Cedar balls, for the finished product, and an electric screwdriver. I was OPTIMISTIC!!!
We started to take the thing apart. The first thing we had to do was get those little grabby half circle things out of the holes - you know the ones that hold the metal thingamajigs? You don't? Consider yourself lucky because once you get those things in there they don't freaking come out! So we're trying our hardest to get these fuckers out and it's amazing we're still married and we can't get them out. Then I think hey! Maybe all I have to do is unscrew these screws over here and I can get it out! No go. Those little wooden Ikea pegs things that I want to stick in some Swedish designer's eye are everywhere in this piece so even if you take the screws out you can't get the thing apart. So we're back to trying to get the top off so we can begin to TRY to take the thing apart but we can't do it. I'm crying. I want to throw the thing out. And G's totally with me. I call Ikea and ask them if I can drop the thing off and pick up a new one, since I can't take it apart. The woman tells me I can return it fine, but it has to be unassembled. In the calmest, most exacerbated voice I have I tell her that if I could get it apart, I wouldn't have to bring it back. She puts me on hold. I want to set fire to everything around me made of particle board. She comes back and tells me that they'll take it, but I'll have to pay an additional percentage, depending on its condition, over and above the 30% restocking fee. I say thank you and hang up. We consider this. Really, really consider this.
One problem. The freaking thing won't fit in our car.
So we, two intelligent creative people, think of what to do. We'll rent one of those trucks from Home Depot! Yeah! That's it! And we'll take it back to Ikea and get 50% or less than what we paid for it then buy a new one! Then return the truck! So we'll be out an extra $500 but it will be PERFECT!
I actually made a few phone calls to some people to see if I was crazy to do this (G was right there with me, god love him!) but no one was home. Which turned out to be a very, very good thing.
This is CRAZY! I thought. GO BACK AND RETHINK! I was right when I started. Go back and drill the freaking holes in the wood. Turns out that middle piece, remember? It's not particle board. It's solid wood. Maybe that's why it's the piece that holds the whole sideboard together? Anyway, we get to measuring and turning it this way and on its head and every which way and in the end WE DO IT! WE DRILL HOLES AND THE DRAWERS WORK! And it's all fixed and we can dance and sing and rejoice.
As I'm finishing the rest of the drawers, I realize that one of the reasons you needed to put that freaking piece of wood in the right way, besides the holes, is that the stain is on the front side out. You know. To match up with the rest of it. So I've got all the drawers in and everything's together and this thing ain't never coming apart, but I've got a nice solid piece of PINE sticking out of my DARK WALNUT dresser. FUCK!
Off to Home Depot we go.
It looks good enough for me, so please don't tell me if it looks bad. Seriously. I don't want to know. This thing about killed me. I have poly for it too but I'm letting it go for now. I can always poly it later. Jacobean MinWax if anyone's interested.
You think that's the end of the story, don't you? It's NOT! So I hated the drawer pulls that came with the dresser and I walked into Restoration Hardware and found the perfect pulls IMMEDIATELY. Bought them, brought them home, tried them out. BINGO! They don't fit. Well, they fit, but the screws were too short and they didn't come with backs. What the? So on our venture to Home Depot we got some longer screws and some nuts and washers and problem number 3,719: the screws are silver and the pulls are a dark bronzy color. So the guy at Home Depot suggests we paint the screws. We buy paint and long discussions ensue on what's the best way to paint these little teeny tiny screws that will attach the draw pulls that I adore for the dresser that I now loathe.
The ones I love on the left, the Ikea icky ones on the right.
Not to fear, my lovelies. At around midnight Saturday night in a stain induced haze I figured out the problem. So genius am I.
See (well you can't really see, but take my word for it) the Ikea pull has like a tube that extends through the hole in the drawer front and you screw in the screw into the back. So what I figured out is that I could attach the Ikea drawer pull onto the INSIDE of the drawer and screw in the screws on the beautiful drawer pulls into the tubes from the front. Make sense? Look at the picture again. It makes perfect sense and better yet it WORKS!
Knit Olympics:Day Ten: PROGRESS!
I started the second mitten. As I mentioned before, I'm doing the reverse on the second one. Pink as the Main Color, Navy as the contrast. I like it! I'm confident these mittens WILL be finished by next Sunday.
I also started a couple of socks:
On the left is the ribbing for the Embossed Leaves Socks from the Winter 2006 IK (do I really need to link to it?) in Koigu #P704 and on the right is a new Jaywalker in STR Panzanite (no it's not on their website and Toni at The Fold doesn't have it - if you like it, call and ask for it!)
We're off to look at cars today. G has a spreadsheet with him. Oh fun!
Oh man what a pain in the ass it all was. I'm glad that all's well that end's well, though. And the stain looks fine. Really, really, fine.
Posted by: Carole at February 20, 2006 12:09 PM
The stain is perfect!! And the pulls - now, that's brilliant!!!!!!! OK, now, indeed have to go through some form of ritual to rid the piece of its bad aura... whether it be smudging with sweetgrass or any other form. THEN, you can add your yarn!
Posted by: Carmen at February 20, 2006 12:13 PM
You did a perfect job with the staining. No one but you (um, well, and the hundreds of us who read your blog) would ever know there was anything different about it.
Posted by: Rachel H at February 20, 2006 12:15 PM
Oh. My. God. You are truly amazing Cara, for your perseverance and your amazing finished object! Well done!
Posted by: Kate at February 20, 2006 12:20 PM
The dresser looks wonderful. Great improvising!
I agree with the smudging idea...all that negtive energy needs to be cleared outta there before the yarn goes in!
Posted by: Lori at February 20, 2006 12:22 PM
It looks completely and totally lovely!! I'm glad you persevered - amazed at your tenacity, too.
May the P.I.S.S. pass soon...
Posted by: Chris at February 20, 2006 12:23 PM
Great job, Cara! I'm so glad that you got the storage unit put together. It really looks terrific! So do your mittens.
Posted by: Amy at February 20, 2006 12:23 PM
So, how was your weekend? ; )
I adore your new hardware and I'm glad you stuck with it -- it's perfect (the drilling, the staining, the hardware). Plus, you couldn't find anything that fits that space better. Someday you'll look back on this and laugh. You will. And someday (soon), you'll have a big ol' chest FULL of stash YARN!!
Posted by: Vicki at February 20, 2006 12:24 PM
And that is why I would never buy furniture from IKEA, every time I read about someone assembling what they bought, it's a total nightmare. But your dresser does look lovely!
Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever bought anything from IKEA. And the last time I was there, I did not see one single thing that I liked. I guess that's why I haven't been back, despite the fact that there is one 4 miles from my house.
And can I also tell you that every time I come here, I am floored by the new photo that greets me. Your new design is gorgeous!
Posted by: Jenn at February 20, 2006 12:28 PM
Wow, I can't believe you found stain that matched that well! It looks seamless. And what brilliance with the drawer pulls. You really are the Ikea queen.
Posted by: Cheryl at February 20, 2006 12:42 PM
Holy crap that is some IKEA hell! But the finished product looks great! Love your knobs. Good luck car shopping.
Posted by: Kathleen at February 20, 2006 12:43 PM
I am really, really glad you survived this.
Posted by: claudia at February 20, 2006 12:51 PM
Wowza! Congrats on getting through that! I may have given up!!
It looks incredible, and it is a perfect home for a stash!
Posted by: jillian at February 20, 2006 12:52 PM
Not to be nitpicky, but writer-to-writer. "For all intensive purposes" MAKES NO SENSE. It's "for all intents and purposes" which, if you think about it, makes a LOT more sense. Also, I think the staining came out perfectly.
Posted by: KathyB at February 20, 2006 12:54 PM
I had to laugh at your car shopping - and a spreadsheet. My guy has a spreadsheet for everything. Have a problem, make a spreadsheet. Want to buy something, make a spreadsheet. Going on a trip, make a spreadsheet!
Posted by: Siew at February 20, 2006 12:56 PM
Cara the yarn dresser is absolutely beautiful. It looks like a million $$!! Thank GOD there's no Ikea near me or I'd be wanting to get furniture like that and then I'd have to deal with P.I.S.S. I'm better without it, really. You did awesome - thank goodness for your Knight in Shining Armour who stood by your side all the way (once he got home) helping with his surprise. :)
Posted by: Laura at February 20, 2006 01:04 PM
It looks GREAT! And I love those pulls that you chose! Beautiful! Your yarn will love it.
Posted by: allison at February 20, 2006 01:14 PM
That so resembles one of my epic adventures! And you overcame! Yeah!! And a good dose of PISS will boost your immune system and make you stronger!
Now go find you a good car! And use that spread sheet! G has earned it!
Posted by: Leah at February 20, 2006 01:41 PM
You are too hilarious! I would have been similarly obsessed with getting the f*#$@r assembled come hell or high water. Lord knows I've lost skin on my fingers using those doohickey wrenches trying to get screws to go into poorly drilled holes. And don't even get me started on Target! Too bad those are the only places I can afford to buy new furniture!
Posted by: Olga at February 20, 2006 02:14 PM
The other meanings of P.I.S.S. are Pregnancy Induced Senility Syndrome, which is followed by Parenthood Induced Senility Syndrome.....
Posted by: Dianna at February 20, 2006 02:25 PM
It definitely looks good now. And I'd punish it with emptiness for a while, too. That will teach the damned uncooperative thing.
Posted by: Snow at February 20, 2006 02:34 PM
It sounds like the "do-it-yourself, furniture building" equivalent to Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I think it came out great.
Posted by: Ramona at February 20, 2006 02:43 PM
Oh, I feel your Ikea pain!!!! After a similar kind of thing I now pay a very small fee to a service that our local Ikea recommends. The little guy come to my house lickety split with a teeny little attache of tools and assembles 4 things faster than I can get one box open and sort all those little screws/pegs/thingamagiggies. You have survived and it is lovely!!!!!
Now, why not spend some time at your site clicking the refresh button and reviewing all those beautiful photos at the header? I've been doing that for the last several days and almost forget to read while looking for the day's perfect image! Lovely......
Posted by: darinka at February 20, 2006 02:49 PM
Same thing happened to me when I was installing new light fixtures. $700 and 18 trips in a 48 hour period later, I had a bunch of shitty looking globes hanging from my ceiling.
although, My experience involved only Home Depot, as there is no Ikea in Oregon :-/
Posted by: Renata at February 20, 2006 02:50 PM
I think it looks beautiful. Enjoy the filling.
Posted by: Kristin at February 20, 2006 02:53 PM
I think the stain job looks great.
After all that frustration you are going car shopping? Wow may the gods have mercy on that poor car salesperson's soul.
Posted by: Noelle at February 20, 2006 02:59 PM
Can I say how much I admire you? Seriously, I would've probably broken my foot kicking and cursing the beast but you persevered. You overcame! Stain job, drawer pulls, finished beast all are lovely. Ikea needs to bow down to the iron will that is Cara.
Posted by: amanda at February 20, 2006 03:39 PM
Hi Cara, a question for you since I know you are the expert. :) I am working up the courage to try the Jaywalker pattern (I know I am a bit behind.) But not sure on how many skeins of Socks that Rock I'll need - 1 or 2?
PS: I am in love with the handles you found for your new Ikea purchase.
Posted by: alesha at February 20, 2006 03:50 PM
You need to have an exorcism for the chest. Burn sage over it and pray to the knitting goddess to keep they bad spirits away but to keep your persistence in place. You are awesome to figure it out and battle it into submission.
Posted by: margene at February 20, 2006 04:04 PM
Cara sweetie, why is everything in all caps now? (I hate to point this out as I know you are having a rather bad day/eerrrr weekend.
The cabinet does look fantastic though! And I love the new pulls you bought and I think its freaking great you used the ugly ones on the INSIDE! That's just too poetic! It really is. I'm definately with you about waiting a few days to fill it with yarn. Right now you love/hate the damn thing. Wait till you don't hate it EVERY time you look at it.
I think I would have been tempted to throw the thing out in the back yard and set it on fire before I took it back though! Although I can picture that too.
Love the new sock starters! And the mittens. Hmmm. I have the Folk Knitting In Estonia book that has tons of those and I've been meaning to make some myself! Can't wait to see those done!
Posted by: Becky at February 20, 2006 04:20 PM
Think of this as your Olympic obstacle. If you made it through this IKEA hell in the middle of the Olympics and still get your mittens done, then my friend, you deserve a medal. YOU DESERVE ONE.
And the drawers look lovely, improvisations and all. :)
Posted by: Julie H. at February 20, 2006 05:21 PM
You are a saint for putting that thing together.
And I love how you are saving yourself 500 e-mails about STR now when you post colors that aren't on the website. You should totally just make a page titled, SOCKS THAT ROCK THAT AREN'T ON THEIR WEBSITE SO STOP ASKING ME AND CALLING THEM AND BOTHERING THEM!
Posted by: Scout at February 20, 2006 05:46 PM
Your stain is completely indistinguishable from the came-that-way rest of it and I love the new handles! they do look much better.
Yay! You did it! And without torching it or your marriage.
I say lob yarn balls at it for a few days before you fill it up.
Posted by: Carrie K at February 20, 2006 06:03 PM
OMG, this is why I abhore build-your-own. I would have chopped that bastard up for kindling already by this point.
But I love this entry, so I'm sorta glad it happened to you. (hee). However, Ms. Malaprop, it's "for all intents and purposes," not "for all intensive purposes." Although this really WAS very intensive, so....maybe you really meant that. (says Peewee Herman) Mwah, mwah!!! XOXO
Posted by: Norma at February 20, 2006 06:26 PM
The cabinet and the mittens look great. Good luck with the car hunting!
Posted by: naomi at February 20, 2006 06:30 PM
It's done and it looks perfect. Fuck IKEA and their restocking fee.
Posted by: diana at February 20, 2006 06:32 PM
I love your mittens! Great colors and design. My husband has banned me from ever buying Ikea furniture again--your cabinet looks wonderful, despite the pain it took to assemble it.
I checked out your photography--your work is beautiful!
Posted by: Diane at February 20, 2006 09:50 PM
YOU DID IT! YOU DID IT! IT all looks fantastic and was well worth the effort I say! Big pat on the back for you :)
Posted by: Kelly at February 20, 2006 10:03 PM
I have a horrific Ikea story from childhood that I'll not bore you with here, but suffice it to say that I have never returned to Ikea and I still get hives when I pass one on the highway.
But your bureau looks great, the stain matches perfectly, and you will have years and years of fabulous yarn storage with it, so congratulations!
Posted by: Maria at February 21, 2006 12:46 AM
I love the new picture, but the all caps feels so loud!
Nolt that you'll be buying anything like the sideboard ever again, but in case you do: Vise grips for the wooden pegs, and strong refrigerator magnets will pull out the metal screw holders. (I think they're called "bushings.")
I have a PT who is one of the smartest people I have ever met -- I can't recommend her highly enough. If you're interested in a recommendation, let me know.
Posted by: Anne at February 21, 2006 01:19 AM
Looks great. Be happy. Go knit something to calm your nerves.
(And turn the caps key off on the Blog format template thingie, OK? )
Posted by: Spinningfishwife at February 21, 2006 03:08 AM
Oh dear, I admire you and G's fortitude! You guys should be on the cover of the next Ikea catalog for goodness sake..holding your new screw driver high in victory! (or to cover the fact that you are giving IKEA the finger.
Posted by: delia at February 21, 2006 09:27 AM
Stain? Where? I don't see anything different from the rest. And the hardware, it's fabulous. You go girl. Have fun looking at cars - that's in my future too.
Posted by: Stephanie at February 21, 2006 11:46 AM
Marvelous, olympic achievement - I believe your flag will be waving high when you're up there on the podium!! The BRILLIANT idea to put the Ikea pulls on the inside, I'm thinking, will give great protection to your yarn from anything that might have caught on it. I say fill it with yarn soon - that's what you got it for - put it to work, especially since it put you to work!!
Posted by: Robin at February 21, 2006 04:49 PM
Your cabinet looks awesome girl! I love the color of the stain you used and the pulls are fantastic. Great job.
PS: love your blog ;-)
Posted by: Esther at February 27, 2006 05:01 PM