Enough rope to…

We’ve been in our friends’ cabin now for two weeks and finally have phone and internet. Hurray! That means I’ll be posting back on my regular schedule and can reopen my etsy store (need to do a little bit of tweaking there, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t see anything just yet).

We knew when we moved in here that safety was going to be an issue with the open staircase and long, open loft. We needed to be able to block it off enough that the kids would actually have to work at falling off. My idea was to weave a sort of rope net. In my mind, I thought something like this would be nothing short of awesome:

Yes, that’s macrame.

Without the plant. Probably. Can you see that on a large scale? Sort of an ironic cool.

Well, it didn’t happen. That would have taken a lot of rope and I’m cheap. But, 250 feet of sisal rope later, we did have safety nets and my hands felt like they were covered in a hundred tiny paper cuts. I really should have worn work gloves. How come they don’t make those in tiny?

No Boy Scouts were consulted in the tying of these knots.

This was actually attempt number two. My first go at it consisted of winding one continuous length of rope between the two posts and then coming back with another continuous length woven vertically. In the beginning, it looked more or less the same as this, until the kids started messing with it. I should have known better than to think they would leave it alone. Pretty soon the rope had all migrated upwards, exposing the drop-off and rendering the whole thing useless. For take two, I cut it apart and tied separate lengths between the posts and then put in the separate vertical lengths. So far, so good. It’s been this way for a week and the kids haven’t mangled it yet. Also, you’ll notice our ingenious system of protecting them should they slip between steps, also known as: cram as much stuff  as possible under the stairs for storage.

Next was the loft area. We had managed to block off about half of the exposed side by lining it with bookcases. They’re tall enough and deep enough that the kids can’t lean over and land headfirst on the stone hearth. We didn’t immediately deal with the rest, though because we naively thought that our kids would respect the imaginary boundary line that we drew  because we ran out of rope. Re-supplied with rope and wiser now after doing the stairs, I set to work knotting and weaving and ended up with this:

Ahoy, mateys.

As soon as the girls saw it, they were enthralled. “It’s like we’re on a boat!” “We can be pirates!” And like tiny pirates to rum, they are drawn to it, this very area that we want them to avoid. I’m not worried so much about them plummeting to their deaths now as much as I am about their piratical tendencies towards my chapstick and sock drawer. We’re going to have to work some more on that idea of boundary lines.

Below deck

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