I don’t know what you call the female version of the man-cave, but in my house it will look something like this. One whole wall will be dedicated to a lattice of floor-to-ceiling bins stuffed with skeins of yarn in every color, texture, and weight imaginable. Even if I never get around to crocheting it all into afghans, throws, scarves, or socks, the yarn itself will be art, a kind of woolly 3-D wallpaper that will embrace me as soon as I enter the room.
Opposite the yarn, an old pine farm table will be shoved up against the wall below a wide leaded glass window. I could go for an easy-to-clean, tilt-in double-hung sash window, but I love the pattern of elongated hexagons balanced between tipped up squares. The morning light will spill through the beveled panes and tickle the yarn wall, teasing out colors that can’t be seen in the artificial glare of CFL in the ceiling fixture. The honey-colored pine table is solid, the pegged joints of the understructure showing no signs of loosening despite its age. It’s been well-used, some might say abused, during its long life, the top a motif of dings and water rings, one of its legs a victim of some mischievous terrier. Next to the paperback with the feather sticking out to mark my place, I’ll have an electric kettle and my favorite mug on one of my mom’s quilted placemats, because I do love a spot of tea. There will be a couple of baskets on the table, catching pens, sticky notes, crochet hooks, and any little items that have found their way into the room but don’t have a proper home.
Connecting the yarn and window walls will be built-in cases filled with my favorite books. Some will be pattern books so I can justify the need for all that yarn, several will be antique leather-bound classics that make me look well-read but are, in fact, just for decoration, and the rest will be books I’ve read and loved or have collected in anticipation of loving. A couple of framed family photos will peek out between the spines, and knick-knacks will perch along the shelves—beach rocks, glass insulators, and an army of turtles.
There will be a fireplace near the door on the last wall, into which I can toss a three-hour fire log on a gloomy day to ward off the chill. On the hand-hewn oak beam that serves as a mantle, the faithful tick-tock of the clock will be the heartbeat of the room, a constant, comforting companion. The hardwood floor in front of the fire will be covered by a rag rug, which cushions the runners of my wooden rocking chair. My greyhound and my cat love to curl up together on the rug, their sleepy eyes tracking my movements as I put the kettle on and exchange a half-finished afghan in favor of a half-finished novel.
This room will be my haven, far from the responsibilities in the kitchen and laundry room, the siren call of the television in the living room, or the accusatory glare of the blank computer screen in the office. Visitors will be welcome, as long as they check all foul moods, harsh words, unkind thoughts, and argumentative inclinations at the door. In this room, I’ll be channeling Jason Mraz: peace in my mind, peace in my heart, peace in my soul.