Where have I been? What have I been up to?

Long time readers here know when posts go few and far between, I’m very busy. But what’s up?

Several things, in fact.

The basement rehab project continues, after a month delay to ensure all asbestos was properly removed. The team is now up to rebuilding the walls, and roughing in the fixtures for the half bath:

At left is what will be our pantry/storage alcove. Eventually the freezer now in the furnace room will go here, along with freestanding shelving. In the center is what will become a tiny but fully functional half-bath. And at right is the view down the length of what was the basement bonus room and my office and needlework library, but will become our TV room/exercise area. That heavy brick bit is the foundation for the two fireplaces above. It was awkwardly paneled in before, and the alcove next to it was one of those oh-so-common tacky 1960s-era home bars. I had repurposed the bar shelving as my library. Sadly the partially and strangely painted brick will be much easier to repaint than it would be to strip, so we’ll probably be doing that, but we won’t be enclosing it.

I find myself knitting less and stitching more lately, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up knitting entirely. I started a new pair of “briefcase socks” even though I am no longer going to work or carrying a briefcase. But they are handy to have to work on between other projects, and for relaxing on the beach when it’s too windy to haul out the stitching:

Standard toe-up construction but a bit less fine than my usual socks. This pair is only 80 stitches around on US 00s. I’m using a standard wool/nylon sock yarn using a set of 5 DPNs. The toe is the maligned figure-8 toe (fiddly but I prefer it) followed by a dead plain stockinette foot. I find a low-texture foot more comfortable in the shoe than one with patterning, so I don’t begin the fancy part until after the short-rowed heel is finished. Toe up works out fine for me because if I did that fancy ankle part first I’d never slog through the ultra-boring foot. All of my free sock patterns use this style of construction and are very easy to adapt to two-circs, but feel free to swap in any other toe you favor.

I’ve been working on T2CM – combing through and readying it for final pub. No ETA yet, but I’ve done a ton on it, removing both written and drafted typos, correcting bits to coincide with research developments, and the like.

And in stitching… Well… RUN FOR THE HILLS! IT’S COMING!!

It’s driving me nuts that I can’t do more than tease. But soon…

Back story: I fell in with a crowd of Enablers who egged me on to design a massive band sampler for a free communal stitch-along. It’s not a historical piece. not by a long shot. Instead it’s a celebration of fandoms and nerdy/geeky culture in general – done in an inclusive spirit, to unite many communities in our common joy. The project will premiere in the sponsoring Facebook group, and be echoed here on two-week delay. We’ll be posting advance info on suggested supplies by the end of June/beginning of July, and the component strips will be released periodically starting in early/mid August. And who knows. I couldn’t cover EVERY fandom in one project. If folk find fun in this project there may be crowd calls for inspiration to do follow-ons, so even if I’ve not included your particular darling in the first set, future stand-alone strips or even whole projects may happen, too.

7 responses

  1. Wow the basement is coming along great. Thank you for posting about socks. I had printed the pattern of your toe up dk socks and promptly left it on my commute train. I could not remember where I got the pattern and so I ended up frogging. It’s a great pattern.

    1. So sorry you ended up re-knitting that pair. I do hope you try again! Socks for me are like potato chips, but happily not as caloric. 🙂

  2. Your See Saw socks that you shared with the KnitList oh so many years ago were my first use of the figure-8 caston, and it’s still my preferred method for toe-up socks.

    The rehab looks to be going along well, I’m sure it will be nice to have the newly fashioned living space done.

    And is that Cape Cod Bay in the distance? We’re at our place in Truro until the end of the month, after a pandemic-forced absence last year. So good to be back.

    1. Happy to know that someone remembers See Saw, and delighted to have led you astray. I eventually got permission to post that pattern, and it’s now on the free patterns tab with my other socks.

      And yes – that’s Cape Cod Bay. Our place is in North Truro, right on the bay side at Beach Point, about a mile from the PTown line. We were there briefly last weekend to finish prepping it for renters. It’s a crazy season this year and it’s fully booked for the whole season and beyond. More about the beach place is here: https://string-or-nothing.com/category/beach-north-truro-cape-cod/

      Maybe we’ll be able to engineer a beach yarn crawl someday. Although it looks like Purl in PTown ,may remain closed for this season, there is still hope his shop will survive. Plus there are several other spots in the mid and lower Cape to explore.

      1. I reknit feet for my See Saw sox a few years ago–I had enough of the original yarn to do it. The color difference is pretty amazing (Lang Jawoll variegated).

        Our house got fully booked much earlier this year than is typical, so I agree on the crazy-ness. Here’s hoping all the stores and restaurants can staff up to handle the crowds (we’re seeing lots of “hiring” signs from PTown to Chatham).

        I saw that Purl was still there, judging by the sign, but hadn’t explored more closely. I do hope he can hang on. Ocean Purls, in Eastham, is new to me, and I’m hoping to swing by next week.

  3. I checked out your knitting patterns – you have a very nice collection. I think – not a knitter (yet?), but the comments look very encouraging. Reading the Impossible Socks description – are you familiar with Aaron who writes A Fisherman Knits blog? He’s also on Ravelry but don’t recall his ID there. I’ve found his adventures in spinning and knitting finer and faster very interesting. As are the “discussions” with other spinners – there seem to be quite a few “that’s impossible!” attitudes about his results too.

    1. Thanks for the kind words!

      I’m not familiar with Aaron and A Fisherman Knits. I’ll certainly investigate. Thanks for the lead.

      Note the date on the Impossible Socks. 20+ years ago there weren’t as many people experimenting with fine gauge knitting. There was lively discussion about whether historical gauges in late 1800s sock patterns could be achieved with modern materials. I decided to experiment. Using the same yarn that people were working on US #2s (2.75mm) at gauges of about 7.5 to 8 stitches per inch (spi), I knit the ImpSox on US #0000s (1.5mm), at around 12.75 spi. The contemporary sock patterns were mostly done with 48-52 stitches around. ImpSox was 88 stitches around – within the range of the historical patterns, although not as fine as some.

      For the record, my original pair of ImpSox is still going strong, and is worn in my regular rotation. I still knit my own socks on US #000s, at 80 stitches around. I have found that socks knit at tighter gauges last much longer and are far more comfortable than socks knit at looser gauges. Others may disagree, but for me the extra effort is time well spent.

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