An Illustration

Things have been much the same here – working from home, hanging out at home, I can’t tell you how much I miss travel, and my knitting does too, it turns out.  For years I’ve known that knitting socks was my travel solution, I always had a pair in my purse, and I knit while I’m on the bus, on the subway, in cars, on planes – at the queues at shops, waiting for appointments, now that that’s all gone the sock production around here has dropped off sharply, which is to say that it turns out that without really thinking about sock knitting, I don’t do much.   So far this year I have only finished two pairs of socks, and knitters, it’s July.  Something needs to change, and it starts today.

We’re in the car, thanks to the miracles of technology I’m hitting post as we stream along northward with Elliot in the back seat, headed for an almost local Provincial Park and four days of camping.  Cases of Covid-19 continue to decline in Ontario and Canada, only 200 or so in the whole country today, so while many of the rules are still in place (no gatherings of more than 10 people, you have to stay 2m away from anyone not in your bubble, etc.) other things are becoming possible, like camping! The minute we heard we booked this trip, and you’ll happily find us in the woods as much as we can be there now. (What the heck. If you’re working from home, why not work from a tent?)

Since this is a return to travel of a sort, it’s a return to much needed sock knitting, definitely.  I’ve brought three pairs with me, and I intend to turn all of them into finished pairs before i get home, as much madness as that seems like. First this pair that’s missing just a gusset foot and toe – Ancient Arts “Lichen in my Crevices.

Then there’s this pair – missing just about the same thing – One done, one huge foot needed. (Yarn’s Must Stash in Vespa)

This pair isn’t yet a pair – I’m headed for the toe on the first one – knit in Regia Pairfect Rainbow – yeah, I was rocking a Pride theme for Pride month.

It is lunacy of course,  to think that I can possibly finish those up in just four days while chasing an active three year old (Meg is coming, but I suspect that she has some knitting goals of her own) which totally explains why I also have this:

(Neighbourhood Fiber Co – Pride.) I know. It’s all so crazy, but it feels like travel, and I’m so excited, and it might be possible.. right? We’ll see.

74 thoughts on “An Illustration

  1. So glad you can get some camping time in with people in your bubble. Fresh air and sunshine and nature does a body good. Best wishes that you meet your knitting goals – those look like wonderful socks!

  2. No, it isn’t lunacy to think you can finish those socks! Joe might need a good, long rest after chasing Elliot all over the forest, but I think you could easily knit five or six pair. . .! (Sorry, Joe!)

  3. Good for you! Enjoy your trip. We’re still isolating here. Missed your Canada Day post this year. ☹️ Good luck with all the socks. After being away from sock knitting for several years, I’m paralyzed at turning the heel on my current project. I tell myself, ‘come on, you’ve done this before’. I’ll go back to re-read “Knitting Rules” section once again.

    • Or sign up for Stephanie’s Patreon!!! She’s totally, in-depthedly doing SOCKS right now–watch those, there’s NO WAY you can not be good with jumping back in!!!!!

      (In fact, it made me smile to recognize the socks above from your videos–a flash of recognition, like “hey, I know that one!”

  4. If you get them all done, you’ll be seeing rainbows by Sunday’s expected rain showers. I know the yarns all have different names, but that’s a whole lotta Pride. Happy knitting and camping.

  5. It’s always better to have extra yarn along and not need it. Imagine the horror of running out of yarn in the middle of the woods!!!

  6. Steph, hope you will all have a fun and safe trip. Enjoy your camping trip and bring back some finished socks. Hope Elliot has fun!

  7. Loved the comment ” If you’re working from home, why not work from a tent?” It really brightened my day! We’re looking forward to next Thursday and the opening of the recreational crabbing season– we’ll go out on the boat and terrorize a few. Yummmmmmmmmmm, good eating!

  8. So fun to recognize these socks from your master sock knitting class on Patreon! Looks like you’ll soon have at least 5 completed pairs of socks with a 6th pair at least going. I assume you’re saving the toe of the knitting class sock to do with us. Could you record it while camping??? That would be awesome! Have fun camping and enjoying nature! May it (and Elliot time) be good for your soul.

    • I agree! I’m anxiously awaiting toe construction instruction!! I’ve become crazed about sock knitting. I’m hoping that there will be recording happening in the tent. 🙂

  9. YAY TRAVEL! YAY SOCKS! YAY GRANDSON TIME! And YAY!!!!! The great news about the COVID counts in Canada. I wish the US had done what you folks did. I’m SO ANGRY about the situation here.

    • isn’t it awful? Idaho has gone from less than 100 cases per day to over 350! more than the entire country of Canada! People, really, stay home if you can, wash your hands and wear the freakin mask!

      • Who cares about cases? People aren’t dying like they used to say they are. It’s all a hoax. They’re distracting us. And everyone’s falling for it, it’s amazing. You’ll just think I’m some nutter but whatever.

        • I’m going to a zoom memorial for a friend that died as a result of Covid. I am not “ distracted”. And you’re right, I think you’re a nutter.

        • I have no desire to comment on whether you’re a nutter. I don’t know you.
          What I feel a need to comment on is whether you are respecting other people’s concerns. If you won’t stay home then I hope you are at least wearing a mask so that you are providing safety to those who are vulnerable.
          I hope you do not suffer the fate of others who have lost loved ones.
          Chris S

        • Not necessarily a nutter, but pretty unkind. There have been 3 very loved people die from this illness in my state over the past few days. One gentleman who was in his 90s died alone as is family wasn’t allowed to be with him. My own mother (90 also) died earlier this year, not of Covid, with us around her, holding her, midwifing her into death. My heart breaks for the other family.

        • My mother is on a ventilator and the doctors is telling me that there’s little hope. Get off of whatever right-wing troll-fest cesspit of social media you’re on, open your eyes and look around. This horrible disease is not a hoax.

          Oh, and by the way, my mother voted for Trump and was likely to do so again. He’s killing off his own voters now.

          • I’m so sorry Clare. I don’t know what to say except that. I hope at least you can be with her.

          • I’m so sorry Clare.
            I have not seen my sister in long term care for 4 months now. But she is safe as the home locked down early and they have had no cases of Covid.
            I wish peace and comfort to your family and hope you are able to be with her.

        • Thank you both for your caring replies. I just get so angry with people who are still spouting that hoax BS when people are hospitalized and dying.

          Mom’s hanging on, but her prognosis is still very poor. Unfortunately, I’m not able to be with her because she has Covid-19 and also they’re keeping all visitors out of the hospital to try to reduce the spread of the disease. I don’t disagree with that reasoning, but it is incredibly hard not to be able to sit with her and hold her hand.

          Thank you both again for your kindness and caring.


          PS This ended up in the wrong place, so I’m trying again.

  10. I’m totally envious and I don’t even like camping!

    Here in Melbourne (Australia) we’re going back into lockdown for six weeks. That means you can only leave your home for medical care, shopping for essentials, caregiving and outdoor exercise.

    No excuse now not to finish the two pairs of socks on the needles – and three crochet blankets under way too!

    • Moorecat, I’m in Brisbane where our restrictions are easing up a lot. I have lots of family in Melbourne and rural Vic and my heart breaks for you all. Knit and crochet your lockdown away, sounds like a good plan to me. Hope you have lots of colour in your projects to help lighten your heart. Stay safe.

  11. I love the Pride sock yarn! I hope your camping spot is in the shade and beside a lake where everyone can jump in and get some relief from this broiling heat. Elliot will have so much fun. As for the socks, well, your plans are ambitious but you are the Harlot, so I’m pretty sure you’ll come home with finished socks to show us. Enjoy!

  12. I’ve been reminiscing about camping all week. So cool that you get to actually go do it. And with Elliot! Have a super trip!

    p.s. Love those yarns and socks!

  13. So happy you and your bubble can move about. California, not so much. Feels like …and now, it is day 456. The tree outside my window has unfurled a new leaf. Oh, what joy there is in this life. Whatever will tomorrow bring?

    Anyway, enjoying hearing of outdoor freedom. Glad the wee lad is with you. And family!

  14. Yeah for camping! But as I was looking at your first couple of socks, I was thinking that you hadn’t brought enough. I mean, you can zip through the foot and toe of a sock in an easy lakeside afternoon (I know because I can do that and I am way slower than you). I think you can finish the first three pairs and get partially into the last.

    But no matter how much knitting you get done, you’re going to have a BLAST!

  15. The ABC here in Oz (the Aussie version of the BBC) has on its website a lovely article about the positive impacts on brain function of spending time with trees. We here in Victoria, Aus, are going back into lockdown and I think more than a few of us are going to be very envious of you. My daughter, who has a mental illness, rang me yesterday distraught: she had been looking forward to going to her “safe place” (an alpine area about 3 hours drive from her house) but suddenly isn’t able to go. It has been her safe place for nearly 30 years so I’m not sure what impact it will have. All that aside, enjoy camping and gets lots done!

    • Denise, I’m listening to ScoMo on the ABC right now. I grew up in Vic (still have lots of family there) and can picture the alpine regions you are talking about. Absolutely stunning. I am so sorry your daughter can’t get to her safe place. I truly hope she copes with this next lockdown. IMy thoughts are with you all.

  16. One solution here: Knitting socks while on Zoom meetings or Zoom church (or Zoom anything). They can be tucked down on the lap to knit w/o causing distraction on the Zoom thing. (-:

  17. Enjoy your camping! I’m very proud from a distance of how Canada is managing thing, and I hope it just keeps getting better. I absolutely want to weep at the difference between how COVID has been handled in the US and Canada. There were 248 cases in my county (collection of cities, part of a state) alone last week. Selfishness, stupidity, and a refusal to believe in science are making everything terrible.

    • Honest to Pete! I actually didn’t think there were that many stupid people here in America. Wear a mask. Stay home. It’s so simple. It’s not a joke. This crap will kill you. I have been knitting socks during the lockdown. I’m on pair number 4. I’m not a very fast knitter but I keep plugging along. Sooooo much pretty sock yarn. I have a couple of blankets to finish but it got too hot for a lapful of wool. Love your bright yarn, Steph.

  18. Those look awesome! If you need any tips, I know this great sock tutorial on Patreon you should check out….

  19. So happy to see you here today! And those sock colours are beautifully brilliant. 🙂 I think you probably will finish all the socks. i have faith! Enjoy your camping!

  20. We leave tomorrow to go camping for two weeks and this is the most excited I’ve ever been. Even my dr gave it the ok. (High risk chick here).

  21. Enjoy the camping trip with your loved ones. Nothing better. Grateful that Canada has been doing so well as it has brought my son home to me in Massachusetts where we are also doing well today. So many qualifiers as it is only 10 days, he must quarantine for 14 when he goes back to Montreal and we are not certain when we will see him again.That first hug last night though! Priceless!

  22. Maybe I’m neurotic but that many sharp pointy objects on the dash of a speeding car leave me a little edgy

  23. Socks are my go-to Travel Knitting too. Consequently this year’s total is Way Down. The usual 3 pairs for Chinese New Year. One pair for Dear Son, another for a friend. Then took most of Lockdown to finish 2nd pair for Dear Son (size 12 feet)
    Now we’re allowed out a bit more I’ve started a pair for Nephew-in-Law-to-be. He’ll be Nephew-in-Law in less than 2 weeks. He has wide, size 14 feet. Think I’d better start travelling. A. Lot.

  24. First of all, I hope you realize what an extraordinary job your country is doing to contain the virus. That number of total cases is nothing short of amazing — we had more new cases than that in just my county yesterday. Second, I see nothing wrong with all the sock yarn you’re taking or the lofty goal you’ve set. All that fresh air is likely to tire the little one out, and you’ll need something to pass the time while he sleeps.

  25. You seem to be an exceptionally fast knitter, so not madness that you might finish the started pairs.

    The part I don’t get is how you have so many pairs in progress at the same time and at least 2 at about the same place. I’m guessing some of that has to do with the leg part being pretty mindless, and so appealing to work on in different situations where your main attention is elsewhere. I was going to add beads to a shawl I was working on, but wound up traveling during that period, and there was no way I was wrangling individual beads in the car, so that one got no beads.

    Hope your trip goes happily!

    • Somewhere there is a blog about how that happens. I use it to cheer me up. i currently have two airs for other people awaiting measurement for when I can start the toes.

  26. I have complete faith in you! Your knit powers are beyond compare. This is a barely even a challenge for you. Happy camping!

  27. Michigan seems to be splitting the difference — our sensible governor keeps trying to save us, and the morons keep dragging us back. Go have lunch in Stratford, please — we’re afraid for them this year, no festival, no tourists.

  28. Traveling is great for knitting. So is staring at nature! We are headed on a socially distanced “up north” cabin trip in MN next week, and I plan to knit a BUNCH of hats (I’m hat knitter for my daughter’s charity, not a sock knitter – but the principles are the same – just keep going around and around. Ha!) You got this!

  29. We just got home from our second camping trip in a month and have another in a couple of weeks, with intentions for at least one more in August. What a lift it has given us! Being in the woods and, in our case, near the coast (in Maine), is such a soothing experience – especially when combined with a ban on news in any form. I highly recommend it to everyone who can possibly do it!

  30. Two reasons why I have too much stash: (1) When I walk into a yarn shop I feel obligated to buy something, and (2) I am a pushover for color. However, if I make a purchase, it should be for two identical skeins, not just one, because then it’s easier to find an appropriate pattern.

  31. 200 cases in the whole country? I weep. Keep that border closed! Stay in your bubbles. It clearly works better than the head in sand approach.

    as for knitting, those socks are amazing, and as you can knit socks in the dark with your eyes closed, I think it is not an unreasonable goal. I predict two finished pairs and two with progress made. Love the rainbow yarns!

  32. some of my friends thought I was nuts when, before the 2016 election, I researched emigration online. Canada would have been my first choice. I looked desperately, but could not find a country that would welcome a 72-year-old retiree, a 33-year-old nurse and her 13-yo daughter, and a 30-year-old latter-day hippie with two sons, ages 4 and 1. Various places would take some of us, but we’re a package deal, so here we are in the Covid capital of the world. We’re Number One! The current regime has been even worse than I expected. One of the (many) reasons that this is my 120th day of near-total self-isolation is that I am determined to live long enough to help vote that bastard out. DS survived Covid w/o longterm complications, and the boys probably had mild cases, but DD spent several weeks working on a Covid team at her hospital.

    Ahem! Stepping off my soapbox now to say how much I love the rainbowish socks, especially the Regia Perfect. I only wish that the bright yellow segment that marks the division between sock 1 and sock 2 were a regular stripe and the yellow-green were the divider.

    My next socks will be even more colorful — Mind the Gap, which has 5-6-round stripes of the colors used on the London Underground map. Ordering the yarn from England was as close as I could get to going back there this summer.

    Remember: 6 feet apart or 6 feet under!

  33. I know what you mean about the drop in knitting production. My lives-in-the-purse knitting for sitting in the car or waiting in queues is now my lives-in-the-kitchen knitting for waiting for the kettle. And yes, there has been resultant weight gain. Sigh.
    I do have a feel-good camping story for you though. My grandson has severe haemophilia – essentially no measurable levels of clotting factor at all. It’s very challenging. Infusions, injections, too many trips to ER. And because apparently a life-threatening condition isn’t enough, he also has autism just to keep it interesting. He’s four, and last year he was granted a Children’s Wish Foundation wish. They had planned a trip to Disney in Jan 2021, but there’s no joy in planning travel right now.
    Back in May, when our bubbles opened a little, the family pitched a tent in our backyard because our granddaughter wanted a camping trip. It was rather stressful for our grandson, who doesn’t do well when he is too far out of his little routine – and a tent in a windstorm was definitely that! Seems, though, that he’s been talking about it since then, and wants to go camping. So he changed his wish, and the Foundation bought them a tent trailer (a nice one; bells, whistles, all the things!). They’ll park it at their house and practice eating and sleeping in it, so by the time Aug rolls round and it is safe/ possible to go camping, they can haul it to the lake for a few days and it will feel like a safe place for him if he gets overwhelmed. He loves lake and trees “forest” etc, and this should certainly be a wish that lasts longer than Disney.
    Made my day.
    (Ps: Those sock yarn colours made my day, too.)

    • How amazing! And yes a tent trailer will last longer than a trip to Disney. And likely less overwhelming

      I wish you all a wonderful summer of camping and more to come

  34. I have not been knitting but instead I have been working outside ripping out shrubs that have been under-preforming and getting rid of some plants that are over-performing and replacing with plants that bring color and light to the garden. I hope to be finished by the end of summer. Then I can go back to knitting as the garden starts to rest.

  35. This is what I’ve been knitting lately. As far as I know, I made this pattern up – everyone is free to use it.

    Cast on 88 stitches using the appropriate needle size for the yarn. (I don’t bother with gauge, they are for charity and will fit someone).

    Knit 2, purl 2 in the round for 3 inches. Switch to stockinette adding a stitch at the beginning and end of the row. Start decreasing after you have a total of 5 – 1/4 or 5-1/2 inches.

    R1: k8, k2 together all the way around. I put markers between each section to keep track
    R2: k
    R3: k7, k2 together
    keep on this way until you have only 1 stitch between markers. Cut a length of yarn to weave in and finish the hat. Weave in the yarn at the beginning of the hat.

  36. I am in the dumpster fire in Canada’s basement here. Unfortunately working from home requires a contant net connection, or I would follow you into the woods gladly. So instead I got a serger so I could make more pajamas, but that’s another story.

    I used to toss off pairs of socks like clockwork, when I took the bus to work. Those 20mn sessions really add up. I have been at a total loss since I had to start to drive. Knitting at home seems to require working on The Sweater instead, since I can. But there is no longer any formal time for socks, yet socks are sorely needed. I have darned, I have reknit toes, but I need more, at this point your 2 pairs a year look very good.

    Wonder whether I should institute a fake commute where I put on a coat and sit outside for 20mn of sock knitting every morning before stepping into the office? I wouldn’t have to wear pants, would I?

    • Well, at least shorts!! Or flannel pants–those would totally count. This is a great idea!! Take your tea or coffee or?, you can say you’ve taken up a new form of active daily meditation =)

    • I think the idea of a fake commute is awesome! Pants not necessarily required, but try not to worry the neighbours. Something comfy should fit the bill.
      Let us know how it works out.

    • I have a friend who puts on her mask and walks around the block as she ‘walks to work’. i think a knitting commute is a BRILLIANT idea.

      Hah .. we can’t go to work so I have to touch the house!!

  37. Bravo to Canada for tackling the coronavirus waaaaay better than the US. I’m in Massachusetts, one of the hardest hit states early on with New York, but we hunkered down, social distanced, masked and our numbers are now much much better. But I look at some of our Southern states and want to scream. Not much knitting in the current heat wave. Sweaty fingers make for lousy knitting (and I’m not a big fan of cotton or linen). Have a wonderful trip!

  38. Thank you both for your caring replies. I just get so angry with people who are still spouting that hoax BS when people are hospitalized and dying.

    Mom’s hanging on, but her prognosis is still very poor. Unfortunately, I’m not able to be with her because she has Covid-19 and also they’re keeping all visitors out of the hospital to try to reduce the spread of the disease. I don’t disagree with that reasoning, but it is incredibly hard not to be able to sit with her and hold her hand.

    Thank you both again for your kindness and caring.


  39. Again, still catching up and I so hear you. When it was cooler…like May…I was still knitting and it was comforting in the middle of the lockdown. Once it warmed, I slowed down as I generally do, cause holding wool in 30c doesn’t work well with me (unless I wish to sweat all over the poor innocent strands). No going anywhere also means no going anywhere I might normally with my hubby, just to hang out (only one family member in a grocery store etc etc), and he works in grocery as well, so we kinda distance from each other too, just in case. That all means maybe 2 days this summer where I got to sit in an air conditioned car and knit. Ah the projects I had planned to catch up on 4 months ago…..there are reasons I can’t wait for fall.

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