Crafting a Quarantined Life

In this strange locked-down world, the one thing I can always count on is the Zen of String…

This really has been a strange year, hasn’t it? As a truly dedicated introvert and a serious homebody I have gotten the feeling that the world has joined me in my lifestyle rather than I have changed very much. Still, even an introvert needs some company, and I really miss hugging my elder family members…

The one thing I can always count on is string. My city has been in a very serious and total lock-down for the last month and I have been knitting up a storm. I am still knitting socks and they have gotten fancy lately! The pair I am working on now is pair number 35 I think, so they should be less vanilla by now:-)

Socks Socks Socks!

Cables (and pink!) are my newest sock obsession, from the simple to the really complex.

Dragonwing twisted cabled socks…
Cabled Sprouting Socks
My latest pair of mosaic colourwork, twisted cable socks, the Clown Tamers.
Pretty Pink Cables

So many pairs of pretty pink socks!

Knitting For A New Baby!

My second granddaughter is on the way, she will be here late in January if she decides to cook all the way through, unlike her older sister! Sadly, my eldest and his family live on the other side of the world and I miss them like crazy. I’m not very good at phone conversations, especially with toddlers. Sometimes a hands on face to face is really needed.

I had a plane ticket booked and I was packed when their country closed it’s borders. I missed that visit by less then a week. So so frustrating. Especially when my lovely granddaughter is a toddler. The last time I saw her in person she was just starting to roll over and now at 22 months, she’s out of diapers, starting to speak in two languages and mothering her little doll! (Mind you, she is a genius IMHO 😉 )

So I am putting together a package to send to them. It can’t be too big though. Above 2 kilos and the postage jumps from $35.00 CAD to $150.00 CAD! Yikes.

I am knitting the new baby a cotton gradient blanket that features slip stitch ribs. It is light and cool, as my kids live in a much warmer place then me! Also, her big sister’s baby blanket was of the warm and squishy variety. I hope to get it done quickly so the package can get on it’s way soon. There will also be socks and a plain and an embroidered face mask for the parents, and a small soft doll with a crocheted wardrobe and a very cool toy from Galt for the big sister included. I think it’ll all fit!

Slip Stitch Baby Blanket

I hope this blanket will be like a Baba’s hug…

In The Weaving Studio

Krokbradg Spindles and Rosepath Striped Weaving on the loom

Krokbragd Spindles closeup

Krokbragd is usually abstract, but one can weave figures like my drop spindles

A close-up of a bit of krokbradg weaving on the loom. It makes me think of a bromeliad

All About Krokbragd

Before the latest lockdown I was weaving and teaching in a local weaving studio in my city. I became obsessed with a new-to-me Scandinavian weave structure, Krokbragd, meaning “crooked path”, a weft-faced twill structure.  

In a weft-faced weave, the warp is completely hidden by the weft.  This produces a thicker and heavier fabric that is great for rugs, wall hangings, and table linens. My piece will be a large pillow.

For the weavers out there, Krokbragd is mostly woven on 3 or 4 shafts and are woven 1 shaft at a time. So tie up is 1 shaft down 3 up and weaving is 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4 etc. It takes 4 (or 3) passes with different shuttles to complete each pick. It’s a very slow and meditative type of weaving.

It turns out that there are 48 passes with the shuttle for every inch woven on my piece, and there are 4 shuttles to be used in turn. So I wove at the blistering pace of 1.3 inches per hour on the bit that looks like a bromeliad above. Although on the spindle piece I did speed up. The Rosepath section especially was really quick as it is plain boundweave, not krokgragd so there are only two shuttle passes per pick.

I’m Back!

I received a lovely email from a reader yesterday and she made me remember my poor neglected blog. It really lit a fire under my behind, so expect a bunch of posts in the near future. Hopefully I will be able to figure out how this newer editing format works. Right now I am not too happy with how this post looks. But perfect is the enemy of the good, so I am declaring this officially Good Enough!

Please stay safe everyone out there in the big world. And please remember that when you are feeling down and isolated, sometimes playing with a bit of string can help.

Sending you all of my love,

Renata (aka Baba Stringthings)

Author: Baba StringThings

I am a middle-aged mother of three grown-up sons, a thrifty, creative, and dedicated born-again spinster, and I have a serious string addiction. I teach crochet, knitting, bobbin lacemaking, hand-embroidery, weaving, spinning, kumihimo, darning, mending, and how to upcycle clothing. When I'm not doing that I pretty much play with string. All. The. Time. And I have an unholy love of Pinterest.

4 thoughts on “Crafting a Quarantined Life”

  1. Very happy you’re back. I’ve been checking your blog every few days. I don’t read so much right now. I am also trying to keep busy. Like you being alone is not so bad for me. Working on some kind of lap stand for a small rigid heddle loom so I can sit and weave comfortably. I’ve been trying to re learn simple knitting. Your’s is beautiful. They have a shawl pattern that is something like that on yarnspirations. It’s pink too with a cream colored overlay. I think it’s brioche knit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that will be a pretty shawl, I love the colours and I love brioche knitting – it’s so squishy! I really think think that those of us who craft have a leg up on maintaining our sanity during quarantine, it helps a lot.
      Happy weaving and knitting!


  2. Hello again from Maren in Portland, OR! April already. I starred (*) your blog, but my list of starred things is long and various and I tend to lose things that meant something to me. I hope 2021 is maybe a little easier than 2020. Like you, however, I am an introvert to my core and, as glad as I am that the virus is getting under control, I do feel some anxiety about returning to “normal”. Normal was too fast and overwhelming for me and I don’t have the means to retreat. Oh to live a little house with acres of wilderness around me. Anyway, as I brace for the return, I will keep the spirit of your past posts with me and, now that I tracked you down again, keep my eye out for any new ones.
    Best, Maren

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s lovely to hear from you and thank you so much for your kind words! And man would I like to be your neighbour in a tiny house on an adjoining acre.

      I feel for you and for your anxiety. Like you I am overwhelmed at the thought of ‘normal’ life returning, but as we a just entering our third wave, I expect normal is still a fair way off.

      Stay safe and healthy,


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