Monday, January 13, 2014

The Devil is in the Details

Going into last weekend I was happily winding yarn for the sock knit-a-long, and contemplating starting the socks when two things dawned on me.  The first was that the KAL started Sunday.  And the second was that I had a long car ride coming up on Saturday.   I mentally reviewed my other WIPs...a lace scarf (that is probably going to be frogged, I'm not feeling the love).  There's the sweater, awkward to travel with, in a dark colored yarn.  The bamboo summer top which is waiting for me to a lot of fiddly math for the arms and neckline.  Clearly I was going to have to cast something on.  Socks would be ideal- small and portable.  I decided I had to remain true to the spirit of the knit-a-long however, and not cast on the new socks until Sunday.  Which logically means I had to cast on different socks for the car ride.  So.  Two skeins of Serenity sock yarn, a long car ride, two evenings of board games, and a music festival later (it was an eventful eight days), I have these:

And of course the KAL socks, which, although they have suffered by comparison, have made at least some progress. 

Biscuit helped by keeping me company on the couch and striking cute poses for my entertainment.

Sunday my adorable spouse went off to play games that I'm not involved in, which made it a perfect day to drill, hammer and swear at the house.   So I tackled the next Lost Project on my list.    This is one that has been annoying me daily for over a year.  The bracket that holds one end of the door closer for the screen door going into my kitchen pulled out of the doorframe .  I couldn't just screw it back in, the holes were stripped.  I couldn't move it without also moving the end attached to the door- that seemed more annoying that I wanted to deal with. 

So it sat until I figured out a plan a couple of weeks back.   First I drilled out the original holes, and immediately hit my first setback.  Two of the screws had pulled out of the doorframe.  The other two had broken off the head leaving the screw shank still in the hole.  So there was a pause, as I did some work with a wood chisel, pliers, and blistering profanity getting the old screws out.   

A couple of headless screws are no match for a woman with
a wood chisel and a mission.
That obstacle surmounted, I finished drilling holes and then plugged them with pieces of dowel.  I'd have preferred the dowel to be just a smidge oversized, but that wasn't the case so I wrapped the pieces with strips of silk from an old shirt, saturated it all in glue, and pounded them into the holes.   Then I left the whole mess to dry for a few days, and came back to it on Sunday. 

After all that, remounting the bracket was relatively simple- I'd already purchased screws (probably a year ago!), and it was just a matter of drilling the holes and remounting the bracket.  A bolt to replace the pin holding the closer to the bracket and some thread-lock to keep the nut on the bolt and I was all set.    I was still concerned about the dowels pulling out of the doorframe, however, since the door closer was going to be pulling on them.  So I found some long finish nails and the nail set (which took longer than it should since the nail set is one of those tools that is small enough to be just about anywhere) and drove a finish nail at an angle through the doorframe and each dowel.  Now the crosswise nail is holding each dowel in the frame, and it's not likely to go anywhere, at least not in one piece. 

Of course, this initiated a cascade of other odds and ends- since I had the thread-lock out, I used it on the handles of a couple of pans that have loose screws.  And once the door-closer was on, I could at last change out the screens for the storm windows (the lack of which I felt keenly during the recent cold spell).   If you're wondering why I didn't put them in earlier, picture a screen door, with heavy glass storm windows and no door-closer, catching the breeze and being flung back into the porch rail with loud shattering tinkling noises, and you'll figure it out. 

So, I unearthed the storm windows from the basement.  Of course they were filthy, so they had to be washed.  And once they were clean, I had to go get back out the screwdriver I'd just put away and unfasten all the screens.  Now, every single time I've changed these screens since I first bought this house in 2002, I've cursed the rusty old screws.  And thought, these are going to start stripping out, and then it'll be a pain getting them out.  And I thought, I should replace them before that happens.   And guess how much effect that had?  Absolutely none.  Until Sunday. Because I did strip one of the screws, and it was just as annoying to get out as I had expected.  So I added a hardware store stop to my list of errands that afternoon and invested $1.98 in a package of new stainless steel screws and when I got home, I took off my coat and then removed all the old screws and replaced them with the new ones before I had time to sit down, or get distracted or lose the packet or misplace the screwdriver or any of the one thousand and one things that lead to something becoming a Lost Project.  And now I have shiny clean storm windows on my doors held on with shiny new screws, and while I'm unlikely to give up my lifelong habit of procrastination anytime soon--for once I feel like I'm ahead of the curve!


  1. I'm only a little bit further along on my socks than you are - and I started before you! I'm hoping to get some good time on them this week though.
    That pic of Biscuit kills me!

    1. Me too! I'm really looking forward to these. I wear a lot of green, so these will go with so many outfits.

  2. Cool. You did it! Now just watch your average Californian do a head tilt when you say things like screen windows or screen doors. A what?

    Love the socks!

  3. Ha! Ha! We may have to borrow your "Lost Project" term--it's so perfect. First this, then this, then this needs to be done, leading to this...........thank heavens for knitting!