Sick Days and Sweaters

I've made great progress on my Mystery Sweater.  

Recent days have been trying, to say the least.  Although they did provide time for some knitting:

Last Friday
End-of-week woes.  Come home from work even more wiped out than usual. (I typically spend Friday in way that confirms my sixteen-year-old son's assertion that his parents "have no life"--as I end my week's labors glued to the couch in the den, where I knit away.)   However, that night I find myself asleep in bed by 8:00.  

Brief respite.  I know I should stay in as I still feel "puny" (an old-timey and probably southern adjective), but think it wise to attempt to stave off impending illness by driving 16 miles to Whole Foods to stock up on immune-boosting supplements and super foods.  Oddly enough, after eating quiche and gelato, I feel revived. Alas, Saturday afternoon and evening, the Whole-Foods Effect is wearing worn off, and I spend the day listlessly knitting and then finishing up Helen Fielding's new novel: Bridget Jones Mad About the Boy.  Read with joyful abandon, as I've waited fourteen years for a new Bridget story!  The sad fact that I see myself in Bridget Jones and in Marianne Dashwood (found in Austen's Sense and Sensibility) must say something frightening about my emotional maturity and sense of self-discipline.

Sore muscles.  Draining fatigue.  Dilemma.  I know that Amy Gunderson, a designer from Universal Yarn will be at Cottage Yarn that afternoon for a book signing.  I am currently taking part in her Mystery Sweater knit-along.  Have brainstorm:  I have to show her my sweater in progress! Another siren luring me is the fact that the new Jane Austen Knits is now on store shelves.  I decide to take a long hot bath and some Ibuprofen and go. Make it a point not to get too close to anyone  and only stay for a bit. Leave happy as a result of having a chance to talk with Amy  and to meet sales director Yonca Ozbelli, Return home tired, but satisfied, as I now have a signed copy of 50 Knitted Gifts for Year-Round Giving (a volume which features a wide array of clever and attractive knitted items appropriate for four seasons and major holidays, all made using Universal Deluxe Worsted), one of the two remaining copies of Jane Austen Knits in the store, and some bright orange yarn to make some great Spiderweb Boot Toppers in the book.  (Hmmm. Can I can get these done by Halloween, along with 30-day sweater?)  

Yonca and Amy both brought their own Mystery Sweaters in progress.  Amy is holding hers.  

I love the color choices for this Midnight Kiss Capelet.  

Patterns for this wine cozy and cupcakes are in the book.  

Splitting headache.  Sore throat.  Painful earache.  Stay home joined by sick younger son.  Spend part of day on couch, knitting sweater and watching Nickelodeon movie, entitled Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging.  Might be childish fodder but can justify my choice as its director, Gurinder Chadha, also directed personal favorites Bend it like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice. (Maybe not modern classics, but witty and entertaining!)   Viewing film about teenage angst inspires me to attempt to grade some student essays, written by my juniors whom I asked to write about a person who is memorable to them or who influenced them in some way.  Am now not only shaking with the onset of a fever but also am choking up after reading about grandmothers and mothers who are always positive in the face of eviction, deportation, hours spent working four jobs, and bouts with brain tumors.  Am surprised that evoking tears of thankful joy in one's offspring--or grand-offspring--appears to be a common phenomenon.  Reading spurs me to guiltily contemplate my peevish wallowing and rantings, including, but not limited to "I'm sick!" and "Can't you see I don't feel well.  Do it yourself!" or "You wanted that dog!  Walk her or we can get rid of her!"  Doubt my children will write effusive sentimental essays about self, but maybe they'll remember all the pancakes and homemade cookies I've made for them.  And perhaps someday they will desire and appreciate hand-knitted presents.

Still puny.  Still drained.  Make homemade lentil soup and spend six hours on couch watching melodramatic TV mini-series, The Starter Wife, on iPad.  Also read a bit of A Tale of Two Cities, so am not complete cultural idiot.  Read more characterization essays and am happy to finish, as tears are not helping sinus congestion.  Am working like gangbusters in-between on Mystery Sweater, though.

Change of plans.  Not back at work as anticipated.  Now now have wraparound headache in addition to a cough and earache.  Son is still home, too.  My husband takes him to the doctor.  I make a doctor's appointment and, when I call, am informed, "When you arrive take a mask from the basket near the door and wear it into the waiting room."  When I get there, do as instructed.  Am impressed by witty and wise, Jackie, who attends me and prescribes a "Z-pack" for a respiratory infection. Jackie has the prescription automatically sent to Costco, so have to pick it up there.  Despite splitting headache, for a moment, am tempted to stop at Cottage Yarn.  It's located on the same highway.  It's only a five minutes' drive.  I could wear the mask, so I won't infect anyone.  I feel awful, but yarn shop stops always contribute to improved well-being.  Ultimately decide that I might be mistaken for an armed robber and things would be better off all around for my health and safety for me to return home, get into my pajamas, and try to recover.   Besides I have to finish my sweater and then cast on those orange-and-black boot toppers.  


  1. So sorry abut your dreadful week - these RTIs can really knock you for six. And a good old-fashioned dose of proper 'flu can lay one out for much longer than one expects. Sorry, that may not be what you want to hear! You did make me laugh with your description of this though and 'flu or no 'flu the mystery sweater is absolutely gorgeous! How exciting to see that emerging off your needles! Fabulous colour too - you will look stunning in it! Glad you got to meet the designer and acquire your books - you'd have regretted it if you hadn't gone and can enjoy planning new projects from the books while in the slightly more user-friendly convalescing stage. You will laugh but against all my better judgement and knowledge of my limitations I too have been knitting this week! I know, I know, this is risky territory! If I've wished you were here once this week to ask things and show me what to do I've wished it a hundred times - might have got annoying for you though! In your absence, YouTube has proved a very handy resource although it's still not the same as someone actually showing you what to do "live". Anyway I send you a hug and hope you feel properly better very soon. Hope your son has also recovered and that the rest of the family has not succumbed. Stay cosy and knit on! E xx
    Ps have you been watching the new Downton series? Am finding the storyline with Anna a bit traumatic. All agog for what's going to happen with Michael Gregson in Germany though! Not difficult to see an interesting plot-line developing here!


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