Elizabeth Zimmerman made me do it

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Let me set the scene. On Friday, I came down with the flu. (Sick again! I know, it’s been a rough fall.) I got halfway to work, realized I was being an idiot, got off the subway, called in, got back on the subway, got home, and went to bed. L had plans that night already, and since it didn’t seem fair to ask him to stay home so he could listen to me moan, he went out. I could knit or read, so I wrapped myself up in two blankets and watched Serenity (I tend to like action-y movies when I’m sick) and while I managed to tweet about it a little at the beginning, but the end I was in rough shape. Then I watched Good Will Hunting, which was probably a mistake.

Anyway, I was feeling a little better on Saturday and although I still couldn’t really knit (I managed a few paltry stitches and gave up), I decided I could maybe manage reading if the book would lie passively in my lap. My current novel was out, so I was casting around for other options when I remembered I had picked up a copy of EZ’s Knitting Without Tears on a whim on Thursday. Perfect. I read the whole thing this weekend. Yes, I got sick and read a book of “chattily written” knitting patterns, techniques, and tricks. Try to stop reading when you pick up one of her books. Just try.

On the one hand, this was a good stand-in for knitting. On the other hand, it just made me want to knit everything (especially sweaters!) and that’s a dangerous feeling to have just as you’re coming off being sick. The result has been a bit of a frenzy of knitting all kinds of things in a short span of time. To being with, I finished the first of my Seafoam Socks (not even Christmas related!). Then I went at my sweater.

I cast on for the Woodstove Season cardigan a few weeks ago. I wasn’t totally sure about the size (my measurements put me between medium and large), and cast on for the medium anyway. It’s knit top-down, so I figured I’d know if it was too small before I got very far. I knit the collar and 12 rows into the body and then put it aside for Christmas knitting, but really also felt like it was coming in too small. I wasn’t sure I wanted to rip it out quite yet, though, and then I read EZ and, well, it went from this

I’m knitting this in SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted in Cypress.

to this.

Two rows of ribbing. Sigh.

And it may well stay in this state for the next month while I finish other things. The size seems better, though.

I also started my mom’s tea cozy, which I’m making up as I go along. I honestly thought this would be a quickish knit, but it turns out that a big tea pot and a tight gauge combine to require more stitches around than your average sweater. The shaping is all in my head at the moment, but here’s how it’s turning out so far (I’m going for random-ish looking stripes):

It’s growing on me.

What do you think? I wasn’t sure about the colours, but L assures me they suit my parents’ house, so I’m going with it.

And third (fourth?), I’ve decided I need a new hat. I’ve been thinking about it, and I jotted down a little sketch for myself, and now I’m knitting. EZ got me all fired up with the confidence to rely on my own mind, so that’s what I’m doing. I’ll let you know how this goes.

I just cast this on last night. It’s AslanTrends Royal Alpaca in Plum.

In sum: I am still sick, but I am knitting. Oh boy, am I knitting. Next time you need a little push, or to feel clever, or just to be inspired when you have a fever, pick up something Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote – that woman is a force for all that is good and woolly.

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