Tag Archives: sick day

Elizabeth Zimmerman made me do it

0

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.

So long, perfect record

4

Let me just start by saying that I have not been sick in about four years. I mean, I get hit by allergies in the spring and fall, and I get a cold every now and then, but I haven’t been stay-at-home sick in years. Well, until this week anyway. This week ended my no-sick streak in a big way. I missed three days of work; I went through multiple boxes of Kleenex; L made me soup; I even got to the pathetic point in sickness when you wonder if this is just going to be how it is now. I hate being sick, but as a knitter, it has its advantages.

On my first day home, I actually couldn’t knit. I spend the day wrapped in an afghan, intermittently reading and sleeping. I drank lots of tea and hot lemon (a family staple), and the next day I thought I was better. I went to work on Tuesday, feeling mostly okay. Then I went to work on Wednesday, and by the end of the night, I felt awful. I spent the next two days at home.

But, thanks to be brief uptick at the beginning of the week, I managed to make the week pretty productive. To whit: I am halfway through the first of my Christmas socks (a gift for my sister), I started a new shawl and am through the first chart, and I made a little headway on the much loved, though equally neglected, Spruce Jaywalkers. I wasn’t really planning this as a productive week obviously, so I don’t really have before pictures, but here’s what I managed to get done between sneezes and naps.

First, Christmas socks. I actually wanted to get these started a month ago (I swatched for them in August, for heaven’s sakes), but there always seemed to be something else on the needles. Anyway, on Monday night, when I was feeling a little better, I cast on the cuff for Cookie A.’s Daphne sock pattern. I fell in love with these socks when she first released the pattern, and knew it would be perfect for my sister, who always looks longingly at my handknit socks, and especially at the lace ones.

One of my favourite things about lace socks is that they’re a surprise when you put them on.

I’m knitting these in indigodragonfly’s Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock, a 50-50 silk merino blend that is very soft (and a little slippery) and perfect for the pattern. Although this is a fingering weight and the pattern calls for sport, it’s working out just fine. The colour is not quite as bubblegum as Cookie A.’s, but it’s certainly feminine, which you’d expect from a colourway called Don’t You Have an Elsewhere to Be? (Cordelia).

Here’s the expanded lace pattern. (I know this will be a good gift because I want to keep them for myself.)

Surprise!

I guess it makes sense that I started a few things this week, given all the finishing I did last week. New project number 2 is The Lonely Tree Shawl by Sylvia Bo Bilvia (hilarious name, no?). I’ve had my eye on this one since she released it a few weeks ago. It’s a free pattern, written for a worsted weight tweedy sort of yarn, and honestly, how perfect is that leafy lace for fall? Well, on Tuesday when I was in the shop, Claudia (the owner) mentioned she’d like it if I wore more garments knit from yarns we carry (I knit with shop yarns all the time, but socks and things are harder to see). I was trying not to shop for myself before Christmas, but this seemed like the perfect excuse, so I snapped up some of The Fibre Company’s Acadia – a merino, baby alpaca, and silk blend – in Douglas Fir and cast on on Wednesday.

The other reason I cast this on was because I needed something to break up all the sock action I had going on.

I just finished the first of three charts (the others are about half as many rows each) and although it looks small, I have faith in the powers of blocking. I’m thinking it will be a sort of warmer, wintry shawl, and chose the colour because it will go nicely with my dark red winter coat.

Finally, the Spruce Jaywalkers. I actually finished the first one in Nova Scotia, casting on the second during the plane ride back to Toronto. I fully planned to just buckle down and knit the second, but then other projects came along, as they do, and it just kind of stuck around. Usually a sock taking this long is an indication that I’m bored with it, but that is not the case here. I continue to delight in the colour changes and watching how they stack up, and this sock has been faithful TV and travel knitting when I didn’t have something else more pressing to work on.

One and a half socks.

The pattern is easy, but not so mindless as to be numbing, and the yarn is fun and nice to knit with. I was an inch or so above dividing for the heel when I picked these up, and now I’m into the gussets, so it probably won’t be long before this is a completed pair, which I’m quite excited about. I have another skein of this Fleece Artist BFL Sock already wound and destined to be a pair of plain socks once these one are off the needles – truly, I love this yarn.

And there you have my week. I’m feeling much better now, which probably means my knitting productivity will dip as I go back to my normal routine, but that’s okay – I’m over being sick.