And It Just Goes On and On

So, are we talking about the weather or the illness?  Well, both.  This bronchitis is just hanging on and on.  My doctor confirms that I'm on the mend, though, so there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Of course, there was a train coming this week when I got hit by . . . pink eye!!  My doctor says that it's not unexpected when you work around what he calls "little walking germ factories" – kids.  I've been trying to keep away from all the kids at work to avoid giving them what I have, but apparently one of them launched a preemptive strike.  Add in the continued lack of sunshine.  We've seen a glimpse now and then, but when the cloud cover clears, the fog rolls in.

One of the effects of all of this has been a complete lack of interest in anything.  Usually when I walk into my sewing room I get excited about all the possible projects I could be working on.  Today I walked in, looked around, and walked back out.  It was just too much effort to get excited about anything.  So, I've spent a lot of time cuddled in my chair with Kirby on my lap and just knitting.  Mostly it's been pretty mindless projects like this afghan for the Linus Project:


I went over to the next island today to the LYS and picked up a couple of more skeins to finish it off and and while I was there picked up some more Encore:



So, I have plenty of yarn to get me through some pretty mindless knitting until my brain cells can wrap themselves around something more challenging.  I did put in a few rows on Queen Silvia, but I knew better than to push it:


And a close up of nupps for Lynne:


Last weekend I dragged myself out and went to visit my sister.  I did manage to make it through the opera without disturbing the other patrons and getting myself unceremoniously kicked out.  We also went to a "Cruise Show" sponsored by AAA.  Who knew there were so many possibilities for cruising?  Anything from a jaunt around the Caribbean to a trip through the Panama Canal to a river cruise into China.  I brought home stacks and stacks of books so hubby and I can start planning for a cruise in a year or two.

In the meantime a shorter trip is planned for April.  My sister and I got our tickets for a trip back home to visit the parents.   My office will be closed for about a week and a half and it seemed the perfect opportunity to go spend some time with the folks.  Tomorrow hubby leaves for a trip of his own.  He's flying down to San Diego to bring back a new toy.  I won't spoil the surprise, but if you know his love of classic cars, you might have a hint as to what's coming.

From Soup to Nupps

One of the things I learned last weekend was that "nupp" rhymes with "soup".  Who knew?  The workshop with Nancy Bush was everything I hoped it would be and more.  One of the things with fascinating classes, however, is that photography is rarely on your mind and the camera is only whipped out for the sake of blogdom and then quickly put away so you can get back to business!

Nancy had tons of beautiful shawls to show, but this is the only photo I have of her showing them:


In my defense, I was sitting off to the side and couldn't get full on shots.  For better photos, just pick up a copy of her book, Knitted Lace of Estonia – if you can find one!  She had all of the shawls and scarves from the book and more!  I did manage to get the obligatory name-dropping shot:


I was still feeling pretty puny, but am fairly confident that I was no longer contagious.  I literally bathed in hand sanitizer the whole time and tried not to touch anything.  I don't think there was a person there, though, that faulted me for going. 

Our project on the second day was a sampler.  I managed to get a fairly decent amount done:


Nancy's advice on nupps was priceless and I have to say that I feel much more confident about them now.  So much so, that I started Queen Silvia from the book – with over 1,000 of the little critters:


The yarn is Skacel Lace Merino, the needles Knitpicks Harmony, size 3.  I discovered that wooden needles are almost a must for conquering nupps!  Looking at the two photos, it occurs to me that lace knitting is an enormous act of faith.  Until it is done and blocked, it looks like complete crap.  However, once blocked it is almost ethereal.  Maybe that's why I like it so much – the transformation!

I started a new pair of socks.  The yarn is Knitpicks Essential Black Tweed.  I don't have a pair of black hand knit socks and really need (want?) them as I wear black a lot.  I must have started at least four different patterns before finally settling on a simple 6×1 rib.  Between the softeness of the yarn and the black (and old eyes), everything else just proved too fiddly.  Maggie approves of the yarn so much, she tried to steal it:


I did finally cave in and visited the doctor this week.  He said I have viral bronchitis.  Nothing for it but to just let it run its course with some super duper cough syrup to get me through the nights.  He said he's seeing a lot of it this winter.  The congestion phase only lasts a week, but the cough can go on for 2-3 weeks.  Yeah, just what I wanted to hear. 

Off to Seattle again this weekend.  My sister's birthday present to me was tickets to the opera – the Pearl Fishers.  Fortunately it's a matinee and mid afternoon seems to be my best time coughing-wise.  I'm pretty sure I'll be able to manage without disturbing anyone. 

Next week I promise photos of the girls in their new sweaters.  It looks as if they really needed them this week.  It was actually colder in Orlando than it was there.  But I bet they actually saw the sun.  We got a brief glimpse yesterday – maybe for an hour?  Other than that, I think it's been since Christmas Eve that it's been out for any length of time.  However, I am NOT complaining.  50 degrees and cloudy is downright balmy when you think of what the Midwest and New England states are going through.  Hang in guys and keep warm!

Sick, S.A.D. and Damp

The past week has not been a stellar one in our household.  Although hubby and I don't suffer clinically from S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder), it's really hard to get enthused about anything when it's always dark.  I go to work in the dark and I come home in the dark.  And it's dark at noon because we haven't seen more than a glimmer of the sun in weeks!  Even when it's not raining (and it's mostly been raining), there is constant cloud cover.  But am I complaining after those freakish snow storms in December?  You bet I am!  See how lethargic hubby and Maggie are:


You might have heard about the terrible flooding in Western Washington.  We don't usually have too much of a problem on the island since we have no rivers. But we have an awful lot of standing water.  This is the end of our driveway:


And there's a lake in our backyard!

Add to this the fact that I am sick.  I very rarely get sick and get a trifle cranky when I do.  There wasn't even any staying home and coddling myself.  We have one employee out for an indeterminate time and two more injured and on light duty.  As office manager the buck stops here, so I soldiered on.  The past two days were very difficult as I completely lost my voice!!  I couldn't answer phones or converse with parents.  There was a lot of note writing and pantomiming! 

However, my day was considerably brightened yesterday when I got a phone call.  When the receptionist told me I had a phone call, I told her she had to take a message and I'd write out my answer.  She insisted I take it:

"Nana, are you sick?  Do you need a hug?  I love you Nana!"  Ok, I feel a LOT better!!  I think she was especially sympathetic because both she, Ivy and her mommy have all been sick too.  Get better soon Izzy.

Fortunately I've had completely mindless knitting on the baby afghans to tide me over.  I don't think I could have focused on anything else:


I really like the colors on the variegated one.  They're soft but not too soft – very happy and cheerful.  One thing I have discovered, though, is that I am so much happier on needles no larger than size 7.  The blue afghan is done on size 7, the variegated one on size 8.  Just that one size difference makes a world of difference in how long my hands can hold out.

Tomorrow I'm going to rest and take it easy and rest my voice.  I want to be in fine fiddle for the Nancy Bush class this weekend.  Of course, you know I'd be there – even if the paramedics have to wheel me in on a stretcher!