Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Butt-kicking virus: 2, Denise: still 0

(Actually, the butt-kicking virus has mutated into a nasty sinus and lung infection but I blame the virus for starting all of this crap anyway)

My Madrona experience ended with a 102 degree fever and a 3 hour visit to urgent care on Sunday.

The good news is that I don’t have pneumonia. Thank goodness or I would have never heard the end of it from Mr. CPA, who was none too pleased with me for not coming home earlier as he had suggested when he found out I was getting sick again at the hotel. I tried to explain that I had not been quite that sick until later Saturday evening, but the fever and non-stop coughing fits weren’t really helping my credibility much at that point.

So no Madrona report until I’m recovered as Mr. CPA is being very strict about the 'resting', which means zero computer time when he is home because he does not think sitting in my office at the computer contributes to my getting better. (I’m sneaking this in quickly while he’s at work). But go see Vanessa’s review of the absolutely wonderful Rovaniemi mitten class that we took until I can write up my own - besides, her samples, as usual, are done and mine are not.

Mr. CPA hasn’t had to worry too much about me sitting at the computer while he’s at work because I have quite a busy daily nap schedule courtesy of my new codeine-based cough syrup. The early, mid, and late-morning naps are followed by the early, mid, and late-afternoon naps, leaving me very little time to contemplate doing anything other than watching the first 10 minutes of any bad daytime television program before nodding off into my drug-induced haze again.

I must be feeling somewhat better as this is the second time today I’ve been non-comatose for more than 20 consecutive minutes.

That’s all for now. The informer (otherwise known as the youngest son) will be coming home from classes any minute and I’m not up for another lecture tonight about not taking care of my health.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

And I'm Off...

Okay, off to Madrona to meet up with Vanessa tonight.

I'm horribly overpacked and yet I have sinking feeling I've forgotten something rather important. But as Holly reminded me recently, as long as I remember my pants I'm probably okay!

Full report and photos when I return!

Preparing for Madrona

(sorry, picture heavy below)

Step 1
Clean casa del chaos in preparation for the minor disaster about to be unleashed into the family room (there is a limit, after all, to just how much disorganization the house can take at any one time).

Step 2
Remove all fiber from Basement of Wool (tm) and place in family room.

Step 3
Admire assembled fiber with pride and mentally pat self on the back. My, haven’t you been a busy shopper these past few years?

Step 4
Observe the assembled fleeces and prepped spinning fiber and sense a disturbance in the fiber force. Something is missing.

Step 5
Examine all decorative elements around the house used to ‘maximize storage opportunities’. Gather more fiber from antique Chinese basket and red rice bucket in living room and place in family room. While looking for something else, inadvertently find additional fiber in stacked baskets by spinning wheel and in the office. (What? You don’t keep spinning fiber in your office?)

Step 6
Re-review piles of fleeces and prepared fibers in the huge pile now assembled in the family room. Consider taking picture of the huge, unsorted pile in its entirety. Recall that husband knows about blog and decide against it.

Step 7
Suddenly realize that you have only spun about 3 pounds of fiber in the last year. Have a brief dizzy moment when some quick mental calculations indicate how many years of dedicated spinning are represented by the fiber stacked up around you. Close eyes and breathe deeply allowing the soothing power of the concentrated wool fumes to calm you.

Step 8
Separate fiber into like groups to get a better sense of the complete inventory. Observe that you have an apparent fondness for grey.

Step 9
See labels on some of the older stash items and remember regretfully how organized you used to be. Read labels and feel a bit shocked at how long some of this stuff has been stored in the basement. Realize that you actually made a wise decision to stop carefully labeling everything with details that include purchase date.

Step 10
Take photos of individual groupings to take with you to Madrona, to be used in the event your resolve weakens and you become convinced that you ‘need’ more fiber.

The Marvelous Eugene Fleece from Black Sheep
(doesn't really count since it's being shared with Holly after processing)

Grey Romney fleeces
(Appx 15 pounds from separate purchases)

Angora blend batts & Merino cross batts in back
More Romney in the front

Grey merino cross and NC kid mohair

The Never Ending Internet Fleece (NEIF)
(A post all its own at some point)

Satin Angora

Exotic fibers

Assorted dyed locks

The Dicentra collection and some Chasing Rainbows silk

Misc. prepared fibers

Chasing Rainbows silk and silk blend along with some silk caps from ?

Step 11
Recall again that husband knows about blog and wonder whether posting photos of your lack of self-control inventory was a wise choice. Convince self that husband can be persuaded that some fiber appeared in more than one photo, thereby giving the illusion that there is more than there really is. Silently wonder if that will really work. He’s pretty sharp, darn it, and you have done an excellent job over the years on educating him about fiber.

Plan instead to remind him that he now owns a sailboat and spent more in the first year of ownership than you did in your first five years of spinning and knitting. Hope he does not bring up the fact that you have now been spinning for over 13 years now and ask for a revised total. Actively regret reminding him the other day how much you have spent on spinning wheels during that homeowners insurance coverage review.

Step 12
Decide that stronger measures will likely be required in order to maintain some minimal semblance of control in the Madrona marketplace:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Return of the Yarn Mascot

Perhaps anyone but me could have seen this coming.

How could this:

Lovely singles

Turn into this?

Eeew! Unlovely yarn.

Definitely not the look I was going for. Yes, I knew it would barber-pole, but I didn’t anticipate the chartreuse totally dominating the plied yarn and changing the tones of the blue/green targhee so dramatically.

The chartreuse of the superwash, lovely on its own, turns into a sickly yellow when plied with the sweet grass targhee. The targhee plays its own part here with the blue, green, and purple taking on grim grey tones next to the now-yellow chartreuse. (ETA: the yarn actually looks better in this photograph than it does in person)

So, back to the drawing board, the yarn mascot will return to its place of honor at the wheel while it awaits a more suitable partner. I may just have to purchase something at Madrona after all.

Not too much knitting going on lately, but I did manage to finish a hat for a dear friend and co-worker undergoing chemo treatment.

Ribbed watch cap from Vogue Knitting Caps & Hats (pg. 75)
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in 'manly' green

I originally had selected a lovely denim blue for this hat but representative gender consultants indicated it not 'manly' enough. Who knew that simple yarn color had the power to bestow or remove masculinity? ::cough::

And here is the ‘after’ shot of my TNNA knitting:

Basic sock in Regia Bamboo (8 st/inch)
Exciting, I know but try to contain yourself...

When I flew in to San Diego on Friday before TNNA, I had just finished the ribbing. Sadly, considerable progress was made at the trade show Monday and I made it to just before the start of the heel flap (more experienced TNNA attendees did say it was much quieter than usual Sunday and Monday). The heel and gusset were completed at the airport and during the short flight to Seattle.

I’m planning to post again before I leave for Madrona on Wednesday evening. We’ll see how those good intentions play out!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm Baaaaack!

Wow, what a whirlwind weekend!

I got back home yesterday at around 1:30 am. I had planned on going in to work, but having only 4 hours of sleep on top of 3 days of sleep deprivation and an ongoing battle with the sickness that wouldn’t die made me reconsider.

The first time TNNA experience was interesting! I’ll post more details after I get all my orders packed and shipped and restore some sense of order to my office.

As yet another reminder that I have the best husband ever, these were waiting for me on the dining room table on my return:

And? The house was clean.

(though, in the interest of full disclosure, I will note here that Stephanie isn’t the only one who has a completely monogamous relationship with her washing machine!)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Death Warmed Over

(written 1/11/07 at 5 pm)

Don’t knock on Death’s door, ring the bell and run away.
He hates that.

Okay, so I wasn’t exactly on my death bed for the last few days, but I was on my very-very-very sick bed.

I did not get to the point of seeing all the dead relatives swirling around above me urging me to go into the light, but I was afraid that they might be lurking nearby. You know, maybe circling the block and just waiting for a reason to visit since they were, “in the neighborhood”.

I grew a bit concerned towards afternoon one day when I did see a bright light above me as I lay half-comatose on the sofa dozing to bad daytime television. Turns out it was only the sun. (Hey, it’s January in the Pacific Northwest and the sun is not a regular visitor – it’s a mistake anyone around here could make!)

I’m still not completely well. I’m in that limbo state where you feel a bit too recovered to continue to stay home, but not well enough to be really effectual at anything (besides exposing co-workers to your residual virus germs that is).

I cannot recall a time in recent memory when I was too sick to even sit limply in my computer chair and half-heartedly surf the internet for a few minutes.

As a result of the sickness, I am totally and completely unprepared for my TNNA trip. Normally by this point I would have multiple trip preparation lists. I would have pre-packed (and then re-packed). My trip knitting would be ready. I would be agonizing about the small, inconsequential things. I would not be sleeping. I would, in short, be an anxiety-riddled mess.

Instead, I’ve got nothing. In fact, as I type this, my suitcase awaits on the bed. Empty. The only bright spot is that I’ve been too exhausted to get all wound-up and anxious about the trip and flying. Did I mention I hate flying? I do. A lot. (and flying alone? Even worse.)

Better get busy.

** Actual fiber and spinning content on my return **

PS: Thanks to all of you for all the nice comments on my previous post. I owe you a reply but am a bit behind in my emailing. I got some ‘just in case’ antibiotics from my doctor and a sack full of pharmaceuticals for the trip because I have a rather unfortunate history of developing severe sinusitis from flying – even when not sick ahead of time.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Butt-Kicking Virus: 1, Denise:0

You know how after you’ve been sick for awhile and then you start to feel better? How even though you’re not ‘all the way’ better you feel really GREAT just because of the comparative difference to how not great you were feeling just recently?

That was me Saturday. I woke up yesterday feeling terrific. Got up and puttered at some chores and went to the gym to work out like we do every Saturday (well, almost every Saturday – we’re not saints).

I had an excellent workout at the gym and did 4 miles on the treadmill plus nautilus. It felt like the upcoming week held some promise for making significant progress on this:
At some point in the afternoon I started feeling a bit tired but just attributed it to the workout. However, by about 5:00 pm it was becoming clear to me that there might be another reason because I suddenly felt like I’d been hit by a really big bus.

Somewhere around 8:00 pm, knitting on this:

ribbed diagonal multi-directional scarf

K1-P1 rib diagonal multi-directional scarf
Took come concentration. This pattern is not exactly the nuclear rocket brain surgery (to paraphrase Manolo). Definitely not a good sign.

This morning I’m running a fever and feel worse than I did last week.

Oh, and filed under “Things that would have been good to know yesterday
Mr. CPA told me this morning that per his doctor, breaking a sweat when you have a virus can cause the virus to rebound. Has anybody else heard that? Not that it helps now but it could be useful for future reference.

Any other time would be bad enough, but I have less than 5 days to shake this off because on Friday morning I fly out to San Diego for the TNNA Winter Trade Show . I have to spend weekend manning a booth and I absolutely, positively cannot not be sick for this.

I'm ready to consider almost anything. Please send me your best tips for treating a bad virus so I don't have to resort to wearing the onion necklace!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

This post brought to you by the makers of OTC pharmaceuticals

I have succumbed to a yucky virus.

I suspect it was brought home by Mr. CPA since he is also sick (courtesy of a very dedicated, presenteeism-oriented co-worker at the Dept. of Health*).

Either that or common upper respiratory viruses (virii?) have mutated in a way that allows for person-computer-person transmission.
Because I’ve noticed that quite a few of the bloggers that I read on a regular basis have also been sick lately: like Vanessa , Stephanie , Kerry and Jessica.
(I’m sure were some others but my virus fogged brain refuses to assist me in retrieving that information)

I know that some of the time frames seem too distant to be related to my infection, but that could be due to the fact that I got a bit behind on my blog reading over the holidays, delaying my initial exposure. Or there may be a longer incubation period in this new mutated virus-transmission scenario. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Anyway, stay tuned for the heartwarming tale about ‘the pumpkin that time forgot’ and possibly some spinning and knitting content.

I’m sure the suspense will be killing you until then. Off to nap now.

(* Dept. of Health? I think not!)