Monday, December 10, 2007

Knitting When I Oughtn't To

Or, how knitting leads to the flu, and the flu leads to knitting.

This year, wanting to spare myself some pressure, I intentionally set no holiday knitting goals. Oh, if something I was knitting happened to be not for myself but for a loved one, and if it happened to get done around the holiday season, I certainly wouldn't quibble with that. I'd be happy to wrap it up, put a big bow on top, and pat myself on the back.

What I did not want to do is to set unrealistic goals, spend time knitting to a deadline, and get behind on all of the other wonderful but time-consuming things that need to be done to get ready for the holidays. This is a season I truly enjoy, but have, all too often, had to rush to the finish. But maybe this would be the year that I didn't have to stay up until 3AM to get the last of the gifts wrapped in time for Christmas.

Well, goals or no goals, it looks like I've let the knitting get out of control. I've been knitting when I oughtn't to. I've been knitting when I should have been (shopping, wrapping, decorating, tree-trimming, baking, ....) So I'm behind. At times, I've been knitting when I should have been sleeping. Well, for heaven's sake, why? Maybe it's just that a knitting project looks so inviting sitting conveniently by a comfortable chair. It's so easy to pick it up whenever there's a spare moment to be filled. And so hard to put it down. And then there's my stubborn streak. When I'm having a problem with a project, I'm just determined to get it right. If that means knitting and re-knitting and re-knitting, then I'll keep at it, even knowing I'm spending time out of all reason.

Have I learned anything? Well, yes. (1) I can't spend all this time with the knitting needles and not expect some consequences. Christmas is rushing up awfully fast, and I'm behind on all the things I love about it. (2) I can't knit late into the night in flu season with fevers and coughs running rampant among my co-workers and not expect some consequences. Yes, I came down with the flu this weekend and have had to spend the last few days nursing a high fever instead of puttering around with the Christmas decorations singing carols under my breath. Ever had the kind of fever that makes your head ache when you cough? The kind that makes every joint feel arthritic? The kind that makes it hurt to move your eyes? Me, too.

So, when down with the flu, one needs some quiet undemanding things to pass the time between naps. Like books. ... And knitting. That's the bright side, I suppose; I've had time to make some good progress on the knitting. The Victorian Lace Today striped border scarf is coming along nicely. I may or may not be finished with the main body and ready to start on the second, knitted-on border. I've done as many repeats as the pattern calls for, but since I went down a couple of needle sizes, it's not as long. So the question is, when to stop? The original pattern is a 60-inch scarf, after blocking. I'm not sure this one needs to be that long; that sounds like kind of a long, floaty-ended affair. It might be nice to keep it to more of a trim, tidy, wrap-and-tuck-into-your-coat kind of scarf. And, of course, I don't know how much length the blocking process will add. Maybe I should just let that sort itself out in the back of my head for a while. That might allow me, once the fever abates, to concentrate on making it begin to look a bit more like Christmas around here.

When I called in sick this morning, our wonderful secretary asked if she should check to see if there were any meetings that needed to be cancelled. Oh yes, great idea. She read me the first thing listed on my schedule. "Call about flu shot." Ha!


Mary said...

I'm sorry you're sick -- that's miserable, isn't it?

Rx: Sleep. Ibuprofen. Sleep. Vitamin C. Sleep. Chicken soup. Sleep. Knitting. Sleep.

Please excuse me while I go wash my hands.

Seriously, though -- I hope you feel better soon.


Knittin' Diva said...

I'm so sorry to hear you are ill
:-( A little fiber therapy is always good for the soul though, especially if it's a pattern coming from Victorian Lace Today (I just love that book!). Warm thoughts for a speedy recovery!