Shameless Rip-off

(Random Wednesday idea shamelessly ripped off from MamaCate.)

1. The blog went silent as I had the mother of all colds. Not one of those namby-pamby little crappy colds that you just have to steel your backbone for, but instead the viral equivalent of “the perfect storm”. On Saturday I noticed a sneeze, by Sunday I was weeping into the Thanksgiving Day dinner, Monday I spent the entire day wishing that the thing would kill me. Put me out of my misery. I tried every herbal/homeopathic thing that I could get, then resorted to the big guns when I hadn’t been able to eat, drink or sleep for more than 24 hours. All hail Neo Citran Thin Strips. Bringer of sleep and 1/4 of a clear nasal passage. (You would be surprised how grateful you can be for 1/4 of a nasal passage). By yesterday it was clear that I would live, though it was too soon to tell if I was happy about that.

The marker for how sick I was is this : During this time of trial I neither drank coffee nor knit. When I told a friend that, she asked if I wanted to go to the ER. I replied “The ER is for people who want to live.”

2. Having accomplished the required number of days, Joe and I both now accept that we are, after having installed new wood floors in the living room/dining room/hall, never, ever (it has been 2 years) ever going to install the 1/4 round to finish the job. Jean the family carpenter has been coerced into coming to finish the job today…


something that thrilled me to death so completely that I thought about knitting Jean socks…until I got sick and now am pretty much homicidal about all of the sawing and the compression nailgun interfering with my frail little plan to lie on the chesterfield moaning weakly.

3. I used this and did this.


(Thanks Lucia. Nice rescue on the buttonholes.)

4. Since Rhinebeck is in a few days, we have the return of this.


I harbour no delusions about finishing on time, but feel that in keeping with my personality, I must try.

I now return to the chesterfield with a cup of tea, a poor attitude, my knitting and a fervent wish to be healed before tomorrow, when I will report for book signing duty (lots of copies of bookbookbook and bookbookbook II ) tomorrow at the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival here in Toronto. I’ll be there from 2-4, red nose and all.

81 thoughts on “Shameless Rip-off

  1. Oh gosh! Colds are no fun! Glad you are on the mend. I love the lovely blue sweater and wonder what it is knit of? Did you tell us already?
    Looking forward to Rhinebeck and seeing you there!

  2. Sorry about the cold Steph. I swear by Nyquil. Just be sitting or getting into bed when you take it because it will knock you out! I love Nyquil.
    Feel better. Chicken soup.

  3. I finally got your second book and read it through. The chapter on crochet made me laugh til I cried and then other chapters just made me cry. It’s a wonderful book. You’re on an amazing journey! I’ve told my non-knitting relatives in central New York that you’ll be at Creekside in Skaneateles and encouraged them to go, but I don’t think they understand.
    I’m so sorry that you’re feeling so lousy — hope you are better for the weekend and Rhinebeck.
    Best of luck — and please come back to the DC area sometime!

  4. UGH! Sounds like you had a horrible cold. Hope you feel better for your trip.
    I ordered bookbookbook II and it’s on the way! So looking forward to getting it ๐Ÿ™‚
    Take care of yourself!

  5. Wishing you Valrhona bittersweet, or maybe some Scharffenberger–it’s way better and more vegetarian than chicken soup anyway. Besides, when it’s over 70% cacao solids, it kills the staphylococcus germs in your mouth. You heard it right, dark chocolate staves off cavities, and it’s gotta be good for colds too, then. If nothing else it’ll certainly make you *feel* better.

  6. I feel for you and I, too, despise being sick so you are required to be all better by Creekside since I’m driving us there. I’m even emptying out my trunk for your yarn (or you, depending on germ count). Feel better!

  7. Steph, sorry to hear you’ve been so sick. And what timing! Isn’t it always the way. I hope you feel much better tomorrow (I’ll send the magic elves over in the night to make it all better), and that the signing goes well.
    Enjoy Rhinebeck!!

  8. So sorry you’ve been sick. Here’s something to cheer you – I bought a wheel. Yup, another spinner enters the fold.

  9. Poor Harlot. I hope you feel better quicker than I have. I’ve had the Demon Cold of Death for ONE FULL WEEK. I wanted to crawl into a ditch and die. Now I just want to crawl into a warm bed and sleep. 1/4 of a nasal passage would have been much appreciated last Fri-Sat-Sun. No cold meds I could find would cut it. Look for the matching red nose at Rhinebeck. That’ll be me. The sweaters look great, and Lucia is a genious as far as I’m concerned.

  10. Aw, Stephanie. You have to live–think of all the yarn that wants knitting! So much wool to buy, it would be a shame if you shuffled off this mortal coil so young and, tragically, in the prime of your knitting life. DO drink tea with honey, lemon and brandy (or whisky–or both!). It can actually help, and even if it doesn’t, it might help you not care so much. Feel better!! (And yes, I’m looking forward to meeting you–germs and all–at Rhinebeck.)

  11. Oh my, do feel better. I have been lucky to get a much milder version of the plague (knock wood), and I’m not happy at all.
    Thanks for being random with me–I always enjoy a good random blog post.
    See you soon, and hopefully we’ll both be upright.

  12. Feel better soon. Traveling while sick would be horrible.
    Maybe the internet is spreading the disease (joke), since everyone seems to be sick on the knitting blogs lately.

  13. Hot Toddies!! Gift from the Gods. One ounce of rye, fill cup with boiling water, little bit of honey or brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. butter. Sip, relax, and enjoy. Its a famous Winnipeg remedy.

  14. I heard a rumor that people who’ve had 2 books published in a twelvemonth aren’t expected to show up to wool festivals in new sweaters. Just wear some of the tourtourtour socks.

  15. Ooh, that da** virus made it all the way up there! So sorry you’ve been sick – wishing you a speedy (speedier?) recovery.
    BTW, the Daisy sweater for my little friend Ian has turned out beautifully. Thanks for a great pattern.

  16. Heh, I am knitting away as well, and I so KNOW that I won’t be wearing this Rogue this weekend, but in keeping with both our personality (disorders, ahem) I am still knitting, ignoring my family and watching the crap pile up around me. Fun times at the Blues!
    Feel better soon!

  17. Figures, when you can finally lie around and do anything you want with no guilt…you don’t feel up to doing anything. You know it’s bad when you don’t even want to knit. Glad your on the mend, feel better.

  18. The real sign of the degree of illness here is “did not want to knit.” I am not surprised a friend offered the emergency room!!! Those buttonhole instructions are splendid — Lucia has lots of other VERY useful devices linked to her blog.

  19. Reminds me of what we still refer to in our little family as the “Valentine’s Day Flu” of a few year’s ago. When TMK first came down with the symptoms, she called the nursing hot-line to see if they could diagnose what was wrong with her. The nurse asked one question, “Do you feel as if you just want to DIE?” TMK said, “Yes.” The nurse said, “You have the flu.” She was right.

  20. I swear by Buckleys for colds. I think how it works is that it scares the germs from you since they don’t want to taste that awfullness ever again. For those who have never had Buckleys just imagine the most vile tasting thing ever and multiply it by 10.
    It would take me 5 min with the spoon in front of me trying to work up the courage to take it.
    Hope you are feeling better for Rhinebeck this weekend. I agree with jpt just wear some tour socks and warm sweater already in your closet.
    See you Saturday.

  21. I hope you feel better!
    I’ve been watching the weather for Rhinebeck since it has done nothing but rain here for a week (ick). Right now it’s calling for a high of 63F and cloudy so if you DO get that sweater done it’ll be perfect weather for it ;o) Just sayin’

  22. So sorry the flu made it to you. I recognized it by the “want to die” theme. I hadn’t been that sick since a C-section followed numerous hours of labor. Funny how it all comes back to you…

  23. I just looked at my site meter statistics. I knew this blog was popular — for good reason– but I still I can’t believe how many people are visiting my site because of the link to the buttonhole calculator. Wow! I’m planning to copy the graphic at the end of the day to see how long the spike lasts.
    Thanks Stephanie!

  24. Juice. Lots of juice. Drink it until the thought of having to drink anymore makes you want to wretch. Then drink one more glass.

  25. I don’t have any excuse except that I have a mind like a colander…..but….what is the pattern of the shawl you are working on for Rhinebeck?
    I really hope you are feeling better. Whisky, lemon and honey (you can cut out the lemon and honey if desperate) will work wonders. My Father always said if you kept the germs happy they wern’t quite as annoying….

  26. “chesterfield”? Is that a Canadian thing or does this American just need to get out more … cuz … don’t know what that is. I’m guessing furniture. But I could be wrong!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Glad you’re gonna live!

  27. I guess it’s a good indication of your recuperation that you’re getting cranky at the carpenter guy. I just knew there was something wrong when you didn’t post for so long.
    Best home remedy–Tom Ka Gai (or Kai)–Thai Chicken Soup, but I’ve had a vegetarian version too. It’s got coconut milk, lemon grass, mushrooms and chile in it. Sounds gross, tastes great. Clears all the drippy/clogged passages like you wouldn’t believe. My in-laws also swear by tortilla soup (also very spicy). And of course, lots of sleep (yeah, like your kids will let you do that). ;o)
    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  28. Poor you. I’m sorry that you feel so utterly crappy. For you, being sick beyond the reach of knitting must really be bad.
    I FINALLY received my Amazon shipment yesterday, in which book2 came. It was wonderful & I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. I suspect that some of clients may be a bit peeved if their tax returns don’t get finished by the 10/17 deadline, but tough luck. You come first.

  29. Sorry about your cold. Here’s my two cents . . . I have been taking for a year, and for about 6 months requiring my whole family to take 1 tsp. or elderberry daily. I have not had a cold (except for the time when I didn’t take it because we were on summer vacation . . .bad idea as the first week of school, though it was still hot, brought cold germs). I’m a believer. Check out It comes in the form of wine too, which I like much better than the juice concentrate but it’s pricier and I can’t give it to the kids.

  30. “Don’ pester [her.] [S]he’s had a rough day.”
    While you’re identifying the quotation, possums, the curious can boogie over to the “Search” box fey Ken installed to make our lives a blessing and type in “garter vine.” Memory lane will unroll before you — the first days of touring, before the Harlot was hardened, drained and debilitated by our devotion sucking her immunological system dry.
    Stephele, the good news is that I have not one single cure to recommend. It’s all prevention, specifically getting your children through and out of school.
    And as to the garter vine sweater, I have every faith that you are finishing the sleeves and will then proceed to block the bejaysus out of those farty little fronts. Who’s the boss, there, anyway?

  31. I just got the bookbookbookII in the mail today. I was soooo happy. I am still in chapter one as I have been on the road ALL day. But I am enjoying it very very much. I am laughing as much if not more than I did with the bookbookbook. And everytime I go to pick it up, I just laugh really hard at the cute little sheep who is losing his wool backside first. Thanks for writing another one!

  32. Be glad you don’t have to get on a plane (yet). When you do have to, suck it up and take antihistamines – enough to make you crabby. But then again, maybe you want to be deaf as a board at Rhinebeck? I speak from experience (about the plane thing – not Rhinebeck).

  33. HURRAY, the return of the garter leaf sweater. But now I will have to face the hoards around you at Rhinebeck to get a look at it. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  34. No kntting or COFFEE?!? Gosh-you must have really been deathly ill. I admit I missed your blog and checked 2-3 times a day just in case it showed up. I was getting a teeny bit worried when it had been 4 days with no Harlot-now I know I should have trusted my instincts and REALLY been worried! Glad you’re getting better. Save all your recovering energy for your knitting. That’s what Chesterfield’s were designed for-sitting and knitting!

  35. I’m with Dixie! No Knitting or coffee for four days? Oh my GOSH! You were at death’s door. For me, it is knitting and reading. I go even one day without doing one or the other (or BOTH), I start worrying about my mental health. The coffee I can live without, but my tea… I get testy without a big cup of my favorite Winter White.
    Hey Steph, Can Jean come to my house and itstall the trim and quarter round in my kitchen? It has been nearly two years since the kitchen remodel and I am still waiting my dear hubby to do the trim. And now he wants to do the bathrooms!

  36. Chesterfield is a couch or a sofa. I think I must go find mine now…it’s probably under mountains of laundry I must fold before I can knit.

  37. I had one of those colds last month. Sometimes homeopathic and herbal remedies just aren’t doing the trick. For the first time in 20 years I bought commercial cough medecine. I had to stop coughing in order to sleep and I had to go to work (I only work parttime but there was nobody who could cover for me) and be able to talk on the phone. Lots of cough medecine and lots of water and lots of life savers got me through some really virus filled days. I hope you are truly recovered soon.

  38. Breathing is such an underrated activity, quite taken for granted.
    BookbookbookII made me cry. Good job! Excellent writing. I love that little sheepie, too.

  39. This cold sound like the evil work of the Weenie! Designed to stop you from knitting and save all future flights from the horrors of the DPN! Don’t let him win Steph! Get better and let this be a lesson to all future germ carrying Weenies to stay off your flights!
    *grin* couldn’t resist. Get better soon my dear.

  40. Poor thing! Don’t forget Puffs makes one with aloe for your sore nose.
    My sis and I have a copy of bookbookbook II and she reads me a chapter each night when I come home from work. The chuckle I get makes even a bad day all better.
    Thanks! — Sam

  41. Poor Steph. The Cold From Hell sounds rotten. I agree with Diane, Tom Ka Gai (vegetarian version) is fabulous: spicy, hot, soothing, delicious. And Hot Toddies sound good, too.
    Another cure to try: the St. Mark’s (Berkeley) choir cold cure. You put 5 drops of echinacea extract, 5 drops garlic extract (Kaolic) and 5 drops of cayenne extract in a cup of hot water and drink. Tastes like a thin soup. Repeat every hour.
    St. Mark’s choir director had the flu once and had to play organ at Davies Hall in San Francisco, but felt at death’s door. Took the “cure” and played, but complained that it was *too* spicy. He’d used 5 *droppers-full* of each. Yikes! But it worked!!

  42. I am so sorry that you feel like crap. Zinc lozenges always help me. Nyquil makes my bones itch. Bad. I’m happy you’re blogging again though. I’m pretty new to your blog and have been going through the archives. I’m in October of last year. I also have to say that I have been infected by your Harlot ways. I am in the middle of two projects, and got the desire to learn how to knit socks. Toe up. With gorgeous Koigu. I have no business doing this. I can’t wait to see you in Rhinebeck!

  43. Aw, I’m sorry to hear that you were sick. I’d send you tea to help you feel better, but you already do. ๐Ÿ™‚ (That and I wouldn’t know where to send it, but that’s just details.)
    I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday!

  44. poor baby – hope you feel better soon (and so happy to see the cardi was saved).
    You may not know it but its been raining pretty much non-stop here in NY (Long Island at least) since Saturday. Let’s hope it stops by this Saturday. I’m going to now for a Rhinebeck check. Keeping fingers crossed.

  45. Oh Yeah, and I’m voting for the Scharffenbarger. I’m going to San Francisci at the end of the month, and you can bet I am making a trip to The Ferry Building for a 5# box of 70% bittersweet Scharffenbarger. Essential for my Satanic Brownie recipe. I knew that bittersweet chocolate could make you young, but fights cavities, too?? Great. Now if it didn’t make my arse wider……..

  46. I feel almost guilty; while I have been celebrating my birthday for close to a week (nothing like milking it for all its worth), you have been truly suffering! I sure hope you recover quickly with your book tour looming.

  47. Poor thing! Feel better soon! (Atleast you can admire your gorgeous wood floors from the chesterfield hopefully!)

  48. Okay this is scarry! But 3 years ago in July my husband installed wood floors in kitchen and our great room….. this past August he finally put down the quarter round & painted it just last month — we are still missing the finished edge pieces around the fireplace!
    I so get where you are coming from

  49. First time poster, long time laugher…
    Hope the sniffles are banished by tomorrow! No one should be subjected to a pounding head and construction at the same time (I know whereof I speak!).
    A bit of confusion on my end though – both my pamphlet and their website have you appearing at 1:15 tomorrow. The website looks exactly like a digital version of the pamphlet, which I received in August, so they both may be outdated… but I’ll be waiting in any case! Have a blast! (And I will disavow any red nose…)

  50. Aww, poor Stephanie! I hope you’ll get well soon.
    If you have had the great-grandmother of all colds, then I’ve been suffering from the annoying second cousin for three weeks or so. I’m not feeling terribly sick, but when I try to talk for a while I lose my voice. Not that I’d have anything really important to say anyway… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  51. poor harlot! you need an electric blanket and a bottle of whiskey — sure to cure what ails. maybe you and Joe can cuddle up together with the whiskey — cure your sick and help him grieve for Mike…

  52. Love the blog, love bookI (still reading it, it is kept in project bag for those moments between knitting!), look forward to getting bookII (on xmas list), will be attempting Snowdrop shawl for my pregnant sister soon and I wish you a speedy recovery !

  53. Stinking rotten cold. You have a chesterfield to lounge upon! Noice!
    I would suggest Screech will drown what ails you but I think it would not go down well with all the other drugs you are being offered…

  54. Bummer that you are at the show today…. I’m going tomorrow! ๐Ÿ™ I could of easily found you with your nose acting as a beacon!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m just hoping that the wool farm from someplace up north of TO (can never remember names) is there again. I picked up the most fabulous wool & roving last time… The wool had a high lanolin content and was so easy to knit with. I want to buy a sack full this year!!

  55. Bummer about the Martian Death Flu. I just got back from my honeymoon in the northwest and seem to have brought it home with me. Most of my conversations with the new hubby for the first week back consisted of me begging him to hit me in the head with a rock if he -really- loved me, in fact. So I empathize.
    Also, BookBookBook II is fabulous. Got it whilst sick and have already prodded a few friends into getting it. Made me laugh, made me cry, all that good stuff. You rule.

  56. Sorry that I am that you were sick, I am glad that my lack of your blog to read made me go through some of the atchives. There I found the WONDERFUL hint for dyeing roving without it falling apart (we call it top over here in South Africa) – stuff it in pantyhose. Not being a pantyhose wearer I rushed to the kitchen cupboard to dismember a nice new scrunchy bath thingy. IT WILL WORK! Now to wait for a day off with temperatures up in the 30s (I should get both in December) to do some dyeing in the sun.
    Hope you feel better and thanks for the “DUH” moment – it’s just SO OBVIOUS now I think about it.

  57. I hope you’re feeling much better for Rhinebeck. For future reference. I keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse. Everytime I’m in a public place the first thing I do when I get back in the car is use the sanitizer. It has greatly reduced the number of nasty viruses that take up residence in my body.

  58. I raise my cup of Chinese Flower Green Tea to you oh sick one.
    I am sure that as my family does when I am ill they waited on you hand and foot. Joe with a massage, the girls with a clean kitchen and clean laundry and of course the family pitching in on healthy vitamin enriched meals. OH CRAP WAIT, nevermind, I was dreaming………………Sorry.

  59. Feel better, Stephanie…especially since Rhinebeck is coming up! Hope you have safe travels, lots of coffee ‘n’ screech to go, and good fun with some crazy knitters! (P.S. Can’t wait to get my mitts on a copy of the new bookbookbook!)

  60. Stephanie, I’ve been waiting for you to get sick — even positive stress is stress, and your tour has been going on for an awfully long time. We all need to let you stay home. If you were too sick to drink coffee — well, I know how sick that is. Yikes! Take it easy — the holiday whose name we do not speak is rapidly approaching. . .

  61. so sorry to see that you have been so ill, speedy recovery to you. i can’t recomend anything for you to try that has not already been recomended…other than having warm fuzzy and soft things aroung you for comfort in your recovery..something in silk and or alpaca maybe….get well soon.

  62. I had a horrible cold this weekend, too! I also asked God to “just take me now”, but I’m still here. I knit my way through it, and finished a scarf.
    I don’t like to take any cold medecine at all, except for Vicks vapo-rub and herbal teas, but I finally had to go out and get some Niquil just to get some sleep.
    Glad to hear you are feeling better!

  63. Hi Steph… sorry to hear you’re sick. I picked up a minor cold while visiting a houseful of relatives (8 kids!!) in Vermont this past weekend. Hopefully we will both recover quickly. You certainly have a busy weekend ahead of you!
    I will see you on Monday in Skaneateles… feel better! ๐Ÿ™‚
    BTW, the garter vine sweater is looking lovely.

  64. Glad to hear you’re feeling better! Your sweater ambition is beautiful~I know the feeling of pushing till the end myself, having just picked something up out of the basket to finish for this weekend. We shall see.

  65. best cure for a cold/flu? hot and sour soup for dinner (natural decongestant and yummy to boot) and a finger of single malt scotch before bed (relaxes you and kills the germs! at least that’s my theory and i’m sticking to it).
    be well!

  66. You poor thing, so sorry to hear of your illness. I think “colds” are sometimes more awful than a dreaded disease! Do feel better soon, and many “get well” blessings to you. Remember… you have earned the priveledge to whine, nap freely, be unladylike and to be waited on hand and foot. You’re sick…. don’t forget that, use it for all you can!
    Also.. if its not too much trouble…
    Pardon my American ignorance….but… What’s a Chesterfield?

Comments are closed.