Reprising My Role

I made it. I won’t say that flying with a head cold was fun, or pretty, but it’s over and that’s that. I drank tons of fluid and went with a high powered decongestant and while there was absolutely an uncomfortable element (especially on decent) it wasn’t the nightmare I had imagined. The drugs had the primary effect of making me feel high as a freakin’ kite, but the secondary effect of keeping the sneezing and coughing down so that I don’t believe that I passed it along to anyone on route. (The guy next to me on the plane was leaned so far away from me into the aisle that he almost took a drink cart to the back of the head. I helped him by leaning into the window. Poor guy. I must have looked like typhoid Mary.) I credit drinking as much water and juice as I could with being the biggest help…I was practically sloshing, but I felt a thousand times better once I was seriously well hydrated.

Juno picked me up at the airport, which is good, since I think I was way too stoned on the cold stuff to have found her house otherwise. I’m considering it a personal triumph that I found the door to the aircraft. I know I must have been looking just fantastic, since pretty much all she said to me on the ride was “poor baby” and “you’re a little pathetic”. Pathetic indeed, since I rolled just about straight into bed and woke up this morning still ill, but better. I know now that I will live, and I must be feeling better, since today, I’m okay with that.

I’ve been ensconced on her couch today, with pillows and a big blankie, drinking juice and water and eating oatmeal and apples, napping and knitting. If a day like this can’t brace me for this evenings gig at Borders in New Jersey, and a Rhinebeck weekend I don’t know what can.

The Sunrise Circle Jacket is looking really good. (Although I have managed to take a picture that in no way conveys it’s charms.)


The first sleeve is done, and I started the slightly tricky business of adding the front circle stitches at the same time as I start decreasing away the sleeve stitches. I started that part last night on the plane, but the cold drugs took their toll on my ability to count and I can’t tell you of the multiple things I discovered wrong with it this morning when I was clean and sober. I ripped back the few rows I knit while I was out of it and took another run. Miraculously, when you aren’t so stoned you can hardly see, the complexity of counting to five is increased remarkably. I’ve put the stitches for the front onto a circular needle I found on Juno’s desk so you can see the odd shape it makes as it forms. Unbelievably, that small half circle ends up being the front of the jacket.


Now, if you’ll forgive me, I’m off to start getting ready to leave. Given that that the cold stuff whacked me out so badly I couldn’t knit straight, I don’t think that it’s a good idea to take it before a speaking engagement. (I know there are those among you who would like me to take it just for the entertainment value it would provide you…but you’ll have to trust me, last night the border guard had to ask me for my passport three times before I connected that he was speaking to me, even though I had walked up to the wicket. Not a good thing. Way too stupid.)

While I feel quite a bit better today, I am well aware that I look dreadful. Any woman who looked the way that I do today would have the good sense to lock herself in a closet rather than go out anywhere, but today doesn’t have that option. I will therefore be drug free, red nosed, slightly sneezey and attempting to reprise my continuing and accidental role as the worlds least attractive woman. Sniff. Good thing I have practice, or I might even feel badly about it.

85 thoughts on “Reprising My Role

  1. I think the picture fully captures how lovely the reward yarn is working up to be. Hope you’re feeling better tomorrow. I think the last time I flew with a bad head cold, I threw up. Something about my equilibrium being totally off. I opted not to mention this yesterday, but now that you’ve survived the flight, I feel that it’s okay to throw it out there.

  2. I can’t get over how quickly you knit, even when stoned on cold medicine. I’m glad you’re feeling somewhat better, and hope you’re 100% by tomorrow.

  3. Mmmmmm, that yarn is gorgeous!!! The FO will be stunning! Glad you made it through your plane trip with your eardrums intact.

  4. I’m glad you made it. We are looking forward to seeing you and very glad we are not “New Jersey, the state that killed the harlot”.

  5. Pretty, pretty yarn…
    I’ still voiceless, and highly drugged up with Advil Cold and Sinus.
    Enjoy Rhinebeck – Susan and I are coming next year…

  6. I’ve had my fun experiences with customs, too.
    I tend to get horribly motion sick on planes, to the point where people around me take one look at me and start collecting barf bags (not that I’ve had to use them).
    I find that nothing gets you through customs quite as quickly as being a lovely shade of green and clutching a barf bag tightly.
    Have fun this weekend!

  7. Glad to hear that you made it fine. I hope that one of your friends is driving you to Rhinebeck!

  8. Mostly I am impressed that you are willing to go out and do your thing, as sick and icky as you feel. You don’t want to disappoint all those nice knitters, and I know for sure that they appreciate it oh so much. I am sure we knitters would do the same for you, too.

  9. I’m sure you’ll survive and just think when you’re done speaking you can curl back up on the couch with some hot tea and your knitting. Ahh.
    Wish I could do that.

  10. Even though I live in NY (50 miles n of NYC) I too have a cold that sounds exactly like yours. (But am too afraid to take drugs, I always get a sinus infection!) Even drug free I am ripping out things I knitted last night. And I thought love made one stupid. Wish I could commiserate with you in person at Rhinebeck, but we are moving and the tag sale to end all tag sales is this weekend.
    Feel better, have fun, see you next year.

  11. I am glad you are feeling better. I guess you’re used to speaking in public but me, I’d rather be doing it on drugs than sober.

  12. For some reason a beer always makes me feel better when I am sick and not taking cold meds. My theory is the alcohol in the beer kills the cold germies when they meet in my blood stream.

  13. How selfless you are to “knitter up” for your adoring faithful. :)) Virtual hugs to you, while I wait to see what sales stampede you will unleash after you hit the fiber booths tomorrow. (Grafton Batts anyone?)

  14. Sometimes it helps to apply the Theory of Comparative Misery:
    At least it’s not the stomach flu.

  15. A beer after the talk should go well with the cold meds that you can take after the talk…. well, maybe not. Maybe just the beer would be good. Then a good night’s sleep and some therapeutic fiber applications the next day. Have fun despite the cold, get better soon.

  16. Here, here, let me go whip you up a red bamboo-yarn nose cozy so the Rudolph look can at least be knitted. Or from that new SWTC chitin yarn, so it’ll kill off the germs.

  17. Hi Steph,
    I am contunually amazed and heartened by your sense of humor in the face of many obstacles — a bad cold and looking like rudolph on drugs being right up there. The weather report is for drier and warmer as the weekend progresses. I hope the Kauni cardigan is helping to keep your body temps up. Namaste, Susan, who is so looking forward to Sunday.

  18. Good luck Steph! And you know, the wonderful thing is, all those people you’ll be speaking to are knitters, and so they won’t care how you look or sound, or if you’re sneezy. They’ll adore you anyways. =)
    Oh how I wish I could be at Rhinebeck…sigh…

  19. I am two hours from your talk tonight in South Jersey, and will be at Rhinebeck tomorrow, but NOT on Sunday, and will miss you by one day…
    I just can’t win for losing can I…..
    Hope the talk goes well, and you can feel better very quickly!!!

  20. oooh, no need to kick yourself when you are down. it won’t help you get better and it’s just not true. you are a cutie-pie, and i think i can represent the vast majority of commenters when i say – we all think so!

  21. Cut that out …. I think you’re adorable, and I’m not even inclined toward women. Especially when I heard your deep, throaty voice on one of the random videos that show’s you knitting fast … really, fast. I know lots of women I could nominate for ‘least attractive ever’ (Ann Coulter, not least among them). You’re not even in the running, even with a red, shiny nose.

  22. Ahh yes….cold medecine stoned-ness. I am well aware of it. I usually don’t take any meds for anything…so much so that even Tylenol leaves me feeling a bit out of sorts. I can totally sympathize with you. Good luck tonight! And I hope you get all better soon πŸ™‚

  23. When you mentioned the sneezing, it made me wonder if you’re suffering from allergies rather than a cold. It took me 30 years of annual like-clockwork “colds” so predictable in their duration that I could tell you when they would end before someone suggested it might be allergies. Once I started treating the onset of such “colds” with allergy medicine instead of cold medicine, I never developed the “cold.”
    It’s now been several years since I had such suffering. When I feel it starting, I pop a single Claritin each day for three days — the predictable duration for me — and it never materializes.
    I know some colds truly are colds, but I am so amazed by my newfound health that I feel obligated to raise the possibility for others to consider.
    Meanwhile, I hope you feel better!

  24. I recommend Burt’s Bees Hand Salve for your red nose. I put it on as often as possible (and especially overnight/during naps) during the worst parts of a cold, and it totally eliminates the red and significantly reduces the amount of time it takes for the dryness and flakyness to go away once you no longer need a box of tissues at hand every second.
    Make sure it’s the hand salve and not the lip balm, though. The lip balm is pepperminty and boy does it sting when applied to the nose.

  25. Poor baby… but I know you’ll be speaking to Donna Lee and her fabulous daughters out there in NJ, and she will love you even if your head explodes. (Seriously–Donna Lee, Em, Rae, Kim–you’ve got some great knitters there–it will rock out loud, just in terms of good will and great karma…)
    Get better.

  26. I knit the Sunrise Circle jacket earlier this year and it is one of my favorite projects. It was so much fun to see the fronts of the jacket develop and then fit everything together for seaming. I am a little jealous, however, of how quickly you knit, even while under the influence!

  27. Cold, only half drugged, alternately sleeping & knitting on UFO’s in my beeeg chair, kitty at hand (and lap).
    Boy can I relate! Hope you’re feeling waaay better soon.

  28. It was definitely the right choice to wash that yarn first, wasn’t it? When I saw the washed vs unwashed swatches the other day, I was a bit unthrilled (it looked kinda felted), but now the stitch definition is so much better! I’m all about the stitch definition.
    Feel better soon, and please blog as much as you can of Rhinebeck. Some of us live on the other side of the planet, and need vicarious Yarn Festival satisfaction.

  29. You know, I had to look up wicket. I clearly knew “what” you were talking about, but I’ve never heard that term used for it before. And wikipedia’s entry was lacking, I had to search for the “right” wicket entry. But alas, I am from the US, so I imagine it is either a Canadian term or another Global term that I’ve missed. Thanks for the education.
    I love the little speckles of red, yellow and green in that yarn. Can’t wait to see the FO. πŸ™‚

  30. Gosh, you knit fast – even when you’re under the weather! i couldn’t knit like that if I was on speed, never mind cold meds!
    So glad to hear you are over the worst…hope you feel 100% for Good Times at Rhinebeck!

  31. Hey, I was just about to start that circle jacket too, and noticed the gauge is actually 18.5 for 4”, is that going to mess you up? I think you said 18 was the gauge you are looking for. Hope to bump into you at Rhinebeck!

  32. Re: “my continuing and accidental role as the worlds least attractive woman.” Good heavens, dear, do you not know you’re gorgeous? (Except when you use hand lotion on your hair, but that’s a different topic.) You always feel like you look much worse than you actually do when you have a cold. (I usually don’t detect it until someone speaks to me and I can hear that they are congested.) You look fabulous, dahling! Enjoy Rhinebeck!

  33. Counting to 5. That must be why I don’t do as much cross-stitch anymore. I had to keep telling people that it wasn’t hard and that anyone who could count to 10 could do it. Apparently 10 is too high a learning curve.
    Have a great weekend!

  34. As a former Jersey girl, I can tell you nobody will notice anything wrong with you. Everybody in New Jersey is sick this time of year. Besides, you’re lovely no matter what, don’cha know!?!

  35. I truly wish I knew where Rhinebeck is. Maybe next year I could drive there? It sounds wonderful, and I won’t be there.:(

  36. I adore the Yarn Harlot in all things…except…it’s = it is or it has. “Its” is the possessive.
    Yes, I am anal.

  37. As I have allergies and asthma, I have also flown with a completely clogged up head and experienced the “uncomfortable element”. (I kept telling myself that in this day and age you can’t start screaming on a plane as the capillaries burst in your sinuses–it was more “excrutiating” than “uncomfortable” for me–perhaps you have a higher pain tolerance??) Four Advil (all at once) work great for this–I take them whenever I fly now! I just can’t believe how fast you knit–did you post how many stitches you do a minute on socks?

  38. Feel better soon. And have fun tonight! Just try not to sneeze at the microphone…I’d hate to hear on the news about 350 temporarily deaf knitters wandering the Jersey streets. πŸ™‚

  39. “Miraculously, when you aren’t so stoned you can hardly see, the complexity of counting to five is increased remarkably.” Sheer poetry! You are awesome, stoned on cold medicine or sober!

  40. Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea! This has saved my sorry ass so many times, when I thought, or did come down with a cold. Shortens, the length, or stops it in it’s sorry track!

  41. Your knitting speed is simply amazing. I love the jacket. You’re awesome! Feel better. The wool fumes might help.

  42. Wow, you are really tempting me with that reward yarn. I think it might just have to be my “I can’t go to Rhinebeck, but I still want new yarn” yarn.

  43. Poor Steph! I’m glad you’re feeling better, albeit marginally. I’m sure you going to knock ’em dead tonight, even though it feels like you’ll end up that way yourself. Tomorrow will be much, much better…you’ll be around tons of wool!

  44. It’s too bad you couldn’t just have a hot brandy cocktail. You know, a spot of brandy, hot water, a little lemon juice, a little butter and some honey. You’d be as right as rain. Perhaps dehydrated, but right as rain.
    I love the sunrise circle jacket!!

  45. Drug-free cold remedies for flying:
    Might I recommend my favorite way to clear the sinuses- wasabi, jalapeno peppers, chinese mustard, or any other really spicy thing. Eat something with spice before getting on the plane, and you’re home free (as long as you have tissues).

  46. To sooth and heal a sore nose, I recommend lots of Neosporin or A & D ointment. Hey, if it’s red, it might as well be shiny!
    Uh, I’m not so sure I should have written that.

  47. Hope you feel better soon! At least the sun is up earlier and down later a little farther south than if you were back in Toronto. Drink in that vitamin D!

  48. it makes me sad to hear someone who is so witty, life-loving, talented and giving to diminsh themselves with a remark like “world’s most unattractive woman”… even though we do all feel that way sometimes! just know you are beautiful to us out here in blog-land, just as i imagine you are to those who have the pleasure of knowing you in “real” land!
    and i so so wish i could go to rhinebeck this weekend πŸ™
    i eagerly await your post about it…

  49. Just a quick smack in the head for you. You could be running rivers of snot down the front of your shirt, be bleary eyed, stoned to the rafters and incoherent and all your fans would still love you. We might be amused, but we would love you.
    World’s most unattractive woman, my arse. *smack*

  50. Just in case you don’t find the perfect buttons for your Kauni cardigan before Rhinebeck, consider the dichroic ones I found at the Shelia Ernst/glass buttons site – NAYY, other than those are the ones I bought for my Kauni sweater. Not to worry; folks won’t get us confused as I’m knitting a different st patt. πŸ˜‰

  51. It is amazing how hard all that counting with knitting can be – sometimes makes be feel like I had alot more trouble with math than I did.
    Glad you made it-definitely unpleasant flying with a cold. I am sure it will be worth it – looking forward to the pics

  52. Feel better.
    I’ve had one martini this evening and I know better than to even think about my knitting. Dang! The hockey game sucks too. I love to knit and watch hockey. What to do, what to do?

  53. Most most sadly I can’t come to Rhinebeck this year. Sigh. I’m so sorry I’ll miss you and your Kauni sweater. But Steph, enough already. You’re beautiful – we should all be so lucky. And you do it all without artifice and slavery to the idiocies of current fashion. I think what inspires so many of us out here in the knitting universe and has us so devotedly following your adventures is not your awesome knitting talents or your skill at turning a gut-busting phrase but your simple honesty of self. Best wishes for a good time in NJ, a speedy recovery, and an AWESOME New York S&W. As a NYer I am proud to live in the state that hosts “Rhinebeck.”

  54. Enjoying your blog. I’m traveling. If your travel schedule were updated, I might be able to find you.
    Blankie, juice and yarn a healing combination.

  55. I had a great time at Borders tonight. Thanks again for coming even though you’re not feeling well. I forgot that I wanted to thank you for telling us about the Mystery Stole before sign-ups closed. It was awesome. It seems I usually find out about the coolest things after they’re over.

  56. Yep, you’re over the worst if you no longer wish devoutly for death. Just think of what a good excuse you’ll have for falling down! “Gee, I was stoned out of my skull, I don’t *remember* buying 3 fleeces and enough yarn for 5 sweaters!”
    May you have made it safely through the talk (look, schmook, we love you enough you’d probably have been mothered to death if people had had the chance); I hope you are currently cuddled up nice and warm with Juno hovering at hand (hmm, just think; sick with no interruptions of, “Moooom!”); and may wool fumes, shopping, whacks of knitters and drugs let you enjoy the weekend! Just think; even if you do sneeze a little, the reaction would probably be, “Get her autograph? I caught her *cold*, I was that close!”
    Or maybe not. πŸ˜‰

  57. I’m sorry your ill:( There’s nothing worse than trying to work *and* fight a cold. The jacket looks great so far though:)

  58. Stephanie! Lovely to meet you in NJ this evening.
    I was definitely carrying too much crap, as when I scooped it all up with my books, I scooped up the wee bag with the Australian dishcloth in it! (Just discovered it now in my big Borders bag o’ books. Bugger!)
    Please do email me a mailing address, and I will send it on to you.

  59. World’s most unattractive woman? I think not.
    Get Juno to make that leek soup. It works. Another good treament for a bad cold is to set up a humidifier in a yarn shop, put a towel over your head and deeply inhale the wool fumes.

  60. Other than the sneezing and sniffling part, the day on the couch does sound pretty nice. I swear by nasal spray decongestant when I need to breath and be coherent at the same time while sick. Sure hope you feel slightly more human tomorrow and can enjoy Rhinebeck.

  61. Steph! You are not unattractive. Because if you are, well – I am, too. We share the same untameable hair. And you are way skinnier than I will ever be. Makes you look like a pixie. In a good way! Plus, I’m pretty sure a woman always things she looks worse than she really does. Trust me on this. πŸ™‚

  62. Sorry about the cold (however-Canada+fall=colds) Anyhow, what with fall and squirrels and such-I came across this pattern- and I thought you might want to make them, except with the large red circle with a slash through it-it may deter the little buggers when you are out with your wool!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Landing or taking off in a plane with head congestion……Oh! I have been there. And I don’t even need a cold to make it an adventure. Isn’t that icepick in the ear feeling just so fun!!

  64. In the same vein, I would not recommend that one plan any thoughtful knitting immediately after major surgery. You can guess how I know. I’d say it takes three days after a general anesthetic to get your head back on straight.

  65. You are knitting and giving speeches while you are so sick?!
    I don’t know whether to admire you, pity or scold you.
    But you’re an adult so I’ll admire you. Man, I pretty much roll over on a day I feel the way you’ve described.
    btw – you are way too hard on yourself – even though it is with good humour. {referring to your title} You do not even come close to that description Stephanie!

  66. The safety boots side of me wants to seriously scold you for flying and rushing around so much when you’re ill!!!! *accusing stare at my copy of Meditations* Having driven myself into pneumonia from not stopping *harder stare at my copy of Yarn Harlot* – you know you should have rested…
    Unlesss….. My precioussssss… its some sort of evil plan you hatched to infect everyone with coldses so they cant buy yarn (except online!!) and theres more left for Meeeeeee (er.. you!)
    The Crochet side – And crochet is NOT evil – *another accusing stare at the books looking innocent on my desk* would be so disappointed if you had to cancel your Australian trip (hint hint hint) because of a flu….
    Get better – Liquorice Root and natural Marshmellow help!

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