Settle Down Now

It would seem, my friends, that I have once again developed a case of RMT (Reverse Midas Touch) in which everything I touch turns to …well. Insert your personal opposite of virtual gold here.  Decisions thought made have come unmade, everybody seems to be changing their minds on things, the oven light burned out* (actually, about nine lightbulbs in the whole house burned out all at once – it was like a movie where a demon moves in) all our things with batteries are dead, the washing machine smells funny, this morning my computer took leave of its senses and forgot its password for the mail system (really? REALLY?) the thing we did to the roof to try and fix the ice problem really, really didn’t work, the cat doesn’t seem quite right, I can’t find any of my subway tokens, my bank card stopped working (stupid chip) and I’ve had to show a remarkable amount of personal flexibility to cope with it all, which is not exactly my strong suit. (By “not my strong suit” I mean that I’m about as good at is as worms are at the hand jive.) Case in point, my computer froze about five minutes ago and ate the entire big post I had written.  I am spending a rather ridiculous amount of energy on not going completely bananas and I have responded to this in characteristic fashion.

boldattempt 2015-02-03

I’ve resumed knitting Fox Paws.  If there was ever a knit that could give me a sense of order out of chaos, this is it. I can’t explain why fussy knitting would fix things being too fussy, but such are the mysteries of the craft. I’m going to keep knitting on it until I stop feeling like I’d be a danger to others if I put it down.

*It really isn’t a tragedy that the oven light burned out, but how trippy is it that I’m 46 years old, have cooked a lot my whole life, and that’s the first time it’s ever happened. I actually had to look up how to change it. I swear I’d never even considered the possibility that they burned out.

177 thoughts on “Settle Down Now

    • It’ll go out of retrograde in a little over a week, February 11th. Hang on till then! (It’s supposed to be a good time for planning and reflection, rather than action.)

      • Mercury is really in retrograde? I always thought that was just something you said, like, “Murphy’s Law.”

        Fox paws is unreal – hard to believe its knitted, not some woven tapestry. I can see how it would occupy all your brain cells.

        • Oh, no. It’s real. It’s very, very real. And this MRx is probably one of the nastiest ones I’ve experienced. Tempers are hot, people are incredibly inflexible, and it’s just a (forgive the phrase) Mexican Standoff with every situation, at least in my life. Lots of rounds of “do this now”, “sorry, can’t”, “well, do it anyway because I say so”. People are IMPOSSIBLE.

          And yes, all of those things mentioned in Steph’s post are MRx things. Except the cat. I can’t explain what’s up with the cat. Could just be that it’s a cat.

          • Mercury really isn’t “in retrograde” — it just looks that way because of the relative position of that planet in its orbit around the sun to our view of it. It LOOKS like it’s moving backward, but it really isn’t. So soldier on Ms. Pearl-McPhee — there are no supernatural issues here, merely coincidence. (As in dumb s**t all happening at once.)

    • Exactly what I was thinking, when you must force your mind to concentrate on one thing, it tends to put aside the other 994.5. Fox paws is so beautiful.

  1. Welcome to February, the month when my life usually turns to worms. At least it’s the shortest month and this year’s not Leap Year.

    Fox Paws is beautiful.

  2. You may just want to change the bulb in the fridge before it goes too. Those appliances talk, ya’know!
    And for the record: “game of chicken with yarn” is almost usurped by “worms doing the hand jive”! Thanks Stephanie… you are a goddess of words!

  3. Thank you!!
    It is so good to know I’m not the only one today.
    I have lovely yarn, and it’s all sulking. The only thing I can knit with any sort of success is garter stitch blanket squares.
    It’s not just me. 🙂

  4. Your comments are wigging too. I was going to leave a comment. It told me to touch the pants. I left my comment then the comments disappeared.

    So this time I touched the scissors.

    Mercury is retrograde. Similar things are happening in my house as yours. I’ve been complaining and my friends response is Mercury is Retrograde until March.

    Will you tour in Alaska again?

  5. Why is it that all the light bulbs always burn out at the same time? Never fails in my house. Same thing with the smoke detector batteries.

    • Because you replaced them all at the same time. So therefore they have similar lifetimes (unless it’s in a spot that gets much more or much less use).

    • I had that issue once in a house I was renting. It was caused by bad wiring in the house. I told the landlord about it because I was worried about a fire and he responded by giving me a bag of lightbulbs. Not the point dude :P.

    • My first thought was the full moon; it’s called the Snow Moon this month. This July should be a humdinger; we’ll have a blue moon, as in “once in a blue moon” (the second full moon in a calendar month).

  6. Wow – excellent timing. I was just wondering what the hell is going on with Fox Paws, since you hadn’t blogged on it for awhile.

    You have a gremlin in your house. He is the source of all your problems. You have somehow ticked him off. Leave out a small saucer of beer tonight to appease him and he’ll hopefully let up on you. 🙂

  7. I’ll be honest… I’m the same age as you, and when my oven light bulb burnt out (for the first time), even after reading the instructions, I was completely unable to get the #$&*! cover off of the socket to change it.

    I’ve been “in the dark” for awhile, now, and more than likely will remain so.

    xo CGF

    • Did you try searching you tube for a video on how to do it? I’m not sure who has the time to make all those videos, but it seems there’s at least one for everything these days.

      Fox paws is gorgeous. Love that meditative power of knitting.

  8. I’ve had times just like this at work when I was subbing for the maintenance man. Every week I had to call the guy who changed the bulbs for me to change 1. This went on for 3 months. Things definitely will get better. I’m hunting my sewing machine and threads to take to church tonight to work on sweater crafts for this year’s bazaar. These were unloved sweaters that we can convert to things that will be loved. Ideas from pinterest. Love this site.

    I also dyed my horrible beige sweater. The dress code changed again. I overdyed the horrible beige with a nice royal blue. It looks a thousand percent better. I mention this because dying may be in my future for some of these sweater crafts.

  9. It seems that February is the month where anything that can go wrong does, appliances go on strike or breakdown completely, light bulbs burn out and so on and so on. Watch out for the furnace and the car. I have heard from a very reliable source (my sister) that the harder and more complicated the task the more the brain quiets and things fall in to place. Wishing you peace and harmony and good karma with the house and the knitting.

  10. Mercury in retrograde, the full moon and the biting cold..not in the oven, but in general are the cause of just about everything in my book. It was 30C this time last week in Florida and now I am back in Ontario…didn’t use my bank card for a month..gone, the bank machine kept it and my email password didn’t work either. New mouse and keyboard are a challenge, the mouse moved opposite every time I made a selection. Who knew I was holding it backwards?
    I think that I will go and lie down now!

  11. Oven lights do this but infrequently enough that even if you knew how to change one once you will forget the next time you need to know. The small light that indicates when the oven reaches the correct temperature is currently the bane of my existence… And the windshield wiper that decided to ‘deconstruct’ when I cleaned the snow off the windows of the car…

    Hope you solve the roof thing ( and the others). Enjoy your knitting.

  12. You might have had a voltage surge. That would decrease the lifespan of your remaining bulbs, so you would want to lay in a supply.

  13. I am a wee bit older than you and I have changed many a light bulb in many a oven that I have owned or rented. Maybe because of my many brothers that left the light on when cooking or maybe because I did. An oven light does work rather well as a night light.

    Something that needs acute attention to detail while knitting is often needed to smooth out the waves of life. Three cheers for knitting so we do not kill people or bulbs or whatever suits our fancy.

  14. It must be the season for these things. I have replaced my dishwasher, my washer (I had a moment of silence for her, she was almost 20 years old), my dryer, and last night, my microwave doesn’t sound quite right. In january, I also had the flu, which turned into pneumonia, which somehow ended up with a sinus infection. I’ve sounded like Kathleen Turner for the past month. I’ve decided that I’m starting 2015 over.

  15. Have you ever read “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day”? Some days (or weeks, months, or years!) are like that, “even in Australia,” to quote Alexander’s mom

  16. “Touch the man” That might get me in trouble with the husband!

    I sure hope February isn’t the “all things that can go wrong will” month! I was just sure that was November through January. 😐

    Fox Paws is just gorgeous! Hope things take an upward swing for you pronto!

  17. I was just wondering about Fox Paws today! I checked back in your posts to see if I might have missed the finished Beauty. Looks wonderfully challenging!

  18. I have to laugh. People joke I have some type of force field around me, I make light bulbs burn out all the time. I think I have changed my fridge, oven & microwave light bulbs three times each as well as the heating element that has cracked twice. But the one that really gets people is that about every 3rd street light I drive by winks off just before I get there. The ones that come on just after we drive by are especially fun and really freak people out.
    Count yourself lucky it doesn’t happen more often. Hope you luck turns around soon! And that fox paw could really cheer a girl up! Looks challenging and totally satisfying all at once. Can’t wait to see it finished.

    • I have this street light thing, too! Also, sometimes I make key cards stop working (back to the front desk of the hotel for a new one), and I can’t wear watches–they just stop, irrevocably. My grandma’s the same way.

      • Oh thank gord I’m not alone! I haven’t worn a watch in years – I just kill the battery – in days it seems. It just got too expensive to keep replacing them in the darn watch. And the street lighting – yup – me too!

        However – the hotel key card may not be you. Putting your key card next to anything “technical” in your pocket or purse (cell phone, car key fob, ipad, etc. etc.) will sometimes knock them out. That at least you can do something about.

        Chris S. in Canada

        • Chris, if you need a watch, watches that need to be wound are still made, and Citizen has a line in which the battery is constantly recharged by solar power cells hidden in the watch face..

          • Thanks Anonymous, over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at estimating the passage of time so I don’t actually miss a watch. And there is usually a timepiece not far away if I really need to be exact. I kind of like not wearing one – no tan line 😉
            Chris S

        • My mom, who died in ’99, killed wind-up watches. She absolutely could not wear one more than a few days without it giving up the ghost. She was brilliant, and the brain runs on electricity, so I’ve always believed that her brain was literally more power-full (by several microvolts?) than the average brain. Hence, the untimely deaths of timepieces.

          Perhaps our Steph is killing light bulbs with her superior knitterly brain!

  19. Clearly, Fox Paws is all about distracting your mind from all the stupendous snafus in your day. You have to focus on it, which forces your brain not to focus on your other frustrations. Wouldn’t work for me. For me, it would be chocolate all the way!

  20. Karma is balancing. After the squeaker of a finish on the shawl, Fate doesn’t want you to get too big for your britches. (I’ve no idea how to change an oven light – I always thought they were magic and lasted forever.)

  21. Totally had one of those days before. There was a whole string of unfortunates, and then while doing laundry the dryer knob fell off. Just about burst a vein. Thankfully, my neighbor walked in just at that minute, and we sat down and had coffee. Coffee helped, but not as much as knitting would have.

  22. Mine burned out about a year ago (first time I had ever seen that, too). It will stay that way until I can bribe someone with arms longer than mine to fix it. Crawling head-first into an oven never seems like the best way to fix anything. Look how that move worked for Hansel and Gretl!

  23. My oven light’s been out for years and I can’t figure out how to change it. I’m just glad no little munchers got into Fox Paws. (That happened to one of my set-aside, fiddly projects a few years back – I’m still not over it.)

  24. Our oven was in the house when we bought it, and it was only 7 years later when it needed a repair that I discovered it even had a bulb! It hadn’t worked since we moved in but never having experienced a blown oven light bulb it never crossed my mind that might be the case. I just thought we had a weird oven with no light!

  25. I’m not an electrician but the lightbulbs and computer issues bother me. It sound like you are suffering from power surges. Do you have a surge protector on the computer? Is the ice building up near the mast thingie where the power enters the house (I’m assuming overhead power lines here)? Do you, like me, have a mix of aluminum and copper wiring?
    I’m a little worried here… I don’t want to freak you out or cause the chip in your bank card to take a permanent nap but I think you should get a diagnosis.

  26. When I get seriously stressed I blow up light bulbs and if I really wig out I also break computers. Maybe you should take a deep breath and do some yoga.

    Are you traveling with your mum this year?

  27. Oh man! We’ve had a bunch of lights go out recently, too – our front foyer and our living room lights. We just changed them, and it’s amazing how much brighter it is! haha

    Hope things pick up for the better!


    P.S. I also comment on nearly all of your posts, and I just forgot the human verification test. Some days…..

  28. Aha!!!!! I thought that might be it. Mercury has gone retrograde again!!!!
    Seems this year and 2014, each time it goes retrograde the mail program on my iMac stops sending or reeceiving mail. Good thing I have this iPad or I’d be bonkers too. You, my dear have a bad case of retrograde-itis.
    Big hugs. This too shall pass. Anyone know when?

  29. SCOTCH! The golden elixir!
    You picked the same colors as I for Fox Paws, except I used a green instead of white. I finished last Saturday, after 3 months of nothing but counting stitches! Fussy you say? FUSSY??!! There must be a word stronger than that. Add to the craziness, I just started a project using two yarns together. Gedifra Mauritius and Gedifra Azzurro. Look ’em up and be impressed. Looney bin has its door open and waiting for me!

  30. We had problems with odor in our front-loading washing machine. Not surprising, it’s due to mold. Prevention measures include leaving the door open after using it (and/or drying the door, gasket & tub after every use with a towel–more work than I was ever willing to do) and cutting WAY back on detergent and bleach (cleans fine, even so), and using cold water as much as possible. But once it starts to stink, I found the only way to get rid of it was a product I found online several years ago. I don’t remember the name of it, but a quick Google search brought up several product names, none of which sounded familiar, but I’m sure work on the same principle. Good luck!

    • If it’s a front loader you also can load it up with scrub cloths/old towels close the door and fill the soap, bleach and softener hoppers with white vinegar. Leave it overnight (the vinegar will drain into the space below the tub) and run the load on hot in the morning. The vinegar breaks up the gunk that builds up. I do this every 6 months or so and it keeps it from getting funky.

  31. The light bulb in the oven is annoying. Terrifying is when the element fracture, sends out a bolt of electricity and sets the food in the oven on fire. And, weirdly enough, I was standing in front of the oven when it happened even though there was at least another 30 minutes or more on the timer.

  32. Fox Paws is awesome! I have not attempted multiple skeins of knitting same project! You inspire me! Sorry things are in disarray full moon is the answer! Just plan and wait ~ patience is the best…I feel bad though… Not fun for u for sure!!

  33. My condolences on the Murphy’s Law day that is picking on you. I hope that the cat’s paw works its magic and things get back to normal soon.

  34. Mercury in retrograde AND it’s a full moon. Knit On. For the record, I have lived in this house for 21 years, and the light in my thermostat burnt out last week. I had to ask for help. I had never replaced it before, and didn’t even know it had batteries. Personally, I could never manage a Fox Paws, but a simple One Row Scarf (sound familiar) is what I pick up on such days.;

  35. all hail the power of fox paws!
    I, for one, find only my artwork can quiet the demons, and mosaics (in their fussy complexity) does the deed the best!
    best wishes Stephanie that all resolves as it should.

  36. The idea that oven lights went out has never occurred to me either …. we need to make typical lightbulbs out of the same stuff! (Though really, you probably turn on oven lights much less often.)

  37. Our oven light just burned out too. And it takes some weird kind of screwdriver to open the little gate that protects it. And you have to lie on your back on the floor to do it.

    • Ours too! And the 2 front porch ones and 3 bathroom. It’s like last owner replaced them in batches and so they go in batches!

  38. Thank goodness there is a reason for the insanity that has been the past week — mercury retrograde! Or gremlins. I can’t leave beer out at work, I wonder if chocolate would be an acceptable alternative offering?

    And nope, I think I am a year older than you, and have never changed an oven light bulb. Having said that, however, ours will go out tonight.

  39. If it helps at all, today your most recent book briefly took my mind off worrying about a loved one while reading it in a hospital waiting room. Thank you for sharing both your good days and your not so good days with us. Rock on with your bad fox paws self.

  40. You’re not alone. The chocolate cake that I have probably made 100 times appears to have overbaked…just now. I’ve been having redo so many things over the past few days. Now I know why.

  41. My oven light in my top oven burned out years ago. I figured out how to open the little compartment…Yea! And snapped the bulb in half trying to get it out. As my ovens built into the wall…I can’t just unplug it. So I am used to cooking in the dark. I now rely on smell to know how brown baked goods are so I don’t have to get out of my knitting chair. With a little practice you can become very accurate relying on smell. Knit on.

    • Try using a cork inserted into the socket, if you can wedge the end of one in — you can twist out the broken end of the bulb without getting an electrical shock that way. Works well with regular-size bulbs, but the appliance bulb base may be smaller — worth opening a bottle of wine to find out, but drink the wine to celebrate or commiserate AFTER you try.

  42. Do you have 15 black ravens cawing in the walnut tree in your backyard ? I do. I’m not touching any knitting ’til they leave. Something is in the air all right. Sorry you’re affected too!

  43. I just looked up Fox Paws – put it into my favorites and marked it “challenging” – what a wonderful pattern, although I’m not sure I’m going to go there. But whatever works to get through the blahs of February – at least it’s not a leap year.

  44. Never had the oven light burn out, but our dryer light did, and I had the worst time finding a replacement bulb.
    I finished Xandy Peters’ Petal Cowl last month and it was the nitpickiest knitting I’ve ever done. That said, I’m planning to make at least two more for Christmas gifts!

  45. When the overhead light in my mother’s car burned out she said -to heck with it – sold the car and bought herself a new car! That’s one way to change a light bulb.

  46. I’ve always thought we should go straight to spring once the holidays are over. February brings nothing to the party, but dark and cold. Good luck on fox paws — my knitting mojo is in the toilet, so it’s plain vanilla socks for me until my mojo comes back (first day of March I’ll bet!)

    • i have imagined a whole alternative calendar, where the january-to-may part is much shorter, and is balanced by a stretched-out fall. september and october are longer, with nice weather slowly getting more fall-like, and then we have more time between thanksgiving (american) and Christmas.

      • Sign me up for your new calendar – autumn is my favourite season!

        and p.s. to all those mentioning Murphy’s Law – I never knew why it was called that, until I married a Murphy…

  47. I feel for you. Sunday, we got 19 inches of snow. Monday, my work computer went insane and kept asking me for a password every time I tried to do anything — even saving a document and trying to steer the browser to Google.

    Go to your favorite big-box or warehouse-club store and stock up on light bulbs and batteries. Chocolate, too. Get some of your favorite wine, beer or screech. Keep an eye on the cat, and take her to the vet if she doesn’t seem better in a week. Leave the washer’s lid or door open when you’re done until the tub is dry. Keep knitting the Fox Paws — it is lovely. And, as the shampoo bottles used to say, “wash, rinse, repeat.”

  48. My husband said to tell you the cat acts weird at anything different. At least in this household. The light over our stove seemed to have burnt out, but in attempting to replace it, it has melted in place. And after asking for scarves for triplet 2 year olds, my DIL responds to my cowls that I designed for them – so they wouldn’t choke on the scarves – they don’t like things put over their heads. Our condo parking lot has plowed us in rather than out.
    I think something is in retrograde. Just didn’t want you to feel it was all on you.

  49. Apparently we had a province-wide voltage reduction test this morning (was scheduled for 9am and then again at 1pm) – this is supposed to be something they can try in an emergency if there’s too much demand on the power grid to prevent it going down. I can’t see how a voltage reduction could blow your lightbulbs, but I’m wondering if when the voltage went back up it did something weird? Or maybe just random?

  50. It sounds more like you had a slight power surge for so many bulbs to get burned out at once. (And the computer problems!) An electrician can put a surge protector onto the power coming into the house. We had it done when we lived in Upstate NY and it was money well spent. (We were on the outskirts of suburbia and the power went out frequently and burned through a few plug-in surge protectors before we put a protector on the incoming power line. We still kept additional surge protectors on computers, stereos, and TVs.)

    • The best thing is to get an Uninterruptible Power Supply that will protect against both surges and sags. I’m told that the sags will cause more damage over time than the surges.

  51. Reminds me of Bukowski’s poem, “The Shoelace”

    a woman, a
    tire that’s flat, a
    disease, a
    desire: fears in front of you,
    fears that hold so still
    you can study them
    like pieces on a
    it’s not the large things that
    send a man to the
    madhouse. death he’s ready for, or
    murder, incest, robbery, fire, flood…
    no, it’s the continuing series of small tragedies
    that send a man to the
    not the death of his love
    but a shoelace that snaps
    with no time left …
    The dread of life
    is that swarm of trivialities
    that can kill quicker than cancer
    and which are always there –
    license plates or taxes
    or expired driver’s license,
    or hiring or firing,
    doing it or having it done to you, or
    roaches or flies or a
    broken hook on a
    screen, or out of gas
    or too much gas,
    the sink’s stopped-up, the landlord’s drunk,
    the president doesn’t care and the governor’s
    light switch broken, mattress like a
    $105 for a tune-up, carburetor and fuel pump at
    sears roebuck;
    and the phone bill’s up and the market’s
    and the toilet chain is
    and the light has burned out –
    the hall light, the front light, the back light,
    the inner light; it’s
    darker than hell
    and twice as
    then there’s always crabs and ingrown toenails
    and people who insist they’re
    your friends;
    there’s always that and worse;
    leaky faucet, christ and christmas;
    blue salami, 9 day rains,
    50 cent avocados
    and purple

    or making it
    as a waitress at norm’s on the split shift,
    or as an emptier of
    or as a carwash or a busboy
    or a stealer of old lady’s purses
    leaving them screaming on the sidewalks
    with broken arms at the age of 80.

    2 red lights in your rear view mirror
    and blood in your
    toothache, and $979 for a bridge
    $300 for a gold
    and china and russia and america, and
    long hair and short hair and no
    hair, and beards and no
    faces, and plenty of zigzag but no
    pot, except maybe one to piss in
    and the other one around your

    with each broken shoelace
    out of one hundred broken shoelaces,
    one man, one woman, one
    enters a

    so be careful
    when you
    bend over.

    • Liked this poem! (Passing over the ref. to Christ/Christmas; just had to mention that).
      Everything else totally worked for me.

      • Me too Patty. Did not understand why Christ and Christmas were mentioned…unless what is meant is that the holidays are hard for some and cause problems but that is not clear.

        Barb R.

  52. I feel your pain. Last week the primary software I use at work was broken by its maker, a big software company that spends way too much money racing boats in the America’s Cup. My job is to prepare and run certain reports, but I couldn’t because they “updated” the software and all I got were “fatal SQL” errors. The bug must have bitten our public transit system also, because there were delays and missed connections all over the place. And for the cherry on top my adult son got a salivary gland infection. All is so much better this week thanks to a certain brilliant IT person, lots of antibiotics, and it being my turn for the car this week. Things will get better for you as well.

    • Oh, I don’t miss the transit meltdowns in the sfbay area….Boise is much calmer. Have a big glass of wine – that always helped me…:)

  53. I feel like those days are just screaming at you to stay put, align the ducks, grab a drink, and sit down to knit. We’ve been in 3 apts in 8 years and I’ve never had an overhead light burn out- 4 in 2 days last week. Down here(Boston)- we’re blaming it all on the snow. 40 inches and climbing…

  54. Every oven light I’ve ever had burned out early on, and I remain bulbless thereafter. Never have figured out how to change it. ….what is that strange looking thing behind the fox paws in the picture above? I read through all the comments in the hope someone else also wonders, but looks like I’m the only one who can’t tell, and is curious. Is it a foot?

  55. Oh no!!! All this horrible (wanted to say sucky but didn’t know if I could:-) in a comment) karma stuff and Mr. Washee is ill too!!!!!

  56. I broke a wine glass while washing it today, an event so rare that I was momentarily speechless. I, too, shall blame the retrograde mercury – why not?

  57. Coming home from work after driving on ice and snow for what seemed hours…it was the resumption of Fox Paws that made me laugh out loud, for the first time today! Order out of chaos – what we all hope/strive for. Perfection.

  58. Oh my gosh I’ve missed Fox Paws!! I love Fox Paws and all the things that aren’t its friend. Like TV and wine and normal conversation. It is totally perfect for the temporary curse that has settled on your house. You can just concentrate on what Fox Paws needs, and block out the rest. Also sending good wishes for the curse to lift. 🙂

  59. Hmm, that sounds like just too much surrendering, letting go, turning it over…arghghgh. I do like the solution…wool! I am having this type of a day (week): just home from a 10 hour day – left to work some more at home and now have caca for connecton. I think this calls for wool. Thank you for The Answer…once again. The Paws are delightful.

  60. Like absolutely EVERYONE ELSE said, as I read this post, all I could think was, “Mercury is in retrograde”…paired with the full moon, well, it’s just an ass-kicking couple of days! This morning I woke up, brushed my teeth and put on my workout clothes and was just about to start the morning coffee when I saw it was a whole HOUR earlier than my get-up time. (yes, workout clothes make great pajamas!). Anywho… keep calm, and knit on!! 😉

    • PS-(I went back to bed for that hour in my work out clothes, I wasn’t going to waste all that effort of getting into them!!)

  61. My oven light burned out about 6 months ago, I’m not changing it at the moment, it can wait, I don’t need to see what I’m cooking that much. Instead I will knit too, on the Evenstar shawl. I’m pretty sure I have no idea what I’m doing, every time I look at one particular row about 20 ahead of where I am it makes absolutely no sense, I’m hoping when I get there it will cos no one else who’s made it has commented on their projects about that.

  62. Just thinking that there were some end/beginning-of-year things that you usually do but didn’t this year, such as sweep things over the threshold and put silver out in the moonlight. Perhaps the house and its contents are letting you know that they didn’t appreciate your failure to follow the traditions, so this might be a good time to “appease the gods,” as it were.

  63. thank you, your post, just seeing fox paws, gave the the adult sense to just call the cable company and ask for a reboot for the 3rd time in 3 weeks. Knitting centers, things fail, each need patience and forbearance.

  64. You have my sympathy I’ve had a run of electronics deaths myself. CD player then the Receiver and have been told my logic board for my laptop failed in a diagnostic when all I really brought it in for was to have the battery replaced. You know I have the pattern and some yarn to try fox paws perhaps I’ll go do some fussy knitting myself. 😉

  65. Not sure if anyone else said this, but add 1/4 cup white vinegar to your washing machine and run a load of rags. That will get the smell out! Also I use it for towels that get that ‘sat in the wash too long’ smell, works like a charm. You can dump it in the “pre-wash” compartment if you have it or just throw it in with the actual towels.

  66. Whatever it is that makes things go crazy is all over—it’s in the Midwest,too! I’ve knitted for 70 years and now my lace knitting and everything I touch goes haywire.This too will pass!!

  67. Funny thing. I was in a yarn store in New York City when I saw a panel of Fox Paws displayed. “Oh”, I said, “I have a friend who’s knitting that pattern” and then I couldn’t remember who the friend was. Thanks for reminding me.

  68. hmm, the light on the thermostat dial for my Sens-O-Temp range (circa 1957) has gone out. From the looks of it’s construction it’ll take the Army Corp of Engineers to replace the bulb. Mercury. War.

  69. I was going to post the Mercury is in Retrograde but I see people have beat me to it. But honestly, it’s in Retrograde.

    Last week our oldest son’s car broke down and the water heater stopped working…on the same day.

    PTL it will be out of retrograde next week and we fly out Thursday the 12th for Medrona.

    I tried so hard Stephanie to get into your speed knitting class. I am currently 6 on the waiting list. The day the class registration opened I brought my laptop to work and checked it repeatedly for registration to open. Apparently I was a nick too slow. Is it wrong that I’m secretly wishing 6 people’s car batteries don’t start so I can get in your class? I promise, it’s only Mercury in retrograde 😉

  70. I’ve noticed that this week has been….less busy in my world. Usually we have a zillion things going on from doctor appointments to cleaning to just go go go and this week, it feels like I’m stretching for something to do (not that I don’t have things to do but all the “usual” things are done – laundry, dishes, putting things away).

    Hmmmmm……off to ponder…..

  71. Hmmm, wondering when Mercury went retrograde….17 year old dishwasher died, then the range hood fan, now the refrigerator in the cellar won’t kick on (probably because it’s only 45 degrees down there) but oven light? Our 30 year old gas stove doesn’t even plug in = no light. Great for power outages!

  72. OMG. I thought it was just me that everything I touch or do goes completely wrong. I’m relieved it’s kind of an all over the world thing. Can we move Mercury out of retrograde any sooner than March? I don’t think I can take much more.

  73. If a little sit and knit can’t fix it, nothing can. This is clearly the universe’s way of telling you that Fox Paws needs some quality time.

  74. sounds way more like a Monday than a Wednesday!!!

    I hope Foxpaws works to help you feel balanced and in control. I am quite the opposite… when things get chaotic, I need simplicity and quiet.

    I honestly do not think I have a clue how to change the light bulb in my oven, now that you mention it. When the time comes, I, will definitely Google it! 😉

  75. I see that RMT has now hit Ontario, it was here in Bcc last week. Had to run freshly spun yarn thru the wheel again it was under plied. Frogged knitting. Spent 2.5 hours picking out 30 mins of quilting. So if you read this and live in Nfld you have a few days and it will be your turn.
    On the bright side it’s a better day today.

  76. Hopefully your fox paws knitting brings you better luck than my Struktur 3-color double knitted hat did. In spite of working on it yesterday, my sore throat turned into a full-blown cold overnight, and my cat’s still acting funny/sick.

    However, reading the comments about burnt out appliance lights make me feel much better about not replacing the bulb in my microwave.

  77. If you accept prayers, I will add you to my list!. I have a friend with bronchitis, a friend whose lupus came out of remission and a friend whose house burned down this week. Mercury in Retrograde indeed!
    Fox Paws is lovely! Can’t wait to see it finished.

  78. It is the cat. He is secretly an advanced life form and has been sneaking around burning out lights, messing with the computer and such when you are all sleeping:)

  79. I was looking for the funny button to click it when I remembered I wasn’t reading this on Ravelry… 😉 Fox Paws is beautiful.

  80. Hey Steph!

    Did anyone note for you that it’s currently Mercury Retrograde? The planet of communication will return to direct motion on February 12th. You, as a Gemini (I think that’s right isn’t it?) your ruling planet is Mercury and when it goes backward, well, let’s just say ennumerable mercury (communications)-related things are affected. Hang in there! Only one more week! I am certainly counting down myself.

  81. Whatever “it” is, it’s international! Last night I tried to sew for an hour and a half and ended up with less accomplished than I started. I can blame both the machine and my brain, in about equal measures. Switched to knitting, though, and things got better.

  82. Hi Steph, I’m a virgin commenter.
    I have an easy solution for your oven light dilemma. Shine a torch in there to see ‘what’s cookin’. 😉 I used to have an oven with a blown globe and the torch worked a treat.
    The oven I have now has a working light, but the oven itself is so darn hot, that I can only bake a pavlova on the Keep Warm setting. Ridiculous!! But very tasty……
    I admire you greatly, and have been reading your blog for a couple of years. I went back to the start and caught up. That took a while, but was so worth it. You are so hilarious!!
    You inspire me every day. I’m kinda in “Lost Knitting Mojoland” atm as my 79yo Mum fell and broke her leg in 4 places the day b4 NYE. I’m her sole carer, so it’s a bit tuff atm.
    I couldn’t even do a simple garter stitch shawlette, a few weeks back, without stuffing it up.
    Normally my sock knitting would see me thru tough times. It’s only the last week that I have managed to do a little. Maybe things are on the way up.
    Hope Mercury whizzes past me real fast!! I don’t need any more things to go pear-shaped…..
    My Mum came home on Mon, and is doing well.
    Yday, I left my crafty things at her place, so that I may be able to do a bit between other jobs.
    Hope puss is ok. (Sorry, can’t think of her name…Millie??).
    Maybe the other commenter is right. It may be the cat who is sucking the power out of your electrical gadgets. Maybe that’s why she’s a bit off colour. Animal magnetism must be draining. 🙂
    Your Fox Paws is amazing. I’d been wondering (like others) what had happened to it.
    I may try something brain consuming, myself. It may just help me.

    • The first time, I had to touch the Robot.
      Oooooo…..the thrill of a bionic man!!
      This time I had to touch the key. A bit ironic, my key broke of in my garage door, yday.
      Darn Mercury……

  83. I’ve been trying to get our phone and internet switched over since 1/21. Today, after another afternoon spent waiting, the 2nd installer (1st one came out on Friday) informed me that whatever they need on the pole still isn’t there, so he couldn’t get it done, either. He’ll try to finish it tomorrow. So I get to not plan anything outside the house for a 3rd day. The installers haven’t even made it into the house yet. Also several hours spent on the phone with “Customer Service”, trying to get the damned thing set up in the first place.

    CURSE YOU, Backward Mercury!!

  84. I feel the pain of everything going wrong at once but must defend February from all who defamed the month. February has sweet Valentines day. In the USA a holiday to remember great leaders while purchasing bedding & furniture. And my sons birthday!

    Fox paws amazingly beautiful and everything looks better after a few good rows.

  85. When appliances and electronic devices and light bulbs all go kerflooey at once, it certainly is nice to chalk it up to Mercury Retrograde. But that only explains things at a superficial level. When roofs leak and appliances quit and incidentally, the need to spend outrageous amounts of money to fix household disasters occur over a short period of time, I go back to a more spiritual philosophy. You have clearly moved to the next higher level of your personal spiritual evolution, and all of your external surroundings need updating to go with it. Congratulations.

  86. I feel you sister. The first two days of this week felt a lot like getting punched in the nose repeatedly. My response: working on a fiendishly complicated lace shawl with Zephyr 2-ply… calmed me right down.

  87. My oven light’s been burned out for a few years and the display doesn’t work, so you have to make sure you put the temperature in correctly…
    Your fox paws is LOVELY. Order from chaos.

  88. So sorry that the gremlins have got you both coming and going. Hope Mercury goes back where it belongs soon.

    And very sorry that you lost the first version of today’s post. But I keep meaning to suggest that you should write your posts in your word processor and save them frequently, say every time you finish a paragraph. That way, if something goes wrong, you can pull up the latest saved version and carry on. You can probably remember the gist of the last few sentences you wrote. At any rate, you won’t have to start again, or just give up.

    When you finish writing, select the whole document (on an iMac, press command-A) and then paste it into your blog software (press command-V). There are similar commands on Windows devices, but I don’t remember what they are. HTH.

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  90. You had such bad luck… It’s like sometimes the whole universe is against you and all kinds of bad things happen one after each other! It happen to me and to everyone I believe! Just keep calm and stay positive and everything will go on it’s place!

  91. I feel so sorry for you sister. Just don’t despair and surrender. The sun shines even after the darkest night. Meanwhile give yourself a break. Everything will gonna be alright. You have lost the battle,not the whole war. Just make one step backwards,regroup your forces and charge the life again!

  92. I feel so sorry for you sister. Just don’t despair and surrender. The sun shines even after the darkest night. Meanwhile give yourself a break. Everything will gonna be alright. You have lost the battle,not the whole war. Just make one step backwards,regroup your forces and charge the life again!

  93. For me,this is nothing more than a bad luck. Don’t try to find some kind of sense of it. From time to time everyone has bad luck streaks. Just move on, and don’t let this crush your spirit.

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