Sorry For The Radio Silence

I’ve been down with that awful crud that’s been going around, what my dad would have called “the galloping epizöotic*.”  Nasty business.  Head cold plus bronchitis.  (I’ve been watching my temperature closely as there’s a nasty strain of flu that has been going round as well.)  I’ve been holed up at home and haven’t been going out at all.  Staying in out of the cold temps.  We did get some cold weather, but the Polar Vortex missed us this time.  Those poor people up north. (What we now call “Polar Vortex” is what we used to call a “blue” norther, for the same reason Babe is blue.)

I haven’t been doing much knitting in the last couple of weeks, as I’ve been spending most of my time either sleeping, blowing my nose or trying to cough up my toenails.  I did get in some reading though.  I’ve had one of those bedside tables on rollers for a couple of years.  (I deliberately set up my bedroom furniture so I have room to roll the table out of the way when not needed.)  I mounted a plug strip with a 12-foot cord on the underside of the table top (just takes two screws) where I can plug in my Kindle tablet and a little desk lamp, as well as my phone, to keep them charged, and when I’m not using the table, it doubles as a charging station for my electronics. (I have some binder clips clamped onto the edge of the table to hold the charging cords when not in use.) I have a little stand for my tablet.  It’s a nice sized little table, and there’s also room for a pot of tea and a plate of munchies.  Last year, I got a bed wedge to complete the ensemble, and I was so glad to have all of it these past two weeks.  Now if I can just get my reader’s shrug finished . . . Hygge, y’all. Tells you something, doesn’t it, when other cultures have a word for something so basic and fundamental, and yours doesn’t.  I mean, what’s the point of having a place to live if it ain’t comfy, snuggly and exactly suited to your needs?  What the world needs now is Gemütlichkeit, sweet Gemütlichkeit. . . .

One of the ladies in this Sekret Klub my mom belongs to wanted some more washcloths, and of course I got roped into making them.  The lady said she’d pay me, what do I charge?  Well, obviously, there’s the cost of the materials, but what about my time?  People have no idea how much time is involved in doing things like this, and isn’t my time worth something?  Takes me about 3 hours to knit a wash cloth.  So for one washcloth, figure $4 for the yarn, and minimum wage in Tx is $7.25/hour, so $25.75 per washcloth . . . .?   See the problem?  I’m going to charge her $15 for two, which is dead cheap when you get right down to it.  The cotton yarn I make them out of is stiff and hard to knit with, and I can’t knit on something made with it for too long before my hands start getting unhappy with me, and I was done with knitting washcloths two months ago . . .   grumble . . . grumble . . .

Which brings me to:  One of the washcloths is based on a simple seed stitch pattern. Here’s the pattern for free.

Cast on an even number of stitches +1. (41 stitches for a washcloth)
Knit 12 rows. Measure length of work so far = X.
Row 1: K2, *p1, k1, repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, k1.
Repeat row 1 until piece lacks X measurement to be long enough.
Knit 12 rows.
Bind off.

It makes a nice nubby washcloth, but you can easily adapt this pattern to make anything from a washcloth to a coaster, to a place mat, to a table runner, to a throw rug, to an afghan to a blanket/bedspread. A set of coasters would be a great stashbuster project for those odds and ends of cotton yarn.

Folks have commented about the time I spend reading.  I mentioned I got a 10-inch Kindle Fire tablet because of the bigger screen, which is able to display more text — almost a whole page — at a time.  This is because I read pretty fast.  I also tend to binge read.  That means I have to allocate my time accordingly.  I try hard not to read at bedtime (unless its a book of short stories), otherwise I’ll get caught up in the story, keep turning pages until suddenly there’s no more pages, look up at the clock and it’s 5 a.m.!  (If a book can’t hold my attention like that, I’ll bob to the surface pretty quickly and typically won’t finish the book.)

I’m retired now, and my time is my own, so I can spend all day (or all night) reading a book at one sitting if I want to.  I try not to stay up all night reading, though, because my mom gets upset with me when I don’t keep “normal” hours and sleep at the right time, etc.  (She’s the only one it bothers . . . )  But really, it’s all about time management.  If you want to read more, allocate a block of time for reading.  Schedule it into your other activities in the evenings or on the weekends.  A dedicated block of time to  find a comfy seat somewhere quiet, shift into neutral, kick back, take it easy and read.   Instead of sitting like a zombie in front of the TV at night, turn the TV off and read.  Now there’s a radical concept . . .

Now that I’m starting to feel less like I’ve been rode hard and put away wet, as we say here in the Flatlands, I’m beginning to think about knitting again and the projects I have going and want to get back into — once I finish this last durn washcloth. . . .

*I have a cheat sheet of ASCII codes for all the diacritical markings like ö.  You hold down the "ALT" key, use the number pad to type the code number, then release the ALT key to get them. A word's not spelled correctly unless it has all the right little marks, like façade, fiancé, Münster . . .  Life on the spectrum, y'all.

Author: WOL

My burrow, "La Maison du Hibou Sous Terre" is located on the flatlands of West Texas where I live with my computer, my books, and a lot of yarn waiting to become something.

5 thoughts on “Sorry For The Radio Silence”

  1. Sorry to hear that you’re sick, I hope you get well soon!
    I know what you mean about reading all night, I tend to binge-everything if I really enjoy it, whether it’s reading, watching a tv show, knitting, or playing a game… I just disappear for anything else. It’s such a pity I can’t be the same way about work, at least from time to time 😉


  2. Take care of yourself and get rid of the”kooties”. I really worry about getting sick as I’ve been going back to our recreation center for doctor requested exercise and kids fog in and out there in the late afternoon with all sorts of diseases. So far, besides washing my hands excessively, I’ve been ok.
    Stay warm and enjoy.


  3. I still call it a Blue Norther, and I wish we’d get one. There’s been nothing but fog for a week, and now it’s rolled in again. They’re saying we’re going to be fogged in until Thursday or Friday. Sigh. Sorry to hear what we used to call the “galloping consumption.” That bronchitis business is no fun, period.

    If you really want to make more time for reading/writing/whatevering, do what I did and kick the tv to the curb — literally. Yes, I can still watch the occasional program on the computer (especially with a big monitor), and I do. But having to make an intentional decision to crank the box up for entertainment certainly eliminates a lot of mindless watching.


  4. I’m sorry to hear you have been unwell and glad to know you are on the mend.

    With regard to the flu, we have a tradition in this benighted land of receiving an anti-flu jab each year to prevent catching the sickness. The elderly and the medically vulnerable receive the flu jab free but anyone can have it for a small fee. When you consider the harm done by flu epidemics both physically to sufferers and socio-economically, it’s money well spent. Perhaps this remedy exists also in your country? If ao, its use is to be recommended, especially in persons of mature age.

    Experience suggests that selling to friends and friends of friends is a bad idea as it often leads to disgruntlement. Such folk offer to pay but secretly expect payment to be refused or reduced to a ridiculously low token amount. The best thing is either to charge nothing or to claim to be too busy to oblige.

    If you want to read all night, I would say that that is no one’s business but your own. Parents sometimes find it hard to remember that they no longer have authority over their adult offspring and need to be reminded of this with an appropriate degree of firmness.


  5. Glad you’re feeling better! We’ve been lucky this winter and neither of us has brought a cold home. Another advantage of being retired.


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