The productivity in a plague house

So so much to catch up on over here. We have all had the covid, and it predictably came in those nauseating waves, just like it did in 2020. So, I would get to feeling just *awesome* and then I’d start to get really crazy, and take my dogs on walks. Then BOOM. Exhaustion, nausea or immediate bathroom needs would take over. Oy, vey. So, 10 days on and we are finally feeling about 95% back. The exhaustion only comes a little at a time now, so of course I did what any normal human would do and thought to myself “Self, let’s go! Let’s do ALLTHETHINGS!”. So, Here are the things.


First, I cooked. I made this amazing spicy sausage soup from Girl With the Iron Cast. That blog and those recipes are always amazing!


So spicy, so good. I added extra crushed red pepper flakes because I’m Italian and I do what I want.

Next up, some deeeeelicious roasted bird with fennel and garlic and all the veg and of course LEMON. I got a little punchy and I think I had two glasses of wine and so of course I made the chicken look hilarious…to me….and gave it citrus boobs.

the bed of gorgeousness

Lemon boobs with fresh sage and dried rosemary and thyme.

Here she is! Isn’t she a beaut?

It was too bad I cook when ill because this particular illness started with head and chest congestion and culminated in what could only be described best by my husband, a colorectal surgeon. “We all have diverticulitis and are clearly in need of immediate surgery”. So, no one really was interested in eating. But the next day everyone had a little. And the next day a little more. It was only a 4 lb. girl, so I’m reusing the chicken and freezing the bones for broth later. Obviously, I’m into this whole make your own food stuff because it’s just so damn much better than anything else out there!

To that end, I did this yesterday!

Yup, homemade yogurt for the first time ever. And boy was it fun! I used this as a rough guide, and heated it up. Now, I had a meat thermometer which seemed to do a fine job. I got it up to 185 just fine!

However, when it came to cooling it down, I tried the ice bath and it just wouldn’t drop on this darn thermometer. It was still reading 150 when my husband came home from call two hours and three ice bath changes later. He is one smart cookie, because he pointed out it wasn’t an instant read thermometer, and that we did indeed have one. Hidden in the basement…where he apparently smuggles kitchen equipment for funsies? Either way, we measured at it was 45 degrees. Now, the tartness comes from leaving it at a warmer temp longer, so I was really afraid I’d totally jacked this one up. But, per the guide I then tossed it back into the instant pot and set it to yogurt setting for 12 hours. I got nervous, but I decided(!!!) I would let this roll and use it as a learning experience/instruction for ya’ll. This morning I got up and LOOK AT THIS GLORIOUS YOGURT.

I did it! And it was tart, not as tart as I love but still tart! So, then I threw it in some cheesecloth and strained it for 4 hours in the frig.

glorious thick greek yogurt

After it was done, I put it into some containers. I made some videos of this and will post to my Instagram account @midtownfiber. I can’t wait to top this with some honey, homemade granola and some lemon curd and tart cherries. I’m drooooooling.


OK, so I was introduced to this amayzing group/thread on Ravelry from a lovely reader who commented. It’s all about your Year of Projects, and so I tried to sit down to write what I’ve had in my head. Excuse the bad handwriting. This is years of being an epidemiologist and only using computers and then also being a nurse and married to a surgeon, so it’s obviously all his fault. Although, his handwriting is better than mine so I’m not sure I can really get away with that. But, I digress. Here is my Knitter’s Planner. I really love this thing. I just ordered it because I have so much swirling in my head and I wanted one place for it all to go. So of course I have this, and 5 bullet journals, another planner, and two design journals.

I sat down with a cup of tea, and some knitting to get inspired. Here is my DRK Everyday Sweater, getting really close to the bottom ribbing on this one!

I got another chance to use my swift. I am learning. Highly recommend filming yourself doing anything to find the issues. I saw the tension inconsistencies in my yarn winding that gave me this sad 2nd attempt.


And It definitely got juices flowing. Because look at this atrocity I wrote. This is apparently my “doable” list for the year. Now, please have mercy because this is a first draft. But Jesus, I am a mess.

Cry for Help

So, if you can squint yourself into being able to read any of this, you will find that my epidemiology brain is still in high gear because I have broken this into skill categories that I need to get more practice in, as well as creative sections (Use of bulky yarn, which I don’t do much of, and working in different textures because I am super feeling that variety right now). I don’t excel in spatial relationships, so this is where knitting is a challenge for me. It’s always hard to see things clearly when you have the spatial relationships skills of a 4 year old. But, again, my husband is a huge help as you would expect for someone who spends his days digging around or scoping into people’s butts and intestines. Bye the bye, this is Paddy. He is into cross stitch and now embroidery and he’s the hunkiest embroiderer I’ve ever seen!

That button says “This is proof that I have the patience to stab something 4000 times”. and you know he does….

Anyway, this list was my wakeup call to focus. So, of course I had to search for patterns to fulfill this and immediately bought about 35 patterns. That’s the kind of focus I specialize in! So, I decided to hit the shawl category with the Winter Honey Shawl by Drea Renee Knits, which has enough cabling to drive me insane but not enough to make quit. And I am also going to hit the cardigan category with some Douglas Cardi by the same designer. That will get me some colorwork and shaping. I will also do the Sunday Sweater by Petite Knits because I’m into the whole mohair held double situation she does so much of. And then Anne Ventzel also has this incredible Spot Sweater stash buster pattern that I might need to try as well.

Now, I also need to hit that brioche category so any suggestions here? I know Andrea Mowry (DRK) has a good amount of brioche, and I know this designer will show up often in my knits because she has the same style and color choices as I would. I like neutrals and moodier shades because I am dark and twisty, and bright colors make me feel like I’m going to have a seizure. I don’t have a seizure history but who knows.

In addition, I am going to really force this challenge by continuing my neverending two-at-a-time socks, which is just insane. I know! But I didn’t get to be retired at 40 from a career in public health and nursing by playing it safe and not shooting for the moon and racking up all sorts of debt I’ll never pay off …So look for those. I’m going to also be doing the Snuggle Socks by Max Cyr, just not two-at-a-time. Because I need some sanity in my life. I bought some amazing yarn from Farmer’s Daughters for these.

I am going to be casting on the SeaGlass Sweater as well. So stay tuned! I’ll update on the Year of Projects thread if I can figure out the plan and get to it!

My plan this week is to make a real dent in the Winter Honey shawl, and cast on the Cardi and the socks. I have a set of ChiaoGoo Interchangeables on order at my LYS (support local!) and I cannot wait for those to show up.

I really love keeping this blog. I love it when folks join and when I can follow their blogs as well. This whole life is way too short for all the stress and darkness, and I’m ever so grateful to be able to have the time to focus on the light and the creativity! And because of that, I chose to be happy about learning from my mistakes and here is me with that same ball of yarn, looking on the bright side!

Shiny, Happy Eileen

Happy Fibering!


9 thoughts on “The productivity in a plague house

  1. Don’t forget you need to go into the thread (on Ravelry) for this week (the one that is open) and pop your link to this post in there so others in the YOP group can find your post. Do that each week that you have a Sunday YOP update. It’s not too late to add it now, people usually check the link on Monday too as we are across a few time zones.


  2. A great list by the way 😀. I knit socks 2 at a time on 1 long needle using magic loop. The trick is to pull the right needle out as far as you can before knitting across both socks, then there’s a lot less moving around of needles when you switch sides. I hope that helps.


  3. Your chicken sure got a lovely tan. 😉 Isn’t cooking the most wonderful thing ever? You just throw a handful of whatsit on top of whatever, add a pinch of tastessogood and get some first-class wow as a result. Unless, of course, you accidently replace the chili salt with ground habanero, but that is a story for another day.
    Your sweater is coming along great!


  4. I’d recommend DRK’s Vanilla Fog hat. It’s a nice basic first-time brioche pattern and you can use up half-skeins of sock yarn stranded together (or DK if you’re so inclined). I found working brioche in the round MUCH easier to understand than back and forth for my first go. That said, it is just a fiddly thing and not “hard” but I would recommend looking at some YouTube videos (there are oodles) and making sure not to have COVID brain on board for the day you want to learn this. Yell if I can help!


  5. WOW!! That’s one impressive list of knitting projects. Over time I’ve learned how much I can reasonably knit over the course of the year. Just this past year I started estimating how many stitches a project would require. Then I match it to my daily goal of stitches, which again is something I started in ’21, to see if I’m even close on being able to do all the projects I want. It has resulted in pairing down what projects are planned for ’22, ’23, ’28. You see the problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eileen White

      Yes I am absolutely certain that I will be lucky to finish half of this. But also, since I’m now retired, I do have time so I’m trying to spend it wisely…by knitting! I think you’re right on, I’ll learn about my true capacity through this, but hey, that’s a good thing to know, isn’t it?!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So glad you joined the Yopping Group and I am so happy to find your blog. I love your comment about life needing more cozy corners. Indeed! I hope you are all well and truly on the mend. Your knitting journal is so cute. I do all my planning in a journal too, and write super messy notes to myself about my projects. I was a teacher, but used to say I should have been a doctor because my handwriting is so messy even I can’t read it at times. My husband refuses to go to the store with a hand written list from me!


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