On Lockdown: May 2020 Edition (Plus, A Finished Object)

As the nation enters its third month or so of social distancing measures, I figured it would be a good time to give an update on how my family and I have been doing in isolation.

Save for a couple of days last week when he went in to write up performance reviews for a couple of his techs, my dad hasn’t been to work in over a month (he had to go in for a few hours on those days because the database he and the other leads and supervisors use to evaluate their performance is only accessible from his workplace). Those two nights he went in, there was hardly anybody there and he was home by midnight both nights. His workplace is closed through at least the end of the month, but they are currently evaluating plans to possibly re-open at a limited capacity so the crowding isn’t so dense. Employees will also be subjected to temperature checks upon arrival (as fever is a notable symptom of COVID-19), which is a smart move (I’ve mentioned before that when my dad has brought home a cold or flu in the past, he’s almost always gotten it from someone who may have come to work sick). Florida is already starting to reopen some businesses, although I think most private businesses are still gonna be cautious about how they reopen and operate.

We’ve been getting our groceries delivered as of late, through one of the major wholesale clubs. Basically I’ve been trying to keep track of what we’re running low on and my dad’s been ordering the items online (although I’ve been letting him take charge of what protein items/meat to order), and then the club has a shopper pick up the items and deliver them to the house. We actually got pretty lucky on toilet paper this past week. We had been running dangerously low on TP recently (which, trying to find the stuff recently has been like mining for diamonds), and instead of trying to gamble on trying to get it at a store in person, my dad decided to order some through Walmart’s website. It took a few days to deliver, but we managed to get it delivered. Then we hit the jackpot again when we were ordering groceries, as the wholesale club actually had a pack of toilet paper in stock! So, between a dozen rolls in the first pack and 36 in the second, we should be set for a while now.

We are all doing okay at the moment, none of us are sick and we’re still in relative isolation. It’s prevented me from returning some Tupperware to a neighbor, but other than that it’s been business as usual. The fact that my mom’s care requires us to stick to a routine has actually helped us from really developing cabin fever (although technology helps, too). Before we get too bored, it’s usually either time to give her something to eat or time to clean her up. In between, I’m usually either watching YouTube videos, taking a nap, or cooking.

I’ve gotten about 100 pages into Children of Virtue and Vengeance, though I could put a little more energy into my reading. I’ve also been working my way through Series 5 of The Tribe, hoping to finish a rewatch of the show that’s taken the better part of two years for me to try and finish. I’m near the halfway point of Series 5 (which was the final season produced for television), and I plan on reading the three sequel novels that have been released once I finish Series 5 (I have all three of them in my e-reader). I’ve only managed a few chapters in Dune thus far, but I’ll probably come back to it every so often. Luckily, if I’m having trouble understanding some of the stuff going on in the book, I have one Facebook friend I can message if I have any questions since Dune is one of his favorite books ever…and there is always Google as well.

Before I post this, I’d like to talk a bit about a project I worked on recently. As you may recall, my best friend (The Lady Bryan) and her mom sent me a bunch of yarn as a Christmas present a few months ago. There were a few large skeins of a golden yellow (which I’m using in another project), and then several smaller balls in all different colors. I decided I was in the mood to make a hat, and I initially wanted to make a two-color brioche beret, but I attempted two different patterns and the process was just not cooperating with me. And then I found the pattern I ended up using, which used a simpler colorwork technique called mosaic knitting (which is typically done flat, one color per set of two rows, and the stitches in the color not being worked are slipped with the yarn on the wrong side to make the visual pattern). This version, though, was worked in the round and also used two-color cabling in addition to slipped stitches in order to make the beautiful colorwork pattern that results. The designer named the pattern in honor of the British chemist and crystallographer Rosalind Franklin, whose photographs of the DNA molecule were essential in proving that the structure of the DNA molecule was a double helix. You can learn more about her role in this monumental discovery by watching this video. She sadly died at the age of 37 from ovarian cancer, possibly caused by working unprotected around the x-rays she used for her crystallography.

Pattern: Rosalind Franklin Hat by Mat Kladney (also known by his handles thathatoverthere and that.hat.over.there, a take on the slang term T.H.O.T. — pronounced “thought”, which is short for “That [Gardening Implement that Rhymes with “Sow”] Over There) / Yarn: Premier Just Yarn in Black and Pink / Needles: U.S. #7 circular needles, 29”, knit using a modified Magic Loop (which I may post a description of at a later time)

As far as I know, Kladney currently has this pattern available as a free Ravelry download for the time being, as he said it was “free during the pandemic”. The pom-pom is optional, but I just felt like attaching one because I thought a pink pom-pom on top would look nice on it. It ended up attaching a little more loosely than I would have liked, but I can always come back with a sewing needle and thread later to further secure it. It’s still gonna be a few more months before the weather will be cold enough for me to wear it.

I didn’t expect a hat to help with my knitting cravings, but after two years of shawls and blankets, it felt nice to work on a hat for once. I don’t know if this is the start of a hat-knitting phase, but this one was actually a lot of fun for me. And yes, it did help hold off the cabin fever, too. I have enough stash yarn to make more colorwork hats if I feel like it. We’ll see there’s any more yarn or patterns that speak to me.

Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!