Feeling much better this morning. I broke down and took a couple ibuprofen last night, and also a loratidine tablet. And I ran the humidifier all night, and my throat is almost completely better. So if this is a cold, it seems that I'm at the fighting-it-off stage.
Also, I have seen no further evidence of mice since plugging the exit hole. And my big bottle of peppermint oil came, so I wiped down multiple surfaces with it, and plan to occasionally refresh as needed. (I also can use the peppermint oil as a headache remedy; I've read that mixing a few drops with a "neutral" oil like almond oil and massaging it into the temples can stop a headache. I'm going to try that because I really do not like gulping down pills every time I get a headache. And a lot of mine seem to be sinus-caused, so maybe the peppermint oil will help with that).
I pulled out a project I started over break and got back to work on it. This is the "Miss Marple Shawl" (which is how I always will think of it). It was a vintage pattern (called something like "Stripes of openwork and stocking stitch") that was reprinted in an issue of Piecework last year. I'm using the Silk Garden sockweight yarn I had in the stash for it, and I'm really pleased at how nicely the yarn and the pattern work together. The yarn stripes; the pattern stripes. They don't necessarily stripe together, but it still works and looks pretty.
The slightly "rustic" quality of the yarn also seems nice with the pattern; almost like what someone living in St. Mary's Mead in the 1930s would find at one of the shops in the High Street. (Okay, maybe the color combinations are not so much - though even that, most of them are muted; there's a dove grey in there, and a moss green, but also a bright turquoise. Though more than many yarns of the Noro line, the colors work together without seeming garish).
I will have to watch as I knit. You are supposed to do 13 repeats of the pattern before starting the decreases. I'm hoping I will have enough yarn. (I often worry that). If I don't seem to, I may have to make the shawl smaller. I figure because it's a simple increase/decrease based repeat, if I have to do 12 or 11 repeats instead, I'll be fine and will still come up with a square shawl. (Though it may not be an issue. I'm on repeat 5 and I still have maybe 1/3 of the first ball left...but I'm going to watch that second ball carefully, because I need to be starting with the second side at or before the end of the second ball...or else start searching on Ravelry or other places for another skein of the yarn in the same colors...)
It's an easily enough memorized pattern, and yet, at the same time, it's really not boring the way some plain knitting is. (I suppose the striping yarn helps.)
Some year, if I wind up ever in an instance again when I need a Halloween costume, it seems that Miss Marple would work well for me - pin my hair up and either buy or borrow a white wig (or perhaps get some of that theatrical dust stuff that makes one's hair look white and put it in there), wear a tweed skirt and a plain blouse and one of my cardigans or shawls (and I even have a pair of lace-up heeled shoes. I haven't worn them in years but I suppose they still fit). And carry my knitting. Of course, some people would probably guess "grandma" when they saw me, but maybe the more literary-minded ones would know. (Perhaps I could get a small Union Jack pin and wear it on my collar, so people might be more prone to guess "Oh, it's a British character")