Monday, April 30, 2007

Sunk to the Lowest Common Denominator

I am decidedly sub-par. Apparently pay-it-forward works in the viral world. Having escaped every scourge that ran rampant this winter, it is now my turn to be overcome by any microscopic whatever that flits through here. That, or I have been laid flat by a 36 hour and counting allergy attack which resists at best and ignores at worst whatever medication I throw at it.

I know I said I was sick of swatches, and I am, but that's all I've got for you today. I am not delirious and have no intention of attempting to work on the Bubbly while I'm impaired. Even the crochet was too complicated. I am, however, happy to report that both the Calico and the Portofino survived the washer and dryer, although the Calico contracted a bit more than I expected (note the dip on the teal swatch).

USPS was nice enough to leave me some yarn today. Two new colors of Pima Tencel, red and blue.

Two new contrast yarns. Berroco Zen Colors in #8170/Mindfulness and Portofino in #3/Foliage.

One new visual. Pathetic, isn't it?

Well, I told you I was only up to swatching. If you're all very good, maybe I'll go back to John's sweater and have rounds and rounds (and rounds) of dark green stockinette to show you tomorrow.

Friday, April 27, 2007

When The Going Gets Tough

I duck.
I begin to fear the Bubbly Curtain may be my qualifying entry to the Slog-along. I could add about 12 sq. ft. to the group total (see Ann's post today). I just feel so guilty using a Mason Dixon project for it.

Today, rather than show some character, rather than recover lost ground, I ran away from home, literally and figuratively. Literally took me off to Michael's. I have a huge project in my non-knitting life that's due within the next couple weeks. I allegedly needed supplies. When I got back, did I immediately go head down into it? No. I'm sorry to say, no. No, I didn't.

For my figurative escape, I tried this for a while. Nothing could hold me.

I rifled my Michael's bags. I remembered something had leapt into my cart as I strolled the aisles, and while it was fiber-y, it wasn't knitting. This is the new issue of Interweave Crochet paired with my long abandoned skein of Handmaiden/Fleece Artist Sea Silk.

I think I've finally found a a home for it. Good thing, too. I've fallen in love with a new colorway. I just couldn't justify the buying while I was avoiding this skein. A nice, long crochet scarf should just eat it up like popcorn.

Tough going? Maybe not.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


There's no excuse. I stayed up late to get a start on the Bubbly Curtain Redux (I am so bored with swatches). I had The Station Agent to keep me company, which was probably a mistake. Well, no. It was definitely a mistake. Because otherwise, surely, I wouldn't have done this, right?

One bubble trying to rise diagonally instead of vertically. And me with no lifeline.

The second, no, third, mistake was thinking I wasn't too sleep-deprived to fix it. I was. I gave up.

Is it really not principled to drink when one's children will be depending on one for things like meeting their bus, fixing dinner, helping with homework?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What If

Allow me to present (a drum roll here, please, or at least a rim shot) mega-geeks. The all new over-sized handy dandy multi-purpose swatch. Comes in a variety of colors and finishes.

Swatch #1: Double-stranded Cascade Pima Tencel in Ginger. The three borders are one strand of Pima Tencel with one strand Berroco Calico in Acid (bottom), one strand Filatura Di Crosa Portofino in Sunset (top) and double-stranded Pima Tencel in the middle.

Swatch #2: Cascade Pima Tencel in Teal, with borders in Berroco Cotton Twist in Fantasy (bottom), Berroco Calico in Acid (top), separated by a solid border. Same method as described for the Ginger swatch.

These are bigger (much bigger) than the first test run swatches. I want to see how the fabric will behave.

They are also teaching tools. It made so much more sense to work the borders with individual balls of the contrast color, as opposed to say, cutting the yarn after eight stitches (I'm so glad I figured that out before I attempt the real thing). The instruction to change color/yarn at the inside edge of the ribbed border, which sounded so wrong when I read it, became a no-brainer when knitting these. I guarantee, if I had just whaled into the project, I would have ignored that suggestion as obvious heresy and then cursed as I frogged.

These missed the laundry on Saturday, so I'm not sure if any will make the final cut. I'm particularly concerned about the Portofino. It's cotton wrapped in rayon and I know what a dryer can do to rayon. I have visions of it strangling the cotton, not unlike an anaconda.

With all that said, there's a slight problem. It may not matter if any of them survive. We have come to the conclusion that the answer to the question "What color should Clare's robe be?" is "None of the above." In between travelling the Silk Road, Clare and I pondered these. Held them up against her face. Imagined them as cuffs. Set them next to each other. Viewed them up close. At a distance. In daylight. In electric light. Except for rejecting the Cotton Twist in Fiesta (too reminiscent of Polly Pocket), she/we couldn't decide. It occurred to me that maybe neither the Ginger nor the Teal was right. Clare agreed.

So the search continues. We're considering a truer red or blue. I'm still hoping the Portofino (should it survive the dryer) will work with something. Or else that the skein I've ordered of Maggi's Rag in Denim will win her heart.

In the meantime. I intend to play with these.

What if I pair the green Pima Tencel with the cotton Twist in Pinata? What if I make an entire swatch with the Ginger double stranded with the Portofino? What if I combine the green with the Berroco Acid? What if . . .?

Well, what else am I going to do with them?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Silk Road

Knitting happened this weekend. Really. It did. Here's proof.

Admittedly, mostly geeky things. I promise I'll dissect them later.

What really happened this weekend was the CSO Family Concert by the The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma at Symphony Center. I've been stumbling around for words to describe the experience. It has to be words, because Symphony Center doesn't allow cameras. Breathless comes to mind. Mesmerized. Amazed. Instructed. Transported.

This (I think) was the program:

Sandeep Das, Shristi - A percussion piece (it was incredible), performed by 4 or 5 artists on dozens of drums and their variations ;

Story #1 (Creation), Ben Haggarty (Storyteller Extraordinaire!) - The tale of how Brahma fell asleep and his father/brother/son turned into a wild boar and saved creation;

Kayhan Kalhor, Mountains Are Far Away;

Chinese traditional, Galloping Horses;

Story #2, Ben Haggarty - Tibetan story of the Horse-headed King, who was also (really?) a Bodhisattva;

Improv, Ko Umezaki, Wu Tong, Dong-Won Kim;

Story #3 (Saryashki), Ben Haggarty - How the Tibetan Merchants in the previous story were washed onto an island of demons and saved by the Horse-headed King;

Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, Paths of Parables: The Father, the Son and the Donkey;

Story #4 Ben Haggarty - The Story of Hodja and the Donkey;

Night at the Caravanserei .

Here are pictures that convey a little of the experience. These are from performances at the Peabody Essex Museum. I couldn't find any good ones of Silk Road Chicago.

I found this on YouTube. It conveys (a little) of where we went for an hour or so on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of Chicago.

I know some of the excitement was because Yo-Yo Ma is one of the members. Some of it was due to Clare taking a flying escape from her end of semester responsibilities. Marco and John, as long-time fans-in-the-sense-of-fanatics of CSO Family Concerts, added their contribution.

I'm not sure why, two days later, I'm wandering around, thinking I smell spices on a dry desert wind.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Taking It To The Next Level

With Pima Tencel moving to the front of the pack for the Sweet Indulgence, robe, I've decided to raise the standard for geeky things.

It will , perhaps, come as no surprise that this entailed a trip to the yarn store, despite two days of parent teacher conferences cleverly disguised as report card pick-ups. Marco and I sallied forth to Loopy Yarns, the locus of the No Sheep For You book-signing. I love Loopy Yarns. If I didn't have to pay $10.00 to park, it would be my yarn store of choice. People so often freak out over Marco. The staff of Loopy not only took him in stride, they took an interest. All you knitting mothers of disabled children, take note. Especially if your children are, like Marco, fiber-oriented.

This is Marco's.

Look what I came home with.

Pima Tencel in 3183/Ginger and 7013/Teal. Berroco Cotton Twist in 8452/Fiesta and Calico in 1829/Acid. Looking at the colors on Berroco's website, I find myself wishing I'd gotten the Calico in Terrazzo. Somehow I missed it. Still, these are for practice and to find out how the yarn behaves as much as to decide what colors work together.

In keeping with Deb's comments and Clare's questions, I'm double stranding. PT Ginger with Calico Acid (why does that sound like a recreational drug to me?) for the first geeky thing. I'll pair up the Teal with the Fiesta for the next. Then, because I prefer the coral color of it, the Berroco Love It! in Pueblo with either the Calico Acid or the Portofino Sunset.

For this set of works in progress, I'm simultaneously trying to follow the pattern (no problem there) and devise a method for switching out the one strand of the variegated for one strand of the solid between the ribbing border and the body of the robe.

I feel like Arachne.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


You all know the story of Solomon and the two women, right? The one where they both claim the same baby and Solomon says we'll just cut the baby in half and you can each have part? The real mother, of course, says no, but the other says "Sure, great deal." I'm not sure at what point "split the baby" became the metaphor for compromise in our home, but there it is. I'm not sure I want to think about the implications of that, either.

So, back to knitting. Whilst all this experimentation has been going on, I bet you think I've been ignoring my dilemma with the Bubbly Curtain. Not so. The advice has all been resoundingly contradictory. I'm splitting the baby.

I'm not frogging, I'm calling the first one a swatch. I am extending the pattern, at least a little bit - 20 or so rows (the curtain is going to have to cover a window that's 4 1/2 feet tall, for Pete's sake.). I'll be starting a second one. I'm a product knitter, so two less repeats across the width sounds good to me. If I'm wrong, I'll trade and finish the original curtain. One of them can be my biggest geeky thing to date.

This is all in my head right now. No progress means no pictures. Blogs must have pictures. It's the law, or something. Here's the next couple rest-stops on the road to Sweet Indulgence. These are the Berroco Cotton Twist (left) and the Filatura di Crosa Portofino (right).

I suspect they're going to be too fragile to survive the laundry test. Portofino seems particularly so. It's as if someone took stranded flower thread and wrapped it loosely in marlitt (if you embroider, you'll know what I mean).

So, I still haven't decided on a yarn. Exactly. But I'm developing strong inclinations. Thanks in part to Deb White (the designer! of the Sweet Indulgence Robe), who left a comment that Cascade Pima Tencel, double-stranded, was one of her original choices. This caused me some concern, since parts of the SI Robe call for double-stranding the silk. I pursued Deb (I was trained to go for original sources). She replied to my email, explaining, "The reason I used the double for the border was to give the silk a bit of extra weight at the bottom so it won't roll up (silk doesn't like the iron, so it needs to be blocked to stay that way) Using 3, or 4 strands at the bottom edge would give it that weight so that it stays neat and tidy (not frumpy and rolled up)." My free interpretation of this is, I don't have to carry four strands of yarn for the border unless I want to. Thank you, Deb!

Clare has chimed in, too. She's not sure she wants a solid color robe, (although, unlike Diane, she likes the Pueblo) (which is so not orange) but wonders if we could do something with the border. I'm thinking, I could add a third strand of something to the border, to mimic the texture of the original without having to juggle four strands of yarn. (I don't know why I think three will be so much easier, but I do.)

See? Splitting the baby.

Oh, and if you haven't gone over here, play this:

The Robe in person (okay, the amazing No Sheep Amy is there, too, along with other projects from the book, but the main thing is The Robe).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Time Out

I was in such a bad skin this morning. One of those stomping up and down, muttering under my breath, thoroughly unpleasant, railing about/against who/whatever, complete in its absolute negativity, go stand in that corner young lady, frames of mind. Poor, poor, pitiful me. I had a few more epithets running through my head, but they're gone, now. Too bad, because some of them I know were really good.

This is a not unusual state of mind on Tuesdays. Tuesdays are the day I force my family to undergo that bizarre ritual known as "Cleaning for the Cleaning People." Tuesdays are when I find out that, once again, I have failed to teach my sons that "under the couch" is not the same as "put away." Tuesdays are invariably the day I find that the open package of cookies left on the counter after lunches have been made is, in point of fact, empty. As is the box of crackers that someone put back in the cupboard (empty and in the cupboard?) The kitchen garbage can is all of five feet away.

All things considered, is anyone surprised that when the door-bell rang my immediate reaction was, shall we say, less than hospitable? Let that be a lesson. Good thing I live in a condo and the person at the door couldn't hear me. Look what that nice Federal Express man dropped off.

I believe the proper response is "Oooh!" followed by "Aaaah!"

More experiments in the great "Sweet Indulgence" research project. Left is Berroco "Cotton Twist" in 8447/Pinata. Down the middle are Berroco "Love It!" in 3218/Pueblo, Filatura di Crosa Portofino in 6/Sunset, and Reynolds Bonnie in 9/Persimmon. On the right is Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Natural in 9705/Azure.

All I can say is, it's a good thing the cleaning people are coming today. I'm taking my time out right now. I have geeky things to knit.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sometimes It's The Labels


No Sheep Amy recommends measuring your geeky things before you do anything to them. I am lazy. Also, my swatches are rarely even enough to measure using something as simple and straightforward as length and width. My swatches are very complex, irregular, not-quite polygons (by definition, don't polygons need straight lines?), so measuring them would involve some very high order math, indeed. I traced them instead, labeled the tracings, then sent them off to The Laundry (cue dark and sinister music).


Interesting. Also unexpected. These are the post-laundry-traumatised swatches laid on the tracings of the original non-abused swatches.

Maggi's Rag (cotton acrylic polyamide blend, no care information on label).

Cascade Pima Tencel (cotton tencel blend, label specifies hand wash, dry flat).

And the biggest shocker of them all: Lion Brand Cotton Ease (cotton polyester blend, label specifies machine wash and dry).

There was a fourth swatch, but it has apparently found it's way to single sock land. This is "Oh My!" by Plymouth.

All things considered, I don't think I care, although this would be great yarn if I wanted something to look felted without having to super-size the pattern or actually do any felting.

And here I thought it was only swatches that lied.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Three Down

Marco and John had the day off. I forget if it was a "Professional Development Day" or a "Teacher Institute Day." It's the Friday before report cards. We used to call it "Marking Day." A day off for Marco and John requires one of two outings: Michael's or Target. I have no idea why. I just take orders. I suspect it has something to do with whether they want to eat at Pizza Hut or Wendy's. They're 17 and 12. Gourmet is not in their vocabulary.

We never hurry on a day off, so, until the boys were ready to go, I made "geeky things." This is not fun. I want a functional end-product. Six-inch squares of unrelated fibers are not functional. Good sources of information, I know, but not actual usable objects. Demonstrating more empathy than I expected, Marco has saved me from swatching the Knit One Crochet, Too PJ's.

I am, however, a woman with a mission: find a college-proof substitute for the $40.00 MSRP Classic Elite Temptation the Sweet Indulgence Robe calls for. Despite needing to survive fall, winter and spring in East Anglia, Clare does not want wool. Herewith I present the first three possibilities.

The bright green is Cascade Pima Tencel, a blend of cotton and tencel. The coral is cotton and polyester Lion Brand Cotton Ease. The dark grey-green is cotton acrylic polyamide Maggi Knits Maggi's Rag. The Pima Tencel was the nicest to knit. The Maggi's Rag is the nicest finished product. The Cotton Ease is the only machine washable and dryable option. It has also, however, been discontinued.

I know which one I'm rooting for.

These are destined for abuse. I don't care what the recommended care is, they are all going to join the family laundry tomorrow. Only the strong survive.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Unstuck In Time


Kurt Vonnegut

Nov 11, 1922 - April 11, 2007

You Can't Blame Neptune For A Second Shipwreck

I had no idea when I began it that the Mason-Dixon Bubbly Curtain would be the object of so much interest. For the first time in the history of this blog, I can use a post to answer questions.

Kathy Leelanau asked: "After pricing the Euroflax, I sat back and reconsidered. What are you using for your fiber?"

It's Maggi's Linen. I had the good fortune to score a huge quantity (I think with the Bubbly Curtain in mind, though I didn't admit it at the time) when the owners of a semi-local yarn store decided to retire and close the shop, so I got it seriously cheap. I've seen it for $5.50 to $7.50 USD. I'm not sure why the price range, but it's certainly a more affordable option than Euroflax Original Sport-weight, which goes for around $18.00 USD a hank .

Clare commented: "I'll have to move on to the curtain (which I like very much) and ask if you're knitting it so that the stripes will be horizontal or vertical. "

Vertical - like bubbles rising in a glass of champagne.

Diane has a thing about my stitch marker dependency, as demonstrated by the observation she made when she asked: "What are the blue markers for?"

It's an 18-stitch pattern repeat. The blue markers mark each 18 stitches. Just because I'm not using a lifeline doesn't mean it's not lace.

Bobbi wondered: Are you trying to make it wider or longer?"

I answered Bobbi's question in the post yesterday, but it leads me to another aspect of the Bubbly Curtain. That swatch I knit in stockinette? The one that matched the gauge for the stockinette swatch given in the pattern? It lied, it lied, it lied through its teeth. Given past experience with open work patterns not conforming to the expectations raised by swatches, I should have been prepared for this.

Looking at the pinned out section, and having the yardstick right there and all, I decided to measure the width of 18 stitch repeat. Based on it's measurement, I've got 2 more repeats than I need to fill the window. I have to accept that my curtain will not resemble bubbles of champagne in a fine crystal flute. It will more closely resemble something viewed through the undulations and imperfections of old window glass. Or, I can frog and start over.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Determinedly Not Whining

In the original version of this entry I intended to throw my pathetic, needy self on the tender mercies of blog-land. Except I realized I had already sort of done that when I posted to the M-D KAL. It brought some nice commenter's over here, but no one had recommendations for the Bubbly Curtain. It occurred to me that I do, in fact, have a brain. Maybe using it wouldn't be a bad idea.

To recapitulate, I am dithering about how to extend the Bubbly Curtain. Do I work the pattern as given? (The easy way out. The problem being that the pattern was written specifically for a small window.) Do I get creative? (The nerve-wracking option, but my window is not small.) Enter pins, ruler and imagination.

That's one repeat of rows 1 - 48 plus 4 rows of garter stitch border pinned out. The orange marker (Not a word, Diane. Not. One. Word. We all have our crutches.) marks the beginning of the section I propose to repeat. The row on the needles marks the end. This would expand the section of medium density bubbles by about 6 inches. (Edited to add: Re-reading this after Bobbi's comment, I realize it's unclear. I'm looking to make the curtain longer.)

If I work the pattern as written, heavy density into medium density will cover about one-fourth of the window. If I expand the pattern, they will cover a little over one-third. I'll be expanding.

All of which has ended up being a lot of time and thought to confirm what I wanted to do in the first place. Makes one wonder if one is falling victim to confirmation bias, but then it's my curtain. Still, I think I'll leave it keeping company with the Edward Gorey puzzle for a bit. (Oh, what? You only use your dining room table to eat on?)

Meantime, I'll start on geeky things.

P.S. I need to let one little whine out. That's snow on the ground.

April is the cruelest month. (T.S. Eliot. The Wasteland.)

Monday, April 09, 2007

A Very Mixed Bag

I'm going to apologize right off. Marco is not taking well to travel these days, even if a visit with Clare is at the end of it. As a result, I am seriously sleep deprived and make no warranty for the coherence of this entry. I'm not even going to pretend to try to stay on one subject. Much too difficult when my stream of consciousness is overflowing its banks.

So, first. Good heavens. Shameless trolling on the M-D KAL gets commenters. There's a lesson in that. Thank you.

Second. Unfortunately, today's post is about a different knitting book, so everyone visiting today will hightail it to somewhere else.

Third. The travel. We drove through the greyness to Urbana this weekend.

Clare has a test today and couldn't come up for Easter, so we went down. I haven't heard that much Latin in a mass since I was in grade school. The time with her was lovely. The general awfulness of the hotel was impressive (next time, I'll try the Ramada). Most importantly, from a blog point of view, the Sweet Indulgence robe was enthusiastically approved.

Today I started my serious quest for a silk substitute. Here, in no particular order, are the current contenders. There's Cascade Pima Tencel (the green at the top) and Superwash 200 (the teal at the right); Plymouth Oh My! (the green at bottom right) and Encore Colorspun (the blue at the left); Knit One Crochet, Too PJ's (the variegated at the top); Lion Cotton Ease (the coral in the middle); Maggi Knit's Maggi's Rag (the dark greyey green at bottom left).

Mostly culled from Knitche (because it's open on Monday). The Maggi's Rag is from the stash; at one point I had Scribble plans for it. The Lion Cotton Ease is from Michael's. It's the only cotton blend I could find that claims to be machine washable and dryable. The irony of possibly substituting the lowest end cotton for the $30.00+ per 100M silk does not escape me.

The next few weeks promise a lot of experimentation as I take a leaf out of No Sheep and knit "Geeky Things," since "swatching" sounds too much like homework.

And when experimentation palls, I can go back to Bubbling.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Mixed Emotions

I got an e-mail from Clare. Her hopes and dreams for the next academic year have come true. She has been accepted for a year of study in the UK at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. I know this is a good thing. I also know my primary job as a parent is to make sure my children can leave. Unfortunately, there's a part of me that could understudy for Norman Bate's mom. I don't want to admit this, but at the same time I'm rejoicing, a little voice in my back-brain is keening. I need to give it surcease.

I know, I know. I can hear you in my mind's ear. "Yeah yeah, Sure, sure. Whatever. We're only here for your knitting misadventures. What has all this mom-angst got to do with the important stuff?"

Enter the latest addition to my knitting library. (When feeling stressed, go shopping.)

I'd been looking for something that would free me from wool-knitting in Chicago's hot and steamy summers - a season that lasts from late spring to mid-Autumn. I am fiber-aware enough to know that dire things can happen when you just try to switch out wool for non-wool, even if the gauge matches. What I didn't expect to find was that the solution to this particular climatic problem could also solve my maternal one. It's a robe (surely a mainstay for all exchange students?) called "Sweet Indulgence."

Since it's knit with a chunky weight/CYCA #5 yarn it wouldn't need any more actual knitting than a sweater. Something I have to consider, since I only have until September to finish it. (Have I mentioned/have you noticed how slowly I knit?)

It is also, and here's a real problem, silk. I love the idea, but what is she going to do when she upsets a cup of hot cocoa all over it? Enter one reality check. I'll have to find a substitute, one that's machine washable and dryable. Well, what's a little research?

Now, if only Clare agrees it's a good idea, I can do something about that annoyingly shrill little voice. I believe it's called knitting up my ravelled sleeve of care.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Knitting Snack

The Sea Silk was not a keeper. It's frogged and resting, waiting for inspiration. Besides, the temperature has dropped. It's below freezing out there. Suddenly, a summer-weight scarf doesn't have the appeal it did.

The song of the Endpaper Mitts is faint and faraway as well. I think I'm still so annoyed with myself for using the wrong color for the faux seams that I can't bear to knit on them right now.

I know I said yesterday that I'm too old to be groupie or a stalker, but I begin to wonder if the same can be said for my knitting.
I seem to be back to all Mason-Dixon, all the time, because I'm getting my color fix from mitered squares.

This has become my long-term, ongoing, pick-it-up-often-enough-and-some-day-I'll-have-an- afghan project. This still surprises me, since the mitered square, whether from Mason-Dixon or Domino Knitting, originally left me less than enthusiastic. Mitered squares were for other knitters. Knitters who don't mind weaving in all those ends. Knitters who are devoted to stockinette. Yet here I am. They knit up so quickly that I know if I showed any kind of persistence or self-discipline, I'd have it finished in a couple of weeks. Persistence and self-discipline, however, are, at best, infrequent visitors.

Instead, my mitered squares fill the niche most knitters seem to save for socks. Colorful. Small. Portable. Quick. Like Jays Potato Chips, once I start one, I can't stop.

I can pretend I've accomplished something every time I finish one. For some reason, this makes the humongous projects (read: Bubbly Curtain or Island Embrace Variation or Seamless Sweater) seem less interminable. It makes no sense to me, but there it is. Not working on the big project makes it go faster. Certainly paradoxical. Possibly oxymoronic. Tasty, though.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Peace in the Valley

Unlike most of the knitters in Northern Illinois, I did not go out to the Western suburbs to represent with the Yarn Harlot. I had, after all, just seen her in July, in much less overwhelming circumstances, and found her everything her writing promised - warm, funny, humane, with the unexpected delight of a lovely speaking voice. I am, however, too old to be either a stalker or a groupie. I'll get enough of a fix from her blog, probably clicking all the links to read what others have to say. It will be enough.

My evening was spent much more sedately. At least, as sedately as it can be with Marco and John home for Spring Break. I should mention that I don't do well when every moment is planned, especially when we only have a week. In fact, I am an advocate of the benefits of boredom. I tell my children it fosters independent thinking and creativity. I don't think they believe me. The period between the onset of boredom and the realization that, not only have I interdicted all forms of electronic entertainment, I have no intention of filling the void is, admittedly, tricky. Having achieved equilibrium, how could I interrupt and haul them out for several hours of squirming frustration?

Instead, secure in their absorption, I knit. It was the first time in days, and yes, it really has been a series of one of "those" days. I begin to think I have one of "those" lives.

I am immersed in the Bubbly Curtain.

I don't know why I'm surprised by how engaging it is to knit. Well, yes, I do; it's abstract, white, mostly stockinette with a bunch of yo's and k2tog's thrown in. This reads like a fool-proof recipe for ennui. I had failed to consider the Mason-Dixon influence. One should always consider the source. Right now I am fascinated by the orderly way this seemingly random pattern is constructed. The only modification I'm considering is due to the unreasonable height of my window: should I extend the middle section of the chart? I think I might.

In between, I am indulging in Sea Silk. Very in-between. Sporadically and spasmodically at best. I'm not sure this is a keeper.

I don't think it's a good sign when I prefer the wrong side. Still, it's satisfying the color requirement.

These moments of grace, these periods of calm well-being, are too few.

Honestly now, how could I give this up, even for Stephanie?