The encyclopedia people liked my article, and I have been asked to do another. 

This does not make up for the fact that my husband’s company is shutting down for another week.

We all have our challenges. This is a real-life challenge — how to live on half one’s normal income for months on end — but there is a significant knitterly challenge out there.

Are you a knitter? Yes, but are you a mad, wild-eyed, daft as a prawn knitter? If so, you can join the Yarn Harlot in the Olympic knitting challenge. The idea is to choose something challenging to knit in the 16 days of the Winter Olympics.

The Harlot points out that you choose your own challenge, so it is “only as crazy as you make it.” Wendy suggested that in order to feel challenged, she would have to take on an Aran house cozy — big words, but she’s not taking part. Neither am I. However, a lot of people are.

The rest of us can watch.

Yesterday at work, I told the story of the Couple in Wheat Markets to The Empress and The Princess. The Empress, who has known me for many years, said, “I’ve never heard that story” in a somewhat startled voice. Yes, well, I have a whole bunch of really fascinating stories that I never tell anyone, because I am now such a highly respectable matron that these things just don’t come up in conversation.

But here is how it came up in conversation. A former customer of ours, someone we used to know quite well (I did a presentation on ballads in her classroom once, in fact), came in after a hiatus of several years. We had heard that she had some truly wild event take place — like maybe she burned her own house down during a Domestic Disturbance. We never knew all the details, and had forgotten the ones we had known to begin with, so we were hoping a) that she would tell us all about it or b) we could piece together the details from what we all remembered.

I gave her the opportunity to talk about it. I asked her what she had been up to, with a couple of humorous yet outrageous suggestions for why it might be that we had not seen her in so long. The outrageousness was to set a tone of open discussion. It did not work. She neatly avoided all our questioning. Obviously, it was none of our business. I cannot even pretend that we had any good reason for asking. It was flat out curiosity, and you know what that did to the cat.

Discussing it afterward, we found that other scandals came to our minds — like the middle school principal who got arrested for propositioning a plain-clothes policeman in a public restroom. We determined that, were we ever in such a scandal ourselves, we would just have to move and change our names.

It was at this point that the Couple in Wheat Markets came to my mind and I told them all about it.

So — and this is the point of this — if barmy knitting challenges are the worst bit of craziness you can come up with, then you are probably doing just fine. So please do not take my words above as discouragement. I am in fact hoping that someone I know will do the Olympic knitting. It is always more interesting to watch this sort of thing if you know one of the characters in the story.