5 Yesterday I spent the day preparing for the upcoming workshops, with various plumber and insurance adjuster interruptions.

Today and tomorrow I will be at the store.

I will be nurturing a fantasy involving coming home to find that the blowers have been removed, the carpets cleaned, and the furniture put back into the bedrooms (which will of course be a marvel of tidiness, since we took everything out of them).

Oh, and someone will have gone grocery shopping and done the laundry that piled up while the plumbing was hors de combat.

I know it is unlikely, but the thought of it will sustain me.

The workshops are filling up, business is perking up, The Empress allowed as how the website seems to be driving5 traffic to the store even if the online orders aren’t pouring in, and the gardens are waking up from their unusually long winter slumbers.

So, once I tore myself away from the computer and fed the family (“Whole grain pasta again!” they shouted crossly. “You’re stealing our childhoods!” Though #2 son admitted that the fresh hot whole-grain bread was good. #1 son continued to maintain that I was starving them. However, he did, when I said, “You need to quit being rude and disrespectful to me,” say, “Okay,” so it could have been worse. The continual battle at our house over healthy food has been affected by my stress level, which has been reaching the point at which I say, “Oh, what the heck, eat hot dogs and pizza and ice cream,” so that I have slid back considerably in the battle, in addition to gaining a few pounds. I had gotten them to where they no longer complained about whole grains, saving their fire power for vegetables and fish, but I have lost that beachhead. Or whatever military metaphor would be correct there. I have also obviously lost control of my parentheses here. I had better start that sentence over)…

5 Once I had torn myself away from the computer and fed the family, I went to my bedroom with a book and knitting.

I had tried the porch first, but had been eaten alive by mosquitoes. My bedroom, though, is not filled with furniture from other rooms, so it is a bit of a haven.

I finished up the first skein for the front of Cherry Bomb, and thought about the words of Barbara Walker.

If you are a knitter, you probably have at least one of Barbara Walker’s stitch collections on your shelf. Many of the people who style themselves designers actually just take one of those stitches, knit up a rectangle of it, and call it a pattern. (I have two copies of the first collection, myself, and would be happy to swap one of them with someone who has an 5extra copy of one of the others. Uh-oh, parentheses getting out of hand again…)

Anyway, Barbara said that you should never knit a garment that was completely plain. Everything you knit, she said, should have some extra touch of color or texture or design that a machine could not do.

I am no longer sure that she is right, now that I have learned to think in terms of wardrobe and wearability. But her words were on my mind. Cherry Bomb is plain stockinette. It is designed with garter stitch edgings, something I consider a mistake. So I replaced the bottom edging with ribbing, and was planning to do the same with the top edgings.

Thinking of Barbara’s words, though, I contemplated alternatives. A picot edge?  A thin crocheted lace edging?

On the Bijoux Blouse, I replaced the garter stitch with seed stitch, which made a very pretty texture, but Cherrybijoux Bomb has just four rows of edging, which isn’t enough to get the full effect with seed stitch.

The point of edgings, by the way, is to avoid the rolling edge that plain bound-off stockinette gives you. A couple of years ago, some designer were just leaving the rolling edge and calling it a design feature, but mostly you want something more finished looking. Garter stitch was of course designed to make a stretchy top for your stockings (which were made in stockinette, or stocking stitch as they say in the UK), and doesn’t make a firm edge at all. And ribbing is the obvious, standard finishing, but it hardly counts as some special touch, does it?

A little time with my Barbara Walker compendium is obviously called for.