I had a productive weekend. Among other things, I completed the first sleeve of the T-shirt. This puts me in the home stretch for sure. I spent all that decreasing time reading a few of the knitting blogs.

DogsStealYarn has suggested a plot. We should all make bright socks in fancy stitches for our menfolks (because, in case it is not obvious to you, it is so dull to knit plain gray socks for them), and then — here is the clever bit — compliment them. En masse.  If we only compliment our own fellas, they will not believe it. They will think we are nuts. But if we all make an effort to compliment every man we see wearing jazzy socks, it will become widely believed that women go gaga over guys in snazzy socks, and we will never have to knit an enormous plain gray sock again. I think this idea has merit.

Colors are important, after all. Yesterday, at the church plant sale and brunch, I bought quite a lot of daylilies. The main reason I did this (aside from the fact that it was for a good cause and I like daylilies) was the labeling of the colors: “Orange,” “Not Orange,” and “Salmony-Yellow.” As color names go, these may not be the most evocative, but you can see why I found them irresistible, can’t you? I got some of each and planted them along the back wall. I get some points here, by the way, because I dislike plantings along walls, but the guys who mow the lawn feel strongly against nice curved beds. And probably won’t wear bright-colored socks.

NotSoSwift has been a bit intense about knitting blogs. She’s always interesting to read, even though I’m not inclined to that level of intensity myself (at least not over knitting) — but she does have some points about knitting books that resonate with me a bit. A lot of recent knitting books seem to be mostly telling folks how to make rectangles with expensive yarn.

There is a natural limit to how much of that anyone needs. So, still wanting to ride the knitting bandwagon without actual effort, publishers are bringing out knitting novels.Novels, that is, that center on knitting. I have ordered one, called Knit One, Kill Two, on the grounds that I can always read another mystery novel. But I am suspicious.

I read a lot of novels from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and there is usually quite a bit of knitting in them. This is true for the same reason that there tends to be a lot of eating, walking, talking, and gardening in these novels — it was a normal part of people’s lives. When Edmund Crispin has Fen’s wife knit placidly while they trade allusions to Restoration drama, it is not a gimick. It is just because she’s a woman, so what the heck else would she be doing? Smoking a pipe? But the current crop of knitting novels — and publishers are announcing a whole bunch of them for the summer — really seem insincere.

The Knitting Curmudgeon has some intriguing things to say about the American character. It’s right under the picture of the variegated Red Heart yarn. I don’t agree, but I thought it was an interesting take on the drive for mediocrity which does seem to be characteristic of our age. We really see this in education. However, I don’t think that a largely government-sponsored movement toward the least common denominator will have much effect on individuals, any more than the Kennedy-era focus on “the best and the brightest” did. I may see this more as a government issue because of my work, but I know that I am still surrounded by ordinary people doing creative and excellent things, probably in the same proportions as always. Still, if you want some spice for your morning coffee, check it out.

This week is filled with errands, appointments, and meetings. My heart sinks a little at the thought. I had better get going.