We went to the market, where things are in full swing. We loaded up with peaches, berries, squash, melon, beans, herbs, and peppers. We ran into The Empress and That Man, buying lots of tomatoes for canning, and a neighbor who has a sensible approach: go all the way around the square first, and then go back and take the best on offer. We just start at one side and keep buying until there are no more dollar bills left in our jeans. This works well if a) you have a sensible number of dollars in your jeans to start with, and b) you begin at a different spot each week, so that you will eventually get around to everyone.

Then it occurred to #1 son that he had seen a pattern he liked at the LYS the previous week. It was, he said, on a poster between the two rooms. And no, he did not care to come along to find it again.

So I went to the LYS myself and went to the corridor between the two rooms, and found — nothing. Nothing in the way of a poster, at least. The kind ladies helped me search, and at last it struck one of them that there was a poster for Rowan Denim People up somewhere — and there I was with another knitting book. Another knitting book which does not contain a shawl. This is becoming alarming. I did not actually need any more knitting books — except for one with the perfect shawl pattern in it.

Oh, I asked the ladies for a shawl pattern. I described, inarticulately, what I wanted, and they searched. I waved my hands to demonstrate the way I wanted the pattern to go in the back without saying “with cool geometry” out loud, because I do have some sense of normalcy, really I do. They showed me patterns and I said things like, “No, I want a really complicated one” and they said things like, “More complicated than this?” and I got to be on the other side of the transaction. Just as I find myself thinking, “It’s a planbook, for heaven’s sake, just pick one!” these ladies were doubtless thinking, “We’ve shown you every shawl pattern in the store, for heaven’s sake!”

“I’m being unreasonable,” I assured them. “Well,” they said, “You have a right to be unreasonable.” I thought that was very nice of them.

So I bought the book, but the yarn — we are talking about 17 balls of a $12.50 a ball yarn. I wanted to make sure that I had the right thing, exactly. So I brought the book home, and #1 son says yes, the Brooklyn sweater is exactly what he wants. He will have it for Christmas.

Has anyone out there ever successfully subbed any other yarn for the fiendishly expensive Rowan Denim?

The book has many very cool designs. I was particularly pleased with the men’s designs, because you know my guys do not want to look like Mr. Rogers. They are clear, the photographs are well done, and there are schematics and charts when appropriate. I think I will enjoy using the book. However, as I mentioned in this morning’s post, this yarn shrinks quite a bit vertically, and not at all horizontally, and all the patterns are adjusted for that shrinkage. So I now have two sweaters (Brooklyn from Denim People and Shaped Denim Jacket from Celtic Knits) designed to be made in this ruinously expensive and eccentric yarn. [I’ve come back to report that I found this yarn for sale online at half what the LYS is charging for it, so I am going to quit whining about it. However, I am still interested to know whether there are good subs for it.]

So I ask again — any substitute suggestions?

So when I at last got home from all my errands, I did a bit of scrubbing, and then settled down with the bawk and Olivia Joules. It is too hot to consider anything more active than that. This morning there were people out running, doing yard work, and such, but now the streets are empty. Olivia Joules is a cross between James Bond and Vogue magazine, which is not a bad cross for a hot day. You get your terrorists, and your high fashion and cute guys.

The bawk is going well — I thought. I like the way it is striping, I like the springiness of the ribbing and the self-effacing little cable. Then #2 daughter said, “Who on earth are you going to give that to?” Now it is having self-esteem issues. No, not really. It is only yarn. Its feelings cannot be hurt. What’s more, it remembers, in its little woolen heart, how its sister skeins became Hopkins, and it knows that it has its own charm.