The second DNA scarf is complete. I have not yet bought the yarn for the third, nor have I decided on a pattern for the second scarf’s matching hat, so I have a little work to do before I can continue my DNA activities. I have added a picture of the second scarf here, though perhaps it should not be considered a scarf picture at all. For one thing, the composition, including as it does a portion of a kid wearing a wool scarf with pajamas, suggests surrealism, or at least one of the odder fashion mag styles. For another, the fact that I took it with my new toy digital camera (one of those free prize things, and it does actually identify itself on the computer as “Toy Camera”) gives it a sort of watercolor look which interferes with any actual identification of detail, outlines, etc — I mean, if I hadn’t told you what it was, it could have been anything, right? But I like to play with new electronic toys, however ineptly.

I was working happily on my Thanskgiving table runner, and contemplating a Christmas one, too, when I learned that table runners are the Big Thing in table setting right now. Frankly, I was unaware that there was a Big Thing in table setting. I have trouble with the concept. Table setting seems to me to a small thing, by its very nature.

I learned this interesting fact on TV, on the House and Garden channel, to be precise. I am not sure of the name of the program, but it also had a segment in which a designer told a woman to cover up her books when guests came. This woman had one measly bookcase, and the designer said that it would be assaulting her guests with literature and not fun. She draped a scarf over the front of it to cover the books. Now, I have been aware for some time that decorators don’t think bookshelves are for books (to be exact, since the night my modern bookshelf fell down because I had dared to fill it with books instead of  objets d’art), but the idea that they have to be covered in order not to spoil the fun seemed a little bizarre. Then the host suggested leaving an art book open on a table. Is this a mixed message?

Admittedly, I am not up on fashion. I am in fact indifferent to fashion. I have not made even one poncho and do not intend to, and I have no plans to make a capelet either. You will not find one scrap of eyelash yarn in my knitting basket. And the nuances of various styles of jeans and T-shirts, all of which are known and important to my kids and their friends, are to me a closed book.

But can any of us really say that we are unaffected by fashion? I may think that the discovery of a half-finished table runner in my Hallowe’en decorations started me off on this table runner kick, but could it not be that I have been subconsciously noticing the presence of table runners in magazines and store diplays, and it finally percolated down to my consciousness? I’m felting, after all. And I do not walk around, as some people do, wearing clothing from an earlier era in my life. When I see women in ’80s pussycat bows or the Pre-Raphaelite haristyles we favored in the ’70s, I am reminded of the Amish. The same quaint holding onto a vanished time.

I will contemplate this question as I quilt today.