If you see the book I am reading, you will note that I am not reading Outlander any more. I haven’t finished it, either, which is my usual reason for not reading something any more. I just lost interest in it.

It is not that this is a dull book. There has already been blood and gore and smelly men and horses and magic and ghosts and mystic rituals, and I’d hardly gotten started. It is not as though my life is so thrilling that I found myself thinking, “Oh, yeah, pagan dancing in bed sheets followed by eruption of historic battle… did that last Tuesday myself, what a yawn.” It just didn’t hold my interest for some reason. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mood. I’ll try again some time in the future.

Since I have been under the weather this week and skipped the gym and both my rehearsals, my life has been even less eventful than usual. I scrubbed the kitchen and the bathrooms and swept the front porch yesterday, met a new friend of #2 daughter’s, gave in and listened to gossip, and had a spirited discussion with my husband over whether he could roast chicken under the broiler in a pair of pyrex pans or whether he might not be better off just fixing the blasted oven — that was about the thrill level for the week.

Don’t think I am complaining. I’ve had enough excitement in my life to be able to appreciate the quiet life.

Having more free time than usual, though, I checked out the sewing blogs, and even followed the links to the fashion blogs. I know you have been wondering what the new spring trends are going to be. I’ve already admitted that I dress for work every day in something like a boy’s school uniform or the sports kit of Prince Edward in the 1920s, so you would not be expecting to hear it from me. But since I have gained this knowledge, I will gladly share it with you.

The spring collections are showing lots of neutrals. You will recall that the Wall Street Journal explained last year that they were doing spring in beige because they were afraid that there was no other way to get people to buy new clothes, than to make their sherbet shades from previous years completely outmoded. Well, if you got into beige last year, then you are good for this year. There is also a lot of white, and white on cream, and the occasional daring foray into fawn and tobacco or gray. The colors are being described as “watercolor” shades — clear pastels, mostly, with some saffron or cinnabar in the Asian- and African-influenced stuff.

“Ethnic influences,” they continue to say, as though Asia were ethnic and Europe was not.

Anyway, the basic shapes are simple, but there is a lot of interesting seaming going on. Pleats, tucks, draping, fabric origami, interesting bindings and edgings… Stand-up collars and no collars at all are being seen, and kimono sleeves, lots of T shapes. Lapels are simplified or lacking. There is still a good deal of romance and a little bit of the military look, with Empire waists continuing to show up alongside the Napoleonic jackets. Sometimes even under the Napoleonic jackets. There are soft wide pants and teeny narrow pants, but last year’s odd formal shorts seem to be gone. This year’s weird look appears to be the trapeze dress with bubble hem, in case you want to be sure to sport the season’s weird look.

If you were seeking weird knitting, look no further than the new issue of The Anti-Craft, which is specializing this season in knitted replicas of the reproductive system. Not looking for weird? How about this very charming baby sweater? Note the wrap front and interesting edgings livening up the simple Asian-influenced shape. I’d say this was right in fashion.