I may have hit bottom completely.

I called someone “Missy” in bell choir practice last night. “As I understand it,” I said when she complained that she hadn’t had enough chance to practice the music, “you’ve been playing bells since third grade. So let’s hear no more of that, Missy!”

I am still abysmally bad at the bells. The director stands by me and says “A-onie and a-twoie and a DOTTED QUARTER NOTE AND!” and things like that, and yet I rarely ring my bell at the right time. When occasionally I do (basically on sections where I have memorized the tune), I get a bit of a thrill. But you really can’t play bells by ear, so I stare grimly at the music, trying to count it accurately, even as my eyes go “Yep, just basses in the next three measures” and run ahead to the next bit where I come in. My eyes haven’t gotten the word that I am not singing.

I might learn to read music better from this experience, though. If I could just look at the music and see that we were back at the “onie and a-twoie” section rather than having to think “one two three four” through eight measures in which I don’t ring, I would not be thinking we were on measure 54 when we were really on 56.

After that, I worked with the kids’ music a bit. We’re doing a youth choir for the summer, and I am looking forward to working with them. “They’re really into your vocal exercises,” said my partner in this venture. That may be the first use of that sentence ever.

And then of course was my own choir practice. We are doing a campy version of “America the Beautiful” for Memorial Day. It simply cries out for girls with feathers, a la Busby Berkeley, though the director thought fireworks would do it.

I also went to the hour-long Pilates class at the gym yesterday, and of course worked — links management, workshop preparation, flyers, stuff like that. That Man gave me an article on increasing your website traffic from The Wall Street Journal. I was glad to see that I was doing all the stuff they suggested, and startled at the prices people charge to do those things. Of course, I do them with a low level of skill. But I think I need to make much fancier cakes for Arkenboy, the fellow who taught me the term “SEO.”

I was updating my state history for middle school workshop to mesh with the new social studies standards and found that the middle school now has an extremely odd set of requirements for state history. Civil rights and natural disasters, basically. 5th grade does the Civil War and 8th grade does a full semester course on state history, so 6th and 7th get Japanese-American internment and acid rain. Interesting topics, certainly, but it’s hard to imagine it as a really fun workshop, or even a cohesive one. We’ll see what I can come up with. I like challenges.4

But with one thing and another, I didn’t actually cast on for a new project, just swatched.

Yes, well, admittedly what we have here is two rows of knitting, so it doesn’t yet count as a swatch.  But along here pretty soon I’ll find a good gauge for this stuff and then I can find a suitable pattern.

This is Plymouth Stone Cotton, which I bought for the Nothing But a T-Shirt pattern a couple of years ago. I ended up making it in Sinfonia, which was pretty enough in the skein, but met all my worst fears in the actual garment — belling, clinging, refusing to hold its shape, looking uneven….

I’ve made several successful cotton garments since then, but I still don’t fully trust the stuff. If you have experience with this yarn and want to offer me some warnings or reassurances, I’ll be glad of it.