Third time may be the charm for the variegated yarn. Having cast on and unravelled twice with traditional multi-yarn Fair Isle, I decided to try a single Alice Starmore chart with just two colors. Here I am, not yet through the first repeat, and I am at least disliking it less than I did the first two tries. There is some semblance of a pattern emerging.

The sensible thng would be to frog the entire thing one last time, plan to make lots of socks, and move on to the planned Fair Isle with my new Christmas yarn. However, it has, as my mother says, become a Quest. That is her expression for anything people continue on with past the point of sensibleness, just because they have already invested so much time in it that they can’t stand to cut bait and give up.

So I am going to go ahead and spend six weeks making this sweater which I will then have to wear, even if I still dislike it, because by then I will have spent so long making the blasted thing. However, this experience will remind me, next time I see variegated yarn on sale and think I should try it, not to.

We have so many new games at our house that we are spending even more time playing them than we usually spend on games. Risk Godstorm, the DVD version of Trivial Pursuit (Pop Culture, so I am laughably ignorant and my kids can be scornful. I just answer all the sports questions “Michael Jordan,” since I know that he is in fact a ball player of some sort. All questions about rap music I answer “Eminem” and TV questions I answer mostly with “Quentin Tarantino.” This strategy has allowed me to lose all games so far), Jackstraws, and the 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle are consuming our time together. When the kids are off with their friends, they are playing video games. In this way, we are staving off the return to serious undertakings.

We are also still eating Christmas leftovers. We have not been to the gym, although #2 daughter and I did the first few segments of our ballet workout DVD yesterday. My husband is sleeping so late that I don’t even see him before I leave for work.

All in all, it is a hotbed of riotous living over here. Since we are being competitive, here is a jolly carol about the competition of the holly and the ivy, thought to symbolize the male and female characters. In other words, it was the girls against the boys. In this case, the holly won, and all the verses are about the holly, with the ivy being entirely forgotten.

It is said that this carol, collected in Gloucestershire by Cecil Sharp, is one of a group of carols about this annual holly-vs-ivy competition, but I do not know of any others. This one was declared one of the two Carols of the Year for 2002, when the organizer of the Carol of the Year event said that it was being lost and was rarely sung any more. It would be a sad thing if we lost this fine song. It is very lively and fun.