Another of my goals for this year was to return to my family history project. This began some years ago when #1 daughter did a project for National History Day on “An Immigrant Family.” She sent letters to family members and posted questions on the internet, got her information, did her project, won at the regional level, and was finished.

But the responses to her queries kept coming in. I was working at the time as Education Coordinator at a history museum, and it was natural for me to continue the research — I was poking my nose into lots of families, so why not my own? Over the past couple of years, though, I have neglected the project. This year, it got back onto my goals list. Inspired by Sighkey’s xanga (, and knowing that — at least for me — scheduling makes it much more likely that things will actually get done, I determined to devote some time on Tuesday mornings to the project.

So it was perfect when, last night, I got a call from a charming lady in Alabama who told me that there seemed to be a family member of mine buried in her family cemetery.

You might think that this would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but this is actually the second time for me. The first person who contacted me with this news knew how my family member had gotten there. He had died on the grounds of the ancestral home in question (there was a war on at the time) and the residents had been so kind as to bury him. The lady from Alabama and I are going to have to do some research to figure out what my kinswoman is doing in her plot.

Here is the beginning of a dull sock. It is being knitted in the same heather blue as the grunge mittens, and will probably end up just as grungy. I am resisting the temptation to add intarsia or cables or anything else, because the whole point is to have something dull to knit when I need respite from the interesting Hopkins. I feel sure that I cannot work on Celtic fretwork accurately while poring over old family letters and census records. A dull sock on a sleeve needle, however, requires no attention until I reach the heel.

Do you notice the sleeve needle? That is really the reason for the picture, since the dull sock is — well, too dull to have its protrait made. The sleeve needle, however, is a wonderful thing for those of us making socks and mittens, as well as those making sleeves. I’m told they are hard to find, but it’s worth the search. You can stick it in your purse, unlike a sock on dpns, and work on it while waiting for things.