Canadian National is toying with the idea of joining me in a SWAPalong. I am in favor of this. All the official SWAPalongs are a) contests and b) populated exclusively with sewing experts. We need a casual SWAPalong where we can encourage one another and assure each other that our set-in sleeves don’t look that bad.

I had the opportunity to look at Australian Stitches, the magazine that came up with the term SWAP in the first place. Palmer and Pletsch wrote the book, and I guess Timmel fabrics came up with the strict rules, but the Aussies are the ones who should get the Nobel Prize for sewing.

It is an impressive magazine. I like that there are models of all ages and sizes. There will be an article on how to choose becoming patterns if you are thin, and then one on how a man with “rounded buttock” can adjust his patterns (actually, they aimed it at his wife, but still…) and then one on how to adapt the current fashion trends to your age, with specifics for those from 20s to 70s.

There are a lot of features on fashion (they are doing winter 2007 over there, so would that mean that they are ahead of us or behind?), but also technical articles showing how to miter lace or perfect a mock fly, pieces on clothing history, and galleries of wearable art pieces.

I found a bit of a language barrier. I have no trouble with British English, and I have a New Zealand dictionary my sister sent me, so I am okay with the kiwis unless they are talking about food, but Australians are a whole other thing. I have no idea what a spruiker is, nor do I understand what it is to “get szhooshy.” “Race wear” is not a clear mental category for me, and there is that gap while I calculate what 40 degrees would be in fahrenheit.

But they have the same pattern companies we do, and most of the terms to do with construction are the same as either British or American ones, so the practical information is readily available. As soon as I figure out what “elastane” is.

7 It rained yesterday. It was the perfect day to sit in the reading corner and read, so that is what I did. I finished up the tunic and knitted up the first skein of that sock yarn, while my husband and #2 son watched the Kung Fu movie marathon on Spike.

#1 son didn’t get to be involved in this because he had to go to work, poor soul.

I did get to the gym, and there a remarkable coincidence occurred. Or began.

I was reading Smithsonian on the treadmill, and in particular I read about the peccadillos of Linnaeus and the counterintuitive 7information that we have relatively few ancestors if we go back far enough, rather than doubling the number every generation.

Neither of these things was new information to me, but they are a pretty random pair of pieces of data. So I was bemused when I got back home and settled in with Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, and read discussions of both those topics.

Now there were lots of other topics in both the Smithsonian and the Short History, so the overlap was perhaps not that startling — I wouldn’t know without lots of calculations requiring data I don’t have — but it made me think of topics in general. The topic of topics, if you will.

Like many others, I blog at least in part because there are things I like to talk about which are not of interest to most of the people in my physical world. People in general are not interested in knitting, so we can write about it here in blogland, and the community of knitters, though small enough in general to be spread thinly across the country, is mighty online. In the physical world, I find myself in lots of conversations about politics and education and current events, so those topics rarely arise in my blog.

Math and science are also topics which are of limited interest to most people. I don’t know why this should be, but it is true. So if I am thinking about those topics, I usually end up discussing them here.

But there is another topic which I discuss here and not in the physical world. Clothes. I almost never discuss clothes in daily life. And yet, I think it unlikely that none of the women I know is interested in clothes. I would have thought that women often discussed clothes.

It is possible that my interest in clothes is primarily that of a producer, not a consumer. Maybe people have actually tried to discuss clothing with me, and I have thought they were talking about shopping, which I associate with economics and marketing, and so I have responded incorrectly.

It is possible that I do not look as though I would be capable of discussing clothes, so that I get left out of those conversations. I may never know.

7In the interests of hiding the squash from my boys, I made a squash casserole yesterday. Perhaps you would like to make one, too, now that the bounty of summer squash is upon us. Even if you are not trying to hide squash, it is still very tasty.

You will need some crackers. The person who gave me the recipe uses saltines, but we use Hot and Spicy Cheez-Its. Neither is a healthy choice, but I have never tried it with Rye-Krisp. Crush one cup of those crackers.

Then get out your grater and grate up a cup of summer squash, a carrot or two, a bit of cheese, and a chunk of onion. Mix all these things together with an egg and  bake them in a casserole dish at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. The original recipe included a can of cream soup, but I don’t include that and have never missed it.7

So, yeah, there was some sewing and knitting and cooking, a bit of exercise, some family time, some reading, and even a little work, but mostly we had a lazy, rainy day. Our cat is demonstrating the feel of the day here.

Today I will be back at the store. This evening I will have a walk with Partygirl, and see whether I can get her to talk about math, science, or clothes.

In a spirit of experimentation.