The Selfish Gene, my current book, is the source of the word “meme” — you know, like the things people tag each other with on blogs. One blogger wrote that “meme” meant “Me! Me!” which struck me as a revealing piece of folk etymology. Really, a meme is a cultural bit that can be passed along just as the biological bits called “genes” are. Language. Songs. Knitting.

My knitting may or may not have gone awry. Brooklyn is waiting for reinforcements of ecru Den-M-Nit, so I am just doing my holiday knitting right now.

As I was puzzling over the Headline News cap, I remembered that one of my English knitting books recommended dressing tams (blocking caps, we would say here in Humburger-a-Go-Go Land) over a plate. Choosing a suitably-sized flat circular thing, I pulled the cap right over it, and found that it was indeed time to decrease.

So I went to the pattern, and found — a single decrease on the leading edge of each stockinette section. On alternate rows. Surely not, I thought. This would give you nice spiral decreases, wouldn’t it? And while I rather like spiral decreases, they would surely interfere with the cables. I am doing paired decreases. On every fourth row, in an effort to keep the speed of the decreases the same as the pattern.

I realize that I have, at this point, essentially given up on the pattern. Who knows what I will end up with?

There are still shawls sitting in my knitting basket. And, as I wait for wool to arrive in the mail, my stash of Highland Wool is calling to me, “Remember us? Fair Isle! Fair Isle!” I am resolutely ignoring all those hot wooly cries. It is easier than you might think, in this heat. Cotton, and small things. That’s all.