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Nick had a friend visiting this weekend. Their grand plan was to go to a gun & knife show on Saturday, all day. (Nick makes knives, you see.) My reward – having the house to myself for a day! My plan: to clean the house first, so that I could enjoy the rest of the day in a clean house, and so that it would stay clean for more than thirty seconds.

My house accumulates simply fantastic quantities of dog fur, requiring frequent sweeping and vacuuming. By “requiring” I of course mean that anyone who was actually concerned about having a clean house would either vacuum five times a day, or sell the dog to the highest bidder. My house? When the dog fur tumbleweeds roll thru the living room, it might be time to clean.

I wanted to engage in the housework trinity: sweep, dust, vacuum, plus clean the kitchen floor. (My two least favorite jobs: cleaning the bathtub and mopping the floor. For the first, I now have daily spray cleaner, and for the second I have a wet vacuum thing with rotating brushes. Takes all of ten minutes if I dawdle, and I still can’t manage to do it every week.) So back to the housework trinity. Start with sweeping (so I can get the cobwebs out of the corners before I vacuum).

Broom closet: no broom. Also no dustpan.

Kitchen. Dining room. Living room. No broom. Or dustpan. Bravely look in Nick’s office. No broom. Look in guest bedroom, my office and bedroom. No broom. No dustpan. Oh, and no vacuum cleaner. Hm…

Look everywhere again. And once more for good luck. You know, those brooms are so small they could disappear just about anywhere, right? Locate dustpan in laundry room, behind the laundry hanging to dry (linen dress – no dryer). Okay, one down. Look in basement, just in case. Nope, no broom, and since there’s no carpet down there, also no vacuum cleaner.

Locate vacuum cleaner behind desk in Nick’s office. Note: no carpet in Nick’s office. Remove largest dustbunnies from carpet. Fur-free status lasts for 2.5 minutes, until Grendel returns from where he hid during the vacuuming episode, leaving a large wad of white fur on the brown carpet. Why do I have a dog again? I used to think my cats shed a lot…

Give up on finding broom. Also give up on kitchen floor, since floor wash thing doesn’t do dog fur so must sweep first. [Two days later. Still no sign of broom. Fur building up to extreme levels. Thinking of vacuuming the dog.]

The quest for cleaning equipment cut into valuable string time. Project for the weekend: a first attempt at knitting lace. I’ve never been much of a knitted lace fan, but I may be coming around… I at least want to learn how it works so that I can design my own. (Life’s work: understand string. All of it.) A simple pattern from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker gave me a place to start. I used a silk-rayon blend that was leftover from a very old sprang project, on 2.25 mm needles. The yarn is very loosely twisted and easy to accidentally split, so it took some extra care. I do think it would make an interesting and very comfy shawl or scarf.

Knitted lace

Many mistakes (and much tinking [what a great word!]) later, I had a small rectangle with five repeats of the pattern. No, I cannot explain how repeats four and five became offset from the first three. I also perhaps need to devote more care to the blocking process. But still, it is lace… and I think I get the idea. I won’t know until I try to design something, as that’s the process that demonstrates that in fact you know nothing, and everything you did know is wrong.

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