Porcelain wonders.

So it causes one to think: Wouldn’t it be nice to have a soak in the tub without one’s shoulders sticking out and getting cold? I mean wouldn’t it, really? I was visiting Bathpro website yesterday, when I got to the part about Japanese soaker tubs; I really began to think how different life could be. Our jetted tub, which came with our 6-year old house, must be 6 feet long (inside) and that means at 5’3″, I can submerge myself quite easily for a full soak, although not very comfortably. At about 6 feet long on the inside, the tub is an absolute monstrosity and takes up a ridiculous amount of space. It uses so much water, that to fill it, you have to crank-up the water heater, and cease all other hot water usage, and dump a few 8-quart pots of hot water from the stove to really enjoy the tub’s full capacity. It’s also a huge pain to clean because it’s so—vast! I know, some of you out there are thinking, “I wish I had a tub I could submerge in!” I’m not sure, but I think this is a North American problem, but modern tubs in the United States, are becoming quite small and shallow, unless you pay for something bigger (although ours came with the house). In truth, I think most people, myself included, are just too busy to just have a soak most of the time, anyway. Anyhow, I’d like something smaller, and now I’m dreaming of alternatives. And that’s all it is, dreaming, since we have no plans to haul the big white fiberglass monstrosity out and put in a short, but deep Japanese soaker tub. It’s a nice dream, though.

While you’re visiting Bathpro, check-out the Japanese toilets and toilet seats they sell. When I went to Japan and Korea a couple of years ago, I was not prepared for these porcelain wonders. The first one I encountered was at a very nice tea house outside of Seoul and, jet-lagged from my trans-Pacific flight, I was puzzled when confronted by a toilet with buttons and Korean letters. Pushing the button with the picture on it that I thought represented a flow of water, I became absorbed in watching a small mechanical arm appear from under the toilet seat, when the arm spurted forth a jet of water—on me! Initially, I was in a panic and I pressed myself against the toilet stall door, trying to escape the stream of warm water, and then I just had a good laugh (luckily there was no else in the room). I mean, what else could I do? After what seemed like eons, the jet of water ceased, the arm retracted to its mysterious home, and somehow I found the flusher. I mopped-up the puddle of water on the floor as best I could and then tried in vain to mop-up the water on me, as the jet’s trajectory had hit me right on an embarrassing place on my slacks. Holding my hands over the wet spot, I returned to the table where my husband and his relatives were seated, I couldn’t hide my mirth and ended-up telling them all about my watery confrontation with the porcelain wonder. I guess I committed a faux pas, because my husband’s relatives looked a bit embarrassed, but to this day I have a good laugh when I think about those toilets.

Bathroom activities aside, I have just found a lace shawl pattern that I am eager to start, Bird’s Eye Shawl, which is available as a free pattern on Heirloom Knitting. I’ve just ordered the yarn for it from Heirloom Knitting, and in the meantime, I’ve been familiarizing myself with the chart and the pattern by using scrap yarn to make a sample shawl. Having a dry-run with scrap yarn is not something I’ve done before, because I’m often so eager to get started that I can barely tolerate making a stitch gauge, but it has turned-out to be a good exercise and I highly recommend it for lace patterns. I’ll let you know when the yarn arrives!

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