Friday, December 29, 2006

Classical & Jazz Music Podcasts


I have come across a couple of wonderful classical music podcasts. My favorite is The Concert. These performances are outstanding classical music podcasts from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. They are from thirty minutes to an hour long, and well worth a listen or two.

WGBH in Boston also has some classical podcasts that are very fine full performances at this site: Classical Performances.

There are a few good jazz podcasts out there, too. Here's a piano podcast called Jazz Piano Small Pieces that I really like and here's the web site: Voiceblog. I can't read most stuff on this site, but the music is really lovely.

Also, Jazz and Conversation is a very nice blog, with podcasts offered, but it's finding the rss feed is not as easy on this site, so here it is: Jazz and Conversation podcast.

Okay, so I have bored most of you out there with this, and certainly all of you who don't give a hoot about podcasts or musical genre of this type. But if you like this type of music, check it out.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The 70's Sweater, Really!

Here it is...after years in the closet. I can still wear it, but it's a bit more snug than it used to be, and that's one reason it has been hibernating. Another is that it's so warm that even thirty years ago I found it too warm to wear indoors. The sweater made its debut at my oldest son's high school football game. The hood was warm and nicely attractive, too.

I knit sweaters for my sons, but the only other sweater that remains from ages ago is a little fisherman knit that was made for my nephew when he was a small child. I was happy to learn that sweater now belongs to my nephew's son, who was born in October of this year. It's a little big for him yet, but maybe in a year or so he will be wearing it. Here he is wearing the blue blanket I made for him:

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The 70's Sweater


The Best of Times---The Worst of Times

If anyone reading this is old enough to remember 1977 (it was the best of times; it was the worst of times), they might have been enamored of this knitting pattern featured on the cover of Family Circle magazine. It was a classic, and I had to have it. I made it, with my limited knitting skills. As luck would have it, it turned out rather nicely. I added a loop and a wooden button to keep me a bit warmer, but kept to the pattern in all other ways.

And I was lucky enough to find the original magazine intact in an antiques shop in Wisconsin. You just gotta dig for some things!

I still have the sweater (Mom says you should never toss a sweater) and if I can get a good photo of it, I'll post it later.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Google Knits!

Wow! Knitters have arrived! Google's Holiday logo features knitting kangaroos. If there were any doubts that knitting is in, dash those right now. See here for the daily progression.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas!


Merry Christmas!

Last night I read again the Christmas story. My heart is grateful.

We are spending a quiet Christmas Eve at home, and Jack's son will be here on Christmas day. Later in the week we will have Christmas with my son and his family.

And, of course, my knitting will be close at hand.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Circles Around the Holidays



When preparing a special meal like Thanksgiving or Christmas, I always find myself figuratively if not literally going in circles when it's time to mash the potatoes and carve the burnt offering. The same circles happen as the holidays approach.

I am now going in circles with my knitting. Who starts something new and interesting just before Christmas when they need to be finishing up that scarf so it can be wrapped? To be a bit gentle with myself, I actually started these several weeks ago but frogged them because the corners looked too sloppy. Would that show after felting? And for that matter, whose hand will they fit anyway? When I get to the felting, will I be going in circles then, too? Aaargh!

The yarn is Cascade 220 - The Heathers.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Purple Coneflower

This drawing was also done on my Pocket PC. It has a cartoon presence about it. It's my favorite flower, and I really should do a serious version of such a lovely thing.

Because of my hard drive problems, you will periodically see some more of my drawings on this blog. Maybe that way I won't lose them.

Funny, I just heard someone on TV say that he had gotten rid of all his music compact discs and put all of it on his computer. I sure hope he has at least one backup, and the discs in storage somewhere.

I need to check into the best solution for backing up and storing data. Can anyone give me any pointers on this?

Hard Drive Woes



My desktop computer's hard drive gave out on Saturday, and I had to install a new one. Luckily, many of my files were partitioned and they were saved. Especially my iTunes files...yikes!

What can you expect when you work a 5-year-old computer this hard? It's been a good old work horse, and I didn't want to see it go yet (and don't want to deal with the new Vista until they work the kinks out...remember Windows ME?). It took Microsoft so long to get it this close to production and I am hesitant to get a computer with Windows XP and then have to upgrade to Vista. I've read a few things about it, but haven't worked with it. Has anyone out there done so?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Correcting my Error

I posted "Yarn as Art" giving credit to Brenda Dayne for hanging her knitted art on the wall. It was Nancy Woodhouse's brilliant idea, and with her permission, Brenda had posted it on her blog. Maybe I need hearing aids, because when I went back and read the blog, I realized my perception was wrong.

Anyway, here's a good chance to check out Nancy's blog. All Things Knitterly.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Testing Mobile Post


I'm now testing a post from my pocket pc as this is a new feature in Blogger. It allowed me to upload this drawing I did on my little pda.

Two Pair in Progress

These have been going on for awhile now. I like the yarn, and knitting with it has been interesting. Also shown is the wooly nylon destined for the heels and toes. A yarn shop person told me that adding reinforcement to yarn that already has some synthetic could actually be more of a problem because they could wear against each other. The yarn has micro nylon in it already, so maybe it isn't necessary. Any comments?

I simply adore the way the gray striped socks are turning out, except for obsessing over fixing the "jog." After having read quite a few different ways to do it and trying a couple of them, I felt they weren't any more satisfactory than just letting it jog. Maybe it was the nature of the stripes, the thinness of them, that didn't lend themselves to being "unjogged." Does anyone out there have any good experience with this?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Controlling Stripes

There are lots of self-striping yarns available, and many of them are quite beautiful. But if you like to control your stripes, use more than one color yarn. It's been a few years since I have worked with more than one color yarn, and then it was a tentative, learning, and brief encounter resulting in only a couple finished items.

But the book Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush, and in particular the Hiiumaa pattern, has enticed me to try again. They were inspired by a mismatched pair of socks that she found on the Estonian island of Hiiumaa. Mismatched! Of course, that is a possibility with the pair that I am knitting, too. Hopefully, they will only be slightly mismatched at the finish...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Wearing Oatmeal

Well, not actually oatmeal. Here's me wearing the sweater made from Morehouse lace weight merino wool in the oatmeal color. It's light as a feather to wear, but is still warm. Sorry about the flash and the mirror image. Note a cartoon character in the background (and possibly foreground).

Now I'm off to lunch with a dear first cousin...see ya!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Urban Edge



Intermittent knitting has been going on with this scarf for some time now. The pattern is Urban Edge Scarf from Needlework Unlimited. The yarn is Anne Superwash Merino, and it is really lovely. But there's still a lot of yarn to go before all of it is used up. Will measure a man's cloth scarf to see about the length and maybe stop at that length.

What is the best length for a man's scarf?

Red Socks - Finished!

In a Knitting Coma

If you have ever been in a knitting coma, you know all about this. I'm knitting the toe of the sock late at night and watching the news (10:00 news is late for me) and not paying attention to when to start decreasing every time, rather than every other time. So the sock ended up looking like something Santa's Elves would wear. They are a little pointy, but they won't get redone.

On to another project!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Daydream Believer



The daydream believer and the homecoming queen

Jack got this tiara for me years ago at an antiques shop when we were vacationing in South Carolina. The combs are missing on the tiara, but it is still pretty. I wonder who wore it and cast it aside. Did she toss it with regret? Or did she move so quickly and confidently into her future that there was little room for thoughts of the past?

Will anyone notice this addition to the tree? Stay tuned to find out.

Yarn as Art


I have been a podcast junkie almost since its inception, and yesterday I listened to Brenda Dayne's podcast, Cast-On. She has hung all her knitted scarves and one of her shawls on the bedroom wall. Yarn as art is beautiful.

Realizing that I had already exhibited my yarn as art in my office, I captured a photo of it--only it's in its neutral state, rather than the desired F.O. Like the way it looks? You'll probably notice that part of the scarf I started yesterday is back in its neutral state. We all know how that happened.
Next on my office decorating agenda is getting some white cubes for yarn display. But where do I find those?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Playing With Yarn...

Last year I made a scarf from a dk weight and Rowan's Kidsilk Haze. It had an ethereal look and my mother admired it so much, I gave it to her. It was lightweight, but very warm and the thought of it keeping her small frame warm as she went about her errands in our Minnesota winters made me happy.

Of course, I didn't make a pattern of it because it was a simple seed stitch. And just a plain scarf. Now I want to make another but using a worsted weight with the Kidsilk Haze, and I am fiddling and fiddling with needle size and number of stitches to get the look and feel I want. I can only imagine what designers go through getting a pattern ready for publication!



Speaking of scarves, I made these two last year using a garter stitch, the blue one went to my sister and the burgundy one is mine. I get a lot of compliments on this scarf and many of them are from college age gals. I suspect they like the U of M colors in it. My scarf was knitted quite long, and it has stretched even longer! I guess this is something to be expected of the garter stitch. But it makes me think twice about doing Sally Melville's Einstein Jacket. Would it end up dragging on the ground? How do I prevent that? Or is it even possible?