Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Some of these pianos are played......

some are not despite the invitation to play....
After this short time they are going to be donated to schools
Every piano has a "minder" who covers it up when it rains and they are all locked down where they are. It is such a lovely intervention in the city.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

There are free pianos all over New York

For the next two weeks anyone who wants to can play
and sing -- these Julliard Students were doing opera duets.
Play me I'm yours is what they all say. This one was right near Lincoln Center.
This one was a little more secluded but still drew a crowd.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Geek Love

Katherine Dunn wrote -- 21 years ago it turns out -- one of my favorite books: Geek Love.  Whenever my long time Book Club starts reminiscing about what books we have loved, this one pops up.  She promised another book when Geek Love came out but nothing ever materialized.  Now, it appears, from a NY Times Blog she has a story in the new Paris Review called Rhonda Discovers Art.  I am not a big reader of the Paris Review, but this one has my name on it.

I am thinking that I am also reading a lot more lately, being in 2 book clubs is part of the cause but also there does seem to be a lot that I want to read.  My long time Book Club read Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and when it came to an end I actually flipped right back to the beginning and started it again .  I felt like I needed to figure out ALL the connections.

It is a strange and wonderful book, and in my mind, worthy of every single prize it has won.  I found that if I put it down and wandered away for a day or so I found myself wondering "what is going on with Thomas Cromwell?"  Almost as if it were reality TV from the 1500's.  Pretty amazing, I thought.

I was also delighted to hear that she is at work on a sequel but distressed to find that Wolf Hall took her 15 years to write.  Really?  I have to wait 15 YEARS?????  Sigh.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

On the wires

This has become this. Details for those who want them..
The only thing I have ever made ... that I can remember .. out of Lion Brand Yarn. This is 4 skeins of Nature's Choice Organic Cotton, which is supposed to be a number 4 or medium weight yarn. It was heavy but I stretched the life out of it to block it. It will not be a "light" shawl by any stretch of the imagination, however.
It confirmed to me that I do not like fat yarn and I am not a huge fan of cotton, though this, which was on really fine cotton from Colourmart.co.uk was just fine. In any case, tick another thing into the completed bag if it EVER dries.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

I Have

nothing on my knitting needles....

unless you count Oblique which has been in hibernation since February 2008.  It is all in a bag hung on the inside of my bedroom door and I haven't even looked at it in all that time.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

start something new? unearth Oblique? frog Oblilque?  I think the back is done.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

can life be TOO examined? Yes, obviously

Some online friends are doing THIS. I am still on the fence and when I was wondering why I was teetering I realized that I am documenting my life, one way or another, all the time. I got immediately interested in making a list of my lists.  I admit that what follows is a bit excessive, but then again I never sat down and thought about how many things that I do could be categorized as a list and how computers interact with that process.  SO this is also a challenge.  How many ways do YOU document your life?

My documentation:
#1. The line a day book: I have been keeping this since 1989.  One line every day at the end of the day.  It is in a "record book" that assigns one page to every date in the year, no days, just dates.  I run out of lines in 2020.  At that point I am in deep chocolate. I know it is fuzzy, but then, so is a lot of my life without it and it is not intended to share.

#2. Morning Pages: I have been doing these for years also.  Ever since I read The Artist's Way. I love them but I shredded a ton of them earlier this year.  Now I only have last year and this year, and last year is in jeopardy.  Too much space devoted to something I would never read again and didn't want to outlive me. Still doing them every morning though and I stick a pad of sticky notes inside it so I have a mobile place for grocery lists etc.

#3. Desk Book:This sits on my desk and has confirmation numbers and phone numbers for things like the USPS when they -- for the second time this year already -- fail to leave either the package OR the pink slip that allows me to pick up the package.

#4. My Studio Journal: This is the result of a class called The Studio Journal A Designers's Workhorse from Sharon B. I loved the course even though I am not a fabric designer I learned a lot and many of the journalistic stuff that follows might eventually integrate into this one. It really holds the center place for everything and these never get thrown out.  They move to a shelf in the studio with date tags hanging off them so I can look for them.

#5. Knitting Record Book: This should probably all be online at Ravelry, where some of it is housed already,  but you can't touch the yarn and I have to touch the yarn.

#6. My Stash book: I have most of my stash documented here, again, this should be a Ravelry list but I have samples to touch and I am lazy about typing it into the computer.

#7. Evernote: I love this program and have lots of lists here: places to eat, places to shoot photos, places to suggest for Gill and Mark to visit the next time they are in town ... or for all visitors provided they are interested in sewing, fabric, knitting, reading, music, museums etc etc  Oh yes, and as long as they love to eat!

#8. To Read:  This is my Amazon wish list, first and foremost but there is also a paper version that I stick inside the pocket in the front of my studio notebook that is historical  -- just in case I find something on the street that I always wanted to read... I have been a book hoarder for many many years. I admit that my Amazon list runs 9 pages but I don't have to buy the books, this is just so I won't forget them.  Besides I enter every contest they have where they buy your Wish List.  You never know!

#9. Already Read: There are multiples of these and they are on my computer as the resource list for the two book clubs I am part of and reading other than that.  I try to remember to track my personal reading but the book club lists ...hmmmm one is up to date the other sadly not.  The one that is not up to date goes back to the late 80's and needs some work.  (note to self: do this!!!!)

#10. Both blogs. Above the GWB and Above the GWB Photo.  I am working at being more diligent.  hmmm a recurring theme.

#11. Digital photos taken:  On the computer in file folders sort of  -- at least the raw material by date but not really organized -- and they probably won't be, though I may try. Some are also up on Flicker but not most.

#12. Lists of patterns, knitting articles, craft articles and how to do's: Some are on Ravelry, many are just bits of sticky tabs sticking up out of magazines all over the house. Some knitting books are on Ravelry also, but not all by any means. There are years of Cloth Paper Scissors, older issues of Somerset Studio, Tabella Ansate, etc etc etc.  You want to bind a book?  I have an article for that.  (If I could only find it. )

#13. Lists of stuff sold on ebay, etsy, amazon etc.  I was curious to see if this was worth doing.  The verdict is still out. sits on my computer in a spreadsheet.

#14. Weight Watchers Tracking: People who know me are ROFL over the idea that I am saying this happens because they all know it is not a "real" list.  I DO track in my head, and I have lost 14 pounds in a year, but it is NOT a list on paper.  I just couldn't have #13 be the last number.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Just off the blocking wires

Based on Evelyn Clark's Knitting Lace Triangles,  this is the second one I have done from this book. Done in Bluefaced Lester yarn from BlueMoon FiberArts that seems to be not sold anymore. It was called BFL Sport and was 661 yards to a skein. I overbought (WAY OVERBOUGHT) when I got it to use as the trim color for the red sweater which is NOW on the drying wires. I must have been asleep at the wheel because I bought 2 skeins. This shawl is 75 inches wide and 40 inches long and made from the "leftovers" from the sweater where I used it for the trim. I still have enough left for a small scarf ... by small I mean maybe 36 inches wide. I don't really regret the overage though, as this is a wonderful yarn and I love the color. It is one of the Raven Clan colors - Valkyrie. The beads are subtle but sparkle. I have another shawl documented but that is for tomorrow.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

sock innovations

I took a one day sock class from Cat Bordhi. The class was based on her book with the odd title:
a bit of a mouthful if I do say.

But I digress. The purpose of the class was to expose a new way of addressing the creation of knitted socks. Cat Bordhi is famous for being one of those people who sees things differently and this was no different. It was, in a single word, GREAT!
These are the first pair of socks I made using her new approach. You mark where the leg is going to come in based on your personal (cardboard) footprint and then knit all the way to the end of the foot without doing anything else but some decreases. Then, without binding off the heel, you go back to the "leg place", insert your needles back in where you previously put a lifeline thread and ........


Sort of like afterthought pockets as designed by Elizabeth Zimmerman but the edges are improved. Then you knit the leg and once you can actually try on the sock you can knit the heels closed. I did one sock to the point where I inserted the lifelines in the one day class.
I then finished the heel part and the cutting part and added the pattern for the leg part and bound them off. The best news is that they fit PERFECTLY and the heels feel really good. It was quite exciting in my sock life. Really !
 I had already completed this purpleish sock with my standard til now eye of partridge heel and toe and was laboring on through second sock syndrome. Instead -- consistency being the hobgoblin of small minds -- I took the second sock (I had already done the toe and was partway up the foot) and gave it the Bordhi treatment. I used my cardboard foot pattern, inserted the lifelines at the place I determined they should be and continued knitting to the heel without actually closing the heel up.

This is what the heel looks like right now
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And this is what the two socks look like right now from the front.  You can't even see where I picked up the stitches and cut the hole.  I will post it again when it is done, but having tried it on I can say that the new heel fits me better than the heel on Sock Number 1 of this pattern.

I think I can adapt this to almost any toe up sock.   Exciting!

(I know, I know, I might need to get a life here but it still is exciting.)