Monday, April 28, 2014

The cutest EVER!

I "needed" to make something for my granddaughter... these days, I feel I'm slacking if I don't have something in progress for my daughter, and my granddaughter, and a sock or two.  
This one has been a delight... though finding the right flower has been a challenge.  
First I was inspired by a pattern with pansies, but the pansy chart was for a smaller gauge, and would be enormous for this little dress.  I adapted by shrinking the pattern into a smaller chart, with this result--which I think looks like a space alien.  

So I went to my "go to" rose pattern that I've duplicate stitched onto several garments, and I came this close to pulling it out...

Then I realized what was missing...
Pattern: Cha Cha  by Louisa Harding,  from Louisa Harding #05, The Magical World According to Miss Millie 
Yarn:  Bamboo by Be Sweet, DK / 8 ply, 100% Bamboo, 110 yards / 50 grams

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fine Work, Sample Goof

A preview of a project to finish, however, not without the mandatory teeth-gnashing...!  Yes, I did it again--a goof, that is.  I don't recall making this particular goof before, so I'm chalking it up to #834.

#834:  Look again before you sew.  As I was admiring my handiwork of kitchener stitching the shoulder seam, I noticed beside me the front section, while the shoulder seam was on the back section that I was holding... Hmmm.  A quick reset/sigh and I realized I had sewn the two shoulders together on the back piece.  An hour later, I had picked apart my impeccable woven-in ends and the kitchener stitches and was back on track.  

If you can't make sense of what I did, here's one more explanation:  Take the right shoulder seam from the back and sew it to the left shoulder seam from the back.  It only works if you want side seams down the middle of the front and back.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Photography frustration

I'm ALWAYS amazed and a bit frustrated (however, frustration is probably a strongly inaccurate description--I've been watching "Cosmos" so let's get real here...) when I try to share photos of my knitting.  The colors are never true, and here's an excellent example:  The color of the yarn is dusty/old rose, a delicate pale pink.  My first shot was on the counter with a fluorescent light overhead, and morning sunshine.  The second is sunlight through the window. And the third is at the window but from a 90º angle to number two.  None of them do it justice...

So I tried other backgrounds, with the same strange results. 
The next two are on a pale lavender blocking pad.  
Sunlight light through the window:
Fluorescent light: (The background changes, too.)

 Then on an off-white linen towel, fluorescent light:
 At the window:

Don't believe anything you see!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Those Ivories. Non-knitting Post

Warning:  This post has no pretty pictures of yarn, and is totally self-involved b.s. reflections.

Though I rarely mention it, ivories (piano keys) and ebonies (organ keys) are as intertwined in my life as eating, sleeping, knitting, relationships, and bodily functions.
Does one retire from such activity?   I suppose one does if something physical happens to prevent the movement of fingers. But now I'm not sure.  In the past few years, I've noticed my little fingers, and they seem to be my main topic when I address playing issues.  I feel like they don't want to take part anymore.  But, I drag them along, and recruit their services.  Just like any repetitive activity, I don't think too much about the mechanics of it, just the surprise factor when something doesn't turn out as expected.
What have I learned in 60 years?  From sitting on a bench in front of 88 keys, I've learned to relate a diagram (printed music) to my movements on the keyboard.  And out comes sounds that are pleasant. Mostly!  That's where the little fingers literally fall short occasionally, and the sounds are not there or (cringe) unpleasant.   I've learned to expect more from my fingers, but nothing is going to bring them back to their former selves.  They are crooked, and one is too flexible, and the other isn't flexible. Even so, the change has been gradual, and my mind and hands have adapted.
For those of you in a similar situation, my only recommendation is focus... Dang, the "f" word again. Focus with the form of the ultimate non-technical tool:  A pencil. Really!  I've found my best weapon against embarrassing goofs is a pencil.  If something goes wrong, and I can locate it, a little/big/dark circle around the problem is my best defense.  There is so much on each page, and my eye needs just that mark to bring focus to something that I need to focus on.
Sounds simple doesn't it?  It is, along with thousands of hours...
So here comes the computation...  Sixty years times 52 weeks = 3120 weeks. Say I have played an average of 2 hours a week over my lifetime... I recall weeks of twenty hours as an accompanist, and weeks of none, so I'm being conservative... And giving myself 6,240 lifetime hours.
There have been services this weekend, shared by ivories and ebonies, and the music goes on. Apprehension always precedes these events...I am my own worst enemy until I start playing!  If my fingers are actively participating, as happens in the days/hours before performance, I feel very insecure.
I wonder what I would be reflecting on if my mommy hadn't decided to take me to piano lessons in September 1954?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ah!! Another HAPPY Birthday.

Another year of knitting ahead... Time to count up:  (Thank you, Ravelry, for keeping tabs on me.)
8 pairs of socks; two on needles now.
18 other projects:  2 little girl pullovers, 1 sweater for me, 1 pullover for Halvard, 1 poncho, 1 vest, 1 shawl, hats, mittens, a necklace....
And how many Ken-Ken's did I complete?  Many hours there, too!
Recently I finished these in (hopefully) a 5 year old size.  They were such fun.  Nice and thick for little feet in water-proof boots.  And they match (kind of) Mommy's socks.  I don't do many socks two-at-a-time because they aren't as portable as one, but this time, without a pattern, I knew they wouldn't be the same if I didn't do them at the same time.
Notice the heel:  I followed Charlene Schurch's toe up pattern which confusingly referred to making the heel upside-down.  It worked, and probably only would bother a knitter.  Anyone else ever try that?

The heel flap is on the bottom of the foot.

In other news, I "fixed" my Dahlia sweater to suit me... Although I was ecstatic that it came off my needles in a shape that I could wear, I grew to regret the ends being too short.  See my Ravelry pictures to describe how it is a rectangle with arms in the middle.  The short ends of the rectangle are bound off;  it is knitted from the center out to the short ends.  Those ends needed a few more inches, and after years of wishing and pulling on them, I unraveled the seed stitch, and voilà!
Hangs nicely.  Hopefully I won't add 4 more inches in a few years... but I'll let you know!


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