Anticipation

It’s looking like rain today in Central Merlin and my oldest brother (still younger than me and I call him my little brother, even though he’s 6’4″) is coming to visit us from out west.  John has gone off to our local Safeway supermarket to pick up something halfway decent for dinner (poor guy will get hot dogs tomorrow night, but tonight we’ll try not to give him ptomaine, LOL!). His flight comes in about 15 minutes from now and the airline page says it’s on time, even a little early, but with the gathering storm, they might circle a little bit.  Good thing we’re only about 20 minutes away from the airport.

Dan’s coming to stay with us for a while, and we are all very happy to have him.  It’s been years since we’ve seen each other – almost seven to be exact – work, family, illness, other obligations just didn’t make visits possible, but thank goodness for e-mail and Facebook:)  I actually cleaned the downstairs bathroom  – who knew?

This has been a very light week at work because one of the Master’s is out on vacation and the other one I only had hearings in front of on Monday (great sentence that!). This has given me time to read my pro bono file and to do some legal research, so no complaints there – it will get busy enough next week!

I have been gratified to see to how many queues on ravelry my poor little lace scarf has gone.  Anything over one is a coup for me! And thanks to everyone for their kind remarks.

I have done a bit of knitting, but the one thing I’ve been working on the most is what Wendy of DC would call a “stealth project.” In short, it’s called Annis (see ravelry) and it’s for a friend who is not on ravelry, so I can direct you there and more about that I cannot say or I’d give it away:)shhhhh….Pic on the right.

I will say, though, that getting ready for my dear brother’s sojourn with us, however long or brief, I have had to do a little bit of reorganizing of the “stash,” because, yes, that’s where his stuff will be.  And actually that was a good thing.  I’ve realized I have far far too much yarn. My LYS’s are not going to like this, but unless I need more for an ongoing project, I am buying NO MORE for a long long time.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes to knit it all down – hey it’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it.

Who knows, maybe I’ll design something worth actually buying some day….. nah!

Time to go – until next time, God be with you ’til we meet again!

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Finished. And Free!:)

I just finished another scarf, only this time I designed it myself and shared it on ravelry for free. It’s the EdgingScarf (called that because about 2/3 of the scarf is its edging, LOL!).  I used some lovely fingering/light sport weight wool yarn from Knitman’s Kitchen in a pale grey/blue that was a lot of fun to knit.  The pattern is really nothing great: about 8 rows of seed stitch, a few attempts at some lace patterns for about 12 -16 rows length-wise and then 8 more rows of seed stitch followed by an edging pattern on each long end.  Yet it turned out OK and I will definitely wear it when the weather gets cooler. Shout out to Colin: I have a LOT left of that cone and will put it to good use – love this yarn and btw, my friend, you could knit this easily! (provided you can read my directions).  If you see anything amiss, please let me know and I will make what corrections I can.

Here is a link to the pattern .pdf page.

Well, since last I wrote, dear however many of you there are, life has been busy, as it no doubt should be:)  However, my evenings have been just a little less hectic.  Last Sunday, when I left you, I was about to embark on an evening at the Meyerhoff where the BSO, two really really good soloists (Janice Chandler-Eteme, Soprano and Stephen Powell, Baritone) and The Washington Chorus.  Maestra Marin Alsop conducted both – and what outstanding pieces they were! To start with, my choir friend, Barb M, had box seats – something I’d never experienced before – so as I said to someone before, they could have played “Chopsticks” and I would have been pretty impressed.  But of course both of these pieces of music were incredible works of art in their own times.

The first was Knoxville: Summer of 1915 op. 24, something I am tempted to call programme music, but is something so much more. A poem by James Agee, interwoven with music by Samuel Barber, and sung  very ably by Ms. Chandler-Eteme, the words and music each leave off where the other begins, the instrumental parts underscoring the underlying meaning of the words of what seems to be an innocuous poem about a childhood memory; and leaves the listener with the pain of farewell and the loneliness of maturity echoing in the ears and in the heart. I love Agee’s works; Barber has always tugged at my heartstrings.  The two together in a well performed piece are devastatingly beautiful.

The next, larger piece was the Brahms Requiem. Since hearing this beloved work, I have heard the words, “Denn alles Fleisch ist wie Gras” (“for all flesh is like the grass”) and the accompanying tune in my head all week.  Brahms is one of my favoritest ever composers.  Brahms’ choices of biblical texts evoke a much kinder and gentler Creator than those reflected in the more Catholic Dies irae sections of the Masses by Mozart and even later, that of Faure’ (although it almost seems that his dies irae was thrown in as an obligatory nod to orthodoxy; his Faure’s Requiem is a study in the joy of Heaven – or at least it is to me:)).

Conducting such an enterprise cannot be easy; you have a professional orchestra, professional soloists and a huge (for-the-most- part non)professional choir.  Creating unity of sound among such competing entities and interests is a study in control. Marin Alsop conquered this task admirably, alternately encouraging the choir and pushing them on to greater heights while being mindful of the limitations of even the best. The Washington Choir rose to the occasion, performing very well.  The soloists were wonderful.

In short, the evening was a blast!

Afterwards, I went to Barb’s house and had some dinner (since my family had long since eaten and gone home if they had come over) and chatted about a number of things until the late hours of the night, at which point, I got my bad self home!

The week has been a little more than most: I was covering for my two colleagues who were out of town on vacations, but it wasn’t too bad.  Thankfully, summer is here and traffic is nowhere near as bad as it is during the schoool year (at least I hope this keeps up, LOL!)

Last night until about a few hours ago, I babysat the grandgirls so their parents could have a night out and then get to work this morning.  Other than that, and my usual round of visits, frantic calls to social workers and court, not much new.

On the knitting front, once I finished the scarf above, I did add one more project (well, maybe two) and kept working on the Sandrine – I’m at the 4/1 ribbing at the bottom (am doing 15 rows instead of 5 and have 3 more to go) and should soon start the sleeves and finishing.  So I should have another FO soon.  I’ve also started the Miralda’s Triangular Shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush.

I’ve also added the Kernel pattern from Knitty.com.  So far, I’ve gotten to the beaded rows and have started the main scarf pattern.  It’s in Tofutsies sock yarn and in a color I don’t normally knit, but sometimes you just have to think outside the box:).

Well, dear readers, that’s all I have for today.  Enjoy what’s left of the weekend and I will write again soon, I hope:)! In the meantime, God be with you ’til we meet again.

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Well it’s about time!

JMG, SLG, John, Me, KMGS

And it’s about time I got back to blogging! What hasn’t happened in the last five weeks, LOL:)? That would definitely be a shorter list, but to give you the quick and dirty, dear 1.5 (the remaining remnant who still believe I exist), the following has happened:

Our youngest graduated from college on the very same day and in the very same place where I graduated law school in 1991 (on her fifth birthday; this time, it was her 24th birthday!).

Miriam Felton's Juno Regina (knitty.com); Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine
Brandywine Shawl by Romi (Rosemary) Hill; Ella Rae Lace Merino
Bonne Marie Burns' Sandrine; Knitpicks' CotLin

The choir season ended for the summer,

Gnarled Oakwoods by Anne Hanson (Twist Collective); Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine
Amy Swenson's Watershed; doubled laceweight wool

but we’re going back now and again for the occasional sing. Plus, I’m working on a duet with Susan F, a very talented clarinettist whose talents I hope and pray will eclipse my lack thereof;

I started about seven (yes 7) new projects, all of which are lace (summer, what can I say?) and one of which was a re-purposing of another project I wanted to postpone.  I am soldiering on with a sweater begun last summer;

As yet unnamed by Joan Gavigan (FSK); wool fingering weight from Knitman's Kitchen

And one of the new projects is actually another design of my own.  It started out as a lace shawl, but I realized I was dreaming if I thought I’d get it done sometime this century, so I decided to make it into a lacy edged scarf.  A few tweaks are needed for the actual charting of the stitch patterns and I have few more repeats of the edging and then the blocking to complete, but it’s not too terribly bad for a third pattern.

Work has been really busy because in the summertime I like to catch up on visits that the dark and bad weather of winter cause me to miss.

Oh, and did I tell you our youngest graduated from college?  Actually in the past six months, our youngest two graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) both magna cum laude, both working their way through and I could not be prouder of them.:)

Ok, back to the knitting.  For some reason, lately I have been fascinated by lace knitting patterns.  Yes, it’s summer and it’s the sort of thing you want in your lap in 90 degree (F) weather, but I love the way you can use one skein of fingering weight yarn – about 450 yards – and in a relatively short period of time have a little shawlette or scarf that looks lovely with work clothes.  I don’t think these will go out of style any time soon, either.  There are so many lovely patterns out there.  There are the two big lace books I know of: A Gathering Of Lace (Meg Swansen et al.) (in my library) and Victorian Lace Today (not in my library, but trying to justify putting it there:)) and the “little” lace book from Interweave, Lace Style; No Sheep for You (Jillian Moreno & Amy Singer); Anne Hanson of Knitspot, Rosemary (Romi) Hill, all the designers who contribute to Knitty.com and the Twist Collective, even the Aran knitting folks like Janet Szabo are putting cables and lace together in lovely ways (actually Janet’s been doing that for a long time:)); so you might wonder why I would have the gezungas to try my hand at it.  I just figured why not.  I don’t have 1/10th the artistic talent and flair for style that these ladies have (oh and let us not forget Kieran Foley of Knitlab fame, one of the guys in the business), but I wanted to see what it was like.  Frankly, it’s a LOT of work and the ultimate effect of all that time and effort for me was this: I really really appreciate the work that knitwear designers do and they deserve every penny they charge for their efforts.  But then, I knew that already.  I just know it MORE now!

I’ve been saving some of these (no, most of these) lovely patterns on the Kindle in case I’m out somewhere and looking for something to knit.  In addition to knitting patterns, I actually do download books to the thing.  In fact, one book I have been really enjoying is John Waters’ Role Models. John Waters is definitely an acquired taste, although there are those of us who naturally gravitate toward him, and even after years of therapy it won’t go away.  Having his book on the Kindle is like a high tech way to avoid paying attention in class. The only problem is, I’ve had to keep from chortling out loud while court was in session, thus almost earning me “three hots and a cot.” The chapter on Johnny Mathis is alone worth the price of the book.  Hey, I may dress like a conservative Bible belt grandma, but under this courtroom attire beats the heart of a filth freak. I haven’t read ahead, but I wonder if Divine is included in his pantheon?  Well, I’ll have to finish the book to find out! If you’ve ever lived in or near Bawlmer, Merlin, you develop a sort of pride in this native son of Merlin. I will never forget one of my favorite lines in his movie, Pecker as a group of New York art fanatics make their way down to Bawlmer and are riding a train (or was it a bus?) through parts of the city, one woman says in awestruck tones,”Oh look, honey, it’s a … ROWHOUSE!!!” (Well that and the local Bawlmer actor, whose name I never get right – but if you know it, let me know!) insisting on some “gay ID” for out-of-towners trying to get into a gay bar.)  I have two connections I know of to John Waters – tenuous connections indeed.  Once, my son was getting his autograph at UMBC where he, too, attended college for a time.  As he walked away, he sang out, “John Waters’ Pecker is the greatest,” to which Mr. Waters, in his inimitable style said, “Why thank you!” The other even more tenuous connection: A former colleague of mine, Tim W., went to elementary school with JW and in fact JW was the first kid who ever spent the night at his house.  Their school has reunions and he offered for two of us  (another then-employee of the Howard County Domestic Violence Center) to go as concubines (his wife Ronnie was not amused, LOL) to the next reunion so we could meet him. Like I said, tenuous.

Today is Sunday, but I don’t think I’ll be doing the usual Sunday dinner thing.  K and S and baby Johnny are coming over, but D and D and the grandgirls are sort of 50/50.  A really nice friend from choir had an extra ticket for the BSO to see the German Requiem and some Samuel Barber and I’m not passing up that opportunity, so Gram is going to be MIA tonight.

That’s OK, have to behave myself tomorrow!

Until then, God be with you ’til we meet again!

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And it’s about time I got back to blogging! What hasn’t happened in the last five weeks, LOL:)? That would definitely be a shorter list, but to give you the quick and dirty, dear 1.5 (the remaining remnant who still believe I exist), the following has happened:

Our youngest graduated from college on the very same day and in the very same place where I graduated law school in 1991 (on her fifth birthday; this time, it was her 24th birthday!).

The choir season ended for the summer, but we’re going back now and again for the occasional sing. Plus, I’m working on a duet with Susan F, a very talented clarinettist whose talents I hope and pray will eclipse my lack thereof;

I started about seven (yes 7) new projects, all of which are lace (summer, what can I say?) and one of which was a re-purposing of another project I wanted to postpone.  I am soldiering on with a sweater begun last summer;

And one of the new projects is actually another design of my own.  It started out as a lace shawl, but I realized I was dreaming if I thought I’d get it done sometime this century, so I decided to make it into a lacy edged scarf.  A few tweaks are needed for the actual charting of the stitch patterns and I have few more repeats of the edging and then the blocking to complete, but it’s not too terribly bad for a third pattern.

Work has been really busy because in the summertime I like to catch up on visits that the dark and bad weather of winter cause me to miss.

Oh, and did I tell you our youngest graduated from college?  Actually our youngest two graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) both magna cum laude, both working their way through and I could not be prouder of them.:)

Ok, back to the knitting.  For some reason, lately I have been fascinated by lace knitting patterns.  Yes, it’s summer and it’s the sort of thing you want in your lap in 90 degree (F) weather, but I love the way you can use one skein of fingering weight yarn – about 450 yards – and in a relatively short period of time have a little shawlette or scarf that looks lovely with work clothes.  I don’t think these will go out of style any time soon, either.  There are so many lovely patterns out there.  There are the two big lace books I know of: A Gathering Of Lace (Meg Swansen et al.) (in my library) and Victorian Lace Today (not in my library, but trying to justify putting it there:)) and the “little” lace book from Interweave, Lace Style; No Sheep for You (Jillian Moreno & Amy Singer); Anne Hanson of Knitspot, Rosemary (Romi) Hill, all the designers who contribute to Knitty.com and the Twist Collective, even the aran knitting folks like Janet Szabo are putting cables and lace together in lovely ways (actually Janet’s been doing that for a long time:)); so you might wonder why I would have the gezungas to try my hand at it.  I just figured why not.  I don’t have 1/10th the artistic talent and flair for style that these ladies have (oh and let us not forget Kieran Foley of Knitlab fame, one of the guys in the business), but I wanted to see what it was like.  Frankly, it’s a LOT of work and the ultimate effect of all that time and effort for me was this: I really really appreciate the work that knitwear designers do and they deserve every penny they charge for their efforts.  But then, I knew that already.  I just know it MORE now!

I’ve been saving some of these (no, most of these) lovely patterns on the Kindle in case I’m out somewhere and looking for something to knit.  In addition to knitting patterns, I actually do download books to the thing.  In fact, one book I have been really enjoying is John Waters’ Role Models. John Waters is definitely an acquired taste, although there are those of us who naturally gravitate toward him, and even after years of therapy it won’t go away.  Having his book on the Kindle is like a high tech way to avoid paying attention in class., thus almost earning me “three hots and a cot.” The only problem is I’ve had to keep from chortling out loud while court was in session. The chapter on Johnny Mathis is alone worth the price of the book.  I may dress like a conservative Bible belt grandma, but under this courtroom attire beats the heart of a filth freak. I haven’t read ahead, but I wonder if Divine is included in his pantheon?  Well, I’ll have to finish the book to find out! If you’ve ever lived in or near Bawlmer, Merlin, you develop a sort of pride in this native son of Merlin. I will never forget one of my favorite lines in his movie, Pecker as a group of New York art fanatics make their way down to Bawlmer and are riding a train (or was it a bus?) through parts of the city, one woman says in awestruck tones,”Oh look, honey, it’s a … ROWHOUSE!!!” (Well that and the local Bawlmer actor, whose name iI never get right – but if you know it, let me know!) insisting on some “gay ID” for out-of-towners trying to get into a gay bar.) I have two connections I know of to John Waters – tenuous connections indeed.  Once, my son was getting his autograph at UMBC where he, too, attended college for a time.  As he walked away, he sang out, “John Waters’ Pecker is the greatest,” to which Mr. Waters, in his inimitable style said, “Why thank you!” The other even more tenuous connection: A former colleague of mine, Tim W., went to elementary school with JW and in fact JW was the first kid who ever spent the night at his house.  Their school has reunions and he offered for two of us  (another then-employee of the Howard County Domestic Violence Center) to go as concubines (his wife Ronnie was not amused, LOL) to the next reunion so we could meet him. Like I said, tenuous.

Today is Sunday, but I don’t think I’ll be doing the usual Sunday dinner thing.  K and S and baby Johnny are coming over, but D and D and the grandgirls are sort of 50/50.  A really nice friend from choir had an extra ticket for the BSO to see the German Requiem and some Samuel Barber and I’m not passing up that opportunity, so Gram is going to be MIA tonight.

That’s OK, have to behave myself tomorrow!

Until then, God be with you ’til we meet again!

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