TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2013
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via Blogger http://ift.tt/1n3t1n0
Wow – that was quite a weekend:)! (Oh dear, this is not sounding quite the way I intended….) On Saturday, I got to rehearse with Nancy S., Tom H. and Drew C. for our Mardi Gras “gig” at St. Pete’s March 4th. It was a lot of fun, but John’s back is not up to a lot of lifting and our adult son was either asleep or at work, so I did a lot of carrying some rather heavy pieces up the basement stairs. Thankfully, the rest of the “band” helped me out at the church, but I was quite sore by the time it was all over. Even with that, I always have so much fun playing music, so it was well worth it! The drums you see pictured above were quite nice. Nicer than any I’ve had before – and far more drums than I am used to playing! I said to the kind person who gave them to me that it was like driving a Cadillac. When I was 13, I got a bass drum – with pedal, a snare drum, and crash cymbal that attached to the bass drum. Later, they added pieces – a floor tom-tom, a cowbell, a small tom-tom and a hi-hat (those two cymbals that “squish” together to make that sizzly sound when you’re playing a jazz beat). I will never forget it – it was a Ludwig, bright red crystal on the outside. A pair of sticks (or two – I was pretty hard on them) a pair of brushes for the more subdued pieces and I was good to go. I played drums in bands we tried to get together in the neighborhood (not much success there), in my high school marching band, in college and of recent years, in the West Laurel Rag Tag Band. But when I got married and had a baby and we were living in a one-bedroom apartment on the 13th floor of an apartment building in Alexandria, VA, and we needed the money, keeping a drum set didn’t seem the right thing to do. So I sold them to a young fellow whose dad was in the military for a fair price. I hope they brought him as much joy as they brought me. When I was a kid, I’d play the radio (to WABC of course! I listened to my dad’s show every day!) at full volume and play along with the songs. For that reason alone, my stepmonster should have gotten a pass to Heaven when she left this earthly coil last winter. Funny enough, none of our neighbors complained that I knew of. Of course the houses where I lived were all at least two acres apart, so that helped. Anyway, enough of the walk down memory lane, I loved playing drums and when I no longer had drums to play, my kids will tell you that there were times I would use wooden spoons in the kitchen when certain songs played on the radio.
Fast forward to (mumblety mumblety) years later to about two months ago. The father of the drums’ owner gave them to me. I have written elsewhere on this blog about his son who died back in 2006. Teddy had a lot of musical and artistic talent. He created movies that were works of art – I’ve seen some of them. He also composed music of all kinds. His father encouraged these talents in his son and, in fact, shared a lot of the same talents. As a result, his home was full of many different musical instruments. My friend needed room in his home and wanted the drums to go to a “good” home (of course I use the term “good” advisedly!). At first I felt bad about taking them, but then thought why not put them to good use? So, more or less on the spur of the moment, I gratefully accepted them – just barely fitted them into a little Toyota Corolla – and took them home with me.
It wasn’t the smartest thing I ever did, but I still think it was the right and the cool thing to do – things that don’t always happen at the same time, LOL:). And of COURSE I had some ‘splainin to do when I got home and my son helped me put yet another big thing into the basement (after all, we are supposed to be scaling DOWN). But some things are just worth it. So, thanks, Teddy’s dad.
It was a good rehearsal Saturday. Good as in we know where we need to work a weeeeee bit harder to get ourselves into danceband shape. Packed the drums into the car with everyone’s help and started driving home. Heard something that made my heart sink:
My kids worked at this mall. They hung out with their friends and sometimes even bought things there when they could afford to do so. Hell, I even worked at this mall, as a salesperson for FranklinCovey when they had a little shop there and I was working for a non-profit barely making ends meet. In fact, both John and I were working at least two jobs back then. In the almost twenty years since I worked there and about four since the Ultimate Adult Child worked there, it has truly become quite a haven of ritzy-ness. I go there now only for a specific purpose, to buy a specific thing or to meet with my knitting pals at the Panera. In fact, if not for the rehearsal, I’d have been there knitting on Saturday morning. Panera was on the other side of this very large mall, so I seriously doubt I’d have been in any personal danger and Facebook was rife with reports saying “we’re ok!” You hear of these things happening of course all over the place – in Africa, in the States, yet I was and still am, very shocked.
On Sunday, we prayed for all three of the dead: the two victims and the shooter. I don’t want to talk about it any more. I don’t want to debate it. I don’t have answers.
Anyway, after lifting drums and carrying them upstairs and out, and sitting on an unfamiliar seat to play those drums and moving my arms and legs in ways I hadn’t done in a while, I was a bit sore by Monday. But happily so.
Knitting has progressed, but there really isn’t much to share at this point. Tonight I am not going to EfM. I have what looks exactly like sinus/upper respiratory strep infections I have had in the past. Again, I did today’s client visit on the other side of the glass door to the house in which he was residing (he’s a baby:)). Tonight, there will be two of my fellow EfM’ers who have recently experienced cardiac and pulmonary incidents. I will not be responsible for making them sick. Luckily, I do not have court tomorrow for some strange reason, so I won’t be making my colleagues sick either if I can help it. Hopefully by the evening, I’ll be ok to go to choir prax.
Tonight I decided I am going to go up to the yarn room (my equivalent of Terry Bradshaw’s character’s “Naked Room” in “Failure to Launch” only, trust me, no nudity – I hate to see a grown yarn cry) and I’m going to go through a big honking box of unusual yarns I have purchased on my various travels over the last 5-10 years or so. And just for fun, I’m going to try to figure out how to use it in a project. Wish me luck. I’ll take pictures on this trip even if it is just a matter of walking up the stairs…..
FWIW, after hours of trying to wind two skeins of the very thin Karabella ribbon silk and a horrifically knotted skein of Auracania, and after having left another skein of bulky Karabella wool on the yarn room floor, I am completely over playing with yarn tonight. Think I’ll just work on a few projects already started, LOL:)!
God be with you ’til we meet again:)+
The sun is out! Hooray:) But the driveway/street are clogged. Boo. I am inside, having rescheduled my two client visits for today. No hearings, so I am playing it safe and staying home. Tomorrow will be nuts, making up what I didn’t do today, but that’s Ohhh Kayyy. Live to fight another day. But HERE’s something I could do. It would make the DH very happy, of course he needs to work on his area, too, but his is much much more organized. Any mess is most likely the fault of yours truly.
So the weekend of knitting is over and I had a lovely time. Not that knitting isn’t over, LOL – as if! But prior to my return to the Land of the “Normal,” it was fun for a couple of reasons:(1) that I knit what I wanted to knit and (2) I started a couple of new projects about which I will tell you below. I also cleaned up some of my ravelry stuff – left about 60 groups whose message boards I wasn’t even beginning to read, reorganized the ones I stayed in and added/updated projects and patterns.
Brooklyn Tweed had a new
Enablement set of patterns out called BT Winter 14, appropriately enough. I have a few dozen favorites, one of which I had to cast on in this soft and smooshy 100% alpaca. I was going to do this Frieze pattern in stripes of grey and purples, but decided to leave it just grey and give it to John. After all, he wears scarves, he likes this one, and the Penultimate Adult Child had appropriated the Guernsey Wrap I had knitted him from BT for her own use. I mean, really, what’s a knitter to do? After a few moments of stupidity, brought on mostly by trying to start a new project at midnight, and a few snarky comments on the ravelry discussion board, I figured it out and was on my way. I really like the tubular cast on. It really makes the edge look a bit more professionally done.
And even with (mumblety-mumblety) eight projects still on the needles and a host of kits packed up and ready to knit, I still felt the need to cast on Charleston Tea by Baby Cocktails (aka Thea Colman). I used my swatching skills and desire to actually have a sweater that fits to determine that I really needed to knit this on No. 4 US needles and to follow (for the most part) the directions for a size smaller. I guess I knit a bit more loosely than the average bear and my stitch to row gauge appears to be on the long side. This must be the case as I am knitting this with Jojoland Melody, basically a fingering weight superwash wool and the pattern calls for DK. I also decided to keep on measuring as I go. Funny how in almost 50 years of knitting that hadn’t occurred to me before, LOL! Normally, I am not a big fan of top-down sweaters because it feels like you get the interesting bits done first, but the bulk of the knitting really is at the beginning AND because this is a (sort of) self-striping yarn, it helps to keep the stripes all in line because you’re knitting the entire body in one fell swoop. The challenge will be the sleeves, but I think I have enough yarn to start at similar places in the ball. We shall see. So far, once you have knitted a few rows of the lace pattern, it’s very easy to memorize. Even the cabling is rather simple. I haven’t needed a cable needle for it. Thea Colman uses relatively simple stitch patterns to show that sometimes/usually, simple is elegant, which her designs truly are.
Other projects currently on the needles are a project for PSM;
something for the Penultimate Adult Child – the Little Wave Sweater – another one of Gudrun Johnston’s little beauties from Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People Volume 6 (evidence for which, you can see, that I did swatch, although the rather bulky roving-like yarn from Lion Brand did give me pause for a half second:));
and Meg Swansen’s Shawl-Collared Vest for John, though I am concerned that the skeins of Cascade Ecological Wool may not be enough yardage. Fingers crossed!
Well, time to get on with work, cleaning up and trying to get organized for the New Year. ‘Bout time, don’t you think?
God be with you ’til we meet again+ Continue reading “Let There Be Light”
Happy New Year, everyone! Can it really be a year since I last blogged? Well, not exactly-more like 5 months- but it feels like it, so I’m going to summarize my high and low points for 2013:). So much has happened and there have been so many times that I’ve wanted to pull everything together into a new post, but life got in the way. I will say that with my forays into Facebook since 2009, I have blogged a lot less, mainly because I can stay in touch with many of you on that venue – more quickly and more up to date. But I still enjoy reading other knitters’ blogs and listening to knitting podcasts. (Only you knitters out there will understand this strange passion we have for the subject. The rest of you – I can hear you rolling your eyes!!)
2013 was a very eventful year. My husband, John, started out with a recurrence of the badly deteriorated discs acting up early in the year. The shots that had worked before no longer did the trick. His job requires almost 8 full hours on his feet, so he was out for a full three months one month pre-surgery and two months post – and he needed every minute of that it turned out. So, he had a very serious back surgery – spinal fusion, followed by physical therapy. But he never felt quite right afterwards. Backing up a bit, one afternoon while I was at work, he was taken by ambulance to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. The usual diagnostic tests showed nothing particularly interesting, and the ER doc figured it was the nerve pain from sciatica and sent him home with pain meds. DUH.
Fast forward to six weeks post surgery. The abdominal pain, which we figured was the result of his surgery could not be ignored. Another 14 hours in another ER, this time in the hospital where he had his back surgery. Luckily THIS ER doc, unlike the first one, decided to do a contrast study in addition to the CAT scan on his abdomen. Turns out the poor guy had been walking around for TWO SOLID MONTHS with appendicitis – and through a major surgery, mind you. The appendix was gangrenous and ruptured while he was on the table. Even the surgeon, who like many of his ilk was not prone to hyperbole, said numerous times, “This was bad.” Had we not gone to the ER that night, he definitely wouldn’t be with us today. And I think that other ER doc would have some ‘splainin to do. He still does, IMHO, for failing to use the appropriate diagnostic tools and causing two months of suffering that needn’t have happened. But what do I know? My med mal lawyer brother, Rob, tells me it is highly unusual in men of John’s age to get appendicitis, so perhaps it wasn’t SOP to inquire further. Yeah right.
So another few weeks of recovery ensued before he could begin physical therapy. Again. He still has medical problems possibly related to all of this, possibly causing all of this and more. We’re still trying to figure out what the main issue is. In the meantime, he’s back to work and just taking a little more care.
In the midst of all this, during the Spring, one of my best friends about whom I’ve written many times over the years, found out she had cancer in one of her kidneys. What was supremely unfair about this was that though diabetic, she was one of the most compliant with her diet, exercise and testing of anyone I know.Aaarrgghh. Good news: she came through the surgery with flying colors and didn’t even need chemo! YAY:) Bad news: she will need to be monitored to assure the health of her remaining kidney. Sca-rey!
Over the summer, another one of my best friends had a massive heart attack that turned out to have been a series of three heart attacks over time. Thanks be to God, he is alive and, while not kicking, is also taking care and doing what he needs to do to continue to recover. Thankfully he has not lost his sick sense of humor and ability to needle his friends at a moment’s notice.
Oh and not for nothing, my firm almost simultaneously won and then was back-burnered for the state contract we had bid upon. We’re all still working though, so I shouldn’t and won’t complain.
2013 had its highlights, too. Knock wood, the kids and grandkids are healthy. The youngest in law school is doing very well as is the penultimate child in graduate school for anthropology. Our son’s acting career has continued to move along. Our eldest is seeing a light at the end of her tunnel in grad school for her masters in Psychology. She and her husband are juggling graduate school, full-time work and raising three very young children. Our second oldest continues as a police and fire dispatcher. She and her husband are raising two lovely daughters.
I got to play drums at St. Peter’s Mardi Gras celebration and, good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, will do so this year, too, thanks to a good friend who just gave me his son’s drums. (I’ll take good care of them!)
Oh, and did I tell you, our daughter got married:)?
|Gavigans minus Dan (he had to work and joined us later) plus “LB” and our new daughter-in-law|
|John, Betsy and I|
|Ken, John, Jane, yours truly, Kristin, our first-born|
Betsy and Robyn were married by two ministers from Robyn’s Church at the Quiet Waters State Park in Annapolis, Maryland on Friday, August 23rd, 2013. Members from both families who could make it came from far and wide to attend. It was John’s sister, Holli’s, birthday that day and we were honored that she chose to attend with Betsy’s godfather, who also happens to be Holli’s husband, Brian:). It was great fun and the kind of joyous occasion to make the tougher aspects of the year fade in comparison.
I found it particularly touching that when Robyn asked one of her ministers if she would preside over the ceremony, instead of getting an instant dogmatic answer, they got a thoughful, prayerful response, saying that they believe that the Holy Spirit was perhaps moving people to think of marriage as possible between members of the same gender. They ultimately responded with their support and love, something that we all did, whatever our personal feelings on the subject. Those of you who have read this blog in the past know how I feel about the subject, but not all of our family necessarily agree with me. But in the end, love won out, as it should have done:). I will always be grateful for the kindness, the love and the support that ALL of our families showed toward Robyn and Betsy, because the world around us won’t always do that – and all young couples starting out need the support of their families.
It was great getting together with a fabulous group of ladies – we had a lot of catching up to do and boy did we have fun!
Early October John and I celebrated 37 years of marriage. Hard to imagine those two goofballs got married, had six kids and survived the experience, isn’t it? Thankfully my skirts are longer. I hate to see a grown man cry, LOL!
Later in October, we had a wonderful time visiting Florida, first to celebrate John’s sister Jane and her husband Ken’s 50th wedding anniversary. Now that’s something special. Funny, I remember that happening only with old people. Jane and Ken aren’t old!:) I’ve known them since I was a teenager, so they can’t be old!:)
|Renewing their Vows|
|Katie, John,moi, Judy|
|No backing out now!|
While we were in Florida, we headed east to see my Dad and Stepmom and my wonderful brother, Chris – and had a lovely time in the sun.
The last weekend in October, first in November, I attended a knitting retreat in the lovely western Merlin retreat center named after Bishop Claggett. It was a LOT of fun and yes, there was drinking involved. Probably too much. I think as they put me to bed the Mom gene kicked in and I insisted on checking that the door was locked. But what happens at knitting retreat, stays at knitting retreat, so you won’t get the rest of that story:).
Christmas was exhausting. A rare thing happened. I got a form of upper respiratory flu that John and our penultimate child caught from me the weekend before. Thankfully due to his somewhat fragile medical state, John had gotten a flu shot, so he wasn’t as affected by it as S and I were. The Monday before, I went to work, did my docket, hacking and coughing and hopefully fever free. I visited clients by talking to them through their front door and not entering their homes. Christmas Eve was a three-service marathon staring with the children’s choir and instrumental ensemble and the Nativity presented by the children and ending with the two evening services . I lay down between the two evening services and got home after midnight. John and I decided it was best to wait on Christmas dinner until the following Monday so as to avoid infecting the little ones. Out of this sprang a new tradition: the second oldest had everyone who was not sick over to dinner at her house and we laughed and said Merry Christmas via Face Time! Ah Technology!
Which pretty much brings me to this weekend.
It was supposed to be a trip to NYC to go for the first time to Vogue Knitting Live. I even had tickets to attend Amy Detjen‘s class Through the Looking Glass on Knitting backwards and Norah Gaughan’s class on designing cable patterns. I have taken Amy’s Craftsy class on knitting a custom yoke sweater and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Norah’s work I have enjoyed and admired for close to a decade now, so I was really psyched for this trip for the classes alone.
A series of unfortunate circumstances prevented me going, so I decided to make this a fun knitting weekend closer to home. My only regret so far is that no one could use my tickets. Ah well, I figure if it goes to Amy and Norah’s work, I’ve done my bit. I am off from work tomorrow for the federal/court holiday, and I only had one client visit this weekend, so…. I started out by knitting with my local Columbia Sip n Knit at the local Mall at Panera Bread yesterday morning. It was GREAT to see everyone, since I don’t get to see them at our Wednesday night gatherings during the academic/church year. I decided I would attend as many Saturdays as I could go. Lots of good news: people are getting jobs after layoffs, one of us learned some better crochet techniques. We shared patterns, ideas for books and techniques in knitting and I made progress on a project or two.
After running some necessary errands, putting in a load or two of wash, and visiting that adorable client, I continued with some yarn stash organizing. I felt like a little child playing with my toys:)! Even though I have (mumbletymumblety) -eight projects pending and some are even bagged in kits ready to be knit,I started a new project just for the fun of it – and yes, Penultimate Adult Child, I am working on your lovely Little Wave cardigan. Two sleeves are done and I’ve cast on for the body.
When I finish this blog post, I am going to Cloverhill Yarn Shop to knit again with friends until I have to come home and behave myself — or not, LOL.
Tomorrow I will probably knit some more or (gasp) try my hand at warping my loom – or maybe look up some YouTube videos on knitting and purling backwards. It won’t be the same as Amy teaching, but it might help.
|Designed by me – pattern to come out some time in 2014|
|Designed by me, too – pattern to come out some time in 2014|
The wonderful blogger/podcaster from Handgemacht has posed the following questions to those of us who listen to her podcast and read her blog:
Die Fragen des faserverrückten Jahresrückblicks:
Easy for me to say,huh? Let me see if I can translate…
The questions of the fiber-crazy year in review:
1. Your knitting/crochet/Web year 2013: Tell about one of your projects, and it doesn’t have to be the greatest and the dearest of 2013, but the project, for whatever of your reasons, strikes your fancy. Perhaps, because the piece that came out is something special, because the pattern has taught you something new or because the yarn was so special. Take one project and tell us about it.
I think for me this year was more about designing, about taking charge of how I wanted things to work out. I credit Meg Swansen of Schoolhouse Press and Amy Detjen at Craftsy and Schoolhouse Press for a lot of this. And of course, the soul of EZ lives on!
2. Your stash of 2013: How has it evolved? Have you purchased great new yarns, did you decrease it or build it up again? Has your taste changed – what was/were your favorite yarn /fibers in 2013?
I have too much yarn – yarn that I will never use in my lifetime. I have to sell or give it away and keep what really speaks to me in terms of future projects. My taste has not changed a lot. If anything, I’ve become more conservative. (Ew the C word!)
3. Spin 2013 (if you spin – which in German is slang for “if you’re nuts”, LOL): what yarn comes to mind that you want to tell of? Have you learned a new spinning technique and mastered challenges?
I drop spindled a bit this year. Would like to get more into using a wheel – but I have to get one first and I don’t know if I have the time/money for such a venture. We shall see.
4. Which of your pieces that you did, were your favorite items for 2013 (i.e., that you often and gladly wore)?
Frankensweater for me, Custom Yoke Sweater for JoAnna, the two shawls I designed for the Prayer Shawl Ministry for others – oh and that incredible Bluemchen sweater by Anne Hanson!
5. The “most knitworthy person(s)” 2013 for you?
My kids and friends. But I’ve given things away to clients and strangers who were cold. I believe in yarn Karma.;)
6. What were the worst crafting accidents and disappointments?
Not accidents so much, but I really have slacked off on learning how to warp the lovely rigid heddle loom I have and I feel once I start, a lot of that excess yarn will be disappearing:)
7. Favorite Designer_in 2013?
Anne Hanson, Jared Flood, Corinna Ferguson, Rosemary Hill, Veronik Avery, Meg Swansen, Cully Swansen – you didn’t think I’d only name one, did you?
8. Song of the year?
Not a pop song, but a hymn in 4 parts: The King of Love My Shepherd Is. It’s carried me through.
9. Book of the year?
And God Said, “Billy!” by Frank Schaeffer
10. Film/series of the year?
Lincoln – thank you Steven Spielberg:)
11. 3 Things that you would not want to miss out?
Being there for my friends, my daughter’s wedding, Jane and Ken’s 50th Anniversary Celebration
12. 3 Things that you well do without?
A little too much red wine and carbs and the poundage I’ve added back.
13. What did you start new in 2013?
Playing a drum set in a band – way cool!
14: What did you stop doing in 2013?
Walking – have to get back to it! (See #12 above, LOL)
15: 2013 in a Word? (or a motto)
Well that’s all I have for today. Blessings to all of you and a very Happy and Healthy New Year. I hope we’ll “see” more of each other in the coming year!
God be with you ’til we meet again+