Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Best For Last

Billy Preston with Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, and a bunch of other great artists at the Concert For George. It's difficult to find words to express how profound I believe this performance is.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


It was this or "Get Back" and there just wasn't enough camera time for Billy on "Get Back".

Friday, January 26, 2007

Nothing from Nothing

Please indulge me in my Billy Preston tribute. Here is super-fine, super-happy Billy as the first musical guest on the first episode of SNL:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Guaranteed to Make a Scarecrow Smile

Hmmm. So maybe you prefer a funky, 'frolicious Billy, no?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Going Round in Circles

The late great Mr. Preston. This song has been in my head for a few days. I guess it's all that knitting in the round. I thought I'd share it with you, and maybe it'll brighten up your day.

Approved for knitters and nonknitters, alike. ;)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Enid and More

Well, I've finished the main body of Enid, and spent most of the weekend working on the first sleeve. This is thin yarn and there are seemingly endless numbers of stitches involved. The good thing about all that mindless knit stitch in the round is I can think about other things while I'm doing it. For instance, how is the steeking going to work out? If the steeking utterly fails, will I be able to cope with all that knitting and then flushing it down the drain? I'll make the bottom hem before I steek, so what happens if I don't line my stitches up perfectly before cutting? Will I get sick of this project before I do all the ticky little things that have to be done before it is finished? You see what I mean? My mind wanders around these and other subjects.

Here's a picture of the body and one sleeve. The sleeve lacks about 2 inches of length, but all the shaping has been done:

Yesterday kinda sucked. It rained all day. The kids were crazy with cabin fever. I dropped my new camera and messed up the shooting button. I could just cry about that. It was like a cartoon. My camera was on the desk next to the computer, and I was going to take a picture of the spinach risotto I was making. As I walked past the desk, I picked up the camera, kept walking, and the camera jerked out of my hands. It was still attached to the computer cord from my last download. It landed on the shooting button (I know there is a technical term for that thing, but I'm too pissed to look it up). It'll still take pictures, but the focus doesn't work as well. I'm going to have to send it off and get it fixed.

The last download before the camera accident was of this car:

It's not my car. It's not my husband's nor any friend's or relative's. It is my driveway. We live next to a church that has a congregation that's too large for it's parking lot. 6 days of the week, it's great living next to a church. No rowdy neighbors, no barking dogs. On Sundays, there is a racket for about 10 minutes when they get out, but that's OK. But when someone blocks my driveway for 2 or more hours, I don't like it. When church got out, a young guy walked to the car. I asked him if it was his and he said yes. I then asked him if he realized he had blocked my driveway for over 2 hours. He gave me an ugly look and got in his car and drove away. No apology, no "Please excuse me, I was running late for church".

I shouldn't let stuff like this get to me, but I'm vexed.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Today was the first day of Get-Back-To-Art Season. I spent about 3 hours in my studio. I had planned on more, but something came up (doesn't it always?) No, this was really necessary. I had to have the tail light of my brand new vehicle fixed. ( A run away buggy at Walmart, need I say more?) What that means is DH & I dropped the kids off early at school, then took said vehicle to the vehicle doctor, then I dropped DH off at work using his vehicle...BLAH, BLAH...

Anyway, I had to pick up my car around 10, so that threw an interuption in my day. Not too bad though. I drove directly back home, went right upstairs and got back to work. A short lunch break, then some more work, then I HAD to go get some #4 dpns, cuz I'm ready to make Enid's sleeves. I tried to cast one on using a short circ last night, but it wasn't going to happen. I just straightened my stash, and went to bed early.

What was I saying? Oh, Art...I'm easily distracted.

I had every intention of painting, but it's gotten so fricken cold here, that I didn't want to open the windows for ventilation, and I sure wasn't going to paint without fresh air. I need all the functional brain cells I've got left. I decided to draw instead. So, I started with charcoal in a small sketchbook, and piddled around until I felt like it needed some white. Pulled out the acrylic and put some down. Then it needed some gray wash. Pulled out the black acrylic, and there you go.

That was fun, so I decided to try it on a larger scale. I pulled out some Rives BFK (a really nice printing paper) and started up with the charcoal, followed by the acrylic. Not so much fun as before. I realized I didn't need the charcoal and started another. This time I tried to maintain the gesture and use the page a little more effectively. Much better. I checked the time it was about 2:00, so I washed my brushes and my palette, snapped a couple of photos, and off I ran. Dpns then boys.

The one on the right is the first one, the one on the left, the second.

Maybe you remember me whining about not feeling free enough, and looking through the glass wall at what I wanted to do, but somehow couldn't force my arm to obey? No? It's back in the archive somewhere. But that's how I felt. Now, I can feel that I will make better and better drawings. Just doing this today gave me ideas for Friday. That's the main thing: maintaining a flow of ideas and following through.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Trying to Catch Up

Things are crazy around here. I've been reading everyone's blogs, but not commenting. I've been thinking about writing, but not actually doing it. I HAVE been knitting. I finished the body of Enid, and will start the sleeves today. I made the Piggles hat from the latest Knitty for my adorable neice, but wasn't able to get a picture of her in it. Her mom says she'll send one. I haven't worked on the VK cable cardigan in a while.

Today is the first day of school for me. I'm ready. Teaching the same stuff I did last semester, but on a different schedule. Slight adjustments to be made, but nothing too time consuming.

I have been faithful to Project 365. The pictures aren't exactly great, but they do give chronicle each day of the year so far. I keep telling myself I'll try to take better pictures, but when I remember to take them, I'm rushed by lack of light, or frantic kids, or whatever.

Tomorrow I start back in the studio. I have Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays off this semester, so I really have time to focus. I have a big canvas waiting for paint, and lots of fine paper waiting for whatever I put on it.

I'm about to go try to convince 19-25 year olds that art is worth appreciating. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

At Last

I've been waiting for a day like this. Saturday, the kids are over at a friend's house, and I finally can get some stuff done. Besides the drudgery of housework, I was actually able to photograph my WIP's. I've finally got Enid casted on. The provisional cast on described in the pattern made it difficult to tell whether or not my stitches were twisted. I frogged that, and started again with a crocheted provisional cast on, and I think this will work better. I've never done this before, but I've got my fingers crossed. In this picture, you can see the contrasting red for the cast on. It's supposed to "unzip" at the end, leaving the cast on stitches live, and I'll pick those up and knit the hem facing, with contrasting color. For now, it's just simple knit stitch in the round for 11 odd inches. This is now a good project for when the kids are around, or I'm talking with friends. Not too much thinking involved, until I get to the yoke.

I don't remember if I discussed the yarn for this project (and am too lazy to look back in my blog to see), so I'll show and tell. The original yarn called for is Reynolds Whiskey. It's a little pricey, and I'm trying all kinds of new tricks, so I opted for Elann Devon, much more economical. The colors in Devon don't really match the colors in Whiskey, so I just picked out as many as were close and then tried to design around them. Here is the palette. The 3 olive green skeins are the MC. The rest of the colors make up the bubble pattern on the yoke.

And honestly, I didn't mean to hold out on you, I've just been so busy with the holidays, cookies you know. I started the cable cardigan in the Fall 2006 Vogue Knits. The pattern calls for a silk/cashmere blend, and let me tell you, there was NO WAY I was going to shell out that dough, so I opted for Knit Picks Wakashan 100% Baby Alpaca. It feels divine. This sweater was moving along pretty quickly, until I got to the front panels and there was cabling to do. I've cabled several things before, and it's really no problem, but #2 has been at home for 3 weeks, and I can't really follow a chart with him around. He starts back to preschool on Monday, so I'll be able to get some more work done on this one. Anyway, here's the back, just to show you I'm not fibbing.

I'm not usually one to juggle projects, but I will have 4 going at once. The two sweaters, and a baby gift (undecided as yet, but has to be done by March), and a cute little hat for my truly girly 3-soon-to-be-4 neice. We'll see how it all works out. I am now off to put on my face. My friend who's watching the kids, is also making Korean food for dinner, and we've got a date. Happy weekend to ya'!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

I hope ya'll had a happy holiday season. Mine was great. No migraines or anxiety attacks, so WOOHOO! The boys had a great Christmas and we all had some delicious food on that day. Number 1 had his 7th birthday a couple days later, so we had more presents and more decadent food (homemade chocolate cake with Rockyroad Frosting).

New Year's Eve was mellow. A couple of friends came over and brought their 5 year old son, who is Number 2's best friend. We had a bonfire with toasted marshmallows, and fireworks. Nobody got too drunk. I felt pretty good this morning, and got ready for our annual New Year's Day Lunch. For those of you not familiar with the southern tradition, Hoppin John's (black eyed peas) are for good luck, the ham in the peas is for health and the collard greens are for money. The cornbread and rice just go well with the rest of it. There was plenty of sweet iced tea, beer and wine. About 12 people showed up and we watched football and ate. I made a killer cake, but was too busy to photograph it. It was an orange almond cake with chocolate glaze. Man, it was fine.

I only made 1 resolution. I will hang framed pictures on my walls. I have so many things that need to be hung. We've lived here about 8 years and it looks like we just moved in. It's time to make things a little homier. I also will participate in Project 365. I learned about this on Elabeth's blog and it seems like a great idea to me. For Christmas DH gave me a camera, so that's more incentive to take pictures, and learn how to use my new toy.

I tried to knit on Enid over the holidays, but this is a fairly complex project and I need to think about it. Having the kids around all day makes it difficult to concentrate. There is a provisional cast on for the body, and I'm not sure how it will work out. I think I'll do a practice run and see if it works on a small scale, before I commit to the larger (over 200 stitches CO) real thing. Also, it's a cardigan knit in the round, and the front and sleeves are opened using steeking. I need to do a practice swatch of this, also, to see if it works as planned. I'm substituting yarn, and I don't know how it will respond to steeking. I guess if the steeking doesn't work on the swatch, I could just make the sweater a pullover.

So, my friends, I'm ready for life to return to normal. I miss knitting, and I miss my boys being in school. I even miss my job a little. I don't start back until the 16th. That seems late, but it'll give me some time to prepare and get in the right mindset. I hope you all are having a wonderful time.

EDIT: I just had to pop back in and say, it's been a surreal day for college football halftime shows. Earlier some band was playing "Stairway to Heaven", and just now the band on TV was playing a Queen medley. Odd, but entertaining.