Monday, May 29, 2006

The Expanding Bag

Would you just look at the size of this bag? It is very loosely knit, I'm using size 10.5 circular needles, But as you can see, it's over 30 inches wide! Now, this is supposed to shrink down to something like 11 inches, so, we'll see!

Memorial day weekend was mostly stay-at-home for the Carls. We were going to go to San Jose on Saturday, but I wasn't feeling well, so we didn't. We had people over Saturday night for session, (see posts below) and that was fun. And then Sunday, we were going to go to Niles on the train, but Jaya wanted to stay home and sew, so we stayed home. We did get to the Starry Plough that evening. I sang 'I can see your Aura'. I said I learned it from Stevie Coyle, which I did, but Lonnie Herman admonished me for not giving credit to the author, Mark Graham. I hadn't known he wrote that song. Since I'm learning another song by Mark Graham, when I sing it at the plough, I'll give credit to him for both of them.

Today we saw The DaVinci Code. I enjoyed the movie. It kept me engaged, and I enjoyed it as much as I had enjoyed the book. I have to review the book, though. The ending in the movie is not quite as I remember, so either I am misremembering, or they changed it. My recommendation is, if you enjoyed the book, you will probably enjoy the movie.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ballydesmond Polka

Sharon played a Baly Desmond Polka, EBSP May 27, 2006.

Click on the picture to see me playing the Ballydesmond Polka (in another window). Now, if I had a newer camera, we might have sound, too!

Session Saturday

EntrelacHere's the latest shot of the bag! I've got one diamond in each color complete, that's half of them. Then comes another row of yellow triangles, and then back to the main color and closing up the bottom. It's half done! This project has gone quickly.

Today is the fourth Satuday of the month... EBSP session day! EBSP stands for East Bay Slow Players, we're a group of folks who like to play Irish and Scottish music. We are all different levels, so depending on who shows up, we play at various speeds. Turnout was pretty good for a Memorial Day weekend, seven of us counting Sharon S., who's taking the picture.

Jaya also took a movie of me playing the Ballydesmond Polkas. But this site won't let me upload it. So if I figure out a way to link it here, I will. For now, here's the picture.

East Bay Slow Players (EBSP)I do realize none of us are smiling. That doesn't mean we aren't having fun. Playing music is WAY fun. It's just that it also requires concentration. And smiling just isn't that important when you are concentrating.

Couch Potatoes and Fiddles

All the triangles are finished. I had to show you what this looks like. All the triangles are still on the needles, one side anyway, so with ten of them all around it looks like some kind of flower. Now comes the fun part (I hope), filling in the colored diamonds.

There is a spot near where we live that Jaya and I like to go walking. We took a rather brisk walk up there last night, a nice thing to do before coming back home and being couch potatoes. Am I still considered a potato if I'm knitting?

Yesterday I picked up my personalized plates. The car is now complete! Royan is the name of my acoustic duo (Janet Lenore and myself). And the fiddle quote is one I found when I was looking for the difference between a violin and a fiddle. I love that quote. I don't feel that my playing exemplifies it yet, but I'm working on it!

And actually, maybe it does. I play because it's fun. Otherwise, I wouldn't do it. If practicing alone was more fun, I would probably be better than I am!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Earthquakes and Entrelac

Yesterday, as I was waving goodbye to Jaya, Dean tore out of the front door. He does this on occasion, and comes back shortly, but it wasn't until I was actually leaving for work that he came back inside. There I was, armed with a can of catfood to lure him in after I had dumped my stuff in the car, and he just pranced inside. So I went and dumped, and came back to give him the catfood anyway.

Last night, when we returned home after our Argentine Tango lesson (maybe my feet aren't both left ones, after all), I heard a ruckus in the office, and as I opened the front door, Dean raced out. Marilyn ran from me once I was inside. I opened the front door twice, and each time, Dean took off again. He's usually the calm one! He came back inside when Jaya came in, and a little while later, while we were sitting on the couch, we felt a small tremor. Aha! THATs what had them spooked! I have always heard stories about animals and earthquakes, but this was my first actual experience with it.

The entrelac works! I had read over the instructions, and I just couldn't envision how this was going to work, but it does! I made a triangle! Look!

Now I just have to make 9 more, and then we start the colored diamonds. This will be interesting! It's all so loose now, but the felting will fix that. I hope it tightens up enough to be a thick-walled bag.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


When the colors I had chosen for this bag first arrived, I was disappointed with the yellow. It didn't seem to contrast enough with the other colors. So I ordered some other choices. They FINALLY arrived yesterday (Knitpicks takes 14 days to get to California... and then another couple days to get to me!) and now I think I like the yellow better than any of the new choices. What do you think?

Marilyn doesn't care. She just likes to watch. Or is she sleeping?

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Bag

Well, I just had to start it last night. There seems to be something magical about starting a new project. Nevermind that I have four others that aren't finished yet. No, I won't abandon them, but I have been waiting to start this one and I just didn't want to wait anymore! And there is also something wonderful about using size 10.5 needles, after using size 1s. It's so gratifying, how quickly I see progress with the project.

This is a felted entrelac bag, that I will use to carry my other knitting projects. I have made felted things before, but I have not made anything with the entrelac technique. We shall see how I do following a pattern! I tend to jump into things before I know what's what, luckily I know people I can go to for help if I get into trouble.

The holes you see are there for the cord to knot through. Everything will tighten up nicely when this is felted, it will be very dense, and a lot smaller. This will be my sock-project bag.

I have some more yarn on order, I changed the colors from the original design, and I don't like my choice for the white. So the daffodil yarn will probably be replaced when I get the other yarn. I figure I can make felted slippers with the leftovers from this project!

Here's a closeup of the bag as it will be, taken from the picture on the pattern. My camera made a mess of the colors, and I can't focus very well up close, but you can get a general idea.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Knitting Projects

Home again. And I did get some knitting done in Tennessee. These are the adorable Maryjanes I have now completed for Meredith's daughter, Devon. I ran out of the red yarn just before it was time to make the strap of the second one, so I tried using my red eyelash yarn (see red rope, below) but it was a disaster. So last night I spent an hour with the scissors and a lighted magnifier, cutting it off. There just is no frogging eyelash yarn. Not worth the trouble. But I'm glad I saved these, I think they look great!

This is the third pair of socks I've started. I did finish the first two. This one is taking forever, because 1) I'm using size 1 dpns, and 2) they are for my husband. He has an extra wide foot. These socks are 76 stitches around. So it's easy to get bored and set them aside. However, I have completed the first one, as you can see, and the plane ride home and my BART ride to and from San Francisco today got me as far as you see here on the second sock. On size 3 needles I'd probably have finished a whole sock in that time! I shall perservere, and after this, probably retire my size 1 dpns until I am seized with another fit of insanity.

Here's the Christmas sock I am making on size 3's as a respite from the 1's. I have started the second, and put arrows showing my clever little trick. All my socks are being made with the short-rows toe up technique, which I learned from Ellen Graves in her class at Skein Lane in El Cerrito. However, I have discovered that if I use a marker after each wrapped stitch, I neither have to count, or be able to tell what my wrapped stitch looks like. I just knit to the marker, and then wrap the stitch right before it on the way to the top of the toe, or knit the stitch after it and wrap the next one on the way back, replacing the marker in front of each wrapped stitch. This cotton has no elastic, but I have had this yarn for years, so I thought, what the hell, I might as well use it.

Here's another neverending project. I ordered yarn for this two months before my son Andrew's birthday. I thought I could whip it out in time for his present. It arrived two weeks before his birthday... in January. Here it is May, and I'm down to the last few stripes. The weather is getting warm, now. This is going to make a lovely drawer liner. But the colors are Gryffindor, so he's excited about getting it, anyway.

And my last WIP, a fuzzy red rope. My friend Jan couldn't understand what in the world I was making this for. I told her it was for Jaya. It won't leave any marks.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Car Shopping

Mom needs a new car. She has been driving her 1985 Cadillac since 1986. Yes, she has taken excellent care of it, it is in great condition for a 20 year old car, but it will soon be more expensive to insure than it's worth. And it's becoming difficult to get parts.

On Saturday we looked at a 2004 Cadillac, that she liked. And then we went over to the Toyota lot, and looked at some Camrys. Today we went back there and drove a 2004 Avalon.
Now, I'm leaving tomorrow, so Mom is on her own. I think the salesman will pester her until she makes a decision, he's called twice since I've been here!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

Mom and I are having a nice Mother's Day. We went to church to hear Carol play the organ. She played beautifully. Carol is my cousin. Here she is at the organ in the Presbyterian church in Clarksville.

After church, we all went out to lunch. Mom, me, Aunt Nancy, Carol and Will. Will is Carol's son. Aunt Nancy is her mother, and my great aunt. Mom kept introducing me as her daughter from California to everyone we met.

We had a nice lunch and took more pictures. Above is Aunt Nancy and mom. And below is Will, Aunt Nancy, me and Carol.

After lunch, mom took me shopping. We found a lot of things. It's nice being able to fit into normal sizes again, even if I'm still at the top end of them.

Now we're back home, and I'm going to make a stirfry with the leftovers from lunch. Then I'm going to see about some knitting!

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Finally I have found a time of year to visit my mother when it is not oppressively hot or insanely cold. I'm a California girl, not used to these drastic weather changes! May in Clarksville is quite pleasing, and I think May will be the visiting month. Since it also just happens to have Mother's Day in it, that seals the deal.

Carol and Will and Aunt Nancy and mom picked me up at the airport yesterday, and we saw them again today at the movies. We went to see An American Haunting, about the Bell witch of Tennessee.. it turns out that this haunting happened just 11 miles from here. Mom said she spent the night in the house when she was 12, with a group of girl scouts. The movie would have you believe that the house is still standing, but it was torn down years ago. I enjoyed the movie, but there were some rude teenagers sitting behind us who were laughing at the scary parts. It killed the mood just a bit.

Mom and MacTavish are doing fine. Here's a picture of MacT, he's 12 years old, and does a lot of sleeping these days. He snores, too, but don't tell him that. He'd be embarrassed.

We're doing some knitting... well, I am. Mom says she doesn't like to knit unless it's January! I'll try to take some pictures that I can put up here tomorrow.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Working, working, working

The White Rats still haven't posted my picture on their web page. So I'll put it here. This was taken last summer at the Dore Alley street fair.

I am taking a short break at work. I've been here since 10, and it's now nearly 5. If Jaya is true to his word, he'll pick me up in three hours. Loong day, but I'm getting a lot done. All the proofs for the magazine have to be printed. My goal is to finish everything before I leave for Tennessee on Friday. I'm doing South Bay now, so there is a chance it will actually happen! We have over 500 to print, in total

After work tonight, (Jaya had to work today, too.. and it's Saturday!) we are going to the San Francisco Contra Dance. We were talking about exercise last night, and dancing is a really fun form of exercise for me... and contra requires no skill!! So we're going to see how Jaya's hips take it.

Friday, May 05, 2006

May 5

I played out in Santa Cruz and in Alameda for Mayday. That's me in the furry red hat. This photo was actually much darker, being before dawn and all, but I lightened it so you can see something.

Looks like I won't make it to Karflugifest this weekend. Rats. But there is just too much to do at work. I will go to the Starry Plough on Sunday, though, if all goes as planned.

Next weekend I'm off to Tennessee to visit Mom for Mother's Day. I haven't had luck finding any sessions there in Clarksville yet, but I'll keep trying. I know they must exist.