Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged!
I think maybe I’ve kicked the sinus infection with the second round of antibiotics. So that’s a good. And I survived my weekend marathon. Now, those of you who know me know that the idea of me in a real marathon is a complete joke – and you’re right! Instead it was a musical marathon.
On Saturday, May 6, I had choir rehearsal at 11:30 am at church. I left as 12:30 pm to get to Tapestry rehearsal by 1:00 pm. Finally, I had to be back at the performance space (St. John’s United Methodist Church) at 6:15 for sound check for the concert. (You can see a picture of us in our performance outfit and on the stage at our website.) Finally, on Sunday morning I reported back to church for our spring Choir Concert service.
That’s a lot of singing for me. Even an hour or so of singing with some force can leave me with a hoarse speaking voice (though not singing, for some reason), so I was concerned about that, as well as just the effects of all that work and concentration and such on my energy level. So I kinda went through the motions for the rehearsals, and had plenty of voice for the Saturday night concert! And since I got to sleep before the next concert, that was OK, too.
The Tapestry concert went well. We have recently lost our accompanist, just a week before the concert, and I think that worried all of us. Fortunately, someone found a really, really great young woman to fill in. She had the music about a week, but you’d never know it by her performance! She was really great, though I think she was embarrassed by all the thank yous and expressions of gratitude, both in front of the audience and privately. I doubt she could know how much her ability and her presence meant to us! Now they’re forming a search committee to hire a new one, and I have high hopes.
The audience Saturday night was fairly small. It didn’t help that as the doors open we had yet another thunder and lightning storm and heavy rain. We’d been having those pretty much nightly for more than a week, but some of the large hail and straight line winds had knocked down trees and power lines earlier in the week. We were concerned that the power might go out at the church, but we were fortunate and were able to see our music!
Sunday morning was, in a way, almost even more satisfying. Our choir director, Rebecca, had challenged us with excerpts from Vivaldi’s Gloria. Then she challenged herself by hiring a small orchestra, mostly of very good high school students. We met them first at the Saturday rehearsal, and they were quite good. (Here’s a picture of the choir and some of the orchestra, taken by my friend and second unit for newsletter photos, Jon Montgomery. I'm the one on the farthest right on the stage.) We sounded pretty damn good and with the addition of the orchestra, were even better. And the last movement (which sounds great but isn’t, in my humble opinion, all that hard) pulled people into a standing ovation. The whole weekend was exhausting, but wonderful.
Since then I’ve mostly been coasting. (I like coasting.) I’ve got several people signed up for my Tarot course at church this summer, which is exciting. I’m really looking forward to that! Because we’ve had so much rain, the outside is a lovely green right now, and that’s pleasant. All too soon it will be light brown and very hot, so somewhat cooler weather (though I need the air conditioning inside) and green growing things is nice.
OKC: I finished the knitting part of three baby blankets. I tried something different with them. When my son was a baby (nearly 23 years ago now!) towels for babies came with a triangle hood thing on one corner, to help keep their little wet heads warm. I’ve seen that in patterns for the knitted-on-the-diagonal blankets like I did, though they wanted the triangle knitted separately and sewn on. Why, I thought, knit it separately? So I unvented (as opposed to invented) the idea of just knitting the blanket to the corner, then increasing back out into the triangle, and stopping when nearly out of yarn. I did that on all three blankets. Now I just need to sew the sides of the triangle hood down, block them, and send them on their way. The twins are due any second now. I also have the wristlet for a friend with rheumatoid arthritis to finish – it just needs a thumb and sewing up a bit. (It’s a double thickness so she can put an ice pack in it to help reduce swelling in her hands when she works.) And I’ve got the second pair of Olympic socks to finish as well as a pair from a lovely green and red sock yarn from KnitPicks. Both pairs of socks are for me.
But am I working on any of that? No, of course not! I have, according to The Yarn Harlot, startitis. According to her, this hits her in the spring and seduces her to begin projects when she has others she needs to finish. Yep, except that we’ve had spring since sometime in February, that pretty much describes me.
I’ve started the first of the Longhorn-colored socks for my friend Victoria’s husband, Bob. I’m using merino fingering weight yarn from Mystical Creations in a slightly custom colorway. The yarn is very fine, really almost lace weight, so I’m using size 0 needles and lots of stitches. (112, I think it was.) I did two inches of 2x2 rib for the cuff, then picked Baby Cable Rib from Charlene Schurch’s book Sensational Knitted Socks, which is rapidly becoming my socknitting bible. I’ll do an inch or so more of the cable rib, then I really need to try the sock on Bob. He teaches about a 5 hour drive away from me, so until school’s out, I think I’ll end up having to put the sock aside in a bit. Since I still don’t know if it fits or if he’ll like the pattern (I’m told he’s picky about his socks), I haven’t done my usual trick to avoid Second Sock Syndrome, which is to start the two at the same time. I have some trepidation about that, but the idea of ripping out two socks is even more anxiety-producing!
I also started the first of a pair of fingerless gloves for my friend Bev. She was complaining about how cold her fingers get when she types, and she types a lot! (Of course, they’re not cold now. It’s summer.) Since she lives in California, I’ve had to find other ways to see if things fit. So I had her take a couple of measurements, and I’ve done some measuring around my house, and I found that DS is a close enough fit for the arm part of the gloves, and DH is close on the hand part. I suspect his fingers are a bit thinner, but one stitch bigger will likely be enough. I’m still sorta kinda swatching, in that I’ve started one in the pattern, but I want to get it a bit farther before I try it on DS again (and besides, he’s napping right now – why didn’t he have this napping habit when he was three?). My basic pattern comes from Not Just Socks by Sandi Rosner. The yarn I’m using (Hawaii, from KnitPicks) makes stripes in whatever needle size or stitch count I’ve tried. This annoys me. I actually like a bit of pooling and find straight one row striping boring. So I’ve chosen the gauntlet style of arm thing that’s shown on the cover of the book. (Same basic pattern as the Mermaid socks in Lucy Neatby’s Cool Socks, Warm Feet.) This breaks up the striping nicely and, in my opinion, shows off the colors better. Aside from some sort of mistake early on, I think it looks pretty good, and I think I’ll be kludging that mistake and closing the hole where no hole should be, somehow. (Shhhh, don’t tell Bev, OK? She need never know!)
So this is startitis. I have four projects near enough complete that I can practically taste them, so what am I doing? Starting new ones. It’s a sickness. Plus, I just discovered that a woman in my church is not only pregnant, but due in a month. (I was very surprised – I had not noticed her looking particularly pregnant! Plus, her partner had a little boy last year, and I never expect people to have kids so close together. Why, I don’t know, except I guess that DS convinced me that every baby needs at least two full-grown adults for proper maintenance.) Also, a friend of DS’s is pregnant. So I really need to make at least one more baby blanket, since I didn’t do anything for the woman at church’s partner last year (long, unpleasant story) and I feel bad about it. I have not mentioned to DS that I’m thinking of making one for his friend, in case I don’t to that one. Startitis!
Speaking of church, a wonderful thing happened last week. A member was breastfeeding her young son in public and she and her family were asked to move and told it was “indecent exposure”. When our email lists found out about this, people mobilized. The management where this happened were called (more than once, I think), laws looked up, supportive emails written, and people who hadn’t been nice to each other in a while were nice to each other and working together. Before they were done (the next day) the management had been re-educated, the employees there retrained, all sorts of apologies issued, and free tickets offered. I sat back and watched in amazement and pleasure. “There’s my church! I knew it was around here somewhere!” It confirms my suspicion that once the major negative energy is removed, we’ll be able to pull ourselves back together and be ourselves again, loving and supportive and helpful. I’m loving it!