Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Much music little knitting

A shocking lack of knitting going on chez redbird! A few stitches here and there on a few on my many projects including some sock knitting that went on in the church while waiting for our turn to play on Sunday.

Trial by Jury was a blast! Apparently it was the first Gilbert and Sullivan done at St Anne's long ago and a perfect one to present along with a time scan of music played over the 100 years' history of the church. Started with Stanford - hadn't heard it before but my brother and father sang it in Westminster Abbey (yes, the one in London, England) many years ago on a choir tour they went on with Grace Church on the Hill.

And here they are in front of the Abbey:

Dad on the left and Ian , my brother on the right.

I am playing tonight with two of the people who were on that trip - one is my bro and the other is Irene who was along with her then husband - the conductor of the choir. Tiny small world!

We are playing Brahms' Clarinet Quintet and likely also the Mozart and Carl Maria von Weber. Should be fun!

But no knitting!

Must run!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall signs in spades

I got out my camera yesterday and spent some time in the garden

These have been blooming nearly all summer and are still going strong - Gaura Pink Butterflies. Very pretty but they have a tendency to sprawl so would be better staked.

Visiting mourning dove taking advantage of some spilled bird seed beside the house:

My Viburnum plicatum - Doublefile Viburnum is starting to show signs of Fall colour:

And so is my neighbour's Euonymous elatus - Burning Bush - which is definitely beginning its burn

Lots of berries - these are the Virginia Creeper that has pretty much taken over the shed in the back (my neighbour 2 houses up planted it years ago and now I can't get rid of it but it does have its advantages - covering the ugly shed is one and its fall colour is the other):

And another volunteer tree - maybe a Hawthorn although I have never tried very hard to identify it and have never seen it with so many berries. The birds don't eat these:

Caryopteris bought a few weeks ago at Home Depot is blooming. It is bluer that this and the leaves are silver - quite lovely and a fantastic colour particularly at this time of year when everything seems to be orange or rust

A macro shot of its tentacles - would make a great looking alien I think

Cimicifuga racemosa or snakeroot/bugbane blooming in spite of it being nearly crowded out by other plants. This was one of the most expensive perennials I have ever bought - cost me $25.00 for 1 plant about 15 years ago - can't remember ever spending that much on a single plant before or since:

Cornus kousa - the one last sputnik left

Acer palmatum or Acer japonicum in the back right by my deck - ready to make more acer babies

Ready for his close up - very narrow depth of field - look at the next one for a slightly different version of the same shot

And one of my favourite plants - Anemone japonicum or Japanese Anemone - blooms from August through the Fall in pink - there is also a white version.

Ancient apple tree across the street.

Heavily laden with apples that will pretty much all end up squished on the street and ferment making for a scent of apple cider for the next few weeks.

Fall indeed!

Shots taken with my Nikon D70s and my 105mm macro lens.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Many a stitch was knit last night

Nothing more delightful than a long evening of pure knitting time stretching out before me. Last night was great for working on my Norwegian Woods Shawl.

Both repeats of pattern 2 done and on to the first of 3 of pattern 3.

This is the scarf version but you can see where I am - just at the beginning of what looks to me like gothic arches. Getting close to the end - but still lots of looooong rows and getting longer ... to knit

Just queued this up on Ravelry. Another Hanne Falkenberg design - love the colours and the directional knitting. This version has 4 colours - better I think than some of the others that are only 2. It is called Blues and is in a new yarn for Ms F - a cotton/wool that is a bit heavier than her usual Shetland style yarn.

It is now #3 on my queue
Number 1 is the Aran Wrap Cardigan from Vogue Knitting Fall 08 - sideways cables with knitted downwards sleeves and a cabled peplum. Clever pattern!

And this is #2 - a finer knit - probably do it in Jo Sharp Classic DK or perhaps Filatura di Crosa's Zara

Off now to get ready to go to a rehearsal for Trial by Jury - a concert version to be performed in one of the most beautiful churches in Toronto - St. Anne's on Gladstone Ave famous for its Group of Seven paintings. A truly glorious setting

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Not one stitch knitted yesterday

Rarely does a day not include a bunch of knitting! Instead, yesterday was "send all 100 sock of the month club kits out day " and then "play Brahms evening". In between were feed animals and catch up on the financial news.

I got a group together to play the Brahms' String Sextets last evening - not an easy feat finding 2 violins ( the easiest) 2 violas (the hardest) and 2 cellos (easier since one of them was me) and getting them all in one place at the same time. I can usually only count on it happening once or twice a year at most.

There are excerpts on Wikipedia of the 2nd one we played - the Opus 36 - (scroll almost down to the bottom and then scroll to the bottom of the media files section)

I am now trying to get a group together to play Brahms Clarinet Quintet - a little easier since it is 5 not 6 people and I already have the 2 violins pencilled in. Just have to confirm with the Clarinet that he is still available and find me a viola (and someone to play it too)

Does anyone know the definition of a String Quartet?

A good violinist

A bad violinist

A former violinist (the viola player)

and someone who hates the violin (the cellist)

One of many silly music jokes - most of which are directed at the viola

Which is better - a violin or a viola?

A viola - it burns longer

Spinning with the DKC and Ashford

My guild , the Downtown (Toronto) Knit collective had its first meeting last night. The Ashford folks were there to show off their pretty pretty things. Great way to start off the Fall.

This is pretty:

The Ashford Traditional - nice looking wheel!

This is pretty too:

The Ashford Joy - very portable - might be a little small for me (I'm 5'7") but it is pretty still

This is pretty:
Hand cranked drum carder - not too expensive as carders go and would be very nice to have on hand to process and re-process and blend fibres.

These are new and very pretty

The Knitter's Loom - in 2 widths. just what we need to use up the stash. They showed a video of warping them and it seems much more straight forward and quicker than a standard loom (of which I know nothing - can identify a loom as a loom but that is as far as it goes) and sits on the edge of a table while supported in the weaver's lap.

Oh no - not another hobby!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Distracted - who me?

No , I haven't quite finished my Silk Garden Sock vest - still working on the neck trim. I started something that wasn't working then started something else and it is sitting waiting for me to decide to rip or stay. In the meantime:

Stack o' Silk Garden Sock - in all its cable, garter and stocking stitch glory

And here is the new delight that has my attention for the while

It is Sivia Harding's Norwegian Woods Shawl - all of the first section is done and the second started. The colour is actually more purple than the pic shows.

So from a whole lot of red to some purple - moving along the colour spectrum is always a good thing!

On a perplexing but true note - I received a Final Notice from the post office today (Sept 15th) - item to be sent back if not picked up by August 22nd. Efficiency isn't a Canada Post feature I am thinking. Well at least they sent it back when they said they would!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Something finished

Finished this - my September Sock of the Month.

I named it Intrecciato - which is braided in Italian - clever eh?

I loved working with the yarn - Estelle Cadenza - a bit of shine with its silk content and a really springy feel to it.

And back to my vest which is just about done - just need to sew down the self - faced braided edges and knit the neck band - which will also be self-faced and braided

There seems to be a theme going on here - or perhaps 2

1. Braids

2. Red

And lurking in the back of my knitting brain is a new shawl to sample my new Grignasco MerinoSilk lace yarn

Friday, September 05, 2008

Slight detour on the road to modules

I haven't done much more on my Silk Garden sock Vest - have finished the last square and have had to put it away as I am working on September's Sock of the Month.

I can't yet post a picture of it but I can tell you that there are cables involved!

And that the sample ( and your kits) will be done in this yarn:

The yarn is Estelle's new Cadenza - a superwash wool and silk blend that is being truly delicious to work with. Just a wee bit of glowing shine from the silk and slight colour variation that blends beautifully with the cables.

Still trying to think of a name!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Dappled sunlight shot of my nearly finished vest.

Last square started and then will do a small wedge to shape the shoulders and then add the braid trim (knitted on of course - no sewing for moi)

Garter stitch gorgeousness:

And the dappled sunlight version

Braids - love the braids!

Just received a note from a friend (Hi Ainslie!) in Kingston that Kaffe Fasset will be in Perth, ON (Perth, ON!!) October 16th. Tickets are available from Creative Styling in Westport - 613-326-0626. $30 for the evening.

I however, will be on my way to Rhinebeck!

A demain