Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day 2009

Christmas Day was rainy --- all day long!

I didn't have to play anywhere, so I slept in till about 6 (that IS sleeping in for me!), but didn't get out of bed till almost 8.

Went out and got some breakfast (the food was good but the restaurant was having HVAC trouble and it was COLD) and read the paper.

Then I opened presents and cards.

Lunch was with friends. I took a bottle of Carménère. We had turkey breast, carrots, broccoli salad (not!), potatoes, apple and onion stuffing, turnip soufflé (not!), with figgy pudding (YES! YES! YES!) and mincemeat pie for dessert. After lunch, most of the folks played Liverpool Rummy, while I had a nap, then worked on a crocheted afghan.

This past week I finished a crocheted striped (claret, burgundy) prayer shawl for a person at church who has been diagnozed with a tumor (pancreas?). I know this person, so it was special to be able to do it for her. I'm going to make another one, along with a simpler variation, so I can take pictures and write a proper pattern for them.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In the Midst of Music

'Tis the season, so they say.

Have played two funerals this month. The first was very ordinary. The second, today, was unsual (for me, anyways). I was filling in for a colleague who is away for the Thanksgiving weekend. On the music list was UNC's song, "Hark the Sound." Seemed odd, especially since the deceased was NOT an alumna as far as I could tell. During one of the "witnesses" (read "eulogy"), a woman told this joke: Q: Why don't Southern Ladies go to orgies? A: Too many thank you notes to write. Seemed out of place to me. Especially in a church funeral service.

Yesterday I played a wedding for a (different) colleague. All went well except that I forgot to play "something" on the chimes to signal the minister, groom, and best man to enter. They figured it out and came in at the right moment just the same.

Used a lot of the same prelude music for both the wedding and the funeral (Walter/Vivialdi Concerto in B minor; Bach Nun freut' euch; Bach Von Gott will ich nicht lassen; Pachelbell Canon in D; Bach Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring).

This week begins Christmas music with a vengeance. This week there is a concert on Tuesday evening, a rehearsal on Thursday evening, and concert on Friday evening. The following week includes playing (organ) for two dinner parties, another rehearsal, and another concert. And it goes one like that for most of December.

Hope to deliver tomorrow the baby blanket that has been sitting, finished, since before the baby was born. I've got a card, gift bag, and tissue paper all ready. Just have to figure out which knitting bag it's in.

Am working on several prayer shawls. I had a request for one for someone specific, so have settled on a design (stripes in shades of red) and have started crocheting it. It shouldn't take me too long.

Mother broke her hip and fell (that's the sequence that the doctors confirmed). She got a new hip. We are hoping the severe pain in her leg was from deterioration or cracking of the hip over the last two years. On a scale of 1 to 10, she said that her pain had been a 40!

Best quote of the week: "Food and love both begin with looking."

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Tonight was the first Compline of the fall semester at the Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, NC, where I am a member. I'd forgotten that they resumed tonight until someone mentioned it on Facebook. I still had enought time to get there, so I went.

20 singers + 1 thurifer. Nave full. Candlelight (except for music stand lights for the singers). LOTS of incense!

The picture was taken just before the service began. I tried to take some indoor pictures, but they didn't turn out well --- I think I had the camera on the wrong setting.

An exciting event took place at the end --- a man proposed to his girlfriend (yes, got down on one knee!) and she accepted.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Way Behind

Since my last post, I've been to the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat and a worship and music conference. I finished a white baby blanket for one of the prayer shawl groups and am in the middle of several shawls.

At the MSKR '09, everyone brought a 15"x15" square to contribute to a blanket as a gift to Easton Mountain. Joe bravely volunteered to do all the assembly. As you can imagine, it was not possible to assemble a queen-sized blanket over a long weekend, so he took it home to finish. Soon he shipped it to me. I had volunteered to put the border on it. I am finally on the last round! The first two rows were 1100 stitches each and the last two rows are 2750 rows each. And since I get almost no tv channels since the big switcheroo, there isn't much to watch while I'm working on it. The color of the border is olive, so I am grateful for my lighted crochet hook.

While I was working on the above-mentioned white baby blanket, the wooden handle on my aluminum crochet hook became detached. Just as a test, I worked the rest with a full-length hook inserted into the wooden handle. It worked very well, so I'm going to glue the long hook into the handle instead of the chopped-off one it came with. I also used, for some of the time, a Brittany hook. It is a longer style and more comfortable. Longer hooks are definitely the way to go!

After the worship and music conference at Montreat, I made a pilgrimage to Yarn Paradise in Asheville, NC. A fabulous place with a huge yarn, book, and magazine inventory. That's where I found the long Brittany hook, along with a new style of needle gauge and a brochure on yarn requirements for crochet projects.

Since I'm almost done with the border on the MSKR blanket, I need to get ready to take lots of pictures of it. I went to Wolf Camera at University Mall and did a little browsing for a decent digital camera. I am not satisfied yet that I know what I want, so I didn't get anything. I'm going to do a little more research this weekend.

I'm planning to write an entire blog about the MSRK, so stay tuned for that.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just Enough Ruffles Scarf

I took at class at our local shop, Cozy, on the pattern "Just Enough Ruffles Scarf," from It was very interesting. I was really more interested in the ruffles, but the point of the class was to get some experience in the short-row technique. I used a silk wool yarn on size 6 needles. We started the class by knitting a miniature version so we could make sure we understood all the techniques involved. I went ahead and did the entire scarf in miniature, and I'm glad I did. I decided that I needed to use the size 6 needles to make the ruffle really "ruffly"! I got my scarf done in time for the second (and last) class, which was postponed due to the threat of snow. I've donated the scarf to the youth auction (tomorrow) at Watts Street Baptist Church (where I'm organist). I've started a second scarf in a medium blue wool. I think there are some weaknesses in the pattern. There seems to be a row missing after the garter stitch beginning. And the garter stitch ends up rolling. I'm following the pattern for the second one, but if I do more of them, I will experiment with seed stitch and ribbing to start.

Have a difficult wedding to play today. Did not get the music list (I wasn't consulted) till late in the game, so have had to work harder and faster on the Widor Toccata (V) than I would have liked. Fortunately, I'd already started to resurrect it for a recital here on May 31. The trumpeter will turn pages for me.

Have fallen behind on my reading mentioned here earlier. Maybe I'll get some done while at the beach next weekend.

There is a call for original patterns for prayer shawls. I'm going to design one meant for men and submit it. Pattern and sample has to be turned in by May 24, so I've got to get moving. I've already designed it in my head, but I need to write it down and actually crochet it pretty soon.

I was talking to an acquaintance recently and she suggested that maybe my fatigue is "adrenal fatigue." I did some reasearch on line and didn't come up with a whole lot of information, but it certainly is possible.

Have an annual church financial audit starting Monday. I got several boxes of materials packed this morning and will go back tomorrow to finish packing stuff up and run the last of the reports I usually have on hand. This one is earlier than usual, for which I'm thankful.

Monday, February 16, 2009

February 15, 2009

I'm shipping the purple shawl to my sister-in-law today. I'll e-mail her and let her know to expect it.

Am almost done with the mohair shawl for the St. Philip's J2A auction. I thought I'd get it done on Saturday, but didn't have enough yarn with me. When I got home that night, I spent the evening unraveling (not always easy with mohair!) an abandoned shawl using the same yarn. Got about 2/3 of the ruffle knitted yesterday. I should be able to get it completely done this evening and turn it in tomorrow.

Have just started reading Phyllis Tickle's "The Great Emergence." The world's great religions seem "re-set" every 500 years of so.

Am also reading a book on writing by Pat Schneider. It was listed as recommended reading by the leader of a writing workshop I'm going to next month.

I'lll be having extra bloodwork done at my physical next month to try to pinpoint a cause or causes for my persistent weariness.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Scarf finished

I finally finished the knitting on the exchange scarf. I blocked it yesterday, but it may need to be lightly pressed before I'll be satisfied with it. Hopefully I can get it in the mail before the end of this week.

Now to really steam ahead on the mohair shawl for the fundraiser on the 21st!

Finally finished all my January bookkeeping crunches. Still have tons to do, but the pressure is off.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Still January

Can't belief January is over half gone. Wish it were over, since it is my busiest month!

Last Friday, as I was locking my apartment door, I saw through the lobby door that someone had picked up my newspaper and was walking away with it! I ran out and said, "Excuse me, but that's my paper." He turned around and came back, saying, "I was just going to read the sports section." Now, I only look at the sports section if Penn State is playing bowl game. But it was MY sports section just the same. He look very embarrassed, of course. I think he is one of regulars at Biscuitville at the end of my street. Haven't seen him there since.

Today I am enjoying some unanticipated free time due to a snow storm. When I looked out at 4 a.m. (and my paper had already arrived, so I retrieved it then and there, just in case), it was snowing, but the streets were just wet. Of course, there is now a layer of ice under the snow. About 9 a.m. I cleaned off the car (which I just got back from the shop, complete with a replaced engine, yesterday) and drove to the end of the street for breakfast. Street not in good shape. By the time I came out 30 minutes later, the windshielf and back window had already iced over.

Then went four blocks in the other direction to check on the church. All was well there, but that part of the street was in worse shape and the parking lot was an ice rink!

So, I will have some knitting time today. The exchange scarf is about half done. I've already gathered together the "goodies" to send along. Still have a ways to go on the shawl for the fund-raising auction at St. Philip's, but I should still be able to get it done in time.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Half of January already gone!

Where did the first half of January go??

Have gotten through a financial restructuring at one of my jobs. The accountants hired to help with this were not very easy to work with, but we all minded our manners and got through it fairly smoothly. Getting ready for that (they were on site two days this week!) is where most of my January went!

Am finally moving along on the scarf for the MWKSE2. I have to use up the first ball of yarn tonight so I can calculate if I need more than the 4 balls I've already purchased.

Am also moving along on the fund-raiser shawl (beige mohair with ruffles on the ends). Need to have that done by the end of the month.

Then I'm going to concentrate on finishing two shawls in time to take them to the MSKR '09. One is purple and crocheted. The other is knitted in an off-white alpaca in Old Shale. I got distracted the last time I was working on it and made a mistake somewhere. I have to unknit about 3 more rows until I'm back on track.