Sunday, February 11, 2007

New music, new book, new knitting

Tonight many people will be watching the Grammys. Me, only getting fuzzy PBS, will not. I hear Neil is up for an award tonight (yea!) but I will miss it. Even though any new Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, or Neil Young will end up in my musical library, I still get pissed when people comment on their voices. They are not pretty pop, but (especially Shakey - that vibrato seems very natural) their lyrics and music are the real thing. If they had the pretty pipes, too? Wouldn't be the same.

My new shipment of music has arrived.

new music

At the top we have Neko Case's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. This album makes my skin crawl - in a most delightful way. Garth Hudson (The Band) is on piano and organ for a few tunes, and Dexter Romweber (local NC boy) does a guitar part on one song. The lyrics and her voice are amazing, but add to that some supurb musicians and I am lost.

Next up, in a clockwise kind of fashion, there is the awesome guitartist Richard Thompson. I "found" him on a Paste DVD (waayy late into his game, I might add) but this acoustic CD is very nice. Quirky lyrics, beautiful guitar. Very satisfying.

I felt the need to update my Emmy so I got Red Dirt Girl (was aiming for Spyboy, but couldn't find it anywhere). She was in the nineties over-produced phase (it was released in 2000), but it is a fine album. I love the Patti Griffin tune and her back-up vocals. Also, the song I Don't Want to Talk About it Now could be my fucking theme song.

Last, but certainly not least, Emmy's bandleader Buddy Miller. He has a newer album out, but I chose this one instead. I grew up in a very religous family and I love gospel, but I wanted to hear him on his own. Most of the songs were written by his wife Julie (amazing in her own right), some by Buddy himself, and some are covers. I am diggin' the hell out of it.

So, when life gives you lemons you can make lemonade or buy music. I tend to buy music...and knit. Which leads nicely into my other weekend activity, knitting Pam Allen's Nordic Lights capelet. I, being an IGG (Immediate Gratification Girl) to the first degree, could not wait to find the brown I wanted. A darker brown. No, I bought a light brown and started my project. With the white beside it, it looks fine. Good, maybe. When I headed into the green, well you can barely see it. This project will be finished, I will not frog it (with all the different colors in the Fair Isle) but I will probably end up giving it away so I don't have to look at it. Take heed knitters: if you can't find the yarn you want/need in your LYS - order it on-line; do not buy the next-best-thing. Because it isn't.

nordic lights

Friday, February 09, 2007

There may not be flurries of snow, but knitting? Watch out, people!

What I remember of my youth in Grand Marais, Minnesota is plenty of indoor time in the winter. Sure, we cross country skiied, went snowmobiling (in my teens), but mostly in winter, we hunkered down and crafted. I've made silk flowers, sewed, quilted, quilled, made more do-hickeys out of styrofoam than I care to admit, and fattened up for the winter.

Now, even though there seems to be some weird weather afoot (Global warming? I'll buy that. Cyclical weather? Hell, I'd buy into that, too.) Still, there is knitting happening over here people. It's time to get inspired, I'm telling you. Elizabeth Zimmerman? Goddess. Mel Clark and Tracey Ullman? Not for beginners, but definitely inspirational. Nothing finer.

Here are some recent knitting pics. First off, from the Goddess of Unvented Knitting, Elizabeth Zimmerman's Woodsman's socks. They are just the trick for a cold day. Knitted in Knit Picks Shamrock (color picked by a two year old, sorry don't remember what it is and I tossed the belly-band)

Woodsman Socks

Because it's a five-ply wool it knits up fast and I finished them in less than a weekend. A record for me, anyway.

Next up are the Broad Street mittens from I adore them. They are so handy for wiping noses on the playground (mine and other small children's) plus they are just so cool I can barely stand it.

Broad Street Mittens

And on to my new favorite hat...the Lady Detective from Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark's book, Knit 2 Together. I worked it in the recommended Noro Iro without the belt buckle and strap (not so much me) and I'm loving it.

Lady detective hat

I'm working on a Fair Isle capelet out of Cascade yarns and I just got a post from Schoolhouse Press for some lovely Icelandic wool. I'm set for the weekend...the children are with their father and who cares about food when there's yarn in the house?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Molly Ivins

I am mourning Molly Ivins over here, severely. That woman had a bite in her humor and it livened my soul as far as politics goes. I will miss her witty criticisms of ... everything, frankly. When she commented on the Texas legislature, Bill's tacky infidelities, or Bush's stupidity she made me laugh and think. Her piece on "ort" (known as art, outside of Texas) was brilliant. The whole genre of cows on buildings made me laugh out loud (there's some of that here in NC, but clearly Texas has a corner on it). To speak her mind when other people's criticisms could have had her cowering is something I admire. Garrison Keillor wrote a great poem about her:

Molly Ivins
Enlivens us all.
She was tossed in—
To Austin
But could thrive in
St. Paul.
If you're arrivin' —
Whenever you're due—
Give me a call
Soon as you're here.
I'll find a drive-in
That serves barbecue
And Lone Star beer.

Two-thousand seven
She's flown up to heaven
And is giving St. Peter
(Who came out to meet her)
A piece of her mind.
We miss you, old girl,
It's a poorer world
You've left behind.