Monday, January 25, 2010

Amazing new things

The New Orleans Saints are going to the SuperBowl.

That sounds so good. I'm going to write it again.

The New Orleans Saints are going to the SuperBowl.

Last night was the most stressful game I've ever seen. But, we came out on top. The Vikings played an amazing game with us, and the Saints are going to the SuperBowl for the first time, ever.

The Verdi Requiem is over, and we're now preparing the Brahms Requiem, and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.

The last amazing new thing really went into motion when a truck passed me on the interstate the other day, and spray-painted on the back was the phrase "u know what u need". I had been mulling over something in my mind for quite a while, and when I saw that prophetic graffiti I realized that I did, indeed, know what I needed.

I'm a little surprised, myself.

Friday, January 22, 2010

From a different point of view

Wow. This week has been the busiest week of my life.

Right now, my school and surrounding area for miles and miles looks something like this:

Traffic has been nothing short of hell, because everything has been reduced to a single lane of traffic. I've been going nonstop, between classes, opera rehearsal and Verdi Requiem. I literally have no time between them, where one goes directly to the next with only enough time to travel between the places. Tonight is our first performance of the Verdi, and after tomorrow my life will be mostly back to normal.

However, over the past couple of days my mood has lifted noticeably, and I'm trying to look at these things from a different point of view. Instead of thinking it as destruction, I'm trying to think of it as re-construction. I'm trying to think of it as progress.

In more yarn-related news, I have FINALLY taken my first trip to an honest-to-goodness yarn store. On Wednesday, I paid a visit to our LYS.

The gloriousness. The undiluted woolly joy. I almost died. In commemoration, I purchased a lovely skein of Schaefer Yarns Heather in Clara Barton:

Well, it turns out that I had such a nice time, the the Powers That Be deigned that I should go back. So, They arranged it so that I forgot my phone on the way out, and back I went today to retrieve it.

On the way out, a couple of Clara's rogue sisters crept into my bag...

...Eleanor Roosevelt and Wendy. Those wenches.

After this, I'm gonna steer clear of the LYS until I've used up some of this yumminess. (I know I keep saying that. I mean it.) Also, I think that some of this yarn might be used for something a little different than I originally intended...*secretive snicker*

I'll tell all about it soon...if it works out. Until then, may the suspense be with you. Always.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus

Dominus Deus Sabbaoth...

I cannot get the Verdi Requiem out of my head. I just came from choir, where we've been working on it for over an hour. I may be doomed for the rest of the day. It's just so darned catchy.

Today's been an interesting kind of day. I have lots of breaks as it is on Fridays, but now I'm off until 6, when opera starts. It ends at 10. This makes me sad. I want to go home and enjoy my Friday night. Oh, well.

I'm not getting much of a weekend, either, due to a wedding that I'm singing, and several rehearsals and other musical obligations. Maybe next weekend, right? Ha.

On a lighter note, my friend Amanda is well on her way to becoming as much of a fiber freak as I am. She's trawling Rav with the best of us now.

Things are going to be very relaxing for the next couple of hours. Me, coffee, Ravelry, my Cranberry (which I will finally work on for a change) and a quiet, warm, dry library. Under the circumstances, I don't think that I could ask for more.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All the help we can give

As everyone probably knows, things are not going very well in Haiti right now. I have several friends at my university who have still not been able to make contact their families at all. I am praying that the news will come swiftly to them, and that it will be good news.

Today, I read The Yarn Harlot's post. I had been planning on donating to Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières, but I hadn't yet.

Well, now I have. I know that I probably don't have a very big following here, but I'm hoping that anyone who reads this will at least consider donating to this organization. If you read the Harlot's post (linked above) you will see how bad things are right now in Haiti, and that they need all the help that we can give. As a resident of New Orleans, I remember how grateful I was when people gave their time to help us during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We needed all the help they could give. Now, I can give, and I did. I hope that you will, too.

I'm not trying to pressure, or guilt trip. I'm just trying to get the word out.

Thank you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Yes, my sheepies have arrived:

I love them very, very much. I've been contemplating clever names for them all. I know that's probably a little bit crazy, but the majority of my audience pets yarn right alongside me, so I feel like I'm pretty safe.

Today was an absolute bear of a day. I'm so glad to be going to bed. I really do need to start going to sleep earlier...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sweet Relief

This is what the world looks like after acing a Brahms audition:

Nothing but clear, blue sky.

My sheepies arrived today. Pictures tomorrow!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Reflections in Ice

My holiday has come to a close, and I sit watching as the day grows ever closer. It bothers me how few of my goals I have accomplished over the break. But, the fact that I have all of these goals bothers me as well. I set up so many expectations for my free time, and when it doesn't all fit, I feel as if I've failed. But, if I didn't make the plans, I'd feel unproductive.

The weather hasn't been so cold here in a very long time. There are icicles. Icicles. My hands are cracked and dry from the cold, and I'm trying my hardest to get them back to normal.

I'm not ready to go back to school. The next months are going to be very difficult, because I am preparing two requiems, and an opera. Then, I have midterms. That's the short version, anyway. There are actually lots of other things to fill what few gaps are left in my schedule. However, I did discover today that my class schedule will be lighter than it's ever been, simply because I'm done with my piano courses. I'm starting to believe that it really does get easier as it goes on. I hope so. Last year was much harder than this year in some ways, but in other ways, it was a cake walk.

I am sometimes amazed by how much I've grown up, and how much my family has grown with me. I never thought it would be quite like this, and I'm very happy.

This holiday, the weather, and the wheels of life turning. Things are growing under the ice.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Playing catch-up

Well, I've definitely neglected the blog over the past four days. I've been in a mad rush to get things taken care of before I go back to school, and I'm just not getting anywhere. We have plans to go see friends pretty much every day until I go back, and I have so much laundry backed up, and cleaning to do, and then there's Brahms...

But, even though I'm coming out of this holiday with very little net sleep gain (if any), I'm going to make the best of it. I'm afraid this is going to be a bit of a drive-by blogging, because I have to go work on Brahms before I have to leave.

In recent news, my Animal Parade Bag has arrived from Ravelry!

I feel like I've been talking about something I bought, or plan to buy, in every blog update. I promise, I don't usually buy stuff constantly. It just happened that I did a good bit of buying/planning to buy, and started this blog at the same time. After my sheepy bracelet arrives from watersedgejewelry, I'll be done spending for quite a while. I can't wait for my little flock of sheep to arrive!

Ben and I saw The Princess and the Frog last night. I have to say, it's one of the best movies that Disney has made since I was a child. I completely recommend this movie to everyone, male and female, young and old. It's just an amazing movie. It blew me away.

Well, I have to get back to Brahms. I'm pretty much done, but I need to polish a bunch before that audition happens. The Pantomime is coming along nicely, I'm sorta running on faith that I'm not going to run out of yarn by tweaking the pattern the way that I am. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wool Fumes...

It is as I promised.

Prepare yourselves.

Aaaaaahhhh... I am still reveling in the glory of it all. I cannot wait to start using all of this deliciousness.

In further news, this is what exists so far of the Cranberry Pantomime.

I'm debating over whether or not to add more extended sc rows before I start the outside/edging. I know that the shawl is going to come out smaller than the original in the pattern, because I'm using lighter yarn and a smaller hook. But, I don't want it to come out too small. But, I'm also afraid that, if I add more rows, I will run out of yarn along the way. I'm going to wait and see how much yarn I have left after the exsc section is done as per the pattern, and go from there. I should get a yarn scale...

I may die of bliss.

I just opened my first package ever from Eat. Sleep. Knit.


Malabrigo Sock-Stonechat

Dream in Color Smooshy-Pansy Golightly, Dusky Aurora, Happy Forest

Scarlet Fleece:Painted Merino-Guitar Hero

I think I had my first, really really real yarngasm. I am (almost) embarrassed to admit that I actually moaned when I held the Dream in Color. It really is that smooshy. I would be actually embarrassed, but I know for sure that you would have moaned, too. It was enough to make me truly desire, for a moment, to toss aside any and everything that I'm working on, and just dedicate myself to this box of yarn.

I also got my yarnathon welcome pack, which has an ESK button (!! I love buttons !!), a really cute pen, and a knitting pattern which I, sadly, cannot use. Also, my lotto ticket yielded five dollars in store credit, yay!!

I had no idea how awesome this box full of joy was going to be. I cannot wait until morning, when I can take pictures that might, maybe, do all of this justice.

On another happy note, look over there! >>>>>>>>

I have shiny, new progress bars for my WIPs, powered by Rav!

This has been a very happy day, all around. It was Ben's last day of vacation before he went back to work, and we generally had a very nice day. There was much Halo victory on my part.

There was also much not-victory, but it all evened out.

I am so excited about all of my new yarn! I also have an animal parade bag coming from Rav. I promised myself that these would be my last buys for a while, but I decided that I would save up a little more so that I could buy this absolutely perfect flock of sheep bracelet that I found on Etsy. After that, I really am laying off of the pocketbook for a while.

I'm going to go work on the Pantomime. I have some pent-up yarn love to work out. ^-^

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cleaning and Mermaids

Mmmmm, sleepy. I should be asleep. I have work in the morning.

Today, I (finally) began the epic battle with my closet. When we moved into our house last year, I put all of the boxes into the closet. Since then, my room has grown around all of the stuff in the closet, to the point where it kinda became a huge, organized mess. Well, I decided that today was the day, and I jumped in. I'm not finished yet, but I'll probably knock it out the rest of the way tomorrow. I made a lot of progress today, and I'm pooped.

I was rewarded, though, by my package from madbird arriving today. I waited until just now to open it, as incentive to clean more.

(Please forgive the bad lighting. I wanted pictures NOW.)

Wow. I'm so sleepy, that I totally forgot that I was working on a blog post, and got lost on Rav for a while. I should definitely go to bed soon.

But, anyway, I am so happy with this purchase! The product is wonderful, as was the packaging and the nice 'thank you' card that the seller included! This was a very enjoyable buying experience, and I highly recommend madbird. She makes knitting needle and crochet hook cases, project bags, and zipper bags, among other things.

Okay, sleepytime now, before I pass out on the keyboard.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goodbye. Hello.

I planned on posting a blog last night, but when I finally had a minute at 4AM (I'm not getting anywhere on the go-to-bed-earlier front), I decided that it might be better for all involved for me to wait until today to post something that would most definitely be more coherent.

I watched the last sunset of 2009 from the passenger seat of Ben's truck as we returned home after giving a friend a ride to Slidell:

I felt such a sense of contentment as Ben and I cruised down that quiet strip of interstate. My life--all our lives--have improved so much over the past few years, and things are all in place right now.

We headed home to console a somewhat antsy Smokey, who does not like fireworks:

But, the best part of the night was definitely me managing to get my Evil Stepmother into the bath about five minutes before midnight. I hadn't even considered that I would be able to finish it last night until I realized that I had reached the end of the repeats. It took me a very, very long time to get all of the ends weaved in, but I got it underwater at 11:55. I pulled the pins out this morning, and I couldn't be happier with it.

Here's the play-by-play:


In the bath:

I love this picture.

Blocked. The book's still there for size comparison.

Looking fabulous in the morning light:

Unpinned and ready to go:

Happy! Happy! Happy! I'm really thrilled with the drape. This is my first sock yarn shawl. But, it most certainly won't be my last! They'll be a post soon involving my brainstorms for all of the sock yarn shawls.

The Facts:

Pattern: All Tied Up Version B by Mary Beth Temple

Yarn: KnitPicks Imagination Handpainted Sock (50% Superwash Merino, 25% Superfine Alpaca, 25% Nylon) in Evil Stepmother--2 skeins (438 yds)

Hook: D (3.25mm)

Size: 43" x 15" (after blocking)

I started the next shawl almost as soon as I was done pinning this one out. I'm using a pattern called Magnificent Mantle by Selena K. It's a crocheted version of the Aestlight Shawl. I'm trying to figure out gauge, because her pattern calls for worsted, but I want to use sock.

I ordered a ball of Zauberball in Cranberries

in the hopes that my mock Aestlight comes out looking something like TsunamiTattoo's did.

Still trying to figure out what hook size to use. I hate using huge hooks with fingering weight yarn, so I'm going to probably wind up with a slightly smaller shawl than the pattern dictates. We shall see, we shall see.

I really wanted to get a picture of the "blue moon" last night (the first one on New Year's in nineteen years, I read), but by the time I tried to, it was too cloudy.

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful, happy New Year.