Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fiber and Food


Our wonderful LYS Woolie Ewe is having it's annual sale. I was able to get these lovelies at a nice discount. And thanks to my fabulous students who gave me gift cards, it didn't cost me a cent!
Thank you, thank you dear students.

We have Sirdar DK on the left in a luscious heathered teal (for my DH's sweater), Hempathy in Rose on the right for me! and Lorna's Lace Amish and Sand Ridge in the front. The bright colorway in the back was a gift - Jitterbug by Collinette in Lapis. I am ready for socks!!!!


Here is the quick and easy recipe for the Chicken Cacciatore I made on Christmas Day:
1 chicken, cut up and skinned
1 onion, sliced in rings
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz (more or less to taste) quartered fresh mushrooms
2 stalks celery, sliced in 1/2" pieces
2 cups tomato sauce
Italian spices (whatever you like)
Olive Oil
Red Wine - a couple of "glugs" (optional)
In an electric skillet (or large skillet) put in some olive oil and cook onions and garlic in until tender. Remove and save.
Brown chicken pieces.
Put the onions and garlic back in, adding the rest of the ingredients.
Cover and simmer until chicken is tender.
Serve with pasta and a salad.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Sockmas!

Oops, I mean Christmas.

I am like the turtle in the old fable. I move slowly ('specially with being busy with work) but will finish quietly and calmly. Working them two at a time is very slow, but satisfying.Here is my Pomatomus progress:

We finished (performing in) one service this morning and have two more tonight. The free-range chicken and fresh pasta are languishing in the fridge and the tomato sauce is on the stove cooking for tomorrow's Chicken Caccitore dinner.

Merry Christmas from the two of us to all of you.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

1 FO, 1 WIP, 1 New Project

The FO:
Streaming Leaves

Fiber Trends Pattern #AC-80, Classic Elite BamBoo yarn (3+ a bit more skeins)

#5 Lantern Moon Needles

I think my friend will be surprised!

Here is the WIP:

Airy Scarf from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts."

I don't know how it will block; this is Patons Lacette.

It is a blend of 36% Acrylic, 39% Nylon, and 25% Mohair.

I really like the color and there is a bit of shiny that will look great against a black top!

This is also a gift.

Hope I get it done - the deadline is quickly approaching . . . . . .

Oh, and did I mention I just bought these off Ebay?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday Markers

Oh my - it seems the week has come and gone already! I have been immersed in the Nutcracker for days. It was a *very* long week, but I always love to play the ballet. I was on 2nd oboe and English horn, so I got all the big juicy solos (on EH)! And my principal oboe was Sillyewe!! We had a great time - she is a fine, fine player and lots of fun.

On opening night, she gave me these little lovelies:

Handel's Messiahs begin Thursday and go all weekend, but I should have more time to knit this week. I plan to get the Streaming Leaves finished for my friend. And Argosy in the new Knitty is beckoning me to knit her for another friend. Monkey (in the same issue) look nice too. Uh-oh, I just picked up the Holiday 2006 IK and there are the most lovely Bells and Whistles Socks.

Oh boy, I really need some self control now!

Note to self: Must finish Pomatomus before beginning Monkey and the Bells and Whistles.

Enjoy this sunny and warm Monday.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

High Tech PomotaNOTamus

Here is my high tech method of keeping track of knitting from charts.
Notice the teeny, tiny original that I can't for the life of me see:

I blow it up and color code the stitches.

Then I use a piece of posterboard for the guide.

Please notice the high tech bobby pins to keep it in place.

To count the rows, here is my solution:

I do have to remember that I am using a ballpoint pen, so I must be careful and close it each time or move it to a safe place.

You can see where I frogged (the crossed out part on the left sock.)

And after 14 rows, here is what we are looking like:

Now you know the secrets to a NOT high tech household.

Have a great weekend~

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New Day

Today is a new day.

Here are the bats I received from Grafton Fibers:

They are Wensleydale hand dyed wool ..... I can't wait to try them!!

Streaming Leaves is nearing completion, one more skein to go:

Pomotomus Socks are moving slowly. I love the pattern, but time limitations are holding me back right now:

We are in full swing of the busy holiday music season. Nutcrackers last weekend, Symphony this weekend, more Nutcrackers next week, then a week of Messiahs.

I can only squeeze a bit of knitting in late at night. But that is okay - busy is good!

Enjoy your week.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

May your Thanksgiving be filled with blessings and joy.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Cotton, Merino and Silk
oh my!
Alpaca, Cashgora and Camel
to try!

My favorite postman brought me this yummy sampler from Hello Yarn just in time for my 1st spinning lesson tomorrow morning. Perfect timing, ya think??

Here is the start of Pomotomus from Knitty - only 3 rows so far .......

This is Lornas Laces Shepherd in Sherbet on #1 DPNs. I am a fairly loose knitter and always have to go down a size or two, I figured they would be right for the gauge. These are some itty-bitty needles but surprisingly easy to manipulate.

Any exciting plans for Thanksgiving?

DH and I are going out for dinner. I have cooked for the past few years, but since there are just the two of us, we always have way too many left-overs to eat. Nutcracker Ballet begins Friday, and we are busy working this and all weekends (now until Christmas) so that made the decision of dining out an easy choice for this year.

We will put up our Christmas lights Thursday morning and be outwardly ready for the season. Inside is a different story. Last year we were not in such a festive mood, so the interior decor was minimal. I think I will put up quite a bit more this time since I am feeling pretty darn good!

I just love garlands of green and bright white lights weaved throughout.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Back to the Land of the Living

Good Morning! Thanks for all your well-wishes. I am finally feeling almost normal again. Sharon - I hope you are better now too. That was some ugly virus going around!! It kept me under the weather for over a week. I hardly ever get sick so this was a very unpleasant awakening for me.

I forgot to take my knitting with me over the weekend, and was feeling so poorly, I probably wouldn't have done anything anyway. But - I this week I finished this little set for a friend who is due in December:

This is the Child's Placket Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. The matching hat (free pattern) is Bev's Baby Seed Cap . I used Simply Soft in Country Peach with #6 circ for the sweater and #3 dpns for the cap.

Enjoy the rest of your week- and stay well!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


The weekend in Cleveland was amazing. I saw people I have not seen for years, including JM's family. The solo and chamber performances at the concert were magnificent. And playing in the Sinfonia was indeed moving. I managed not to cry until we were done. I feel blessed to have known John, to have my dear husband at my side for this tribute and to see my colleagues at such a lovely and moving event.

I awoke in the middle of last night with a majorly sore throat. And then had to get up way too early today to go play more children's concerts this morning (we also did some on Monday). I canceled my students for the afternoon and laid on the sofa feeling sorry for my self. Unfortunately (health wise) I have to go out of town again Friday for symphony. I can only hope I feel well enough tomorrow to do some practicing since I am playing principal and have not yet looked at the music! EEEEK! I am happy to be working, but sure wish I felt better....

Here is Streaming Leaves as of Monday pm. I knit just at the airport while we were waiting around. I like this pattern, though I must *really* concentrate or I get messed up. Right now it is moving along just fine...

After receiving Patootie's picture yesterday, I decided to knit another Placket Sweater (from Weekend Knitting) for a friend who is due Dec. 2. I had some pretty peach colored Caron Simply Soft and already have the first 4" knit. Pics soon to follow.

Now I must go to bed and try to get some sleep to help fend off this cold. As always, I appreciate your dear thoughts and comments - see you after the weekend. Hope yours is grand!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

One Cutie Patootie

Remember this?

Here's the little Cutie Patootie I knit it for:

I just received this today and had to share!!!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Here we are in the performance of the Sinfonia on the stage of Severance Hall:

We miss you, John.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Just in case... think I have been lollygagging around playing with my wheel (which regrettably I have not!!) here is the Fiber Trends "Streaming Leaves" in that delicious BamBoo.

All was fine until I started the pattern repeat. The directions read begin at row 9. Did I see that? NOOOOOOOOO! I went back to row 1 and knit a nice chevron in the middle. So a-frogging I went. As you can see, we are back on track now.

It seems that I always have to go back near the beginning of any project I knit! Anyone else have that issue of not getting in the groove until some rows get ripped out or am I the only one?

I have not had a single moment to play with my beeee-you-ti-ful wheel yet. Since returning from symphony Saturday pm, playing a church service Sunday and a rehearsal Sunday afternoon, I have also taught too many students, waxed and assembled said wheel, played 4 children's concerts plus a rehearsal and am trying to practice the music for this weekend!

We are headed to Cleveland for John Mack's Memorial Concert (the article about the concert is at the bottom of this page if you want to read it. I could not get a link to work!!) and I had to buy something to wear. The performers' dress is supposed to be "church best." My wardrobe consists of formal black for performances and jeans or slacks for everyday and church best does not reside not in my closet... I thought this would special enough for the occasion (picture it over *nice* black pants).

And I just got an email from Danna asking if I would turn pages for the Liz, the pianist. I said yes since Liz asked for me and I have turned for her before, but am wondering why I always put myself in such stressful situations. Turning pages sounds like a piece of cake, but believe me, it is a demanding task! Especially in an event as important as this.

Maybe after returning Monday, I will have some wheel time - no wait! Friday is out of town again.... and I will be playing principal oboe with that orchestra - more stress!!! (sigh) Will I ever get to spin?

Here is the article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Musical salute to beloved oboe teacher

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Here's an experience that would have been music to John Mack's ultradiscerning ears: the sound of more than four dozen oboists and English hornists in a work by one of his students.

Somewhere, from his prime seat in double-reed heaven, the Cleveland Orchestra's former principal oboe soon will be listening to Margaret Griebling-Haigh's Sinfonia for Choirs of Oboes and English Horns. The piece is the grand finale Mack students from near and far will perform at a memorial tribute concert for their beloved teacher at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, at Severance Hall.

Mack, who died July 23 at the age of 78, influenced generations of oboists for 36 years as a principal player in the Cleveland Orchestra and as a teacher at the Cleveland Institute of Music, New York's Juilliard School and the eponymous oboe camp he held annually in Little Switzerland, N.C.

Many of his students hold posts in orchestras around the world, and Mack's vividly expressive artistry is preserved on Cleveland Orchestra recordings led by George Szell, Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Pierre Boulez and others.

The idea to salute Mack began with Danna Sundet, who studied with him at CIM in the 1980s. Sundet originally set out to plan a surprise 80th birthday bash for Mack for next summer. When the master oboist died of complications from brain cancer in July, the Mack family asked Sundet to proceed with a memorial concert that they would sponsor.

"I'm really touched," Sundet said the other day. "His family is saying to us, his students, 'We've already had our closure. This is for oboe players who weren't able to be at the funeral.' They really have not experienced the sober reality that he's not with us."

Sundet and colleagues decided that one aspect of the memorial event should involve as many Mack students as possible. So they asked Griebling-Haigh, an oboist and composer who took lessons with Mack in high school and later, to write a grand finale.

The result is a nine-minute work for which 50 oboists and English hornists (so far) have signed up for the performance, led by Steven Byess. Griebling-Haigh celebrates the honoree by incorporating his name in a chorale based on the notes E-A-C-C#, or the equivalent - almost - of M-A-C-K.

"It's E as in mi, and K like a sharpened C," the composer said.

The chorale will be intoned by the entire ensemble, with groups of five solo players also shaping more complex and lyrical material. At this point, seven solo groups are scheduled to perform these sections, though the overall personnel could expand by concert time.

Along with the variations on M-A-C-K, the composer bases the score's penultimate section numerically within the scale system on the oboist's birth and death dates (10/30/27-7/23/06).
"You'd never notice it going by," said Griebling-Haigh.

In addition, she has woven in "a tiny little twisted section" based on Rossini's "La scala di Seta" overture, which has prominent oboe solos. (Mack can be heard playing them gorgeously on Szell's 1967 Cleveland Orchestra recording.)

The memorial concert, which is free and open to the public, will include spoken and musical tributes to Mack as chamber musician, teacher, orchestral musician, soloist and recitalist. Members of the Cleveland Orchestra will take part.

Sundet said she has sent out nearly 1,000 formal invitations to Mack students, friends and colleagues. Evidently, this number only touches the tip of the oboe iceberg. "We are keenly aware that there are a thousand more people who should be on our list, but we couldn't track them down," said Sundet. "It's just been a very good lesson in the generosity of his spirit that touched everyone."

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Test Drive

Yes - she turns!

And quietly, too!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sneak Preview

She is almost ready.
No cord or brake yet, and a few screws still need tightening, but here is the sneak preview!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Few Things

I just found some beautiful buff colored (on sale) Bamboo from Classic Elite Yarns at my LYS. I thought the Fiber Trends Streaming Leaves Scarf would look nice in this.

I also picked up some new DPNs so I can finally knit the Pomotamus socks I have been pondering. Except for my first disastrous attempt at socks, I have knit all my socks on 2 circs, I had no #1 or #2 DPNs. Now I do!!

The Traveller came unfinished:

And I have since rubbed in 3 coats of Danish Oil in a light Walnut:

(The finish doesn't look quite this dark in real life.)

The next step is to rub in and buff a few layers of Wax finish to give her a satin gloss and protect the wood. This has already taken 1 week to do, I think but the finished wheel will look great and is well worth the effort. Unfortunately I won't get her waxed and assembled until next week ~ out of town symphony for the next few days.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

FO's and More

Here are the Embossed Leaves in a nice buttery yellow:

I used Katia Mississippi and Addi #1 circs.

After I finished the socks and my sleeves!!! (sorry, no pics) I found some of Mom's leftover afghan yarns and made these for the preemies:

And then upon arrival home last night, here is what I found:

Time to go to the hardware store and pick out a nice light colored Danish Oil stain and get to work on this baby! I can hardly wait~

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Taking my sleeves to NY

Here are 14" of the sleeves. The directions call for me to knit to 46cm (about 18") and then begin shaping for the sleeve cap, but I think I will begin the shaping a bit sooner. The finished sleeve length minus the crochet edge is 56cm (about 22"). That hits the middle of the back of my hand! Too long for these arms.
I tried to get these finished last night, but work got in the way again. This morning we played on a recital in a private home. There are a number of social music clubs in this area that meet monthly. I belong to two others and our pianist belongs to today's. It is really nice to play chamber music in the settings that Mozart and the rest played in. It reminds me of a gentler time when people performed for each other without the rigors of telephones, email, etc.
We played the Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano by Madeleine Dring - a British composer whose husband was an oboist. It is a tonal (melodic) piece with nice interaction between all the parts. The other women who played are very competant and lovely individuals as well. It was a pleasant morning.
Tomorrow I will be on a plane for Monticello, NY to see Mom. If it was only a week later, I could make the Rhinebeck Festival since that is fairly nearby. Oh well... We should all be seeing spectacular leaves anyway.
The wheel news is that Customs finished fumigation and whatever else they must do and it should be delivered on Monday! Too bad I don't get home until Wednesday!!!

Have a great week - see you when I return.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sleeves, Symphony and Severance Hall


Here is the progress on the sleeves - they are now past my elbows!! Sorry this picture is not so good. The grey yarn shows better on darker carpet - unfortunately the only dark carpet is in my studio and I cannot take a picture until I vacuum!


The concert last night went well. We got a good review in today's paper and I was comfortable with my own playing (that doesn't happen all that often). It has been a very taxing week, playing both Beethoven Symphonies Thurs, Fri and twice on Saturday! And why not compare Beethoven to heavy metal, Marj? There are certainly some places that could merit such comparison...

Severence Hall

Mr. Mack's former students have been invited to perform in a comissioned piece "Sinfonia" for choirs of oboe and English horns dedicated to JM and premiering at the John Mack Memorial Concert at Severence Hall in Cleveland on Nov. 4. My husband and I are going and I will be performing in the work.

The solo part of the concert will certainly be a who's who of oboists! It will be quite a gathering of all of us nerdy, neurotic, obsessive, and intense musicians! (Isn't that right Mer - you talk to the oboists in your orchestra, no? - we oboists are a bit of an enigma - even to ourseleves.) And my dear husband (a celllist who puts up with me while I am PMS-ing on bad reed days!) will have to endure us en-masse.

I did get to JoAnns today to use my 40% coupon and picked up this:

It looks to have good instructions for assembling sweaters (among other good help) - something I know nothing about. Thanks everyone for your great ideas on the 2 sleeve at a time method. And yes, I will also do that for the front of the cardigan.

My New Wheel

Oh so sad - it is in some crate somewhere awaiting Customs to clear it! The Woolery estimates delivery to be around 18 October! That actually works pretty well since I have to perform a difficult piece on a recital this week (need to be practicing, not playing with a new wheel) and then will be at Mom's for 5 days. It should be here when I return - maybe.

Have a great week......

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Caps for the Capital

Here are 2 little preemie caps (so far) I will be sending to Washington:

These will go to Save the Children for the newborns. Here is the link of you are so inclined:

Monday, October 02, 2006


This is a symphony week. We are performing both Beethoven 1st and 9th Symphonies. I love the juxtaposition of these two. And what could be better than playing Beethoven~

Here is the sweater I began back in April:

It is the Drops Design no. 94-27. I finished the back and began on the front, but realized I should probably do the sleeves first.

Why? - well, I will need really decipher the directions for the fronts since they have the cutaway at the bottom and the scoop at the neck - in mirror images. The directions are probably clear for someone who has used these patterns before and who has knit similarly shaped items - but they a bit complicated to me!

So I began the sleeves instead - thanks to Sharon's thoughts on her fabulous Central Park Hoodie and some other knitters too, I decided to knit the 2 sleeves at the same time to make sure they were identical:

Here is the sleeve detail:

So fellow knitters, in your vast array of experience, is it also a good idea to knit the 2 front pieces simultaneously as well? This is the first time I have knit anything like this ~ any ideas are always welcome.

Thanks ever so much - have a great week.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Thank You to All

Because of all of you,
I have had the inspiration and courage in my almost 3 years of knitting to try new techniques, new patterns and learned so many great hints that my FO's are beginning to look pretty decent.

Thanks to all your great blogs and forum entries, here is what I have knit:

7 pair of socks
2 pair wrist warmers
3 Irish Hiking Scarves
Branching Out Scarf
Tiger Eye Scarf
Lacy V Scarf
Fern Lace Stole
Amsterdam Stole
Liesel Scarf
Mini Shawl
Baby Sweater and matching Hat
2 pair Baby Booties
3 pair Felted Clogs
Over a dozen face cloths
Green Gable Top

On the needles are:
Sweater (Drops Design)
Embossed Leaves Socks
Town and Country Scarf

Thank you dear knitting friends.
I appreciate your wonderful ideas, your sharing your trials to get to your beautiful FOs and most of all communicating through our blogs and forums.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I have been drawn in

I have a few friends here as well as some on line who spin.
It has become a fascination to me - I really want to spin!
I was telling my husband and he said why wait 3 months until Christmas -
just get a wheel.
Holy Cow!
What was he thinking???
Doesn't he know after 20 years how addictive and neurotic my personality is???
So yesterday I ordered an Ashford Traveller.

Here is a little photo of the wheel to whet your appetite until mine arrives:

My Dear Husband is the best! Thank you, Honey.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Ready to wear - well, when they dry!
The roving was fun to knit with, the softness was luscious! The colors were yummy!
And after felting, the fabric is very firm.
They did escape from the zippered pillowcase I used in the washer.
Teyani - you are an enabler~
After knitting with this pencil roving, I must really learn to spin with it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Big and fuzzy

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Symphony Sunday

Dear Friends -

Thank you as always for your thoughtful, candid and insightful comments. You have helped me give some serious consideration to spinning and time. I really don't have time to spin right now but still find it a very intriguing idea. I love the process - maybe I will talk to my DH about it and possible find a wheel Santa could deliver :-) After great deliberation, I realized I am too fascinated with this aspect of our craft to leave it and feel like I must pursue it. There are some times in my life I am not be so insanely busy and could make time to learn spinning. And after all, I'll need something to grow old with in retirement, no?

Here is the roving I used for the one clog ~

I love the pre-felted hugeness of these ~

The second will be on the needles today.

This was a symphony weekend; I was out of town shuttling between the hotel and hall rehearsing and performing some very difficult but fun pieces. I had no knitting time, but am ready for some quality time today. Unfortunately on the way home last night, there was a dreadful accident ~ thankfully not involving any of the traveling musicians ~ that had everything on this little country road stopped. The Care Flight helicopter was in the middle of the road and numerous rescue vehicles were lined up. We said a prayer for the people involved....

By the time I dropped off my passenger and got home it was already 1:00am. Not going to sleep until 2:00am (I was majorly hungry and had to eat something!) is just too hard on this old lady. I taught 2 lessons today and am about to retire to the sofa for some R & R.

I hear my knitting needles beckoning.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

His 'n' Hers

Here we are - we felted my DH's last night. I am just too fascinated with the process of felting!! DH's are size 11 and mine are 6. We are too cute now - or maybe we are just nerdy.

After 2 pairs in Paton's Merino, I felt I was ready to delve into this beautiful hand-dyed roving I bought from Crown Mountain Farms. I began these last night and should be done with the first tonight (these are such an instant gratification project - I LOVE that!)

My Mom wants a pair too, but I am a bit hesitant. She is 86 and lives alone in a 2 story house ~ I'm not sure these clogs are really firm enough for the stairs and Mom. But I will take mine up when I go next month and we will see...

On another topic - who out there spins? I am becoming increasingly interested in spinning, but don't know how I can fit that into my life. Any thoughts?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

More on the Clogs

Since many people have asked - the pattern is from Fiber Trends:
They are a wholesale seller, but you can find a local store if you search the site.
Many people ordered it on-line.
The clog pattern is #AC-33x.

Here are my huband's size 11 non-felted next to my size 6 felted.
I thought you might like the giggle:

Here are my little feet and his humungous clogs:

Felting tomorrow - too tired tonight.