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bewilderingly different

joining.jpg

How amazing! It looks just like the picture. Oh, wait. It should. Right? I’ve now finished that dangling row and the fourth is almost at that stage.

Via one of those circuitous routes for which www is (in)famous, I’ve spent a few hours listening to some wondrous renditions of folk music. It wasn’t traditional in the sense of being hundreds of years old with more versions than you’ve had hot dinners, but it dated from the 1970s, so that’s probably traditional enough for most of us, and with enough versions to invite good comparative analysis (which, you’ll be relieved to hear, I won’t be entering into).

I started out with the latest post from one of my favourite knitting blogs, among whose comments was a mention of some lyrics from When Yellow’s on the Broom. That caught my attention because it wasn’t a song I knew. Off I scurried to look it up on YouTube. As you do. Right? I clicked the first I found, and I was hooked. It intrigued me enough that I chose to listen to several other versions and seek the lyrics (which you can find here or here – that one is an odd location but has chords if you’re at all tempted – or in a slightly more readable and informative version here).

Because I was otherwise occupied, I let autoplay take over. Via the Fields of Athenry – again, there are many recorded versions – and a few other unexpected delights, I ended up listening to a version of Eric Bogle‘s And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. There are many recordings of Eric singing it, too, but I like this one where Eric is older and has unapologetically changed – without oversimplifying – the melodic line to accommodate his older voice.

The version that autoplay happened upon was totally bewildering. I think it’s fair to say we’d all have our own favourite singers and styles. Many would argue that anyone can sing, and anyone can sing anything they want to, if they can. Yeah, I know. I spent many years as a community musician, so I genuinely appreciate the value of encouraging everyone to join in.

To hear what is essentially a folksong sung by an operatic baritone was… unsettling. It wasn’t bad or unintelligent, and he does have a lovely, smooth voice. He has a couple of lazy habits that made me want to smack him – oh, all right, maybe just pull him up sharply in rehearsals and tell him to be more careful. I discussed it with Dr B, because I was struggling with the level of my own discomfiture. The singer’s mix of operatic technique and careful pronunciation with occasional deliberately careless pronunciation or mispronunciation and a few spots where he couldn’t quite make up his mind how many syllables he was going to use (but wasn’t consistent about that), plus the oversimplification of the melodic line (which might have been the arranger’s doing; I’m not necessarily blaming him for that)… the doc and I agreed it didn’t work. Sorry, Nathan. I think it would be a treat to listen to your operatic offerings but, yeah, nah. Leave the folksongs alone, mate.

Someone is going to point out, I dare say, that he’s probably ahead of his time: the day will come when that folksong is only ever heard in quasi-sacred settings in concert halls, and accompanied by an orchestra. After all, someone will say, Gaudeamus igitur began life as a student drinking song. It’s now a fairly serious anthem that gets dragged out for graduations and demands respect. Uuh, yeah. Yeah, I know. I do. I know.

Although I didn’t intend my comment about being hooked as a pun, it’s appropriate because I was, in fact, hooking all the while. I’m now almost halfway through joining the rainbow squares, after weeks of being unable to do much at all (for various reasons, not all Covid-related). I found a method of JAYG that I liked better than the one I originally looked at, which would be quick but leave gaps I’d prefer to avoid. It took me a while to find something else that I thought I would be able to do. I looked at this one, and liked it but decided that I would struggle to make it work with my squares. Someone more experienced could doubtless work it out; but there are days I sadly remind myself I’m first and foremost a knitter!

I dismissed this for similar reasons, and because I didn’t like the end result quite as much. I finally decided that I could make this method work, despite it being also intended for solid squares. Coming from underneath was the trick that sold me on it: you get a nice finish on both top and bottom. Oh, yes, you’re quite right, I could have simply used a (UK) double crochet seam, but that would have given me a ridge. I’m not in the camp that likes ridges. I prefer the join to be a smooth as possible.

My concern now, however, is whether I actually have enough white yarn to finish the job! Bewilderingly, I appear to be running out 😀

 

 

 
 

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logically, what you would do on a stinking hot day

Because today has been hot here (next week is going to be hotter), I’ve ventured outside to do laundry tasks and not a lot else. Yes, I like the heat but I’m not stupid. There might be some discussion around that claim if I admit that, well, being confined indoors somewhat, I occupied myself by doing some knitting! No, not large items that would certainly be too hot to hold but small things that don’t need to be held in your lap.

As a result, the Maine morning mitts are finished and waiting to be photographed (albeit unblocked as yet). Next? The first of another pair of fingerless mitts (a different pattern) is already on the needles and making good progress. This pair might be for me, since I’m still in possession of only one old, falling to bits, cheap and nasty (but better than nothing when you’re desperate) lot of fingerless gloves. I prefer fingerless mitts when I have to do a lot of typing, because you don’t get quite so much constriction around your fingers. These are important considerations! And clearly, I can’t type if I’m wearing mittens, so much as I’m still planning on knitting the Ursula mittens, they’re not being whizzed up the queue at all. They’re a very long-term project.

Have you been occupied logically or illogically doing much knitting today? If so, I hope you’ve managed to bowl over a project or two.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2014 in Knitting

 

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whiling away the hours

Stashbusting!

Stashbusting some Moda Vera Faith in a much more purple colourway than the photo would suggest

I’ve often said that I need simple projects to occupy me when I’m multitasking: a plain scarf or beanie while reviewing the family’s daily diary after dinner or perhaps something with a simple pattern for car travel where I’ll be expected to sit in the back but still participate in conversations I can barely hear. That means the Ursula mittens are off the agenda for a while. Presently there’s too much coming and going and toing and froing for me to be able to get the requisite hours of uninterrupted time. The above chevron-style scarf is complex enough to keep me interested but not so much so that I can’t deal with other things. And it’s made using yarn from stash.

As far as the mitts go, I’ve checked out a few finished projects on Ravelry and people seem to be getting them made quite quickly. I might also be able to do them quickly but, as I frequently say with brutal honesty, I’m not a fast knitter. It would pay me to wait until I have a better amount of uninterrupted time. If I’m still unemployed when the next semester of uni gets going, my days will be more my own and that could be a good time to ignore everyone and do my own thing for a while. Of course, if by some miracle I’ve found a job by then, I’ll have to rethink my knitting plans entirely. That would be a nice dilemma to have, I suppose, but for now I’m quite happy to keep on with the knitting. How about you?

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Knitting

 

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