Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What? 27 entries?

Um, yeah.  I went a little crazy there.  But I've been crocheting for a year, so I already had zoodles of projects.  (Zoodles?) And they weren't all crocheted.  My compost (see... I think it was my very first blog entry here?) has been winning awards for a few years - now I find that a pretty easy category.  Baking muffins, not too hard.  I do enjoy making flower arrangements, and hey, last year my fairy garden took first place!  Wow, a big prize for 1st place pineapple upside cake - I've made that before... a while ago...  I am determined to make a grandma's apron - big prize on first place there, too, and I NEED a new apron.  I bought the fabric a year ago.  Oh, I can whip up a few more crochet projects - two more weeks!  And recycled denim?  How fun!  Did I tell you the last time I actually sewed anything? And I have a few unusual veggies - if there aren't too many entries I might win something. I was in some kind of manic state when I filled in the entry form.

So, yeah, I went a little overboard.  Everything took a little longer than anticipated.  But we have a small fair, so chances of winning are not too slim.  Last year I entered 8 items and each one won a ribbon!  This year?  27 entries (I signed up for 28, but didn't get one finished), 22 ribbons!  $82 dollars! (minus the $30 in entry fees, but that also got me free admission).  Not too bad if I do say so myself.  But I should point out that only 9 of those wins were actually ahead of other entries.  There were a lot of 1 out of 1, or 3 out of 3 entries!  In fact, my cake took 3rd place, and there were only two entries!  (The top stuck to the pan a bit - might have had something to do with it.)

But I had fun with most of my projects, even if there was a bit of hair pulling and a sore neck from sewing!

More pictures to come.  I hope I inspire some of you, the way that I was inspired looking at the fair entries in past years!


So, as if entering 27 things in our fair was not enough, I did the foolish thing of joining an online "crochet-a-long" where each week a new pattern is posted, and en masse, we crazy crocheters hook up new items.  It's fun to see the variety of items which develop from each pattern.  As this is working up to Christmas and may include gifts, I may not be posting everything I do... oh, and I don't think I'll really do EVERY pattern, either!  But here is this week's project, along with the hat I entered in the fair.

The idea of this crochet-a-long is to use yarn already in our stashes, so to have enough of this soft alpaca blend yarn to make a neck-warmer to match the hat was pretty cool.  The pattern was actually for a scarf, but variations are allowed!  We enter pictures of our work, and at the end, they randomly choose projects to win prizes provided by the sponsors.  The hat took third place in our fair ... of the three crocheted hats entered! :-)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Video of the week: Pablo Casals playing for peace.

Students: What year was it, and how old was Pablo Casals on the recorded introduction of this?

And if you have time for the actual recording of the UN performance!... Do you hear a difference? (Besides that they do not cut the ending...) We can all hope to still be playing at that age, even if not in public!

More baby blankets

Here are a few more crocheted baby blankets.  I fell in love with the Baby Love design when I saw it, but I used yarn I already had for a new color variation. This one took 3rd place (out of three :-)) in our fair's Crocheted Baby Blankets class.

The pattern can be purchased (and seen in pinks) HERE.  The hearts are worked up first, linked and sewn together, then the blanket is worked in toward the center before finishing the outer side of the hearts.

And my most recent baby blanket is this - I just couldn't resist the super squishy soft yarn (Deborah Norville "Serenity") on half price!  And the chunky weight and V stitch works up so quickly - less than a week for me, and I really don't work very quickly.
Close to a pattern found on Lionbrand.com, but you'll need to be a member to find the "Sea Blue Baby Afghan".  I used four full skeins (109 yds) of Baby Yellow and about a half skein of Alaskan Blue (two stripes), to make it about 33 x 26.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Kept in stitches!

I know, I haven't posted my crochet projects for a while!  Partly keeping gifts under wraps, partly because my camera had some grudge and wasn't talking to my computer.  We've patched up that relationship now, and finally I had an afternoon to get a few pictures.  I took some at our fall fair, too, but the quality is something to be desired, so I'm not sure if I'll include any of those. We'll start with these...

First, "The Little Caterpillar's" Owl Lovey and  Blanket. 

The owl pattern (without the blankie) is HERE.  And inspiration for the larger blanket is HERE. (Aren't those colors gorgeous!)

My spring teapot really needed a winter sweater.  This took 2nd in "Other household items" at our fair.  I followed the gist of the pattern HERE, adapting to fit my pot, and using THIS rose pattern and the leaf from HERE
I think I should also make my winter teapot a spring sweater.  Just so I'm not showing any favoritism.

And likewise, I now have one more Barbie to stitch for.  Here is Ms. Malibu Barbie in her new outfit.
I was looking for something to do with MIL's yarn, the fair has a category very few enter (Yay! first place out of one entry!), and my Barbies' wardrobes were seriously lacking - they were always borrowing Midge's or their older sister Barbie's things...  I mostly followed the directions HERE, with some adaptations for my "earlier model" bust size and artistic license.  Yeah, did you know they changed Barbie's figure!?  There was nothing wrong with her size before, she just had some weird, probably corset-inspired, rib cage deformity.

All right.  That's enough for one post.  Time to go feed my award-winning compost and run a few errands.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Video of the week: Watch the vibrato (Two Cellos)

I mentioned this to one or two of you this week, and came across the video again.

The Two Cellos ( Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser) play a Shostakovich Prelude.  They both have great vibrato, though it is very different.  Watch the way their hands and fingers move.  Yet it all starts back in the shoulder! That is not evident from watching them, but you can see that their whole forearms are moving.  In both, notice how relaxed their hands are. 

Student question:  In relation to the last note, when does the vibrato stop?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Video of the week: Happy Together!

Just feels like the right time to bring this one back for video of the week!

Students, please tell me what your favourite scene or activity is in this video!

And remember - YOUR cello is not a stunt cello!  Don't try these at home!