Monday, November 30, 2015

Video of the week: The neck positions

No, this has nothing to do with the posture of our necks!  We are looking at the positions of the left hand on the neck of the cello!

I have sometimes used the "upper" and "lower" terms with 2nd and 3rd positions as per Rick Mooney's book, Position Pieces, but most of the time the somewhat moveable 2nd and 3rd position indications are a little more vague.  I like the way Robert Jesselson explains things here, using the terms "2nd and a half" and "3rd and a half", etc.,  and the chart he shows.  Take a look!

Students: Is there a "4th and a half" position?  Please be ready to show me on your cello at your next lesson!

Geography #1 – Position chart and VII position harmonic 0

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Non-Stop Slippers by the Non-Stop Crocheter

I wonder if I have enough yarn left for mittens? 
Yes, I made this week's "Non-Stop Slippers" to match this set... just hoping the hat and sweater/jacket and bootie/slippers will actually fit some little girl some winter!

The slippers are called non-stop because they can be made from sole to ankle without ever changing yarn... unless you want to, like I did.  The pattern can be found HERE in 9 sizes! (Follow the links for child or adult sizes.)  These are supposed to be 9-12 mo size. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Warm necks here!

Okay crochet-a-long peoples, enough cowls, methinks!  If I'd known what the patterns would be in advance, I probably wouldn't have made more than one of the early versions...  Well, I probably will make at least one more of those really cushy chunky yarn ones... place your order here!

Last week's project was the Starry Night Luscious Cowl (pattern HERE).  It so happened I had seen this sparkly Red Heart  "Shimmer" yarn on clearance recently in black and white... had to go back and ... yes, I FED my stash during the stash-down. Shame on me.  But it IS a pretty yarn, no?

If you make this scarf, I would suggest adding on more group of stitches to end with 42 posts, not 41, if you plan to add the embellishment chain and want to weave it in the posts evenly by 3s or 2s.  I did the over/under/under pattern - except where I had only one left to go under...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Video of the week: Kind of ...

Okay, so it's just animated images, and you'll have to go to this other website...

But just think of the physio $$ I could have saved if I had started these exercises at a young age!  Specifically, I was assigned 4a and 5a by the therapist who began my treatment a few years ago.  She also reminded me of the curve we should have in our lower backs as you see develop in 1b (chin push) - it's too easy to loose that when we are seated with our cellos.

The page says it's for violinists and violists, but most of it applies to cellists as well!  And if you're in a state where you can't achieve the posture seen here, as I was a few years ago, I highly recommend getting some manual physiotherapy!  I couldn't do those exercises as they are demonstrated here until well into my therapy.  My back is happily now healthier than it was 10 ...or maybe even 20 or 30 years ago!

Students, please demonstrate the chin push exercise at your next lesson, getting your ears over your shoulders, and a nice curve in the small of your back!

If you need a motivational cello video, see my November 10 post on our studio facebook page!  
It hasn't made its way to You Tube yet, so if you don't have facebook... hopefully someday this incredible string-breaking performance will be posted a bit more publicly.

Alaskan Blue

I took a bit of a break from the CAL this week and made my "Alaskan Blue" V stitch baby blanket. More squishy Deborah Norville "Serenity" chunky yarn, and a 6.5mm hook.  I broke up the blue with some left over Bernat "Wedgewood" stripes.  It measures 29" x 33".  Whoops!  Only enough yarn left for a simple single crochet edging.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Sleeved Wrap!

Here is the most recent CAL project: Zig n Zag - A Sleeved Wrap. It is crocheted as a very long scarf,  then the ends are sewn into sleeves and cuffs are added! Pattern found HERE.

Yes, I know I can reverse the camera on the iPad, but this was the only way I could get the sleeves in!

I also made another cowl, this time with the same kind yarn as the designer used, Red Heart Sashay. The metallic glitter didn't show up in the photo, unfortunately. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Yet More Stash-busting!

Last week's pattern was The Whimsical Sashay Cowl found HERE!

I didn't have any Sashay "yarn" or anything super bulky, so I took the bulky yarn I had (alpaca blend and unknown wool) and beefed it up with an additional strand of lighter weight synthetic yarn, and did this with my 12 mm hook - a nice quick project (not counting when I had to frog it because of an issue with a row change...).  I made mine a bit narrower than the original design, but just as high.  It is SO cushy and will be very warm around someone's neck! 

Stash-Busting Crochet-A-Long Continues...

Here's my Crochet-A-Long Christmas Stocking!
The pattern for the stocking is found HERE, and the holly leaves pattern is found HERE.
 Yes, I even had those holly berry buttons in my stash! (Though I didn't know they were holly berries until a few days ago...)

Mom, how good is your memory?  I've had this red yarn forever, but don't remember buying it myself... I thought I might have got it from you for some project in my teens or 20s? It is vintage for sure! 

Video of the Week: Yo Yo Ma plays all 6 Bach Cello Suites

"Yo-Yo Ma plays the entire Six Unaccompanied Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall on the 5th of September, 2015. He played for nearly three hours. A truly remarkable performance. Hope you all enjoy it!"

Remarkable especially in light of the rumours that he has been experiencing back pain. Take a look at his new posture!  I know he had surgery for scoliosis when he was younger, and does not have the same mobility in his back that most of us do because of the implanted rod. (When you can play like Yo Yo, I'll let you lean back in your chair!!)

No video, just audio, but turn up your speakers and close your eyes (or follow along on a score...)!

Students:  The pros always make this sound so easy.  We will first encounter the Suites with the Minuets from the first suite in late Suzuki book 4, if that gives you any idea.  Most teachers these days prefer the Baerenreiter edition if you are so tempted to purchase it before you are really ready...if you want to start previewing with pizzicato maybe?? :-) 
Student Q's: How many movements are in each suite? When does the audience first clap at this performance?  And the second time?

Ribbed Stretchy Crocheted Slippers

A lifetime ago, my mom made me a pair of slippers which I really liked.  I haven't been able to find the pattern, so just did a copy-cat job with no pattern.  This is what happened:
My original plan had more black, but I didn't have any black that was the same weight as the grey and lavender, so it was relegated to trim. 

They are not exactly like Mom's - she used a different weight yarn, for one. I will make a few more changes next time! But for now they are a great addition to my music bag for when I am out and about. 

Maybe I will publish my own pattern when I am happy with the changes!  If anyone knows of a previously published pattern for these I would be grateful to see it!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Video of the Week: Massenet Meditation from Thais

Searching YouTube, I came across this video, featuring a cello prof from my university (he took my teacher's job), and the symphony I used to play in!  I also had the pleasure of attending a concert here in my current town where John Friesen performed with the Okanagan Symphony, and I bought a lovely CASSETTE TAPE of his (!It was a while ago!).  I should see if the CD is still available anywhere.


Students: What instrument was this originally written for?