Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cello... a video progress report

Well then! Time for a little humble pie. My teacher recorded one of the exercises I learned last week. He will be doing this periodically, mostly for my benefit so I can look back and (hopefully) see my progress.

This is me after 8 months of lessons. Yes, I think it's bearable to listen to. Warning: There are a few notes to winch on. :)

I was a little uptight about being recorded but I think I'll settle into that quickly enough. There's one whole line that I bowed backwards! You'll notice my teacher says "down bow" at one point and you'll see my smile as I had already realized I was bowing in the wrong direction. Ha!

So, progress is being made. I don't yet feel that I have full use and control of my bow but it'll come I'm sure. My teacher makes it look so easy...

Cello after 8 months of lessons (Youtube)

The latest spin... spindle spun, n-ply

Just finished a bunch of Spinner's Hill top that I purchased at last fall's NY Sheep and Wool festival. It's a very nice preparation and I look forward to obtaining some more. I spindle spun this lot and did ply-on-the-fly which I love for achieving runs of color from these gorgeously colored tops.

I was filling up pretty well on my last spindle but still had about 2.5 feet of top to spin up and ply. I really didn't want to break off and end up with a very small skein left over but it was getting pretty difficult to spin with such a heavy load. So I broke off leaving a tail of 3" or so and spun the rest as an un-plied single on a separate spindle. When I got to the end of that bit I grafted the two spindles together (the twist is all going in the same direction) and finished by n-plying the single from the 2nd spindle onto the 1st and ended with a nice big hank!

Here's the 1st spindle with probably the biggest cop I've ever had on it:

And here are the finished hanks from the lot. I do love the colors:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

City life... A Sunday afternoon walk in the neighborhood...

I took a walk down to the waterfront this afternoon. It was a lovely day for it. Wore my straw hat, the one that goes well enough with my 2-day old stubble to elicit comments on my sex appeal! I kid you not. It happened yesterday in Petland Discounts. Something about me being the next big sex symbol. Ha! Made my day I can tell you that! :)

It was sunny and warm this afternoon and the 20-somethings were out in abundance. Lot's of eye candy for the trip.

The city is (finally) doing some wonderful things with the waterfront. My understanding of the plans is that the whole Brooklyn waterfont will eventually be parkland. This is a good thing. The open breeze that wafts across the East River salves the soul like no ordinary park breeze. It's trip across the expanse from Manhattan gives it a chance to ripen into what feels like bursts of billowy down across the face. Pregnant with fresh air.

There's lot's to see down by North 5-6-7-8-9th Streets by the water so I took my camera along and will leave this little photo journal of my afternoon walk. (I didn't buy anything at the flea market, but 2 weeks ago I bought a lovely old hand crafted doily.)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A few recommendations.... continued

I have had a jar of lye sitting in the closet for the past several months. It is waiting for me to make soap of it.... and the time has come. I've just ordered a few molds, picked out the recipe I want to use (oatmeal soap) and picked up some cinnamon bark essential oil at a store in the west village... so hopefully I'll end up with oatmeal cinnamon soap. Fingers crossed...

321 Bleecker Street

If you're in NY, most certainly stop by. If not, definitely visit their website. They have a most amazing selection of essential oils (check the products page) from all over the world. Some of it is pricey: $130 for 2ml of Agarwood Hindi Super, but most are within reach. I purchased 10ml of cinnamon bark (from Vietnam) for around $28.

The store is not large but there is a whole rack of oils that can be sampled.