Sunday, March 31, 2013

Long term projects... and big moves...

Both the granny square afghan and the woven throw are projects that have taken, and will continue to take, a considerable amount of time to finish. I like these long term projects and notice distinct phases in them. At the moment I'm at the cruising stage. The design, techniques, and approach to both projects are worked out and it's simply a matter of doing them. It doesn't require a lot of forethought for the evening's wool works: Just pick up the needle--or settle in at the loom--and cruise. I love it, and will predictably feel a teensy bit of lag when they reach their ends. But that's OK, new and exciting projects are in no short supply. On the other hand, there have been projects I was quite glad to be finished with! I don't think that will be the case with these two.

On the moving front, I have 9 (nine!) boxes of books to drive over to The Strand this week. I stopped in and had a chat with their buying desk on Friday. They'll give me a good price on the leather-bound sets and a little less on the books from Folio Society. The extra moolah is more than handy at this time. They'll be taking most of the contents of these 2 shelves:

Added bonus is my move will be a bit lighter and my new house will be a little less bogged down! Win, win.

Tomorrow and Tuesday are my last teaching days here. Mixed feelings all around. It makes me a bit sad on the one hand. Still I have good feelings from the teaching experience and everything I've learned from it. Very valuable to my own learning even. Also, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Most definitely want to start again after I've settled in my new place.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Have wheels, will travel.

I drove my new old car to old New Hampshire and back this weekend. I made the trip so as to finely survey the structure I have in mind for housing the birds. It was flooded with spring melt-off! So. Well. Plan B is now in effect. ... I have tried, as best I can, to have second options for as many aspects of this move as I possibly can have. Something to fall back on if my plan A's fail. This has helped me enjoy peace of mind about such a major upheaval, change, transition--however one cares to describe it. I can sleep at night knowing that if my preferred solution doesn't work out, I can manage with the alternative.

Plan B is to house the birds for a short while in the entry-way addition to the house: A space only slightly smaller than what they now enjoy. I would really prefer not to do this, but it will be quite temporary. When I am living there, the ability to see more clearly what needs to be done and the task of executing the work will be easier--and quicker. Long term, I dream about having an indoor sheltered area for them that opens to a greenhouse which in turn opens to an outdoor flight area. Screened in of course.

This is all good. Plan B is better than plan C which is better than plan D, after all. And in the large picture of things I have very little to complain about. Neither my birds nor myself are going hungry, and we will all enjoy a roof over our heads.

Oh, I'm so excited!! I visited Plymouth Sunday afternoon. It's the home of Plymouth State University and only 7-10 miles from my new home. It's a snap to get to and appears to have--on first inspection--just about everything I might wish for. My head has been alight with fantasies and dreams and wishes about my soon-to-be new home life. I am entertaining the idea of taking classes in music education at the university. Perhaps my new cello teacher will also be found there. (I have already made inquiries at a music school in a town on the opposite side of my property from Plymouth, with good prospects.)

I'm almost beside myself in disbelief for having driven 1) in NYC, 2) the expressways and interchanges of Queens, and 3) the highways all the distance to NH. In my own car--the first I have ever owned. 35 years ago, when I last drove, "cruise control" did not exist. Whoa-ho! What a difference that makes, huh? On my way to NH I did not yet know how to use this feature of my car, but I read up on it whilst there and put it to use on my way back. It almost makes driving enjoyable. Though I must say, being a firm believer in public transportation, the notion of having my own car comes with mixed feelings. It's an awful lot of resources and energy just for one person. I will try to put it to good use helping others when I can.

Speaking of plan B's. I wish there were one for the taxes I owe this year! I'm afraid there's no getting around that one.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weaving wise... resley...

Weaving: I resleyed the warp that was left on the loom from weaving the blanket sample (maybe should call it a throw). The sample was sleyed at 12 ends per inch. (Sleying refers to threading the warp threads through the spaces in the reed, but we don't use the word "threading" because that's reserved for the heddles. Fun stuff weaving terminology!) At 12 ends per inch I felt the pattern came out a little squat: A little too wide for it's height. I decided to try substituting my 8-dent-per-inch reed and sleying it 2 threads per dent.

That results in a warp that is 16-ends-per-inch. Four more per inch than the sample was woven at. It makes the resulting fabric slightly narrower but tighter, so the pattern squares up a bit. I think the new sample (which, as it turns out, is good enough for the actual project so it's no longer just a sample) looks better than the 12/inch I did a few weeks ago. I had to get under the loom to snap this picture because the right side of the fabric (well, actually, it's reversable but I'm referring to the side I like best) is underneath as it is being woven. It looks a tad bit wonky on the loom but that all straightens out when it comes off:

Granny: Another row was crocheted this week and it is currently being attached. Going well, how fun!

Cello: I've been thinking about the difference(s) between learning an instrument as a child and learning one as an adult. I think one of the big differences is that a child is growing as he works the necessary muscles for playing, and one could say his/her main task is to grow. As an adult however--with years of muscle growth not specifically developed for the instrument--the task is to change. I can assure you I have changed since I started cello lessons. My universe has changed.

The car: It is at the garage for inspection and some necessary work. Did I think I'd get by without having to put any money into it? Maybe I did, I certainly hoped so. But I am not in the least surprised that it needs a few tune ups here and there. Still, the total cost of car will be under 5K so I'm ok with that. As long as I don't end up having to put $500 into it every other month! Fingers crossed. He is replacing a ball joint which it needs to pass inspection. Otherwise I gave the go-ahead to replace the rear brake pads and rotors (better safe than sorry), and there is a filter somewhere that needs replacing, and he's cleaning the idler. He also said he would make a prioritized list of work that I might consider having done over the next several months. Sounds good. I was heartened to hear him say that it would last longer than the 3 years I asked him about. The mechanic I bought it from said the same thing.

Packing: I started yesterday. It brings the reality home, let me tell ya. Felt good to get started. I figure if I do 2 or 3 boxes now and then it won't be such a crunch at the end.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Une voiture...

Why do I sometimes have an overwhelming urge to use french words? Maybe it's because, according to my mother, I spoke only french until I was 5. I do have faint recollections of struggling with reading (in English) when I was in first and second grades of elementary school. I have a specific memory of being in a group of children who needed extra help with reading.

Oh boy, do I ever wish I was fluently bi-lingual now! I love the french language. Ever so beautiful.

At any rate... I am now the owner of a very used car. Une voiture. I bought a 2002 Subaru Forester from a gentleman in a neighboring neighborhood. Paid for it today. Tomorrow I'm full up with students so it won't be until Wednesday afternoon that I can go down to motor vehicles to have it registered.

If I had asked 10 people their opinion on this car I know I would have recieved 10 different assessments! Such is the way it is. Questions, questions. Am I dealing with an honest seller? Will I be taken for a ride? Is the car worth the asking price? Is it a lemon? Will I regret the purchase? And on it goes. There comes a point when I say enough--must put my faith and trust in humanity. Because really, if one can't do that, what does that say about the quality of life one may lead? I think it's very similar to the old saying: "It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." ... "It is better to have trusted and been taken for a ride than to have never trusted at all." Yup, that's it. I have a good feeling about this car.

It will need new tires before next winter but I have all summer to deal with that. I did have the VIN (vehical identification number) checked out with Carfax and the report came back favorable, so I wasn't going totally on blind faith.

I received multiple recommendations from friends in NH and NY that a Subaru would be very good for the New England winters, and that they last a good long time. The names "Outback" and "Forester" came up several times. Had an Outback presented itself in my timeframe, and as equally qualified as this car appears to be, I would not have hesitated to snatch it up. As it were, this Forester came into view first so it wins out!

Ma voiture:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Just a few lines...

Cello. I hit a milestone this week: Started working on the Prelude from Bach's Cello Suite #1 in G Major. How pleased am I about that? I'm ecstatic! ... There are times--often times--when my cello practicing consists of something akin to physical therapy. It's quite the workout. Inquired about getting a teacher when I'm settled in my new place. Sounds promising.

New York. I'm tired of the noise. ... Visited the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center yesterday to make a copy of a score I couldn't find anywhere else. (a few pics below) I worked there years, and years ago, very briefly. In my version of the story I quit. Ha! (I suppose one could say it was a mutually agreed upon decision.) The job was soooo boring and it didn't pay well. And I was young. However, they had the best receptions for special events.

The granny. 10 more squares done this week. 2 squares a day x 5 days, that's one row. I'll attach it over the weekend. Rest of the yarn arrived yesterday.

The birds. Doing everything I can not to worry about moving them, and I'm not really worried but I do wish it were over.

The big picture. It's been a rather trying week despite all the really good things that are happening. I was speaking with another Scorpio this evening and he mentioned in passing that the past few days have been less than stellar. Must be a star thing! Who knows?

The weekend. It's here, I've just popped the cork on a bottle of Cab. Ahhhh, that's better.

These were taken yesterday around Lincoln Center with my cell phone, hence the low quality:

Woven afghan...

Yarns arrived this week and here they are laid out as they will ultimately appear in the afghan. The border design will be done in the "evergreen" that appears at top of picture in a cone. Nice lookin' lot. Since I can move the loom with a warp on it, I will start on this right away even though it won't be done before moving time.

Moving updates... Going to look at a car on Saturday, a used Subaru Forester. Must get myself to NH soon to hire a sheetrocker to do a little bit of work. Will probably start packing dishes this weekend. It's been a long haul since early December but I fear that once the pace picks up it's going move along briskly. I don't want to end up frantic with too much to do at the last minute!

License, check. Car, soon. Moving company, check. Taxes? Ugh. I need to stop by my accountant's office this weekend; I think I'll apply for an extension.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Half time show...

Granny square afghan is about half done. This may be the last pic until it's finished. I'm very much hoping to finish it within the next 7 weeks so it will be done before I move at the end of April. It will be getting kind of busy though, what with packing and all, so I'm not sure I can meet that goal.

Had to order more yarn this week: the pumpkin and heathered brown.

Yarns for the woven afghan should arrive from Harrisville tomorrow. I cleaned up the 8-dent reed this afternoon and I might, just might, re-sley at 16 ends per inch instead of the 12 that it is currently. I can do that without having to re-thread the heddles. In fact it will be easier to re-sley 2-to-a-dent now that the heddles are threaded. I think I'll be happier with the pattern a little more square. I will also loosen up just a tiny bit on the beating.

In other news...

I passed my driving road test Thusday with a perfect score! Who'd have thought it!? Three of us from the driving school went over to take our test and all three of us passed so it was a happy event. Now I can seriously look for a car.

I found a slew of excellent looking boxes in the recycling bins out front this afternoon. (I saw someone moving in next door yesterday.) They appear to have been used only once so I snatched them up! Not enough for all my stuff, but it's a start. Plus it motivated me to go online and order a lot of book boxes (1.5 cu. ft.). For an estimate I had to give the movers an idea of how many books I'd be moving. It came up to about 200 linear feet. I'm glad I won't have to be lugging them to the truck and back myself! Estimate was higher than I wanted but I will have to live with it.

When I realize this will be the last month teaching my current students I get a little sad. That's one of the hard things to let go of. One of my students was especially sad when she heard the news a few months back. Luckily and happily for her and her brother, their parents have decided to move too! So they are all very excited now--which I find a bit of a relief. They are moving in the opposite direction of me though.