Monday, January 16, 2017

Count down ...

25 rows and counting... ain't lifting off in the near future! But that's 12 rows down from my last post on the 'big honkin' shawl'. I found some lovely, beautifully colored beads at GemStar in Enfield, NH last week for the outside edge of the shawl. I snapped them up because it's unsure at the moment when in NYC I'll next be--may be a week or two away.



Over the long weekend I wound a warp for my next weaving project--an 8-shaft overshot table runner in 4 colors. Oooh-la-la. I forget how pleasant winding the warp can be--especially on a project that is neither too big nor too small. It goes surprisingly quickly, and the methods--much gratitude to those who came before and worked them out--are so ingenious. I'm warping the loom back-to-front this time for the first time ever. My standard has been front-to-back dressing of the loom. The difference is that in back-to-front warping, the entire warp is wound on to the warp beam before threading the heddles and sleying the reed. In front-to-back, the reed is sleyed, the heddles are threaded, and then the warp is wound on through the whole kit and kaboodle. Back-to-front is supposed to be (or maybe that's just my fantasy) a little more streamlined and easier. We (the queen's prerogative! :) ) shall see.

Also this weekend I made up my mind to shelve the Celtic quilt for a short time, and proceed to something less intense. I found a lovely old Amish design that I will interpret as a scrap quilt. It's much, much, much less detailed than the Celtic top and is just the sort of relaxing project I need at the moment, coming out of an almost year-long struggle with matters existential. Can't life be just the bugger sometimes!? I picked out colors from my now rather extensive stash on Saturday, started cutting on Sunday, and got most of the pieces I need ready today. Tomorrow I may start sewing the first blocks, but I need to do laundry and work starts again so we shall see.

I'm happy and thankful to report that music has been progressing in ways almost beyond my dreams. I think I knew it was possible to awaken the muscles of my left side and shoulder from the surgery of years ago, and recent strides are making it a reality. I'm working very hard on a piano piece for left hand, hoping to play it on inauguration day (not to bring up that whole sordid and frightening affair). I'm pushing it, to be sure. I'm down to the last page note-wise; there are some phrases at the end very similar to phrases at the beginning but different in subtle ways. Then there's the element of speed--the piece needs to zip along. What am I working on, you ask? I'm not saying, it's a secret! :) But when it's ready--whether this week or not--I'll post a video of it here.

Cello is also progressing well, if I dare say so. It really is very difficult to play an unfretted, stringed instrument! It also takes considerable discipline on my part at the moment. It's very easy indeed to rationalize putting off practice! Progress is slow, but when I take an objective view I see that I have and am making progress. I never expected it to be easy. On the contrary, I knew from piano that taking lessons as an adult is hard. It really is! But fulfilling, and worth every moment of struggle.

Remembering Martin Luther King today,




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