Wednesday, February 20, 2008

FSW Flute Convention

Was it everything it was cracked up to be? For one day, sure. Did I mention that Susan cheerfully drove Amy and me to DC and back, and that Kent and David dropped us off and picked us up at her house in Williamsburg, respectively? Did I mention that Mary allowed the three of us to bunk in her room Friday night? Amy and I, variable that we are, were thinking eh, maybe we'd stay through Sunday. Or maybe i'd stay through Sunday and Amy would go back Saturday night with Susan. Or maybe we'd both go back on Saturday. In the end, we figured we'd seen all there was, attended the clinics we were most interested in, and decided that an extra weekend day was worth hitting the road Saturday night. So, we came back with Susan. We relied on so many people for this! Susan, David, Kent, Mary. Big kudos to them all for their helping hand.

In other news, I officially report to a new manager in a different team. Haven't met the new manager yet, but I have plenty on my plate because me and my duties moved, lock stock and barrel, over to a new team that specializes the stuff that I do. Analytics, trending, etc. More on this as it develops.

Nick is NOT moving to Maryland in March. Erica is moving to Norfolk in May.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Too much computer, not enough other

That's what it feels like, anyway.

We're still camped in the dining room because it's the only place to spread out and record the record albums and have both laptops on the table. Yesterday I recorded the Village People's Macho Man. This one wasn't mine. In fact, I can't seem to find any of mine, like my Music Minus One and a handful of others I've been carrying around for 20-odd years. Nonetheless, we have an interesting collection that includes all of Kent's mother's collection. Remember these great classics?

Right, then. At any rate, I'm spending a lot of time converting our old record albums to mp3s. We have a few 45s, and a nice stack of 78s.

I'm still working on acquiring the Miyazawa in used form. J.L. Smith is sending a PA-202 with the MZ-6 headjoint, and Katies Flute Shop is sending me a pre-owned 300RH, today's 402. I had no luck at the DC Flute Fair. I still keep coming back to this 402. On the other hand, there was good sheet music to be had.

The music project I having looming is a duet for Flute and Alto Flute from the Mikado. I found a piano reduction and from that I (we) will transcribe a piece to play for the Flute Choir Recital Night in May. Or a piece already written for Flute and Alto Flute if I can't make this work. I haven't given myself much time in my opinion. We shall see.

Knitting wise, I actually finished a block and began another block of the modern quilt scarf that's been hanging out in a bag on my floor.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Fairest One Of Them All

A name that makes hearts of flutists everywhere sing good...good...good...good

At the Hampton Roads Flute Faire today (faire....who the h-e-double-toothpicks calls it a faire!) J.L. Smith & Co. was there hawking flutes. I tried, I liked, I took a one week trial. Miyazawa!

This is the fairest flute of them all, and I tried them all.

No, seriously, there were about twenty flutes on the table, and I tried twenty flutes and I kept coming back to this 402. So I decided to take it out on trial for a week. Tonight I don't get to play because of Nick's party, but tomorrow I will play many hours. Next weekend is the National Flute Convention in DC. and just maybe I can find this flute in a price range a few $$$$ lower than the new one I'm trying out.

Hanging out with like-minded people is inspiring on so many levels. During yesterday's YFB I refined an idea for stitch markers that a certain secret pal is gonna love, and came up with another earring design. Then, yesterday during the Bonita Boyd concert I came up with an earring and bracelet set based on the railings around the concert hall.

Regarding this concert. I could skipped hearing the Bach Sonata in E minor for the umpteenth time. She's a fine musician but there wasn't anything particularly outstanding that any other good musician couldn't have done. The Poulanc piece was really nice, though, and she shared an interesting story about the composer, that he was the black sheep in his circle of friends (Les Six) and considered the least likely to succeed. As it turned out, he succeeded just fine, thank you very much, and his flute sonata is very popular among flutists. I think I have a copy, too. She also did an interesting contemporary piece at the end that sounded a like scale exercises, but I'm going to look into that.

I arrived at the thing in a foul mood, though, thinking that I'd missed all the good clinics in the morning. I certainly missed the competitions, which I'd have dearly loved to have seen, but wonderful Susan informed me that I arrived in time for the really good stuff, and the rest was, well, Amateur night at the Bijoux, as a very dear friend is fond of saying. Please not that that's my characterization, not Susan's. HOWEVER, there was the table of J.L. Smith flutes. After our concert we swarmed the table. Swarmed, I tell you!

Susan saved the day, and I slept well. On with the day!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Life Is Good

I might have time for an expanded post this weekend. In the meantime:

Silversmithing: Awesome! I've learned to saw properly, build and solder a bezel, sweat soldering, care and feeding of tools, and I've designed and been approved on my first project, ordered my metals and gems for it and two other projects in my queue, and started cutting the pieces for Project 1, the Seattle Skyline. Nothing if not predictable, eh?

Robotics: In full swing. Kent spends all day Saturdays and most weekdays after school working with his robotics team on the design and build. Next weekend is a practice session in Richmond. The following weekend is Ship Week, where they crate the finished robot and ship it up to Richmond for the Regionals in March.

Knitting: I haven't done shit since the silversmithing class started in January, although to make up for it I am in this Scavenger Hunt Knitter Swap/Secret Pal thing which is lots of fun. It's mentally time consuming, though, and it may be a while before I do another one. In any case, some lucky woman is going to get a bit of handcrafted-ness that's a result of the silversmithing class, hahaha! I'm still working on the black turtleneck and I have pictures to post.

InvenTeams: Looked at flights to Boston in the late June time frame for the final presentations at MIT. Ouch. I'm hopeful that those prices will drop a little as it gets closer. In the meantime, the team is forging ahead without too many obstacles.

Flute Choir: Saturday 2/9 is the Regional Flute Fair to be held at ODU. I'm manning our table in the afternoon, then we have a concert in the evening. There's a Master Class sometime during the day that I didn't audition for but which I'll attend. I look forward to meeting more flutists from the area.

Kent's #2 Masters: Time consuming.

Nick: is wishing for a kegger but only gets to host a small birthday party for one of this friends. Erica is well and visiting for a couple days.

Patrick: Enjoys working at Tread Quarters and is considering a second job in the same field, a friend's independent repair shop.

Doglettes: Cute, cuddly, wonderful, always hungry, and at this moment, napping on a dog bed to my left.

Life is good.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Winter Is Here!

I'm being beat about the head and shoulders from multiple parties for not updating, so I'd best get to it! ;)

35 degrees and holding. Seriously, this morning's temp is today's high. In other words, COLD! A quick trip to J. Jill last weekend with Uska produced some lovely flannel jammies and a great sweater, so I'm ready to stay warm. To be perfectly honest, I've been wearing both to work all week. Fortune smiles on the telecommuter: only the dogs see it and they have no comment.

The scavenger hunt is on and I get to spoil a lovely person whose name and location will remain secret. I'm very excited!

I haven't worked on the black turtleneck much due to the demands of the silversmithing class, which I must say is awesome. I've decided on my first project and it's been blessed by the instructor: a representation of the Seattle skyline as a brooch. It's a skyline I've been fascinated with for years and have taken many pictures of it from the Ferry (all of which I no longer have, and that's a long story for another time). Barbara, half of our instruction team, had a lovely suggestion to implying the water of the Puget Sound. I'm still considering whether to add a stone, what kind, and where. Top of the Space Needle, maybe. And the piece contains the Kingdome, which has since been replaced by a new stadium.

Please send prayers out to my friend, Jim. Jim, and his wife Kay, have been a very close friends of my mother's for over thirty years, and I spent much time at their house while I was growing up. They both have meant a lot to me, and I have always held up Kay as a model of what a woman could be and could do. Jim has been active in a variety of pursuits, most recently archeology (he's been on many digs!) and photography. He's a terrific photographer, and some of my favorite images come from him. Jim is dying of cancer and I'm so sad to see such an enormous life pass from this world. Mom says the end is very close. If you're reading, Mom, I got your email and I'll send cards.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Comment Moderation

Oops. Okay, if you commented and didn't see the comment publish right away, that was my bad. It's all fixed.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Knitting Scavenger Hunt Profile

Mom, I know you're waiting for something more substantial. Just know that I'm getting to it! I start my silversmithing class Saturday, I have work up to my eyeballs, and I'm still not quite over my sinus infection. I have to certify a production fix Friday night so I might have a little downtime during those hours. In the meantime, here's some required information for the Knitting Scavenger Hunt Swap Thing.

1) Do you knit, crochet or both? How long have you been doing it?
I knit, and I've been knitting for 14 months.

2) What is on your needles right now?
  • Black turtleneck sweater from Classic Knits by Erika Knight, in Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK
  • Skinny long-wise scarf to be adorned a la Kristin Nicholas, in Cherry Tree Hill's "Springtime" colorway
  • Modern Quilt Block scarf, from Knitting Daily (and Folk Knits) in the pattern's colors, in Kid Silk Haze.
3) What is the most frequently used tool in your knitting bag?
You mean besides my pattern and needles and yarn? It would have to be my stitch markers. Man, I use them for everything! A very close second is my flexible cloth ruler that I can poke pins into.

4) What are your 3 favorite yarns (fiber type or brand)? What are your 3 least favorite?
Favs: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino, RYC Cashsoft (all weights), Lorna's Laces Shepard Wool superwash (all weights).
Not Favs: Lion Chenille Thick & Quick Print (bleeds too much), Lopi (too scratchy), Lily Sugar'n Cream Crafter's Cotton.

5) What is your favorite color?
Blues/Purples. I've said in the past that I don't care for purple (YFB pals have heard me say that!) but after I went home I looked through my stash and I have more purple than any other color!! So, that said, I revise my statement: Purple isn't a color I usually wear. I don't think there's a color I really detest, though, except anything camouflage.

6) If you had a 5 minute shopping spree in your LYS, how would you plan your attack?
I'd probably go straight to the Cashsoft and grab about 20 skeins of whichever color grabbed me first, enough so I could knit something major, like a sweater. If I still had time, it's straight to the Cherry Tree Hill section and their yummy colorways.

7)What is your favorite FO and why? (post a pic if you have it!)The dreadlocks hat, I think, because it is so funky. I don't wear funky much because it draws so much attention and that makes me uncomfortable. And yet...I totally dig this hat. There are two, actually. I knit them in a bulky wool/silk yarn. The first one was with the yarn doubled. It's a very heavy hat for MLH (My Loving Husband). The second was single stranded, pictured, but not long enough, This yarn isn't that resilient. Despite all that, I love these hats. Be nice, now, I shot the model one with my camera phone. Here are two more: the heavy one on MLH, and the lighter one on Kat.

8) What are your favorite things to knit/crochet?
Socks seem to be a recurring theme, but I'm still a newbie and haven't tried everything yet.

9) Do you collect anything?
Books and maps.

10) What are your five favorite things (not necessarily knitting related)?
In addition to knitting:
Playing flute
Time spent with my husband and kids - all of us together in the same room is such a rare treat these days.
Time spent with my girlfriends - knitters and non-knitters alike

11) Are you on Ravelry? What is your ID?

12) Do you drink tea/coffee/cocoa?
Herbal tea, white tea, Coffee (not flavored), sugar-free cocoa

13) Favorite Sweets?
My mother's shortbread sugar cookies, almond cake, plain old cheesecake, and fresh fruit. It's high season for clementines right now and I can't get enough of them!

14) Any allergies?
I'm highly sensitive to soft, flowery perfumes; I start sneezing and my eyes get watery and I turn into a puddle of mush in about ten minutes. Hay fever occasionally knocks me on my butt.

15) Do you have pets? kids?
Two dogs, Maggie & Tasha, both age 7. Two boys still living at home, Nick and Patrick, 21 and 19, respectively. All are potty trained.