Sunday, January 18, 2015

Time To Say Goodbye

After almost 15 years of blogging, it's time to say Goodbye.  For my knitting projects, they'll be on Ravelry and I'll continue to post there.  Thanks for dropping by and reading, from "Keep Talking" up to "Rhythm of the Needles".  Joanne

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas On The Bayou

From a concert in 2013.  I'm glad he performed it again this year.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

An Evening With Michael McDonald

The Michael McDonald concert at the Paramount Theater in Denver on Thursday was excellent and much more lively than I expected.

Somehow, I thought there would be mostly quiet Christmas songs with the bit of Doobie Brothers music thrown in.  Actually, that's exactly what it was, but more.  His choice of Christmas songs ranged from the traditional to rocking to get-up-and-dance Gospel music.

The Irish song "Wexford Carol" was hauntingly beautiful and my mind went back to my visit to County Wexford in Ireland.  I found this amateur video from a year ago on You Tube:  link.

He played the keyboards, as I expected, but there were songs where stood at the microphone and sang without playing an instrument.  He also played the guitar on other songs.  At one point he bent over and picked up an accordion saying "this is never good...especially when you're pants are falling down"!  I didn't expect to see an accordion but it was perfect for "Christmas on the Bayou".  I liked that song so well that I bought it.  He sang a romantic Christmas song for his wife who was in attendance - very nice.

I was glad to hear some favorite Doobie Brothers songs and the crowd was on their feet, singing along:  I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near), Minute By Minute, What A Fool Believes and, in the encore, Takin' It To The Streets.

All of his musicians were top notch.  For a few songs he had a choir singing behind him, a local group from the Denver area.  You can see a few of the members in the middle picture.  The female backup singer, Drea Rhenee was so good.  If I could sing, I'd like to be able to sing like her. On bass was Tommy Sims (left in the picture, above) who co-wrote the 1996 Eric Clapton hit Change The World.  The song won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal performance for Clapton.

It was a good way to spend an evening, especially so close to Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Michael McDonald

With his fabulous voice I can only imagine (until this evening) how good this concert is going to be.  I'm looking forward to the show.

                                                    Paramount Theater, Denver

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Avaholic Sweater

I'm a big fan of the Colorado Avalanche hockey team.  Years ago I had collected some team patches and that's when I decided to make a sweater in Av's colors and sew the patches onto it.

I made a neck opening and inserted a short zipper and then attached an inexpensive earring as a zipper pull. To tidy up the end of the zipper opening I sewed on a small logo patch. 

Some of the patches are from their 2001 Stanley Cup win, all-star game, NHL logo and one from their farm team (at the time), the Hershey Bears - and others. I have another one to add celebrating ten years in Colorado. I wish I could find one from the 1996 Stanley Cup win. 


I can't remember what yarn I used. I may still have my knitting notes somewhere.  I'll have to look for them. I think I used Jo Sharp yarns. The word "AVAHOLIC" was worked in fair isle, upside down and normal text. 


I probably made the sweater around 2005. Just a guess. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ready and Waiting

The Kaffe Fassett/Rowan knitalong is moving right along.  The time has gone by quickly for the first six clues .  Tomorrow clue #7 will be released and I'm all caught up and ready to cast on.

What you see are 42 squares for the afghan, all blocked and with ends sewn in, except for the beginning and ending lengths, which I plan to use to sew the squares together.  I also have the 12 blocks finished for the brown cushion.  The soda can is there for size comparison.

The stack is growing as fast as the piles of snow outside my window. 

And, speaking of snow, while I was waiting for the next clue I cast on for a little snowman.  I couldn't resist the cable design.  So cute.  Instead of using sportweight yarn in a natural color as in the pattern, I shopped my stash and I'm using Dale Baby Ull in white.  It'll be a smaller version of the original and that's what I'm going for.  Frost Flower is a free pattern from Cascade Yarns - link.

I've finished the bottom section and I'm about to start the middle.  So far the pattern has been excellently written.  The instructions are given round by round with final stitch counts included.  With the new afghan clue coming out tomorrow, I'm not sure if Frost Flower will be done in time for Christmas but that's okay.  It'll be done when it's done and there will likely still be snow on the ground here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tim's #WarmWishes

In Canada, Tim Horton's isn't just a coffee and donut shop, it's a way of life.  Say Tim's or Timmy's and everyone knows exactly what you're talking about.  I'm thrilled that there is one being built in my neighborhood.  It's always a busy place, but the service is fast.

This year they are making knitters happy with their new beverage cup.  Too bad there isn't a ceramic version.  I've only seen this paper cup.  Check it out:

Not only that, they have yarn-bombed their mobile coffee truck.  Here's the video:


Here's another video, shot on King Street West in downtown Toronto:


If the videos don't work on your device (they didn't work on my ipad but did work on my desktop), try this link.  You can see the yarn bombing on "B-roll Package" and on video on the street in Toronto if you choose "Other Video Resource" from the drop-down.

Here's the back story:

"Tim Hortons "yarn-bombs" its mobile coffee truck, the TimsRunner to celebrate the launch of Tim Hortons new #WarmWishes holiday cups and social media campaign encouraging Canadians to do good for others this holiday season.

The TimsRunner "sweater", created by Toronto-based, Lettuce Knit, required a team of 35 knitters, 450 skeins of yarn, and nearly 1,000 hours of knitting time. Once the yarn is removed from the TimsRunner it will be washed, felted and repurposed into over 30 blankets to be donated to Covenant House."

Click on the Lettuce Knit link (the November 20th post) to read about their participation in the project.

I probably sound like a commercial for Tim's. but that's fine with me.  They do a lot of good for communities.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Travel Afghan - Nashville Trip

In October I went to the Tenntucky Fiber Arts Retreat and extended the trip in order to spend some time in the Nashville area.  Of course, you can't just go and see the sights, like The Hermitage.  A knitter MUST also visit a yarn shop or two and pick up a souvenir, or two, or more.  From Bliss Yarns I found the yarn I needed for the third border of my Travel Afghan.


Pattern:  Rambling Rows Afghan from Cottage Creations

Yarn:  Rain's Obsessive Stitchery, Fred Sock
Color:  Nashville
Fingering weight - held double
75% Superwash Merino Wool
25% Nylon
100 grams ~463 yards

Needles:  US #7/4.5 mm

Note:  This is the third border side of the afghan.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Nashville Area Yarn Shops

It’s such a joy to walk into a yarn store in a new city and made to feel like you’re very welcome to be there.  Unlike so many other types of stores that are impersonal, yarn stores are like that for the most part.  Such was the case with Bliss Yarns in Brentwood, TN.  I liked the shop immediately.  It’s friendly, well-stocked and low-key.  Months earlier I had picked my hotel at random and was thrilled to find out that this shop was just a mile away.  What a coincidence.  Maybe it’s a knitter’s sixth sense.

I was first greeted by Tyna who explained to me how the store was organized and asked if she could help me find anything.  

I like the Tennessee-orange table.
I told her about my Travel Afghan and said that I was looking for something that would make me think of this trip to the area, a yarn souvenir.  She lead me to yarn from a local dyer Rain's Obsessive Stitchery, a yarn called Fred Sock in a colorway called “Nashville”.  I use yarns in the DK to worsted range for my afghan.  This one is fingering weight but I doubled it and it worked out fine.  It’s perfect and so pretty.  I love the many colors all working together.  

I met the owner, Deb, and had a very nice conversation with her.  Talking with the two of them was like talking to old friends, even though we’d just met.  It further cemented my theory that when you’re around knitters you’re never with strangers.  She generously gave me a knitting bag with the shop’s logo on it and I’m carrying my current project in it now.  Thank you, Deb!
Tyna, left and the owner, Deb on the right.
The second shop I visited was one that I’d been introduced to a few days earlier while at the Tenntucky Fiber ArtsRetreat.  I knew Haus of Yarn because their yarn bus came to the retreat as one of the vendors. 

When I was back in Nashville I had to check out the shop.  It is another excellent yarn store.  Nashville knitters are well-served with this two shops.

The yarn selection is large and I was mostly drawn to the yarns that I've never seen before.  It's always fun to find something new.

Some of the new-to-me yarns were just too tempting and I'm sure that they'll work with my Talavera Dreams afghanThey certainly aren't subtle but they'll add the pop of color that I want in the afghan.  I was proud of myself for only choosing these skeins as I could easily have bought many more. 

Left:  Jill Draper Makes Stuff - Esopus yarn, color: Habanero
Middle:  Jill Draper Makes Stuff - Esopus yarn, color:  Stretching Sunset
Right:  Mrs. Crosby Loves To Play - Satchel yarn, color:  Toucan
Judging by the two skeins on the left I was in an orangey frame of mind that day!  It's a color I've always been drawn to.  They are very large skeins, 500 yards in each, so I'll be using them for more than the afghan, but what to make?

There were so many temptations at both stores. I liked both shops very much and I’ll be back if I'm in the area again.  Hopefully that’ll be for the Tenntucky Fiber Arts retreat in October, 2015.  If there is a knit night at the shops I’d love to sit in.

Next time…. my Travel Afghan.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING... all who are celebrating!