Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Macon, The Finale

You know that I had a good time in Macon and that there was lots to do when it takes more than a week to tell you all about a two-day vacation!  Now, it's time to wind up the travelogue.

If you go around to the back of the The Big House Museum, past the Hippies sign....

.....and past the signpost.....

I live near Red Rocks, sort of.... I was a long way from home!
.... to the sprawling lawn, there is a bandstand/gazebo for live music...

This picture, above, was taken in the afternoon.  Preparations were being made for that evening's show, featuring one of my favorite groups, Delta Moon, from Atlanta.

The show was phenomenal.  The band played for over 3 hours and sitting in a lawn chair, relaxing on a warm southern night, listening to the music was close to perfection.  My only complaint is that the time passed by much too quickly. 

Left to Right:  Mark Johnson, Tom Gray, Darren Stanley and Franher Joseph
When the show was over it was dark.  The Museum was bathed in light and looked very impressive.

A postscript for knitters:  here is a picture of Butch Trucks' drumsticks.  Check out the drum stick wrapped with yarn on the left (green arrow).  See, music and knitting DO mix!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Travel Afghan #42

Taking a trip meant adding another block to my Travel Afghan.  This afghan has been a decade in the making and I've just added block #42.  There are 55 blocks in the afghan, plus it will need a border.  The pattern I'm using is one of my favorites, the  Rambling Rows Afghan from Cottage Creations. 

Each time I choose a yarn that will remind me of the area that I'm visiting.  It could be a local yarn, or the name of the yarn, the color, or perhaps it's a yarn I've never seen before.  This time, for my trip to Georgia and visit to Creative Yarns, I chose Classic Elite Yarns' Magnolia.  When I think of the south, I think of magnolia trees, so it seemed like a perfect choice.  The color is "Forget-Me-Not", which is also very appropriate.  It's light lavender, leaning towards blue.  When I started the afghan I chose fairly neutral colors but I've gone a bit astray on that over the years.  I have no idea what my afghan will look like when it's finished, but it will be very special just the same, and filled with memories.  By the way, I keep a chart listing the yarns, dates, and places and the reason I chose that particular yarn.

Color #5448 - "Forget-Me-Not"
70% Merino, 30% Silk
DK weight ~120 yards/50 gram ball
There is no sewing and assembling of the blocks, only the weaving in of ends. There are 3 mitered shapes: large and small squares and a rectangle. The pattern gives you a specific number of stitches to cast on but, actually, you can use any number as long as it is divisable by 4. I made a sample once using fingering yarn and starting with 32 stitches. This block was a large square.

For my Travel Afghan, I'm starting with 80 stitches for the large square and the rectangle, 40 stitches for the small square, and worsted weight/dk weight yarns on size 7 US/4.5 mm needles.  If all goes as planned, my next block will be made with yarn from Calgary, in July.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Big House Museum

Two of the reasons that I had for choosing Macon for a little weekend getaway was a chance to visit the Allman Brothers Museum at The Big House, and to hear a favorite band, Delta Moon, who were going to be playing on the lawn of the museum on Saturday night.  I've been a big fan of the Allman Brothers since I first heard them around 1970.  Their sound was very different from anything I'd heard before, very different from the pop and psychedelic songs that had filled the air in the 60s.  It was love at first listen.

The band, roadies and others lived together and created wonderful music, shaping their sound, from 1969 to 1973 in a beautiful Tudor-style mansion on Vineville Avenue in Macon.  Very sadly, Macon is also the city where two members, Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, died in separate motorcycle accidents, three blocks from each other, a year apart.  After the visit to the museum I tried to find their graves at Rose Hill Cemetery, but without a map or inftructions, it wasn't to be found.  The cemetery was a very interesting place to visit anyway, however.

Years later, the house was renovated in order to become a museum to honor the band.  The following are just a few of the many pictures that I took during my visit:

Gregg Allman's organ

Duane Allman's gold guitar and shirt
Duane participated on Eric Clapton's Layla album, pictured
Butch Trucks' drum kit
Dickey Betts' guitar
Current member, Derek Trucks' guitar
Derek, Butch Trucks' nephew, replaced Dickey Betts
I had a chance to try out a guitar in the Museum
Upstairs, Duane Allman's bedroom
His jeans jacket was on a hook and I tried it on!

Standing on the stairs and looking down at the front door.

And The Road Goes On Forever

Friday, May 27, 2011

Creative Yarns, Macon

When I was planning my trip, of course I checked to see if there was a yarn store in the area.  I have to admit that my expectations were not very high.  I thought that I might have to settle for a Michael's or Joann's to get a ball of yarn for block #42 of my Travel Afghan.  Or, if there was a yarn shop, it might only have a bit of cotton and maybe some baby or sock yarn.

Well, was I pleasantly surprised!  I found (with the help of a group on Ravelry) that there was a store called Creative Yarns.  I emailed the shop for hours and got a reply from the very nice lady, Tammy.  I met her, and a couple of other ladies, all of whom were helpful and welcoming.  Christy Ott is the owner of this wonderful shop.

Creative Yarns is in a converted house and every room was filled with yarn.  There are yarn stores in big cities, in cold-weather places, that don't have as much selection as this place.  It's amazing.  This is part of the first room you see when you enter.  Behind me, in the picture, is more yarn and a table in front of the window where knitters gather.  The room, ahead, contains yarns to knit for babies and small children.

To the right....

There is more yarn in this room, lots of variety... and books and patterns.  Samples are everywhere throughout the store:

One room is dedicated to sock yarns and patterns:

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the shop.  I managed to keep in mind that I had a small suitcase and enough yarn at home for a couple of lifetimes.  The yarn I chose for my Travel Afghan was perfect, but I'll talk about that in another post.

After leaving the shop, the next stop was to see the statue of Otis Redding.  A charming lady, a customer, said "follow my car and I'll show you where it is.  It's not far".  Well, it turned out to be a fair distance and she was the perfect guide.  How very nice.  I was impressed by her kindness.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Southern Cooking

Going to The South meant I would have a chance to experience real southern cooking.

One place that was suggested in the literature that I read was Nu-Way Weiners.  I'd read that the hot dogs are red and they are.  It's their signature.  Actually, it's the casing that is red, all FDA approved, of course.  This isn't my picture but one I found on Google.  I ate my hotdog ("all-the-way", as on the left) quickly and without a thought of taking out my camera.

I learned that the place to go for authentic southern cooking in Macon was the H & H Restaurant named for the owners Louise Hudson and Inez Hill.  It's been around for decades and back in the early 70s Mama Louise would cook for the Allman Brothers Band when they were just getting their start. You can see the band's mushroom logo on the sign and door.

Inside there are lots of pictures of the band, along with others, such as Martin Luther King and President Obama:

The food:  fried chicken, rice and gravy, cream corn were all very good.  I tried collard greens for the first time ever - mmmmm good! 

I like the sign on the wall, near the door as you're leaving:, again the Southern charm and good manners that I experienced the entire time I was in Macon.

And, in that spirit, I say Thank You for visiting my blog and sharing my trip with me.  Next time we'll be visiting a fabulous yarn shop.  You knew that I'd have to check out a yarn store!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Macon, continued...

I haven't spent a lot of time in the South so I was interested in "getting the feel" of the place.  I found the weather to be warm and the people I talked to even warmer.  I'd heard of Southern gentility and good manners and found both in abundance.  I love the way words like "m'am" and "sir" are used with ease.  I saw great poverty and houses that proved fabulous wealth, many with a view to the past. 

I may be mistaken, but I think that the cover of the album, "The Allman Brothers Band" (1969) was taken at the house, above.

Many houses had beautiful verandahs, often wrapping around from one side to the other.  My mind drifted off to thinking what it must be like to sit there on a pleasant, warm night, listening to the cicadas humming in the background.  They are intriguing, colorful bugs with large orange protruding eyes - interesting when they are outside, but I wouldn't want one in my house!

The greenery and plants were amazing, like this magnolia tree:

Unfortunately there weren't many blooms on the magnolias at this time of year, but the few that I saw were incredibly large, bigger than I'd ever seen before.  Another house had trees in front with Spanish moss hanging from them.  The only place I'd ever seen Spanish moss before was at a flower shop, available in small quantities to put around the base of another plant.  Isn't this beautiful and exotic?...

Tomorrow.... the food!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Home From Macon

I had a fabulous trip to Macon. Short, but sweet. In my mind I had a list of everything I wanted to do and see and accomplished almost all of it. There was one item on that list that was just not possible, but a great effort was made, so I'm not disappointed.

I had a chance to spend time with a good friend, experience the heartland of Georgia, eat some authentic southern cooking, visit an impressive yarn store, do some sightseeing and hear music from one of my favorite bands. All of this was accomplished in two days.

The first thing I'm going to show you is the memorial to Otis Redding. It's in Gateway Park, trailhead of the Ocmulgee River Heritage Trail, a beautiful spot. This is for you, Ana! You can read her comment in yesterday's blog.

Here is Otis, sitting' on the dock of the bay, playing his guitar. Beside him (on the post under his right knee) is a notepad and pencil where he has written down the start of the lyrics for his song.

Next to the statue of Otis is this plaque: 

Click on the picture to enlarge it.  Use your Back button to return here.
 The statue is just above the Ocmulgee River and the platform where bands sometimes perform.

The bridge over the river at Riverside Drive and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. is also named for Otis Redding.

To be continued.  I'm a weary traveller who is going to work tomorrow. It's time to call it a day.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I'm actually writing this before I leave on my vacation.  If all went as planned, I'm now in Macon, in the heart of Georgia.

I have a mental list of places that I want to see someday and on that list is the Allman Brothers Museum at the Big House, here in Macon.  I learned that one of my favorite bands was going to be playing on the lawn, on a weekend, and it seemed like the ideal little trip for a couple of days.  To top it off, I had a credit with the airline that was soon going to expire, so I booked my flight and here I am. 

The plan for the day is to see Delta Moon tonight.  I've got my ticket, as well as a ticket to tour the museum.  I would also like to see the statue of Otis Redding, learn a bit about the Civil War history of the area, eat some genuine southern cooking (what is a collard green, anyway??), visit Creative Yarns, and more if there is time.

I suppose it's hoping for too much to meet Little Richard - Good Golly Miss Molly!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Georgia On My Mind

It's Friday, a travel day, a day off work, the first day of a mini-vacation.  Today I'm on my way to Georgia, flying to Atlanta

But that's not my final destination.  There will be sightseeing, music, food and a visit to a knitting shop. 

More tomorrow.....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Red Socks - PS 5

A little additional information about the short row heel that I blogged about yesterday, ...

The sock in the videos is being worked over 64 stitches, 32 of which make the heel.  I'm only working on 60 stitches/30 for the heel.  In Part 1 I worked until I had 10 wrapped stitches on each end and 10 unwrapped stitches in the middle.

In the video, Part 2, the knitter says to advance the clicker to 11 before you start picking up the wraps.  To make it work for my sock, I reset the clicker to read 9, and then continued from that number. 

I'm participating in Project Spectrum and the color for May is red.  I'm planning to make a pair of socks each month in that month's color.  While it's true that my watermelon socks would fit the bill, what I really had in mind was to use what I had on hand.  So, I "shopped the stash" and found this.
It's Regia Line Steps Color #5372, a deep red with lines of lighter reds throughout.  I don't know how long it's been in my stash, but I'm guessing that it's been quite a while.

Now I have to decide if I want to knit a plain pair of socks in stocking stitch and let the colors provide the interest, or will I do a patterned sock?  I'm open to suggestions.  The one thing I do know is that I'll make a short row heel.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Eureka, I've Found It!

My favorite sock heel is the short row heel.  I like the look of it and it fits me best.  I've tried many versions over the years, including one that I worked out myself, but I was never totally happy with the results.  I've been searching for a long time, looking for a better short row heel and good, clear instructions. 

Finally, I found exactly what I was looking for from KnitPurlHunter on YouTube.  In Part 1 she guides you through the Wrap and Turn rows.  I'd done a lot of short rows when I made the Lizard Ridge afghan but it was still good, and reassuring, to knit along with the video.  In the picture, below, you can see what the heel looks like by the end of the first video.  The center part of the heel is built up with more rows in the middle than there are at the ends.

In Part 2 you are guided through the steps to eliminate the wraps around the base of the stitches, continuing to the point where you are knitting circularly again, the beginning of the foot.  The result is a nice even row of stitches with no hole.  As a bonus, this is the easiest short row heel I've worked yet.  Perfect - just what I was looking for.

I haven't checked out the other videos offered by KnitPurlHunter, but there are several covering a number of techniques.  Checking out her (sorry, I don't know her name) website and blog are high on my to-do list.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ike and Tina in Karlsruhe

My love of music isn't something new, it's been a lifelong interest.  I remember, while still in high school, seeing Herman's Hermits, The Animals, Young Rascals (loved the singer's voice), Sam and Dave, and the Lovin' Spoonful, to name only a few.  While in college in Ottawa (Ontario) I would go to Pineland and one of the groups I heard was David Clayton Thomas and the Shays, who went on to become the voice of Blood Sweat and Tears

I was looking at some old pictures recently and came across my photos of the Ike and Tina Turner Review.  You know that the photos are old if they include Ike Turner (standing behind the microphone).

These two photos were taken in November, 1974 in Karlsruhe, Germany, two years before Ike and Tina went their own ways, Tina escaping from Ike's abusiveness.  The pictures are still in fairly good shape, given how old they are and how many miles they've travelled over the years.  Ike died in 2007 of a cocaine overdose.

I remember good music, Tina's powerful voice, a lot of dancing and energy and that I really enjoyed the show.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

No Post Today

I'm busy knitting a watermelon.....

                                                          ...sock, that is!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Things that make you go..hmmmmm.......

I've started my watermelon socks and they truly are looking like watermelons.  There is no doubt what they are meant to be.

A friend showed me this picture.  I don't know the original source, unfortunately.  Do you think that the Royal Wedding was inspired by Disney's Cinderella?

At the top you have Cinderella and her prince, and of course, William and Kate.
At the bottom are Prince Andrew's and Fergie's daughters, and Cinderella's evil step-sisters.  Check out the color of the dresses, the high hats, the neckline of the blue dress.

Coincidence?  You be the judge!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Project Spectrum Eye Candy Friday

I find myself very aware of the color red around me these days because of Project Spectrum.  A few days ago I was working in Word and happened across this picture of a poppy in the clipart files.  It's one of the prettiest pictures of a poppy that I've seen, and since it's also one of my favorite flowers and makes me smile, I'm including it in my collection of red objects.