Valentina Lisitsa

Apr12

Yellow Shawl 5

I knit the Tulip-Bud edging for the second side of this triangular shawl made from a thrift store cone of cotton yarn. Soon the shawl will be finished.

The Springtime comes slowly. Before me is a recipe for Dandelion Jelly while leftover snow still blankets half of the garden. Six  pots of starter seeds sit on the sunniest windowsills with buttercrunch lettuce and hyssop and cosmos.

My thoughts are  with Valentina Lisitsa and her experience of a cancelled concert  because some people associated with the Toronto Symphony  did not like her political views. Who amongst the rest of us is in a position to arrive at an informed opinion of what is happening in Ukraine? What has anyone’s views on Ukraine to do with an inspiring pianist performing the Rachmaninoff 2nd? I am so grateful to this pianist for motivating me to resume study of the last movement of the Moonlight and the Rachmaninoff Prelude Op. 23 #2. What a privilege to be able to work on these pieces! AND ~ how grateful I am to Jens Nygard for  teaching me how to play freely, without tension.  In the mid-60s I walked up six flights of stairs, passing a cellist on the way up and a singer on the way down before and after my lessons with Jens. He taught us all. Today I still benefit.

Shawl with Tulip-Bud Edging

Mar29

Shawl with Tulip-Bud Edging-1

I carded and spun the fleece, plied it into two strands, then knit a plain garter stitch triangle. I chose the Tulip-Bud Edging from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury, and figured out how to reverse the pattern so that the buds would descend on both sides toward the point.

March Knitting

Mar24

Pink and Blue Knitting-1

Morning sun settles on my profusion of knits. A brilliantly-shaded red rayon scarf emerges, the last of a cone that has already yielded several berets. One of the season’s last two entrelac scarves slowly manifests in shaded blue and brown diamonds. A raised diamond pattern slowly widens and narrows in Nezinscot’s softly-shaded, hand-dyed blue wool. Outside the snow piles linger. Inside, the pinks and roses are a feast of celebration.

Dragon at Sunrise

Mar24

Dragon at Sunrise-1

Sunlight pours through a closet window hung with an old curtain. For the first time I notice the dragon. Behind the curtain is an antique stained glass with an acorn design. A brilliant carmine rope ties back a muslin curtain. To my left is a folded pile of yellow silk. I hear the sound of a violin. Five basil seeds have sprouted.  The birds arrive for  breakfast of sunflower seeds and suet.  And although the snowpile stands five feet tall, my saved poppy seeds wait for the warming sun, snow melt, unfrozen soil.

 

Three Shawls

Mar8

Three Shawls over a railing-1

Elie Wiesel attended Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to congress several days ago. There he was, in the first row, with the cameras on him. Since then I have been reading his book ALL RIVERS RUN TO THE SEA. The title is a quote from Ecclesiastes. I read every word with care.  This is a full-size book. His previous books were slim; very full, but slim.

Before this book I have been reading THE NEW JIM CROW, a less pictoral work, less visual;  but a book to be perceived deeply. If accurate, once again we will not be allowed to rest without working for justice. The March to Selma took place today, commemorating Bloody Sunday fifty years ago, when I still had no freedom to think my own thoughts. Today, no one stops me.

The three shawls hang over the railing at the top of the stairs, and the first evening sunlight of Daylight Saving time shines through them.

Frost Flowers 2015

Feb2

Flowers and Frost-1

Today is a good day to work on my Frost Flowers Afghan.Frost Flowers Afghan-1

Nezinscot Scarves

Jan17

Nezinscot Scarves

This is the season for knitting. The intricacies of straight-needle knitting remind me now and again of  the interweaving moves of contradancers. Yesterday I drove to Nezinscot Farm in the dead of winter, stepped around the black lab curled up on a rug at the top of the spiral staircase, and entered the yarn room. I looked for and found something resembling celadon, the mysterious cool shade somewhere between green and blue. I was curious about the newest Nezinscot blend, 50% wool, 30% mohair, and 20% angora, spun for the farm by the Green Mountain Spinnery.  I  added to my stash a generous skein of 226 yards.  Outside the yarn loft a kitten slept curled up under a mannequin wearing a long cream dress and a moss-green triangular wool shawl.

The scarves pictured are knit in the Kudo  F-352 pattern, resulting in lovely designs on both sides.

 

F. Gaultier

Jan4

Gaultier in Red Coat-1

Yesterday at the Lisbon Falls Kitty Korner thrift store I noticed a baby outfit with an old-fashioned touch, a dress and matching coat in red with black trim. After rolling up the sleeves a time or two, it is a fine fit on a Francois Gaultier reproduction fashion doll I made years ago in porcelain class. I never found time to dress her. Doesn’t she look fine in her new outfit?  I can always take a tuck across the shoulders, shorten the sleeves, and add some cuffs.

One of my favorite tasks as a doll maker is to play shoemaker. I sorted through my tiny grommets for laces and think I can create a fine pair of  French black leather boots for my lady.

Red Gloves

Dec28

Red Gloves

They fit!

Yesterday I listened to the “World of Gypsies” CD recording of music from many countries where Gypsies live. Once again I wonder where the Egyptian and the Spanish come from in my family genealogy, when the ancestors surnames are English or German. I wonder once again whether Grandpa Price, with his common Gypsy last name and Gypsy profession of blacksmith, had Gypsy roots in Manchester, England, that he kept hidden from us. Part of my cultural heritage is lost.

What did the Gypsies do with the active little children while traveling in a bowtop wagon? How did the parents ever earn enough money to feed everybody, including the Gypsy horses? Several books about Gypsy life sit in treasured places on my bookshelves, but many questions remain unanswered.

I would like to go the the Appleby Fair.

Tennyson

Oct28

Tennyson

“Idylls of the King” jogs my memory as stories of knights but these are tales of the ladies. I read “Enid” with amazement at how well this reads as a story. Now I am reading “Vivien” and what a vixen is she! This I knew from reading the Mary Stewart novels and others, each with its unique viewpoint. Next comes “Elaine” and then “Guinevere.” My copy was published by Ticknor and Fields in M DCCC LXIV.  I come up with 1864. My book is that old!  It’s pages are still strong but the leather binding began to give way and I strengthened it with  strips of thin gauze inside the front and back covers.

The book is propped up with my newest scarf in “Drooping Elm Leaf” pattern.

1864

 

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