Sunday, December 12, 2004

An i-cord Flashback (It's deja vu all over again!)

Well, another small but significant breakthrough has taken place in the world of this beginning knitter. I've made my first i-cord, after meditating briefly over EZ's directions. About two feet into the project, I realized something: the end product looks exactly like the cords we used to produce with those knitting nancies when we were kids, only nicer and with much better yarn.

You remember those -- either homemade by pounding some nails into a large leftover thread spool, or fresh from the store, painted to look more or less like a simplified Russian nesting doll. Oh, the possibilities that came with those gadgets! You'd envision yourself creating rugs, place mats, potholders, and all manner of glorious creations with it... but did anyone ever get past the first few feet of cord before growing bored and moving on to other things?

This particular i-cord, in fuchsia Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted, will serve as the strap for my felted bag. I've asked my friend Val at Showstopper Gifts to try her hand at making Beardie buttons using the same materials as she does for her pins. I'm hoping she has great success with them; I'd like to use one on this bag, and on any I make for doggie friends or for the Rescue auctions.

Music, and Leisurely Sundays at Home

It's funny to think that Greg and I have only been together a couple of years, and already we talk about "old times." Back when we had two houses between us and he was working at his old job in Bangor, we would alternate weekends at each other's houses. The piano was at his house, of course, so on Sundays we'd make ourselves a big stack of Danish pancakes (pandekager, not aebelskiver, for any Scandinavians out there), play Bach cantatas on the stereo, and drink coffee while watching the lake change with the seasons. After breakfast, Greg would play the piano while I'd knit, and we'd continue this long into the afternoon.

It's been a long time since we've been able to have one of those old Sundays, between moving and grad school and work and weekend choral rehearsals and so on. Now Greg's semester is all but over -- classes are done, and his final project is due by email at the end of this week. My choral season ends tonight, and then I'm free from weekend obligations until mid-January sometime.

Anyway, we're having one of our "old-time" Sundays right now. We made Danish pancakes, played Bach's "Christmas Oratorio" and "Magnificat," and drank quantities of coffee. Greg is now playing piano, and I've been alternating between adding to my i-cord and working on the laptop. Both dogs are napping, and the cat is probably chewing the blinds in the bedroom again. Sometimes life is just plain sweet.

The first of our two choral concerts took place last night -- and complain as I did about the music, I have to admit that the end result was quite a success. The house was packed -- a pleasant surprise, as we often have to compete with dozens of other Christmas concerts at this time of year. We sounded great -- really. The audience adored the brass, who are funny and charming as well as enjoyable to listen to -- and even the Kids were fun to watch. The concert went by really quickly, and before I knew it I was in the car, headed home. Here I thought the whole thing was going to drag miserably because of the high concentration of moldy oldies.

Tonight is our second concert, held in a big Catholic church. This one has admission by donation, with the lion's share of the proceeds to benefit the local food pantry. Last year, 500 people came to our concert -- probably a record for a local crowd for us -- and the church could have seated a couple of hundred more. Let's see how we do this year. (Last year's program was just wonderful, and we even sang one of Greg's pieces. I'm sure the audience will like this year's just as well.)

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