Friday, March 16, 2018

It’s time!

The mid January blues are approaching, that thing that wants to make me flee from the here and now every year, yet I'm full of optimism and looking forward!
I've taken a little rest from my usual life; yes, that is what 24 hours of travel does to me, which is exactly how much time I spend in transit from NM to Norway-time to reflect and plan.
So here's a little wrap up of the last months of 2017:
Paint-by-Number sunsets, at the winter solstice.


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We have many gorgeous sunsets, year 'round, but this one caught my eye, and I pulled over on the highway.  I noticed a circular cloud, though this photo doesn't do it justice.  Maybe you can see it, too, if you enlarge it...click on it.  It's closest to the horizon and just above the first oncoming headlights. I tried to mark it with the arrow.  
Then there was this bad boy... This spider was so large that I saw him while driving, turned around, and caught up with him.  He was hanging out near Navajo Dam.

Then there was lace.  Knitted lace!  I bought the yarn in Lerwick, Shetland, a year ago, and have tried a few patterns.  This one is a keeper, though other projects have jumped the queue, and it is now languishing in the cupboard.  I started the sleeve.

A week long visit in October from J and C from Norway.  Here I'm entertaining with my new toy, the Rodgers Infinity 361, which was scary to play in October, and now is my BFF!  The latest is that my granddaughter wants to take up trumpet!  Good grief!  What did I do to deserve that?

And lastly, the winter sun peeking over the peaks, January, Bergen, Norway.  A panorama shot where you see more than 180º of horizon. The buildings on each side were behind me.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pattern request


C bought the pattern and requested it for JJ, and as I was working on it, I made many decisions that incurred ripping back, and punts.  The green design was all wrong, and redone. I didn't have enough raspberry color to use only that, so I blended it with "pumpkin".  

It's now nearing the finishing part, in a size that is way too big for my 8 year old.  Probably 10-12 years size.  I started it in December, and I think I have a few years to finish it.

The stripe down the front is for the button band opening.  This is called a Steek, and will be cut open to make a cardigan.  

Monday, March 12, 2018

From here to there

Remembering January...

This is a sunny day, trust me!  Only the mountain tops get hours of direct sunlight.


Going for a walk..the sun is out, it’s January in Bergen, no rain, jump at the chance!  Then I looked at the mountain, and cable car, and wisely took the ride.

Views of the city


and the view from home.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wool weather?

One sure way to bring on colder, winter weather... mention in a blog that it's too warm to wear wool!  So, here it goes... lately, I've been slowly knitting away on two UFO's in wool.  And I've been wondering when I would wear them... Every day we go from nighttime freezing temps to daytime 20º+ C.  
Here's my proud moment of finishing Boardwalk Vest in a colorway that I created last summer.

I've admired Pattie's Boardwalk, and then I admired the same pattern a year ago when my path crossed another woman in the Shetland Islands.  Now here's mine!  
As with all hand-dyed yarns, there are subtle differences, if not blatant, in-your-face differences... two skeins used for the body, then the third one, which was the fraternal sister of the other two, was used just as I came to the interesting mitered front detail. It worked out... I can see that the colors got a bit more bold from whatever, but I accept that.
I love it, but I couldn't model it for long---too warm!

Pattern: Boardwalk by Heidi Kirrmaier from Wool People Vol. 3
Yarn: Bare Paragon by Knit Picks, Sport,
50% Merino, 25% Bombyx, 25% Alpaca
246 yards / 100 grams
Then there's this:  Maple No. 2,  for me.  
It may get finished today, if I would just put my feet up and sew in the sleeves...
At 5,400 ft altitude. we call it High Desert...
My daughter proudly wearing her "Maple No. 1", and then finding the model at a yarn shop at a "knitting festival", Bergen, Norway.  SHOCKING!!

Pattern: Maple by Marie Wallin from Rowan 50
Yarn:  Felted Tweed DK by RowanDK
50% Merino, 25% Rayon, 25% Alpaca
191 yards / 50 grams

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Finished and never ending

Here is a pullover I knitted a few years ago for my granddaughter who was 4 years old.  I admit that I loved that pattern more than she did, and she has plenty of sweaters to choose from, AND she doesn't seem to get bigger, just longer...  (It also has a history which I shared 4 years ago.  Click the link above.)
So, on my last visit, I saw this one languishing in a drawer and decided that she would NEVER wear it because it's too short for her, both in body length and sleeves. I'm so thrifty... can't part with anything, it seems, so I.... yep, bought more yarn!!  Isn't that the solution to many problems?  (Mr. T., just go buy some yarn...)
Of course, I didn't have the sweater with me, but thanks to Ravelry I knew the brand and weight, just not the exact colors.  I bought 3 colors to match, and none of them did... hence, the contrasting bands.
My aptitude for ripping out, and adding and kitchener'ing back together has soared to new heights and lengths!  Now it's ready for an 8 year old who may or may not reject a repurposed sweater into a tunic.  Fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, back home, I haven't been attending Knit Nites like I used to.  Semi-retirement for a musician seems to backfire, BUT I finally convinced some of the group to double up and instead of meeting every two weeks, we've added a NOON date on the off weeks.  WORKS for ME!
Never ending... The Dr. Who scarf, which is really long.  How long?  Maybe Callie can tell us...because here it isn't finished, but now it is, and even has knotted fringe on both ends.  She says she quit when she ran out of purple... nice!
It's a beauty, and some lucky young man is going to love it!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

New Organ, No Pipes

But what a difference!
On October 15, the folks in attendance at First Presbyterian Church on Dustin experienced a real treat when Julia Thom, Organist, pulled out all the stops for the Prelude at the morning service. The rafters shook and the congregation was emotional when the opening chords of J. S. Bach’s Little Prelude in G filled the sanctuary with sounds of trumpets, reeds, principals and mixtures.
Now the whole community is invited to hear this amazing instrument at a Celebration Concert on Friday evening, November 17 at 7 pm with guest organist Maxine Thévenot. Dr. Thévenot is Canon Precentor, Director of Cathedral Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque, NM. Founding and Artistic director of New Mexico’s professional vocal ensemble- Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico, Dr. Thévenot is adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico as director of Las Cantantes - women’s choir. A member of the duo, Air & Hammers, she concertizes with English baritone, Edmund Connolly. She is a published choral composer with Paraclete Press. A native of Canada, Dr. Thévenot received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Saskatchewan, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Manhattan School of Music.

Dr. Thévenot encourages community interaction and requested collaboration with our own Virginia Nichols-Hircock and her choirs to everyones delight, so that all of Farmington can enjoy a variety of music surrounded by the sounds of organ. The First Presbyterian Church’s Chapel Chimes and Chancel Choir will be joined by Piedra Vista Choirs and Caliente Community Chorus accompanied by Dr. Thévenot on organ in a roof raising experience of the age old hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy”.
Dr. Thévenot also has planned plenty of J. S. Bach favorites, several 20th century pieces, and an especially beautiful French piece called Pièce Heroique by César Franck. The audience will get a chance to stretch their legs and vocals cords with an “all sing” of another favorite hymn and the concert will close with “A Gaelic Blessing” by John Rutter for organ and choirs.


The new organ is a product of the Rodgers Organ Company of Oregon. First Presbyterian Church has retired a 40+ year old electronic organ which was failing with a built-from-scratch new Rodgers Infinity 361 digital organ with rich, multi-dimensional sound quality. It features 3 keyboard manuals with lighted drawknobs, and Rodgers’ unique high-resolution sampling process which employs up to 8 microphones to record the authentic sound from legendary pipe organs across the country as well as around the world. Among it’s many features is the Organ Type piston which instantly activates American Eclectic, English Cathedral, French Romantic or German Baroque stops.
The purchase of this instrument was made possible by the dream of former organist Sharon Brink who played for First Presbyterian from 1998-2014. She deferred her salary for that position into a new organ fund for many years. In 2014 she retired to Las Vegas, Nevada, and hopes to make a special appearance in Farmington at a later date to experience her dream.
If you have to miss this free concert on Friday, the people of First Presbyterian will always welcome visitors on Sunday mornings at 10:30 am where the sounds of RIO (their nickname for Rodgers Infinity Organ) are experienced weekly. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pipe Organ cleaning

How much dirt accumulates in 30 years?
My answer is generally so much that it can be ignored.  You know, usually up on top of surfaces that are difficult to reach.  And for short people, there are a lot of high surfaces that can be easily ignored.  
At church, we have an area that no one wants to access except for one person, twice a year. That's the organ tuner, and for about five years he has told me how much dirt is accumulating around and on the pipes.  

 Now it's cleaned, and what a job. Each of the approximately 3,000 pipes have been removed, cleaned, and replaced.  Even the hidden white wall at the top got a face lift.  It took almost 200 man hours of work, but I can breathe easier now!  Literally...
Pipes are removed from the top center and right side.

Pipes are up to 16 feet long, and kept in order of placement.
Many MANY are the size of a pencil.
For anyone who cares, the tiny pencil sized pipes are grouped into fours because all four sound at the same time, played by one key.  That gives the buzzy sound of acoustical overtones... like when a dish or bell vibrates because it receives vibrations from an alternate source.  The four are meant to sound like several things vibrating.

Here are a whole set of one sound,
one for each key on the keyboard
Pipes are removed from the dirty/dusty board.
And pipes are replaced in the same order as before,
after being vacuumed (both the boards and pipes).

In August, all of the pipes of this organ were removed, and cleaned. It took exactly one week, and though it won't make a difference in sound, it will prevent problems. It hasn't been done in 35 years, so the amount of dirt, dust and insects removed was amazing. It's a wonder we could breathe!

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