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June 2004 Archives

June 12, 2004

Sometimes TSOundcheck rocks, as well as rox0rs.

The Toronto Symphony has a program where they sell tickets to people under 30 for practically nothing. I make use of it only occasionally, but it's a pretty good deal for hearing some pretty great music if you're into that sort of thing. Anyway, because of the program, I get periodic mailings about things that are going on at the Symphony, and a couple of weeks ago, I got one about Sonic Bloom. Sonic Bloom is a symphony fundraiser that does the by now semi-pedestrian thing of pairing pop artists with the symphony. Tickets to the show were as much as $500 a piece. My pair cost me $40 altogether, and was four rows back on the floor. Not stunningly perfect seats by symphony standards, but since the accoustics in the rebuilt Roy Thomson Hall are better than at the local hole in the wall clubs where I usually see shows, that's probably not a big problem.

I decided to go because they had some pretty damned cool pop acts on the bill. Headlining the show were the Barenaked Ladies, who I love, because I'm Canadian and also a geek, and thus both constitutionally and sub-culturally obligated to love them. Also on the bill were Sarah Slean (If you ever meet me in person, ask me to tell you the very long, involved story about road construction, parking tickets, Sarah Slean and The Facts of Life, it's really quite amusing, or so people tell me. Possibly they are only being polite.), Matt Dusk and a couple of the Timminseses from the Cowboy Junkies.

First up was the incredibly gracious Margo Timmins. She dedicated her performance to the ushers in the hall, since she had been one in the early days of Roy Thomson Hall. She sang three songs. Gorgeous, countryish singer-songwritery stuff backed by a full orchestra, it was lovely. I'm looking forward to the new Junkies album.

Next up was Sarah Slean. More singer-songwritery stuff, but Sarah is a bit, uh, different, in her sensibilities. The third song she played could have been inserted into the Rocky Horror Picture Show and not seemed a little bit out of place. The well-heeled symphony audience loved it all.

Matt Dusk is a tragically uninteresting Frank Sinatra wannabe who completely wasted the opportunity to play in front of a symphony and was wearing pants that were at least 2 sizes too small. The less said about him, the better.

The Barenaked Ladies are hopelessly geeky and thus endlessly amusing. There was a mix of classic goofy moments, and some more touching tributes to ex-band members and former music teachers (apparently you have to actually, like, study, to play the bass, who knew?).

And that was the very coolest night I've spent in a very long time...

Related Links:

Sonic Bloom
Sarah Slean
Cowboy Junkies
Barenaked Ladies

June 25, 2004

Purty purly sweaters...

The first sweater is knit with two strands of Silk City Denym held together. The style I was going for was a closely fit bodice to an empire waist, followed by a flowy, skirtlike bottom. It worked out exactly like that until I washed it, now it's a too small bodice with a strange line across the underside of my boobs, but I still wear it anyway.

I knit the fronts and back of the top separately from the bottom up with a provisional cast-on. They're plain stockinette stitch, with some short row shaping around the bust. I set in the sleeves to the top and sewed it together. Then I used the provisional cast on to start knitting the bottom section down, around the whole body of the sweater. The waist band is basic seed stitch about an inch wide, which matches the button band and finishing around the wrists, collar and bottom. The main section is a simple eyelet pattern (K1, yo, K2Tog / purl back / yo, K2Tog, K1 / purl back) worked over three times as many stitches as the bottom of the bodice. I finished the sweater with three gorgeous pewter clasps, however, I found they didn't really provide the closure I wanted, so I backed them up with some small snaps on the inside.

The thing I love most about this sweater is the neckline. It's long and swooping and I think really quite flattering. I get the most compliments on the clasps, however. The thing I love least about this sweater is that I shrunk it in the wash and it no longer fits as well as it did in that picture. I did reknit the sleeves to add some length to them, and I might eventually pull out the bodice and do the same to it. As long as I don't have to reknit the skirt, which took forever!

The second sweater is a version of Jill Vosburg's Diamond Patch. There have been many variations of this sweater knitted by AK listers, but this is the first two-color version I remember seeing. Jacquilynne writes, “The blue yarn is Novita Cottonella and the white is Patons Katrina. [I used] the five diamond configuration. I started out planning to do just basically the diagonal diamond patching method from Jill's pattern, but there were aspects of that that I didn't like. I wasn't happy with the idea of having upside down patches on side of the sweater. What I did instead, was knit the front and the back separately so they were both facing straight up. Then, at the top of the shoulders, I finished each side with a half horizontal diamond - by decreasing on each end of the decrease rows as well as in the center, your diamond closes up with a flat top half way up. These half diamonds, I sewed together to form a shoulder seam just like any other sweater.

I also knew my mother wouldn't be fond of the plunging back neckline, so I had to fill that in. I added an extra full diamond and two half diamonds to bring the back neckline up and make it flat. At this point, I ran out of yarn and I hadn't done any of the trim. Since I had bought it on close-out, I couldn't get any more, though I looked terribly hard. I also had some other issues with the sweater - it was too short, I didn't really like the sleeves as described in the pattern and the neckline was not pulling together the way I thought it was supposed to.

I went on a lengthy yarn search for something that went with the Cottonella both in colour and weight. I tried about five different yarns combinations, knitting several patches in each before finally settling on the Patons Katrina in white. It's a brighter than I might have liked, but it was the best combination I found.

I knit two more rows of diamonds for the bottom of the sweater and sewed them on to increase the length. To bring in the plunging neckline, I knit a series of quarter sized diamonds (casting on half the stitches and then working the diamond as normal results in a diamond shaped patch one quarter the size of the original) in Katrina around the edge of it.The top two quarter sized diamonds are half diamonds of the type described in the instructions that help line up the front and back of the sweater. I then did some crocheted edging around the entire neckline front and back.

For the sleeves, I knew I wanted them at least elbow length, because my mother, like me, and I'm sure many of us amples, suffers from rather unattractive upper arms. I used a series of graded diamonds in order to size the sleeves. I started with 30 stitch diamonds in the bottom row, then increased the starting number of stitches in the diamond by 2 in each row. At the top, I used more horizontal half diamonds in the original blue and attached the sleeves to the edges of the original sweater.

I'm not totally pleased with the yarn combinations, and I think the sleeves are still too large. The DP design, however, drapes beautifully and really emphasizes curves in a very flattering way. The lighter contrasting yarn around the neck line gives the sweater all the body flattering advantages of having a deep v-neck without actually revealing that much skin. I've worn the sweater as well, and despite being several sizes larger than my mother, it looks fabulous on me, too.”

Related Links:
Ample Knitters
Just One More Row
Silk City Spaghetti
Patons Katrina

About June 2004

This page contains all entries posted to acho que não in June 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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