Sunday, November 13, 2011


One of the things I wanted to tell you about was last night's concert.  Last week we had Beethoven's 7th Symphony on the program, one of my favorites.  What I hadn't taken into account beforehand was that William Walton's Violin Concerto (James Ehnes, soloist) was on the program, too.  It isn't performed very often because it is devilishly difficult, but Ehnes made it sound easy.  The tone he got from the Stradivarius (the Marsik of 1715, according to the program) was unfailingly sweet and lovely.  This piece was last played here 25 years ago when it was the first time I had heard it.  The memory of it hadn't stayed with me, but I think this time it will!  Wonderful concert!

Last night Beethoven's 6th was on the program.  We are working through a count down this season, having begun with the 9th.  The interesting thing is that while what I think of as Beethoven's trademark graceful changes of key in his music, all of the symphonies are very different from each other and all are good.  Last night I heard the best performance of the sixth (the Pastoral) that I have ever heard.  If you have been reading here for a while, you may recall that last year I said I thought we were in for wonderful music with the leadership of Thierry Fischer our then-brand new conductor.  I am happy to say that my prediction was more than correct!

The second half of the concert was a sandwich (with a theme) of short pieces by Wagner (Prelude to Act 1 of Lohengrin and ending with Ride of the Valkyries) with a new piece in between  The composer is someone I didn't know, Christopher Rouse. which featured a solo percussionist, Colin Currie.  The title is Der Gerettete Alberich (Albrerich Saved) a piece about the dwarf Alberich from Wagner's Ring Cycle.  The piece was dazzling.

What an evening!

Moving on

The linen warp is off the loom and now the process of finishing begins.  First, I need to inspect the entire length (on both sides) and mend any flaws.  These can be places where there are skips in the cloth, knots that I need to undo and needle weave in or anything else that I find.  As you can see, I need extra magnification to be sure that I catch it all and can mend it properly: 
What you can't see is that I have my CD player on the same table so that I can listen to a recorded book while I work. 

I did too much on Friday, gathering all the leaves, mowing the lawn, removing the window a/c units (2) and taking them to the shed where they will spend the winter.  Snow was due on Saturday and I didn't want the leaves to be caught under it and the window units were doing me no good.  I still need to put up storm windows in a couple of places but will wait until it is drier here and until my new knee stops telling me off.  (Who knew it used such unpleasant language?)

If anything, the crimson queen maples are redder than ever.  This is their moment of glory and they are certainly all dressed up!

The next project is a series of rugs woven with the loops cut from athletic socks during their manufacture.  I need to dye them to get the colors my client wants.  But, first, I need to finish the linen towels.  I look forward to washing and ironing them once they are mended, cut apart and hemmed.  I think they are going to be very handsome!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Life goes on....

I am faithfully doing the physical therapy assigned and starting last Monday, Halloween, I was able to sleep through the night without being awakened by pain during the night.  That delightful trend has continued, I'm glad to report.  That, alone, has made a big difference!

I will see the surgeon for the first time next week.  I am hoping there will be an X-ray showing that my own bone is growing around and into the prosthetic knee.

Meanwhile there has been a decided change in the weather.  We got our first snow several days ago but because it had been warm, nothing stuck.  Then yesterday we got cold rain which rapidly turned to snow which continued all night and through this morning.  It's pretty cold outside.  When I went outside to look for mail I noticed that the Japanese maples in pots by the front door have changed practically overnight to their autumnal finery.  They are living up to their name:  Crimson Queen.

 I had tentatively planned to do more yard clean-up this weekend, but with all the snow and the cold, I decided to weave instead.

I am still weaving the linen towels.  I had bought a single cone of a gray natural 20/1 linen (the warp is the same size and also natural but a pale honey color) and decided to weave at least one of the new towels using the contrasting weft.  It shows the pattern more clearly:

This towel is being woven in exactly the same way as the previous ones, just using a different colored weft. 

I know what I will be doing next so am motivated to push on and finish this warp.  It is bothering my knee a bit to weave for more than an hour at a time, but I will be stopping soon for the day because I have a ticket to the Utah Symphony for tonight and I need to prepare my dinner and change from working clothes.
Tonight Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 is on the program, one of my all-time favorites!