It seemed like a good answer at the time

I’m sure if they would have changed out of their jammies and put on street clothes, the cops would have bought it.

Published in: on August 29, 2011 at 11:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Life is no longer a Cabaret

The show had to close two days earlier than scheduled, due to the rapidly rising Mississippi River. I was told that by the time they mustered out on Saturday afternoon the water was only two inches from submerging the dock. An inauspicious end to some of the most satisfiying work I’ve done in ages. There might be a concert benefit performance to raise money for the theater that was lost due to the cancellation. I immediately wrote the stage manager back and said I’d be available with bells on.

One of the sadder things about the abrupt ending was that I wasn’t able to say goodbye to my new little friend, Renee the bassoonist. Such a great kid – smart, talented and a smart-ass. Who could ask for more? I hope to get her email address from my music director so I can at least wish her good luck in the future.

I also got an order for a pair of socks from one of the cast members. I’m making her a pair of grey and short repeat blues happy feet yarn (hardly) fair isles.  I’m really liking them, but not enough that I’m sad that they’re going to someone else. I’m also very happy that they’re going to a good home – another knitter. She’s not a sock maker, but she certainly understands what goes into making a pair and has owned handknit socks in the past.

Knitting in the green room is the new smoking in the green room. It used to be all stage people smoked, but since that’s fallen so far out of favor knitting seems to be the number one replacement. I can think of at least 6 or 7 people in the cast that knit. One woman was particularily good. She was always wearing some Kaffe Fasset-like creation she conjured up while looking at her scraps, or a norwegian-style hat. I tried to recruit a couple of folks for our Saturday morning group, but alas found no takers. One person lives in downtown St. Paul, so there’s a chance she might come into the coffee house where we meet and be swept up in the cameraderie.

Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 7:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Death by Boredom

Now I know why they call it work.

Working at the DOR is the first soul-sucking job I’ve ever had. I go in. I sit down in a cube (my first time in a cube farm). I turn on the computer. I look at a tax return the system rejected. I fix the address. I go on to the next one. Wash, rinse repeat for 8 hours. Time is very important to these people so I have to be uber careful to arrive, take my morning break, my lunch break, and my afternoon break at their appointed times.

The only 2 things that make this bearable is that I accidentally found this great geek podcast that I can listen to all day, and that I get to play music professionally four days a week.  If it weren’t for these things, I’d a shot myself by now. Enough of the horror.

Cabaret just finished its third and penultimate week. All in all it’s gone very well. I feel that I rose to the challenge and even though I’m not in top form, I’m rapidly approaching it. I never knew how much I missed playing and now I want to keep going. My friend and music director Mike said I am now on his go-to list. I hope he’s means it because this is pretty much his doing.

There are a couple of high school students playing in the pit. They all attend Saint Paul Conservatory of the Arts, or the School of the Misfit Toys as I call it. Every story they tell me about their classmates or teachers is just this side of keeping child protective services at bay. They’re really good kids and they’re not bad players either. Renee the basson player decided that I’m like a cool crazy aunt, so I’ve got that going for me.

My adventures in felting continue. I sent The Rug through the washer a couple more times and things have evened out somewhat. I spent a lot of time tugging and pulling on it tonight and now it’s drying. I’ll still need to trim it up a bit and then whipstitch the border.

I finished my slippers and they felted down way too small for me, which is quite a feat since I wear kid’s size shoes. I snipped the opening a little so I could get them on to fit, but they’re definitely more like little felted footies as opposed to slippers. They may go into the etsy pile. I may go back to Bev Galeska’s Fiber Trend Clogs.

Published in: on March 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Of Musicals and Knitting

First the knitting. I finished phase one of The Rug. Here it is in it’s unfelted and unsteeked state


THE rug, in all its unfelted glory.

It’s so pretty and vibrant, I’m afraid to take the next step. Maybe tomorrow.

So as I’ve mentioned, I’m playing clarinet and sax in a production of Cabaret. It’s going OK. I’m not as pick-it-up and not miss a beat brilliant as I was in my fantasy about all of this as I’d like to be but I don’t completely suck either. The thing I’ve found the hardest is counting rests and coming in properly, oh and catching key changes because the keys for singers are gawd-awful for players. No one in the real world plays in B major, seriously. And really do you have to change key a hundred times in one piece? Isn’t the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the audience excitement enough that you have to keep changing keys all the damn time? It’s annoying. Anyway I’ve always played a bit by ear so it takes me a couple of times to hear when I’m supposed to come in because I don’t trust my counting or keeping track of 8-bar phrases. Poor Mike. I told him it wasn’t going to be pretty. I’m getting a lot of “gee, you sound great,” and “we’re so happy to have you doing this,” that I think they all protest too much. The piano player, who’s done the show a million times and knows the book inside and out is very patient with me and when he says something nice it doesn’t feel quite so like someone cheering on a runner at the Special Olympics.

One thing that amazed/amused me about doing this musical is that the choreographer asked Mike if he thought she could get me for a production of Fiddler that she’s doing at the arts high school. I will do it if she asks. I mean, I pulled the horn out from it’s case so I might as well take the opportunities presented to me. The universe is funny.

No word from the Craft Council yet. I has a sad about that. I want that job. I mean if I have to have a job, that’s where I want to work.

Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm  Comments (3)  

I will post, I will post

There’s nothing going on worth talking about. Oh, how about TV? I love TV. I’m not ashamed to say it. I watch a lot of TV. To be more specific, I’ve been watching a lot of British TV. Mr. grabs things off of Hulu and other sources and we’ll often watch a whole series back to back.

Our latest finds: “Life on Mars” and “Ashes to Ashes.” Yes, they’re related. In both series a police officer is injured and their coma sends them back in time to “fix” some sort of wrong. Each series is a combination cop dramedy with a teeny bit of fantasy – enough to get you speculating, but not enough for you to figure things out too quickly. The US folks tried to make it into a prime time series a couple of years ago and they really trashed it. Go find the original, and give “Ashes to Ashes” a little time to grab you. The payoff is fun.

“Being Human” A ghost, a vampire and a werewolf couple try to make their way in this crazy world. It’s fun, it’s got heart and some gore. The relationships between the stars is great, and the vampire is very easy on the eyes.

“Spaced” A sitcom starring Simon Pegg of “Shaun of the Dead” and the latest StarTrek. Simon meets a girl in a coffee shop. He’s been recently dumped by his girlfriend and she’s sharing a flat with a bunch of losers. They find an advert for a place but it says it will only rent to a professional couple. They pose as said couple and meet their nutty neighbors. Odd British humor ensues. Why can’t US audiences embrace the absurd?

“Jekyll” The continuing story of a man pulled apart by the two sides of his personality. Smart, funny, only the tiniest bit gory.

We also have the reset of Dr. Who from Christopher Eccelston on, which we return to frequently when there’s nothing new in the queue. I still cry when Nine and Ten die. I haven’t warmed up to Eleven yet.

What do you like to watch?

Published in: on February 8, 2011 at 11:46 am  Comments (1)  
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I love Regretsy

For the uninitiated, is the brain child of a LA-based writer named April Winchell. Basically she revels in the wonder, the beauty, the earnestness of awful crafts. She trolls for really bad crafts. Really. Bad. Crafts. I knew that there are a lot of terrible craftinista’s out there, hell my mom was one, but I didn’t know the depths of horror just waiting to be discovered. It’s fantastic. She is definitely one of my soulmates (and so are the folks that frequent her site).

So anyway, every day she generally features the horrid, the profane, the plain just badly executed and shares it with the world. Yesterday was different however. Somehow Etsy personnas of Patrick Stewart became the object of the day. It was a departure from the usual snark and it turns out the site’s faithfull are almost to a person Jean-Luc Piccard fans. What became an impromptu Jean-Luc Day, ended with this lovely piece – and it’s knitted!

photo of a knitted borg meerkat

I know I've said it before, but - ADORABLE

Wow, I didn’t know the screen capture would catch the whole page, but cool. Can’t you just see the knitted version of Meerkat Manor in space? You would think Comedy Central would be all over this concept.

Published in: on May 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Do you know what really grinds my gears?

When ALL the podcasts you listen to haven’t updated. I’m waiting on four right now to get their butts in gear so I have something fun to listen to. I’m also caught up with all my favorite TV shows, so I’m watching Torchwood Season 3 again.

I started some socks for my man. He wanted some cozy house socks to keep his feet warm, so I opened up LionBrand’s Just Socks and had a look. None of them were exactly what I wanted so I’m doing a combination of 3 different patterns from the book. Not only will they be spiffy, they will sport my first afterthought heel.

I made it to knitting group yesterday morning and ended up getting a little commission. I know the people that own the coffee shop where we congregate and the owner noticed my felted coffee sleeve. He was quite intrigued, and being the eco-minded guy he is, he asked me to knit up a dozen for him. Hooray for me. 🙂 I’m charging him $2 each, but if I had been more awake at 7:30 am, I would have asked for free lattes. Maybe next time.

Speaking of knitting and making money, I finally opened a little Etsy shop. I have to admit I don’t have a lot of hope of making money there — the competition is very stiff, but we’ll see what happens. If nothing else I can refer people there to look at my work. I’m adding the link to my blog roll.

UPDATE: Thank you to my dot comrades at for finally posting  a new podcast. I’m certain my whining is what got them to post.

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm  Comments (2)  

I know I’m late to the conversation, but

Why did the BBC get all butt hurt about someone creating a knitting pattern for the Adipose aliens from Dr. Who?

First of all, if you’re not a fan of the new Dr. Who series you are missing out. David Tennant was an adorable, ass-kicker of a Doctor. Check it out if you have the ability to do so.

There was an episode where people were taking this amazing weight loss product. Users were losing pounds like crazy and everyone was happy. Turns out that the CEO of the weight loss company was an intergalactic nanny and the weight loss product was actually incubating the babies of a species called the Adipose (which in reality is part of fat cells, or something like that). These baby adiposes were separating from the host bodies and being collected up so they could go home to their astral mommies and daddies. The babies were these cute, globular CGI things that immediately begged to be made into a knitted toy.

Photo from Dr. Who episode

Isn't he darling? Don't you want one?

 A very talented knitter known as Mazzmatazz who’s obviously more motivated than I must have thought the same thing, but unlike me, got to work and created the perfect little Adipose!

photo of knitted adipose

Mazzmatazz' Rocking Adipose

Eagerly I clicked on the pattern to find that it was no longer available because she was contacted by the BBC and told to remove it (She had also made another alien, but the Adipose is the one that’s gotten all the attention. The Ood aren’t at all snuggly.)

I don’t think the Beeb was so worried about the copyright violation as the fact that her knitted Adipose was way better than the plushy adipose they are now trying to sell. Given the number of crafty Tardis’, Daleks and Tom Baker scarf patterns out there, money is the only reason I can see for getting their dander up about the Adipose. Did I mention that Mazzmatazz was giving the pattern away?

Undaunted I plan on making my own Adipose pattern, based on the photos of the CGI, Mazz’ wonderful little guy and by adapting one of the many Tooth Fairy pillow patterns floating around out there. I won’t be able to do as nice a job as Mazz, but she has inspired me. Off to print out some knitting graph paper!

Published in: on February 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment