Progress on the Grey Sweater

The trouble with the arms of a sweater is that you have to do two of them; for a patterned sweater that means you have to knit two matching arms.  There was a bit of a lag in my enthusiasm after finishing the first arm (which is why I took a break and knit the matching hat).  But I’m back on track and knitting my way up the second arm.  Then I will be able to sew the sweater together, do the crew neck and see what it looks like all finished.  Can’t wait for that!!

Part way done with the second arm!

Part way done with the second arm!

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Painting in the Elizabeth Islands

One of the first day's painting sites

One of the first day’s painting sites

I spent a wonderful two days last week at a painting workshop in the Elizabeth Islands with six other painters from the local Artists’ Guild. We took the ferry each morning, painted all day, got together for a critique with our coach, and rode the ferry back to home port.  The weather was spectacular (sunny, in the 70’s with a south wind) and the scenery was unbelievable. There was a potential painting every 10 feet!  Plus it was inspiring to be painting with some very talented local artists.

DSCN0014

On the ferry to the islands

End of Day

End of the day critique on the dock

Paintings

some of the paintings; two of mine are on the right

Paintings 2

More paintings

In addition to the wonderful island and marine scenery, there were historic buildings along miles of paths, beautiful horses, amazing trees and rock walls, a herd of sheep with guard llamas and a herd of yaks.  What a privilege to be part of this trip!

Music at Highfield

What a treat yesterday afternoon to hear a concert by Amit Peled and Noreen Cassidy-Polera (cello and piano) and Karen Lansdale and Donald Enos (violin and piano) in the intimate setting of Highfield Hall in Falmouth.  The program included violin and piano for the Stravinsky Suite Italienne, followed by cello and piano for works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, John Williams, Popper and Granados.  The second half of the concert combined violin, cello and piano for Leonard Bernstain’s piano Trio.  Amil Peled is one of the most exciting young cellists playing today and has recently been given Casals’ cello to play (presented to him by Casals’ wife Maria).

It was amazing to sit literally 6-8 feet from the cellist and piano during this concert.  I loved all of it, but the Beethoven Variations and Popper’s Tarentella were my favorites.  Amit Peled is an amazing cellist, and his accompanist superb. This concert was one not to be missed; I was glad I bought my tickets early as these musicians played to an enthusiastic sold out crowd.  What a great way to spend Fathers’ Day afternoon!

Amit Peled, cellist, and
Noreen Cassidy-Polera, pianist

Sunday, June 16
4:00 pm
Israeli cellist Amit Peled, a musician of profound artistry and charismatic stage presence, is acclaimed as one of the most exciting instrumentalists of today.  Having appeared as soloist with the Cape Cod Symphony back in 2001, Mr. Peled is now a Professor at the Peabody Conservatory, participates in prestigious summer music festivals worldwide, and performs in venues such as Carnegie Hall, New York, Wigmore Hall, London, and Konzerthaus,Berlin.  Pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera, widely known for her collaborations with soloists, is the winner of the Accompanying Prize at the Eighth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and regularly collaborates with laureates of the Queen Elisabeth, Tchaikovsky and Naumburg international competitions.  This program is offered in collaboration with Meeting House Chamber Music Festival.
$20 members / $25 non-members.

SOLD OUT for HIGHIELD, some seats reserved for Meeting House Series tickets holders.

Swatch Cap and Alpaca

I’m still working away on the grey patterned sweater, and I decided to knit a matching cap to break the tedium… to have the satisfaction of something completed.  I used the general swatch cap pattern from Meg Swansen’s “Knitting with Two Colors” except that I substituted two of the patterns from the grey sweater and added a little band of purl stitch and color near the crown of the cap.    Here’s a photo of the completed cap before washing and blocking.  It’s a nice match for the sweater; I have one sleeve finished and the second sleeve started; it won’t be long before I can sew the sweater together, finish the neck and post the photo here!

Swatch Pattern Cap

Swatch Pattern Cap

I also finished spinning the ~7 ounces of black alpaca; I spun the singles fairly fine and then made a two ply yarn.  The yarn is soft and there is enough to use it as a contrast yarn in a two or three color sweater.  I am glad to be finished with it though: the wool was dirty and filled with bits of grass and hay and required lots of attention in spinning to get rid of most of what was left in the wool after carding.  It turned out nicely, though.

Black Alpaca two ply yarn

Black Alpaca two ply yarn

Trying Some Abstracts

I’m very much a representational painter; I enjoy depicting and responding to the beauty I constantly see in nature and in music.  The Artists’ Guild had a call for a juried abstract show, which provided some impetus for trying some abstract work.  I knew I’d never manage to get a painting into the show, but I thought it would be fun to try something different.

I started with backgrounds of various colors and then chose two subjects to provide some inspiration.  Wild chervil has been blooming along the roadsides; I think it’s beautiful so I used it as inspiration of one of the abstracts.  Below is a photo of the actual plant and the painting that resulted.

Chervil

Chervil

"Genesis"

“Genesis”

For the second abstract I used music for inspiration, specifically a concert by a local chamber group that I had begun painting.  Below is the painting of the chamber group (about halfway through the painting process-not the photo of the finished painting) and the abstract that followed.

Music at Highfield

Music at Highfield

"Terra Canto"

“Terra Canto”

And, no, neither of the paintings was accepted into the juried show, but I really enjoyed the experience of trying something different.  I do wish that there was some feedback from jurors about why or why not works were accepted; it would be nice to know what things I could do to make these paintings better.  But maybe my friends out there in “bloggerland” will provide some of that feedback!  These are both small paintings (12×16); I did notice that many of the accepted works were quite large and unframed in many cases.  I wonder if jurors like large paintings…