Venetian Internet Radio

I was in the mood for some classical instrumental music and went to my old standby, Internet to see if I could scare up something commercial-free to stream and found Venice Classical Radio from Italy.  The music they’ve been playing is from the 1700’s and 1800’s (which was the desired time span) and a lot of it is by composers I’ve never heard of, many of whom are from other European countries besides France, Italy, Germany and Austria, which is refreshing.  So many classical music stations stick to the more well-known repertoire from the “big names”  that you’ve heard a thousand times already.

Just to set the mood . . .

I use an older version of Winamp to stream internet radio stations on my desktop computer.  The “skin” of this version of Winamp has a crawler across the bottom of it that tells you the name of the station, the name of the song and the name of the composer.  Oddly enough, the crawler text for this station is in Italian.  They identify their key signatures differently in Italy.  Instead of using letters of the alphabet (A major, B minor, C, etc.), they use “do, re, me, fa, so, la and ti.”  So right now, I’m listening to “variations per violoncello e contrabasso” in the key of “do maggiore” (C major) by Frederich August Kummer (1797-1879), which is rather nice.

While ago,  I was listening to a sonata for chamber orchestra and oboe by somebody else I’ve never heard of — it was delightful, though — and I happened to notice that “oboe” was rendered into Italian as “oboi”  instead of “oboè” on the crawler because apparently the crawler font has no “è”– both words derive from the French “hautbois” (apparently, they invented the thing) because it has a high pitch range (“haut”) and it’s made of wood (“bois”).   Nancy Rumbel of the duo Tingstad and Rumbel (a long-time favorite) plays the oboe among other instruments.

I have this vision of some 16th house in Venice that maybe Titian or Canaletto painted into the background of one of their paintings, and in one of the upstairs rooms in this 500-year-old house is this state-of-the-art computer/server setup.  (. . . and here’s me in my leopard print sleep shirt* sitting at my computer 5600 miles away in Tx, streaming from it and grooving to a solid sender by that Salzburg boy).

*Hey, my robe à la français is at the cleaners. Fight me.


Well, Zut Alors!

Which is French for dadgummit, goldurn, blimey, and other such family-friendly exclamations of annoyance.  I was going to be a good girl and not do any more Foreigner shawls, even though I’ve been thinking about a leaf-lace pattern and Tirnamardi’s famous hedges . . .  Ilisidi has one (two, actually), the assassin’s daughter has one, and then I got to thinking about little Irene and what a special young lady she is, and how nice this “Teal Feather” colored Malabrigo sock yarn would look against her dark skin, and you know what?  Rene-ji, this one’s for you, darling.  Even in the far future, Black lives matter.

This is the best picture I’ve gotten so far of the side of the shawl with all the kfb’s on it.  It has such a nice textural detail, and this is the version of it I frogged.  I threw a p1 between the kfb’s and the ssk on the newer version which makes it one stitch wider.  You know what?  I’m going to post the whole pattern for this little goodie right here:

2-3 skeins of Malabrigo sock yarn, color Teal Feather
US6 (4.0 mm) 40-inch circular needle

Cast on 3 stitches
Row 1: k
Row 2: (kfb x3)
Row 3: k
Row 4: (kfb x3), k to end of row

Row 5: k until 6 stitches remain, kfb, yo, k2tog, p1, ssk
Row 6: k until 6 stitches remain, (kfb x3), p1, ssk

Repeat rows 5 and 6 until the shawl is the size you want.

K3, *yo, k2tog, repeat from * until 3 stitches remain, yo, k3
Knit 3 rows. Bind off.

That’s it. That’s all there is to the pattern. Short, sweet, easily memorized.  I’ve got five skeins of the Malabrigo ; I’m going to see where three skeins gets me.  There’s 440 yards in a 3.5 oz skein of this sock yarn because it’s skinny yarn for knitting socks, 100% Merino wool, machine wash cold, dry flat.  It’s a bit pricey but, like the man sez, you get what you pay for.  (Look at me knitting with yarn snob yarn!)  Evidently, they’ve discontinued the “Teal Feather” colorway.  Pity.  But that Cian . . . .  Here’s a detail of the eyelet border, as yet unfinished, never mind unblocked.

Anyway, I was I was sipping Crystal Light Peach Mango out of my stainless steel 32 oz water bottle (with a whole tray of ice in) and knitting on this newest shawl and enjoying the newest video from Liziqui’s YouTube channel.  Oh, another lovely, peaceful video.  There’s a reason she has 11.4 K followers.  I love the relationship she has with her granny.  You don’t need to be able to read or understand Chinese to enjoy her videos.  Recommended viewing.   Just get your cool beverage of choice, kick back and enjoy.

Heard my phone ding and looked to see why, and noticed it’s 101F/38.3C outside just now, which is why I’m inside with one of my pedestal fans on low blowing at me.  These things are work horses.  Second summer on this one, third summer on the other two, going 24/7.   I have one in the living room, one here in my “office” and one in my bedroom.  Money well spent.  I like that you can angle them up and down.  The newer models come with a remote.  (Doesn’t everything these days? Kind of makes you want to buy a carpenter’s tool belt to carry all your remotes around in. . .)

The older of my two first cousins x2 removed just got her driver’s license.  Where does the time go? The other one is nearly five.

This one is my mother’s sister Jean’s great granddaughter.  Her daddy is a brigadier general in the USAF.  When her daddy makes major general, they will be entitled to sing the song. *

The other one is my mother’s sister Verna’s great granddaughter, and a ringed-tailed doozy.

I may be committing tuna salad in the near future.   I think that’s tuna that I hear calling my name. . . could be something else.  I’d better go see.

Oh, wait!  This first.  This! (Thanks, Terri!)


*Yes, that's a young Linda Ronstadt as Mabel, one of the Major General's daughters, with Rex Smith as Frederic and Kevin Kline as the Pirate Captain in the 1980 Joseph Pap production of "Pirates of Penzance" put on in Central Park in New York.  The movie version of this casting is very good if you can find a copy of it.

When You Hot, You Hot!

And we hot!  108 F/42.2 C!  Ay, chihuahua!  94 F/34.4 C at ten o’clock at night, and 82 F/ 28 C at two o’clock in the morning, for crying out loud!  Thank goodness our highs are cooling back down into the 90’s again.  It’s after midnight, and I alerted just now on something odd about the soundscape.  It took me a minute to figure out what had caught my attention —  the AC had turned itself off.  That meant the AC had finally gotten the interior temp cooled down and stabilized at 80 F/26.6 C again.  Ye gods and little fishes!

In the knitting news, I was buzzing along on this shawl which I’m calling “Trio Sonata” but it was just too long for its wide.  Even though I was into the second 440 yard skein on US 6/4.0 mm needles, which makes a nice fabric, this evening I frogged that sucker. Ripped it completely out and started over.

The original pattern had a net increase of one stitch every two rows, which produces a long crescent shape that gradually widens, which is OK if you’re into the narrow,  drapey scarf thing.  But it’s too Isadora Duncan for my tastes.  Still, I liked the look of the (kfb x 3, ssk) border on one edge (top picture above) and the (yo, k2tog, p1, ssk) eyelet border on the other (bottom picture above), so I kept those elements when I rewrote the pattern and adjusted the numbers to a net increase of two stitches every two rows.  In order to do that, I threw in a kfb before the yo, k2tog, p1, ssk, which gives the interesting effect of making that bar between the eyelets longer and makes it look like a triple crochet stitch.

The original pattern had the fiddly bits worked over the last five stitches in each row, but just to make life easier and have both borders worked over the same number of stitches  (knit until 6 sts remain . . .)  I added a p1 before the ssk on the kfb x 3 border.  It’s still a crescent shape, but it gets wider quicker.  And, except for the last six stitches on each row, it’s all garter stitch.

The first four rows set up the pattern, but after that, you just repeat the same two rows over and over.  Here’s how it works:
…………………………………….+1   +1    -1           -1 = net gain of 0
Row 5: k until 6 stitches remain, kfb, yo, k2tog, p1, ssk
……………………………………….+3             -1 = net gain of 2
Row 6: k until 6 stitches remain, (kfb x3), p1, ssk

The +’s are increases, the -‘s are decreases, and because the net increase is only on one side of the work  and you’ve got two decreases in a row on the other side, the work curves toward the increases and forms a crescent shape.

I’m using my ChiaoGoo Red Lace 32-inch circulars in a US 6/4.0 mm and Malabrigo sock yarn.  For those who are not familiar with this brand of knitting needles,  the connecting cord has complete amnesia.  The cord is coiled in the package when you get it, but when you take it out of the package, if you hold it up by one needle, the connecting cord will hang down perfectly straight.  If sproingy plastic connecting cords drive you crazy, you need to try the ChiaoGoo’s.  They do make wooden needles, but I prefer their stainless steel points.  They also have two shapes of point.  If you do a lot of lace work, you want the Red Lace point, as it has a longer taper than the standard point.  The longer taper gives you more room to work  multiple stitches at a time.  Their stainless steel sock sets of DPNs are outstanding, and come in a nifty zippered cloth case.  They also have interchangeable sets.

That’s all I got, folks.  позже.

All Is Swell

I did the thing yesterday, the last serious attack of dentistry on the road to a new molar — between the numbing shots (3)  the nitrous oxide, and the heat, yesterday was pretty much lost in the ozone again.

This is the next to last stage of the saga of the new molar to replace the one that was extracted last year.  The dentist put in the peg/socket and packed it with more bone graft.  So now I get to wait more months for this new bone graft to take.  Then we will come to the last step, where I will get the tooth and have it put onto the peg/socket, which is the easiest, least painful part of this whole rigamarole.  That will happen October-ish.

Yesterday went well up until the part where I had to wait for over an hour for Wal-Mart to fill the prescription for the antibiotic I have to take for a week.  It was not a total loss, though,  because while I was waiting I was able to sweet-talk one of the Wal-Mart vision clinic techs into adjusting the frames of my glasses so they will stay on my head — my glasses frames had gotten so loose that they would slide nearly off my nose every time I looked down, which was driving me crazy.  I got the glasses through the VA and I would have had to drive 120 miles up to Amarillo (and back) in order to get the VA to adjust them, which obviously isn’t happening.  But the Wal-mart techs were just sitting there with no customers, and the one guy was all too happy to have something to do.  He was masked and wearing disposable gloves, I was masked and wearing disposable gloves, and he wiped the glasses down with alcohol before he gave them back to me because COVID.

So I got a few groceries, and after all that, my Rx still wasn’t ready.  I stood around another 20 minutes and by then my ice cream was melting (and the anesthetic was wearing off) so I checked out and took the groceries home, put the meltables in the freezer and put a couple of ice cubes in a plastic sandwich baggie, popped a couple Tylenol and went back to Wal-mart and stood in line with a mask on and a baggie full of ice cubes pressed against my face for another 10 minutes.  Hiking around in the parking lot in 90+F/32+C heat didn’t help the situation.  By the time I got home, I was feeling like I’d been hit in the face with a shovel.

I already had a Rx for antibiotic with Wal-mart because I have to pop four of them before I get my teeth cleaned because coronary stents.  Evidently, the dentist’s office just renewed that Rx because when I got home and read  the bottle, it said to take four before I go to the dental appointment.  I had to call the dentist’s office to find out I’m supposed to take one every 4 hours.  Between Tylenol every 6 hours and antibiotics every 4 hours all dang night long, I woke up with a bad case of roll-over-and-go-back-to-sleep this morning when my alarm went off and I had to get up, get ready, and drive over halfway across town to spend 10 minutes in the chair, then drive all the way back.  However, I’m having minimal pain and swelling, and the sutures look fine.  It’s coming on for time for me to pop another antibiotic capsule and then I’m sacking out.

It’s July in the Texas flatlands, y’all.  Last night’s low was 73F/27.7C.  By 9 a.m. this morning, it was 80F/26.6C and heading to a high of 102F/38.8C.  At 11% humidity.  Raisin weather.  Step outside and go from grape to raisin in about 50 seconds.    I plan to stay in out of it.  The forecast is high 90’sF/35+C  for the next two weeks.  My July electric bill is going to be higher than giraffe’s ears.

Here’s a little goodie from Jonna Jinson to help beat the heat.  Lovely photography on this one.