Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Technique Central

Recently in the Silk Corset Knitalong group the topic came up of the mystery i-cord [cue spooky music] Mwa ha ha ha, from the bowels of the yarn stash comes a twisted, stunted, grotesque lump of yarn. Peeling away the lint clinging to this sorry entity, one realizes that's it's Annie's first attempt at I-Cord!

I've only been making i-cord for about 4 years - I'd seen it, and read the instructions, but it seemed counter intuitive (that's just me...) so I left it for later. Later came when I promised to help Melanie Falick teach a knitting class at Lion and Lamb on the Upper East Side and part of the class was teaching - I-Cord!

So Melanie gave me a quick tutorial on it, I was intruiged, and when I got home from that class (where I met Teva Durham - my one and only time meeting her - touch me!) I spent about a week working up different types of icord madness.

The fruit of this labor ended up in Confessions (striped i-cord, checkerboard i-cord, attached i-cord) and I've been using the i-cord bindoff and cast on in a lot of my patterns since then. Actually, I found instructions for i-cord bind offs, but couldn't find a cast on so I worked this one up. When I teach this folks inevitably work it up rather loose the first time (they're learning!) but after about 20 stitches they get the hang of how to tighten up the M1 (pull it hard like it's falling off the Titanic) so that the i-cord is more attractive.

I love music, but I don't listen to it as much as I'd like. I'm not sure why this is - when I'm listening to music I like, I am transported, my world is richer and I feel connections to people and places that I thought I'd forgotton. Maybe it's because there's so much bad music out there - but that's subjective, one person's bad music is another person's symphony.

Some music that always makes me sit up and take notice when I hear a few strains is bluegrass. My whole family's from the MD/VA/WV area - we came over starting in the 1680's and gradually moved from the coast into the hills where we parked ourselves. My mother's people are Dutch and Scots - but we're talking 200 years ago, so does that even really matter? My dad's people were French (hence the Modesitt, nŽe Modisette) but that was so long ago.

He did look French - and from all reports had one hell of a time in France during the War (he was at D-Day - he photographed it in the 2nd Combat Camera Unit) and he never seemed 100% comfortable in the land of black coal dust. We had a very stormy relationship - I was a late baby (both parents were in their 40's when I was born) and my teen years coincided with the loss of his business and his spiral into bad health and prescription drug addiction. It was a bad scene, man. I don't think he liked bluegrass music very much (which is ironic because his life was like a country song.)

My mother loved it, though - when I hear it, I think of her. Not the hard-core deep fan base stuff, but the fluffier, popular music blue grass stuff. She loved Dolly Parton, and at her funeral I played the CD TrioL - she loved that music very much. If you can get past the shoulder pads on the CD cover, it's a pretty nice album.

So how odd - and full circle - that my husband (the Long Island Jew born in the Bronx) adores the soundtrack from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? - I love it, too - but he LOVES it. Mom would have really liked it, too. Dad would have hated it.


~drew emborsky~ said...

Music is amazingly powerful. It can change the mood of any situation, eh?

Look at how young your dad was!! I decided after losing both my mom and dad a few years ago that they became perfect instantly. No need in my spending energy regretting, wondering what if, etc. No matter what may have happened (or didn't) they were fantastic now! Forgiveness is giving up hope that the past can change.

March 29, 2006 4:30 PM  
Debra said...

I love the soundtrack too and have seen the movie multiple times.(African-American woman born in Atlantic City who now lives in the Bronx, here)
By the way,your Dad was fine.

March 29, 2006 6:06 PM  
dragon knitter said...

my dad loved all music, but anything with a really good bass beat. he was deaf in one ear, and hard of hearing in the other. the bass is blown on my van (formerly his) because of his tendency to turn the bass all the way up. in fact my mom (who is deaf) is partial to AC/DC because of the bass beat, lol. thank goodness she doesn't know the words! i ADORE bluegrass. allison krause. one of my favorite cable channels at my fiance's (i dont' have digital cable, and he does) is the bluegrass channel. and oh brother where art thou is just amazing. i like the sirenes' song best.

March 29, 2006 8:56 PM  
BC said...

A fine album, indeed, and a lovely tribute to your Mother. Good vocal harmony is heavenly no matter what the genre, isn't it.

My family, too, came over early, then migrated ever more deeply into the hills. And my husband, Polish Catholic from Buffalo, also adores "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou!" There is a certain sincerity in some bluegrass/country music which is touchs the heart if you allow it.

ps Waiting for your book from Amazon, which I ordered before I knew you had a site. Call me anxious!

March 29, 2006 10:25 PM  

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