Category Archives: music

Knit Night Tomorrow!


See you there!


Brand New Video!

Hi everybody!

I’ve kind of been AWOl lately, but it’s because I’m so freakin’ busy. But! I do have a new treat.

This is my friend Brian Rose performing his original, ‘I’ve Got You’ from his 2008 album Cats and Mice. And those are my cats!


Shameless Self Promotion

I’m playing tomorrow night at Bar Le Pastel!  Come see me.


Sunset on my Insteps

There it is, folks:  my gusset decreases.  By my (rough) calculations, I have about 8 rounds until I can stop decreasing and start knitting the rest of the foot.

I am (in my most secret of hearts) an enormous and fierce complainasaurus, and I’m not loving the pattern.  It’s kind of like that part in The Fighter when those over educated folks tell Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg’s characters about the cinematography in Belle Epoque (1992); over my head and wildly fruitless.

It’s not that it’s complicated.  In fact, the pattern could fairly easily be changed into a 2 row repeat with a lil’ something extra every 8 rows.  It’s the thoughtless editing that kills me.  I get exactly what Morgan-Oakes was going for:  a nice faux cable with a bit of faggoting on ‘ere side with lots of 1×1 ribbing for stretchiness and fit.  I get it, and I do think that the finished product would look sweet if it were written out exactly the way I wanted it to be.  In all fairness, the pictures in the book do show the sock as written;  there are just some odd bits that, in a parallel universe, I would fix.

You see, I made a (futile) commitment to myself at the top of the year to start knitting other people’s patterns.  I have a square head, and I know that, and so, most of the time I make up what I’m doing.  I have many calculators for that reason.  I have a colouring book for that reason.  I even have lead pencils for that reason.  But in music, in knitting, and in life, sometimes you have to concede that there is a lot to learn from what other people are doing, so I elected to knit 11 patterns that I didn’t design.

I’ve cheated remorselessly on this commitment.  For instance, I’ve added 1×1 ribbing to this sock, and I’ve ignored gauge because I’m a maverick and sometimes mavericks can’t help but maverick.  But the cast on number of stitches needs to be right!  And by right, I mean that the stitch pattern shouldn’t require that there be a strip of two knit stitches on ‘ere side of the sock legs.  That’s right:  on both sides of each sock there is a strip of two knit stitches where there should be a 1×1 rib.  See that seam-like thing in the picture below?

The fastest way I can amend this problem is to cast on two fewer stitches per sock;  that way, the k1,p1 rib which is then followed by the p1,k1 rib will stay constant by ending with a purl stitch and everything would remain beautiful and perfect in the entire word.  The slightly slower way would be to add another stitch to the faux cable.  I can slip four stitches!  I can!  I swear I can!  I have lots of faults, but dishonesty isn’t one of them.  And again, the picture in the book does show the same seam.  I had just assumed that it was due to a tension issue.

I guess my biggest regret isn’t cheating on my commitment one more time.  This is causing me so much disatisfaction that I’m near to ripping the whole thing out and starting over.

One think that’s keeping me content is this yarn.  Why oh why was it discontinued?

100% wool… ah.

A Thorough Update

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger lately, and I haven’t been thorough whatsoever in detailing my knitting projects.

Project the First:

The buttons weren’t sewn on when those pictures were taken, but they sure are now.  I’ll take another picture tomorrow, so you can see how awesome these are in person.

I knit the armbands with the handspun and hand dyed yarn that I got from a friend of a friend of an old woman who used to live in my borough.  Look at the tag;  that yellow yarn was dyed with turmeric and alum.

The yarn was over spun and dyed in an odd way.  I love how you can see her learning process.  As she learned, her yarn became more delicate and more consistent.  The dyes took better and you really got to see what she was going for.  That yellow yarn was all in pieces when I got to it.

I really like the symbolism of using her work as well.  The idea of a person becoming fascinated with creation (as opposed to participating in consumerism) at a late age at least twenty years ago simply points to how separated most of us have become from the creation of tangible and useful textile art.  I love that both she and I have had the same yearning to make cloth.

Project the Second

I’ve knit quite a lot of the ribbing, but I won’t know if I’m ready to bind off the ribbing until I try it on.  I’ve been crazy busy as of late, so I haven’t plunked myself down to slip all those stitches onto waste yarn to try it on yet again.  I think I’ll aspire to do that tomorrow.

Project the Third

The neckerchief is 7 inches long, and I think I’m going to knit for at least another inch.  I went to a bluegrass night at the Barfly in Montreal, and I dropped a bunch of stitches.  I ended up having to rip back about 3 rows to figure out exactly where I was supposed to be.  It’s looking lovely, though.

Project the Fourth

I don’t have any pictures of this project (my awesome flaming tea cozy) because I haven’t made any progress on it.  Alas!  I am dreaming of needle felting all over that thing.  Yeehaw!

Project the Fifth

I’ve recorded the first song I’ve ever written on my music project blog, ClairelyNow.  Please listen and let me know what you think!


I would like you to dance!

It’s Patrick and Bazorov’s birthday today.

They seemed non-plussed.

They’re exactly one year old.  Rather, they are one year and one day old, because it’s 22h24 and they’re sleeping.  We celebrated by playing in the hall of the apartment building, playing with all the favourite toys (including the silver fish plushie – that’s a classic), and extra treats.   I think all the affection and attention has made them suspicious.

I didn’t knit at all today.  In fact, I took all day and sang songs.  I made an extremely classy microphone holder, and have been singing all day.

I made a holder out of cardboard, and notched grooves so the corners of the holder would be more rounded (three long vertical notches that ran the length of the cardboard per corner).  I cut a window for the screen, a window for the buttons, and a hole in the bottom for the power cord.

I’m very pleased with it.  I think I may have to cut a hole for the headphone port, but other than that, it’s excellent.  I picked up a broken red coat rack a long time ago (I was dreaming of a homemade knitting knobby) so I taped the holder to the base.  It’s a surprisingly good solution.

I’m also thinking about where I should host this music.  I have a myspace, but I don’t like the new site, and I think that since I’m recording a second album I may as well invest in a good site.

Any recommendations?

A Thousand Suns

This has been a really productive morning.  I feel awesome!  I finished all the things that I wanted to do, and I think I have time for a quick blog post before I go to work.

I’ve knit a few repeats of the lace pattern from the 1800s, and it doesn’t really look much like the engraving, so I did some investigating and discovered that the people on ravelry who had knit the neckerchief actually knit a different lace pattern for the main part.  That, to me, entirely negates the romance of knitting a pattern this old, but this simple eyelet pattern isn’t really making me fall in love – not that I was completely in love with the engraving either.  I’m going to take it to Ariadne today for input, but if I have to sub in a different lace pattern, I’ll probably pick something different altogether.  Or something.  I am interested in why the pattern calls for me to slip a stitch and then do a yarn over, though – it’s resulting in a very dense fabric.

The cats gave me a hand printing off the rough draft of my sweater pattern this morning.  I’m kind of proud of it, and yet, I’m anticipating one hundred thousand corrections.  In order to correct my anxiety, I’m listening to this:

I absolutely adore Hey Rosetta!, and I love this song.  I’ve seen them live twice, and each time they’ve played this song, and the whole audience held each other while they sang.  Not in a creepy way!  Just in a “we’re collectively recognizing our humanity” sort of way.  I hope you like it.