Friday, September 05, 2008

Keeping my fingers busy

See how much I got done on the coin lace and cable wrap while traveling? It may not look like much to YOU, but I'm very happy with my progress, seeing as how this is my FIRST knitting from a chart and my FIRST project with cables. That second point seemed like a deal-breaker when I pulled out my knitting on the outbound plane only to discover that I had left my cable needle at home on the dining room table. ARGGG! Not willing to waste a whole trip's worth of knitting time, I pondered my options and came up with THIS: It's a bit futsy to put tips on and off the darning needle, but hey, it works! I'm so used to it now that I may just finish the wrap this way.

I must mention that thanks to a suggestion from Lois, I've been using a lifeline in this project (waxed floss works great, BTW). What a - well, a lifesaver! I had to rip back to it at least two or three times, and what a relief to have it there. A lifeline is definitely going to be a permanent part of my knitting "toolbox" from now on.

Finally, as if he didn't know I have enough to keep my fingers busy, my dear husband bought me a very special gift on our trip:That, dear readers, is a mountain dulcimer, the simplest and easiest to learn of all stringed instruments, and therefore right up my alley. Last night I was playing simple tunes. Rick joined me on his guitar, and I have to say we sounded alright. What do you know; another way we can make beautiful music together for the rest of our lives. :-)

That about wraps up our trip to Missouri from . . .

10 comments:

Texan Will Travel said...

Hey, you could bring your dulcimer and play for vespers on the weekend of the wedding! :)

Pat in TN said...

I love dulcimer music and it is very common in this area. (eastTN/western NC) I did not know that it is the simplest and easiest to learn of all stringed instruments, soooo do you mean you have never played one before and that night were playing simple tunes?

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Yes, indeed, that is exactly what I mean! The maker put little numbers on the frets and gave me a starter book; if you can follow numbers with one finger and strum with the other hand, you can play tunes! All the notes are played on the double string, so there are no complicated positions to learn. You can make it more complicated by learning the positions on the other two strings that create harmonies, but it sounds nice when you just strum them in open position, too.

Wrensong Farm said...

Michelle, your knitting is such an inspiration to me! It's SO beautiful!! I need to get more determined to learn..... That dulcimer is gorgeous, next thing I'll be hearing about the Boulderneigh Family Band touring thru Europe!!

country girl said...

A large safety pin works when you forget your cable thing-a-ma-jig. Can you explain more about the "lifeline?" Sounds like something I need.

Deb said...

Michelle,
your knitting is beautiful. I love the color and pattern. I haven't ventured into the world of cables.....too intimidating :)

Your new dulcimer is beautiful. Congratulations...I have several christmas cd's featuring the dulcimer and I just love them.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Country Girl, a lifeline is simply a strand of contrasting material (fine yarn, heavy thread, or like I used - dental floss!) threaded through a row of your knitting. I threaded mine through the last row of the pattern (8-row repeat), and moved it every time I finished a repeat. That way, if you have to rip back, you only lose, at most, seven rows of stitching.

Deb, I was intimidated by cables, too, but the cable in this pattern turned out to be very simple (three stitches on a holder to the back of your knitting, knit three stitches, then knit the three stitches on your holder). BTW, I have gone back to using my cable needle now that I'm home, and it IS much easier than the straight needle "trick." I use the U-shaped needle, rather than the straighter one (like so: ---_____---). I am looking forward to doing more cables now!

Sharon said...

I had a similar experience and ended up bending an aluminum sock needle, which is still my cable needle of choice. Your scarf looks terrific. Lucky you, getting a dulcimer.

Tammy said...

What a beautiful instrument! I love the sounds of the dulicmer, and I didn't realize they were so easy to learn either. How neat.
Tammy

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Just a note for those who may not know, there are two types of dulcimer, the hammered dulcimer and mine, the mountain or lap dulcimer. They sound quite different, although both make beautiful music. I have always loved hammered dulcimer music but the instrument looked like it would be very difficult to learn; when I heard and saw how easy the mountain dulcimer is to learn, I was sold!