Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This Isn't Exactly About Knitting...But It is About Something Else I Love

I love music. With my whole head, heart and soul. Music has a deep meaning for me. When I was a kid, I had a very hard time expressing myself. Music can express how I'm feeling, many times better than I personally can. I've played piano all my life. I started flute in 5th grade, but kind of fell out of it in college. I started organ at the age of 14 and have been in love since.

I try very hard to not let idiots get to me, especially when they are ripping on my music. It is sad that I work for TWO parishes, and I hear so many negative things about how I play. Sometimes, yes I truly deserve to get picked on (like the time I was chewing gum...that was just dumb on E's part.) However, I have been picked on for tempos, my experience for playing and very recently, for being "too close" to the cantor. Sadly this is a realization of church life that musicians must get past.

I may not be the absolute best piano player out there, but I try very hard to do what I do well. I can only hope that the people I work for appreciate the hard work I put into all forms of my music.

It is a shame that not all my friends have always taken an interest in my music. At UWGB, many of my friends never heard my music. It wasn't until my friends Nina and Mark got married did some of my close friends from UWGB even hear my organ talents, however they seemed very impressed, so the wait was surly worth it. And who knows, a few of them aren't married yet;) And it wasn't until I dragged my poor knitting friends to the worst venue to play at (known as the Village Grill) did that group of friends get to see another side of me as well.

I love my grand pianos...

So I decided to post a little of my music up on my blog here so all my good friends can listen to my music. My good friend Joe Stawicki and I have an obsession for Christmas Music. I know that sounds strange, but we like to go into the practice rooms and do some Christmas duets. One of us will make up parts while the other will keep the melody going. We take turns so we both have the opportunity to do both parts.

Probably the Best Slideshow Ever...

My other friend, Brigid, agreed to help me record some Church music for my mom for her birthday. We recorded 10 songs in 2 hours...we were both very pleased with our music too. To see that slideshow/music please go to this link:

Blest Are They

Finally, I recorded some of Nina and Marks' wedding music with Maggie Walsingham on vocals. (Let's face it--no matter what Jennifer McAllister says, I do not, will not, and can ever not be an amazing singer. I have other gifts God has given me, but singing is NOT one of those...) This is the link to the slideshow to the Wedding with music!

McCormick Wedding: The Prayer

Anyways, I hope you enjoy my music!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Best Idea Ever!

So sometimes I don't always think things through when it comes to knitting...

This used to be a disaster...

Some of the most simple problems that I come across are solved by my friends. I tend to panic and refuse to experiment with my knitting. This is because I'd like to do the project one time and one time only. I hate making knitting mistakes because that will result in me traveling over to the Yarn Whispers' House anyways...so I might as well do it right away. However, I will say to my defense is I am TRYING to experiment first and then ask for help later, you aren't going to become any better at knitting if you don't try new things first!

Anyways, one of my biggest downfalls is the fact my yarn tangles up all the time! A few weeks ago, I casted on with some beautiful lace merino wool from JJ Wool. I was quite content making my lace scarf, however, the more I knitted with my JJ Wool, the more I realized how similar it was to my James C. Bertt Marble Chunky in the fact that the yarn tends to felt on itself leaving me (and when I mean me, I mean go over to Zoe's house) to untangle the mess.

It wasn't till I went to Stitches Midwest where I met my dream come true.

The Fibersphere!!!!!!!!!

It really is "The Ultimate in Fiber Protection"

I really wanted one...but the problem was, my money was budged out to other expenses, therefore I could not purchase my own Fibersphere. Naturally, my other friend purchased her own. I decided I would eventually purchase something like the Fibersphere to help prevent me from getting all tangled up in yarn. Especially with this JJ Wool. I would knit a row and then what do you know...it would get all tangled up...AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN!!!

I was walking around the market on Saturday and the owner of The Fibersphere asked me if I was ready to purchase one yet. I didn't have the money to pay for one. The kind man agreed to a haggle and I purchased the Fibersphere for 10.00 instead of the usual 20.00...if I agreed to blog about my fibersphere experiences.

Well here I am putting up my end of the bargin. Let me tell you, since I have started using this Fibersphere on my JJ Wool Lace Scarf, I have had NO PROBLEMS with it! I repeat NO PROBLEMS! The yarn stays in its little ball and it can hop into my purse or bag ready for knitting at anytime. I can actually spend time knitting on my scarf instead of untangling yarn (or getting my friends to do it for me.) The best part of this tool is you can take your project out of it anytime...without cutting the yarn!
Why didn't anybody think of this before?

Truly the most magical knitting tool in existence! I am excited that I can complete this scarf in a timely manner because I won't be spending all day untangling yarn that decides to felt up whenever it damn well pleases!

Please purchase one if you have the chance!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stitches 2010

I finally went to a Stitches Convention!

I've never ever been!

It was the best weekend ever...I won about 4 balls of yarns, 60 Quick Knits Book, a tote, some pins and a few new friends! I got mega-inspired in a few new techniques; needle felting and bead knitting. Of coarse I bought some yarn as well, my mother was not too thrilled about the amount of yarn that I brought home. Little does she know that I did not bring all of my yarn home yet. My two friends Zoe and Tanya brought some of my luggage home because we couldn't carry it on the commuter train.

If you have the chance to check out a Stitches Festival (or any other festival) you should!!! (Although I'm quite sure that most of the people that read blogs know this all ready;0)

My favorite part of the trip was the PJ Party. The party took place on Friday night. Zoe, Tanya and I did our best to dress up in a creative style so we had a chance at winning some awesome door prizes! Turns out that Tanya ended up winning first place in the crazy PJ contest with her sweet Monkey PJs! I got runner up with another gal. I was wearing an "I <3 style="text-align: center;">Zoe, Me and Tanya, sitting in the lobby wearing our cool PJs!

We got to meet two nice ladies: Sue and her daughter(?). We knitted with them for a while before they returned to bed. Then we got to meet Kimberly, who was hosting the knitting party! She showed us how to spin yarn spindle. I was quite impressed. But nobody was as impressed as my friend Zoe, who was very intrigued. Turns out the next day, we were at a booth and the owner sold Zoe her last spindle with some free Rovaine on it. Very cool!

See, it kinda looks like a rock???

As for me, I decided to try some needle felting. I went to Esther's Place and did a demo project. I made a rockin' (no pun intended since it does look like a rock) I "felt" finally my art skills were coming to use in my knitting. I purchased a flower felting kit later that day for only 15.00. I needlefelted in the lobby about an hour after the purchase...I just couldn't help it!

In conclusion, if you can, go to Stitches! And who knows...maybe something good will come out of it!!