Saturday, February 25, 2012

Magical Mystery Mittens

I attended the Soundview Knitting Guild Holiday party last December. During the party there are several gift tables and peoples names are drawn and as you are selected you go up and pick an item. The best item was hands down (no pun intended) the first item picked,  A beautiful pair of handknit mittens. I was so intrigued with them that I took a picture. I then obsessed and tracked down the master knitter who had created them - this itself took many phone calls and emails. She was lovely but explained she had no pattern ( I am an ok knitter but no pattern? not going to happen.

I asked everyone I knew if they could create a pattern from the picture. As you can see it was a detailed pattern, so no easy feat. Finally after subtly begging the most talented knitwear designer I know, Jane Elliot
if she would try,,,, days later she shows me her test mittens, she sends me the pattern that she wrote, we pick out the colors that almost match the originals and the following week POOF here are my mittens

For those of you that are non knitters it is very hard to appreciate the amazing amount of work that went into making the pattern and knitting both the test mittens and my mittens and I am forever indebted to Jane for doing this and doing SUCH an amazing job.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Listening to music- Then and Now

Remember when you got your allowance (mine was $5 a week) and you ran down to the record store (you have heard of records haven't you) and bought your favorite new album and ran home and listened to it- played it over and over again and learned all the songs and all the words to the songs? That is not how it happens now with shuffle....
First of all we now can buy just a song (kind of like the 45's of days of yore). More importantly once you download or upload a cd and it goes into your music file- how often do you listen to the cd in its entirety?
you may choose (as my kids do) to listen to  A SONG over and over again. I know that I almost always either have my music on shuffle - where i frequently find myself saying- "wow what a great song- what is it? I have so much music on my I things (pad, pod, phone) that I would need to be stranded on a desert Island for more than a week to hear all my music consecutively.
I do make playlists and listen to those occasionally but I wonder if artists don't get a really fair shake because I do not get "intimate" enough with the to really "know" their music.
The instant gratification of ITunes or Amazon is very different from the days of old when you sat by your radio (if you could not afford the album) with your tape recorder ready to capture that song when the dJay played it.  (I have since learned that this may have been illegal). The best day to do this was Christmas day because WABC (the pop radio station) played the top 100 countdown- the problem was we were never home on Christmas Day.

Most people know that I am a huge Steve Jobs fan and that I also love instant gratification. The I (pod,pad,phone) has changed my life and how I appreciate music and teach some of that to my kids. For all the good this has caused I can't imagine how many great songs I may never hear.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Black Friday- respect the turkey

What is Thanksgiving anyway? A holiday to give thanks for what we have? celebrate our family and friends? or to go shopping?
This Thanksgiving the answer would have to be GO SHOPPING. With the economy so bad stores decided to not wait until 4 am (which is ridiculous enough) to open but decided to wait until black friday actually began - at Midnight.
We always are in Virginia with cousins for the Thanksgiving holiday - so we drop by Tysons Corner Macys to help out, check their stock and drop off few holiday goodies. Knowing that we are always trying to fit in some sightseeing on Friday, I thought stopping by at Midnight would be much easier, less crowded and would save us time in the am. BOY WAS I WRONG. Driving to the mall at about 12:10 am I passed the wildly long line at Best Buy (which had been there when we went to our cousins 12 hours earlier-

 a little shorter then).
Although Best Buy had opened at midnight the line was still wrapped around the door.

 I proceeded to Tysons Corner and spent 35 minutes trying to find a space. People were already dropping off boxes in their cars and going back for more.

Upon entering it was a party atmosphere. Large groups of people shopping together, LONG lines at all the registers, people with strollers and babies (remember it was now 1 A.M.). It could have been a sale day at noon the crowds were so crazy. I left by about 2 but understand that it was extremely busy until between 3am and 4 am. Personally if I was a Black Friday shopper I  would prefer the Midnight  to the 4 or 5 am shopping time. In actuality I am so thankful to spend time with the various parts of our family that  we get to see on Thanksgiving that I will forego shopping at all (on Black Friday). It did seem to bolster sales and help make this a better retail season than in previous years.