Dior and I–what I’ve been watching

This 2014 documentary chronicled the first 8-weeks that menswear designer Raf Simons served as the new Creative Director for Christian Dior.  In those 8 weeks back in 2012, he was tasked with designing, producing and showing his first women’s Dior collection.  Staff introductions at Dior were quick, and then everyone went to work.  The 8 weeks can be summed up as:  Artist drapes fabric on a model; amazing skilled craftsmen (both men and women) read his mind and make an entire collection happen.  There was scolding by Raf, followed by flowers.  The collection came together due to the amazing skill and dedication of the inhouse craftsmen.  Long hours were involved…for the craftsmen.

The unveiling of the collection before an audience of fashion critics and influencers, was the climax of the documentary.  In the minutes before the show, Raf sat at a table on a balcony and cried with fear and self doubt to a friend, as the staff was scurrying around to make the show happen.  Before the show, he had informed his organizers that he was too shy to take to the runway at the end of the show and be acknowledged by the audience.  He flat refused to appear before the audience.

The venue for the show was an old vacant mansion.  Here is a model approaching the audience-filled showroom, while in the background, the next model is ascending the stairs.

Model approaching

Raf’s vision was to cover all of the walls of the showrooms in fresh flowers.  The aroma must have been overpowering.

The scene moved to the showroom, where the guests were all seated and the fashion show was underway.  There sitting in the middle of my TV screen was Harvey Weinstein, flanked by young beautiful blonde women.  His presence was sickening.  His leer was gag inducing.

Weinstein

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Before the show was over, and while the procession of models was still underway, the Raf who was ‘too shy to appear on the runway and be acknowledged’, darted onto the runway between models, and did a runway stroll, soaking in the crowd’s adoration.  What an ending.

Taking my thoughts back to Dior HQ for a moment.  What the craftsmen and craftswomen did to create garments and an entire collection, from the vague, rough drawings and drapings by the ‘creative director’, was simply unbelievable.  I’d love to meet them and visit them at work.  It was truly fascinating.  For this, I recommend the documentary.

The documentary was filmed in 2012, when Raf was initially hired by the Dior company. Less than three years later, Raf had moved on, to the label bearing Calvin Klein’s name but now owned by another corporation.

Movie website: http://www.diorandimovie.com/

IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3539664/ 

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dior_and_I

DIY Front Door Awning

An awning was not what I planned to sew this week, but the fabric on the existing one gave out.

The backstory:  Two years ago, my brother helped me enclose my front porch, which I love, but it left no cover for someone standing at my front door.  It also made the front of my house very plain looking.  I went shopping for an awning online.  It looked like I’d be spending $500-$1000 for an awning just for my entry door, and I wasn’t sure the dimensions would be right.  Enter thoughts of a DIY project.

Some quick online research showed that my idea of making an awning frame out of PVC pipe had merit.  I found some great examples and advice, such as this one on the Instructables website.  My brother had mentioned that awnings with a 45° angle seemed to be the sturdiest, so that’s what I started designing.

The frame needed to be secure on the exterior while giving the entry door room to swing open and closed.  It took one do-over to get the frame dimensions right.  When I was installing the frame to the house, a neighbor guy saw me on the ladder wrestling with the frame, and came over to help.  Many thanks to him, for making the job a lot easier with a team of two.

Here is the frame complete and installed over the doorway, attached to the exterior with galvanized pipe strapping and deck screws.

Awning frame1 w

Awning frame2 w

Next step was to design and sew the fabric awning.  I chose a pvc-lined canvas fabric from Walmart.  It was $5/yard.  I don’t have a product link to share, because it doesn’t appear to be offered on their website.  The woven fabric was super easy to cut and sew.  The fabric is more brittle than I wanted, but it is waterproof, and I was willing to give it a try for the first one.  I fastened the fabric awning to the frame with velcro strips.

Amazingly, the first awning withstood every bit of wind, rain, snow, ice and hail we had here in south-central Kansas for the past year and a half.  But this month, the fabric failed.  The awning frame is as secure as the day I installed it.  But the fabric now literally tears like paper, and started falling apart.

While I shop for a more durable fabric, I’ve made a quick replacement from more of the Walmart fabric.   It should last another year at least, while I try to perfect the next choice of fabric and tweak the construction.

The process:

This awning takes three pieces of fabric:

  • A 48 x 48 inch square, for the top piece
  • Two triangular pieces, each 30 x 40 x 43 x 4 inches, for the awning sides.  (These two pieces need to be mirror images.)

After cutting out my fabric pieces, I turned under the fabric edges 1/2″ and hemmed it for a finished look.  

Awning fabric PVC side w

Velcro tabs are sewn onto the awning to anchor it to the frame.  

Underneath view w

The top piece is tacked to the side triangles in four places on each side, rather than sewing the entire sides together.  That is intended to make it less susceptible to wind, by leaving vents for wind to get through.

This picture shows how the top overlaps the side about two inches, hiding the ‘vents’.  

Awning side w

To tack those top edges down so they don’t stick out on the sides so much, I used a Buttoneer.  Remember those TV commercials from the 70s?

The Buttoneer is still sold, and mine has been an amazingly useful gadget.  The Amazon reviews give it 2/5 stars, and some reviewers say it’s not the quality of the original ones.  If so, that’s disappointing indeed.  I’ve had mine for years, and wouldn’t want to be without it.

Buttoneer

Initially, the front awning hem was not hanging quite straight.  Annoying, but a quick fix, again using the Buttoneer.

Awning front before straighten w

Here is the awning after using the Buttoneer to tack down the sides and straighten the front.  

Awning tacked w

Materials used:

  • PVC pipe
  • PVC primer and cement
  • Pipe strapping
  • Deck/siding screws
  • Outdoor waterproof fabric (2.5 yds of 60 inch wide fabric) to make the top and two side triangles.
  • Velcro

The total cost of the awning materials was about $25.  Compare that to the purchased awning prices I was seeing, in the $500-$1000 range.

Final thoughts on this awning.

  • The first awning I made was light colored, so the PVC frame was not conspicuous.  From the angle of someone on the street, it still doesn’t show under the new dark green fabric.  But if you are up close enough to see under the awning, it really stands out against the dark fabric.  I’m thinking of painting the PVC a dark color.
  • I’d like to add a more attractive bottom edge to the awning.  I’m plotting and scheming for what that should look like.

In the meantime, anyone who comes to my door (me included) has a bit of shelter.

 

Creamy Wild Rice Soup–what I’ve been making

This is a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) recipe I tried this week after seeing others recommending it.  They were right; it’s simple and scrumptious.

The recipe calls for carrots, celery, onion, and mushrooms; all chopped.  My own twist was to use dehydrated ingredients from my pantry.  It worked out great!  Oooh, the possibilities!

Here’s the link to the recipe: Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup

My assembled ingredients:

Wild Rice soup ingredients2 w RSR

(All of my ingredients are dry or dehydrated, except the mushrooms.  I only had canned mushrooms on hand, and didn’t want to postpone making the soup.)

What it looked like in the pot, before adding the water and cooking:

Dried wild rice soup w RSR

A bowl of soup!

Bowl of soup w

My dehydrated carrots were grated, which made them too small for the orange color to stand out.  Next time I dehydrate carrots, I’ll chop some of them instead of grating the whole batch.

This was my first experience ever with actual wild rice.  (The recipe emphasizes to use only wild rice and not a rice blend.)  It turned out perfect; thanks to the recipe and the pressure cooker.

While I savored the delicious soup, someone else chewed an old boot.  We were both happy.  

Myrtle boot w RSR

Gift idea!  Using this recipe, I’ve decided to package the dehydrated and dry ingredients into gift soup mixes for my family members who have pressure cookers.  I’ll be able to give it a label that says, “Just add water and margarine.”

This is what the inside of an electric blanket looks like

The middle of the blanket wasn’t getting warm, but the sides were really warm.  The possibility of a short in the wiring concerned me, so I decided to investigate.

With my seam ripper, I opened the end of the blanket opposite the plug.  Turns out the heating element wires are sewn to a piece of non-woven interfacing, that is then sewn into the side seams of the blanket.  The problem was that the interfacing had ripped in half down the middle.  The two halves moved apart and started bunching at the sides.

Here is what it looked like when I turned it inside out and started rearranging the wires in the middle.  What a mess.  While arranging them, I looked them over for damage or deterioration.  Everything looked fine.

Ripped webbing w

Once I had the wires spread out, I used some black #3 crochet cotton from my stash, to make anchor stitches to hold the wires in place.  I stitched through one side of the blanket, since it was futile to try stitching the interfacing back together.

anchor stitches w

The stitching went quickly, thanks to my super useful long doll needle.

Doll needle w

When I had enough stitches to keep the wires distributed across the blanket, I tied a knot, and turned the blanket right side out again.  Amazingly, the little black stitches barely show on the blue-gray pile:

Closeup of stitches w arrows w

I used a big running stitch to close the blanket back up temporarily, in case I need to open it up and make more adjustments.

hem stitches w

Here’s a shot of the whole blanket.  It’s a super soft minky-type fabric.

Finished blanket w

So far, the fix is working out nicely.  I’m having to share the blanket with the foster pup, but that’s mostly working out, too.

Myrtle blanket w

I’m one of those people who is cold all the time, so electric blankets are pretty nice to keep around.



Welcome to my new blog layout.  It was time for a change.  For now, it’s a slight shock every time I see the bigger text and photos.  I’ll be tweaking a few more things until it’s the way I want it.  Ultimately, I hope it gives a better reading and viewing experience.



 

Happy 2nd Anniversary to my Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)

The Wednesday after cyber-Monday two years ago, this badass appliance arrived and changed my kitchen life forever.

instant-pot

Things I now make in the Instant Pot:  

  • Hard boiled eggs–that come out perfect every. single. time.
  • Refried beans–I may never buy canned refried beans again.  They take minutes in the pressure cooker, instead of hours.
  • Burrito fillings–In one pot I can thaw, crumble and brown the meat and then cook it with the spices and beans, to fill a big batch of freezer burritos.
  • Yogurt–Using a gallon of milk and 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, I can make a big batch of yogurt to freeze in portions for smoothies on demand.
  • Applesauce–Apples + water + pressure cooker = applesauce in minutes, to be eaten and/or frozen in portions.
  • Soups— Some of my faves have simply been adapted from crock pot recipes.  Easy.
  • Wine!–My first batch of wine using these instructions came out fine, so I’ve got a second batch in progress.  I changed a couple of steps, to make it er, more drinkable.  Once I made the changes, I had something I would actually drink a glass of now and then.
  • Other foods–Cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, pumpkin puree, spaghetti squash.  All of these take just one or two ingredients and a few minutes of prep time.

Meals–I’ve seen some pictures of amazing beef, pork, seafood and poultry meals from pressure cookers by first-time and novice users.  If you have several mouths to feed, I think the Instant Pot meal possibilities are limitless.

Desserts–Lots of people make desserts in their pressure cooker.  I’ve seen scrumptious photos of cheesecakes and other goodies, but I haven’t tried my own yet.  It will happen, though.

Adapting recipes to the Pressure Cooker — I’ve had great luck adapting crock pot (aka slow cooker) recipes to the pressure cooker.  It has usually been as simple as reducing the cooking time from hours to minutes.  There are some helpful conversion charts that can be found online.  Food colors and textures are generally more fresh and bright with the pressure cooker than the same dish cooked in the crock pot.

Here are some handy pressure cooking time charts for lots of different foods. https://www.meredithlaurence.com/pressure-cooking-101/cooking-charts/

Now, a little demonstration.

LASAGNE SOUP!

This week, I made this Lasagne Soup recipe.  (The link is to a pdf download of the recipe.)  A few views from the soup preparation:

The meat in the steamy picture below is browning quickly on the ‘Sauté’ setting.  

instant-pot saute buttonSaute a

Assembled here are the remaining ingredients to add to the browned meat.  

Lasagne soup ingredients2 a

All ingredients are now in the pot, ready for pressure cooking on the Beans/Chili setting.  That big chunk in the middle is a cup of frozen V-8.  Frozen ingredients can be tossed in frozen.  The pressure cooker takes it from there. 

Lasagne soup ready for PC ainstant-pot bean chili button

After the pressure has released, add the rest of the water and the dry pasta, and set on ‘Slow Cook’ for 30 minutes.

Pasta water

instant-pot slow cook button

Then the soup is ready to eat.  Ladle some soup into a bowl and add a scoop of Cheese Mixture, which will start melting.

Lasagne soup ready to eat w

More About Electric Pressure Cookers:

Other brands.  You don’t have to buy an ‘Instant Pot‘.  There are less expensive models that do most or all of the same functions.  A couple of weeks after getting my Instant Pot, and having realized how amazing it is, I spotted a display in Walmart of their Farberware electric pressure cookers left over from Black Friday.  The Farberwares were $39.  I got some of the Farberwares for gifts.  Turns out the Farberware is everything the Instant Pot is, but without a separate yogurt button.  (It can still do yogurt.)  Aldi occasionally offers an electric  pressure cooker for $39, and I’m guessing it is just as user-friendly as the Instant Pot and Farberware versions.

Scary?  No!  Pressure cookers have been around for several generations.  I too was terrified of my grandma’s stovetop pressure cooker when it would shoot steam out the top like a locomotive.  Rest assured, the electric pressure cookers now on the market aren’t scary.  You can release the pressure manually, but otherwise, the operation is well contained inside the pot, with easy labels on the control buttons–labels like “yogurt”, “saute”, and “keep warm”, that do exactly what the button says.

Where to get pressure cooker advice:

  • Facebook groups:  There are Instant Pot groups on Facebook that are full of recipes and tips for using your pressure cooker.  My favorite group is actually for the Farberware model.  From the Farberware group, I’ve gotten recipes, troubleshooting tips, and discount codes for pans and other accessories useful with the pressure cooker.
  • Useful Websites.  Here are two sites I consult regularly:
  • Cookbooks (lots of them):  Every day, there are free Instant Pot cookbooks available in the Amazon Kindle store.
  • YouTube:  Lots of recipe and instructional videos are available on YouTube.

This 1949 pressure cooker commercial is done as a cute sitcom.  Much of the dialogue is even funnier now, 70 years later.  Mixed into the fun story are some great basic explanations of how a pressure cooker cooks.

[Teenage Carol:  “I wanted to cook the first meal, with mother just helping.  Like most elderly people, she had doubts.  But she finally gave in.”  Haha!]

The ‘nuts and bolts’ pressure cooker segments are found here:

  • At 9:50 how pressure cooking works
  • At 16:50 more pressure cooker facts and tips

[I’m dying to know if Carol and Jack ended up together. ❤ ]



If you prefer to not download a document, here is the text of the Lasagne Soup recipe:

LASAGNE SOUP
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
3 c. beef broth (I use 1 T. beef bouillon powder and 3 c. water)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. dried parsley
1 T. dried basil
½ c. chopped onion (2 T. if dehydrated)
1 c. V8 Juice
¼ t. pepper
¼ t. salt
2 c. uncooked shell pasta or rotini
1 c. of water
1. Brown meat in the pressure cooker, on the ‘Saute’ setting.  Drain.
2. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste.  Add the rest of the ingredients except 1 c. of water and the pasta.  Cook on ‘Bean/Chili’ or ‘Manual’ for 5-7 minutes.  Let the pressure release naturally.
3. After the pressure has released, open the cooker and add the remaining water and pasta. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on the ‘Slow Cook’ or ‘Keep Warm’ setting until pasta is tender (about more 30 minutes).
4. Ladle the soup into bowls.
5. Drop a 2T ball of Cheese Mixture (see below) into each bowl of hot soup.  Serve.
*Makes apx 20 ladles of soup.
*The soup can be frozen in individual portions for a microwavable bowl of soup on demand.
Cheese Mixture
4 oz. Shredded Mozzarella
1 c. Cottage Cheese
¼ c. Grated Parmesan
1. Mix cheeses together.
2. Spoon 2 T. of cheese mixture into each bowl of soup.
*Makes apx. 30 scoops.
*To freeze cheese mixture, scoop in 2 T. portions onto cookie sheet and freeze. When frozen, transfer the portions to a freezer bag and place in freezer for later use on demand.
[Adapted from a crock pot recipe found at onehundreddollarsamonth.com]



Myrtle the 4-month-old foster pup came to my house this week.  She was interested in being my sous chef, until she discovered the heated throw on the couch.  Now she’s just a cute puppy head sticking out of a warm blanket.  She will be with me for about a month while her skin condition is treated.  Soon she’ll have a pretty furry face, instead of bare skin.

Myrtle heated blanket

Shopping and Giving Agenda

Museum Store Sunday!  Today, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, is now known as Museum Store Sunday.  I won’t get to a museum store in person today, but I do love museum stores.  When I look up a museum’s website, I don’t just look at their collection, location, hours, and admission price.  I always take a few moments to peruse their online store.  I can’t help it.  The items are always so unique to that particular museum.

Here are some of my recent fave museum shops:

Cyber Monday is tomorrow.  Sigh.  I don’t need anything.  But unplanned things happen on Cyber Monday.  It’s anyone’s guess as to whether I’ll give in to some unplanned purchase.  I shall try to resist.

Giving Tuesday is coming up in two days.  Giving is a deeply personal concept. Do any of us need an annual day to remind us to give?  No.  Show me one person who doesn’t give generously to others, year ’round, either with funds or with volunteerism.  That person will be hard to find.

To me, the value in Giving Tuesday is the reminder to stop and reflect on what we do for others, and why we do it.  My focus has radically evolved over the years, ranging from:

Children (Big Brothers Big Sisters)

BBBS Canoe Trip RSR

Animals in need (fostering homeless doggos for the humane society)

Food kitchens and pantries, warm wear for homeless

Balaclava a RSR

  • volunteering at the history museum
  • supporting public television
  • donating to every single kid who rings the doorbell with a school fundraiser

And then there are the disaster-stricken areas.  Who isn’t moved to give when family homes are decimated by Mother Nature?  We all step up and give when people need us to give.

A bit of what I’ve been reflecting on lately:  I feel my interests drifting toward advocating for affordable and accessible transportation options, and protection of rights of the down and out.  Since becoming a bike commuter several years ago, this struggling sector of our population has become more visible to me.  You see a lot more from a bicycle than a car.  Meanwhile, it looks like I’ll be bringing home another foster pup this week, for a month of Rx and socialization.  Tough duty, not.  ❤

So don’t think of Giving Tuesday as an admonishment, or an obligation, or as that barrage of corporate charity emails and envelopes arriving in the mail for the next two months asking for your monetary donation.  Use it to reflect with warmth and a measure of satisfaction on those things you do for others, and resolve to keep helping in those areas you feel are most important.  Carry on.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a lovely Thanksgiving Day tomorrow!  Yes, it is a US holiday, but this is me ignoring countries and borders, and inviting you wherever you are, to share in the gathering of hearts.  And heck, have some people over for a big, delicious meal, too.  🙂

I’ve made pumpkin bread to take to our little gathering…the details of which are still being worked out.  Little details such as at whose house, and who will be attending.  Nothing like last minute planning.  Again.  This is how my family does things.  And I’m deeply thankful for them.

My pumpkin bread recipe:


PUMPKIN BREAD

Bowl #1

  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 t. salt

Bowl #2

  • 2 c. white sugar
  • 1 c. vegetable oil (or half unsweetened applesauce)
  • 4 eggs
  • 15 oz. pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
  • 1/2 c. water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or line with parchment paper three medium loaf pans, or two 9×5 inch loaf pans, (the smaller pans work better for me).  Stir together the Bowl #1 ingredients.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl (Bowl #2), beat together sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin.  Stir in contents of Bowl #1, adding alternately with water.  (‘Add alternately’ means to add the remaining ingredients in portions a little of each at a time.  For example, add about 1 c. dry with 1 Tbsp water, several times, until there’s nothing left to add.)
  3. Divide batter evenly between the prepared loaf pans.
  4. Bake for about 40 minutes (up to 60 or 70 minutes for larger pans).  Use toothpick test for doneness.  For best flavor and slicing, store wrapped overnight before serving.

Does anyone besides me have to wipe away tears at the last scene in Raising Arizona, with the Thanksgiving dinner?

 

Black Friday is for Football!

The morning after Thanksgiving, you’ll find me at the football stadium, shivering in the grey, chilly weather, and cheering the Kansas Jayhawks vs. Texas.  It will be a sort of rematch of the game with the awesome finish two years ago.  Texas has a different coach this time around.  For Kansas, this will be the last game for a beloved, talented, competitive group of seniors, and the farewell game for our hard-working coach of the past four years.  Lots riding on the line for both teams.

There is no cold like stadium cold.  When it is 50 degrees and cloudy, it feels like 20 in the stadium.  We froze at this game two years ago.  That’s why my video was shaky at the start.  I couldn’t stop shivering.  This year, I’m prepared, with a totally awesome ‘Aldi Find’, a wearable sleeping bag!

Sleeping bag onsie RSR

Unfortunately, my family has strongly hinted that they won’t sit with me at the game if I wear this, so … other options are being considered.

After the game I’ll shop some of the best-ever small businesses, that just happen to be less than a mile from the stadium:

Update:  Looks like I’ll do a little online small business shopping, too.  Tilly and the Buttons is having a Black Friday sale on her sewing patterns. ❤  Link: https://shop.tillyandthebuttons.com/collections/all 

One pattern; Two very different sweaters

This is the knitting pattern.  It’s a free download from Lionbrand.  Link: http://www.lionbrand.com/knitting-pattern-sideways-cable-pullover-1.html

Knit-Pattern-Sideways-Cable-Pullover-L32178-a

The pattern calls for Vanna’s Choice yarn, which comes in a lot of colors, is economically priced, and easy to find in the required quantities.

The first time I made the pattern, I stuck to the script, using the prescribed yarn and sizing for the cropped waist-length style.  The yarn color was called ‘Goldfish’ (not offered now).  I think it’s a great Autumn color.  The only variation I made was adding the thin pink tips for interest.  I really enjoyed making the sweater.  It has traveled well.  I have loved wearing it; usually paired with black jeans and boots.  The big fold-over neck is a built-in muffler under a coat in cold weather.  IMG_20181026_174022972a

Pumpkin sweater-aw RSR

Its latest wearing was this past week, to a local art gallery where Cartoonist-to-The-Beatles, Ron Campbell was appearing and exhibiting his works.  This was a no-photos event, so I can only show you what he has published on line.  You can check out his webpage, and this very cool 11-second time-lapse video.

I wish I’d had more advance notice; to plan, shop and decide on one of his prints.  The prices were enough that I’d want to plan ahead rather than purchasing on impulse.  Watching these videos, I badly want another chance to shop his prints.

Sweater #2

The second making of this pattern came when I fell in love with a skein of vibrant teal Red Heart Soft yarn in the bin at Joann’s.  The store only had the one skein in that color, but the label said ‘no dye lot’, so all I had to do was wait for the stock to be replenished, right?  Wrong!  When more of the color came in, it had a noticeably greener cast.  Drat.  I had already knitted an entire sleeve with the ‘good’ color skein.

I knitted on, incorporating two other yarns as stripes to keep the different teal colors separated.  One of the yarns is reflective.  I also added two additional cables to the bottom for a less-cropped shape.  I was disappointed even as I continued to knit, because I had initially envisioned a solid colored sweater in that gorgeous teal color of the first skein.  I wasn’t sure I wanted a striped version.

It became a UFO (unfinished object).  When the pieces were all knitted, I left them sitting in a pile for the rest of the winter.  Then, late last Spring, I finally picked them back up and decided it was worth seaming them together to at least see how the sweater would look.  The result was a surprise.  I loved it.  But with warm weather on the doorstep, the sweater was boxed up after just one test-wearing.

Teal sweater2-aw RSR

Lindsey Buckingham!

Fast forward to this Fall, and the newly-finished teal sweater with reflective bits finally got its first full outing–to a concert.  Lindsey Buckingham brought his solo show to our area.  He was witty and had great stories.  His live music was exceptionally good.  His energy never waned.  Neither did the crowd’s, because who can sit still when you’ve got visions of the Family Truckster careening down a Kansas road?

Lindsey Buckingham1 RSR

His band is really superb.

Lindsey Buckingham2 RSR

Wrap-up of the sweater projects:

  • The most basic advice, that you already know:  Buy all of the yarn you need for a project before you start.  ‘No dye lot’ on the label does not mean no variations in color.
  • Here are the yarns used in the blue-teal sweater:
    • Red Heart Soft, color Teal–The gauge was very close to Vanna’s Choice, but this yarn is softer and has less body.  It is comfortable on the skin, but the collar will need some added support to hold its shape.
    • Red Heart Reflective, color: Peacock –Slightly bulkier gauge, but was fine for stripes and cuffs.
    • Big Twist Premium Solids, color:  Peacock–This line has been discontinued per Ravelry.  It’s a medium/4 weight, but slightly more dense than Vanna’s Choice and RedHeart Soft.
  • I recommend the pattern, if you love making cables and bobbles like I do.
  • The sweater is knit all in one piece, so it gets to be a bulky parcel to carry around.  The blue sweater was more ‘portable’, since I broke it into pieces.  But that meant more stitching pieces together at the end.

More of Lindsey….

[When he gets to the last minute or so of Never Going Back Again, I wonder how the Mac ever decided it was a good idea to part ways with this performer.]

A surprise fave from the concert was I Must Go.

He never actually said the name of his former band, but he closed his encore with an inspired version of Treason.

Lindsey’s got a new album coming out early next year, with more touring planned.

Bohemian Rhapsody–what I’ve been watching

The movie theater was drafty and cold, so I kept my coat on while I contemplated leaving before the movie started, as I was being subjected to a continuous stream of ads for pharmaceuticals and other seedy products and services, before the 20 minute barrage of coming attractions.  An attendant pointed me to a warmer part of the theater, the actual movie finally started playing, and I’m glad I stayed.

When I got home, I got out my Live Aid DVD set to watch in the morning.  And I yearned for light blue jeans, white blouses and Reeboks to make a come back.  If you are a music fan, I say listen not to the critics, but to other music fans, and see this movie on the big screen.

For more Queen music…

The One Night of Queen live tribute show came to my town a few years ago.  I enthusiastically recommend it.  You will think you are seeing Freddie on stage:

Queen Gary Mullen tribute