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I haven’t knit a thing in the last couple of months, although I carry yarn and needles with me virtually everywhere. I have, however, kept quite busy. Mostly reading and working and hanging out with the family and kitties.

I’ve also had a wench rehearsal or two, and in fact we have a performance scheduled for tonight at a local downtown bar/eatery*. I am so excited! I love performing so much, especially with my wench troupe. We have the most fun!

Not sure if I mentioned it here in an earlier post, but I’ve decided that the troupe needs its own songs. Originals. Written for us, to suit our act and to expand our repertoire. That way, if and when we record a second album, it will have some really new material interspersed with traditional wench/pub songs. Fun, right? Right!

Alas, none of the other wenches feels she has the requisite skills to undertake songwriting… not even the group’s twice-published novelist.

After a bit of discussion, we decided that I should do it. After all, I’m the one who really wants it done. I’m the one who suggested it. And I’m the one who’s written a song for us before, albeit only one (i.e., the Men’s Birthday Ditty)… a year and a half ago. Never mind that the women’s version has been unfinished since that time, that I haven’t been quite able to get it right.

Anyhoo, I was pressed (by our first album‘s producer) to declare how many songs I intended to write for the group this year, which sent me into spasms of frightened laughter, as “intend to” seems entirely the wrong term. “Hope to” seems far more appropriate. And I do hope to write a total of six songs for us to incorporate into our act… and into our next album, should we record one. So I said that, or something similar, laughed at my presumption and pooh-poohed the compliments and assurances of my sister wenches and our producer, who all declared their faith in my talent and ability to do this thing.

Yeah, right.

And that same night, not an hour later, as I was driving home from rehearsal, the germ of a song came to me, a lyric line, complete with its melody. By the time I went to bed, I had a chorus and the structure for the rest of the song laid out in my mind.

The next morning, in a little over an hour, I had the first song written, and with some technical help from BC17, I recorded a stripped-down version and sent it off to the group for input.

To a woman, they loved it! We’re going to work out parts, etc., at our pre-show rehearsal this evening, and it will be a real song!

Wanna see the lyrics?

Sure, you do!

Check it out:

A Man Like That

I want a man who knows my hills and dales,

One who’ll keep my garden wet,

Who’ll chase the wolves and never fail

To give me puss a pet.

 

(chorus)

Have you ever met a man like that,

A man who’s made like that?

Who’ll plow your fields both day and night?

Have you ever met a man like that?

 

I want a man who sets my soul on fire,

A man with heaven’s keys,

Who gives new meaning to “oh, god!”

And who brings me to my knees.

 

(chorus)

Have you ever met a man like that,

A man who’s made like that?

With an angel’s smile and a devil’s touch?

Have you ever met a man like that?

 

I want a man to tower over me,

Who is masterfully built.

A solid man who’ll stand the test of time,

With calves to rock a kilt.

 

(chorus)

Have you ever met a man like that?

A man who’s made like that?

With shoulders you can prop your feet up on?

Have you ever met a man like that?

 

I want a man who can take the heat

Who will stoke my forge and fire,

Who pounds my metal hot and sweet,

And shapes my heart’s desire.

 

(chorus)

Have you ever met a man like that?

A man who’s made like that?

A man who knows just when to strike?

Have you ever met a man like that?

 

You can spend your life in drudgery

Feeling lonely, sad or fat.

But you’ll never see who’s right in front of you.

No, you’ll never meet a man like that.

 

(final chorus)

So lift your head and fluff your girls,

Sing and dance and laugh.

Give the game of life a loving whirl.

Don’t you know a man likes that?

Don’t you know we all like that?

© 2014 Toni Finley All Rights Reserved

I know it loses quite a bit in the translation to words on a screen. If I could figure out how to embed my little recording of it, I would. Sadly, I do not. **

On that same fateful drive home from rehearsal, I also had the idea for second song! It plays with and  off of the idea of the wenches being the musical instruments a minstrel group might play… And it’s nearly finished, too. In fact, I thought it was a fait accompli, but I’ve decided I want it to end differently, so I shall be tweaking it further after I finish this long-overdue post.

And I think I’ve worked out the wenches’ birthday thing, too… although what I’ve come up with may be too short and simple. We shall see.

Still, I feel so productive! And only mildly guilty that I’ve nothing on the needles. Still, with WWKIP week coming up in only one short week,*** I feel a growing compunction to get back to the ol’ KPKP, if you know what I mean. The urge has been building, and I can resist anything but temptation.

I am, after all, a wench. ;-)

* It’s called The Midnight. We go on at 9:30, probably doing two sets. We’re headlining, which sounds very fancy, but really means a couple of guys we don’t know and didn’t pick are gonna play guitar and sing before us. Still, headlining has a nice delusion of grandeur ring to it. Come on down and hang out with us, if you can and are so inclined. We’d love to see you.

** Oh. Apparently, I have to pay for a “space upgrade” to post sound files. Grrrr. I think, instead, I’ll post a link to a Youtube recording of it later, once we’ve made one and published it.

*** June 14-21, according to this FB page someone set up. And who am I to argue with a FB page someone set up? Hey, it’s on the internet, so it must be true, right? Riiiiiight.

Too soon?

With apologies for the punctuation errors and for any possible math errors...

With apologies for the punctuation errors and for any possible math errors…

I saw this earlier today on the book of faces and couldn’t resist stealing sharing it here, with you all.

Guess I’ll have to get knitting soon, huh?

Very briefly:

La petite princesse is a better model than her mimi is a photographer.

La petite princesse is a better model than her mimi is a photographer.

There’s a bit more, such as the halter top before the flower was crocheted:

Knit almost exactly by the pattern specs

Knit almost exactly by the pattern specs

I had a little yarn left over, so I crocheted a couple of flowers:

Pretty!

Pretty!

Here are the three pieces, together, but not attached:

So sweet with the adorable flowers!

So sweet with the adorable flowers!

Then I sewed one flower to the top at the bottom of the right shoulder strap, using a pink button as a decorative center. And I saved the other flower to embellish a headband.

I haven’t attached the flower to a headband yet, but did wrap the 6 inch yarn tail around one of my darlin’ girl’s fabric-covered bands, so i could pop it on the eager young model:

Adorable!

Adorable!

I think she likes it!

Long story short

I’ve been knitting!

Longer version: I’m almost finished with a halter top for la petite princesse, out of some cotton yarn I scored a couple of years ago at my LYS’ annual yard sale. The pattern is Toddler Halter by Jennifer Carter. It’s a free download on Ravelry. (Look it up there. I’d link it, but I needs must finish quickly and turn in.)

More details in a day or so, when I’ve finished it.

In a completely unrelated note: Happy first day of spring!

Our temps today went to the low-to-mid 70s, and it won’t be long before this new halter will be just the perfect top for my darlin’ granddaughter to rock. (So, I guess the spring thing is not as unrelated as I thought. Hm. Go figure.)

G’nite, kittens! It’s time to head to dreamland.

In my last post, teased you with photos of the BC17 and a kitten “helping” me make a new doublet for the BC17 to wear at this year’s Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. To sum up, he needed it to be red, and he chose the gold lining fabric from my stash.

Here’s how it turned out, in a boring “hanging-on-a-door” shot:

Pardon the creases. They came out in the wash.

Pardon the creases. They came out in the wash.

And here’s posed picture of the boy wearing it, with some of his accessories.

Beware the uncoiled serpent - er, hose - at your feet, Red Undant!

Beware the uncoiled serpent – er, garden hose – at your feet, dread pirate Red Undant!

You may note a lack of boots, for example. In truth, he could wear this in warm weather with some sort of rope sandals, but it was far too cool during this year’s faire for that. He also had various bits and bobs that hung from his belt, and a black wool overcoat, but I didn’t get a photo of that. The Hubs did, and I’m hoping to get a shot of that (soon?) to share with you.

The BC17 and some other friends formed a comedy pirate crew, the Pirates of Impropriety, and charmed the patrons and spectators at the faire. They were so popular that they’ve been solicited about appearing at other faires in the area this spring! It was so fun to watch my son throwing himself into his character, Red Undant, and having fun with his friends. His theatrical bent? Let’s just say he comes by it honestly.

The medieval faire was held on the last weekend in January and the first weekend in February. I was lucky to be able to take off from work entirely around those weekends. I have hundreds of hours of leave accumulated, as I rarely take vacation, so it was a real pleasure to have the chance to rest for so many days. (I’ve completely swapped my sleep schedule over to accommodate my change to dayshift, a change that would have been much more difficult without the time off.)

Sadly, I got sick on Wednesday evening and am now struggling with a nasty case of the crud. Nasty enough that I had to call in sick today (which would have been my first day back after my vacation), but not nasty enough to require actual medical intervention (so far… knock on wood). I’m planning to work tomorrow and Sunday (my regular work days), provided I can sleep tonight. (Wish me luck, please? Thanks.)

So the faire itself? It was a blast! My singing comedy wench troupe, Just Desserts, was once again hired to perform, and our shows were packed. We performed 3 times a day each Saturday and Sunday, and we acted as street characters when not on stage. In addition, I emceed both Saturdays’ and Sundays’ end of day Closing Pub Sings, which are among my favorite things ever!

This year, we wenches were extra excited, because we also released our first ever album!*

That’s right, an album!

It’s called Just Desserts Live: Come Get Yours and it’s available on Bandcamp right now, soon to be available on iTunes, amazon.com, and other distributors.

Here’s what the front cover of the album (which is available only as a mp3 download) looks like:

I swear I did not actually bite Molly! Cupcake is just a tease. Promise!

I swear I did not actually bite Molly! Cupcake is just a tease. Promise!

And here’s what the back cover looks like:

Much more dignified here.

Much more dignified here.

If you want to hear any or all of the songs, you can click on the bandcamp link. There you can listen to each of the songs, in their entirety, without obligation. **

We’re currently running a push for FB page “likes” and have pledged to give away a free copy of our album when we reach 350 likes. As of 10 p.m. this very Friday night, we’re at 335. I’d love for you to like us and perhaps win a copy. This is the second giveaway we’ve run, and we plan to hold more in the near future.

Of course, you are always welcome to purchase the album, so you can get yours without delay.

* OK, so you’ve probably figured out that the mysterious and exciting “thing” I was doing (and hinting about) was recording this album. It took two live performances, plus a studio session for the bonus selections, to get the sound quality we wanted.

We also had a photo session with Allen Finley Photography, wherein many photos were taken to get the two on our cover art. He also took solo photos of us, which we may use for future endeavors.

Finally, some more of my off-work time was taken up in designing and creating the cover art for the album. In my old life as a magazine editor, I did a little layout and design, and it was pretty cool to have the chance to flex those muscles (unused for 8 years!) again. And I am, I must confess, quite pleased with the results.

That’s all for now, kittens. I must dose myself up with anti-crud meds and attempt to sleep, as 5:30 a.m. comes too damned early. G’nite!

January means sewing

The last weekend of every January brings the start of the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, which means there will be a call for new costuming pieces chez moi. And this year is no exception.

My costume (as Cupcake, the singing tavern wench) is pretty much set, but the BC17 is playing a new character this year, so he needs an update to his costume to suit. His character is one of the Pirates of Impropriety. He’s named Red Undant, and the BC17 wanted a red top for him. I have, you may recall, made him a poet-style shirt before, so I didn’t think this would be a big challenge.

I was not, alas, taking the local fabric supply into account.

To start with, my own stash (which fits in a footlocker-sized Rubbermaid container) does not include any red cotton or polycotton.

To complicate matters, all three of my local Wallyworlds have miniscule crafting sections, and there was no red cotton to be found. (OK, there was some red cotton, but it was of the quilting variety and had the most adorable patterns against the red background… The BC17 was not amused.)

Even worse, my local Joanne’s is relocating, with the store that’s still open* in a state of depletion that one would expect when “final clearance – 75% off” is posted and advertised everywhere. How picked over was the stock? The entire fabric selection would fit on a double-layered 75-foot shelf… with room to spare.

I spent 20 minutes searching and scrutinizing and peering behind and between the bolts of fabric, and found exactly one piece of red cotton-based fabric. It was 2.25 yds of a lightweight, red, stretch denim. And with the 75$% discount, I got it for less than $6, including tax!

Even at that great price, there was no way this would be enough fabric to make a shirt, so we settled on making a doublet to wear over his white shirt. It’ll be a red and gold version of the doublet I made him a couple of years ago.

Tonight, the BC17 went back to my fabric stash and found a gold lining fabric, then pestered me relentlessly encouraged me a few times to get the fabric pieces cut out. He was willing to do the pinning and cutting himself, so I let him… with my assistance. He’d never laid out a pattern before, so I got to explain how to do it properly, showing him how the pattern pieces give you clues to help you do it properly, demonstrating how to maximize the fabric, pointing out the grain of the cloth and how it affects the drape and stretch capabilities of a woven fabric.

He took it very seriously:

Measure twice and cut once... making sure the pieces are straight first.

Measure twice and cut once… making sure the pieces are straight first.

It did my crafter’s heart good to see him learning how to do this for himself. And he says he wants to help me sew the doublet, too, so his crafting adventure continues Thursday. He has to wear it this weekend, so I’ll probably sew some of it. Either way, he’ll be learning, and I’ll be satisfied with that.

As usual, the kittens wanted to help. I caught one crappy photo of little Maggie “caught in the act” on my cellphone before the BC17 chased her off. She was up there a few times, but I was lame unprepared to take photos then.

She was interested in the pincushion:

"I'll just take this little red thingy out of your way."

“I’ll just take this little red thingy out of your way.”

Feisty kitty tried to get in on the act, too, but the BC17 snatched him up almost before his paws touched the table, much less the fabric.

Finally, the BC17 put the kitties behind a closed hall door, so he could work without feline interference help. And in fairness, that lining material is super slippery, a real bitch bit difficult to cut out under the best of conditions.

Now, I’ve a stack of cut-out fabric pieces at my elbow, with every intention of sewing a dashing doublet Thursday… which is today, actually, since the clock just clicked over to past midnight, and thus into Thursday itself.

That reminds me, it’s past my bedtime. G’night, my lovies!

* The new Joanne’s won’t open until after the faire’s over, so it was a non-option.

Ok, so Spring Baby Cardi pics, plus hat and booties…

Ready?

Let’s go.

I'm calling it the Spring Baby Cardi. This is the yoke.

I’m calling it the Spring Baby Cardi. This is the yoke. (Sept. 27th)

You may remember that photo from the last post.

Here’s a shot of the sweater after I got about an inch below the armholes:

Love seeing the sleeve stitches on holders!

Love seeing the sleeve stitches on holders! (Oct. 4th)

A day later, I’d finished the body of the sweater…

It's beginning to look a lot like a cardi! (Oct. 5th)

It’s beginning to look a lot like a cardi! (Oct. 5th)

Then there was a sleeve:

Look at those decreases on the underside of the sleeve... lovely!

Look at those decreases on the underside of the sleeve… lovely!

What?! You can’t tell what’s what? Clearly, the sleeve is on the right side of the photo, with the skirt of the sweater on the left side. The hole is under the arm, and is one of the only two seams in the sweater.

Still can’t see it?

OK, fine.

Here’s a photo from a more prosaic perspective, taken after the underarm seam had been stitched up.

Oh, that looks more normal!

Oh, that looks more normal!

And finally, the FO shot:

Pretty purple buttons on a pretty sweater. (Nov. 4th)

Pretty purple buttons on a pretty sweater. (Nov. 4th)

A few weeks later, I made a hat, using the Twisted Pumpkin pattern from Charmed Knits by Alison Hanson. My only modification: I didn’t knit the stem part off the hat.

Feisty (the cat) is pressed into service as a photo backdrop.

Feisty (the cat) is pressed into service as a photo backdrop. (Nov 16th)

To make the sleeve striping patterns on cardi match better, I tampered with the skein. By pulling it out until I reached a suitable starting point in the dye pattern, I was able to make the sleeves look similar. And I set aside the extra yarn, knowing I’d use it for the booties.

And when it came time to make the booties, I made sure to match up the remaining yarn to have both booties starting at about the same place in the dye pattern.

And here’s how that turned out:

Such sweet little booties! (Nov. 26th)

Such sweet little booties! (Nov. 26th)

And, finally finally, here’s a shot of the whole ensemble:

A pretty set for a pretty baby girl. (Nov. 26th)

A pretty set for a pretty baby girl. (Nov. 26th)

When all was knit and finished, I had only a few yards of yarn left. (Whew!)

The baby for whom these were knit is named Eleanor, a fine old-fashioned name. Her dad tells me the booties fit now, and he thinks the hat will fit very soon. As for the sweater, it’s sized to fit at about 6 months (I think), although I’m hoping her dad (Thomas!) will put it all on her – and take photos – sooner.  That way, I can have the photos to coo over share with you all here.

As for how I spent last weekend, I was with my sister wenches, recording our first album!!

More on that later. I’ve got to get to bed, as I have to work in the a.m. (Yep, I made the shift to dayshift last week!!)

G’nite, kittens!

the twisted yarn

Knitting and crochet for a home in need of colour.

Allen Finley Photography

Wedding and Event Photography. Cosplay,Dance,Pin-up,Fashion,Engagement,Baby/Pregnancy,Model Portfolio

knit the hell out

More obsessed with each passing stitch.

Not Literally Productions

Comedy, parody, tutorials and more!

The Bookaneer

Adventures In and Out of the Library

The Archaeologist's Guide to the Galaxy.. by Thomas Evans

Reviews of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mysteries and Espionage

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