Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Heritage, Valentines, and Fantasy

We had a splendid time at the Private Lives Ball. The Prince of Wales Ballroom (built 1933) looked surprisingly good, given it's now used as a gym. Plenty of swathed fabric, and lots of minilights over the windows. White tulips in big bowls on the tables, as well as beads and candles. They had put clip-on lights, like little book lights, on the edge of the bowls of tulips so the water was lighted up. I should have taken a picture of that.
There were many pictures taken, however. Here we are dancing. It's a bit dark! We actually won a prize for "Most Improved Dancers". There was lovely free champagne(-like drink), crepes and a chocolate fountain. They pulled it off really well, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. We will have to do more of this ballroom stuff, and quickly, before we forget what we know.

As it's Heritage Week, Fred is busy almost every night. We both went to the Heritage Awards on Monday - best award: Chuck and Albert for preserving Acadien culture. They were a hoot. Hugged everyone on the platform, got everyone into the photo, and Chuck wondered aloud: "where his Ipod was?" [two students, winners of the poster contest, were presented with Ipods. Unfortunately the adults had to make do with certificates.] Then last night it was certificates for designated heritage buildings in Summerside. Fred wasn't home until 11:30.

Tonight's just dance class, with maybe a trip to the gym beforehand. It will be nice to dance to straightforward jigs, reels, hornpipes and so on, rather than wondering just what tempo this tune is and what one should dance to it. There were some very good dancers at the ball, of course, so we just watched them when we were unsure!

The rest of Heritage Week in Summerside includes a bean supper tomorrow night (but we're expecting a big snowstorm so that may be cancelled) and the Mayor's Heritage Tea on Friday, I think. I've been to that before now, and it's always a big deal, with folks in costume and everything.

I've been reading a lot of fantasy lately (Judith Marillier's stories of Irish myth and magic) and watching "Doctor Who" as I knit in the evenings. Very strange combo, I know. I am also reading another of Nuala O'Faolain's books, this one the autobiography. So, it's her for the bike at the gym, Marillier's Dark Mirror on CD in the car, and her Child of the Prophecy in book form otherwise. It's just like my knitting - I'm all over the place.

Speaking of which, I'm finally working on Fred's Durrow sweater - I've frogged and ripped the first sleeve a number of times, and I think I'm better off just LOOKING at the photo of the cable than trying to read the chart. I seem to go terribly wrong when I'm following that - I can be absolutely correct, every stitch in the right place, etc., and then on the very next pattern row I have too many stitches in one spot and not enough in another. But K's teal beaded socks are done, and now I must pull up MY socks and get a few things finished - My Teach is still on the first front, E's first kilt hose still in mid-calf, and the Durrow has to be finished before it gets too warm to wear it!

I've been awfully tempted by various vests, however. I have two different sorts of lilac-coloured yarn, one Briggs & Little (2 skeins of Regal, I think), and one Shetland DK (VV find, 4 skeins, 50 g. each). I'm terrified that neither is enough for a vest, though. After all, vests are just like sweaters without sleeves, and sweaters take a LOT of yarn. I have several skirts which would be greatly enhanced with a lilac-coloured vest. How about THAT! Thinking that far ahead is very unusual for me. I usually just choose fabric or yarn I like because of the content or the colour, and worry later about what to wear with!

So, waiting for the next snowstorm (we're actually down to one every two weeks now, instead of one per week.). The piles of snow are unbelieveable! It just hasn't melted since before Christmas. You risk an accident at every corner because visibility is so bad, due to the enormous piles of snow. I usually scorn the idea of "going South" but this looks attractive!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Of cutting rugs and dress rehearsals

It was our last ballroom dance class last night. I don't know if we're ready! But we did some dancing around the hall and I actually felt like we were dancing - not just counting out steps and trying to end up on the right spot. My dress is done, and Fred's outfit is ready (we ended up getting a formal at Froggies, complete with another formal shirt). He thinks we should do a dress rehearsal. It's probably a good idea - we need to know if we can actually dance in these outfits. And we need to work out some dance routines for the night of the Ball!

Speaking of dress rehearsals, I've volunteered to be the dresser for Evita when the community theatre group puts it on at the end of March. She has 12 costume changes, and she's on stage almost all the time, so she really needs the help. Apparently she changes in different places in the wings, too, so I need to be in different locations depending on where she comes off, etc. Should be fun.

Knitting content: Working away on the feet of the beaded teal socks. Katie was over for the weekend and was wearing a sweater in the identical teal colour, so it seems like she will be getting the socks. Unfortunately they weren't finished for the return trip.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

I was pleased that the news this morning referenced the movie, as it's always been one of my favourites (despite the presence of Andie MacDowell, which I have always thought was a perfect name for her). I love the double Irish chain quilt, and even have one partly made using similar fabrics from my stash. So, the weather prognostication indeed is calling for 6 more weeks of winter, and I'll be pleased if it's only 6 weeks! It's time I got busy planting some seeds for the garden, to get the spring feeling started for the year, as there's a new storm predicted for tomorrow.

We're busy preparing for the Valentine's Day ball, and I have my dress all but completed - it needs hems (4 in all, underdress, 2 sleeves, and quite yards of it on the bias circle skirt). And we've been dancing, dancing: went to the Ballroom Barn on Saturday night for a lesson in foxtrot - apparently there is more than one kind; and the one we're learning in class isn't the same. Had fun anyway. The teachers seem quite addicted to a sort of line dancing so I don't want to have anything to do with that. Dancing is for dancing together, not in a line, for goodness' sake!

I'm competing with the Sock Knitters' Anonymous on Ravelry in the January Mystery Sock. It's a lovely pattern, and now that I'm past the beaded part, it should go quite quickly.