Thursday, March 31, 2011

AI Season 10, Top 11-10 Elimination, Thursday 03-31-11

The overly drammatic opening tells us that The. world. is. watching. And then it mentions 11. Brilliant. voices., which means it's talking about some other show. We're reminded that two kids are going home tonight, and that we won't have The Save to look forward to any more. Thank goodness.

Randy is wearing a black tee with the word "care" printed on it. Steven Tyler is in a soft fawn shirt, and striped pants. JLo is wearing a short, black, fringey dress, and a messy updo. Ryan is back to parting his hair on the proper side.

Ryan says that Scotty and Lauren are going to sing a duet of I Told You So. I guess we're going to sub small groupings for the big Group Sing tonight. Scotty is wearing a brown, western-style shirt with black embroidery. Lauren is possibly wearing a black jumpsuit. She is definitely wearing very high heels, and she walks like she's using rented legs. However, they sound very nice together, and I am liking Lauren's voice more and more. I suspect that one of these two is going to win this year, and I'm okay with that. Both Scotty and Lauren are safe, to absolutely no one's surprise.

The Fordmercial features Naima as an Evil Superpower with pale contacts. The others save themselves, and their product placement automobiles, from Naima's villany. Ho hum.

Ryan attempts to engage the kids in conversation. Casey defends his beard (as well he should- his face is too round to be clean-shaven), and James shows off the custom-made WWE belt that a fan sent him.

Next up are Naima and Jacob. Naima is dressed like Pocahantas, and Jacob is in a silver gray blazer over a red shirt. They're singing Ashford and Simpson's Solid, and they have absolutely no chemistry, though they do sort of balance each other out: Naima misses most of her notes, while Jacob multiplies his.

One of these two is in the Bottom Three. That one is Naima. Not even Naima is surprised.

One of Ryan's eyes does not open as widely as the other. Has he had a minor stroke?

Ryan announces that Fantasia (Season 3 Winner- my least favorite winner. ever.) is going to sing her new song, Collard Greens and Cornbread. Seriously? That's the title?

Fantasia has a really horrible blonde wig- it's smooth shiny and obviously synthetic, and arranged in a huge rolling curl above her forehead, sort of 40's style, only a whole lot worse. She's wearing a too-tight, sparkly red dress which is slit clear up to there. Fantasia is known for going batshit crazy onstage, and I am fully prepared to laugh out loud at this food-centric song. She starts out slow, in that Butterfly McQueen voice of hers, and I wait for her to let loose. And I wait. And I wait. And in the meantime, I discover something really disconcerting- I like this song. No... I LOVE this song. The lyrics are flat-out ridiculous, but the tone, the vibe, the rhythm, and even Fantasia's *don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies* voice works perfectly. I have a feeling that I am going to download this song, and I am going to listen to it. Over and over.

Next up, Ryan calls down Haley, Thia, and Pia. And since they can't all go home tonight (Naima is already on The Stools of Desperation, after all), I'll settle for any one of these three. They're singing Teenage Dream, by Katy Perry. Pia is wearing a nude colored, one shouldered top, black pants, and tall boots with impossibly high heels. Haley is in a blue and black striped dress. Thia is wearing a confusingly-draped taupe horror, and a truly strange necklace. You know what? These three sound fine together. But I'm still glad that at least one of them is going home. But it's not going to be Pia. Or Haley. Thia joins Naima.

We get more Behind The Scenes clips. Saturday: the kids record their songs for iTunes, and then they fly to Phoenix for a performance, where they meet Reba and Kelly and Mohammad Ali. Sunday: video shoot in the LA rain. The rain causes major leakage at The Mansion, so they all pack up and move. Lauren falls down the stairs. Monday: they're back at the studio, and working with stylists. Tuesday: dress rehearsal in front of fake judges. Wednesday: taping performances. Thursday: Elimination. Friday: start all over again.

In their spare time, Paul, Casey, Stefano, and James formed a Mansion Band. Ryan calls them down to play Band on the Run (Stefano on keyboard, the rest with guitars). Man, they sound awful together, though their solos aren't too bad.

Casey and his trimmed beard and hoodie are safe! Ditto James and his quilted leather jacket, and tail. Stefano and Paul, who needs to shave his neck, are left. aaaaand... Stefano is safe.

Well, after last week's debacle, I sort of called this Bottom Three. Yay me!

But before we find out who is going home, we have to listen to Jamie Foxx and sing (I use the term loosely). They're doing a song from the animated movie Rio. The stage is overrun with drum corps, and 30's Vegas chorus girls. This song seems to consist of the words master, blaster, and faster repeated over and over. To which list, The Hub adds disaster.

The song ends eventually, and we get down to brass tacks. Ryan sends Paul back to safety, and weepy Lauren is not happy. Not happy at all.

Well, Naima is interesting and memorable, which means that she has a chance of making a living in this business. Thia is neither, but she's gorgeous, and that may be enough to give her an edge in the Disney Universe, for which she seems to be perfectly formed. I wish both of them luck.

Thursday Tab- Whitman Trixie Belden, Part 2

I delayed Part 2 of the Whitman Trixie Belden set in order to share an Elizabeth Taylor set. This week, we'll see the rest of Paper Doll Friend Lorie's wonderful set. Thanks again, Lorie!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

AI Season 10, Top 10-11 Performance, 03/30/11

We start with some behind-the-scenes shots from last week's elimination show, and then a recap of all of the excitement: Stevie Wonder, Hulk Hogan, and Casey's near death experience. It was pretty darn amazing, lemee tellya.

JLo is wearing a one-shouldered, one-sleeved (3/4 of a sleeve at that), one-shoulder-foofed, raspberry sparkly dress. She has very sleek hair and huge hoop earrings. Steven Tyler is wearing a black leather jacket over a black and white print shirt, and white pants. Randy is dressed like Randy. Ryan has Sam Champion's old hairstyle. It looks good on him.

It's Elton John Night, and I fully expect this to be a disaster. We get a review of Sir Elton's life, which includes a reminder that he, personally, is responsible for Lady Gaga. Way to go, Reg.

This week, the kids had Glamour Shots taken by E! Weekly. They come out on stage, and it's obvious that the stylists have had their way with them- hair is sleeker, makeup is smoother, and teeth are much, much whiter.

#1. Scotty. Jimmy Iovine says that some people think that Scotty is a one-trick pony, and they may be right, but if he plays that one trick right, that's all he needs. Scotty ignores the pro's advice on verse choice, going for the Gramma Shout-Out over appealing to the working classes. Scotty is singing Country Comfort, and playing his guitar. He's wearing a black leather jacket, over a gray t-shirt, and he sounds exactly the way he always sounds, and he's toned down the lop-sided smirk. It's a good performance, though I wish he'd gone with the high note at the end, rather than the low.

#2. Naima. Jimmy Iovine warns that Naima may not be able to pull off a Reggae version of I'm Still Standing. She's wearing a white halter jumpsuit with green and red accents. As I watch and listen to this performance, I honestly don't know what to think about it. The faux-Jamaican accent bothers me, but you know what? I think she might have pulled this one off. JLo didn't love it (though she did self-correct on the 360-180 degree thing). Randy agrees with JLo, and Steven talks for awhile but doesn't actually say anything.

#3. Paul is going to sing Rocket Man. He's wearing that awful rose-embroidered suit again. Or maybe, it's poppies. No matter what kind of flowers are on it, it's awful. Paul is so weird, and once again, I don't get him at all. Does America have a secret longing to listen to whisperers with lots of really white teeth?

#4. Pia. Here's a surprise- Pia is singing yet another ballad- Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me. I may have mentioned this on any of the many previous Elton John Nights, but I always thought that this song had a line that went: no more augie doggies. Nothing about tonight's performance disabuses me of that notion. Pia, as always, is gorgeous, and her voice is lovely. And she's dressed in a pretty, short, tight, spangly dress with long sleeves. But she's boring as hell, and maybe not just because she's singing another freaking ballad. Sheesh.

#5. Stefano, AKA Joey Tribbiani. Stefano is wearing a white shirt, gray slacks and matching vest, and another pair of clunky tennis shoes. He's singing Tiny Dancer, and parts of the song are lovely, but parts are painful. He does keep his eyes open, at least. I'm not so sure that he didn't mess up the words at the end, when he pulled a cheesy Reach for JLo move. Oh Stefano, Honey, don't talk.

#6. Ryan teases us that Lauren's song is the best-selling single in Billboard history. During the commercial, The Hub and I sort of hope it's Crocodile Rock, but mostly we assume it's going to be Candle in the Wind.

After the commercial, Ryan sits between Howie Mandel and his identical twin, Stefano's dad (I'm not kidding- they look exactly alike). Howie shills for his new show, which I would not watch even if they paid me.

Lauren is wearing a short, black strapless dress with a black satin mullet overskirt. We guessed right on the song. Lauren is countrifying Candle, but she's doing a lovely job of it. She sounds really good, and quite grown up, at least until she finishes and then she reverts to 16 by giggling and hiking her dress back up. Lauren's Speech Center has been set on babble, I fear.

#7-#8. James and Thia. I had to take an important phone call during these two performances, but The Hub tells me that James did his typical Jamesian stuff on Saturday Night's All Right, and that Thia at least didn't sing Circle of Life or Can You Feel the Love Tonight. I'm relieved that she stepped away from the Disney.

#9. Casey. Jimmy Iovine tells Casey that everything about last week's performance was wrong. I wouldn't go that far, but it certainly wasn't his best. Casey allows his hair and beard to be trimmed and both look very good indeed. He's wearing a gray suit with a medal, and he's sitting on the Stool of Seriousness to sing Your Song. Okay, this is not up to the Georgia Standard, but it's good. He's building beautifully and logically to a really gorgeous end! Bravo, Casey! I think this was exactly what he needed to do, and the judges all agree. Randy talks musical stuff with him for a moment, and Casey babbles a bit. I think the beard makes us forget that he's only 19.

#10. Jacob. Once again Jimmy Iovine tells Jacob exactly what he needs to hear: that going totally over the top is totally going to send him home. Jacob is wearing a limp gray jacket, a black shirt, and an untied red bow tie. He's singing Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word, and you can see the effort it takes to restrain himself. I think this is his best performance yet, and the glory note at the end was amazing. But I think I've finally pin-pointed what I don't like about his voice- it's that bubble-in-the-back-of-the-throat sound, the Kermit Voice, that bothers me.

#11. I could not, for the life of me, remember who the 11th contestant was until they flashed a shot of Haley. Haley's singing Benny and the Jets. Hmmm. She starts out lounging on top of the piano, wearing a chiffony dress with blue and purple grapes on it. She growls, she flirts with the camera, and then schlumps down off the piano, and stomps around the stage. Oh my lordy, this is not just the worst performance of the night, it might be the worst ever in the history of the show (and I watched the Carmen and Sanjaya seasons). And- WTF???? The judges love it? Randy calls this performance the best of the night? JLo says it was great? Steven Tyler says it was sexy??? Either they need new ears, or I do. I am in shock.

The replay tells me that James did okay, and Thia was even more boring than Pia, and that Haley was every bit as horrible as I thought she was.

Best of the night: Scotty, Lauren, Casey, and Jacob
Bottom 3: Paul, Thia, and Haley. Can we send Haley home twice?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 which there is actual knitting content

Whoa... actual yarn and needles and a completed project... Whoda thunk?

 I finished the Helix Scarf (pattern in the latest issue of Spin-Off). I got plenty of practice in purling back backwards, which was the reason I knitted the scarf in the first place.
 I used handspun yarn (Finn, dyed by Yummy Yarns, under 3 ozs). It's pretty, and it's definitely ruffly. I doubt I'll ever wear it, though, so off to the Big Tub 'O Knitted Things it goes.
 I am almost done with the Opal Dumbledore socks. I still don't see Dumbledore anywhere in this colorway, but it sure is pretty.
I bought this yarn at Great Yarns in Everett. I see mitered squares in the future.
 And here's a closeup of the wonderful yarn that Tina (in Snohomish) gave to me. It's her own handspun, and it's absolutely gorgeous. It's BFL, and there might actually be enough for a pair of socks (for me, me me!).
 I've been doing a bit of reading too. I'm still on a Connie Willis Re-read Streak- Passage is unsettling and wonderful, like all of her books.
 Next up, more rereads. This one is unsettling, and wonderful, and also quite funny. It's loosely based on Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), which is also laugh out loud funny, though the Willis book has more time travel.
Oh yeah, and we got more snow last night. sigh.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday Tab on Friday- More Elizabeth Taylor

Blog Reader and Paper Doll Friend Dorothy has shared some of her scans of the Elizabeth Taylor set that I uploaded on Thursday. We now know that the set was published by Whitman, it's #2057, and it was published in 1956. And it's flat-out gorgeous! Thanks so much, Dorothy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

AI Season 10, 03-24-11, Top 11 Elimination

We start with a visual recap of last night, but who cares about that? I'm much more interested in the fact that Nigel Lythgoe tweeted that tonight will have a shocking elimination. But Nigel has Cried Wolfe before, so we'll see exactly how shocking his shock actually is.

Tonight, JLo is wearing a black and gold Egyptian- flavored halter dress. Randy is in black leather and red shoes. Steven Tyler is wearing the filmy leopard print shirt from last night, and truly puzzling trousers.

Ryan, like Nigel, promises shocks. Unlike Nigel, he also promises Sugarland and Jennifer Hudson.

Commercial: Movie...Sucker Punch... The Punchening... or is it The Suckening?

The Top 11 come out, and it's obvious that someone helped them to dress tonight, since they're all nattily attired- the guys in black suits, and the girls in silver spangly dresses. Note to Lauren: You're 16. Cover those things up. Now.

The reanimated corpse of Marc Anthony advises the kids on how to properly use earpieces, and gives them helpful tips for performing live on stage. And then he eats their braaaaiiinnnnsssssss.

They all sing Ain't No Mountain High Enough, and this is what Jacob should be singing. In fact, this is the best group sing of the season, pointy pose and all. And then the kids form what is obviously a gauntlet, and I think they're going to welcome JHud to the stage. The curtains open and... omigod... that's Stevie Wonder!

I can count on one hand the number of times that this show has actually surprised me, and this is one of them. They all get together and sing Happy Birthday to Steven Tyler, who appears to be genuinely touched.

By contrast, the Fordmercial is pretty lame, though Casey was finally healthy on taping day, so he's in this one.

Now on to the business of the evening. Ryan calls Pia, Scotty, and Lauren's boobs to the circle. I suspect that Scotty will be sent to the stools, but all three are safe.

Sugarland sings next. The lead singer is wearing green leggings with a saggy crotch, a black top, a red jacket belted with a wide blue sash , and purple heels. I like these guys better than most of the acts they feature on elimination nights, though I can't make sense of the song (what oh what oh you and me baby stuck like glue???).

Ryan intros an amusing Mansion Clip of James and Paul, who are both Pro Wrestling Fans. Pia, Paul,  James and Stefano "wrestle", while Naima announces, and Scotty does whatever it is that Scotty does. Then Ryan calls James and Paul down (both of whom have wacktacular hair tonight). Ryan tells them that neither is safe, and James's shocked reaction is very telling. But it's a fake-out because the curtains open and Hulk Hogan emerges. What the hell is going on tonight? That's the second surprise. Hogan tears his shirt off, and then delivers the news that both James and Paul are safe.

Commercial- Movie... Carrie Underwood is in a movie? When did this happen? it's called The Soul Surfer... The Surfening...

Next up are Jacob, Thia and Stefano. Thia looks very pretty in a brocade dress. She's ready to head to the stools, which is good, since that's where she's going, along with Stefano.

Haley, wearing a side ponytail that looks just plain silly, Naima, and Casey are the only ones left. I suspect, believe, and hope that Haley is headed home, but she's safe. And then Naima is safe. And Casey is in the Bottom 3. dammit.

Jennifer Hudson is on next. she looks fantastic (she always looked fantastic), but like many large women who lose a lot of weight, her head is now too big for her body. She looks healthy and beautiful, and I hope she stops dieting. I'm spending all this time analyzing her looks because I'm not particularly impressed with this song. There is lots of emphatic pointing and head waggling and some shouting and a few very long, high notes, but there's not much melody, and it goes on for a really long time. However, she has George Huff singing backup, which is wonderful! Hi George!

Afterwards, Ryan sends Thia to safety, and I feel badly for her because the backlash from this is going to be pretty nasty, since she really should be the one packing up.

And... wow... Stefano is safe. I am shocked, but not nearly as shocked as Casey is. Will the judges use their save? I doubt it, this early in the season. Casey elects to sing I Don't Need No Doctor, which was his audition song. He barely gets started when Randy interrupts him. Casey looks like he's going to faint. Or throw up. It's obvious that he expects the worst, but Randy says that the judges are unanimous in wanting to save Casey. They're doing it! They're using The Save!

Casey is so discombobulated that he says several very bad words that need to be bleeped, and then he cries a bit, and he hugs his parents, and thanks the judges, and falls apart, and still looks like he's going to vomit. Or pass out.

And then Ryan surprises me, for a record fourth time in a single episode, and says that the producers decided that if the judges used their save, that all 11 of the kids will get to go on tour, which is wonderful news. Ryan tempers that announcement with the fact that two of them will go home next week, and with The Save dead and gone, every single performance counts for every single one of them.

Ladies and Germs, we got ourselves a real competition. This is going to be interesting.

Thursday Tab- Elizabeth Taylor

I don't own this cut set, so I don't have any info about who published it, or when, though I assume it was either late 50's or early 60's. She surely was beautiful.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

AI Season 10, 03-23-11, Top 11 Performance

We open in black and white, as Ryan introduces Motown Night.

The judges enter. JLo is in a pink, heavily sequined sweater and a short pleated skirt which may or may not be made of velvet. She has on an excess of pale blue eyeshadow. Steven is wearing a black leather vest over a sparkly chiffon leopard print shirt that we might have seen already. Randy is in another of the thousand cardigans that he owns.

This is an important night because The Top 10 get to go on the tour, which I've heard earns each of the kids a 6-figure paycheck. We get a bit of history on Motown, which is pretty much exactly what they show every time we have a Motown Week, which they do, just about every season.

#1. Casey. I am really really disappointed when I hear that Casey chose Heard it through The Grapevine. It seems like such a blah choice for such an inventive performer. He's wearing a pin-striped suit over a fuchsia shirt, and his hair is slicked back (which is not an especially good look for  him). I need not have worried- Casey is giving a pure Casey performance. Did he just sing the word damn? The judges praise him unanimously.

#2. Thia is wearing a short strapless dress with a fitted black bodice and a layered, tiered, pink skirt. Oh no- she's singing Heatwave, a known contestant killer. No one has ever done a good job with that song on the show. Well, pretty Thia is doing a better job with this than I expected, but she has zero stage presence. I think she should go directly into the Disney Sitcom Machine- she'll be right at home with the Hannahs and Carlys and Londons. JLo says a lot, without ever mentioning, you know, the whole singing thing. In fact, all three judges find a way to say that Thia's performance was an improvement within the confines of of her previous performances, without saying that the singing was not so much like real singing.

#3. Jacob chose You're all I Need. If Jacob would just dial everything back and sing, this could be good. But I don't think Jacob is able to understate. He's wearing a white jacket, a pink shirt, and a pink striped tie. He begins softly, and his runaway vibrato is front and center. Man, he's trying- he's really trying to tamp himself down. But I guess I just don't like Jacob's voice because even when he's doing exactly what I want, I still don't like listening to him. That said, he exerted a fairly tight control over his histrionics. Afterward, Steven Tyler runs up on the stage to congratulate him. Then Ryan invites the whole front section to follow suit. What the hell? This takes forever, and makes no sense at all.

#4. Lauren is wearing a flattering strapless zebra-striped, long dress with lots of floaty layers. Her hair has been straightened, and I suspect she has extensions. She's singing You Keep Me Hangin' On. Boy, this is decidedly not great, with only a passing resemblance to the required notes. But Lauren has the head waggle down.

#5. Stefano is in a white jacket over a blue oxford shirt. He's wearing clunky, blue, high-top sneakers with velcro strap closures. They must have a lot of extra time to kill tonight, because Ryan wastes minutes tasting Stefano's Mama's pasta (and then later, trying to foist it on Gordon Ramsey, who doesn't even pretend to like it). Stefano is singing a song that he's never heard before, Lionel Richie's Hello. Sigh. Stefano starts on the Stool of Seriousness. He sounds okay, but there's something off with his enunciation, as though he's singing the lyrics phonetically. He has absolutely no connection to the song, news that JLo breaks to him gently. Randy spouts pure nonsense and Ryan threatens to cut off his mike. Would that it could happen.

#6. I finally notice that I've been spelling Haley's name wrong for the whole season. Sorry, Haley. Anyway, she's singing You Really Got a Hold On Me. She says that she grew up with Motown music, and for a moment, I hope that she might actually do a good job tonight. Then she comes out, dressed like a Circus Ringmaster, in shorts, and a white jacket over a vest, and ridiculously high heels. She totters on the stairs, as afraid as I am, that she's going to fall. Once she hits level ground, she growls and screams and yodels. But she doesn't produce any sounds that resemble singing.

#7. Scotty is wearing a black untucked shirt over black jeans. I have been cherishing a hope that he will sing Papa Was a Rolling Stone, but... instead, he chose For Once in My Life. For the love of all things sweet and sticky, why? Scotty's voice is is Scotty's voice, but this arrangement is a peppy mess. It sucks, pure and simple. If possible, this performance is worse than I thought it could be. During the previous commercial, I told The Hub that I thought Scotty might win the whole thing. Now I just hope he survives the week.

#8. I generally don't like Pia, but I have to say that she looks good with her hair pulled back, and she has a great smile in her interviews. She's singing All in Love is Fair, by Stevie Wonder. She's wearing a classy, sleek and simple black dress with sparkly side inserts (and Ryan later points out, a very low cut back). Parts of this song are beautiful, and parts are just plain odd, but maybe that's because I'm totally unfamiliar with the melody. Pia's voice is lovely though, and she's undeniably gorgeous. JLo is right, Pia needs to bring her personality on stage with her.

#9. Paul is accompanying himself with guitar, on Tracks of My Tears. This song might actually suit Paul's voice.  He's wearing black pants and shirt, and a black vest, with a bolo tie. For the first time, I notice Paul's extremely long and narrow feet. Once I see them, I can't stop seeing them, which is just as well because the singing... well, this is Paul's best performance so far, but that's not saying much. The backup singers are doing all of the heavy lifting, and Paul's thin and breathy voice leaves me as mystified as ever.

#10. Is Naima, and I groan. There is not a single Motown song that I can think of that would suit her unique... oddness.  I groan even louder when she says that she's singing Dancing in the Streets, explaining that she intends to insert some African Dance into the middle of the performance. She's wearing another Naima outfit- satiny gray pants with truly heroic bell bottoms, and an asymmetrical shortie top. Both pieces are covered with shirring and smocking and quilting, and she has tied assorted rags on both arms, between her wrists and elbows. I sigh, and get ready to plug my ears. But, amazing of all amazings... not only is this Naima's best performance, it's the best one of the night. I could have done without her dance interlude, but even so, this was a fantastic performance, perfectly suited to Naima's range and talent. Brilliant! Brava, Naima! Last week, I wanted her to go home, this week, she has proven why she deserves to stay.

#11. James is singing Livin' for the City. He's wearing a black jacket with skulls decorating the lapels. He has better hair than usual, a sort of level pompadour, rather than his faux-hawk. Unfortunately, he's still sporting the tail, and assorted chains. James is doing fine with this song, especially his fancy little bit of footwork there, but can I make a plea for the show to retire Stevie Wonder? Permanently. And while I'm at it, can they please put Motown Week away too. These kids are just not old enough to do the music justice (or I'm too old to hear what they're bringing to the table. Either way, just end it. Please.)

So, I am incredibly surprised to say that my Top 3 of the night are James, Pia, and Naima. And even more surprised to include Scotty in my Bottom 3 (along with Paul and Thia, though I could just as easily swap Thia out for Haley). I really hope that Scotty scrapes by, and that Paul goes home. But I suspect Thia will be out.

We'll find out tomorrow. And since I called it totally wrong last week, I'm not taking any bets.


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Daily Panorama

Turtle Creek rose several feet today.

I stitched 4 photos together for this panorama. You can see how fast the current is by the 2 identical ice floes in the center there- the single blob moved that far in the time it took me to snap 2 shots. The water is pretty far up on the penninsula now.

That is a whole lotta water.

Creek Update, and... gasp.... some knitting!

To put this shot into perspective, when Turtle Creek is at its usual level, we can't see any water from the house.
I took this shot from our back deck this morning.
 The ice dam seems to have broken up and moved on, but the water level is still rising. By the way, I posted a short video of the ice moving in the swift current on Facebook yesterday. If you're in my friends, check it out (if you're not in my friends, shoot me a friend request. The file is too large to post here).
 And another shot- same creek, same vantage, slightly different angle. Contrast this with the current blog header- nary a drop of water visible during the summer, and not just because the hay is tall.

It has cooled down considerably, so the snowmelt has also slowed, which is A Good Thing. Not so good is the rain predicted for tonight, and the snow predicted for tomorrow. I have a feeling that this will be another interesting week in a very interesting year.
 But when I'm not creek gazing, I doing some actual knitting, and not with leftover yarn. The Spring '11 Spin-Off issue featured a very cool, ruffly scarf project and pattern, that looked perfect for some lightweight handspun that I had on hand. The Helix Scarf pattern is free, and available on the website (as well as in the magazine.). The scarf pattern is simple- all garter stitch and short rows.
The yarn was spun from the Ianto roving, that I bought and from Yummy Yarns in '08. It's Finn (very soft Finn, I might add). I'm using size 6 needles, and while the scarf is not knitting up quickly, it is knitting up beautifully. Part of the slowdown is that I am using this project to practice and perfect my purling back backwards technique.

When you knit back backwards, you achieve stockinette stitch without turning your straight needles. When you knit one direction and purl back backwards, you get garter stitch without the trouble of turning things around constantly (which would be a pain in this project since every row has 2 short row segments that form the ruffles).

I'm getting faster with the purling back backwards, and my tension is evening out (that takes practice, and I am getting a LOT of practice in with this scarf). I think I'll add it to the longer version of my Little Tips and Knitting Tricks Class. There isn't time enough to try this in the usual version of the class (which fills up a 2-hour slot nicely), but I'm teaching it in a 3 hour block at the Michigan Fiber Festival in August, and it'll make a good addition to the roster. And by then, I should have the technique down pat.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Turtle Creek- 2 hours later

The ice broke downstream, which caused a dam at the bridge upstream, which caused the water to rise several feet in the space of a couple of hours.
Compare this with the photos taken earlier this morning (in the previous post).

Here's a shot of the ice at the bridge.

 And it's going to be awhile before I can run in the park. Those poles there... they line the running path.

Checking in with Turtle Creek

The thaw has gone slowly, which is the best possible way for a thaw to proceed when we had so much snow. Even so, Turtle Creek is rising steadily.
It's foggy this morning, so it's a bit hard to tell, but the water has come up a lot in the last five days. In case you don't remember, here's a comparison shot. The creek is up on the penninsula now, and once the fog lifts, we'll be able to see the water from our house (which we cannot, when the creek is at its usual level).

These may be weeds, but they're green, and we'll take all the green we can get.
And much of our current snow will be gone by the time we get more (predicted about mid-week).
The geese are gaggling, the robins have returned, and the air smells different. She may take her own sweet time arriving, but Spring is on the way.