Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Music, Montauk, & Bourbon-Beer Chicken

This past weekend was filled to the brim with good times and music. Last Thursday I made a trip into the city (that's NYC for anyone not on LI) with Chris and a group of friends. Destination: Central Park for the 311/Ziggy Marley concert. I will admit that I had mixed feelings before hand about whether I was going to enjoy it or not. Needless fretting because it was a great time! ;) Some drama as should probably be expected in a group of 10 (5 guys, 5 gals).

Friday was a rest day for me and I pretty much hung around the house.... Went shopping, knit, played music. Gathering energy for the next couple days. Saturday I headed over to Chris and we drove out to Amagansett to see Jorma [Kaukonen] at The Stephen Talkhouse. We got into town earlier in the day and actually managed to score a hotel room for the night. Yes! So we didn't have to worry about driving back home after a late show. After we settled our stuff into the room we set out to find food, then made a stop at the grocery store for some provisions to get us through the night. We got a very odd assortment of stuff... beer, water, grapes, raspberries, chips, & peanuts. Hmmm.... Chris said part party, part health trip. At this point we were thinking we'd be kinda hungry late at night because the Talkhouse didn't serve food, but not really hungry, so it was munchies we were after. That ended up not being the case...
The concert was awesome! We were near the front of the line to get in when the doors opened at 7:00 and we got seats at the bar right in the center. The bar stools weren't the most comfortable seating in the world, but I was glad I didn't have to stand all night. It was pretty close quarters, though, and we kept getting knocked into as people walked by. Chris got his feet stomped on a lot since his long legs couldn't really get tucked out of the way. Oh the price you pay for being tall. ;) I decided, actually I already came to this conclusion a while back, but I reconfirmed it, that blues is my favorite genre of music. Jorma is amazing. I knew a lot of the tunes that were played during the course of the evening. Some I recognized from Hot Tuna, others from his solo albums, all of them I enjoyed.
And the food situation.... By the time the concert ended at 10:30 we were both a bit hungry and somehow pizza got brought up. I have no real clue how. But we were given the nae of a place that supposedly stayed open until midnight, so we set off in search.... and never found it. Chris looked on GPS, called information, drove around the street... neither of us ever spotted it, so we ended up at another grocery store right around midnight as they were closing. Our room back at the hotel was actually a "suite" and had a little kitchen area. Cool, right? Microwave, fridge, sink, & oven, or so we thought. Turns out it was just a stove top. So.... we cooked our bourbon chicken on the stove top and heated it up with beer. That beer came in handy. We each only drank one, but we cooked with it and then used the remaining chilled cans as a makeshift cooler the next day to pack the berries with.

Sunday morning we woke up pretty early and made a trip to the hotel office for the continental breakfast. We were packed up and out by 11:00 and went into the town of Montauk to walk around. It was kinda a gray morning, but nothing too miserable, a stark contrast to the blazing sun and heat of the day before. After a walk on the beach, lunch, and a stop to grab some lobster seafood bisque we started the journey home. Shortly after that the sun came out and the day heated up a lot. If we'd known that was gonna be the case we would have stayed and hung on the beach, but there's always next time. Instead we got back to his house, relaxed for a few, had dinner, and went out to see Transformers.
Amazing weekend! :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Feedback = Awesome

It's always great to hear back from people who have made, or are planning to make, one of my patterns. I came home from my knitting group and found a wonderful e-mail about Sourwood Mountain. Having that pattern published in Knitty has to be one of the most fun things that's happened so far with my designs. I love that it's out there for anyone to find and use.
Feedback is awesome. It makes my day. ;o)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Clearwater

Yesterday my family and I went to the Clearwater Revival Festival at Croton Point Park (Croton-on-Hudson). I grew up with many happy memories of going to that festival, but we hadn't been in probably 10 years at this point. It was great fun to go back and experience it again. However, since the point when we used to go we've been performing and traveling and playing at festivals as large, or larger than Clearwater. It was somewhat odd to be an audience member instead of one of the performers. I suppose all in all it was a nice break, but honestly I think I would have rather been playing a set and then spending the rest of the time browsing around. I like to be right there in the thick of things and performing is definitely a large part of who I am. Either way, it's still an awesome festival, which we enjoyed regardless of the rain.

We (amazingly enough) managed to get out of our house bright and early (by 8am), which is pretty close to a miracle for us. This meant we got to the park around 10am. The whole ride up I was watching the sky. We've been having rain for what feels like forever (I think it's actually been about 4 weeks) and the weather report for yesterday was no different than it had been: rain, possibly thunderstorms, flood warnings. When I'd woken up the sky had actually been showing some blue and there was patchy sunshine spasled across the floors. It gave great hope, but unfortunately didn't last long. The rain began shortly after the festival got underway. It wasn't, however, a very hard rain for the majority of the day and we did have some none drizzly moments.

The Old Crow Medicine Show was the highlight of the day for me musically. I jam along with their CDs fairly regularly when I practice, but I'd never had the opportunity to see them in person. They're definitely a live band. Their energy and enthusiasm on stage makes for a fun time for the audience. Annalee and I danced, danced, danced away! Make ya wanna move music. I love that kind. ;o)

I'd love to go back to the festival next year (and hopefully have sunshine). Even more than wanting to go back as an audience member, though, I'd *love* to go back as a performer.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lace!

Lace! I'm taking a stab at it. I've made the plunge. Sink or swim, I'm in. Actually, I've already settled on the outcome. I'm swimming. Sinking just is not an option. Today I went ahead and made my first attempt at charting a lace pattern and managed to knit about 30 rows of it. So far, so good.

"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow them." ~ Louisa May Alcott

Monday, June 1, 2009

Designs & Deadlines

Two more super secret pattern submissions went out this weekend. Made it just under the wire with those deadlines. Talk about cutting it close... One I managed to get in a whole 3 days before the deadline, the other went in with a mere one day to go. Generally I wouldn't recommend, and don't particularly like, working quite that close to the cut off date, but..... whatcha gonna do? Life happens. I think I'll just give myself a pat on the back for managing to finish up at all. Both of these patterns I'm very pleased with, but unfortunately can't say anything about at the moment.

I can talk freely about my current design venture that's on the needles. This one, if it works out to my satisfaction, will be self published. I'm using Knit Picks Shine Worsted (60% pima cotton/40% modal) to create a casual summer cami. There will be lace, loose shaping, and ribbon. The goal is to have something comfortable, yet elegant.

I have to give a special shout out to the folks over at Knit Picks. I love the fact that they show support and interest in the work of new designers. It is very helpful and encouraging to know that that is there. Yay for being a wonderfully accessible and affordable company! :o)