Professional Voice Talent, Amateur Actor and Knitter

Category: knitting Page 3 of 6

New Projects

I’ve picked up three new projects on ACX recently. The first is the Maggy Thorsen murder mystery series by Sandra Balzo. I’m starting with the first book in the series, Uncommon Grounds. The finished book is due in April.

Also due in April is Poison in the Blood by M. G. Scarsbrook. This is a fictionalized memoir of Lucrezia Borgia. I’ve done the first chapter so far. It promises suspense, murder, romance. Should be an interesting read.

The last project, which is due in June, is Gunnora’s Dragons by Carol Dennis. I haven’t finished pre-reading it yet (the other two have been getting preference, as they’re due earlier), but I’m enjoying it so far. As the title would imply, it’s a fantasy novel.

I’m still working on my two extant LibriVox solos: Ten From Infinity (for the SFFAudio Challenge); and Navidad en las Montaรฑas.

In knitting, I’ve started a new lace shawl. This is my second, and my first in laceweight yarn (my previous shawl was done in fingering weight yarn, which is thicker and therefore easier for a first try). I’m doing the Skywalker Shawl by Laura Nelkin. I came across it when looking at online classes on Craftsy. Even though I’ve worked with lace a fair bit, I thought I’d try the Mastering Lace Shawls class, because I’ve never really learned how to do a provisional cast on, and I’ve always gotten tangled up when trying them. I still got tangled up this time, but I managed to get past that point. Perhaps I’ll practice again with a thicker working yarn, instead of laceweight.

We finished Gaslight last weekend. It went really well. The reviewer from the paper practically raved (for him), so I was quite pleased. The audiences also seemed to enjoy it. I was really lucky in the people who came to audition. I lost my leading man three weeks before opening night and had to re-cast, but even then, I was able to get someone really good, who worked his tail off to get all those lines learned. I really doubt the audiences had any idea (unless they were related to the theatre and heard about it through the grapevine) that he’d joined the production over a month after the rest of the cast. Chicago’s coming up in a couple of months. I’m thinking of auditioning for it.

Twins!

Just about six weeks ago one of my cousins had twin baby girls, Maisie and Annabelle. I only found out he and his wife were pregnant about a month earlier. He’s not the best letter/email writer. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, I’ve been knitting steadily since I first found out. I decided to make them each a pair of the Hello Kitty pants. I had enough yarn left from the first pair to make two more, if I did the smallest size, though I ended up having to swap the order of the two pinks in the second pair, so I’d have enough of the dark pink to finish. I also made them each one of the Baby Arans.

Gifts for Maisie and Annabelle

I took a break from Maisie and Annie’s gifts to make something for a co-worker in time for her baby shower. The pattern is called the Eloise Cardigan. It’s quite sweet and girly.

Eloise Cardigan

I’ve joined a stitchers group at work. Not just knitters; crocheters, quilters, cross-stitchers, any kind of fiber art. Anyway, we’re making a basket for a silent auction and my contribution to it is a couple of pot-holders. They’re done in double-knitting, so each side is a mirror image of the other.

Pot-holders

I’m making another attempt at socks. My first attempt was a bit of a failure. I used a yarn with a bit of elastic in it. Since I knit at a pretty high tension, it made for very tight stitches and I gave up after the first few rounds. This time I picked a regular yarn, and things are going much better.

Socks

I just finished cataloging Anne’s House of Dreams at LibriVox. It’s a little sad to think that there’s only one more book in the series that I can record (Rainbow Valley). My next LV project is called Ten From Infinity by Paul W. Fairman. It’s my 6th SFFAudio Challenge book.

I’ve also just finished Song at the Scaffold by Gertrud Von le Fort for Ignatius Press. It’ll be my last Ignatius recording. They’ve decided not to continue producing audiobooks.

I’m directing my first mainstage show at the WCT (the other shows I’ve directed have been fundraisers, not part of the main lineup), Angel Street, which is the American title of the play Gaslight (made into a film of the same name with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer). It’s been pretty chaotic so far. In the past the show in this slot would have had auditions and maybe a first read-through before the holidays, but wouldn’t have started rehearsals till after. This year, the board changed the schedule. The show goes up at the end of January instead of February, so not only am I having to schedule around the holidays, I’m also having to schedule around the two Christmas productions. Ack! At least I was able to get a good cast together.

HOT Fair again

Time for the fair again. My friend Eileen and I went together to see how our items had fared (no pun intended). She’d entered a shrug in the crochet garment category, and I’d entered the little blouse from the last post. We both won first place in our category, but there weren’t very many knitted and crocheted items entered. I only saw one other knitted entry, and it was in a different category. It’s a bit disappointing to see such a low turnout in the fiber arts.

I got a couple of photos of it with the ribbon, but the ribbon was twisted sideways, so it was hard to get an angle that showed the blouse and the ribbon both.

Nichelle, if you’re reading this, in a few weeks time you and Aurelia will be receiving an award winning knitted garment from yours truly. ๐Ÿ™‚

Success!

After more than three years of working on it, I finally finished recording Angelina by Rafael Delgado! Woot! The last few chapters still need to be proof-listened, but I hope to be able to catalog the sucker some time next week. My next Spanish solo (started this morning), is the much shorter La Navidad en las Montaรฑas (Christmas in the Mountains) by Ignacio Manuel Altamirano (only 11 chapters in this, as opposed to 65 in Angelina).

I found out recently that one of my cousins is having twin girls this October, so I’ve started work on two more pairs of the Hello Kitty pants and two different, as yet un-chosen sweaters.

Knitting updates

My needles have been very busy this year. The Easy Baby Aran referenced here turned out really cute. I guess the reason they call it an easy aran is because there’s only one place where you do any actual cabling. The rest of the textured effects are just done with knits and purls.

I made another of the little hoodies, this time with the alterations I’d considered as I followed the instructions the first time. The little guy is still much too small in it, but his mom got a pic of him wearing it all the same. ๐Ÿ™‚

I came across a pattern for Hello Kitty pants (on Boing Boing? Epbot? can’t remember) and I thought they were adorable. So I made those for another friend’s baby.

I made a cardi with a leaf pattern down the button band for another friend.

That was a top-down, raglan pattern. I really liked how the sleeve caps looked when I separated those stitches and continued down the body, so I decided to make another top-down raglan, but in short sleeve (and a pullover, not a cardi).

I’m holding on to this one for a little while, because the HOT Fair is coming up and this is the only completed garment I still have.

I’ve put a bit more work into the Elizabeth of York jacket in between baby garments, but I’m still only on the first piece. Fingering weight yarn and size 1 needles don’t make for a speedy project!

Conference week

At Open Repositories 2011 this week. Looking forward to meeting other repository managers and learning what is upcoming in the newest version of Dspace.

The conference is taking place in Austin, on UT campus. Didn’t think about it till I got here, but the yarn of the knitting project I brought with me (Easy Baby Aran) is pretty much UT orange, which should be anathema to a green & gold Baylor Bear like me.

Not sure how significant it is

Because I don’t know how many other entries there were in the two categories, but I won first place Knitted Garment for the Twist & Shout jacket and second place Knitted Accessory for the knitted twelve pointed ball at the county fair. ๐Ÿ™‚

Time for the Fair!

I entered knitting in the HOT Fair again this year (my second entry). Once again we were limited to one item per category, so I entered the Twist & Shout in the knitted garment category, and the twelve-pointed ball, which turned out really cute, in the knitted accessory category. I originally meant to put a jingle bell or some other noise-maker in the centre, but didn’t think about it when I went to buy the stuffing, so it’ll have to go in the next one (I bought three skeins of the same yarn in different colours).

After I finished the ball, I started the Elizabeth of York pattern from Alice Starmore’s Tudor Roses book. I haven’t gotten very far though. It’s on hold while I work on my Hallowe’en costume for this year’s Masquerade Ball at the theatre. This year I’ve decided to go as Susan Sto Helit (Death’s granddaughter from the Discworld books); specifically Susan as depicted in Hogfather. To that end, I’m making a long, full skirt and a fitted vest (both black); I found a white shirt with a plain, stand-up collar at Goodwill, and some “Mary Poppins” shoes at Sears or Penneys (can’t remember which I was in). I need to find a white wig that I can paint a black stripe on and style into a bun and I’m going to borrow a poker from a friend who has a fireplace. I’m pretty excited about this year’s costume. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rehearsals for Noises Off are coming along well. We have close to a completed set now, which makes things much easier. We’re re-using part of the Best Little Whorehouse set, but the stairs had been taken down, so the three doors downstairs were having to do double and triple duty (there are meant to be four openings downstairs and four upstairs).

Haven’t been able to do as much recording as usual. Had a cold a two or three weeks ago and now my allergies have started acting up. I was having to stop every other sentence or so, during my recording session yesterday, to clear my throat or rub my itching nose. I hate allergies.

Another FO

I finished the third baby item of the summer today. Whenever I go visit my mother, I always take the opportunity to go to the LYS near her work. Waco’s generally a nice town, but is sadly lacking in yarn shops. When I was there a few months ago, I found a cute pattern for a cabled hoodie, and I decided to do that for the third object, rather than a second one of the fair isle sweaters. The finishing on the pattern was a bit simplistic, I think to make it accessible to newer knitters, so I made some changes. If I’d read all the way through the finishing instructions first, I’d have made a couple more.

The pattern says to knit the five main sections (back, 2 fronts, 2 sleeves), then do the button and buttonhole bands on the two fronts, then pick up stitches on the fronts and back for the hood, then do a band along the front of the hood, then sew the seams. The hood is knit up to a certain length, then a third of the stitches are cast off on either side, and you continue on the middle third, then sew it to the cast off sides.

If I’d read through the finishing instructions first, I’d have done the button, buttonhole and hood bands as one piece. But I’d already finished the two front bands before I read through the hood instructions, and didn’t feel like frogging them. I did avoid seaming on the hood and to attach the hood band to the front bands (seaming is my least favourite part of knitting). I used this technique on a lace shawl to attach the outside edge to the middle section a few years ago. Instead of casting off the stitches on the two edges of the hood, when I got to that point, I knit to the last middle stitch and knit it together with the first edge stitch, then turned the work and knit back to the next edge and did the same thing, and just continued like that until I ran out of edge stitches. I did the same thing for the bands by picking up a few stitches on the top of the front bands when I started the hood band. Would have looked better if I’d done it all as one piece, but I think it looks better than sewing the seams.

And I found some really cute hippo buttons for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve done a bit more work on the Twist & Shout jacket. After wearing it at work (where it’s freezing!) for about a week, I decided I didn’t like how the sleeves fit. They were too long, the arm hole was too big, and they were just generally sort of floppy. So I brought it back home, detached the sleeves, frogged them and re-knit them. I’d already done the smallest size of the pattern, so I had to wing it. I did them in the round (avoiding seaming, again!) using the Magic Loop technique, as I didn’t have any dpns in that needle size. It was the second time I’d tried it, but only the first since I got my knitpicks interchangeable circulars, and I really enjoyed the technique this time. The cable of these needles is much more flexible. I may never use dpns again!

Audition for Noises Off! tomorrow. Same director that did Little Shop. I get the feeling he doesn’t like me, because he has yet to learn my name. During the show he called me variously Donna, Margaret, You, and Nurse (I was in the dentist scene). Still, I’m interested in the show, and the worst that can happen is that I won’t get cast.

One day, two FO’s!

I finally gathered my courage and steeked the armholes of the little fair isle sweater. After that, all I had left was the collar. I’m quite pleased with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also finally (finally!!) finished the Twist & Shout sweater from the Fall 2008 Knitty. I had to do the collar twice because I picked up too many stitches the first time and it came down too far on the left. Picture’s not too great, because I didn’t have anyone around to take a picture of me in it, and I was too impatient to wait.

Now off to Ravelry to mark them both complete.

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