Tag Archives: Arts

Guitar Lust

26 Jan

I don’t play guitar.


But it’s on The List.

My sister happened to leave us her guitar along with most of her furniture to store in our attic when she moved down south, and I quickly co-opted borrowed it to start working on #3. Which leads me to my current pressing question: how do I judge when I can cross “teach myself guitar” off of my list? Is it when I’ve mastered common chord progressions? When I can successfully play a few songs? When I am able to play any song that’s put in front of me off of the tabs? In a discipline where there will always be more to learn, where there will always be someone out there more talented than you, how do I know when I can say “I know how to play the guitar?” I need to know, because I’m almost positive A won’t let me buy this until I do:

black beauty - the ovation celebrity

Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. My sister’s man has one, and as soon as I saw it I fell in love. What else would you expect from a girl who has made a life out of choosing the different and unique? Lest you think I’m entirely superficial, there’s a lot of reasons besides the look that makes me covet this guitar. First off, the sound is great. Whether played acoustically or plugged in there’s a warm richness to the sound that makes me melt. Two, it has a shallower body than a standard guitar. This combined with the feature of a narrower neck – closer to an electric than an acoustic – means this tiny-handed girl will be able to play more comfortably. Plus, look how pretty! Ok, I never said I wasn’t a little bit shallow.

But there’s no way we’re going to plunk down those kind of bucks without me being able to absolutely 100% without-a-doubt guarantee that I will play this instrument. We just had to replace our water heater yesterday for crimeny sakes. (Hello? Did everyone else out there know that water heaters are expensive?!? Holy crap, people! Hot water be pricey!) And so I will learn. Somehow. I have to, it’s on The List after all. And I’ve got this little beauty and all her friends as an incentive.

So tell me, folks: when will I be able to say I can play the guitar?

How Tuesday – Widdershins

17 Jan

It’s just starting to get cold here in California. I’m not knitting much these days, but still cast on when I’m craving the feeling of creating. Plus I wanted a simple pair of fingerless gloves to ward off the chill. Widdershins means to circle in a course opposite the sun. I am craving the sun right now,in this time that is opposite the sun, and the offset cables on the cuffs look like they’re circling each other, chasing each other in a sort of twisty dance. This pattern is a great introduction to cables and thumb gussets, and is suitable for an adventurous beginner who has experience working in the round. I hope these bring some joy into your winter!

Sized to fit a women’s hand. Use thicker yarn/bigger needles if you want a larger pair.

One skein Malabrigo Merino Worsted. (It uses about half the skein, so you’ll have leftovers for a second pair.)
Set of US size 5 double-pointed needles. (Note: every knitter is different. Use a needle size that gets you the gauge listed below.
Cable needle
Stitch markers
Waste yarn
Tapestry needle

20 sts x 25 rows = 4 inches

4×1 rib
 – knit 4, purl 1
C4F – cable four front: slip two stitches onto cable needle and hold in front of your work. Knit two stitches off of left needle. Knit two stitches off of cable needle.
C4B – cable four back: slip two stitches onto cable needle and hold in back of your work. Knit two stitches off of left needle. Knit two stitches off of cable needle.
M1R – make one right
M1L – make one left

Click here to see a very good video on how to do a cable. It’s so easy! Every time I taught a cable class people would look at me and say “that’s it?” That’s really it.


Right Hand:

Cast on 40 sts. Join in the round being careful not to twist. Place your stitch marker to indicate beginning of round.
[Purl 1, Knit 4] to end (repeated a total of eight times.) This establishes the 4×1 rib.
Knit, continuing in rib pattern for 4 rounds. A total of 5 rounds have been worked.
[Purl 1, C4F, purl 1, knit 4] four times.
Knit in 4×1 rib for 4 rounds.
[Purl 1, Knit 4, purl 1, C4F] four times.
Knit in 4×1 rib for 4 rounds.
[Purl 1, C4F, purl 1, knit 4] four times.
Knit in 4×1 rib for 4 rounds.

Thumb Gusset:

Knit until you get to 4 sts before end of round marker.
Place a new marker, knit 4. This establishes where you will increase for the thumb gusset. It should be centered over the last cable column of the round.
Increase round: Knit to first marker, slip marker, M1R. Knit to second marker, M1L. (Two stitches increased.)
Knit three rows, work increase round.
Continue to work three rows, then an increase round until you have 14 sts between markers. (10 sts total increased.)
Work even until work measures 4 ¾ inches from edge of cuff, or until work hits the junction of your thumb and hand with the cuff on your wrist.


Thread tapestry needle with waste yarn and slide oll of the hand stitches onto yarn. (36 sts.) Remove markers and divide 14 thumb sts onto three needles. Join for working in the round.
Knit three rows, purl one row.
Bind off all stitches.


Slide sts off of waste yarn and back onto needles. Join for working in the round.
Knit 7 rows, or until glove reaches desired length for covering hand.
Purl one row. Bind off all stitches and weave in ends.

Left Hand:

Follow all directions for right hand, substituting a C4B for every C4F.

If you make a pair, I’d love to see how they come out! Leave me a link in the comments and I’ll check them out.

Check out Widdershins on Ravelry and see what people are doing with the pattern!

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