Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

01 July 2006

"With These Hands"

This song was originally commisioned for use in a documentary about a Garment Workers' Union, but it became this romantic theme, instead, which I'm sure close to none of you know at all. The most exciting thing here--and with my playing and singing in general--is the increasing ease with which I'm able to do it. I can sight read a song, the piano accompanyment and the vocal melody together, and get it fairly right on the first go through. This has been a fantasy of mine from that first moment of piano playing lust in the high school band room. Now, finally, with no one to sing along, and singing songs that pretty much no one knows, I can do it. It's still satisfying, and really, really fun.

My other big accomplishment of late is a knitting one (though I also got to run this morning for the first time in two weeks, since that awful race). I knitted four sweaters way back in my college days, and only one of them has survived. I still quite like that one, wear it, even. Two of the remaining four were just too simple for my tastes in the end, though there was a satisfaction in finishing them as projects. The fourth was a sweater for my brother, Chris. He purchased the yarn, I made the sweater in an embarassingly long time, gave it to him, and never heard or saw it again. I'm not sure if it was awful, or it didn't fit, but I never wanted to know.

In the last couple of years, after a long and lovely time crocheting afghans exclusively, I've again been inspired to knit. A friend of mine introduced me to some lovely patterns by Elsebeth Lavold, a designer clever enough to produce her own line of yarn that fits these patterns o-so-perfectly. I got the yarn for the easiest of the sweaters on eBay, after many months of waiting for it to fall into a price range that I could vaguely justify. This would be, even so, the most expensive sweater I had ever made, and the most difficult, I felt, since I was determined this time to do things properly, and not just guess at how to do all the increases and decreases.

I completed most of the back of the sweater--the simplest bit--last summer. I ripped part of it out three times to accomplish this much. Then, reaching areas where I would have to actually do those increases and decreases properly, I panicked. I stopped, tucking the sweater away in fear.

This year my knitting has done much better in general. I've started to take some basic classes to help overcome my fears. I do well with a physical skill like this when I see it done in person. My stuffed and felted hedgehog was a hugely satisfying thing. Ah! the casting on in the middle, the increases, the decreases, the picking up of stiches! So, finally, I felt ready to again pick up this sweater. Also, having worked on it while camping last August, I didn't want to be working on it again this year while camping with the same people.

And here it is: I completed the back, and the front is well on its way. If it's not complete by August 9th, I may just take it with me anyway, it's so lovely. And I've signed up for a sock class this month, as well, to promote further leaping over my chosen fear-ridden projects. I can't feel so bad about getting older when I do, finally, sometimes, break through and finish what I've begun.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter