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Archive for April 6th, 2007

Article on Bliss Blood

Friday, April 6th, 2007

I’ve written about Bliss Blood here before, Brian and I met her on the Ukulele Circuit with her band The Moonlighters. First we met in the Pocanos and again last April at the New York Ukefest.

In New York, we sat next to one another as we sold our CDs so we got a chance to chat. It turns out that she knits and crochets, too, and we had a number of other things in common. She lives in NYC now and likes it a lot.

Today I got an email with a bunch of her upcoming performances detailed in it. Also, she added a little postscript about an article we could read online. A quite in-depth article about Bliss, talking about her musical work going way back to previous bands and especially her work when she was in Houston. She has been in NYC over a decade now, but I was impressed with all the information packed into a one-page article with a large, good photo of Bliss.

If you have a minute, perhaps you’d like to read the article. I enjoyed it very much.

And if you haven’t listened to The Moonlighters yet, consider adding one of their CDs to your collection. I’m particularly fond of Live in Baden-Baden, myself. I have two of their CDs but that’s the one I would have worn out had it been pressed in vinyl. They have a new CD, too, and I’ll be picking that up in three weeks when we are back in NYC for this year’s NY Ukefest.

If you go to her website, it lists all the bands she’s in. Underneath each band it has a link to listen to MP3′s. If you click the MP3 link, you will see a list of songs Bliss (and her various bands) recorded… you can listen to several excellent full-length cuts (each song indicates which of her bands recorded that song, they are not grouped by band).

If you have the time and inclination, you can listen to a lot of music before you leave that web page! Serious talent, much pleasure, great stuff. I highly recommend a visit.

Yarn for Bags

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Trish and Karen both asked about the yarns used in the Watercolor Bags, shown in yesterday’s photo. No, they don’t use any of my own handpaint (I’m still looking for a feltable yarn that I would be proud to put my name on) though I am in love with some of the colors.

All of these bags in yesterday’s photo used Cascade 220 for the solid color, though Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride works as well. The wild rainbows appear to be Diakieto Rococo, the top left subtle persimmon is Paintbox and the mottled (unstriped) pink and aqua at bottom right I believe is Malabrigo merino.

I have made one bag with Paintbox (not pictured, it “lives” at Threadbear). It had many stripey colors in it, and the blue stripe resisted felting fully though the other colors did well. The bag here doesn’t have blue in it so we are hoping for the best. The knitter had all this information at the time she started knitting, and we all know that shrinking knits is always a sort of gamble, so it will be fascinating.

The Malabrigo screams out to be felted though I’ve never done it yet. I’m thinking it may felt faster than the Cascade, which is how the Autunno bag reacted.

The Rococo also is very soft wool in a “singles” (one ply) although it is a little thinner yarn than the others. According to Threadbear it felts like a dream and I believe it will. The two knitters here used the same needles but one knits more firmly than the other.

I am very interested to see how Rococo works, I love the yarn colors and would love my own bag in that yarn. The only reason I didn’t try it before is that the number of yards per gram was not the same as my specified yarn in the pattern. When the Autunno had a closer specification to my original yarn, I ended up working with that instead, and it did work out beautifully.

Karen’s comment was that when she made this bag (out of the specified yarns, Noro Kureyon and Cascade 220, sample bottom right), the Cascade yarn felted faster. That is also my experience, as the Kureyon does resist felting a bit. I like a more firm bottom of my bag so that works well. I designed it in these yarns so that was the expected result.

When I made the Autunno bag (top right photo, this bag also “lives” at Threadbear), the main yarn felted faster than the bottom. It still looked like a Watercolor bag. No matter which felts faster, the bag has a characteristic shape that works.