Well, actually Otto missed the opera, he had to stay in the car. He was glad he did, it was possible he may have drowned had he ventured out.
Progress had been spotty at best; at knitting Thursday night I got a lot done only to have to rip about half of it out near the end. At that point it seemed quitting and heading home and to bed were the best options. When I examined the remnants of my first sleeve the next morning, I found I had made another error quite a ways back, before I had started shaping the sleeve cap. I had knitted a row I should have purled, and this was quite a jarring error, and so a major step backwards was required.
So I ripped and began furiously reknitting. It is not that I mind knitting sleeves, I really don't, but by the time I get to the sleeves, especially in a sport weight sweater, I am ready to move on to something else. I have considered knitting sleeves first, but then the same thing happens only I am knitting the front or the back and it is no more encouraging, often less so simply because it is bigger and harder to get through when my mind is wishing to race ever onward.
Luckily we had planned a trip up to Tanglewood on Friday and I had a nice stretch of car time to put to use knitting. It went well, with no errors this round. By the time we arrived I was well into the shaping at the top of the sleeve cap.
I have long wanted to attend the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood, but for quite a few years it was always held one of the middle weekends of August, the same weekends as the Bard Music Festival and so we were never able to make it up to Tanglewood. This year however, it is earlier, and I was eager to hear something. G thought a whole weekend of modern music might be a bit much, and he is probably quite right, as we have two music packed weekends awaiting us next month and three music intense weekends in a month's time is probably more than even I can bear.
But this first concert, a program of three short Twentieth-Century Operas sounded very interesting and the concert was lovely and great fun. The performances were spectacular, the staging was witty and charming and everything was lovely.
My favorite was "There and Back" by Hindemith because it was just so charming and witty and fun. The staging was a gas, the singing was exceptional, and frankly I don't remember the music much, it seemed to follow the story but not stand out on its own. That is neither criticism or recommendation, just that it didn't stand out for me. Odd, because I usually love Hindemith and have done so since I was first introduced to his music in college.
The second work was by Stravinsky, "Mavra" and the music was much more forward and present in this opera. The music shaped the settings and the scenes, although there was also a lot of wit and a bit of kitch thrown in. Some of the songs were positively beautiful.
The first two operas were light and witty, certainly not serious ponderous works. The same cannot be said exactly for the last work by Elliot Carter, called "What Next". Now both G and I were uncertain that we would like the Carter as neither one of has ever developed a feel for his music. It was a strange and difficult piece and there the rhythms could be very difficult to discern. It could not have been easy singing. I might have enjoyed it more had I understood the words better, they were in English, but I had trouble making out the actual words. This could have also be because the heavens had opened and there was a deluge outside the concert hall during much of this work. It did make me think that perhaps I should try listening to Carter's works for voice as opposed to the instrumental works, which I have not found inspiring.
It was still raining when we left the concert and the first parking lot, the one closer to the gates, was deeply flooded. Upon arrival G had complained that we had to park so far, but this proved to be a lucky thing as we were high, on gravel. The first lot was completely flooded and there were cars so deep in water that the water came up past the wheel wells and over the bottoms of the doors. We had to walk through the rain but we the car was at least dry.
Lenox is also home to a wonderful yarn store, Colorful Stitches, and G offered to take me there after we left Tanglewood. Of course I agreed.
The first thing we saw upon entering the store was Hanne Falkenberg's Mermaid in the gray and pink colorway.
Now I have been intending to order this kit but I hadn't gotten around to it, and I had been torn between this colorway, #6 and colorway #8. I was afraid that this would be too pale, but it is not, or that #8 would be too bright. I don't know about #8 because it was not in the store, but this would be perfect for me.
Also, G saw the sweater and said "you must knit that", followed by some comment about an anniversary coming up next week (the anniversary of the day we met), and the kit was a done deal.
They had lots of other beautiful yarns, but not the specific things I had in mind. My brain was still all wrapped up in the music and the opera sets and I was really having trouble changing my stream of thought from music to yarn so I was somewhat overwhelmed in the store.
I suppose G should keep that in mind, take me yarn shopping after a fabulous musical experience and I will exit with fewer bags of yarn.
Hmm. I don't think I'll point that out to him. Perhaps he hasn't made the connection.
So this will probably be the next project on the list when I finish Otto. I might intersperse a few quicker knits; but then I may just become obsessed.
Meanwhile, I ripped through the rest of the first sleeve and got it on the blocking board last night. It looks like it will work out well. The last sleeve has been started.