Saturday, November 04, 2006

Fingerless gloves for fiddling

Bed is beckoning. To be tucked cozily in the blankets listening to the heavy wind and rain, hearing music in my head.

After a week of preparing and stressing about this day, I'm vibrating with fulfillment and happiness.

My violin worlds sometimes collide: classical and bluegrass. They're not easy companions to practice side by side and yet there are times I need to concentrate equally on each. This autumn the small ensemble I'm in is playing Bach's Brandenburg Concerto, No. 4. This is stuff I loved playing from the very first read-through. It's a joy to practice and work through! After a week of working to nail the harder passages I so looked forward to putting it all together at yesterday's practice session. To my dismay, we didn't touch it! The director decided to spend the session working on our sight reading skill. So, she trotted out Beethoven's Scherzo. Yikes, that seriously tests my timing skills - or rather, the lack of them. (The playlist on the left is the music we did today, as well as for some previous gigs.)


Meanwhile, I had to seriously practice bluegrass, and knit a pair of fingerless gloves for tonight's gig. Black Silk from Debbie Bliss. Wonderful smooth, glossy stuff that's extremely hard to knit in the evening light, which is knitting time. I didn't like any one pattern so combined different things from several differnt patterns ending up with a left hand glove with a 9 stitch lace pattern. My very first lace! :-)We'd heard that the place we were playing in this evening would be cold and it's hard to play fast fiddle when fingers are freezing so I wanted a pair of fingerless gloves that stopped at the crease in the palm of my hand so there's no bunching when playing. (It's hard to see the lace but it's there.) This was a very satisfying project in a couple of ways: The lace turned out great - remembering the pattern and understanding why the yo and k2t were where they were was exhilarating; And basically working up my own fingerless glove pattern felt rather empowering.

Crooked Finger Band had a double-booking today. Take it on the road folks! The first was a two hour gig at the nearby retirement center. The folks were friendly and enthusiatic and the pay good. :-)My d-i-l is in the band so she was there with Faith, and her mom who used to work at the Towers and knows most of the residents. She showed Faith off to one and all. Immmediately afterwards we packed up and headed into the blustery hills for an evening gig, up Crooked Finger Rd. One of the locals has an annual get together of all the neighbors along Crooked Finger. We began with one of our standard fiddle tunes, a favourite with most audiences. Looking out at the people I recognized most of them and my heart sang with happiness. What a thrill and honor to play for people who've kind of heard of the band but had never heard us play together. When members of a band are in sync and hitting the notes together it is an amazing high, a tremendous reward for all the hours of practicing. So many times I'm close to quitting the violin - she's a demanding taskmaster who isn't often kind. But then a day comes along like today where most of the notes are easily found by the fingers and it all feels so right and good.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Marianne said...

Wanda, playing violin has always been impressive to me, I love the music that one can make...I did the closer view on the list, great selection of the ones I could read. The fingerless glove is beautiful. I've very happy for you to have had such a grand and music gifting day. How did Faith respond to the music? I'm sure she loves it....

5:14 AM  
Blogger Teyani said...

what a lovely post - and the gloves just perfect - I love that last photo - so artistic. Good that you kept on knitting with that crazy black. They look lovely.

Music is such a source of joy - there is just nothing like it when it all comes together in a group, eh? !

7:14 AM  
Blogger Fiberjoy said...

Faith didn't cry at all during the 3 hours we were at the Towers. But then she slept most of the time.

Black is hard to knit, but most appropriate with a violin. :-)

9:10 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

*Great* gloves.

LittleBit played violin in 5th grade through 7th grade; then she put down her violin for the trumpet, and now it's voice. She's a throwback to my mother, who played her own arrangements of honkytonk piano, accordian, and sax.

LittleBit also walked up to a $1K hammered dulcimer five or six years ago [at the dulcimer festival in OK], picked out a pair of hammers she liked the feel of, and proceeded to plink out a creditable version of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".

I'll make sure she gets the chance to read your post.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Charity said...

Black is hard to knit with, but looks so nice all finished up! I like the gloves, they look perfect.

I was happy to see your new post, but had to scroll down one more time to see Faith's little toes. :0)

4:53 PM  
Blogger Fiberjoy said...

LittleBit is gifted!

I'm planning to visit Faith today: another baby picture forthcoming.

8:13 AM  

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