Tracy Chapman and the Red Sweater

Yesterday I got my exercise by pushing a shopping cart around a huge grocery store.  I was out there in the late morning at prime little old people time, and many of the elderly were out-pacing me by strides.  I wasn’t worried, as I’m just beginning my conditioning.  Soon I’ll be winning the race to the discounted produce, and toting those cartons of fizzy water without grunting.  I was excited to be able to stock up my freezer again.  For a while I didn’t have the energy and strength for hauling a lot of heavy frozen stuff, but yesterday I felt like I was winning a prize as I loaded up a 10-pound bag of skinless chicken breasts and a huge bag of pears that won’t ripen for a while.  Those B-cells must have been lazy little buggers, impeding me from doing the work I need.  Death to the B-cells!  This increase in energy and strength alone is cause to take the next treatments in June.


I’ve been noting my travel music, and while the errands yesterday barely totalled 15 miles, I still had notable music:  Tracy Chapman.  Several years ago she performed at the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga.  If you’re not hip to Riverbend you should become enlightened:  Anyway, I was sitting in the crowd in the heat and humidity (what we call weather in June in Chattanooga, Tennessee), and I was enchanted.  Most of the time she performed with her acoustic guitar as the major accompaniment.  Her lyrics were stark and sometimes hard, telling of experience and age, sometimes ironic, never cute.  These were tales I had followed since her debut with Fast Car.  My eyes couldn’t leave her as she performed.  She had a strong, solid presence, a beauty that was simple, uncolored.  Her arms were shapely, perfect, as if carved-well-muscled and sleek, unusual for a woman, but not masculine.  I don’t recall ever focusing on arms the way I did that night; I wanted my sketchbook and a charcoal pencil.  Here is a sample of the deep, resonant voice:


I’ve had my professional v. amateur question answered by Think Outside the Sox.  Because I have knit for pay, I am considered a pro.  The contest is primarily for amateurs (25 of 26 categories) but I am still IN.  I’m gonna put on my big-girl needles and be a pro!  For the rest of the year, I’ll be muttering in my sleep about innovative techniques-”socks made from feathers”, no “anti-tickle socks”, or maybe “socks knit from rubber bands”…hey, I can innovate with the best of them! 


Speaking of innovating, I’m going to show you where I am with the Berroca cardigan.  Remember, the one I started back in the 5th century BC, knit in mistake rib?  These are the fronts:mistakeribcardiganfrontsa.jpg 


Here is the stepped shoulder, sloping down from the neck to the sleeve edge:

mistakeribcardiganfrontsshoulder.jpgIt looks as though there may be curves shaped at the sides and upper neckline, but there are no curves – it’s just the flexibility that the loose mistake rib makes in the fabric.  I’m a few inches up the back, and I’ll show you again when I bind off the back neck. 


I couldn’t get to the latest knitting group, and I miss my friends.




3 Responses

  1. We missed you! I hope you come next week.

  2. Plus I love Tracy Chapman’s voice; when was she at Riverbend?

  3. Weird that you bring her up. I was just listening to “Talking About a Revolution” today while working on some stuff. That song is a bit radical for me, but her tone is so soothing, kind of like Joan Armatrading.

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