Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Youngest Daughter



It's Saint Patrick's Day, and we're stuck at home, waiting out this virus.  So I have arranged an Irish reel for harp, and I hope you enjoy it!

Vintage Post Cards in Video -

1 - Post card from 1912
2 - May McAvoy, actress, 1923
3 - St. Modwen's Church, Burton-on-Trent, England, 1916
4 - Calendar, 1908
5 - Queenstown, Ireland, 1912
6 - Ellen Clapsaddle, artist, post card, circa 1900
7  -Old Weir Bridge, Killarney, 1912
8 - Post card, circa 1900
9 - Illustrated Limericks, 1905
10 - Post card, 1908
11 - Post card, 1911
12 - Meeting of the Waters, Killarney, 1917
13 - Post card, 1909

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Auld Lang Syne



Happy New Year!  This video is Auld Lang Syne, which I arranged for harp.  It's about 2 minutes long.

Here's a list of the vintage pictures in the video:

1 - Inverary Cross and Castle, Scotland, 1907
2 - family in Queensland, Australia, 1900
3 - boy in Australia, 1890
4 - Flora MacDonald, Scotland, painting by Allan Ramsay, 1749
5 - Crimean War piper, circa 1855
6 - Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, by Samuel Bough, late 1860s
7 - Scottish suffragettes, circa 1910
8 - boy in Australia, 1898
9 - piper and dog in Australia, 1921
10 - Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, by Alexander Nasmyth, 1880
11 - Highland Gathering, Sydney, Australia, 1937
12 - highland dancing, Sydney, 1938
13 - Glasgow University, circa 1895
14 - piper, Scottish Highlands, 1934
15 - Robert Burns, Scottish poet: Auld Lang Syne, late 1700s

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Pachelbel's Canon in D for Christmas



Here's my latest holiday musical arrangement.  It's Pachelbel's Canon for harp plus some chamber instruments.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

We Gather Together



Here's a Thanksgiving song I arranged for harp.  Happy Day!

The vintage pictures in the video are as follows:

1 - From cover of Ladies Home Journal, 1891
2 - Harvesters in Alberta, Canada, 1890
3 - Hopi, 1898
4 - Sami girl in Lapland, c.1930
5 - Hopi, c.1900
6 - schoolchildren in Frankfurt, Germany, 1930
7 - school party in Grand Coulee, WA, 1935
8 - dinner menu, Ft. Mifflin, Philadelphia, 1918
9 - WACs director at Thanksgiving in Frankfurt, 1946
10 - dinner table in Neffsville, PA, 1942
11 - children cooking in Norway, 1957
12 - Thanksgiving postcard, c.1900

Monday, November 11, 2019

New Knit Stitch: The Towel Stitch


The Knitted Towel Stitch

I developed this stitch when I was looking for a way to knit a towel that wouldn't stretch like a sweater when I wanted to use it.  Linen stitch is a good candidate, but it's very slow-going.  Here's what I came up with: the towel stitch!

It makes a thick, non-stretchy fabric.  Fast, easy, and no purling.  Use cotton yarn for absorbency and  larger needles than the yarn calls for--US no. 10 with cotton worsted weight.

The Towel Stitch: How to Do It


Setup
Cable cast-on half the number of desired stitches in a row.
First Row: [Kfb], repeat to end.

Stitch Pattern
Rows 1-10: [K1, sl1 purlwise], repeat to end.
Row 11: [K2tog], repeat to end.
Row 12: [Kfb], repeat to end.
Repeat Rows 1-12 to desired length.

Finish
Last Row: [K1, sl1 purlwise, psso], repeat to end.
Bind off loosely.

(photos: cotton worsted weight yarn, US no. 10 needles)

The Towel Stitch - Knit

Monday, November 4, 2019

Blackstrap Bread



This is my go-to whole wheat bread recipe, which I bake 2-3 times a week.  It makes great sandwiches, and the molasses adds a wonderful flavor.

I make it partly by hand and partly in the bread machine.  But you can use whatever method you like best.

BLACKSTRAP BREAD

1-1/8 cup water
1-1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses or maple syrup*(1)
1/4 cup olive oil
3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour*(2)
1 Tbsp active dry yeast

Stir together water, salt, and molasses until dissolved.  Add oil.  Pour into bread-machine pan or mixing bowl.

Add flour on top of liquid.  Make an indentation in flour and add yeast. Let sit in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Mix ingredients and knead (bread machine can do both).  Let dough rest for about 5 minutes or until it can pass the windowpane test.*(3)

Form dough into a ball, removing bread machine paddle if using.  With 1 Tbsp olive oil in bottom of a medium-sized mixing bowl, roll dough around until coated with oil.  Cover bowl with a layer of waxed paper and then a dish towel.

Let sit for 30-45 minutes in a warm place, until dough has risen above the top of the bowl.

Gently punch down the top of the dough to get rid of big bubbles.  Turn it out onto a floured board and form it into a loaf.*(4)

Place loaf in pan, seam-side-down, cover with waxed paper and dish towel, and let rise in a warm place for about 20-30 minutes, or until it's approximately 1" taller.

Bake at 350 deg. F for 40 minutes (bread machine can do this too).

Remove from pan and cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Notes

*1. Blackstrap molasses is my favorite sweetener, but an equal amount of maple syrup works just as well.  If you want to use granulated raw sugar, use 1/4 cup sugar and add 1/8 cup water to the recipe.

*2. This amount of flour is just about right if you fluff it with a wire whisk before measuring.  Try not to compact it into the measuring cup.

*3. For the windowpane test, get a ping-pong ball-sized piece of dough and pull it into a thin disc.  Hold it up to the light.  If you can see light through it, the dough has passed the test.  If not, let it rest more.

*4. To form bread dough into a loaf, roll or pat it into a 1-1/2"-thick oval.  Roll it up like a jellyroll, sealing the front of the roll onto the surface of the unrolled dough with every turn--about 4 times.  Roll the remaining flap of unrolled dough up onto the rest, pinching it onto the body of the roll. Turn the roll seam-side-down, pull the ends under, and pinch them together underneath.  Securely pinch all seams, folds, and gaps.

Whole Wheat Bread


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Halloween March



I wrote this little piece for harp--it's called The Halloween March.   You get 52 seconds of vintage photos and harpistic Halloweening.  Enjoy!