Saturday, June 4, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend and Beginner Lessons

On Memorial Day weekend, in keeping with our decision to have fun on the holiday weekend, we did some rather different things.

We went to Baby Acapulco’s in Austin on Saturday night to enjoy a friend’s band, Back Trax, perform.  They do 60s numbers and we completely enjoyed the music and the wonderful food (Tex Mex).  Inspired by the very hot evening,  I knocked down two frozen margaritas, luscious snow confections that made me completely sleepy.  I’m not much of a drinker.

Steven came home this weekend with a little gray kitten, scheduled to stay at our house a couple days and then go to his friend Sunshine.  He and his roomies began feeding a stray cat a while back who turned out to be a pregnant mama and then had four babies.  At the end of the semester, this was the last kitten to be given away.  The guys set him up in the downstairs bathroom to keep him away from our little dog.  He’s a tiny, spidery gray kitten (born early April) with white socks and dabs of white on his face and chest.  This kitten is quite an adventurer, always moving, climbing, tumbling, and wonderfully healthy and busy.  We enjoyed playing with the cute little clown, but our dog was highly affronted and is quite happy to have kitty gone now.

We also attended the Kerrville Folk Festival Monday evening - a long drive, a hot day, and some great music.  We didn't plan well - we didn't realize it all begins at about 6 p.m. and that it goes on late.  We had time to kill in the heat and we had to leave before the concert was over.  We were newbies.

Over the weekend I also did some knitting.  In fact, I got back to a project I had to set aside.  Ever since I started the internet teaching, I’ve had requests for DVDs of all the beginner lessons, but those old YouTube videos were NOT good enough to sell.  They were done with an old camcorder, which is okay if you have the tiny YouTube window, but they’re not high-definition and on a DVD player they’re extremely pixellated.  We also had sound and lighting issues. 

Still, if you got a new-to-you machine and you try to learn from YouTube, unless you have a good internet connection and some patience, a hi-def DVD would be a Godsend, and various people have kept on encouraging me to get these lessons redone.  Besides, I've encountered a steady stream of beginners at club, at knitting seminars, and online, and my mission, which was initially to be a big resource for beginners, ought not to be neglected now!

I have now almost finished completely refilming the beginner MK course in high definition.  I’m using what I’ve learned along the way to make the classes better – better lighting, more visible yarn colors, small changes to the explanations, close-ups of blocked samples where appropriate, and a pile of extra lessons that I didn’t include in the original YouTube videos.  High definition video means you can show the video on your big flat screen TV and see the knitting machine better than I can!  

I think I'm slightly less tongue-tied, and I'm managing to say "stitches" when I mean "stitches" and "needles" when I mean "needles!"  

I still have to edit and redo a few things and then I’ll finally have a high-quality beginner DVD course to market.  I hope to keep the course to two DVDs and no book, if at all possible, and therefore keep the price down.  It should be affordable to give a set to a friend, or if you sell machines, include a set with the machine and give the buyer a real leg up on learning to knit.  

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