Monthly Archives: February 2007

Sewing report

Another project which has been dragging on for ages is this new dressing gown:


It’s made out of old towels, which turned out to be a big mistake. My sewing machine was not happy, and I ended up having to sew the neck/front band on by hand as it simply would not fit under the presser foot!

You can see the detail on Pattern Review.



Filed under Crafts, Sewing

A little light reading

Courtesy of Carol, a link to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest winners for 2006 which looks for the opening sentence for the worst ever imaginary novel.

You can see Carol’s favourite in her post here.

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Filed under Blether



It seems that even the lofty heights of classical music are subject to plagiarism and fraud.

If you own any piano music recordings by Joyce Hatto which were made from 1989 onwards, it seems they aren’t by her at all.

Denis Dutton writes in the International Herald Tribune:

Responding to a tip from a reader, a critic with the British Gramophone magazine, Jeremy Distler, slid Joyce Hatto’s CD of Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes into his computer. His iTunes library, linked to a catalogue of about four million CDs, immediately identified it as a recording by the Hungarian virtuoso Laszlo Simon.

Since then, further analysis by both professional sound engineers and piano recording enthusiasts across the globe has pushed toward the same conclusion: the entire Joyce Hatto oeuvre recorded from 1989 on appears to be stolen from the CDs of other pianists. The experts have yet to discover a single original CD in the set. It is a scandal unparalleled in the annals of classical music.

The music was as good as the critics said, but none of it was played by Joyce. She and her recording-engineer husband, William Barrington-Coupe, systematically stole the output of other pianists and orchestras and passed it off as hers, releasing it on their tiny independent label “Concert Artist”.

Gramophone has covered the same story in brief, with a promise of more detailed coverage in the April issue and a link to a website where the soundwaves of a few recordings have been compared to the Hatto versions.

As the International Herald Tribune article puts it:

Hatto usually targeted artists who were not household names, though on the basis of the reviews she received, they richly deserve to be.

I don’t think we own any of her recordings, but I look forward to hearing more about the artists who have been plagiarised and to buying more of their output.


Filed under Blether

Bear faced

and eared!

This little (20cm) bear has been a long time in the making. Here’s what he looked like over a year ago!
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I needed to find time when I wasn’t going to be interrupted to do the last of the finishing: ears, face and claws. I also knitted a tiny scarf to cover the join between head and body instead of using ribbon. I’m rather please with the way he’s come out.


He’s knitted in King Cole mohair, and the pattern can be found in Sandra Polley’s The Knitted Teddy Bear. I discovered the book when Franklin was knitting Istvan.


Filed under Crafts, Knitting

Fun and games

I’m willing to be that most of you thought that the Aran Islands were famous only for a particular type of intricately-cabled sweater.

 Think again!

Both Inis More and Inis Oirr claim to be the real Craggy Island, home of the channel 4 series Father Ted.  All other avenues having been exhausted, the argument is to be settled by a five-a-side football match as part of the inaugural Father Ted Festival.

Wish I could go!

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As I mentioned, I’ve started studying again. I’m doing an Open University course aimed at ‘Women returners to Science, Engineering and Technology (SET).  So far, the emphasis has been on ‘women returners’ with nothing about SET other than that the examples are women working in these fields.

This is not what I need. I made that very clear at the start of the course, and my tutor reassured me that there would be lots of appropriate stuff for someone who is working, but wants to get back into their field. Not yet there isn’t!

I’m hopeful that things will improve in the second part of the course. Certainly, when I’ve been teaching, we’ve always started at a level appropriate for the students with the least experience, and moved from there. It’s the first time I’ve felt like a bright child in a pedestrian class though – battling to stay focussed because it’s taking a lot of time (which I don’t have) and seems totally pointless.

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I’m looking for a knitting partner

I’ve designed, test-knitted, and knitted for use, a lovely double-breasted cardigan sized for 3mo to 12mo infants. It was made for a specific child, but I have formatted the pattern for sale.

You can see it here:

What I need is a picture of the cardigan being worn by a (hopefully) smiling small person to put on the front of the pattern. I’d also like confirmation that the pattern fits a variety of shapes of infant!

To that end, I’d like to recruit someone, or several someones, who fulfills the following criteria:

  1. You can knit (should cover most of this group)
  2. You have a small person to knit for
  3. You have, or have access to, a digital camera
  4. You have permission from the guardian/parent of the child to use pictures of that child in a public forum
  5. On my part, I will provide you with a printable copy of the pattern for your own use. As further thanks, I will provide you with a free copy of the two other published patterns I currently have. If your picture is used on the pattern, I will credit you as test-knitter and photographer, and the child as ‘model’ if you wish.

    If you would like to see my other patterns, please go to: and search by designer for ‘LornaJay’


Filed under Knitting