Sunday, 26 July 2015

FAZIOLI International Piano Recital Series 2015 Review: Nikolai Demidenko on Chopin

Courtesy of Sly's Piano New Zealand, I was invited to The FAZIOLI International Piano Recital Series 2015 that starts off with the legendary Russian pianist Nikolai Demidenko playing Chopin.
You can click here for the details.

The night started with me being seated next to the New Zealand Herald Music critique, click here for what he thought about the night.  
The stage.
LED lights reflection on the keys changes throughout the first section of the recital and turned off in the second section.
The first half of the recital, the "dancing" LED lights started to catch my attention as I noticed the colour projected off the ceiling was different to the colour casting shadows on the white piano keys.  When it was purple from above, it was green on the keys.  This, to the sensitive genius was a very distracting fanciness at the end of a 6 weeks long tour away from the family.

The second half of the recital allowed me to immerse myself in the reverie of the Ballades.  It is every single Chopin lovers' favourite.  Somehow, Nikolai told a complete story inside the complete Ballades.  I am mesmerised at the interpretation and the piano's support for the depth of contrast needed from what Chopin wrote.
This cannot be achieved on other pianos.  1 single note on Fazioli is enough to set its standard apart from the rest.  Let alone a breadth of repertoire from such celebrated composer.  I was romanced.

The night ended with 3 encores.  Nikolai was cheeky when he gave the popular Minute Waltz for the second encore.  Just a minute more I heard he says in his mind.

What a treat, definite moment of elevated bliss for the heart and soul.  Perfect instrument paired with the perfect maestro.
The programme

FREE PATTERN: Big Sweater Pattern

I had my reservation in posting this pattern I created because of the non-confidence in whether I made something worthy enough to be shared.  That is until two ladies from Masco Wools downtown Auckland convinced me that I need to even sell this pattern online as the end product looked good on me.  Of course I'm now inspired to write and make more intricate sweater with this pattern as a base.
Masco Wools downtown Auckland, NZ
What you need:
- set of circular needles, I used 3.00mm - 6.00mm set
- 2.50mm circular needles
- 2.75mm double pointed needles
- 3.00mm crochet hook
- about 2 skeins of 200gr 4 ply Naked Skeinz organic merino yarn
- stitch markers
- tapestry needles


- CO 216 sts on 3.00mm circular needles, put marker at starting st, join in the round
- K1 in the round for 1 row
- Next row onwards for 10cm: K2, P4 in the round (rib st)
- When you reached 10cm, change gradually to larger needles, going up from 3.00mm to 3.50mm for the next row, then 4.00mm for the next row, and so on until you reach 6.00mm.  This is all done in K1 (stockinette st)
- Put marker halfway at 108 sts
- Knit till 58 cm
- Bind off at armpit, 12 sts each side (6 sts before and after marker)


- Use the 2.50mm circular needles
- CO 42 sts, put marker at starting st, join in the round
- K1 in the round for 1 row
- Next row onwards for 10cm: K2, P4 in the round (rib st)
- When you reached 10cm, use the double pointed needles to go up from 2.50mm needles to 6.00mm needles in stockinette st
- K1 till piece measures 18cm

Shape Sleeves
-  Increase round: continue in stockinette st, kfb (knit into front and back) into last 2 st [2 st increased]
- Repeat increase round every 15cm, 2 more times (at 33cm and 48cm) - 48 st total
- Continue to work in stockinette st without increasing until piece measures 63cm (I have long lean arms, measure from cast on edge to underarm, unrolled, the diameter of your arms at 3 major points where you need to increase when folded)
- Bind off using 3.00mm crochet hook, 6 sts before and after marker - 12 sts

Transfer sleeves to the body

- Decrease every 6 sts making sure it's K2tog at the sleeves' junctions
- Put 1 marker, now measure from here - 232 sts
- K1 in the round for about 5cm (about 7 rows)
- Decrease after every 6 sts, K2tog - 203 sts
- K1 in the round for about 5cm (about 9 rows)
- Dec after every 6 sts, K2tog - 177 sts
- K1 in the round for about 5cm
- Dec after every 10 sts, K2tog - 139 sts
- K1 for about 5 cm
- Dec after every 10 sts, K2tog - 108 sts (divisible by 6 for ribbing)
- Start rib pattern K2/P4 for 10cm (while you keep changing to smaller needles, till you use 3.00mm needles again)
- Then work reverse rib pattern of P2/K4 for 15 cm (while changing back to larger needles till you use 6.00mm needles again)
- Loosely bind off with 3.00mm crochet hook

Does it look as expensive as the Fazioli?
The length it goes up to (disregard my sneakers, I'd pair it up with high heel ankle boots or flat knee high boots)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Free Pattern: Simple Neck Warmer

7.00mm Pony bamboo straight knitting needles + 2 skeins Amuri 8 ply in Navy + 6 hours of alone time
CO 60st
*Knit till end of row, turn
K2 then purl till last 2st before end of row, K2, turn*
Rep. from * - *
Continue till desired length
Join both ends to make loop

You can CO 120st and get more yarn to make the loop bigger and turn the neck warmer into a snood.

Single loop
Double loop
Worn double loop