Friday, October 23, 2015

Bells of Dunblane/ (insert naughty word) another deadly school attack

First a bit of history.  We lived in Longmont, Colorado on 20 April 1999 when the Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado massacre occurred. My husband plays the bagpipe (how these connect...) keep reading.  In Dunblane Scotland on 13 March 1996 there was a school massacre  at Dunblane Primary School.   22 October 2015 Stockholm, Scotland there was another school attack that killed 1 student and 1 teacher before the attacker was killed......(There have been many, more you can look them up but over 180 in 16 years.) My husband, Doug, plays the bagpipe and was a member of the City of Denver Pipe Band (for how these connect...) keep reading.
Doug  wrote this out for me and since I tend to cry easily I will just post it as he wrote it.

Bells of Dunblane

It has been said that a bagpiper has a tune for every occasion.

Andrew was the Pipe Major of the City of Denver Pipe Band.  In his day job, he taught French at the Boulder Valley School District.  He lived nearby in Littleton, Colorado where his daughter, Stephanie, was a student at Columbine High School.  Stephanie was a highland dancer with the band and was well-known to other band members, of which there were nearly a hundred.

In 1998 a friend of Andrew’s visited Scotland.  While there, this friend attended a pipe concert where he surreptitiously used a pocket tape recorder to record the event.  He thought Andrew might be interested in hearing it, so he made a copy and sent the tape to him, but inadvertently forgot to include the names of the tunes.  Andrew played the tape and found several tunes he liked.  One in particular caught his attention so he wrote manuscript copies of it and shared it with members of the band.  The band included the tune in its repertoire as “The Nameless Tune.”  They played it at concerts that fall and into the next spring.

Then came the Columbine shootings.  Fifteen people, including the two shooters, were killed and 20 others wounded.  Stephanie and a friend had the good fortune to choose that day to go home for lunch and raid Andrew’s refrigerator (and skip returning to school that day).  They missed the whole thing.  Through her connection with the pipe band, Stephanie was asked if the City of Denver Pipe Band would perform at the memorial.  The band agrees and “The Nameless Tune” was included in the services.

In the summer of 1999 the City of Denver Pipe Band toured Scotland, performing at several locales well-known to pipers, including Oban.  After the performance at Oban a man came out of the crowd and said he recognized “The Nameless Tune.”  It was the “Bells of Dunblane.”

You do remember Dunblane?  On March 13, 1996 a gunman entered Dunblane Primary School and killed a teacher and sixteen children.  A piper, Robert (Bob) Mathieson , visited Dunblane at the time of the funerals and heard the bells tolling.  This inspired him to write the tune.  Without knowing its history, Andrew chose this tune to commemorate the students of Columbine High School.

The Bells of Dunblane has become the tune of choice when pipers perform for memorials to the victims of school shootings.

It has been said that a piper has a tune for every occasion.  Sadly, that is true.

Doug Stevenson,
Former member of the City of Denver Pipe Band

You can listen here:
(  is a list from February 2, 1996 until October 1, 2015


Monday, October 5, 2015

still another school shooting

"Da*n it we need to stop this NOW.  We need to take away the mental health stigma and stop the bullies (a form of mental illness) and we will stop the crazy shooters.  We have to say enough and make it stick.
Thoughts of Lace Embrace 2015….

First off Lace Embrace was fantastic.  Not as well attended as some years but there were other things going on at the same time…I do not know how well it was publicized.  I’ve 2 hours plus away by car.  I got the info via an email…

My daughter, Jan, accompanied me this year and I did enjoy the entire weekend while she was here and hope she did too.  The problem occurred because I am a dork and don’t do needle tatting as many people do.  I shuttle tat and teach shuttle tatting…I can teach the very, very basics of needle tatting but Saturday proved why I maybe should not try to do something over my head as a teacher of needle tatting.

Jan is definitely in the bobbin lace camp of tatting…no shuttle for her (at least yet) as the shuttle is not being friendly to her hand…needles are.  This was her first attempt at needle tatting….
[The pattern was a simple ruffled ball from Patty Dowden 2011-2012 all uses permitted (except sale of document).  Continuous thread method used for shuttles. 
R: 1-1-1-1 close ring very firmly, do not reverse work, shoe lace trick closed firmly.  Firm tension allows the ruffles the stiffness needed to stand up.

{Just 3 picots in the start ring.  The shoe lace trick (tie) functions as a lock join onto a picot and the start of the first spiral.  A picot precedes the ds on all the chain segments. }
Chain segments: -1-1 lock join to next picot on previous row/segment.
{Repeat around the spiral, lock join so there is a space to start the next segment.  The first spiral has 2-2-in each segment, the second spiral has 4. The third spiral has 8 segments, the fourth has 16….continuing as large as desired.   It will be very dense. ]
Now that you have read the pattern we are starting where the problem occurred.  (Neither the teacher, a shuttle tatter, nor I and I can teach only the basics of needle method…) Jan did an awesome job on the starting ring…then we went on using the ring method but without the lock join (how to do that with a needle?? Way over my skill with a needle at this time but learning it soon) and the needle won’t bend to make the turn…duh then I noted it wasn’t a chain!!!!!!!!!!!!...start over this part using chain method and taking it off the needle as needed to make it work.  I still (Oct 5, 2015) am not sure how to make it work….
I suspect that will be the last time Jan tries needle tatting….unless a tatting friend, Brigitte, is available to help Jan with tatting.  Brigitte did a good job of explaining how to tat with a needle.  Way better than I did.  Jan picked up adding the stitches quickly but I am not sure she will try it again.  I can only hope…
I do need to figure out how to do the lock join before long as it is in the beginner lessons.

Peace, Cyn