House Keys and Musical Keys

RDP Monday: KEY

Meaning: “instrument for opening locks,” Middle English keie, from Old English cæg “metal piece that works a lock, key” literal and… See more definitions.


My sister and I were latchkey kids long before that was a thing. We wore our house keys on strings around our necks, and used them to get into the house before Mom and Dad came home from work. We never felt anything was unusual about that. It’s just the way it was. This picture is very similar to the key I remember using:

Image result for key

There are so many different usages of the word key  that   it would take way too long to mention them all. But the first thing I think of when I see the word is musical keys. The key for a piece of music determines which scale is used to compose it; each key has its own number of sharps or flats; and you can compose it a major key or a minor key. What’s the difference? The easiest way to describe it is that a minor key has a somewhat sad feeling about it. That, of course, way over-simplified, but it will do for my purposes.

I used a couple of beginner piano books to teach myself to read music, and I was always fascinated by the difference one single note made in a scale if you played it, for instance, as E Flat instead of E.

I just took a quick cruise through You Tube, where you can learn to do almost anything you can think of. Sure enough, there are lessons on scales and chords and all sorts of other musical things.

Too bad no one had invented in the internet back when I was a kid. Where was Al Gore when I needed him? 🙂

RDP: Key


Knitting for Dummies

Take a complicated subject you know more about than most people, and explain it to a friend who knows nothing about it at all

(There are many ways to cast on.  Keep searching the videos, if you don’t like this one.  I typically do a one-needle cast-on)


1. Either you love knitting or you hate it.  If you love it, continue reading.  If you hate it, go find something else to do.

2. If you don’t know whether you love it or hate it, continue reading until your eyes glaze over with boredom.

3. If  your eyes do not glaze over with boredom, you may be a knitter. In that case, study the video above and go get the materials you need.

4. Start with fat needles and fat yarn.  They’re easier to work with.

5.  Do not use very dark yarn.  Too hard to see what you’re doing.

6. No novelty yarns yet.  You need to get proficient with the plain stuff first.

7.  Multicolored yarns are fun, but not yet.

8. After you have mastered casting on, find another video that teaches you the simple knit stitch.

9.  Now knit a whole bunch of rows until you’ve made a square that you can use as a potholder or  something to put a hot dish on. Or  rip it out and make something more interesting.

10.  Find a video that teaches how to bind off your square.

Some people, like me, find it easier to have well-written and clearly drawn instructions on paper. That’s fine.  There are plenty of good starter books out there.

So why do I enjoy knitting?  Many reasons.  I love the feel of the yarn on my fingers.  I love seeing a pattern begin to take shape. Knitting is relaxing for me, something I can do while chatting, listening to music, watching TV, riding in the car.  Keeps my hands busy. I’m a multitasker, so it is important to me that my hands are busy.

I love the infinite vareiety of knitting. So much can be created, from socks and mittens and hats to some absolutely fabulous sweaters and wraps.  There are so many luscious yarns out there, from the finest silk to thick heavy woolens.

Knitting has a fascinating history.  Easy to find on the internet.

I started knitting when i was about ten. There was a club for girls at our church, and one of the women who worked with us taught us to knit. We made little miniscarves that went over the top of the head, covered the ears, and tied under the chin. Quick and easy.

I wanted to continue, but money was tight and knitting needles and yarn were not necessities.  So I practiced with two sharp pencils and a ball of string, until the string was useless.

During high school and college, the knitting was forgotten. But after I was married, I picked it up again and have never really stopped.  There is always something new to learn, always something new to make. It’s a wonderful hobby, and if you’re smart you can get your yarns pretty cheaply at special sales, garage sales, thrift shops, and so on.  Of course, it’s a treat to work with some new novelty yarn that isn’t cheap, but I don’t do that very often.

So there you have it.  Happy knitting!