I finished the "Umbilical Cord Hat" last night. Pictures will come later. And I do plan on sending it out soon. (Maybe tomorrow, maybe Tuesday - Monday is Columbus Day).
I'm almost done with the all-garter-stitch scrunch hat - have a couple rows of decreases left to do.
I am still thinking about using my leftover blue-green dk (from the Ropes and Picots) to make the Everdeen cap from Weekend Knitting Hats as a Christmas grab-bag gift. I had forgotten how relatively quick hats are to make, and it's kind of nice to have a small and not-too-complex project going. (I do have one "simple" sock of a pair finished, and need to cast on the second, but the other socks I have are the incredibly elaborate twisted-stitch patterns that I have to be able to give my full attention to)
My piano teacher has moved me on to different pieces, having decided that I had accomplished "Raindrop Prelude" to her satisfaction. (Not to mine, I will note: I still made a couple mistakes the last time I played it for her). But, I don't know. Maybe error-free playing isn't the main goal to strive for. I think what she was responding to when she commented on how well I had played it was that I had worked in all the suggested dynamics (and added a few of my own, where it "felt" right) and that I got the sense of the emotion of the piece across.
Maybe, to use words in their archaic meaning, sensibility is at least as important as sense here, so to speak?
That's kind of a revelation for me - the idea that maybe I don't have to play something note-for-note perfect to have a "good enough" rendition of it. (Most of the recordings I have that I listen to closely are studio recordings, not live recordings of concerts and such. And I have no idea if "famous" musicians make mistakes in concert - I mean, when they're at the top of their game. I could see someone who was ill or was developing some kind of chronic problem making mistakes in concert and realizing it was time to retire)
And maybe there are mistakes that most people don't notice. I suspect I wouldn't notice a not-glaring mistake if it wasn't a piece I knew WELL or had the score in front of me.
But being able to play with feeling is important to me too. I remember once being criticized by someone back in my teen years that I played somewhat "mechancially" (Well, I was struggling to get all the notes in! And this was the clarinet, which had another unsettling layer of uncertainty - the reed could fail, or you could have a bad reed, or something). And that always kind of haunted me and I admit that's part of the reason why I gave up both clarinet and piano in my early teens, because I began to think that the best I could ever play was "mechanically."
(And I wonder now: could that have been some kind of weird reaction to my earlier years in school? I was one of those little kids that it was super-easy to make cry or make angry. And of course, kids had "fun" with that. By the time I was a teen, I learned to control my emotions better and in some cases when I could kind of wall up what I was feeling, I just DID, whether it was appropriate or not. I am still very uncomfortable with allowing myself very public displays of either anger or sadness, and that may be a legacy of that.
But maybe I'm being able to break through and realize that it's okay to put some emotion into my playing, that I'm not going to start weeping or something there at the piano, that it's okay. And actually, it's kind of fun, in a way, to make the piece come alive, once you've mastered the technical bits).
Right now I'm working on a very different piece from the Chopin - the first movement of Mozart's piano sonata in C (I think it's K. 545). It's the well-known figure (at least, the first part of it) from the old Warner Brothers cartoons - it was the music they would play when "Granny" would come on the scene. It's a much earlier piece than the Chopin and has far fewer dynamic markings (and you don't use the pedals; perhaps this was from a time before keyboard instruments had them).
I am continuing to play the Chopin even though I am technically "done" with it - I like being able to keep it up and maybe even improve a bit more on my own.