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Sara’s First Socks!

Sara and SocksHappy me! “My Sara” has finished her first pair of socks. She actually finished them Thursday night while we were together celebrating the end of her school term and holidays. She my First-Time Toe-Up Socks pattern with my teaching assistance, and Naturally 10-ply washable merino (worsted weight) from Rae’s.

This picture was taken in very low-light conditions at Starbucks in East Lansing on Grand River Avenue. They are nearly electric purple, although you can’t see that here.

As soon as we finished our knitting and our drinks, we ran over to Rae’s just in time before she closed, to buy Sara more yarn for her next pair. They will be Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran yarn (55% merino wool, 35% microfiber, 10% cashmere, constructed like an I-cord tube, which washes in the machine beautifully). Since Sara likes footies, we can afford to get her thicker luxury yarns and not have to buy five balls to make a pair.

It’s important that she have non-scratchy, washable yarns. She is a bit surprised how many wools are soft enough. Her skin is very sensitive but her feet can handle good wools. (Her favorite pair is my Sherbet Socks, knit from solid Regia wool/nylon sockyarn.) Her mom is not so lucky.

Sara’s mom can detect 10% of soft wool in a fabric without being told anything about the fiber content, she truly is highly allergic. But Sara just needs it to be very high quality soft wool, and she often finds that superwash wool feels soft to her skin.

I’m proud of this kid! She’s growing up so nicely! Sara’s mom and I were in first grade together, and now Sara is in her second year of college. Time flies, huh? Here she has turned out to be a very enjoyable companion, and she knits!

Tonight for the holiday, we’re going to a potluck and Contra Dance where Brian’s band, Scarlet Runner Stringband, is playing the first set of dances. It’s been a while since we’ve gone to a dance like this for New Year’s Eve, and I’m pleased they are doing one in Lansing again. It takes a lot of planning to make one of these happen, I think there are 3 bands playing.

My friends Ulyana and Sharon P/Knitknacks will surely be there, and often there is a small group of knitters who gather on the sidelines and watch others dance. I honestly would rather knit than dance but I’ll likely do a little of both.

The crowd I’ll be with tonight is a wonderful crowd. I can’t think of any place I would rather be. Last year I was with Altu and friends in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, and it was very enjoyable and very special… but being with this huge group of comrades, live music, dancing, good food and knitting… well, how can anyone think there is something better?

I need to thank everyone out there for giving me a great year. My students and the yarn shops where I work, make my life a wonderful experience. Thanks to (in alphabetical order): Foster Community Center (Gloria, Susan, Emily, Mike and Glen), Heritage Spinning (Joan and Deb), Little Red Schoolhouse Yarns (Linda), Rae’s Yarn Boutique (Rae, Elise and the family), Threadbear Fiberarts (Rob and Matt and the gang), and Yarn Garden of Charlotte (Kim and friends). You guys make my life fabulous and I don’t take you for granted!

I can not tell you how different my life is now from how it was, and not all that long ago. I spent so many years (particularly the 1980s) in almost a survival-instinct mode, it was like my inner self was not there. Last night Edna asked (at an Abbott Brothers’ jam session) if I sang before I knew Brian. Well, I sang all the way through my childhood, good times and bad. And I was a music/voice major in college for 2 years.

But during the hardest years of my life, I stopped playing guitar and I stopped dancing, and I rarely sang unless I was alone doing chores. For this woman, the divorce was an alarm clock waking me up again. It was a huge mourning process, grieving the dreams I’d held dear. The actual loss was not as big as the loss of what I had thought might be.

But now I’ve had 15 years to regroup and flower. I remember who I am, I sing, dance, and am a professional artist. And I share my life with a man who truly treats me like I’m a prize (even though I know that on some days that is emphatically not true). I feel like Cinderella, except my life is much more real and much more full of hands-on, gritty stuff. The change from before to after, though? It’s night and day, the difference. And you beloved readers are part of that turnaround. It’s a good life.

May you (and your loved ones) all have a sefe, happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

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