Wow, I’ve been so busy I have not been blogging much!
Foster Fun Night
Friday’s open house at Foster was a good deal of fun. The computer room was hopping the whole time, with kids playing games and with our wonderful volunteer, Bill. Bill lives across the street and popped in a few weeks back asking if there was anything he could do to help us out. Our Foster Advisory Board who planned the open house, wanted people to be able to have a digital picture taken and printed out to take home. Well, I could not supervise the computer room *and* be a photographer. So Bill got the second task.
He did a great job. Folks came in, got photos taken, he put the photos in a sort of digital picture frame that said “Foster Fun Night” and he printed them out. Then a group of young boys, maybe 5th or 6th grade, came in together. I don’t know who started it, but in the end the boys requested that Bill draw in gold teeth, goatee beards, afros, you name it. They loved it! I think Bill was the most popular thing going on the first floor, although the trained dogs were also very popular (we have dog obedience classes in the building).
Three knitters from the local guild came to help out with any visitors who were interested. Luann, Jean and Jane all stuck out the whole day. They didn’t get too many visitors (I’m sure it was not as visually enticing as a digital photo) but they sent home two girls and a boy with small rectangles of knitting as necklaces or wrist bands. I’m so grateful they came, and a bit frustrated I couldn’t have been in two rooms at the same time.
Oh, Sarah Peasley and her husband, Ryan also came. They were having an evening on the town (without kids) so they popped in for a little while and went on to dinner, but it was great to see them. Ryan works with computers and was very interested in my room. I must say, I do a lot with very little. My machines are all donations (with the exception of 2 remaining machines from grants 7 and 8 years ago) and I have about 20 machines going. Two have Windows 3.1, three have Linux, one has Windows 98 (a donated machine) and the rest have Windows 95. They are not fancy, not new, not big… but they work and they keep “my kids” occupied and thinking. In the summer, every working machine will have at least one kid sitting in front of it.
It’s funny, because one of my most popular games is very old, perhaps 1991 or so (it is a DOS game, not even Windows). One day I had 10 computers going, and five of them were running the DOS version of family feud, which is a good thinking program that requires good spelling. I am pleased that the kids don’t require things to be flashy to have fun.
The Fabulous Heftones Perform
Saturday late afternoon, Brian and I performed at Wally Pleasant’s new store, Plan B Apparel and Accessories. It’s a funky retro place which sort of goes with our retro sound. It was a small but appreciative crowd (of course, it snowed after having such springlike weather just a few days ago). We had a good deal of fun, and I acquired a genuine Hawaiian shirt from the early 1970’s, for a very good price.
Omar Oyarzabal at Altu’s
After I got home and transformed from Lynn Heftone into my normal LynnH self, I ran out to see the last 15 minutes of Omar Ayarzabal at Altu’s restaurant. Omar is an elegant gentleman from Cuba who is a classically trained guitarist. He plays Spanish, Latin-American, and classical guitar, and sometimes sings. Temesgen Hussein was there as a customer (he is the Traditional Ethiopian musician who plays on the first Saturday of each month) and so the three of us had a very nice, though too short, conversation. I just love being surrounded by such excellent people! I’m a very lucky person. Lansing is so good for the arts… if you want to perform, there are venues available. If you want to show your visual art, there are places as well. And if you want to hang out with other creative people, there are many ways to connect. There is little snobbery in the creative community… we all belong to one another. This is one of the best things about my smallish city, the biggest reason I become less inclined to move the longer I stay. (I grew up in a suburb east of the city, since the very early 1960’s… but I’ve had dreams to leave ever since I discovered Toronto and other big cities, in the mid-1970’s.) The picture is of Altu’s restaurant as Hall and Morgan were playing, last Saturday.
Knitters’ Nght Out at Yarn for Ewe
After Altu’s (did you know I wasn’t done yet?) I went to join the knitting crowd at Yarn for Ewe in Okemos, just east of East Lansing. Occasionally they have a Knitters’ Night Out, where people can hang out at the store until roughly eleven or midnight, knit and socialize. Those who wish to do so, order pizza and share the cost… and there are always sinful desserts made by Marcia and Wendy who work there, as well as some of the participants. Cheanne brought two desserts this time, a sort of rhubarb pie and a gingerbread that looked wonderful. I still can’t eat most food others make so I just admired it from afar.
I sat next to Sarah Peasley , Cheanne, Jane, and Tracy, folks I know from the guild. I sat particularly close to Sarah because I decided to work once more on the eternal sweater she has helped me with on other occasions. I am doing the sweater seamlessly. I knit the body in the round all the way to the shoulders. I cut armholes using the twisted-stitch-through-back-loop and crocheted chain version of steeking that I read about first in Knitter’s magazine (article by Rick Mondragon) last spring. Then I knit together the shoulder seams and (after much help from Sarah) I picked up the proper number of stitches at the armhole.
At the point where I came to the Knitters’ Night Out, I had the armhole stitches picked up but needed to figure out how many times I needed to decrease as I worked down the sleeve. Sarah helped me get the numbers figured out and I got started.
I’m too funny, though! I am so used to knitting around and around in a tube with no interruptions, that I kept knitting on that sleeve about 3.5 rounds past where I was supposed to decrease. So when I got home I had to frog (rippit, rippit) it back and fix the thing. Still, it’s a relief to not be stalled on that project any more. Perhaps I’ll make that my project to knit with the kids at Foster when they don’t need help. I’m nearly done with the hat they assigned me (the knitting is done, part of the sewing is done, then I need two tassles and it’s complete), so I’ll need something for working there that isn’t too demanding. I’m going to make a ribbon row counter with five loops, since I am to decrease every fifth row for a good long while. Then the ribbon can count and I won’t have to pay so much attention.