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Archive for July, 2003

More Ann Arbor

Thursday, July 17th, 2003

Pied Piper Sox by LynnHPied Piper Sox by LynnHThere isn’t much to say today. I worked at Foster in the morning and afternoon, and then headed down to Ann Arbor to work the Ann Arbor Fiberart Guild booth again. It was fun. I lucked out, it rained a bit but that was before I got there. We had only a few tiny sprinkles when I first arrived. And since it was late in the day, I found a parking spot much closer than usual. It was a meter spot but they stop patrolling at 6pm. It was a good day that way.

On the way home, I went to Zingerman’s deli for a cup of good tea. I have to ask for the Japanese teas, because they do have them in stock but for some reason don’t have them listed on the menu board. No trouble, I got what I wanted (Genmaicha, which is green tea and toasted rice).

I’m tired. Being outdoors is not something I do much and it wipes me out a bit, but I’m doing pretty well with it this year. I think riding my bike the last few weeks has helped somewhat.

Tomorrow I don’t work at Foster and I don’t work the Art Fair. My friend Vince and his family are coming to stay the night on Saturday after I get out of the Art Fair. Therefore, tomorrow I tidy the house (I call it shoveling, but it’s not as bad as that sounds) for their arrival. I also have a zillion errands and promises to handle now that I’m actually home for a workday. I’m sure the day will end before my to-do list does. That is the nature of my life, anyway.

(Photos are two pair of sox I did in spring 2002. I call them Pied Piper Sox because mine followed the inspiration of Brian’s… a stretch, I know. The yarn was Dale Freestyle washable wool, worsted weight. They have stood up well to wear. Mine are stockinette, Brian’s are ribbed, and his have an extra black stripe at the very top.)

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy Ann Arbor? Art fair or not, it’s a great city. What a fine energy it has! I’ll have happy dreams, very soon.

Ann Arbor, a Blur

Thursday, July 17th, 2003

I had a great day in Ann Arbor today, but it’s all a blur. The weather was great and the company was wonderful. I found some really nice Indian food for my dinner break, which was a big plus. And then…

I got to see my brother, Eric. We met first at Borders (where we have knit ins) but they closed at 11 and we were just getting warmed up. We piled into his car and drove to find where our Grandma Illa lived when she was in Ann Arbor in the 1920’s. We found the address but now there is a 1960’s apartment building there. Across the street, though, are houses probably from her time. Eric may do a little research (in his “spare time,” of course) to see if there are any archived pictures of that house or the block, somewhere in Ann Arbor. It’s only 4 blocks or so from campus, on Walnut. It was fun to have the adventure, anyway. And I’m glad we had each other when it was disappointing.

He took me back to the Borders parking lot where my car was, and we talked in the car until 1:30am. So this post is really for Wednesday the 16th, but I’m posting it in the wee hours of the 17th. It was worth it. I’m not up too much later than on a typical night (I often go to bed past 3am and almost never before 1am) and I got to spend a really good several hours with my brother.

Off to sleep. Tomorrow I have a Foster Kids’ camp computer lab, then a computer class for one student, then I go back to Ann Arbor to close up for a second night. See you when I can get a minute to log back on!

Getting Some Knitting Done

Tuesday, July 15th, 2003

I’m doing some knitting. Somehow it always feels like I’m not getting any knitting accomplished, but I think that is because I switch from piece to piece depending on how much focus I can allow for the knitting at the time.

Once a week at the Allergist, I have to sit for 20 minutes while they are sure my shot went fine. I can do some real thinking knitting there, but it isn’t long enough to do much. Today I worked on the toes of some sox for a friend who has been waiting what seems forever for her sox. I just can’t get them to look right to my eyes. The toe I normally use, when I knit it in two colors, seems too short and out of proportion to the heel and rib which I also did in those two colors. I have redone this toe three times and I just have to reknit it again, at least one more time. It’s so frustrating to be so close and not have it right, but I really want these well-balanced visually. They should be done soon, if I can find another few minutes to fuss with it.

I have a stole I need to repair (I used chenille for three rows and it is worming so I’m going to cut the chenille out and graft the two pieces that are left, back together again). You can imagine that grafting about 90 stitches is not something that I’m really excited about, and that will take a bit of time dedicated to it. So it sits, waiting for me.

Meanwhile I started Matt’s tank top from Knitty. I’m using the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece I got at Yarn for Ewe, with a knitalong strand, and the fabric is just gorgeous. It’s funny, I don’t wear tanks much because I get cold so easily. I’m clearly making this because a) I know Matt and am excited about his very lovely design, and b) it looks like it won’t take a real long time.

I think this will be the most expensive tank top I ever owned, and I am afraid I won’t wear it much… but I’m knitting it anyway. And I am enjoying every stitch! It’s my brainless knitting for now. I sort of wish the brainless part was at the end, but it rarely is unless you are talking raglan sweaters which I do not wear. For now, I’m enjoying the knitting round and round in circles. I’ve done about 20 rounds so far, it is about four inches long already.

Off to the Art Fair
You may not hear as much from me this week. I will be at the Ann Arbor Art Fair on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. It’s my favorite event of the year, I just love being there. I love the energy, the town, the artists, the kids, the crowd. I usually don’t like crowds at all, but this particular crowd is full of my soulmates when it comes to artful living, and I need to be there drinking up the vibes for another year.

I’m very excited about this. I don’t do well outdoors for many hours, but I will wear the best clothes I can for whatever weather we have, I will bring a bottle of cold water and some good food I can eat without worrying about ingredients, and I will expect that my allergies, which keep getting more and more manageable, will behave themselves for part of a week. Last year I got a headache one day but then things turned around. This year I’m doing better than ever, so I expect it to go much more smoothly.

I can’t wait to get to that wonderful crowd again. Wednesday!

On a Roll

Monday, July 14th, 2003

LynnH's Fast Florida Footies knit by Paula M.Paula’s Footies
Paula M. writes:

Wanted to say Thanks for designing and sharing the Footies pattern – they’re great fun to make with your clear instructions – love the no-purl heel.

…I had the very same Fixation on hand that I believe you used – worked on 48 stitches for my peasant feet – sole worked over 20 purl stitches – extra comfortable without those purl bumps poking into the feet – my previous Fixation socks have been less than comfortable without reverse stockinette on the soles.

Thanks for writing, Paula. And thanks for sharing your handiwork. They look great.

Sunday Recap
Well, Sunday was fun. I did a demo at Woven Art on circular knitting. I had sort of expected at least one person to not know how to do this, but the crowd was quite knowledgeable for the most part.

I did show them the new “Magic Loop” technique by Bev Galeskas/Fibertrends that Tony had showed me, and that was new for some folks. I also talked about the two socks on two circular needles method Cat Bordi uses in her book, but didn’t demo it.

At least one person had not heard about the trick of knitting back and forth for a few rows before joining the circle. That can really help if you tend to get your knitting in a Moebius strip instead of a tube. I do this with my kids at Foster.

CityKidz Keep Knitting
Speaking of Foster, two sisters today really wanted to make hats. I showed them the simple jester-like hat from the Kids Knitting book by Melanie Falick. No, they wanted beanies. I got them going on double points, increasing from the top down to make a hat. The younger girl decided it was not fun after about an hour and a half, which I told her was just fine. The older girl is really excited and she took her double points home with her today. We will see how it goes. I won’t be there tomorrow so I won’t see her for a week, perhaps (unless she brings the knitting to Thursday computer lab).

I did have three knitters who asked to knit in computer lab today, which pleased me. One is making a pair of socks on double points. She will be making an afterthought heel and short rolled cuffs. She is using bright yellow (almost schoolbus or maybe eggyolk) Encore worsted yarn and it is going well. She tried sox last year with some purple Encore DK but it may have been too soon for her or maybe the yarn was too thin, who knows. This time she is taking to it well. She’s a good knitter but she is in an honors program in middle school so at the end of the year I didn’t see her for months. I told her today how glad I was to have her back.

Riding the River Trail
Oh, and today I rode my “new” circa-late 1960’s Schwinn Suburban five-speed ladies’ bike to work, on the River Trail (my bike is the same color as the linked picture, but it has two fenders and the back fender is topped with a rack for packages, very handy). I rode one route on the way there and another on the way back (the trail goes near the Red Cedar River and the Grand River, and Foster Center is between them, so I took the east branch to work and took the south branch home again).

I enjoyed the ride very much, except for about 15 seconds after I actually already got off the trail. I wanted to go to La Perla, my favorite Mexican Store, for some Tortillas. Well, in order to do that I have to go under a pretty old railroad bridge, where the “pedestrian” walkway is very narrow. I am still getting used to my bike and I wobble back and forth a bit. Therefore, I got spooked by how narrow it was, and I sort of leaned over while I was in motion, scraping my arm near the elbow on the cement wall. Ick. It was like sandpaper, and I got a good scrape. It could have been much worse. When I tried to get back up and ride again, I scraped myself a second time.

On the way back, I walked my bike through that narrow passage. Maybe someday I’ll have more control, but until then I want to keep my skin intact as much as possible.

Tuesday Crazies Un-Planned
Tomorrow I had planned an impossible number of things to do and I finally had to give up a few so I could be sane. I was going to sell some yarns with the Ann Arbor FiberArt Guild, at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. They have a shared booth, which is juried. I did this last year. Well, inventory check in is 11-1 tomorrow and I’m supposed to perform for a luncheon as Lynn Heftone of the Fabulous Heftones, at 12:30. It is an hour’s drive, and I may not have been the first in line to check in my work.

The stress of trying to drive back and forth and be on schedule was too much. I don’t have that many yarns to sell at this time, so I am going to skip the selling part. I still am committed to work the booth as all participants do, but I love being there and that is not a big bother. I’m relieved, though, to not be flying down to Ann Arbor and back just before a gig. And I will get more sleep as well.

I don’t like having to make choices. I want do do everything I want to do! But in this case I gave in to the reality of so many hours in the day. I’m glad I had the chance to make that choice.


Saturday, July 12th, 2003

knit in at Yarn For EweWowie, what a day I had today! It was fun but I had no down time at all, from 9am to past midnight. Well, I had 15 minutes to sit still, and I fell asleep! I can see why that happened, too.

Around 9am, Tony came by and we went to Spinners Flock. Great fun, as usual! We sat with different folks this time but mostly visited with a lot of people. There were some free patterns on the table from about 1969 and I picked up one with a knit dress (a straight shift) and one with some ribbed wrist warmers. I also bought for $1.00 a Coats and Clark learn to knit booklet from 1968. This is the book that I had when I was learning in 1969, in Mr. Johnson’s class. It has a ribbed wrap skirt and a pillow, and a few hats among other things. Pretty special.

After the guild was over we decided to head into Ann Arbor for lunch. We decided we had a little time to check out Knit a Round and then find good food. Tony didn’t buy anything, and I just got some Ironstone fine rayon boucle to knit along with my Cotton Fleece I bought at Yarn for Ewe last year, so that I can knit Matt’s tank top.

Rayon boucle, who ever thought of that? It’s quite wonderful, in fuschia, purple, yellow, navy and aqua. It will look fabulous knit along with the “Cherry Moon” cotton/wool blend in a fairly loose gauge for summer wear. Should be fun!

After the yarn purchase (and lots of yarn-fondling experiences) we headed to a complex on the same road, which my friend Lili had recommended for ethnic foods. She said there were a few ethnic eateries there and a grocery. What a great recommendation! The place we ate, Exotic Cuisine & Bakeries, was a Syrian mideast eatery (1721 Plymouth Rd.). It was just fabulous, and different than the Lebanese mideast food that we usually get in Lansing.

I had a plate with Eggplant stew, okra stew, blackeyed pea salad and spinach with walnuts (they had other names but I don’t remember them). Tony also tried the tabbouli and a potato dish, plus rice pudding. Not only did we get this food, but there were four different types of tea to choose from, already brewed and ready for us in hot pots. There were free refills on the tea so between us we tried all four kinds, including anise tea (as I get at Aladdins) and black teas spiced with different spices including cardamom and cloves. Yum!

We sat outside. It was perfect weather for sitting outdoors in a shady spot. We watched people come and go from the dog grooming place next door, and people with their kids, and it was as pleasant a mealtime as I’ve had in a very long time. Great food, great company, great weather and interesting but not distracting things to view.

After our meal, we walked around the small complex and found the grocery Lili had told me about. It is called Jerusalem Market, which is a Halal market with all sorts of world groceries and halal meat products (1713 Plymouth Rd.). I got some cola from Yugoslavia, and raspberry preserves from Turkey, fresh figs and some sesame candy from Lebanon.

The gentleman running the place when we were there, said that they can hardly keep the figs in stock when they come in. He has fresh produce in season from the mideast and it goes very quickly. They had some really beautiful red bell peppers that were smallish, as though someone had grown them locally. I wanted to get those but was afraid they might perish in the heat of the car, as peppers seem so fragile. The market was jam packed even though small, with tall shelf units. I loved it.

We got home about 6pm, just as Brian had to leave for his performance at Altu’s. I told him I’d meet him there. I sat down on the couch and fell asleep for about 15 minutes and then went to join him. Mom and Fred were already there. They tried the mild beef and liked it. And finally Altu and Mom got to meet! It was great.

The place did get really crowded as the night went on, which was great. The State Journal’s Whats On section had put a picture of the band in the center spread section and I speculate that this didn’t hurt the scene at all.

OK, so we left Altu’s after 9pm. You’d think I was done… but I was not. I then proceeded to Yarn for Ewe‘s monthly second-Saturday knit in. Several folks had already come and gone but several of us stayed until around midnight. (The picture above is Delores, Cheanne, me, and Wendy. Picture by Marcia… thanks!)

Music Weekend

Friday, July 11th, 2003

Well, today is Friday and there is a lot of music coming up this weekend.

“Wally Pleasant and Carl” will be playing at the Temple club (corner of Cedar and Old Grand River in Old town) tonight. “Carl” is the name of the band, made up of two guys, neither of whom is named Carl. That is so Wally! He just has to twist reality a little.

Brian has played backup for Wally on his more familiar acoustic gigs, for several years. The addition of Carl means that Wally now has a set of music that is more appropriate for a dance venue, a bar, a rock and roll gig. He says he will still be doing the solo acoustic gigs as well, but tonight should be fun. I can’t go, because I am teaching knitting at JoAnn Fabric (I am so excited) but it would be worth checking out. Wally’s website is http://wallypleasant.com

Tomorrow Scarlet Runner String Band plays Altus, 6:30-8:30. My mom is coming. This is cool because for some reason my Mom and Altu have not met yet. I am not sure how that happened, but I’m excited to introduce them. Last night Altu got to meet my friend JoDee, who is the mother of my Goddaughter Sara who I talk about here from time to time. Altu met Sara but not JoDee, until yesterday.

Oh, and for those willing to drive a bit, the Michigan ElvisFest is happening Friday and Saturday in Ypsilanti, near Ann Arbor. That could be SUCH fun!!!

Ypsilanti is a good town for food, too… they have a great Vietnamese (I think, or maybe it’s Thai) restaurant in downtown not far from the volunteer theatre where my brother Eric and his wife Diana, do theatre shows from time to time.

ElvisFest will include Elvis Autorama, lots of entertainment (Elvis impersonators and musicians who are booked as friends of Elvis), and a barbecue in the park. Gotta be good. The fest is 5pm-Midnight Friday and 10am-Midnight Saturday, in Depot town, a beautiful historic area.

Knitty Surprise: Sigma Tank by Matt Waldrop

Thursday, July 10th, 2003

Matt Waldrop used to live in the Lansing area. I think he used to teach at Yarn for Ewe in Okemos. I am not sure, because that was before I took up my knitting again. He and Rob moved away several years ago. They run Threadbear Fiber Arts together. I met Rob first online, he wrote me in response to some note I think I posted on the Socknitter list. Now I read both their weblogs and try desperately to not order any Koigu from them (I’ve resisted so far, but Koigu is my downfall).

Anyway, on Knitty.com Amy just put up a few days ago, the summer surprise patterns. Matt designed the Sigma tank which can be knit up in any yarn, especially DK weight to chunky. It looks so good I am tempted. I don’t wear tanks of this type much, but then again, it wouldn’t take long to knit especially in the fatter yarns (I usually knit sport or fingering) and it’s a tank top, which needs approximately 12 oz of cotton yarn for my size which is not much yarn. Like I need another project???

I *am* knitting a bit these days, on sox for a friend. I’m using sportweight yarns that I dyed myself. One turquoise solid, one purple solid, and one variegated without repeats. It’s coming along, although I sure have done my share of ripping out while trying to make the design suit me. It’s definitely easier to do a subtle pattern when using a smaller stitch gauge, and without all this high contrast going on. But hey, when I show my sock-in-progress to friends, they seem to like it a lot. I hope my friend likes them.

I’ve had a lot of computer work this week and I’m not done yet. I’m going to bed a little bit earlier than usual tonight. This early-morning sleeper (often I go to bed between 2am and 3:30am) needs to be up at a more standard time tomorrow, to connect with three clients during business hours.

And then: I get to teach beginning knitting at JoAnn Fabrics tomorrow (Friday)! I am so excited! I just found out yesterday and I’m thrilled. Then on Saturday Tony and I go to Spinners Flock guild (I’m going to see if I can sell the few bumps of roving I have hand dyed) and then Sunday I am doing a demo at Woven Art on knitting in the round. It’s going to be a great weekend.

Live Music in the Living Room

Wednesday, July 9th, 2003

Scarlet Runner String BandWell, I got home from Habibi Dancers’ practice, and the Scarlet Runner String Band was rehearsing in our living room. What a luxury!

This is a band Brian has been in since long before we ever met. They usually play for contra dances in East Lansing, for the Looking Glass Music and Arts Association. We actually started dating after I went to a dance they played about 7 years ago, when the dances were still at Foster Center. A bunch of us went out after the dance for some food, and Brian and I talked until 1am. But I digress…

The Scarlet Runners, since they usually play for dances, usually play *tunes* rather than *songs.* In other words, they don’t sing. But this weekend they will be playing at Altu’s Restaurant and will be not only playing tunes, but some of their songs. I really like it when they sing. Show is at 6:30-8:30 on Saturday the 12th if any local person is interested. Oh, and Brian and I are playing as The Fabulous Heftones, on Saturday the 26th.

But, wowie, do I feel wealthy when I come home and there is this fabulous live music right here in my house! It’s just wonderful, and after many years I still don’t take it for granted. Lucky me!

Knitting Inspiration, and Family

Tuesday, July 8th, 2003

Today I had a 17 year old girl fall in love with some yarn Jillian donated to my program. She has only been knitting three weeks but can picture this yarn as a vest. She and I will make that happen. We may make up a vest or we may adjust the Sally Melville sideways-knit garter stitch vest (which Sally made as an asymmetrical design but this student doesn’t like that particular idea). I told the student (she’s the oldest one I’ve ever had for more than one day) that she is learning to knit as I do… I find a yarn, the yarn tells me what it wants to be, and that is what I knit next. I’m excited because I’m sure this girl will actually finish. What a great thing to plan for the summer!

After work I got dinner at Altu’s restaurant and then drove to meet my brother and his wife, Diana (and two other friends) at Metzger’s restaurant in Ann Arbor. This German restaurant is in its 75th year. It is a quality place, where one chef won a state-level chef award and is going to nationals. I just didn’t want to hassle with trying to order something that might or might not nourish me. I am sure if I called ahead they would have accommodated my allergies, but it’s mostly red meat and heavy German foods, and I just didn’t want to hassle. So I went to dinner already full, and drank tea while enjoying the company. It worked perfectly.

It was so nice to sit next to Eric for an hour or so. I think I drove longer to get there and back than I was with the group, but it didn’t matter to me. Remember, I love driving anyway. Me, and the music, and driving in the dark. Perfect!

Oh, yesterday I submitted two patterns to Amy, the Knitty publisher, who will be editing a forward-thinking knitting book next year sometime. Wish me good luck. I know that many talented knit designers sent proposals, and there can only be 30 in the book. I worry I’m not hip or young enough, aren’t we silly sometimes in our insecurities? I’m crossing my fingers but not holding my breath…

Happy Birthday, Eric Oscar!

Monday, July 7th, 2003

My brother, Eric Oscar, has his birthday today. Happy birthday!

Eric is truly the best brother I could have. He’s my best friend who has known me longest in my life. Eric stood up for me at my wedding to Brian, he was my “Dude of Honor.”

Eric Oscar TroldahlI’m not sure why it took my Mom to think of that, because it made so much sense. We were breaking all the other rules about weddings already (my wedding dress was a turquoise silk evening gown, and we had a barbecue/jam session for our reception… the favors were hot pink plastic kazoos with our wedding date inscribed on them). But for some reason I didn’t think of having a Dude of Honor until Mom pointed out that our best friend should be our attendant, and Eric qualified. And How!

Eric knows me very well. I tend to have emotional ups and downs, which sometimes gets me stuck where I don’t know what to do next. I can call my brother, talk to him for a few minutes, and he’ll ask me a few questions. And after those few questions, I know what to do. What a friend he is.

Eric is about a year and a half younger than me (we were 2 years apart in school). He is my younger brother but has not been my “little” brother for decades. He looks like the Swedish side of the family as far as we can tell, and I look like the English side. He looks very much the viking, with a slightly reddish beard and gray-blonde hair… wide hands, wide feet. He is not tall, but he is tall in comparison to other men in our family – my dad was not quite 5’6″ and he was the tallest of the three brothers.

My favorite story to tell of our relationship is this: I used to sit on his back and beat him up, when we were very very young. However, somewhere in late elementary school he started to outweigh me. Once he could sit on *me,* we got along just fine, thank you very much! The diplomat in me came out very quickly when it was clear that I could not win. That was the last time I ever tried to solve anything with physical means, probably a blessing. Fortunately, it’s not Eric’s style to solve things that way either.

My father was a man who believed girls should not have to learn to fix things. He did teach Eric how to do tasks such as wire light fixtures and other dangerous or messy tasks. He would teach me the theory of electrical circuits, by building me a board with batteries and light bulbs and switches, but I was not allowed to crawl in the crawl space or work with real wiring. Eric learned a lot of carpentry, some electrical and plumbing, and an assortment of other handy skills.

Since Daddy died, Eric has worked hard to teach me things he learned from Dad, so I could be more self-reliant and independent. He buys me power tools for Christmas! It was Eric who one day, when I called him about a computer problem, said “Do you have a screwdriver? Let’s open up the case on this computer and see if we can figure this out.” And thus, over a long-distance phone call, a techie was born. I don’t love fixing computer hardware, but it is a very good skill to have in a pinch. Thanks, Eric!

Strong Family Women

Sunday, July 6th, 2003

blanket knit by Ingeborg Sperstad Sampson in the 1960s for LynnHI’ve been contemplating my Great, Great Aunt Ingeborg lately. She’s the only relative I remember who knit, at least for me. She learned to knit in Norway, where she was born and raised. I believe she came to the USA when she was about 16, if I remember the story correctly. She always had a strong dialect, but we learned to understand her even as kids.

Ingeborg made a living as a baker for a Catholic hospital in Flint, Michigan. She was the only relative we had in Michigan, so she functioned a little bit as a third Grandmother (my “real” grandmothers lived in Minnesota while I was growing up).

I remember once we went to Ingeborg’s house for a holiday, perhaps Easter, and she had made apple dumplings. I was sure I would not like apple dumplings (we often had the dumplings that float on stew and I must have thought these the same). I was adamant I didn’t like it. My mother was mortified, as I was supposed to be a good grrrl (especially after Ingeborg had cooked all day for us) yet I often was not.

Mom finally insisted that I must at least taste the dumpling. And then I found I had been so wrong…. I LOVED apple dumplings. Hers were cored apples covered in pie crust and baked in the oven, with a cinnamon sauce. Now I always think of Ingeborg when I think apple dumplings. And I think of her when I see doilies on furniture, because she had them on her favorite rocking chair, the kind with arms carved to look like goose heads/necks. Now I realize she made those doilies. I wonder if they were knit or crocheted, I’ll never know.

blanket sleeper for doll, created and sewn by Elizabeth Bakken Troldahl in late 1960s for LynnHThis weekend I found a box of old toys from my childhood. It was not a particularly large box, but I found the one doll blanket I had remembered that Ingeborg knit for me. It was actually in pretty good repair (moths got one crocheted edge long ago but that looks repairable, see photo).

I also found a half dozen other handcrafted, knit or crocheted items in that one box. Funny how I tossed many things but not the handmade stuff. Even though my mother reallyreallyreally disliked wool (I’ve been busy convincing her to like superwash wool lately). Somehow I knew that handcrafted items were precious, wool or not. I will need to see if Mom can remember where the other knit/crocheted items came from. One baby cap (I used it for a doll) has a sewn in tag saying the first and last names of the woman who knit it, and I don’t recognize that name at all. It should be interesting to find out if I can find out the histories of more of the items.

I have to also show you the blanket sleeper I found, sized for my favorite doll. My mother made this, I assume freehand without a pattern, to somewhat echo my own blanket sleeper at the time.
Detail of doll blanket sleeper by Elizabeth Bakken Troldahl, created late 1960s for LynnHMine had a logo with a clown face on it, so Mom used the sewing machine freehand to embroider a clown face on the doll’s sleeper as well. Adorable. I had forgotten about this precious thing.

I’m so glad the moths did not find this box while I had forgotten it. The sleeper is in such good shape you would never know it was over 30 years old. You can see that Ingeborg’s blanket needs washing, but I dare not do that until I repair the crocheted edge. I’m delighted my precious items are still in decent shape.

Strong women in our lives, they are the stuff of stories. Stories worth telling.

A Night on the Town

Saturday, July 5th, 2003

Dancing Flappers
Tonight (Saturday) Brian and I had a private music gig as The Fabulous Heftones. It was great fun. The party was a large family gathering, with folks from Michigan and Canada. This family does a theme party each year, and this year they chose the 1920’s. We got to be the theme music. Such fun!

At the end of our act, some folks asked for some dancing music so that the women dressed as flappers could dance a bit. We did “Jada” which is a tune many folks have at least heard before, and we had three ladies dancing a pseudo-charleston. It was a blast!

We also had several requests and could at least somewhat sing a bit of all but one, not too bad. Brian did a great impromptu version of “Bye-bye Blackbird,” I was most impressed since I didn’t know he had ever done that song. It’s a goodie, we should work it up one of these days.

Four Seasons for Dinner
After we played for the party, we decided we might as well go out to dinner since we were dressed up so nicely (Brian in a tux and me in an evening dress). We tried a new place, the Four Seasons. It happens to be exactly next door to the Cappucino Cafe where Sarah Peasley and I had tea yesterday morning. I understand both businesses are run by the same folks.

It was a bit fancier than we typically enjoy, with a wine list and a martini list, and somewhat overly friendly waitstaff… but the food was good. I had a fettucini with tomato/garlic sauce and small bits of chicken, and a chicken rice soup flavored with lemon and mint. Brian had a manicotti stuffed with cheese and spinach. Brian said the bread was as good as it looked, and we did get refills on hot tea which is my test of good service.

We won’t go there often, as I honestly like Altu’s and Aladdins better as a regular meal, plus they are less expensive and I have relationships with the people running those restaurants. However, for something different this was actually better than I had expected. The tomato sauce was significantly better than average, for example. But I guess I prefer waitstaff who say things like “Hey, how are you doing?” over “It was my pleasure to serve you this evening.” Some things I’m fussy about doing “right,” whatever that is, but I like relationship over formality.

Perfect Summer Weather
The weather has cooled off and it is a gift. Yesterday was so hot it was hard to do much until the sun started to set. Thank goodness there has been a little rain. Right now it is quite comfortable summer weather. Sigh… I should sleep well tonight. I hope to get back to some knitting tomorrow. I seem to be in the middle of everything and done with nothing these days. I have heard other knitters say the same thing, so it must just be the season

Fourth of July Holiday

Saturday, July 5th, 2003

A New Toy
I got a “new” bicycle this week. It is a Schwinn Suburban, I’m guessing from about 1966 or so. It’s a heavy and sturdy “girls” bike with five speeds, but it has a regular upright seat so I am not leaning too much on my wrists. I like it a lot. It’s stylish but not enough to get stolen easily. It’s blue, not purple or whatever, but it’s true to its own style. It came with a lot of surface rust but I’m doing a good job shining the chrome. I have a bit of experience with chrome! (My furniture is chrome, also, for the most part.)

Brian and I rode our bikes to Altu’s restaurant for dinner Thursday night, which is about 3 miles one way. Foster Center is about the same distance as Altu’s so I may ride to work, at least on mornings I get up early enough to get going. We will see how willing I am to get up 45 minutes earlier!

I can ride a lot of the way on the Riverwalk (official name is River Trail) so there is very little traffic and the scenery is lovely. I get off the Riverwalk less than half a mile from work, and I can mostly snake through the neighborhood south of Foster to get there, with crosswalks where I need safety. I’m happy about this. I have not had a bike in a few years, although in the 1970’s and 80’s bicycle was an important form of transportation and recreation for me. This is not a long-distance bike but I don’t want to go long distances for now. It sure is pretty, in any case!

Fireworks from our “Hood”
Last night we decided we didn’t want to go where a zillion people were just to see fireworks, so we walked about 5 blocks to Cedar street where there is an overhead crosswalk for kids to go to school. We and two other small groups from the neighborhood stood there to watch what we could of the fireworks. It would have been better if we had been maybe 5 feet higher, but we saw enough to feel we had not been left out, and that way we had no traffic jams.

I have enjoyed walking and riding bikes with Brian in the last two days. He is good company and sometimes we don’t take the time to do activities together, other than perhaps playing music.


Friday, July 4th, 2003

postcard by LynnHWell, it’s Independence Day in the USA. Most places are closed today and many of us are going to gatherings of this or that type. We usually go to a picnic by a small lake nearby, but the couple who usually throws the bash has decided to go out of town for the weekend instead. I must say that I’m not disappointed. As much as I enjoy the people and the music-making that I will miss, I really am in a “space” where I want to be peaceful and quiet right now.

This morning I met Sarah Peasley for tea. She is good company, a smart woman with talent and compassion. I’m so glad we are friends. (Thank goodness that the coffee shops are open for business today… and the one where we chatted was busy).

We did a bit of show and tell. She had not seen my pink froofy stole that I made for the ColorJoy Stole class at Woven Art, and she had also not seen the one I finished from JoAnn Fabrics yarns. And I’m about 1/3 through the second JoAnn’s yarn stole so I could show her that, too.

She didn’t bring much, but she is working with an alpaca yarn that is unevenly spun which is making her stitches look unevenly knit. I used the yarn (different color) for my cropped-finger gloves last January, and I loved it. I felt it looked a bit handspun and I liked that about it. She is working in a looser gauge and feeling that it just looks uneven. I think she may change her mind when she sees the big picture. She did see this sweater knit up in the same yarn before, and loved it. That is a good sign.

She also helped me through a design snag with some sox I’m doing for a friend out of my own handpainted yarns. For some reason I just had a hard time getting a design I liked. I got something started last night (perhaps my third or fourth swatch/draft) but halfway through it looked funny. With Sarah’s help I figured out something I could live with and I finished the motif on one cuff, ready to dive into the second one as soon as I post this note.

Happy Dance for Summer!
Summer makes me exceedingly happy. I don’t care if I perspire like crazy, it seems like a high-class luxury to be warm. It is true that I don’t want to do a lot of physical labor in hot weather, and sleeping is more of an issue, but I love every minute it isn’t cold in this state. I have always been more creatively inclined in the summer, when I don’t feel like I have to protect my body from the environment. I can shed that issue and just create. (Image is a postcard I sent to my friend Luann Udell in March of 1999… I hand-carved all the stamp images except the dotted texture on the underlying card.)

I hope I spend the day knitting in the hammock, interrupted by good food and maybe a little jam session with Brian later on. We are performing for a private party on Saturday Night, and I like to run through a few tunes when preparing for a gig… and besides, it’s great fun.

I’ll leave you with the lyrics to a favorite James Taylor song:

Summer’s here, I’m for that.
I’ve got my rubber sandals, got my straw hat.
Got my cold beer, I’m just glad that it’s here.

Summer’s here, that suits me fine.
It may rain today, but I don’t mind.
It’s my favorite time of the year, and I’m glad that it’s here.

Old man Wintertime, he goes so slow,
Ten degrees below, you know.
You can take your ice and snow,
But let my balmy breezes blow…

Well, the water is cold but I’ve been in.
Baby, lose the laundry and jump on in.
I mean, all of God’s chidren got skin,
And it’s summer again.

Old man Wintertime, he goes so slow,
Ten degrees below, you know.
You can take your ice and snow,
But let my balmy breezes blow…

Summer’s here, I’m for that.
I’ve got my rubber sandals, got my straw hat.
Got my cold beer, man, I’m glad that it’s here.

It’s my favorite time of the year,
And I’m glad that it’s here.