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Archive for November 9th, 2006

A Bit of Knit

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

greenshawlandhair.jpgI’m knitting a little, for you knitters who follow this blog. Actually, for starters I have four pairs of socks going as samples for the four sock classes I have in process right now.

In addition, Diana and I are working on a pattern which is inspired by the green wrap I wore to the Ban-Joes of Michigan performance. It calls for five yarns which coordinate together so that they make one fabric, sort of like a woven item.

When I was at Threadbear last Saturday folks followed me around to ask “what yarn is that?” It is really 5 yarns but the knitting process is simpler than that of my ColorJoy Stole or my Perfect Hug (even though those are both relatively simple to knit as well).

So… I got yarn from the shop to make a sample that is essentially the same yarns I have in my own green wrap. I also got yarns from Rae (in turquoise, greens, purples) and from Linda at Little Red Schoolhouse (black with rainbow accents) to do three total samples for the three shops where I work regularly. Diana’s more than halfway done with the one for Rae and I’m a few inches into the one for Linda. Right now we’re both knitting from my verbal explanation of how it should go. I’ve written a skeleton of how the pattern should go, and when I finish that text, Diana will test it with the green yarns for Threadbear.

rainbowwrap.jpgI had not expected to be working on a new pattern so soon. However, one should not ignore inspiration when it comes. I think this pattern is poised to be released sooner than I had ever expected.

Photos: Me wearing my own green version of the new design. Yarns for the version I am knitting right now: two ribbons (one a railroad structure), one smooth cottony yarn (by Noro), a fuzzy worsted-weight mohair and a synthetic mohair. It is turning out even more colorful than I had expected, the black does not overpower the color at all.

Oh, Yeah… Friday I Had a Life.

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

arlyn10.jpgLast Friday I worked with my skein-winding helper during the day. At night, Brian and I made up for the delay in time off, and went to two fun events.

First we went to New Aladdin’s restaurant in Frandor, to see friends dance. Najmah and Mahtaab are very good dancers who have always been true friends, supportive on and off the stage. I was glad to go and support their show. It will be my turn to dance there on February 2, and I’m sure they will be there as well.

I got some good photos. The secret to good dance photos is to take a LOT of shots. It’s a losing proposition, mostmarie16.jpg times you do not get the exact moment you wanted to capture. If you take enough photos, though, a few will come out well.

First here we show Mahtaab in a purple and green costume she made herself (talented woman, indeed). Look at that winning smile!

Next we have a photo of Najmah entertaining the crowd. She is also a very talented seamstress, but I’m relatively sure that she did not make all the parts of this costume. Dancers tend to borrow costumes a lot and I think part of this was borrowed.

habibimarieandarlynsm.jpgFinally, we have a photo of the two ladies dancing together. Usually we take turns dancing, which gives each dancer a rest before the next dance. However, on Friday for their last number, they did a “finale” where they both danced to the same music. It was great fun, for the crowd and I bet for them as well.

After we enjoyed the dance show, we found our way to a party on the east side of Lansing. We were quite honored to be invited, as we have not known the hosts very long. They are creative people… music folks we met through Magdalena’s Teahouse. I think we were the only people in the house with gray hair… well, maybe one other guy was closer to our age than the other folks. We did recognize maybe 4 or 5 people including the hosts. We got to know other guests quickly enough, and it was a great crowd.

talentshow1.jpgSome of the people in this city gathering are farmers and gardeners. You should have SEEN the food! I think some of it had only been picked that week. Beautiful winter squash, for example. All sorts of good food of every description. Beautiful, artful nourishment. Very impressive.

talentshow2.jpgAfter eating for a while, they had a talent show.

The first act was the host and hostess… he wore a huge wool sweater and she got in the back of it, with her arms through the sleeves. They came on as one person and she played the guitar, put his hat on and off, scratched his ear or whatever mannerisms she could pull off pretending to be his hands. It was quite funny.

Then two women (one was the hostess) singing a song about a hippo with noodles on his back. I’m not sure if that was an original song or if it was some children’s ditty. They really did a lot with expressing themselves and it was quite entertaining, noodles notwithstanding.

talentshow4.jpgNext was a mime. She did a very fine job. I did not expect this sort of act and was very impressed.

Following that, was a juggling act. Two people juggled three small pumpkins. Yes, really. I was poised for a “splat” but it did not happen.

We were asked to sing before the skits and again after the skits. It was an honor.

We tend to play a different list of musical selections when we have the honor of playing for a younger (under 35) crowd. They do not know our songs that talentshow3.jpgare obvious sing-alongs for the over-60 crowd (which makes up much of our fan base). Therefore, we tend to sing more of the novelty numbers, and songs we find to have engaging melodies or lyrics.

For example: in a typical sing-along crowd, we might choose April Showers, Me and My Gal, and Shine on Harvest Moon. For a young crowd, we play Paddlin’ Madeline Home, I Love Me and If You Can’t Land Her on the Old Veranda, You Can’t Land Her at All. This means we lean more on Brian’s tunes and less on mine (which are schmaltzy love songs for the most part) but it also means everyone has the best sort of time we can give them.

Here I offer you four photos of the talent show. It was a wonderful time. We went home perhaps too soon, because we were pretty tired… but I’m glad we took enough time to go and meet some new friends.