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Archive for August, 2007

Sheri’s Printmaking

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Sheri Kowalski was a student in my Feltmaking class at the Sierra Club Retreat last weekend. You can see her in the group photo in my August 26 post, standing right behind me wearing her sunglasses on her head.

We chatted a short while about my printmaking (a few examples of which you can see on my LynnH ColorJoy Art Page). I do block printing using what’s called a “soft block” but sometimes can be as simple as a plastic eraser.

Sheri does a few different types of printmaking including monoprints and collagraphs. Collagraphs are her current favorite. I am not very familiar with collagraphs… I have seen examples of finished works, but only using black ink. I am somewhat informed about the process but I have never done it or witnessed it being done.

Sheri does collagraphs using color, sometimes more than one color. I’m really thrilled to see her work. Perhaps you would like to go visit her blog which shows off some of her pieces:

http://sherikowalski.blogspot.com/

Bicycle Riding in Amsterdam: Photos

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Brian found a fascinating web page that has a large number of photos of folks riding bikes in Amsterdam. I went there and found it fascinating. The whole culture is different there… from here in Lansing, Michigan, USA where I live, and also from San Francisco, which is where the photographer is from.

There are many women riding in dressy skirts, sometimes rather short, and often with heels or dressy shoes. None are indecent and none have skirts wrapped in spokes, both of which I would have predicted. There are bikes with many, many people all on them balanced precariously.

There are cellphone talkers, and one guy who was text messaging as he rode along. All at a very busy intersection with people, motorized vehicles, and bicycles competing for space (and no traffic light, stop signs or other methods of traffic control other than common sense).

I loved it. Maybe you would, too.

Tuesday at Dagwoods Once More

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Brian and I went to the Dagwoods’ open mic night again Tuesday. We had soooo much fun, getting to know new people and seeing old friends. We had not seen Cindy Lehmkuhle in a while. Here she is below at right, with Jen Sygit singing backup.
jenandcindyatdagwoods.jpg

When we walked in, Phil Wintermute was playing. We also heard the fabulous bluegrass group I photographed last time we were there, and some other pretty incredible talents. Loved it!

But the most fun for me was seeing the guy in the red shirt, in the review window of my camera after taking this photo (that’s Phil Wintermute under the lights on the far corner stage):

dagwoodswithandy.jpg

We are talking none other than Andy Wilson, of Steppin’ in It and Those Delta Rhythm Kings. I have known Andy longer than most other musicians in town, we met when I was still new at playing my bass. He plays ukulele some, and is expert at harmonica as well as a zillion other instruments (tonight he was playing trumpet).

Andy wasn’t planning to play music on the open mic but he did have his trumpet with him. We did a set with Andy as featured solo instrument (and backup). We played Paddlin’ Madeline Home, I Wanna Be Loved by You, Bye Bye Blues, and Till There Was You. Fun stuff, especially with Andy there.

Jen Sygit, all-around cool grrl about town, songwriter, movingly expressive singer, and our emcee for the night, took this photo. She often gets really great shots of us there. She is the best.

heftonesandandywilsondagwoods20.jpg

What a shot! Check out that Andy, such a pose.

I tell you what… I do not like to go to bars. We don’t usually stay long. Tonight we got there at 10:30 and left around 1am. And I work at 10am and I’m still here at my desk far too late editing photos and posting. It was SO fun. Between Jen as emcee and Pete behind the bar, there just isn’t a more friendly neighborhood gathering place in Lansing… at least not at that hour. At 10 am, I’d go for Gone Wired Cybercafe’, but that is another post.

What fun! Thanks to Andy and Jen and Pete, and everyone at Dagwoods. We’ll be back.

Preview: a Little Color

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

yarnonporch.jpg

I finally got into the dye studio. I’m experimenting with some new green dyes I ordered recently, so three of the four colorways are green-influenced. The other is LynnH-influenced, I could not resist.

I used to have a helper in the dyeing business. She skeined the yarns for me. Now I skein myself and then I dye, then I re-skein to integrate the colors into the hank. This way you can see a little bit how the colors might mix together while knitting. You can imagine that this new labor division (I’m 100% of everything) slows down the process a little! That’s life, but I miss her company as much as her help.

I’ll have these skeins up for sale this week. If you want me to save a specific one (or more) for you, feel free to write me at Lynn AT ColorJoy DOT com. Same specs and pricing as the other TipToe SockYarn skeins on my Shopping Cart. You guys who read me here always get first dibs. Since there are only 8 new skeins, they may go fast.

For the record, the two colorways closest to the camera look about right color-wise here. The bright green is reading hot yellow, so the back two green colorways are not true. I’ll get better pictures after the car shop lets me free later this afternoon.

What to Do with Peaches

Monday, August 27th, 2007

I got peaches Saturday and couldn’t stand to waste them. If I eat them fresh, I get hives. Brian can eat them, and I want him to do it just on my behalf… but this is a LOT of peaches even for someone like Brian who often eats a few pieces of fruit a day.

I had to go back in my mind for things I used to do with fresh peaches. They have always been my favorite fruit, assuming they were grown so close to home and grown on the tree until so ripe that they can get slightly squished on the way home. I love them sliced on oatmeal with a tiny bit of dark brown sugar. What else?

I really wanted to think of cooked peach goodies. I know folks make peach butter but that doesn’t excite me like baked goods can. Then I remembered! I used to make upside-down-gingerbread with peaches.

A Formula for Upside-Down Peach/Gingerbread Cake

This is not really a recipe, you need your own gingerbread batter. Here is how to change ordinary gingerbread into a fruited feast!

Find any gingerbread recipe that fits a square or round pan, basically enough for one layer of a two-layer cake. (For gluten-free friends, try substituting Arrowhead Mills or Hodgson Mills brand buckwheat flour for wheat flour, and my experience is that it will work out in a cake-like recipe, just fine.)

Cut relatively thin slices of peach, the cake does not need all the fruit from one large peach so enjoy the leftovers fresh right there. Don’t bother peeling the fruit, as it is unnoticeable after baking.

Then put the thin slices on towels and dry out the fruit, top and bottom, so that it’s not running with juice. I like white woven dish towels with smooth texture, but even paper toweling can work. If you skip this, the bottom layer of the cake batter will stay like batter after baking.

Oil or grease your pan. If you use a stick of butter or margarine and smear it rather generously on the bottom, this will interact with the brown sugar and make a sort of caramel which is lovely and much better than sprayed-on oil. (Oil the sides, too, because you will turn the cake out of the pan after baking.)

Arrange slices of peach, and sprinkle with dark brown sugar if you have it, or maple sugar (not syrup), or any other sugar. Again, it is there to make a bit of a caramel next to the peaches.

Pour the batter on the fruit and sugar, distribute properly. Bake as directed (it may take an extra 5 minutes with the extra moisture on the bottom. Cool a short while, 5-10 minutes until it’s more firm but not totally cool. Place a cake plate on top of baking pan and invert. Hope that the baking luck is with you and it stays together well. It’s Soooooooooo Good!

Sierra Club Retreat

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

sierraminiwancawelcome.jpgSaturday I taught at Camp Miniwanca near New Era Michigan (not far from Silver Lake, where we spent the 4th of July), on Lake Michigan. It was the Sierra Club’s annual retreat. I’d never been before, and honestly I did not get to stay very long this time. I went there long enough to have a very nice salad, teach, and go home.

I car pooled with a very interesting guy from Lansing… we had four hours of chatting on the way there and back. He’s interested in color, and told me about some resources I had not known before on the subject. I am excited to check into that. I don’t take time to read enough, but will need to work that into my schedule now.

The grounds were beautiful. The food was also beautiful… real, healthy food including great salad fixings and baked potatoes with a number of possible toppings, and sandwich fixings and pasta salad for those wanting typical lunch fare. I sat down with my plate of good salad greens, carrots, water chestnuts and olives (I brought canned fish to top it with) and talked with a few folks at the table. It turned out that the two who obviously were cooking, were from Ireland and Turkey… and the two others at the table were from Russia. The first two were quite willing to chat.

sierraminiwancaparking.jpgThe Irish woman had only been here a few months and was still getting accustomed to the different cultural situation, and the differences in her version of English versus ours, particularly considering she has spent a life working in food service and yet there are many things we call by different names here in that realm. Surely she’s in some of the hardest adjusting time for a move to a new continent/culture, and I wished her well in her experience here.

The woman who talked the most with me was the lady from Turkey. She has been here in the USA a long time, she lived in New York City (and loved it) for I think she said 11 years. She goes back whenever she can. We talked knitting and socks and Kilims. She would not use the word “rug” for a Kilim, it’s distinctive enough to have its own name somehow. One of the distinct things about Kilims was that the fibers are all colored with what we call “natural” or “vegetable” dyes. I want to look up more information about this, perhaps one of you reading this will be able to direct me to a good resource.

peaches.jpgI asked her about socks. In her area, men knit socks in the winter after dinner as they socialize together. She said women didn’t knit socks where she was from. This is in contrast to the one pair I own from Turkey where I know a story behind them. The pair I have were knit by the grandmother for the mother’s wedding, and the daughter sold them to my friends who bought them for me.

I asked about the symbolism of the colorwork patterns in the socks. She said they were individual, meaning different things to different folks who knit them. I interpreted her information almost as if the people were knitting a visual poetry, sierraclubclassmembers.jpgwith lots of subtle symbolism inside. She stressed several times how knitting is done without patterns, how every single thing is made differently, made up on the needles. (This is how my friend Altu from Ethiopia/Africa learned to knit, as well.) I thanked her for the information and company, and then proceeded to set up for my class.

My students wandered in, curious (they can come to whatever classes they want without pre-registering). I ended up with seven folks, six pictured in this photo which was taken by an aunt (I think of the youngest one in the photo) who came in as we were preparing to leave. We had a marvelous, creative time.

sierraclubthinfelt.jpgI only wish we had more time to spend together, there was such enthusiasm in the room. I’d asked for 2 hours or more, and they said they’d schedule 1.5 hours and put me in the room when nobody would follow me so we could bleed over and stay there longer if we wanted to do so. Then when I got there, they had scheduled someone to start teaching 1.5 hours after me. We did what we could with our time.

One woman (see photo) did a great job making the finest, almost paper-thin, lacy felt in her first attempt (red). It was like glass, you could see through it. The second one she got thicker by adding more layers of fiber, and I loved both.

sierraclubroseattable.jpgThe last two photos are of Rose from Ann Arbor. She really loved the needlefelting process which was an option to try after they made a small piece using the “wet felting” technique. Here in the first photo she’s still in the classroom (which was hot as an oven, but had a spectacular view of Lake Michigan from the back windows you see in the first photo).

The last photo is a close-up of Rose’s piece as I left the grounds. She took her supplies outside the classroom building and settled in on a bench to keep working on her needlefelted masterpiece. I sent them all home with a baggie full of wool, sierraclubrosespiece.jpgyarn, ribbon, beads and other goodies to make more pieces at home or later in the retreat. She did not waste any time getting into it again, and I think this piece looks rather spectacular. You’d never know she had not done it before.

I thank the Sierra Club retreat people, especially Lisa and Wendy, for inviting me to teach at this excellent event I really enjoyed the students and I hope they contact me and say hello. At least a few said they would email me. For the record, all of you reading here, I do have an email list which I don’t use very often… but if you want to be on the contact list for classes I teach all over the state and country, and significant updates to my website/shopping cart, please send me an email at Lynn AT ColorJoy DOT com and I’ll get you on the list. I promise I won’t overwhelm you with emails and I won’t sell your name.

(The photo of the peaches? We bought them on the road to camp. It was a table full, with a box to deposit your money in and instructions to take a bag and leave the basket. We each got one of the smallest size, still a lot of peaches to consume in time, when they are this ripe.)

Being a Grownup

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

robsonbookship.jpgI have always spent time with children belonging to other folks. I remember very clearly when my godson Michael was maybe 5 years old or so (he’s in his 20′s now) and when told no to something, he’d complain “But I want that!” And my response was: “Sometimes we don’t get what we want, Michael.”

So Saturday I had to be very adult and defer my own gratification. I didn’t get what I wanted, at least for about 24 hours.

ethnicknittingbutton.jpgYou see, just before I headed to bed on Friday night, I read a message from Debra Robson of Nomad Press (her blog is The Independent Stitch). Deb said that I might have an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of her newest publication in my mailbox by the time I got her note. That one of the priority mail envelopes shown in her blog about this book’s ARCs, had my address on it.

Oh, man! That was a tease, and I could not make it to my PO Box to get that book that night, nor for about 24 hours. Pooh! This required all my adult common sense, of course… I wanted to get dressed and go to the PO (my box is accessible 24 hours a day but it’s about 3 miles from my house), and get the book. Except then I knew I’d want to stay up all night looking and reading and dreaming.

You see, if you have just recently met me you need to know that I’m very interested in Ethnic Knitting, especially Turkish Socks, Andean hats/bags, and Scandinavian works. These areas work a lot with stranded color, sometimes a riot of color. It’s definitely my favorite cup o’tea.

I was a good grownup. I went to bed, got up earlier than usual, drove 2 hours to my work for the day, taught, drove home 2 hours, got a wonderful house tour (more on that later), ate dinner with Brian. And THEN I went to the PO Box not long before midnight Saturday. And got this incredibly exciting package.

The real book is still at the printer. It will be a while before it hits the bookstores and yarn shops. But I’ve got a “beta” copy. I feel honored, excited, humbled, delighted, thrilled. I’m positively alive with an adrenaline rush, I’m so happy to have this book… I know not that many receive such an honor!

I tried to read it Saturday night on the couch, and did not get very far before I woke up with the book dangling from my hands precariously. I slept like a brick for something like 10 hours (after two very short nights’ sleep) and woke up groggy. Now that I’ve had two cups of tea, I’m ready to find the Hammock and settle in. At least for a little while. I work on Sundays, at home, and I’m getting ready to dye some yarn (don’t faint). So I’m doing computer work and emails, blog writing and a little reading of my precious book… but as soon as dinner comes I’m switching gears and going downstairs to start work on the wool.

The sun is shining. It was chilly this morning but now it’s lovely. It is going to be a very good Sunday.

Diana’s Kristi Comfort Wrap Post

Friday, August 24th, 2007

My Sister-in-Love, Diana, is a gift to me. She married my brother after he was widowed for a full 10 years, and they are in love. She’s my friend. And… (ta tum, tum) she’s my knitter. My test knitter, my problem-solver, my sample knitter. I don’t know how I got as much done as I did when she was not in my knitting realm. I’m very grateful.

Diana has test-knit a good number of patterns for me, including the Kristi Comfort Shawl. You see, I knit the first one for Kristi/RedDogKnits not intending to ever make another. I should know better! People liked it, and they asked for the pattern.

And then, as I too often do, I had to go back and remember what I had done and write down what I thought it was. And Diana made sure I wrote it well.

I love the pattern for many reasons. It is really easy to knit but it’s not boring because you change one of the two yarns you hold together, on every new row. It’s garter fabric, with literally casting on, knitting, and binding off, but with fun in the color choosing. It’s a great stash buster (I have almost no yarn left in partial skeins anymore, they all got used in Kristi Wraps. It’s a lovely predicament!

elisherrishawlsm.jpgDiana just posted a thoughtful and loving column today about knitting these shawls. About how many of them she has knit (close to twenty), and why. She doesn’t mention specifically that she knit one for me, with yarns I hand-picked, just because she wanted to. A professional knitting professional almost never gets to keep knitting he/she designs… almost everything becomes a sample. However, because Diana made mine just for me, I get to keep it. I love it deeply.

Diana has knit one of these for all the shops I work for in the Lansing area: Rae’s Yarn Boutique (purple Nashua Creative Focus), Threadbear Fiberarts (indigo blue Malabrigo Worsted), Little Red Schoolhouse Yarns (heather gray Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted with blue/green/purple), and Yarn Garden in Charlotte (spring green, I think Cascade Pastaza).

Mine is hot pink, no surprise. With purple and turquoise accents… including some of the turquoise fingering weight that I used as my background color in my self-portrait last summer. Very meaningful for a million reasons.

Maybe you would like to read Diana’s post for yourself.

Photos: Me wearing the sample that now lives at Rae’s shop, (though the photo is a bit pale). Kristi Wrap Diana knit for one friend, modeled by another friend.

Chicago Cultural Center

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

chicagopianoculturalcenter.jpgI love the building in both of these photos. It is on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, approximately across from the Milennium Park and Chicago Institute of Art.

It was built as the public library years ago, and Tiffany himself designed the interiors. From what I remember of a tour I took there years ago, there is one green stone (I think it’s marble) used prominently in the railings for the stairs (of which there are many), which got used up (the quarry went dry) because of this one project. There is stone and glass, and some mirrors, and some gilt in the building. There are quotations all over the ceilings because of the library intent of the building.

Now Chicago has a recently-built library (oh, my… the modern gargoyles are wonderful) on Congress, on the way out of downtown going west to the highway. The old building is being kept up and used well now, as Chicago Cultural Center. The top floor is used for receptions and concerts, and the downstairs has a gallery or two, a place to rest, a gift shop and people who can answer your questions about any transportation question (the Visitor Center), how to get from here to there, maps for walking or public transit, and all sorts of other wonderful things.

We stopped in there for a map last Monday. Altu had seen the building once before with me, but our guest had never been to the city at all. We decided to take her upstairs to the most impressive room in the building.

When we got there, they were preparing for a concert. There was a person rehearsing solo piano while we watched. It was like having a private concert. Even when we went downstairs, we could hear the piano. You know, I sometimes say that I’m not too fond of classical music… particularly when there is no singing. However, I absolutely loved whatever it was that this woman was playing.

chicagocowculturalcenter.jpgIn this second photo, you see the entryway on the south side of the building. There is a bronze cow sculpture to remember the fiberglass artists cows of a good number of years ago. Altu and I were in Chicago together that summer and we just loved chancing upon those cows. It’s really lovely to see that someone took it upon themselves to commission one lasting sculpture to remind us of that summer. For some reason, they really made a lot of us smile.

Alexander Calder Outdoor Public Sculptures

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

chicagocalder.jpgI was just in Chicago and while walking rather quickly down the street I stopped, aimed very quickly and shot this photo of a city corner, lots of folks walking and tall buildings… and what only can be an Alexander Calder sculpture.

Calder was the man who invented the mobile. We modern folks are so used to mobiles it doesn’t perhaps occur to us that someone had to start this incredible idea. Mr. Calder, called “Sandy” by friends, was the one. There’s a wonderful passage in Martha Graham (the modern dancer/choreographer)’s autobiography, about her visit to Calder when he had a large number of mobiles hanging outside where folks driving by could see them. I bet it would be hard to drive if you’d never seen any mobile and then you saw a number of them all in the wind at once!

grandrapidscalder.jpgLast spring, Brian and I were in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan and I snapped this photo of the Calder outdoor sculpture there, from a moving car. I love how he can make huge heavy metal pieces seem cheerful and not all that heavy.

Notes added after initial post: The sculptures were called “stabiles” by Calder, as opposed to the “mobiles” which hung and moved in the air.

Quotes from Wikipedia’s entry on Calder, regarding these two photographed pieces:

  • Flamingo (1974), red painted steel, at the Federal Plaza, Chicago, Illinois
  • In June 1969, Calder attended the dedication of his monumental stabile “La Grande Vitesse” located in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This sculpture is notable for being the first public work of art in the United States to be funded with federal monies; acquired with funds granted from the then new National Endowment for the Arts under its “Art for Public Places” program.

Thanks, Susan!

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Susan/Dog Lover’s Yarn has posted her adventures, of learning to purl the sole stitches on her socks. Now, some folks don’t find this an issue, all socks are comfy enough. For me, I stand a lot… some folks walk a lot (as I did in Chicago).

The purled/inside of standard handknit sock fabric is bumpier than the outside/knit side. Monday afternoon, my feet were feeling the purls in an uncomfortable way (after walking blocks and blocks) so I turned those standard socks inside out to make them more comfy for even more walking.

With my Fast Florida Footies pattern (free in one size), I was using a mostly-cotton (read: stiffer than wool) yarn in a DK weight (read: twice as thick as standard sockyarn, which makes thicker fabric than typical commercially-sold socks). I wanted them to be extra-comfortable so I purled the sole. Thankfully, this sole helped Susan with her quest for “how to” instructions for a purled sole. I’m delighted she found my sock useful in her search.

Check out Susan’s post on purling soles if you are interested. She has a bunch of photos comparing her different attempts. She also flatters me, and I’m honored. I just “met” her online very recently, we’ve never met in person.

Isn’t the Internet an incredible place? Who would think that I’d find even one more person wanting a purled sole, really? And here we are. And surely at least one or two of you out there reading this will also be interested. I’m so indebted to this medium, which connects us in real ways with people and procedures that are what we need.

I’m downloading photos of Chicago now. I’m still behind on other trips and may give up on those, starting fresh. It sure is easy to take a zillion photos just when there is no time to develop them!!!

Photos: My version of a FFF in Infant Size 0; Susan’s own pair I originally showed here in July (with her permission).

Away for a day…

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

I’m going for an overnight to Chicago… I’m going with Altu and one other person (who has not been to Chicago before).

It is supposed to rain buckets in Chicago for the next several days. I’m taking one umbrella for each of us. We had hoped to go to Sears Tower but that may not be a great destination if there are lots of clouds. Maybe we’ll go to the Oceanarium/Aquarium. It is one of the most-completely designed buildings, archicturally/design-speaking, of any I have seen. Amazing. Or we’ll find another indoor destination. There are plenty.

We will surely get Indian food and shop for Indian clothing, and go to Patel Brothers grocery for spices and other goodies. Rain or no, we must get to that part of town. We will have fun even if our feet get wet.

I’ll see you when we return.

Allegan!!! Friends!!!

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Well, I only had one day to take in the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan this year (it continues through Sunday, don’t miss it). After several years of multiple days to take it all in, the one day was a condensed and intense experience. As always, I loved it.

I headed first to Ellen’s Half-Pint Farm (of Vermont) where I’ve made friends with Ellen and crew. It’s just not Allegan alleganyarn.jpgwithout some yarn from Ellen. This year I got some sockyarn in a 50% wool/ 25% SoySilk/ 22.5% cotton/ 2.5% chitin (from the sea, ground shells of some sort which everyone has been raving about and I’m out of the loop as far as specifics). The colorway is a favorite: turquoise, blue, hot green. And glints of white. Nice.

It has different strands which took dye differently (I”m guessing there are cotton strands which didn’t take when she dyed it with acid dyes made for wool). I love it… even though it has cotton. My friends know I’m not at all big on cotton yarn but this hank of yarn is soft and squishy and has enough wool to make me happy. There are 475 yards in the skein, it’s marked 3.5oz.

I then made my way around to booths where I knew the proprietors. Right next door to Ellen was Deb, who has alpacas and who used to be a manager at Casual Corner when I worked at the Meridian Mall in 1987. Talk about going back a few years! I love seeing her, and hubby Bob, each year.)

I said hi at Heritage Spinning of Lake Orion, MI (where they had yarn in the perfect turquoise… but it was merino laceweight and I just couldn’t imagine anything I wanted to make out of it so I let it go in favor of more sockyarn). I stopped to hug and chat with Tracy Bunkers of Bonkers! Fiber (Lawrence, Kansas). She had not been at Allegan last year so it had been a long two years since we’d talked. I said hi to Toni of The Fold (Marengo, IL)… we used to both be vendors at the now-defunct Bloomiefest for a few years, and I hadn’t seen her since last August.

I chatted with a few more folks who were new to me in the main building, then I went back to the barn building (where on the weekend you can actually see fiber animals, but not on Friday). I lucked out and ran into Andrea Mielke of Mielke’s Fiber Arts (in Rudolph, WI), who had been teaching all day and just got out of class. We chatted intently about historical/ethnic knitting traditions. I really value her thoughtful input. I’m honored to have her as a teaching peer in this business of fiberarts.

I also met Rita who handpaints yarn under the label Yarn Hollow, in Grandville, MI which is really close to Grand Rapids and a good number of Brian’s siblings. At Rita’s booth I bought my second skein of sockyarn and made acquaintance with her and Geniene (who makes felted mermaids, way fun).

alleganrita.jpgIt turns out that Rita reads this blog. I can not tell you how much I love each and every one of you who is out there reading, even if I don’t know you. I was just delighted that she said hi and let me know she was a reader here. I felt so welcome! It’s an odd thing to write and not know who is out there. I mean, I get 900 or more intentional viewers a day, and I get somewhere between zero and three comments a day. I only know you are there when you tell me (and those who comment, I love you extra helpings).

The yarn I got from Rita is at right in the photo. It’s a 50% Superwash Merino and 50% Tencel. I’ve never knit with this type of yarn, either. I guess I’m branching out a little. The colorway is called Grateful Thread and it’s pretty ColorJoy to me! It’s a pretty intense sort of rainbow skein. Cherry red, plum, indigo, green, yellow-green, yellow, and a lovely intentional brown. It may take me a while to figure out what this yarn wants to be when it grows up but it will be snazzy when I do. It has 4oz, 412yd, fingering weight.

Last I headed over to Linda of Little Red Schoolhouse Yarn (Lansing, I teach there) because we had plans for dinner. While i was waiting for her to wrap up her booth for the night, I wandered across the aisle to a new double-booth I had not seen before. It was Knitting Notions (Nashville, TN). I asked a few questions (wanted to find superwash worsted weight but she had none so I wandered to the fingering-weight merino washable yarn). As I checked out the selections she checked out a few people.

I chose a gorgeous yarn she calls red-violet which is a semi-solid as many hand-dyed solids are. I love it. It’s a deep shade between magenta and plum, very purple but not blue at all. I find that I wear my solid-colored socks more often than others, and this may just make me a regular-cuff pair plus some footies if I play my cards right. The skein is 100g (3.5oz) and 420yd. Suggested needle is 0-1US (2-2.25mm). I’m going to enjoy the knitting *and* the wearing of these.

So I brought my selection to the cash box. And Catherine said she knew who I was, that she’d read my blog before. We’ve had a short email conversation since then. You know, she wasn’t sure if she should say hi.

You guys… I just have to spell it out here. I am SO appreciative of you. I want to know you if you see me. This life I live is very public, and many people know who I am. That does not mean I’m inaccessible.

I heard second-hand of a young man who sat at the same table as Brian and I at Bliss Fest and he really loves our music but didn’t introduce himself. I’m sad about that. We might have jammed a bit together, perhaps. Then to think that perhaps Rita and Catherine might have chosen to not introduce themselves as ColorJoy friends, well, that makes me sad, too. I realize that they *did* say hi, but who did not?

For the record, I want to meet you. I know I’m easy to spot in a crowd. If you see me at a gathering, please say hello. I’m a woman who works alone much of the time. I type into the ether and I don’t know who listens.

I believe that life is all about relationship, whether it be just a friendly hello and five minutes, or a lifetime friendship. It’s all important and satisfying. I’m public but I’m just plain human, just like anyone else. Please do say hello, OK?

Oh… I guess that was a bit of a digression, please forgive. I bought yarn from Catherine. After that, Linda and I had the best Indian food I know about… at Saffron on Main Street in Kalamazoo. Oh, heaven! I love Indian food, have sampled it in several states and at least one other country.0.. and this one is my favorite over the rest, bar none. Linda liked her meal, too, and hers was very different from mine.

We chatted about life and work and knitting and travel. We just have had trouble connecting this year, so it was really great to have hours to spend with my friend. I got home well past dark, nearly midnight. I had a most satisfying day.

Photos: Yarn from Ellen, Catherine and Rita; Geniene with mermaid and Rita with my skein of yarn.

Sparrow Hospital Diversity Days

Friday, August 17th, 2007

eudorasparrow07.jpgThis was the second year that Habibi Dancers performed for Sparrow Hospital, The hospital is located in the same neighborhood as Foster Center where we rehearse.

They have cultural diversity week (or something like that) which is a wise thing considering how many of their employees were not born/raised in the USA. It’s like a min-UN there, I know a few Ethiopian immigrants who work there and that’s definitely not the only country represented, by a long shot.

habibisparrowgarnetamy.jpgBecause the show is from noon until 1, not all of the dancers in the troupe can perform. Lucky for me, it’s one of the few shows a year where I can fit it into my schedule. (A lot of performances are nights and weekends, a time when I typically teach at yarn shops or sing with Brian… it’s my work time.) I enjoyed it this year as much as last.

Here I have a photo of me/Eudora taken by Sally/Sara, and photos of three dancers, but not a photo of Sara. Go figure.

Thanks to Sparrow for inviting us. Thanks to Sara for the photo. I hope we get to go again next year!

habibisparrowjanelle.jpg