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Archive for September, 2007

Counting Blessings

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

jensygitatricstar.jpgSunday’s weather is perfect. Perfect. No rain, just 82F/27C (just below my favorite temperature, I like it hot), sunny, slightly windy, with trees just starting to turn colors.

VanAtta’s Greenhouse is wonderful, I can not believe I’ve never gone there before. I’m not a big gardener and that kept me from driving across town, though I knew about their great reputation.

I do love having fresh herbs in the back yard, and I have had good luck with growing Swiss Chard (no luck with spinach for some reason, maybe because I don’t plant early enough). I prefer buying plants over seeds, they are more certain to make it and a lot less trouble. I just have not had much luck finding herbs at the Lansing spots I’ve tried. You should have SEEN the basil and parsley they had today. I know where I am going for my herbs next spring.

heftonesricstar16.jpgNext year we plan to expand our “food garden” (which this year had one Swiss Chard plant, some dill, cilantro and parsley). I have grown carrots before and may do that again. I want to grow more herbs next year.

Our soil is not good at all, and that discourages me when I try new things. We have a compost pile just because it’s the good way to get rid of vegetable scraps, but we don’t use it up much because we don’t really garden. I figure right before the snow comes, I’ll put a bit of compost on next year’s garden area and hope it gets used to its new home. We can put more on there in the spring when we plant.

The RicStar Music Camp benefit was a lot of fun. We got there just as Jen Sygit was starting her set, so I sat and took a bunch of photos of her, Drew and Matt. Next we were on and Jen took photos of us. Here are a few of those photos from today.

I tell you, I just love being part of the music community here in Lansing. At one point we played Epley Breakdown (an instrumental Brian wrote, that is oft-requested by musicians, particularly Drew) and Drew did an impromptu dance for a second. It made me smile. This is the authentic-friend thing going on. I am so honored and happy to be part of it all. You can hear the Epley Breakdown in MP3 format by clicking here.
Some music communities are not so warm and welcoming as the one in Lansing. We’re a relatively new act on the block, we have maybe been doing this seriously as a duo for about 5 years. It is great to really feel included in something that preceded us.

Well, the sun is still up and warm. I have work to do (writing the text to explain the ZigBagZ pattern so that Karen can start to test it). But while it’s this beautiful I will take myself on a walk around the neighborhood. May you have as nice a day as I am having.

Music Benefit Sunday/Tomorrow

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

jensygitbylynnhforweb.jpgOn Sunday (Today or Tomorrow if you catch this post before we’re off stage) The Fabulous Heftones are playing at the RicStar Music Camp benefit. The place is VanAtta’s Greenhouse, Haslett, Michigan (above link has address information).

Our performance time is 2:30pm. A lot of folks we know are performing (it is a multi-day event, so many folks have already played).

It’s spooky but very cool… we’re playing on the same stage as the talented and kind Jen Sygit again. Here’s a great photo of her (on stage with the Earthwork crew, but I zoomed in on Jen’s smiling face) from Wheatland music festival earlier this month. Well, the photo itself is a bit grainy but the look on her face is great indeed. She was looking at another musician on stage with her, maybe Daisy May or Seth Bernard, who were just to the right of this photo.

I love hearing Jen perform. She has an authenticity about her, and is a pro from start to finish. Her voice is low, expressive and bluesy; comfortable like an easy chair. You’ll find yourself waking up singing her melodies, and her lyrics hit home. For those of you who are Youtube fans, you can see a video of Jen singing (at Cappucino Cafe’ in East Lansing) her composition “The Rub”, or her Black-Eyed Susan, or at the Creole Gallery singing the standard Don’t Get Around Much Any More.

Also The Harvestmen (with Drew Howard/Captain Midnite) are playing, and a host of other folks I don’t know as well. It is bound to be an energetic and exciting event.

I hope I’ll see a few of you there.

The second photo here is of Brian and me as The Fabulous Heftones on stage at the Four Chairs benefit we played in Lansing last March. Jen was not there but a lot of her Earthwork Music colleagues were. Rachael Davis took this photo for us.

Plugging Along

Friday, September 28th, 2007

zigprototypebottles.jpgLife is full of a zillion relatively-unrelated things, you know?

  • My car is fixed but I have to pick it up tomorrow.
  • It has been relatively painless to be without my Bug because I drove Brian’s “yacht.” He rode his bike to work. I seriously benefitted by being married to this great guy, this week.
  • We had another wonderful musical-performance experience at Foods for Living. What a great store. Great people, great food, great customers.
  • The weather has been gorgeous, the light just glows right before sundown. We should not see rain till Sunday, and I will really enjoy this weekend.
  • I have this weekend without classes. Then I have three weekends on the road, in a row (two strung together with no visit home). I need to bake and otherwise prepare food, clothing and class handouts, etc… this weekend. I feel really luxurious about it on Friday Night. I think Sunday night I’ll be a bit less so, but I’m OK with whatever it is.
  • Diana is knitting sample ZigBagZ (a BabyZig and a BottleZig), I’m editing the text of the pattern. Karen has the yarn for her BurlyZig bag, Diana has her yarn, too, and when the words are set (the numbers are done), they will cast on that largest planned size and see how it goes.

The photo here shows two prototype BottleZig Bagz. Just so you can see how things develop. One has too much green at the bottom and is too tall. I re-felted it and it got less tall but the green was still too big, after this photo was taken.

The other has 8 fewer stitches around the circumference. That one works fine for small 10oz bottles (but not half-liter/16oz bottles). The interesting thing is that they both have exactly the same number of rows of the zig pattern. And I knit both, so the gauge before felting was the same. Can you see why I tear out my hair sometimes, trying to get it so that folks who get my finalized pattern will succeed and love the project? I do love making things up. I’m not so fond of the finalizing-the-pattern part. But hey, every job has something we don’t like about it.

Two Kinds of Luck

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I am counting my blessings this morning. I got a call from Diana while I was barely awake and she had done the match to help me with re-sizing my BiggieZig Bag into a BurlyZig. That means I’ll have the final numbers and be able to massage the text for this pattern.

Once I get a first draft, Karen in Houston will be casting on for a BurlyZig to test my public pattern. Up until now, Diana and I have been knitting samples but it was more about design than writing, more about numbers and proportions than making sense to a reader. I’m getting there!

So the bag pattern is inching along. Diana is also going to knit a BiggieZig *and* a BurlyZig to test her numbers. So I’ll have a tech editor and a test knitter here, and a bunch of store samples. I am personally doing a test bag on the BabyZig for the first try at an actual pattern with real words rather than notes and numbers.

So there I go counting my good luck.

twistwristsm.jpgBut yesterday on my way to Charlotte to teach at Yarn Garden, the engine light of my car started blinking. Blinking. That means stop NOW. I looked at all my fluids and that wasn’t what was wrong. So I called Lindsay, cancelled my class for the day (she got me email addresses of the two students and we rescheduled later), and went directly to the shop.

Brian rides his bike on the Riverwalk to work. The shop took me home and I drove the Oldsmobile. Things could have been far messier. I missed one two-hour class session and the students are fine meeting me next week instead. Cool.

The repair is going to be $600 or so (and two days in the shop, one waiting for the part). I’d rather do that now than have trouble on the road in October (I’m going to Stitches East in Baltimore and then driving to Ravensdale to teach in NY state). Nobody loves repairs but I am glad the car notified me in time and only about a mile from my shop.

Meanwhile, back in the good luck department, I heart Diana. She is no longer only a test knitter. She’s a tester, tech editor, number cruncher and spirit-lifter.

She posted a free pattern at her blog Otterwise yesterday. Twist on the Wrist warmers. Cabled wristlets/pulsewarmers for bulky yarn (she used Arucania Alpaca). It’s beautiful. Do go check it out.

Foods for Living 10th Anniversary

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

fabheftonesfoodsforliving16b.jpgThere is a lovely locally-owned healthy food store at the very east edge of East Lansing, named Foods for Living. The folks who own it seem very fine and the people who work there seem rather happy to be there. (A good number of the folks working there are musicians.)

The store is well-organized, people smile and they have items I can not get elsewhere (pumpkin seed butter, whole grain teff, white buckwheat grains and a kind of cracker made with brown rice and nothing else, boring but useful on the road).

This month is the 10th anniversary of this store. They are having a lot of music this month because of it. Brian and I played there last Friday 4-6 and will be doing it again this week. Last week we got there a little early and got to hear Jen Sygit play banjo before we went on for our set. Jen always makes me smile (see photo).

jensygitatfoodsforliving.jpgIf you are in the Lansing area and inclined to find some very nice organic produce (they have some gorgeous root veggies right now), unusual healthy foods, and take-out from some of the finest restaurants in town (including New Aladdins and Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine)… well, consider coming out this weekend. We are on Friday, but if you can’t make it then, you’ll find other good musicians filling the other slots all weekend.

For the record, Brian’s band Scarlet Runner Stringband is playing at Woldumar Nature Center for their fall public event on Sunday starting at 11. I’m not sure how long that goes. Then after that, Brian and I are playing for the RicStar Music Camp benefit at VanAtta’s Greenhouse in Haslett. There are a good number of acts playing Saturday and Sunday for that event. We are looking forward to that (we play just after Jen Sygit there, too). On Sunday we play at 2:30pm. I hope you can come out.

Ahh, Moving Forward at Last

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

biggiezigstitchpatterns16.jpgI think the stars all aligned properly again or something. I have been feeling stuck and now it seems many things went forward at once.

I felted my BiggieZig Bag and Rae says it is “Perfect.” Of course, the artist always sees things that might be done differently. Mostly, though, the things I could have done differently would make it harder to make, for my customers. In the end, they are collectively my “boss” and I do what I can to keep them happy.

I made several executive decisions to minimize hand-sewing, for example. I know that most knitters do not enjoy working with a sewing needle so this one is as simple as I can make it in that area. The bag looks very good, and its size is about perfect. I am more than pleased.

Now Diana can start in on her BurlyZig Bag (bigger yet, than the BiggieZig), and hopefully in a day or two, so can Karen in Houston. Diana is working on the tech end, helping me write the pattern and get the numbers/proportions right. Karen will test it and see if the pattern Diana and I come up with is understandable. Diana and I have worked so many hours on this project now, that she could not be an impartial test knitter any more.

When I went to the PO Box, I found a package from Diana. It contained a BottleZig bag and a Sassy Summer Handbag, both to be felted. The Sassy Bag goes to Yarn Garden tomorrow when I go there for my First-Time Toe-Up class. Right now she has *my* Sassy bag (the blue one with a polymer clay handle, shown on my shopping cart). I will enjoy having my bag back if I can talk her into giving it up.

The BottleZig was supposed to be for Rae’s shop, but she likes the one she has right now very much. We’ll see where this one goes. It has Patons Classic as its solid yarn and Rae is the only one I work for who carries that yarn. Maybe I get to keep it?

But at exactly 11pm Tuesday night I got my invitation to join Ravelry.com. I spent the next 3.5 hours uploading photos and filling out my profile.

My username is ColorJoy (yes, it has capital letters) for those of you out there already. I will work in the next week or so to add projects for every one of my current patterns, as Rae explains this is the place where the rest of the linking starts. I’m learning from Tracy and from Rae a little each day about how it all works. It’s pretty huge, and I know I will not participate in everything. For example, I really do not want to know how many sets of size 0/2mm double-pointed needles I own. Nope, not going there!!!

So many things are happening very quickly now. I was so ready for the change! Thanks for hanging in with me on this. I’m still dealing with photograph issues but other things are going well. At this point I’m giving you a photo of the before-felting fabric of my BiggieZig Bag.

I used two solid colors, the main one being a dark blue-teal, and the second one a hot pink. Then in contrast with the teal I used a Noro Kureyon self-striping yarn that was mostly pinks and oranges. In contrast with the pink I used a Kureyon in dark greens, blues, gray and brown. The effect is that you can not see the “stripes” because the contrast in one stripe is almost the color of the solid in the next stripe.

At the bottom of the photo, you can see the bottom of the bag where I did a checkerboard pattern rather than a zigzag. The checkerboard is the essence of ColorJoy, in my mind. I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

Angie’s First Hat: Victory!

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

angiesfirsthatfeathered.jpgI am teaching a sort of knitting study-hall at Rae’s these days. People can come to me if they want to learn to knit from scratch, or want to learn to knit further than they have been knitting on their own.

They purchase four sessions up front, then they tell me when they will be there (I have times set aside for this but do not go to the shop if nobody makes a date with me). I walk them through new things. It is very rewarding.

Angie is one of my study-hall students. She came to me after knitting many garter-stitch scarves. She had purchased the book about knitting for Peace and wanted to try something new. She thought the next step would be a more complex scarf, then she figured she would make a hat. It was the hats she really wanted to do.

After getting clear that she really wanted to make hats, I convinced her that making a hat could be easy and that making a scarf would not get her directly to her goal (and honestly, making a roll-brim hat in stockinette did not require her to learn purling right away… just using circular and double-pointed needles).

So in just a few weeks, Angie completed this beautiful roll-brimmed hat. She learned other needles, but she also learned how to decrease with a Knit Two Together. She learned methods of working in ends, too.

I will be seeing her again this week. She will be learning how to purl and how to rib, which is what she wants to learn next. She is doing just great. It amazes me how people often limit themselves, thinking that if they don’t know how to do it, it must be very hard to learn. And the power of getting through that, and doing the things they thought were hard… well, that is why I teach.

(For the record, I knit garter-stitch scarves for 20 years. I knew how to backward-loop cast on and knit. I did not know how to bind off but figured out how to make them not unravel by putting the yarn end through the live stitches. I put fringe on both ends to hide the fact that they did not match. I learned to purl more than 20 years after I learned to knit. So I totally understand the inner workings of the thought process… I just think it’s great when people find their way out of it somehow.)

Go, Angie! I can’t wait to see your next project.


Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I’ve been waiting to get into the online knitting community called Ravelry since mid-July. I’m #17481 on the list, whew, with 18,145 people behind me. It has been in a testing phase for a long time, during which they have added just a few people at a time, slowly. Just recently they have started adding more people each week.
Last night there were about 350 people in front of me waiting to be invited in. Today I’m number 55.

Even though I don’t have much time to get heavily involved right now, I’m very excited. Some people are knitting my patterns right now and I can be available for Q&A to those folks as soon as I’m in. I look forward to exploring the community aspects of the system.

Ravelry started as an idea where people could sort of get organized with their knitting things (yarn, needles, patterns) online. That idea did not appeal to me much, I would not spend time doing an inventory. I’d rather dive in and knit more. But now they have places where you can go and see photos of other folks’ finished projects in this or that yarn, or this or that pattern, before you decide what to do yourself. Brilliant. Once I looked at Rae’s Ravelry screen and there were photos of my Fast Florida Footies pattern posted, for example. I think this feature is brilliant.

And now they also have communities/groups where folks can interact on the site. You can find groups of folks from the same town, the same occupation, same hobbies other than knitting. For example, music teachers who knit might be one group.

This creates a connection between folks online. This is the strength of the internet, in my opinion. Real connections and friendships do grow between people who share common interests. I’ve met some very important people in my life this way, particularly in a self-employed group I was on before I even met Brian, so a dozen years ago almost. One of the folks I met in that group, I spent a day with in Dallas last April.

With all the bad press about the internet out there, I’m here to tell you that humankind is mostly good and there are many wonderful friendships available to those willing to be authentically themselves online. Now, if you go to a chat room called “hey baby!” you will get what you might expect. If you are inclined to make bad decisions in other parts of your life, you might just make bad decisions online as well. If you are young and inexperienced, you need guidance from more experienced folks in your life whether online or not.

But as in the world, where more people are good than bad… so is it with the Internet. Much good is available if you look for it. I’m excited to try out this new opportunity. Very soon, or so it seems.

Every Emotion in 24 Hours, Ending in Gratitude

Monday, September 24th, 2007

I started the day really emotional, alternating between depression and anger. These are signs that I’m feeling powerless (in this case, about the computer issues and the slowness of the felted bag development). I decided to do something about it.

Actually, there was a time years ago when my life had many more difficult emotions in a day, and reasonably so. These days I’m living a bit of “the sunny side of the street” most of the time. My computer struggles on the same week as a slooow pattern development, meant that I revisited those emotions which mostly pass me by these days.

The first step toward an even keel was that I went to Rae’s shop. Between Rae and Diana I don’t know what I would do when I hit a wall. They take turns encouraging, suggesting, tugging me along depending on the situation. I have been struggling with the handles for this bag. It will be relatively big, enough that a single I-cord would not really be substantial enough, or so it seemed.

I contemplated several possible options but none seemed quite right. The best idea I had was impossible to guess ahead of time, how long it should be and whether I’d like it. I was really uneasy going ahead with something that might disappoint me after all the yarn and knitting time I’ve spent on this bag.

Sometimes I just am not a risk taker, and when it’s about precious time I’m even more “frugal” so to speak than when I’m talking about spending money. I don’t have much time to spare in this crazy creative life I’ve chosen.

So of course Rae had a great strap suggestion. I tried it, I’m delighted, I’m going with it. Yippee.

Diana then called to tell me she had finished two samples for me (a Sassy Bag for Yarn Garden and a BottleZig whose final destination is still undetermined). Sigh. And now she’s working on a BiggyZig for me. Sigh again.

And now Cousin Karen may be the test knitter for BiggyZig or BurlyZig. I feel very loved today.

Oh… and Tracy wrote and said she is already on Ravelry and is volunteer coordinator or whatever they call it for the discussion group about ColorJoy by LynnH patterns. I could HUG Tracy if she only was in Lansing!

So my day turned around. My bag has a button flap that it did not have this morning, and the start of shoulder strap #1 of 2. I may just felt this “puppy” tomorrow. Cross fingers.

Feeling a Bit Better

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

I “knit like the wind” as Brenda Dayne’s knitting podcast Cast-On suggests. It was very helpful. I always say that knitting is a lot like “worry beads” and it was more true today than ever.

I’m working on the moderate-sized project bag in the ZigBagZ series. I finished the bag portion tonight, bound it off. Now I need to knit handles and button flap (which requires some decision-making but I’m up to that challenge). After that, I measure every possible part of the bag, then I throw it in the washing machine and cross all fingers and toes. After it shrinks perfectly (we can only hope), I shape it well, dry it, and measure it.

At that point Diana and I have a conference call and determine how many stitches we think she should cast on for the roomy-sized project bag. And then we see how long it takes to knit that, and felt/shrink that, and determine if we need even more test bags before going ahead. We do have a lot of small bags which were our felting swatches, so it may be that we’re good to go. Or not.

It’s one day at a time, you know? But although I still have no plan about my held-for-ransom photographs on this hard drive, I at least have done some constructive work. I knit fast which used up a bunch of the pent-up adrenaline that made me want to jump to the moon in a single bound. And now I think I’ll go to sleep, and finish my bag tomorrow.

Cross fingers for me. I need all the felting gods and goddesses and vibes and good karma and any other good luck charms I can get, in my corner tomorrow.

By the way, the fabric is reeeeally beautiful. Of course, I took a photo but now I am afraid to download the photo onto the bad-cop computer hard drive. It might not let me have custody of my own work.

I’ll show you more when I get more confidence, or maybe I’ll just start up that old beloved VAIO XP laptop (which still works, though it still makes bad sounds when it’s running). I would love to show you how pretty my colors are this time around.


Saturday, September 22nd, 2007


I am so disappointed with Windows Vista. I have to type a password to do things as mundane as tell an icon to open as a full-sized (maximized) window. Come on!

Now this week I have had several “Windows Updates” which download automatically and then insist I turn off the computer and restart so that they can install. Theoretically the updates fix faults in the system and make me more secure. I think the structure of Windows sets it up to be eternally insecure and I wonder if that benefits Microsoft. If we are unhappy with our current Windows version, we’re more likely to buy a new version when it comes out, right?

So I rebooted as commanded. And now my desktop is missing the photo of Ethiopia which I had chosen (a photo I took in 2004), which was my wallpaper image. So I went in to re-choose it.

And it says that I do not have permission to access that document. It is in a folder assigned to the username I’m logged in as. I tried to open it in PhotoShop. It says my photo is locked. I even rebooted to see if maybe just there was a digital hiccup going on somehow. Still no access to my photo.

Guys, imagine this… it appears that Microsoft is so afraid I will copy someone else’s image that it won’t let me access my own? I understand and respect copyright… in fact, as a musician and knitting designer I benefit when others respect my copyright as well. But now I can not access or even view my own photograph? A precious one I took when I was in another continent? This is just plain wrong.

The first few weeks I had this machine, I could NOT copy my documents from the old laptop to this one without sitting for hours and babysitting the process, restarting after about 1GB of copying. I had 25GB of digital photos alone. It sure feels like Microsoft won’t trust me, it should have been a non-issue. I mean, we tried copying four different ways and none worked properly.

Maybe I am misunderstanding the intent behind these issues but that doesn’t help me deal with my daily frustrations. I type my Windows password a half a dozen times a day, minimum. To do normal things like start my calendar program or PhotoShop. Insanity.

Only five years ago I was making a living as a Microsoft Windows/Office consultant and expert. In fact, I spent six years before my Y2K-Consultant career, as a Microsoft DOS/Windows/ Office Suite corporate trainer. Up until now I have been grateful that Microsoft has given me many years of making a living.

I’m pretty sharp with techie things, at least those a few years old. I worked my first job on a computer back in 1981, before the IBM-PC was even invented. I figured that if I had frustrations with Vista I could make peace with it given a little time.

It has been months. I’m less happy than I was the day I got this machine. Mind you, the hardware/machine is just fine… it’s the operating system (Vista) I dislike.

If I were a child I would throw a tantrum. It’s a good thing I have my mental health securely in place because this frustration feels explosive inside me. I should go hit my pillow a few times or run around the block until I can’t go any further.

My stomach hurts. I want my pictures back.

Karen and Rae and Deb were all right. I should have given in. Next time I’ll be a Mac grrl.

Fabulous Heftones at Altu’s Tomorrow

Friday, September 21st, 2007

heftonesdagwoodsaftermemoraibyjen16.jpgBrian and I will be playing again at our home venue, Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine, on Saturday the 22nd from 6:30-8:30pm. We would love to see you there.

Slow as Mud

Friday, September 21st, 2007

zigbagbottlezigsmweb.jpgI seem to be walking through mud with heavy boots for the last few days. I’m still working on the design/pattern for my ZigBagZ series.

I have the two smallest bags figured out (a small rectangular one, pictured here in the last week, and the bottle bag at left), though text and photos are still sketchy. The next size up looks like it will probably be something like the size of my Watercolor Bag or hopefully a little bigger. I really wanted a larger size so I am going to add a fourth bag to the collection.

The extra bag means a lot more knitting, a lot more yarn, a lot more waiting, a lot more everything. I’m working on the third bag right now.

As soon as we get gauge issues more settled, Diana will cast on the largest of the four and then knit a loooong time, and then we cross fingers toes and eyes when that one is felted, to see if it comes out the way we wanted it (or close enough to go ahead with the design.

If either of our bags does not work as planned, we start knitting again. With felted projects, you shrink it and then you can’t use the yarn over again as you can on standard knit items. It’s a lot of time and a lot of materials/funds to get things right, but that is just part of the process. I believe in this design so I keep trudging forward, slowly or otherwise.

This is all complicated by the fact that I can not seem to knit any single gauge for more than an hour or two, or at least not when using circular needles (rather than Double Pointed Needles which are what I usually use). Thank goodness Diana can achieve a more steady gauge, and she will no doubt knit the store samples when we get to that phase of the project.

Here is a photo of the finished design for the BottleZig. I like it a lot. This one is a store sample at Rae’s, and I have one that is similar but was a prototype so I get to keep it.

Today I tried over and over to get to this page to post a column for you, and I could not get the form to open fully. Today I also tried to access an educational website and had frustration there as well. More slogging through mud.

The good part was that our performance at Foods for Living was really great. We got there just as Jen Sygit was finishing up her set. It’s always great to see/hear her.

Of course, we got a few photos but I’m behind on downloading those to the computer. After the performance, we went out to dinner all dressed up fancy in our show clothes. That was fun.

More later… have a great weekend. It’s lovely weather here right now and the trees are starting to turn color. Really pretty.

The Harvest Gathering, 2007

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

harvestgatherinjensygit.jpgI posted photos of The Fabulous Heftones at Harvest Gathering but I have other photos, of other musical acts. These folks in many cases are our friends as well as colleagues. I am still not quite used to having such peers. They are good people and great musicians.

harvestgatheringandeanhat.jpgI didn’t say much about our show yet. I want you to know how loved I felt singing that show. So many other musicians were in the audience, and this is quite an honor. Peter “Madcat” Ruth and Jen Sygit plunked themselves on the side balcony for the entire show, and we saw so many other musicians out there.

I still feel very new to this community, and I knew the musical work of both Madcat and Jen before I ever played a note on a bass. It is a deep honor to belong to this incredible group of caring and talented folks.

I couldn’t see everyone from the stage, but spotted Mark Sahlgren, Jack and Emmett (Mark’s son-in-law and grandson, Jack was in Lost World String Band but I don’t know his last name), Laura Bates and Brandon Foote were there at least part of the time.

Drew Howard/Captain Midnite popped in with a request, between his numerous performances. Andrea and Micah of Breathe Owl Breathe supported us with actions as well as their presence. Art and Marlene Cameron (musician/horticulturist and fiberartist) were there. Tamineh harvestgatheringdrewandorpheumbell.jpgGueramy (formerly of The Weepers and now in Rusty Blaides, among many other acts) and Josh Davis of Steppin’ in It were also there.

I’m writing this too many days after the show. I clearly have forgotten a few somebodies but all the support was fully felt. Sigh. It is good to feel loved, you know?

After the show, Laura Bates gave me such a high compliment. She said that The Fabulous Heftones are a musician’s favorite act, and that was why we saw so many peers out there listening. . I also met Daniel Kahn’s mother harvestgatheringmicah.jpgwho was lovely and positive, and I met Megan Palmer who I mentioned a few posts previous to this.

We did not have a lot of time after the show before we had to go home (Brian had to play for a dance with Scarlet Runner String Band in Lansing) but Brian got to jam a little bit with Bob from Mio, whose wife is involved with the Noreast’r Music Festival, and with Jack and a few other folks (I wasn’t there so I don’t know who all participated).

We got to see a bunch of acts on Friday night at the Barn Stage. I wanted to see Robin Lee Berry’s show but it was freeeeezing and she was at the Solar Stage, outdoors without much protection from elements. I ended up staying in the Barn just for pure self-preservation and heat-retention. We did hear .

I know that in the frigid cold morning (before our show), Brian also jammed a bit with some folks including Susan Fawcett of Breathe Owl Breathe and Fox on a Hill. He loves jamming, I think more than performing on stage. I am glad he got that chance.

This is a public thanks to Seth Bernard for scheduling us at his festival. What a fine person he is, what a big open-armed welcome we felt! It was a wonderful time.

Photos: Jen Sygit and her band Spare Change (they put on a wonderful show… especially the vocal harmonies). A videographer who I did not get a chance to meet, wearing what looks like an authentic handknit Andean hat with those little bobbles used for children’s hats. Orpheum Bell (including our Captain Midnite on pedal steel seated with cowboy hat, center back row). Photo Micah Middaugh took of himself with my camera.

harvestgatheringrustyblaides.jpgThe wide photo is Brandon Foote and Laura Bates with a bunch of friends singing harmony. The song was “Hard Times” by Stephen Foster. I don’t know the first man at left, but then you see Seth Bernard, Daisy May Erlewine, behind her Drew Howard, then Brandon and Laura front and center, me in earmuffs and pink hug shawl, Jen Sygit and Tamineh Gueramy.

Rusty Blaides including friends Joe Wilson (also of Steppin’ in it), Tamineh Gueramy and (you guessed it) Drew Howard/Captain Midnite. I can not tell you how hard it is to take a photo of a band with six people standing up and moving all the time! Closeup with Joe and Tamineh in front row.

harvestgatheringjoewilsontaminehgueramy.jpgAnd last but not least, two shows from Saturday morning at the Solar Stage (this stage is powered entirely by solar power, very cool). The guy with an acoustic guitar-like bass (at right) is Denny, who works the sound in the Barn all weekend. He got to play a show outside before going in to his post for the rest of the very long day.

The final photo is “Scratch and Sniff,” Which always includes Phil Wintermute and Paul Bennett (seated center front, Phil in red hat/blue coat and Paul in tweed hat playing fiddle). The other musicians playing with them this time are folks whose names I do not know.

harvestgatheringdennysolar.jpgBy all rights, I should be linking to every musician’s website here, but if I did I would never finish the post. Most folks can be found on MySpace or by googling for their band website.