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Archive for October, 2009

Self Portrait in Aqua-Turquoise-Teal Yarns

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

I taught two classes at Rae’s Yarn Boutique on Saturday. I took a lot of yarns along in my knitting bag, some because they are part of current projects, some because they are planned for projects to start yet this week, and a few because I needed yarns for my students to practice upon.

I had seven versions of turquoise in one knitting bag. Here they are.


(For the record, I was equal opportunity for fiber content. This assortment includes wool, alpaca, silk, cotton, linen, bamboo, nylon, mohair and angora. I did have 2 other yarns in my bag… one multicolored and one magenta. Yes, I’m a bit biased in the color department! Turquoise makes me happy.)

I think this says something about me. I hope it’s good.

Halloween Dinner/Music at Altu’s

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

heftonesafricanclothingI will have a full and wonderful day on Saturday, Halloween. I teach 2 classes at Rae’s… Maxi ZigBagZ and First-Time Toe-Up Socks. And then?

Brian and I are singing at Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine from 6:30-8:30pm. I expect to have a lovely time.

The place is friendly and warm, it’s family oriented so you can bring kids if you like. The food is incredible… I ate Ethiopian for 3 weeks when I went to Africa, at everyone’s home and good restaurants.

You didn’t ask me… but Altu cooks better. She’s an artist with food. She loves food and her customers, and it shows in her product.

Please consider joining us. If you are not in town, you can listen to our music on our Fabulous Heftones website. We have a lot of music there, for free, in MP3 or OGG formats.

Whatever you do, have a pleasant, safe and happy October 31. Don’t eat too much corn syrup!!!


Friday, October 30th, 2009


Today I feel grateful. The weather is pretty warm, though it’s raining and blowing wind like crazy. However, it’s not snow. And for some reason today when the rain was pounding on our roof window, I imagined how I could be in a tent instead of my warm house. It made autumn seem fine at the moment.


I saw 5 year old friend Isabel today. I had my camera but not its special battery (sigh). No photos, but she was the Little Mermaid complete with wig. Very cool, very sparkly and shiny.

I had not seen her since Kindergarten started 2 months ago. It was really great to see her. She is learning Chinese in school. She wanted to know if I knew how to draw a particular Chinese character. I didn’t even know what she was talking about!



I’m knitting like a fiend, the way I like it. I finished a One-Day NeckWarmer on Thursday night, in a grand total of 10 hours from cast on to bind off. I even blocked it (but the ends still need working in). Photo above.

It’s in softer colors than I normally knit. Lovely and subtle and feminine… and I got a bit bored with the colors. Not the knitting, but the color changes were not as interesting as I wanted them to be.

No matter, it was a day ago already. I started a Vegan version (no animal products). The green is  Mirasol T’ika cotton, a scrumptious yarn I adore (most cottons do not make me happy).  The turquoise is Lavold Bamboucle, a mostly bamboo yarn with a fascinating texture. It has tiny little loops on the surface, like the finest terrycloth you ever saw.


The two yarns used together are a delight. One is shiny and smooth, the other is bumpy and textured. One reflects light, the other soaks it up. I am enjoying this knit immensely.

Off to knit…!

Student Works

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

I’ve had a lot of students lately. That has been joyful! I haven’t taken time to write about it here much, with other things taking my focus when I’m at my desk.


I’m really busy driving back and forth between classes and trying (emphasis on try) to get the One-Day NeckWarmer pattern ready for sale. One day is how long it took to KNIT the thing, but writing the explanation and laying out the pattern so it’s easy to read, has abbreviations/techniques explained well, putting photos in that look good small… well, it’s more work than I think it should be.

BUT: The good news?

I have had a lot of students finish projects this week. I had two children finish first projects (wristwarmers). I had three friends who come as their own class, finish hats, their first knitting projects. One of those three had a 2nd hat almost finished, and another had a scarf done as well.

I did not get photos of any of those projects. Just the same, look at what I *did* get photos of!

Kathy’s second knitting project, ever… was this baby sweater, above, in the colors of Kalamazoo College. Now, she has crocheted for years so she knows about garment construction. But I think anybody would be proud to have created this wonderful garment!

Also, Abby finished her third project ever. She made one hat with me, and made another at home as well, without a bit of help on my part. Then she started this little sock.

Abby is very strongly left-hand-dominant. I’m learning as I teach her, about knitting not just with yarn held in the left hand, but taking stitches from the right needle and working them toward the left. Sometimes she ends up with twisted stitches, but she is making shapes and sizes that are what she had intended. Score!

She has tried several times to knit “continental,” where the yarn is held in the left hand but the stitches are moved left to right. That works for a good number of lefties, but it just did not work for her.

She’s the third knitter I’ve encountered over the years who just had to learn it the way her hands would move. And she’s making some very nice projects while we find out what works for her. I’m so glad she can join in the fun, she really is happy to be knitting.


And socks? Some folks say socks are hard to knit. I say they require skills that can be learned.

Lots of my students make a hat and then they learn how to make socks, next. Why not? I made all-knit-stitch scarves for 20 years and then I made socks.

It really helps to make a smallish sock with fatter yarn than is normally used for socks, for a first project. I really enjoy teaching my First-Time Toe-Up sock when folks learn socks with me. I wrote the pattern as a learning tool, and I find that at least with my style of teaching, it really works.

Good job to everyone, photos or not!!! You make my job fun.

Wow. NeckWarmer is a BIG. HIT.

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

My One-Day NeckWarmer pattern is going a small bit crazy on Ravelry.com. The last time I saw this kind of action was when I released my ZigBagZ patterns (Maxi Collection and Mini Collection), in February about a year and a half ago.

I am pretty sure this is topping even the bags… I have had over 100 people “favorite” my pattern in about 22 hours. Here is a detail/closeup from the Lynn DT Hershberger Designer page on Ravelry:

100heartsDo you see? 100 hearts? I can not help myself, I am incredibly thrilled. As I type this, the number has grown again. Also, there are 25 people who have “queued” the pattern. This is a feature intended for keeping track of items you intend to knit at some point. Not just that you like it, but you plan to put it on your needles.

In reality, knitters use the queue for a number of different reasons, but I find these numbers to be not just encouraging… but heartening. One can not plan for a pattern to become a success, but this one sort of happened quickly.

I guess those sayings I keep repeating: 1) Be yourself; and 2) Trust your gut, are really working out for me this week. Isn’t it great when all things fall into place, if only for a while?

For the record, I put up the pattern page for this item before the pattern is/was ready to be sold. It is in progress and very close to release. However, I wanted to put this design in my November 16 Featured Pattern ad, on Ravelry, and I could not submit an advertisement if it did not point to an existing pattern page.

I did this in a little backwards fashion. To be honest, those ZigBagZ happened the same way. I don’t want this to be a trend, but this freelance worker/designer is happy with what is happening right now.

Thanks to all of you who are supporting me now. Whether old friends, family, or new acquaintances, I appreciate every one of you.

Pending One-Day Neckwarmer Pattern

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

We had no internet yesterday for 14 hours… thank goodness for this tiny 9″ netbook with wireless, and the Library and Rae’s Yarn Boutique as alternative internet connections.

cowl125I knit a neckwarmer in one day, following that zigzag train of thought started by loving the Parisienne Beret pattern. Now I have wool/silk blend yarns and a different stitch pattern, slightly, a different stitch count, two options for top/bottom edges.

One never knows where inspiration will pop up. So now, I have a pattern almost written, a sample knit and photographed, and if all goes well (must be approved) I will have a Featured Pattern Ad on Ravelry starting November 16, for 2 weeks.

I loaded the pattern and project on Ravelry last night, sitting in my car in the parking lot at Rae’s Yarn Boutique. I have a key code for her internet service, and though I also hold a key to the store it was faster to stay in the car. It was a little amusing, but also entertaining.

By the time 13 hours passed from first loading the pattern, I have had 71 people favorite the pattern and 16 folks add it to their “queue” as planned knitting. I must say this is more than a thrill, patterns usually do not take off this fast. WooHoo!

If you are a member of Ravelry (it’s free), you can view the One-Day NeckWarmer Pattern there.

Now to test quickly and get that pattern finalized.

No Internet at Home

Monday, October 26th, 2009

All day yesterday we had to reset the wireless router about every hour or two. today around noon we stopped having any internet at all.

Thank goodness for Haslett Library, around the corner from where I teach on Monday nights. Class gets out 7:30, library closes 9 pm.

I am fine but busy, will check in as soon as I have more access. Meanwhile, here is a “Self-Portrait in Turquoise Textiles” I took this morning when the sun shone for a few moments.


The woven bag at left is purchased. The mohair ribbing at top is the sweater I’m knitting right now. Underneath is my scrap satchel I knit.

(For the record, I finished front/back of the sweater. Have not started sleeves yet, the project needs to wait a day or two while I handle another knitting deadline.)

See you soon. Stay well and warm!

Knitting Content

Sunday, October 25th, 2009


I have been working on my mohair sweater, but squares of fuzzy turquoise do not make good photos. It’s going well, some days more than others.

For the knitters out there, I’m knitting it flat for a few reasons… and I finished the back already. The front is done from bottom to past where I had to split it for the neck. I have less than 10 rows left, and a bind off.

At that point, I will sew the front and back together. My pattern tells me to knit sleeves up from the cuff, flat, then sew them in. I disagree, and I’m the one knitting so I’ll change it.

I will, instead, pick up and knit the sleeve from the top down, which gives me a chance to adjust if the length looks like it is off. It also lets me knit in the round on double-pointed needles, which just plain works well for me. That’s the plan as of now. There is no way I’ll finish it tonight, I’m already starting to doze a bit here at the keyboard, but it’s not too far from a whole new phase.

Arm Warmers

I also am working on some super-quick armwarmers, like legwarmers but for arms. These are ribbed tubes, and out of a yarn called Bizarre.

The yarn’s got one “bizarre” color in it (mustard) which I’m cutting a bit to decrease its presence in the final item. It does wash very well, and goes in and out of the dryer with ease and finesse. Lovely stuff.

The yarn is designed to look a bit random. We do not expect any balls of yarn to match or go along with others, even from the same dye lot. Even the same bag.

So imagine my surprise, when I found that 2 balls I just “randomly” picked off the shelf, start and end with the same colors, and present their colors in the same order. I mean, these armwarmers are going to almost match and I had no idea that might happen.

I showed this one armwarmer to my Goddaughter, Sara (Age 23 or 24) last night. She loved them. Loved. That was very satisfying to me. It’s good for me that she’s very sensitive to wool content, or I might have wanted to give her this pair. I’ll figure out something.

I’m turning into a pumpkin, wow do I need sleep tonight!

Still Beautiful

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

I took this photo on Wednesday. This is about 4 blocks directly behind my old house, the one I bought when I was single. It is also about 5 blocks, if that, from Foster Community Center.


I really miss living in this (Eastside) neighborhood. These houses were built post-war, in the 40’s. They are a few blocks outside of the city limit.

The back property line of my yard was the city limit, and my house was built circa 1923. I loved that house, that block. Here is a shot of my old block (my former house is in the middle of the right-hand side of the street, you can’t really see her, you see neighbors better.


Things are a little more crowded and funky in the 20’s bungalow areas, but that was a huge part of the appeal. And the trees are pretty throughout the Eastside.

Lansing Color

Friday, October 23rd, 2009




A Hammock in a Chilly City

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

I was in East Lansing before noon, last Tuesday. To the right of the fence here is a commercial alley. In front of the house is MAC Avenue and the largest parking structure in the City of East Lansing.

Someone has figured out how to have a taste of the good life, without a rural setting. Good for them!



Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

leaf4Two tiny squirrels, chasing each other down a telephone line.

Leaves falling like snow.

Gentle sunshine, no wind.

Autumn in Lansing, Mich.

Upcoming Classes

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Hi, all. I want to let local knitters/fiber friends know about a few classes I have coming up in the next week or so.

Sunday at Rae’s, I’m teaching session 1 of 2 sessions, of Fix and Finesse. This teaches you how better to “read” your knitting, count rows, fix mistakes, go back without ripping. It teaches just a lot of tricks to help you feel more powerful over your projects.

This is a great class. Everyone who takes it is delighted that they did. I adore teaching it. I see virtual “lightbulbs” go on over heads the whole time. It’s so empowering!

A week from today, Tuesday the 27th, I am teaching “Darn that Sock!” We will learn two ways of fixing a hole in handknitted fabric. This is not a super-fine-handknit repair class. This is a sock or sweater repair class, for items where you can see what needs fixing with normal tools.

Darning is not hard. Mom taught me how to do it one way when I was probably in 3rd grade. Even if you do it imperfectly, the result is a repaired sock, and the repair is under your foot where nobody sees it. Now that so many of us have been knitting socks for a while, some of us have repairs to make. This is just your class!


Rae’s Yarn Boutique
2004 E. Michigan Avenue
(a few blocks west of Frandor, same block as Emil’s Restaurant)
Lansing, Michigan
email info@raesyarnboutique.com to pre-register, or stop in the shop.

Fix and Finesse: Sundays, 1-3pm, Oct. 25 & Nov. 1; $30
Darn That Sock!: Tuesday October 27, 6-8pm; $15

If I have nobody signed up, I will not be there when you come for the first class. I do know that the darning class is already a “go.” I’m not sure what the status is of the other class.

For the record, Rae’s website has a Classes Page with more information on more classes. Maybe you would like to check that out? She has a PDF schedule there which goes through December, for all of the instructors who teach at the shop.

(For those out of town, I do travel and would love to teach your group. I’ve taught from Boston to Chicago, from Michigan Fiber Festival to Dallas/Ft. Worth Fiber Festival. Let’s talk!)

Please consider joining me. These are wonderful things to learn!

Boring Photo, Exciting Progress

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

It just plain is true, that a bulky, drop-shouldered sweater is essentially squares. This is not particularly interesting to look at. However, it is the news of today, so I will post my progress.


I am maybe halfway through the 4th ball of yarn for this sweater. The program estimated I’d need more than 11 balls (which meant I wanted 12 before I could cast on… and I did have 20).

I have finished the back, and am now working on the front piece. I’m two rows away (80 stitches each row, thanks to fat/fluffy yarn) from starting my waist decreases.

I’m thinking, even hoping, that I will not need as much yarn as originally thought. What I will do with the extra, I do not know, but it would make a great shawl of some sort.

Getting Real

I did have to crack up, though, when I did the waist decreases on the first piece (the back). You see, I have an incredibly short waist but I have real girl curves. This means I decrease for above my hip, then I knit TWO ROWS at my waist location, before increasing again.

I just sort of cracked up when I got to that part. Any shorter of a waist and I would not be decreasing at all, curves or not! Too funny.

Learning Late is Better than Never

I remember when I did a lot of sewing, patterns would have an almost-vertical slope for several inches from the fullest part of the hip to the waist, and then another sometimes-not-as gradual slope to the bust. I needed less than half of the hip-to-waist space given for my own garments. My slope is closer to horizontal than vertical.

I finally realized that  the vertical distance from my hipbone to the bottom of my ribcage is no more than 2″/5cm. I did not figure that out soon enough, unfortunately, and some gorgeous fabrics were made into ill-fitting dresses that folded up at the waist. Live and learn.

Onward Knit!

OK… two more rows before a decrease. I am starting to believe I will actually finish this sweater in 2009!