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Archive for January 22nd, 2010

Open House at Altu’s, Sat. Jan 23, Noon-4

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

We hope you will come and join us in celebrating Altu’s new space (Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine, East Lansing, Michigan).

This photo was taken several weeks ago, it’s even more lovely now! For those waiting to see my paint job, notice the basketweave is completed on the right wall but not at the back, yet.


Saturday (January 23/ tomorrow)

Special events from
NOON until 4pm.

  • Free Smoothie Samples
  • Free Food Samples
  • Live Music!!!
  • Local songwriters to make you smile!!!


Noon-1 will be Art Cameron. This witty, thoughtful poet will engage you and make you smile!

1-2 Measured Dose (Ben Dilday and Dave Bond) will soothe you with harmonies, playing familiar oldies and a good selection of originals.

2-3 Mike Ross, a local poet and musician, will share words and excellent instrumentals with you. He wrote most of the music you will hear. Mike is a nationally-recognized harmonica player, but plays many other instruments as well.

3-4 Beloved Ben Hassenger (also of Mystic Shake and Blue Jello) will keep you humming, singing along, and laughing. Again, Ben writes a lot of his own music. His meanings are often sentimental or serious, but the way he delivers them will bring a smile.


If you can not make the daytime festivities, consider dinner.

Scarlet Runner Stringband

You can order a smoothie with your dinner (or for dessert… fruit is common for dessert in Ethiopia).

I will be there for dinner, myself. I will be teaching in Charlotte during the day.

You just MUST see the new space. It is magnificent. It’s hard to believe she started with three tables-for-two and a take out.

Please, bring yourself and a crowd of friends! It will be a fun and fabulous time.

Thank You, Emily and Jenn (& Previous Helpers)

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

I have been reflecting on my luck lately. My pattern-designing work can not be done alone. I know that there are folks out on the internet, who do not know me, who might enjoy finding a hiccup in my design (and then tell the world without telling me of the problem). I choose to see this as something which intensifies my desire for quality control in my work.


However, we all know that one person (that is, the designer) can not likely work a project from beginning to end, without assistance. I need testing/editing help. These days, I knit almost all of my store samples, but I am unwilling to release a pattern which has not been test-knit for quality. I can not test knit from my own words.

The biggest example of this was when I developed my ZigBagZ collections. Sister-in-Love Diana/Otterwise did a lot of testing, a lot of editing, and sample knitting. She was my encourager when I was rather ill and unable to focus well. And my cousin, Karen, also knit a Maxi sized bag for me. That project was a true team effort, and it has been an incredibly good seller for me. It would be very hard to find a new design with the “pow” that release had.

My most recent pattern, the Keys & Coins Andean-Style Hat, was a project I started about 11 months before I released the pattern. As can happen, I got 90% of the way and got stuck (in this case, the earflaps were not working out as I wished). Once I finally got the pattern very close to ready, I had knit so many versions of the hat that I could not be impartial.

Enter Emily. She tested the ear flaps for me right away, even though we were coming up on the holidays. Later she finished the hat and loves it. This is the hat she wears herself these days. She proclaimed to me about a week ago that it was her favorite hat she has ever owned. Of course, that makes me happy.

Emily’s version followed the “beanie” adjustments. This means that instead of 3 sets of “key” patterns at the bottom of the hat, she did just one. However, she put flaps on it (where a standard beanie would not have flaps). It’s cute on her.


Next, enter Jenn. She did a beanie pretty much as I described it in the instructions (shorter and no flaps). She whipped through it very quickly.

Both of my testers came up with questions. As I recall, nothing I had in the pattern was actually wrong, but sometimes a different set of words makes something much clearer for the knitter. These two ask good questions. I am grateful.

For the record, other test knitters I’ve used over the years (off the top of my head, forgive me if I missed you but write me so I can correct this if I did)… are:

Mary F.
Rachel B.

And advice-givers of other sorts have included Rae, Diana, Deb R., Melinda, Sharon P., Elizabeth S., Brenda W., Lori V., (and many more).


Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I need a team to do this work, and I do not take my team for granted.

(Oh… you will ask. Emily’s hat used red Malabrigo contrast and Crystal Palace Taos Autumn colors as the main yarn. Jenn used Malabrigo for her contrast, also, and her main yarn was a color-changing variety of Southwest Trading Karaoke.)