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Archive for March, 2011

She’s Beautiful! (Colorama Shawl Design)

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

I am on my very, very last few tasks to release the shawl design I’ve been working on for nearly 7 months. Her name is now officially “Colorama Crescent Shawl.” She’s beautiful.

Edited to add purchase information after pattern was released:

Last Wednesday I went to dance rehearsal. Two friends were playing around with the shawl I had brought along. They make me look good. See?



I wrote the pattern in four sizes. They are the same stitch design and length, but some have more sections of fabric. I took a photo with all 4 shawls lined up (on the edge you can’t see here). You can see the size differences here. One more section at the neck creates a lot more fabric at the hem edge.


The smallest one  on top (Sprite size), is a little more than a half of a circle.


The bottom/bright blue one (Goddess Size) is about 3/4 of a circle. I blocked this one with steam, and let it dry flat.

If I had blocked it as a frequent lace knitter might, I would have dunked it in water, pressed out the water, then pinned it out into a larger size than I have right here.

The drape is satisfying as it is, though. The solid blue in this shawl is alpaca and it drapes wonderfully.


I’ve named the sizes Sprite, Princess, Diva and Goddess. The Sprite is good as a neck wrap, on any size person. I sure like this better than a traditional scarf!


The Goddess size fits at least up to a size XXX woman, as a standard shawl. However, two Goddess-sized knitting friends felt that the Diva Size would work for them as a shoulder warmer. The shape makes it fit many sizes.

I’m rather small but I like wrapping up in the Goddess sized shawl. I wear it a bit like what you see in the above photo, but really tossed over a shoulder, a la Stevie Nicks. (Yes, I’m a child of the 70s, and she’s the queen of fabric-wrapped/draped fashion in my mind.)

Another wonderful development is that a young knitting friend is knitting this as a skirt. We figured out how many sections she needed to go around her waist, and she cast on. I will enjoy seeing that project evolve.

I have just a few more items on the to-do list to get this pattern ready for release. I’ve been up past 3am for 4 nights in a row working on it. It’s finally in a flow, and it feels as if I will finish this weekend.

I am always amazed by how much time it takes to really get the details right. Quality is worth it.

See you soon!

Food in Florida: Photo Tour

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

(ColorJoy is about artfulness in all things… food can be an artform both in flavor and in presentation.)

I’m so behind on so many things… but when we were in Florida (a month ago) I took a lot of photos. We ate in many restaurants, many cuisines (food is a favorite aspect of travel for me). Here are some photos I took along the way:


A sushi place, I think it was in Orlando. Love the offering of “FREASH FISH.”


Hand-written sign, with artistic flair, at same sushi house.


Tampa, a Thai place. It was presented well. The rice was molded into a heart, it’s hard to see from this angle.


My noodle dish, same Thai place. Beautifully presented.


Salt and pepper shakers on the same table.


Outside a teahouse we like to frequent, in downtown Lakeland, Florida.


A diner we have never frequented, also in Lakeland. Since 1947. Cool!


My favorite culinary find on the trip. Turkish food in Downtown Lakeland, Florida. We ate there 3 times between us. The last night, we took Mom and Fred there, and we had four happy tummies when we left.


Tea served in glass, just as I remember from Egypt. This one has an evil eye protector printed on the glass. I sure wish I had a glass like this.


They had two kinds of amazing, home-baked pita breads. This one was whole wheat.


Left, Eggplant (my favorite). Right, a cold chopped-veggie dish, spicy, that Brian really loved.


Excellent falafel, with melt-in-your-mouth tomatoes. (Why does my spell-checker not know the word falafel? To me it is an everyday word… I’m lucky to live in Michigan where we have so many good middle-eastern restaurants, I guess.)

If you ever find yourself in Lakeland, Florida (spring training home for the Detroit Tigers), be sure to stop at this wonderful Turkish restaurant. You will not be disappointed.

We also ate at a different Thai place in Tampa, which was wonderful. We had Vietnamese in Tampa, too… and I took photos of the front of the Lakeland Teahouse. Somehow I did not process photos from those places, but I think you have enough photos to make you  happy.

If anyone knows where in Lansing, Mich. to get a wonderful small tea glass like this, or these in my photos from Egypt, I’d love to know. The sentimental can make life more pleasant, don’t you agree?

Kids Knit, Again!

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

For the last month or so, I have been teaching knitting to a group of kids at Bath, Michigan Elementary school. There is nothing else so rewarding, truly.

I start them out with a five-stitch garter fabric wristband. Some kids really get into these, and make dozens of them, one for every friend and relative in their lives. It’s wonderful, generous, passionate… and adorable.

Some kids want to know what else they can knit. One girl already knit a scarf at home. Right now, the cool thing is to make a larger piece, a rectangle that they can sew together into a tube with thumb hole. Voila! Wristwarmers. These are great for playing on mild-weather days, or for wearing over gloves on colder days.

I took this photo of their progress, the third week we were together. Can you see how proud I must be? (Love the finger bandage… true kids in all ways.)


I Looooooooove these kids!!! Each is an amazing person, each is very different from the others. All have chosen to spend time after school with me. I’m honored.

A Whirlwind in Toronto

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

I’m on my second night in Toronto, and having the best of times. I totally love this city!

Things that make me happy in big cities are abundant here. I love public transit, especially subways. They have subways, buses and streetcars here.

I love ethnic diversity and great ethnic foods. Everywhere one goes, one hears different languages being spoken here. I had Ethiopian food on Monday night; Thai, Indian and breakfast diner food on Tuesday. Love it!

I love museums… art museums, history, textiles, more. I spent time today at the Bata Shoe Museum. They had a historical sock exhibit which was the reason for this trip. They also had a wonderful exhibit full of handmade Native American moccasins, with beadwork and embroidery which was very inspiring.

I love skyscrapers and tall buildings. The section of town where I’m staying has more beautiful older buildings and fewer skyscrapers than the downtown/Yonge Street area where I’ve often stayed. However, walking down one street I was able to see the CN tower from far away. That works for me.

Today I also visited Lettuce Knit yarn shop. I spent time knitting, socializing, and getting to know Natalie/LeeLeeTea. The owner of the shop, Megan, came in just before I left, and showed me photos of her adorable boy who is almost 3. Cute as a button. She’s right, he looks like a Cabbage Patch doll.

Tomorrow I’ll have tea with Laura Chau / CosmicPluto before I take off for home. We have corresponded online off and on for a long while, but have only met once in person and it was a very crowded room. (I think it was the Ravelry party at Sock Summit 2009, you can imagine how crowded it was.)

March 1: Fly a Kite/In Like a Lamb

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

One of the premises of this ColorJoy blog, is that artfulness and creativity can be found in many places. Art is not just a drawing or painting hung on a wall. I find beauty and inspiration in all sorts of places, in my normal life.

On Tuesday, Friend Cynthia and I went for a walk from Old Town Lansing to the City Market and back. There is never a dull day with Cynthia. If I don’t see something interesting, she will.

We walked through the campus of Lansing Community College this time, rather than taking the Riverwalk. It was a bit windy and the buildings protected us a bit. Somewhere near the center of campus, I spotted this:


LCC has a good art program, I have to think someone got inspired in that department. The sewer steam vent was turned into a volcano sculpture. Good job, whoever you are!!!

We ate at Seif Foods in the market (Egyptian food, excellent), and talked briefly to Magda who owns the restaurant. The food was wonderful, as usual. (One more sort of artfulness, is cooking with flavor…)

On our way out of the building, we saw a beautiful kite flying. It was shaped like a fish with long tail, and flew as if it might be swimming. We spent quite a long time watching, there was a lot of hope in seeing this on March 1. The man flying the kite took it down for a moment and then put it up again. Can you see how big the kite is?


Unfortunately, most of the videos I took did not turn out too well. This one very short bit shows how pretty it was in the air.

I’ve never linked to a video of my own here, but let’s see if this works. Click the photo to see my short flying-fish kite, OK? It will take you to my Flickr site. If you want to return to this page, use the Back button to return.