Archive for August, 2011
Here is the location:
Foods for Living
2655 E Grand River (at Park Lake Road)
East Lansing, MI 48823
- If you know a child who hasÂ restrictions, perhaps providing a snack they can eat safely (brownie, muffin?) will help them avoid unhealthy temptations when at school.
- If you are one who needs to attend gatherings where you can’t eat anything on the potluck table, now you can bring something that will help you feel included.
- If you have a friend who has limitations and doesn’t know what to eat as a treat, perhaps my recipes can help them transition to health.
This store is the only place in Greater Lansing where you can buy all of the special ingredients needed to make my desserts. It is employee owned, and local. I highly recommend getting to know this business.
My cookbook is good for us with food allergies/sensitivities, for Vegans, and Celiacs. The recipes are all Gluten Free. In addition, they don’t require wheat, corn, dairy, egg, potato, soy, nuts, or yeast.
I use a number of ingredients which are unfamiliar to many Americans. I’m delighted to discuss what I’ve learned in my own food-restricted journey!
I’ll be autographing books and answering questions. If you have food restrictions or know someone who does, this may help.
I hope that you can be there.
Incredible acoustic musician Lil Rev plays at Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine in East Lansing tonight, 6:30-8:30.
Rev has won multiple awards, plays multiple instruments, is a fine storyteller and music historian. Highly recommended!
No cover, great food, CD’s for sale, tips appreciated.
Sunday I started my day early and happily, ready for four sessions in one day. I tried to send a single morning tweet to the Twitter crowd. Something clearly went wrong on the Twitter end of that deal! The system complained that I’d already posted 1,000 updates that day. At 7:58am? Not likely.
My username on Twitter is @ColorJoy . If you are interested in seeing what I post on Twitter, but don’t want to have an account of your own, you can read my posts. (I’m fond of retweeting others’ inspiring tweets, quotations and links to interesting art/ food web pages.) Find me right here:
Crystal Heels (Afterthoughts that Fit)
The morning classes were quick and fun. I taught “Crystal Heels” three times in three hours. (For Knitters – Basically, a Crystal Heel is an afterthought heel with “facets” from decreasing in different ways. It’s a wider and deeper heel than most afterthought heels, and fits rather well even though it does not have a gusset.)
An afterthought heel is just that. You knit a tube with a toe, either top down or toe up, and then you go back and add a heel in the middle. They are great for striping yarns and for folks who have a tendency to wear out heels a lot, because they are easy to replace.
Here is a photo of a “normal” afterthought heel, a sock from Turkey with a modified shape/depth, and my Crystal Heel. Note that the center sock is for a larger foot than the other two, with proportionally larger heel.
Notice that my heel stays fairly wide for about 2/3 of the length of itself, to make room for the shape a human heel typically has. You can see that the first one is neither deep enough, nor wide enough. The knit fabric depends on its stretchy nature to make up for the improper fit.
I am getting letters from folks who took this class, already. Folks are finding it fits them well, and it’s a real thrill to hear from them.
Since the class was about a heel technique that one could use on socks already in progress, these students were able to use the information from class very quickly in a real project. How exciting!
It was great to finish the Summit with perhaps my favorite class (if I am allowed to have favorites). I taught a tiny Turkish sock design, based on a sock from Turkey I own. It has a very different structure from those which I see in most publications, so is a fun and different class.
I believe I had 21 people in the class. Out of that, 16 stuck around to put finished sock projects in this photo. It makes me smile! (This one is clickable, where the image gets much larger so you can see the stitch detail if you click on it. I thought you’d enjoy the close up.)
We had such a grand time together, that the class wanted a group photo. Here they are (also clickable):
I met Ilisha Helfman at Sock Summit 2009. We literally met in the lobby outside the marketplace after everything had sort of wound down for that day, and I commented on her knitting. She was wearing a knitted ginkgo leafÂ piece around her neck, and I had to meet her.
That year, we ended up chatting a long time, and then went out to dinner another day with her family.Â This year we made sure to connect again.
This year Saturday, we had dinner together… at the same Indian restaurant where we’d gone in 2009. I had looked forward to going back, the food was just great.
When we got there, I emptied the contents of my Teacher goodie bag. Gifts, every single one of these items, from Sock Summit vendors. Luxury! Absolute generosity!
Somehow my Signature needles (DPNs, 2.5mm, magenta with stiletto points) are not in this photo. You also can’t see the knitting light (hangs from one’s neck). Can you see at top left, a copy of Anna Zilboorg’s Mitten book which had socks added to it in this new version? A gift from XRX (Knitters Magazine). Top right is a comic book, too. More cool.
Ilisha took a photo of me holding some of my goodies, with my Teacher badge also visible, Yes, I’m extremely proud that I taught at this fine event.
Ilisha just released a new book called JazzKnitting. It’s wonderful. She uses handpainted yarns, by responding to their color sequences. Included are the gingko leaves I noticed two years ago (see cover), as well as peacocks and a number of other concepts.
Her willingness to not only bend to, but celebrate, the idiosyncrasies of the handpainted yarns, makes her a true artist. She “draws using a thread that has already been painted.” (My paraphrase.) Wonderful stuff.
Ilisha spent the Sock Summit doing demonstrations and discussions of Jazzknitting at the Blue Moon Fiberarts (Socks that Rock) booth in the marketplace. She discussed looking at the way a yarn is dyed to work toward an artpiece. A lot of this is in her book, as well. I’d love to explore her book and techniques more, enough to discuss them in their own book-review post at a later date.
This final photo? It only fits because it was after the marketplace closed on Saturday. I took it while standing with Ilisha on the way out to dinner.
This is a yoga moment, folks from Sock Summit teams ST-1 and ST-2 and perhaps a few friends and/or volunteers. I thought it was a rather fine photo to carry the spirit of the moment.
Saturday morning I taught a class on “Pool-Repellant” socks. Pooling is when a multicolored yarn is knit so that one (or more) particular color shows together in visible areas.
Pooling in its extreme form is shown at top right here. In the case of that sample, it’s a yarn created specifically for those who LOVE pooling on socks.Â Â
Some people do amazing things, like plaids, by pooling with intent. However, that was not the subject of this class.
The pooling-on-purpose yarn is from Schoppel-Wolle, the company who also produces Zauberball. I don’t know the yarn’s name. Thanks to Suzanne, who knit the swatch.
Every knitter has an opinion on whether colors are capable of pooling in pleasant ways. One knitter will love the same sock that another can not tolerate. However, for some folks it is a real problem, and there are a number of methods used to manipulate pooling to a situation that is acceptable to the one doing all the knitting.
I had three hours with a lovely group of women. We talked, reviewed a number of my knitted samples, looked at each others’ unsatisfying projects, and schemed for future projects (or in at least one person’s case, two re-do projects).
The class got a good chunk of time for experimental knitting with yarns they brought along (some which had not behaved well in previous projects). I very much enjoyed my time with this group.
At left is a yarn that pools easily, but here was knit up in my Breeze Blocker project. The colors look pleasant in this particular stitch pattern and project.
I got a lovely note from student Katrina V., who was in the pooling class. She gave me permission to quote her message for you. She says:
I was in your Pool Repellant class on Saturday morning and just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed every minute of it. Your energy and enthusiasm were contagious and much appreciated.
I brought two â€œunfortunateâ€ socks to the class, and you suggested that I knit from both ends of the ball for one and do an afterthought heel on the other…I will be sure to send you before and after pictures.
Thank you again for the great class!!
Lunch with Kids
After that class ended, I met a friend, Rebekah,Â from Twitter (@SeamlessKnits) who came in for the event. We ended up going out for lunch… not only the two of us, but her three kids and husband as well. If you know how much I adore kids in the 2-5 year old age range, you know I loved having a 3 yr old, M., holding one hand… and a 5 yr old, S., on the other. You can see S. waiting patiently at right.
Kids fill up my happy inner space better than anything else. I loved every second. (The 1yr old was in a stroller or carrier the whole time, but Mommy and Daddy could take turns with him while I had the girls part of the time.)
We went off on the MAX public transit train (photo above of a train stop and a lonely coffee cup) to find what they call a “Pod” of food trucks. There are areas in Portland where they purposely congregate food trucks, to attract good traffic for all. You can buy many different ethnic foods, barbecue, fish and chips, vegetarian/healthy foods, the works.
Above is a “Purple House” image for my purple houses photo collection… a food truck painted in purple, which was closed when we visited.
I ended up with a Greek pita with falafel in it. The bread was out of this world, and I ate more of it than I would if I had been at home. Yum. I guess I’m used to Michigan’s Lebanese falafel which I like better, but it was a healthy, affordable, fresh-off-the-grill meal. I had heard there was a Turkish food truck, but it turned out to be at a different Pod location.
After lunch we returned to the convention center. This was my big chance to go in to the marketplace and thank all the amazing vendors who gifted we teachers with so many fine presents.
The place was so big, the only way I could really say thanks to all of those vendors, was to mark my map ahead of time with who was where, and methodically make my way through to thank those folks before I did anything else.
The good part was that I met some very cool people. I thanked all but a few vendors who were not available when I passed by their booth. The down side was that I did not feel the luxury to look at the amazing merchandise which was available just plain everywhere!!!
I purchased only two items at the market. My dinner chat partner at Wednesday’s teacher dinner had been Jill Draper of Jill Draper Makes Stuff. I got one skein of bright green sockyarn from her.
I was distracted by every version of turquoise yarn I passed. The one I finally purchased was from Kitchen SinkÂ Dyeworks (it’s greener in real life than it seems here).
At one point I put those two skeins next to a skein which was in the vendor-gift goodie bag from a breast cancer project, in hot pink. I think they need to be made into a project together, in some way. Yes?
(More soon, I promise…)
(View of Convention Center from the parking ramp of the hotel where I stayed.)
After dinner Friday, I headed over to the convention center to join the Sock Hop. I entered a dark room with a disco mirror ball and loud ’80’s music. It was hard to see who was there. I sort of danced around the room by myself and took a bunch of photographs while I waited for my eyes to adjust better.
It turned out that dear friend Irene, who made Sock Summit a stop on her move from Michigan to the Pacific Northwest, was there with her friend Lisa. I sat with them a while in between taking photographs.
I sure enjoyed the playlist of the music at that party. I was a young adult during the 80’s and in the middle of a group of young men, in particular, who adored the new sounds. They loved Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, 10cc and a lot of other bands I don’t remember names of.
In recent years I’ve been loving The Cars more and more, and an assortment of other bands which first came out in those heady years of early MTV. That night they also played a bunch of Madonna and of course, Michael Jackson.
Socknitters are fun. I dare say the folks are just as fun at Sock Summit as at Ukulele Festivals, except that there were a lot more people at the Summit than I’ve ever seen at any individual Ukulele Festival.
There was a group of women who wore tiaras and tutus/crinoline skirts most or all of the weekend (see above). There were the folks wearing the pseudo-viking hats with socks instead of horns (seen in this post).
I took two videos I’ll share with you, at this party. Both are stored at Flickr.com so if you click here, you will end up on my Flickr pages. Click the “back” button to come on back and view the second video.
The first one is the group practicing for Saturday’s “Flash Mob” dance. It’s only 40 seconds here, but you can see how much fun a little dancing with a skein of yarn can really be. That is, if you’re a socknitter at the Sock Summit Sock Hop, anyway!
The second video is a MUST-SEE. This woman and a few of her friends were dancing to the end of Thriller (Michael Jackson) where Vincent Price is reciting scary poetry. I wish I could give credit to the amazing dancer here, but I don’t know who she is.
WOW. The video is barely over a minute, but long enough to really appreciate her total immersion into the spirit of the dance. Incredible.
A Walk to Dinner
Friday after the Folk Knitting Fanatic show and tell (previous post), I looked up restaurants on the internet (travel is so much easier these days). I found an Ethiopian Restaurant walking distance from the hotel.
On the walk there, I found some chuckle-inspiring graffiti:
I must confess, I’ve had Ethiopian food in Ethiopia. I became friends with Altu (of Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine) because of her Ethiopian Restaurant in East Lansing. She puts so much love into her food that I love hers best… I haven’t found better anywhere… but it was a treat to eat one dish they had which Altu doesn’t offer (spinach), and just be there.
Embroidery – ColorJoy
I got a vegetarian combo plate. I loved the embroidered tablecloth so much, I gave it equal billing with the food in this photo. (The tablecloth is handwoven and mostly handspun, and the embroidery is all done by hand.)
From top, clockwise: Spinach, spicy lentils, split yellow peas, kale, cabbage. It was just what I needed, and there was so much food I had leftovers for a breakfast later in the week.
Forgive My Gushing for a Moment
I *LOVE* cities. For me, cities are rated on a 4-point scale:
1. Public Transit which includes light-rail trains (above or below ground)
2. Variety and Quality in Ethnic Food
3. Tall Buildings
4. Art Museums (at least one, preferably too many to visit in a weekend)
Portland has all of the above, though their buildings are not as tall where I stayed as in many other great cities.
Lansing (Michigan), where I live, has: 1) a good bus system without trains, 2) a no-longer-embarrassing Ethnic Food selection, 3) one building over 20 floors, and finally 4) a very fine, large enough art museum in construction at Michigan State University. We are getting there, but I escape to Chicago or Toronto as often as I can to get my tall-building/ public-transit fix.
Hang tight… photos coming next of the Sock Hop which happened Friday Evening. Tiaras and Tutus, disco lights, 80’s music and some serious dancing (including 2 videos) are coming up very soon.
The first images here are from that lecture. At right, you see a matched pair of knee socks. Anna-Marie and Cynthia have different curves in their legs, although their foot sizes are similar. Off the legs, these socks are truly the same size.
At left, you see Cynthia wearing a legwarmer that fits her both at the ankle and at the upper thigh. We talked about stretch, stitch patterns, negative ease and gauge in that class, to help fit without having to do a lot of row-counting and shaping, and still fit well.
My 2nd class was 3 Turkish Heels. The heel styles came from actual Turkish socks I own, and they are lovely.
It was a jam-packed class from the get-go, we had a lot of material to cover. Each heel is a good solution for certain situations, and fit pretty darned well… but one in particular is very unlike any Western-style sock heel I’ve ever seen. Here’s an image of one from my collection, viewed from the back of the sock.
It was also a session where we talked about folk knitting, where often the knitters would fudge to make things come out right in the end. They would make up every pair from scratch, so there was no pattern telling them what the stitch count should be. It’s a difficult concept for some western-style knitters.
Friday, after classes, I made a date to spend time with Donna Druchunas and Teri Shea. Donna knows much about folk socks, particularly Lithuanian. She does a lot of lace, too. Donna wrote the award-winning book “Arctic Lace.”
Teri is an expert on Norwegian knitting, particularly socks and mittens (author of Selbuvotter, Biography of a Knitting Tradition). I’m interested in Turkish socks as well as Andean hats. It was a meeting of appreciative folks. We had an amazing show and tell. Above you see us with Terri’s mitten samples. Below are some of Donna’s sock samples.
Inspiration is the only answer to such beautiful knitting, don’t you think? Sometimes I get teary-eyed just viewing such lovely work.
Pardon my digression from Sock Summit / knitting news. I assure you there is more. However, tonight I have a special event which maybe some Lansing folks would like to attend. I’m signing my cookbook tonight!
Will you join me tonight at Everybody Reads, Books and Stuff for my book signing? I’ll have sample goodies from my “I Can Eat These!” Dessert Collection. The recipes are allergy-friendly, Gluten-Free and Vegan. And really GOOD. Come and taste for yourself…
Everybody Reads Books
2019 E. Michigan, Lansing, MI
(Across from Emil’s Italian Restaurant, next to Gone Wired Cafe – between Frandor and Sparrow Hospital.)
I will bring Habibi Brownies and Crusty Pumpkin Loaf tonight, Teff Spice Muffins are in the oven as I type this. I’m also bringing Eudora’s Spiced Pumpkin-Orange sauce (good on teff muffins).
Please come out, sample and spread the word! Click here to read my food-restrictions journey.
I look forward to seeing friends and meeting new folks. The goodies are excellent, I assure you…
Thursday night at Sock Summit ’11 featured an Opening Day reception. There was lovely finger food (roasted carrots were my favorite). There were socknitting fanatics, some of whom were also instructors or team members. There was a lot of laughing.
Here are Stephanie and Tina at left, in yellow. They are ST-1 or Sock Team-1. The other six are ST-2 members. This is the entire team who planned and managed the conference. Remember, there were 1800 students registered for classes, and 6,000 people who came for at least one event. These folks ROCKED it and then some.
Of course, there were a lot of wonderful volunteers once the event got going. I had assistants assigned to my classrooms. They did all sorts of little things and sometimes big ones (like finding hot water so I could have hot tea in the morning). Well, that one was big to me if not to my students!
Tina got a special item in going with the Sock Team (Star Team) motif, which gave folks a lot of fun all weekend. It was up on that same stage with the teams… a SockGate? I’m pretty clueless about space travel fiction no matter if it be book, television or movie. However, this was cool even for those who were wearing their viking-sock headgear, space knowledge or not.
All of the instructors who were at the reception were introduced to the crowd. It was lovely to be part of the event.
I sat next to Anna Zilboorg during this event. When we were eating our finger foods, she told me a bit about going to Morocco and how much she valued it. Things are changing quickly there, and it was great to chat about her travels a bit. What an interesting and well-traveled woman she is.
Anna (pronounce Awna) wrote the only currently-available book referencing Turkish/eastern-style socks (it’s called Fancy Feet in hardback and Simply Socks in paperback). She didn’t teach any Turkish-inspired classes at the conference, though I did. Last Summit, in 2009, she did a number of lectures on the subject and I got to see her collection of Turkish socks. They brought me to tears, with their beauty.
Other folks at our table were Clara Parkes (The Book of Wool, The Book of Yarn, Knitters Review), Ann Budd (Interweave press – The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns and a few excellent recent sock books), Nancy Bush (Folk Socks, Folk Knitting in Estonia, Knitting Vintage Socks), Shelia January (whose amazing blue/cream socks are on the table in photo at right), and Judith MacKenzie (humble but brilliant spinning/textile goddess, author of The Intentional Spinner).
On the way out of the room, I got a chance to chat with some folks including Mary Kay, who was one of the team members for the Dallas-Ft. Worth Fiber Festival when I taught for them. That was another total class act, for the record. I’ve been lucky to work at such great venues! Here I am with Mary Kay. If you see her at any knitting event, say hello… she’s warm and lovely to talk with.
Thursday was the first day of the Sock Summit for attendees. I did not have any classes scheduled that day, and so I was gifted with a seat in Donna Druchunas’ Recreating Traditional Folk Socks class. I was “sitting in” but Donna encouraged me to participate. I spent the morning looking at her amazing collection of socks.
Donna has spent a lot of time in Lithuania, so has many examples from that tradition. She had socks from other places as well, and some she designed with inspiration from her collection. I really enjoyed my morning with her class.
The class went on in the afternoon by actually working to duplicate some features from her sock collection, in groups. I bowed out to be sure I had my own class samples in order for the next several days.
Here are the samples for my five subjects lined up in their own baggies, in the hotel room:
This was not the end of Thursday, but that is enough photographs for one post… more coming.
Photos! I promised… and now you get them. (First photo taken from MAX train just before getting off to go to the Convention Center/Hotel area.) Portland, Oregon is a fine city in all senses of the word. I loved every minute there.
Ahhh, a city. A real one, with a 1) subway/ transit train system, 2) tall buildings/ skyline, 3) ethnic foods, and 4) Art Museums. I enjoyed all but the last of these. For me, cities with all 4 of these attributes are the finest of them all. I was very happy, positively energized, to arrive there. Here is a scene from the MAX train transit stop nearest my hotel:
The first day at Sock Summit, I flew in and arrived at dinnertime. In fact, I checked into the hotel just as instructors were assembling in the dining area for our special dinner together. I dropped off my suitcases and flew up to the 6th floor to join the crowd.
Those folks who I did know in person, were already chatting with others. I plunked my ZigBag on a chair at an as-yet-unoccupied table and decided I’d meet new friends at dinner.
I spent the most time at my table talking to Jill Draper of Jill Draper Makes Stuff, and her friend Cal Patch of Hodge Podge Farm. Jill was wearing a delectable sweater in blues and hot yellow-greens, showing off her wonderful hand-dyed yarns. (Remember Jill… I bought some of her yarn which I’ll show you in a later post.)
I did not get many photos that were focused. It seems that Sock Summit teachers were rather animated and happy to be there, and almost every shot I got had more fuzzy faces than clear. However, here is Jill being her charming and adorable self, centered in this image.
I can’t tell you how well we were treated in this conference. This was true from before we got there until we left for home.
Those of you who have been reading this blog for a long time, know that I have a long list of food sensitivities. I often can’t eat in a restaurant (or I eat lettuce topped with olive oil I bring myself, while watching other folks eat full meals). For this dinner, one of the ST-2 team members made sure that my meal was made specially with only ingredients I could eat. I had a full meal when everyone else did.
Trust me: this was deluxe, truly loving care. Check out this amazing salad:
Notice that there is also something beautifully red in my water glass. Cat Bordhi sat at my table, and brought us a special treat. The red you see is currants Cat had picked earlier that day. She shared them with all of us at the table. Divine.
I slept well on Wednesday night. My classes did not start until Friday, so Thursday would be a morning of sitting in on a class, and an afternoon of preparation. More to come…
I made it home to Lansing just before midnight on Wednesday. I’ve been gone 8 days, all good.
Last night I downloaded 747 photos from my camera, then I took dozens more. I’ve been blogging from my iPod Touch (no camera attached) on the road. I will do my best to get photos up for you soon.
Meanwhile, you must see the video of hundreds (really) of knitters dancing with their skeins of yarn outside the Oregon Convention Center. Really, you must see it. This makes Ukulele festivals look mild and dour. Ready?