Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sturgeon Bay YMCA Folk Fair is Coming

I'm really excited. Socks by Victoria, my sock company, is doing its first ever craft show, and I'm doing it at the Sturgeon Bay YMCA Folk Fair on November 17.  It's a one-day event, so it shouldn't be too taxing. I'm taking the Erlbacher Gearhart sock knitting machine so I can crank socks all day.

I also have an old-fashioned clothes dryer, the accordian kind, from which to hang all the pairs of socks that I hope to sell.  That's a lot of equipment to move and schlepp, but I hope the results will allow me to buy more sock yarn.

A friend is going with me to sell her beautiful beaded scarves, which are to die for.  All in all, it should be a fantastic day.

I still need to crank more socks to build up my inventory. Did I mention that many of my socks are available in my Etsy shop? You can go here to see them. The beauty of these socks is they have no seams to rub on your toes or give you calluses, and they feel warm and comfy all winter. Most sock yarn these days is made of something called Superwash, which is a blend of wool and polymide. Why is this important for you to know? Because it means you can throw them in the washer and dryer, although I never put these socks in the dryer. I do run them through the washer, however, and they become even more soft.

Well, I'm off to crank a few more pairs. Hope to see you in Sturgeon Bay (Wisconsin) on the 17th of  November.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Memory Lane Ain't So Bad

In 1988 approximately 50 young from the Soviet Union and 50 young musicians from the US came together at Oberlin College for a week of rehearsals that were followed by a tour of the US and a tour of the Soviet Union. Most of the musicians were college age, and among them was my son, Rick Graef (now Asst. Principal Horn in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra).

We lived in the greater Chicago area at the time, but Chicago was not on the American tour. The closest the orchestra got to Chicago was Brookfield, Wisconsin. I don't know where else they played in the US with the exception of Carnegie Hall in New York City. I will never forget the opening of the Brookfield Concert, which started with Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. I teared up with pride and the awesomeness of the music.

When the American Soviet Youth Orchestra played in New York, the concert was taped and a CD was later made available. Today I moved my little CD player into my knitting studio and started listening to my CDs as I cranked out socks on my circular sock knitting machine. The CD by the ASYO is what prompted this post. Once again, I got emotional, mostly during the performance of Copland's Appalachian Spring. What is it about his music? I know I miss that part of my life. . . performing great music and being part of a all-enveloping blanket of sound.  It was a good life, and I am retired now. I have to remember that. But music - there's just nothing quite like it. Some claim that it is a form of meditation, and I suspect they are correct.