Category Archives: Blogging

SEA-PDX yarn train 2011

We interrupt this TNNA blog-fest with a report on the Seattle to Portland Yarn Train Yarn Crawl.

urban fiber arts

I started my day at Urban Fiber Arts, Cindy Abernethy’s shop. It was full of happy knitters. Susan Stambaugh of Abstract Fiber was there, and she brought spinning fiber in a new colorway, Urban Joy, in honor of Cindy’s fairly new shop. Gorgeous!

Urban Joy

The PDXKnitBloggers/PDXSpinnerati were out in force, too: Karen’s mom, Karen, Judy, Bobbie.

pdxkb

I met Kathee of Kathee Nelson Art Yarns, and she showed me some of her pretty fiber.

Art Yarn

I ignored the siren song of the cupcakes at Cupcake Jones (a coupon!) and went over to Knit/Purl next. There were lots of happy knitters there, too. I actually ran into my across the street neighbor who teaches there, too. Hi, Judy! And I saw Jared Flood’s yarn, Shelter, for the first time. The colors were deep and luscious.

shelter

After Knit/Purl, I went to Starbucks across the street, and found more PDXKnitBloggers: Camille, Kathy (also a Turkish Delight spindler), Angela, Rachel, Tami. Please note that Tami’s shirt and shawl are raspberry, not pink.

starbux pdxkb

We were discussing where to go next, and talking to the yarnies at the next table, who wanted to know how to get to Yarn Garden. I offered to drive them, and I assured them that I was not an ax murderer. Norma, Sandi and Anna trusted me, and we went to Yarn Garden, where they had a good time.

yarn garden

We also went to Happy Knits, and Twisted, because Sandy wanted to see Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn, up close and personal. She got her wish! And she definitely got some yarn, too…

Twisted

OT: Interweave Knits is offering a free download of 7 hat patterns here.

ask the designer

I’m making steady progress on the ruffle tank. It’s seamed and just needs the i-cord edgings at the neckline and armholes. Here’s the back. I opted to omit the keyhole closing at the neckline.

back

This is my first experience with applied i-cord. The instructions in the pattern are for a 2 stitch i-cord, applied from the wrong side. I remembered seeing other general instructions in which i-cord was applied from the right side. I had the opportunity to ask Leigh Radford, the designer, why she chose to work from the wrong side, and her answer was simple: She liked the way it looked.

I decided to try it both ways.

icords

The little bit on the left is applied from the right side. The top 3 stitches were picked up under the far edge. I didn’t like the way it left a ridge on the right side, so I switched to the closer part of the edge on the following stitches. I like the way it looks really tubular. But it looks a little heavy for the edge.

The bit on the right is applied from the wrong side. It doesn’t look as tubular or as finished, but I like it. It’s delicate and a little rustic looking. So I’ll carry on from the wrong side, knowing that Leigh likes it that way. Especially since I feel a little guilty for omitting her keyhole neckline!

In other news, my new iPhone4 is here, and I love it. It’s very intuitive. I took the ruffle tank pictures with its camera this morning because I was too lazy to go downstairs to get my other camera. Not bad, and the macro worked great. Here’s a screen shot of where the phone’s google maps app located me this evening.

IMG_0026

It was correct, but I wonder what it would have done if I asked it for driving directions…

multi

sunset bridge

By the way, I’m having a little giveaway on the Lantern Moon blog. Go check it out!

beaded

August’s single skein…

I didn’t even open the Single Skein Club package while I was camping; the allure of the ruffle was strong. But I have now opened it so I can show you, gentle reader.

aug pkg

It’s an ingenious lacy scarflet by Sivia Harding. The yarn is Mirasol Tupa which is 50/50 merino and silk, in a deep auburn. It looks almost like chocolate. I love this yarn; I used it for my Hugs and Kisses Cabled Fingerless Mitts. It’s great to knit with.

tupa

The bonus this month:

bonus

A little scrabble tile Twisted yarn ball pendant.

tile2

Sweet! This may be my next project after the ruffle tank is off the needles. We’ll have to see which way my whims turn.

In other news, WordPress changed my theme to Coraline from Cutline, which is being phased out. If you came by and there was nothing on the sidebar, my apologies! Widgets have now been restored. Thanks for visiting!

Blogging, and more

I’m so pleased to announce that I’m going to be blogging for Lantern Moon! I’ve been in a knitting group (the knit nite group) with Sharon Woodcock, one of the owners of Lantern Moon, for about three years. Our group grew out of an intarsia class that we had with Leigh Radford. I was thrilled when Sharon & Joel (her husband, and co-owner of Lantern Moon) asked me to blog for them. Please come check out the new blog here.

We went to the Tigard Knitting Guild meeting last Thursday; Sharon was the guest speaker. It’s a great group of knitters, and I even participated in the show and tell time, with my Pacific Shawl.

pacific

I still have to finish writing up the pattern; it’s been on the back burner for a bit. But I hope to have it out to test knit in the next few weeks.

So, not much knitting around here, but I’ve been cooking. This is our new favorite pasta salad. It’s just right for summer. You can put any of your favorite things in it, but here’s what I did:

orzo salad

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

Dressing: in a jar, combine and shake well:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced or run through garlic press
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

For the salad:
1 pound orzo pasta, cooked, rinsed, and cooled (this makes a LOT)
2/3 lb asparagus, cut in 1.5 inch pieces (add these to the pasta for the last 1.5 minutes of cooking)
1 14 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
1 pint grape tomatoes (whole)
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts

Combine salad ingredients and toss with 1/2 the dressing. Store the salad, refrigerated, to let the flavors meld. Before serving, add more of the dressing to refresh. (You can use all, or part, of the remaining dressing, as you desire) We served it with grilled chicken, and really enjoyed it!

What’s cooking/knitting with you?

Blog party!

Happy birthday to Marie! She’s having a birthday party over at PermissionToUnwind, and I’m helping her celebrate. Go on over there and wish her a happy birthday!

I’m fashionably late. I was up late last night baking for the party. We’re having Butterscotch Shortbread (recipe here).

scotch2

And we’re also having Butterscotch Brownies. This is completely Carrie’s fault, because I saw these on her blog the other day, and I knew I had to make them.

blondie2

And what’s a party without a present? I’m giving away this Wrap and Roll dpn needle case from Lantern Moon. It’s gorgeous silk.

case

It has silk taffeta pockets inside for your skinny dpns. You could also put bigger ones in there, but you’d have to spread them out over 2 pockets.

in case

If you’d like to be in the drawing for the needle case, please say so in your comment. If you just want to comment, do that, too! I’ll close the drawing at midnight between Saturday and Sunday (Valentine’s Day!). I’m a big believer in birthday *week*, not just a day.

Happy birthday, Marie!

Buttermilk Sky, and Pippi, redux

It feels like I haven’t been knitting much lately. I’ve been impatiently waiting for some yarn I ordered, and kind of at loose ends while waiting. I guess I must have done some knitting, though, because I have two FO’s to show you.

buttermilk sky

This sweet little cowl is called Buttermilk Sky. It’s a design by Bonnie Sinnott over at Blue Peninsula. I was the lucky winner of her pattern and this sumptuous Blue Sky Alpaca Silk last November.

alpaca silk

This was a quick and easy knit, and the yarn was so nice to knit with.

buttermilk texture

Haven’t you seen clouds like this?

Thank you, Bonnie!

pippi redux

My other FO is a variation on my Pippi hat. I taught a Pippi hat class last month at Twisted, and started a hat as a demonstration model. Since I was nearly done with it by the time classes were over, I went ahead and finished. I love these colors together. One of the colors in the stripe sequence on top isn’t the same as in the previous blue/green/white Pippi, but I was working from stash, so this is what I have. I also got distracted and didn’t follow the chart for the last colorwork pattern; oops. Class was fun; everyone learned to carry two colors in their knitting, and also how to make i-cord and half double crochet. A success!

My special order yarn came in this week. More on that in another post…

Knit on!

SEA-PDX Yarn Train

The annual Seattle to Portland Yarn Train arrived in town on Saturday, bringing Seattle knitters down south for a yarn crawl. I couldn’t meet the train because I was rehearsing with the Day Old Pastries, so I met up with Kathy at Knit/Purl.

Knit Purl

I met Kathy last summer at the Sock Summit Ravelry party, and we’ve been bloggy friends ever since. She was with her friend Chandria, and Denise, whom they met on the train. I offered to take the three of them across town to Twisted, my usual stomping grounds. But first, I needed to check in at the PDXKnitbloggers’ home base at the Starbucks kitty corner from Knit/Purl.

PDXKBs

I found Cindy, Duffy, Judy, Susan…and a table covered with yarn.

AbstractFibers BFL

Susan was just back from TNNA, and she had a samples of her entire new Blue Faced Leicester sock yarn. Judy was trying to choose two coordinating colors for a design project. It was difficult, because they were all gorgeous!

twisted

We did make it over to Twisted. As we pulled up, my phone picked up a text message. It was a tweet from Twisted: “Love Stinks! Spend your Valentine’s day hexing your crappy ex with our Voodoo Doll kits! (Then go on a date with someone way hotter)” That made me laugh out loud. We went in asking for the voodoo dolls, and here they are, modeling in front of the wall of sock yarn.

voodoo

Kathy bought some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran to make a Pippi hat. It will be her first color work. Fun!

Pippi

I also ran into Debbi and her friend Susan, and Sharon (but I forgot to take her picture, sorry).

Debbi

All that yarn shopping is exhausting! We had a very late lunch at Costello’s, down the street, and then headed to Yarnia. I’d never been to Yarnia before, so this was an adventure for me, too.

yarnia

Yarnia is like Build-a-Bear for knitters. You choose thin fibers/colors you want to put together, and they are wound off together onto a cone to make the yarn of your dreams. Denise was in heaven! She got exactly what she wanted for a shawl project. With sparkle in it, of course. Here’s the winding machine in action. (There’s a cone of shiny stuff on the floor, feeding into the yarn on the cone, but I didn’t realize it when I was filming.)

There wasn’t time to visit any more yarn stores, so I chauffeured the happy knitters back to the train station. And I realized then that I didn’t buy any yarn at all! I’m just not much of a stasher. It was a fun day.

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day here in the States. Are you participating in any MLK Day activities? I’ll be at a workday for the Backpack Program; they provide weekend lunches for needy children at a local elementary school. (For some children, a federally-sponsored school lunch is their main meal of the day, and there is no school lunch on the weekend.) The Day Old Pastries will lead some singing at the event. If you’re local and looking for something to do, it’s from 1 to 3 p.m. at Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 1425 NE Dekum, Portland, 97211.

Because we can…

The devastating earthquake in Haiti is on our hearts and minds. People are coming up with many creative ways to raise money to help. Me, I’m sending money *now*.

I made my donation through Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. The Yarn Harlot put up the Knitsignal (like the Bat-Signal), and we’re answering the call.

What else can I do?

Ravelry is making it easy for designers to donate proceeds from pattern sales towards Haiti relief efforts. I’m in. All proceeds from now until Valentine’s Day (February 14) from online sales of my new pattern, Hugs and Kisses OXO Cable Fingerless Mitts, will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. Because really, we need to show some love for our neighbors.

oxo 2

Knit on, my friends.

Faith, Hope, Love, Knitting

book

This book by Lorna Miser, the founder of Lorna’s Laces (a yarn company), is sweet.

I received this book from Peggy McMullen at the Oregonlive knit blog in exchange for sharing a free pattern for a single skein project. Peggy had a long list of books, and this is the one I chose.

The patterns are nice enough. (I previewed them on Ravelry before choosing my book. What a great tool!) I can see myself knitting several of them. But what I really like are the personal stories that accompany each of the 24 patterns. Many of the designs were originally knit for special people in Lorna’s life, and I enjoy seeing the thoughtful care that went into making these designs reflect something about those people.

Knit on!

Christmas sweaters

First, a disclaimer: I didn’t knit this.

Grant Butler over at the Oregonian/Oregonlive is collecting pictures of ugly Christmas sweaters. I don’t think mine is ugly; I think it’s kitschy cute! But I told him I’d send him a picture, anyway.

santa sweater

It’s so NYC. We lived in New York for 9 years, and this sweater at Nordstrom Rack just spoke to me. I think I’ve had it for 6 years or so, but I can’t remember.

taxi

I hate knitting intarsia, so I would never make something like this. But look at the detail! From the sequins on the gift and the beads on the hat…

santa

To the beads for tire treads…

tire

What’s not to like? What do you think? Cute? Ugly? Kitschy? Would you wear it? I love it. But only once a year.