Category Archives: Pie Birds

OFFF 2015, SuperMoonEclipse

Well, that was quite the weekend! Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival was wonderful, as always. I taught two classes on Friday: Athena Entrelac Cowl and Fern Lace Shawlette (sideways shawl construction). My students were all great, and they all got it. I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of their lovely finished projects someday.

I went back on Saturday and Sunday for shopping, hanging out, and general mayhem. Here’s a whirlwind tour:

OFFF 2015
The weather was perfect, sunny and cool enough to show off your favorite knitwear.

Lots of friends to catch up with:

Lorajean Kelley Knitted WitLorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit

3 Ms3 M’s: Me, Michelle, and Melissa in the Knitted Wit booth

Leigh Anne spinningLeigh Anne in the Carolina Homespun booth, trying to decide whether she should take up spinning

Twists and TurningsSari Peterson with her grands at her booth. Her DH makes beautiful spindles. Sari teaches spinning, and I think I may need some lessons! First to refine my spindle technique, and second to try a wheel. Not that I want one. Just curiosity about how they work. Honest. (Heading down the rabbit hole? Over to the Dark Side?)

Christina and laceChristina making lace on the lawn

LaurindaLaurinda Reddig, crocheter extraordinaire and fellow OFFF teacher

Cindy Fern ShawletteI love it when I see my designs in the wild. This is Cindy with her beaded Fern Lace Shawlette.

Jenkins WoodworkingBeautiful Turkish spindles in the Jenkins Woodworking booth

Some new things I fell in love with:

Francisco BautistaFrancisco Bautista’s beautiful hand dyed, hand woven rugs. Read more here.

young weaverHis son was weaving on Sunday.

Jodie McDougall lampworkJodie McDougall’s beautiful buttons.

Jodie McDougall cowgirl buttonI bought this single cowgirl button for a special project (how could I not, since I was wearing my cowgirl boots?). Jodie explained how she makes her buttons, and had samples to show the process. Gorgeous.

There were animals, of course. This is my favorite look.

pygora?Good hair day, or bad hair day?

The weekend was capped by the eclipse of the full harvest moon supermoon.

pdxknitterati supermoon harvest moon eclipse 2015
I took these with my point and shoot, which has the best zoom in my limited collection of two cameras. A little blurry, but I was really happy to get any pictures at all. These were taken from the new Tilikum Crossing bridge (I just realized I’ve been spelling it wrong. One L!) My kids and I had a delightful evening chasing the moon.

PIe Birds mimosasThe weekend was made complete by music and mimosas with friends.

How was your weekend? Did you go to OFFF? See the eclipse? Do tell!

Adventures in jamming: fruit, pectin, music


My friends gave me these beautiful yellow plums on Sunday, and I’ve been jamming up a storm. Both of these are ginger plum jam, with some chopped crystallized ginger added to the plummy goodness.


The one on the right is my usual Sure-Jell pectin version. It requires an exact amount of sugar to set. It’s very sweet. The one on the left is my first experiment with Pomona’s pectin, which doesn’t require sugar to gel. The pectin is activated by calcium (included in the packet). I used less than half as much sugar in this second jam. It’s much more tart, and the plum and ginger flavors shine through. But why do these two look so different? I made the second jam with turbinado sugar, so it’s darker, and I don’t love how it looks. I went back to the drawing board (and picked more plums), and came up with this winner.

Sunshine in a jar

It’s not as crystal clear/jewel-like as the Sure-Jell jam, but it has much less sugar, 4 1/2 cups of sugar for 8 cups of prepared fruit, instead of 8 cups of sugar for 6 cups of fruit. This is a little sweeter than the last version, per my family’s request. I like that I could add sugar until it tasted right. Pretty color. Delicious flavor. Nice texture. And I’ve run out of jars, so I’m done jamming for the season. Whew!

Third time’s a charm

For reference for next year:

Ginger Plum Jam

8 cups prepared plums (pitted, not peeled, pulsed a bit in food processor)
4 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C lemon juice
1/4 C chopped crystallized ginger
8 tsp calcium water (from pectin package)
6 tsp Pomona’s pectin

Prepare and process per directions in pectin package.


More jam? A couple weeks ago, we picked raspberries and made jam with this recipe I found last year. No added pectin, and an exquisite color and set.

Now I have a LOT of jam. I found this recipe for making jam ice cream a while ago. I haven’t tried it yet; I need to get out of the kitchen! But this may come in handy later.

I just picked the very last of my blueberry crop for this year. (Ring added for size reference. The bowl is only about 4 inches, and the berries are not so big in real life.)


I don’t love blueberry jam, so I have gallons of berries stored in the freezer for (my signature) cobblers, pancakes, muffins, and compotes all year long. Eating them fresh off the blueberry bush is my favorite way to enjoy them. I’m going to savor these last few.

In a different kind of jamming, the Pie Birds (my friends Claudia and Becky and I) sang in church on Sunday. This is our version of the Wailin’ Jennys’ Bird Song. I’m the low harmony, and play one of the guitars. It is an absolute joy to sing with friends!

Snowy Woods Cowl

I’m madly knitting away, and about halfway done with two projects that are publishing soon. One is the re-worked Snowy Woods Cowl. Lorajean over at Knitted Wit is doing this custom color in her Aran weight yarn for me. Isn’t it gorgeous? And soft and bouncy to knit with, too. We’re planning a pattern launch sale and a KAL. Stay tuned!

How was your week?

Over the Cascades, again

Last Friday I headed over the Cascades again, but this time in Oregon. It was a music getaway weekend with friends, but before everyone arrived, I had a trunk show at The Stitchin’ Post in Sisters.

Stitchin Post (photo by Sarah Peery)

We had a great time! It’s always fun to meet knitters in person, and see hand knits up close. The Stitchin’ Post is starting a KAL of my Garland shawl today, so I left a couple samples for the week.

On to music! My new guitar made her debut with my fellow Pie Birds, Claudia and Becky. We played and sang and laughed, a perfect weekend.

The kids dyed eggs while we played more music.


And what does any good yarnie do with that leftover egg dye?


Of course. I bought a skein of white yarn at the Stitchin’ Post. It’s Juniper Moon Farm Sabine, 30% Royal Llama, 30% Merino wool, and 40% cotton. I was hoping for all animal fiber, but this was luscious. I wound off yarn in approximately 25 yard hanks (around my arm, one uses the tools at hand!). We dip dyed it, squeezing out excess dye after each dip, and then microwaved the yarn for 2 minutes to set the color. A quick rinse after it cooled, and then dried overnight. I was going to wind it into balls after they dried, but decided to leave them as mini-skeins to preserve the color runs. Aren’t they sweet?


On Sunday, Claudia and I walked along Whychus Creek. This creek has been restored, and was the subject of the Two Rivers, Three Sisters quilt exhibit that we saw in Portland last year. This panel was my favorite. (Just had to show you, because it took me a while to find this picture in my archives!)

Whychus quilt

Here it is in real life…


Whychus Creek, near Sisters, Oregon


On the way home, we stopped at Black Butte Ranch so I could get a proper picture of the mountains we saw while driving.

Mt. Washington Mt. Washington

image Three Sisters (Middle Sister is not visible from this viewpoint) and Belknap Crater in foreground

The sight of a snowcapped volcano always takes my breath away. Such beauty in this world, and we get to live in it. :sigh:

In knitting news, I’ve started my Aloha Shawlette for the KAL. It’s going pretty quickly!

aloha kal day 1

How was your weekend? And what are you knitting?