Category Archives: Portland area fun

Portland outdoors, knitting, Tigard Knitting Guild

It’s been a warm dry summer here, which makes getting outdoors a pleasure. Yesterday we climbed a volcano. Within the city limits! Mt. Tabor is an extinct (or maybe just dormant?) volcanic cinder cone, with an elevation of 636 feet. We wanted a short, spur of the moment hike close to home, since we were getting a late (noon) start. This was perfect.

Mt Tabor reservoir

You know most of my hikes involve waterfalls. This will have to do. This is one of the three open air reservoirs on Mt. Tabor, where part of the city’s water supply is held.

Mt Tabor view of Tillikum Crossing

There’s a nice view to the west toward downtown, looking out at Portland’s newest bridge, Tillikum Crossing.

tillikum crossing reflection

DH and I saw that bridge the other day, when I took him on my favorite bridge walk. The reflection of the bridge, and him, on the Portland Opera building was pretty cool.

fire station boat ramp pdx

This was the fifth time I’ve done this walk this summer, and I just noticed the cool sculpture on the fire station. See the concentric circles? They come into focus as you walk eastward on the Hawthorne Bridge.

If you’re looking for more fun free things to do around Portland, the Oregonian just ran a feature today. I’m feeling pretty savvy, because I was already doing some of those things!

Other than that, I’m knitting, knitting, knitting. I took a little detour from my gradient project to work with this lovely yarn from Knitted Wit. There’s a deadline for this design project, so it has moved up to the front burner.

knitted wit sprinkle dye

I’m speaking at the Tigard Knitting Guild tonight, talking about blocking. You know I love blocking! Click the link for details. You can visit the guild twice before joining, so if you’re local, come on by.

Onward!

20k stitches later…

Edit: it’s 40K, not 20K. I was thinking about the 16 row repeat, but it’s 32 rows. Math! But it’s bound off and done. Ends woven in; here are the orts:

done

It’s just the way I imagined it. I love it when that happens. I’ll show you next spring…

20k is a lot of stitches! It’s fairly regular knitting, so this was a good project to read a book by. Reading does slow my knitting down a bit, but it’s worth it to entertain both my fingers and my mind. I just read Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. It was a pretty good read, the stories of two women, one current day and one the personal history of an orphan in the 1920’s/1930’s. The current day portions feel like a YA novel, and the older portions were a fascinating look into a chapter of history that was new to me. But the ending of the book seemed like it was thrown together; after so much detail it seemed like there was a sudden push of the fast forward button. Still, a good read.

While not knitting, I’ve revisited what is now my favorite Portland walk. It’s 2.7 miles around the Willamette River waterfront, along the Vera Katz Eastside Esplanade and Waterfront Park on the west side. I walked it with a friend on Thursday morning and was captivated by shadows under the Hawthorne Bridge.

hawthorne bridge pdx shadows

I went back Friday with another friend because I wanted to capture the moving shadows. They’re a little cockroachy, aren’t they?

View from the other side of the Hawthorne Bridge: PacMan-esque shadows #pdx @sue.tangomango

A video posted by Michele (@pdxknitterati) on

Do you Instagram? I love it. I’m pdxknitterati over there, too. Come follow me for more fun pictures!

Here’s a little more Portland eye candy…

pdxknitterati burnside bridge

I’d never noticed the details on the Burnside Bridge turrets. Zoom in to see the detail under the windows. I love the leaf/flower? at the bottom, too.

pdx love locks

Apparently we’re copying Paris with love locks.

Eastbank EsplanadeAlong the esplanade.

Time to write up a pattern, and cast on for the next one! I already have it plotted out…

What’s on your needles?

Pink…yarn, wine, and a PDX bridge ramble

I’ve just bound off and blocked a new design project.

Black Trillium Lilt

Such pretty leftovers! And they kind of go with my wine.

Black Trillium Lilt

I’ve loved every moment of knitting with this gorgeous gradient kit from Black Trillium Fibres. It’s Lilt, an 85/15 superwash merino/silk blend. Very nice. I’ve been intrigued by gradients recently, but this was my very first adventure with one. I’ll be back for more.

It’s a gorgeous day for blocking outdoors. And after my bird poop blocking incident, I’ve devised a way to protect my knits. I can’t show you what I’m blocking, but here’s the scoop.

screen for blocking

I had a roll of this fiberglass screen material in my basement. Once upon a time, I was going to make simple screens to put in our casement windows when they were open. Long story short, it never happened, and then we replaced all the windows a few years ago. (54 windows. Ouch. Love the new ones.) So I cut off a piece and laid it over my blocking project. I put a few extra pins in the project to hold the screen up above it, and a few more pins to hold down the corners. Perfect! And no bird pooped on it…this time.

Portland bridgesSteel, Broadway, Fremont Bridges

We’re having a very lovely summer in Portland. I walked the downtown bridge loop with a friend the other morning. It’s 2.7 miles from the Hawthorne Bridge to the Steel Bridge on the East Side Esplanade, over the Steel, along Waterfront Park on the west side, and back over the Hawthorne.

public pianoPlay me!

A picture perfect day. And we also took a little side trip to see the new Tillikum Crossing bridge, which is scheduled to open September 12. It’s for pedestrians, bicycles, and light rail. No cars. So pretty.

Tillikum Crossing

Yellow plums are ripe; there will be some plum bourbon jam in my near future. What’s on your needles or in your kitchen this summer?

Tiny harvest is tiny

The blueberry crop is still going strong, despite the best efforts of the birds and squirrels to make me share. The new raspberry plants have given me almost a dozen berries. I wasn’t expecting any this year, so it’s all bonus.

raspberry blueberry

I ate the first raspberries immediately, and then I saw Sue’s raspberry post. Wish I’d seen it earlier. What a great way to make a tiny harvest special! I had to try it. Click the link for her gorgeous photo.

raspberries and chocolate

No, they’re not giant raspberries, but isn’t it cool how close my iPad can get without zooming?

Monday we went for a short hike from the Hoyt Arboretum up to Pittock Mansion. I always think of hiking as something you do elsewhere; it’s so nice to have very local options. This is inside Portland’s city limits.

maidenhair fernMaidenhair fern

buzzWhy hello there! (What kind of flower is this?)

hikers

And of course, any outing with Sue, Mimi, and Kelly means food! We had lunch at Pho Tango in Hillsboro. Fabulous!

bun bo hueBun bo Hue

spring roll

I always thought the vegetables were garnish, just eye candy, but Mimi says you eat them wrapped around the spring roll. That makes a spring roll way more interesting.

yucca and coconut

Mimi made dessert. Yucca and shredded coconut tossed with toasted sesame seeds and a bit of sugar and salt. Sounds odd, tastes great!

Summer is in full swing here. It’s supposed to be 100 degrees (fahrenheit) this weekend. Time to water…again.

2015 Rose City Yarn Crawl Recap, finally

RCYC 2015 is in the history book. Yes, it was almost two weeks ago; I’m still trying to catch up with myself! I only made it to six of the 15 shops, but enjoyed each of the ones I did visit.

I started the Crawl on Thursday with a trunk show at Wool ‘n’ Wares. The lovely ladies there wore their Rosaria Shawlettes (my design for last year’s MKAL) to welcome me. Sweet!

pdxknitterati rosaria shawlette

Cali came by to say hi in person, wearing her lovely modified 2015 RCYC MKAL shawl. We had bonded through Instagram (are you on IG? I’m pdxknitterati) because I had diagnosed her non-lacy YO’s over there. Solution? YO in the other direction around the needle. VoilĂ , lacy YO’s! (Sorry for the blurry pic; it’s the only one I have.)

throwstyler

Sunday dyed her hair to match her beautiful shawl. That’s impressive dedication!

Sunday's shawl

This little guy was definitely a yarn crawler.

yarn crawler

I bought this Malabrigo Rastita to replace the yarn in the soon to be frogged project (see previous post). The color is very similar.

Malabrigo Rastita Sabiduria

My new Tilt Shift wrap made its unofficial debut. It’s very fun to wear. Here it is on Brigitte.

pdxknitterati Tilt Shift

We’re planning a KAL for it when the pattern is published, hopefully by the end of the month. It’s being test knit now. We’ll have a kick off party at Wool ‘n’ Wares when the time comes. Thanks to Vickee and Karen for hosting my trunk show, and for hosting the upcoming KAL kick off! Stay tuned for details…

On Friday, I visited Pearl Fiber Arts with Mary, and picked up some goodies for KAL prizes. I especially love these shawl pins.

shawl pins

We stopped for a macaron break at Nuvrei. They were fabulous.

Nuvrei macarons

I visited Close Knit on the way home and bought some locally made stitch markers (magenta, again), mostly because I wanted Sally Palin’s beautiful Kumori Cowl shadow knitting pattern. I can’t knit all the patterns I buy/get; there aren’t enough knitting hours. But I love them as research on new techniques, or just because they’re pretty.

On Saturday, Cathy and I went to Knitting Bee, where I chatted with Melanie of Black Trillium Fibres and made arrangements to get some of her DK weight Sublime yarn in her Tyrian colorway.

Black Trillium Fibres Tyrian

Hmmm, I definitely have red/purple on my mind.

We also visited For Yarn Sake and met Kate and Rachel of Spincycle Yarns. They dye their fiber before spinning it/having it spun, and then ply it.

Spincycle

I brought some home with me. Guess what color!

Spincycle Yarns

On Sunday I finished up the crawl with a trunk show at Twisted. Terri came by with her finished Fern Shawlette from the XOXOKAL. Mine isn’t quite done, but we both modeled them.

fern shawlettes

Debbi Stone and I posed in our 2015 and 2014 RCYC MKAL shawls, her Washington Park and my Rosaria.

RCYC MKAL shawls

A little more Rosaria shawl action:

Rosaria

Rosaria shawl

And I found the perfect person for my Webfoot Shawlette! She went home with both pattern and yarn (Hazel Knits Entice in Hoppy Blond).

Webfoot shawlette

It was a fun weekend; I wish I could have visited all the shops. Maybe next year. But I have plenty of yarn for now. I won the door prize basket at Pearl Fiber Arts!

Pearl Fiber Arts RCYC basket

This is a big basket of inspiration! I haven’t had time to really look at the contents; I was getting ready to head out of town. But I know I’ll be sharing some of this with my friends at our next knit night…

Did you participate in the yarn crawl? What’s your favorite thing that came home with you?

Rose City Yarn Crawl trunk shows

The Rose City Yarn Crawl is just around the corner! The 2015 crawl runs from Thursday March 5 through Sunday March 8. There are 15 participating shops in the metro area, check the RCYC website for full details.

rcyc-logo-color-highres

I have the pleasure and honor of having two trunk shows during the crawl. On Thursday March 5 I’ll be at Wool ‘n’ Wares in West Linn from 1 to 5 p.m. They just moved downstairs in their building in December, and I’m looking forward to seeing their new larger space. On Sunday March 8, I’ll be at Twisted in Portland from 1 to 5 p.m. My home stomping grounds! Come by and say hello and see samples of my newest designs, as well as some older favorites, too.

Bonus time! Rose City Yarn Crawl is giving away free pdf downloads of last year’s RCYC pattern collection, through tomorrow, February 28. Hurry!

What else is going on? I’m slowly going through my older designs and updating and reformatting them for my current layout. Most of the time this also means making new charts (I used to chart in Excel; Intwined is so much nicer) as well. Each pattern takes two to three hours to make it flow and make it pretty. Why am I telling you this? If you already purchased these patterns, you can download the new versions. And if these patterns are new to you, you can get them at 20% off through March 7. Here are the designs that have reformatted patterns; use coupon code REFRESH for the discount on any or all of these. Go to the Ravelry page for the design; the Buy Now buttons don’t give the opportunity to enter a coupon code. Sorry about that!

pdxknitterati pointer mitts and hatPointer Mitts and Cap or Beret

zen rain shawletteZen Rain Shawlette

pacific shawlPacific Shawl

pdxknitterati log cabin blanketLog Cabin Baby Blanket

pdxknitterati pedi sockZigZag Lace Pedi Socks

oxo cable fingerless mittsHugs and Kisses OXO Fingerless Mitts

Are you participating in the yarn crawl? Come see me!

15 seconds of fame for me and #pdxcarpet on NBC Nightly News

Remember my recent post about customizing sneakers? I ordered sneakers featuring the Portland airport’s #pdxcarpet for DH’s birthday. They arrived last week, and he was thrilled.

#pdxcarpet selfie

The airport is replacing its 30 year old carpet this year. This has prompted an outpouring of love for the old carpet, which means home for lots of travelers. I know, Keep Portland Weird. We went to the airport to take a picture of DH’s new shoes on the matching carpet. A cameraman was kneeling on the floor taking video, so DH put his foot in front of the lens. Camera guy looks up, and says, “You’re kidding.” Nope, not kidding at all…

NBC Nightly News Crew

I thought it was a local news station, but it turns out that NBC Nightly News sent Harry Smith to do a story on the carpet. We were interviewed for the story that ran on Friday, January 23. Here’s the story:

Only in Portland Would the Airport’s Carpet Reach Cult Status

I took some screenshots from the story:

#pdxcarpet shoes

pdxcarpet shoes

pdxcarpet selfie

It was very fun. DH says it was the Best. Birthday. Ever. He blogged it, too. Not bad for the right shoes in the right place at the right time!

This Old House

I’m a fan of the Alameda Old House History blog. Doug Decker does a great job of detailing the history of buildings in Portland’s Alameda neighborhood. He recently invited people to post pictures of favorite old houses, so I thought I’d post mine here and link back over to his blog post.

this old house

This is the house I lived in until I was 7. At that time, it was a slightly ramshackle Victorian house over in Portland’s Brooklyn neighborhood. Based on a house history by Barbara Grimala in the late 1980s or early 1990s after the family sold the house, here’s what I know. This Queen Anne Vernacular style house was built for Napoleon Bonaparte Pendleton in 1892. He lived there until he passed away in 1920. At the time of his death, he was living there with his wife Hattie, and Americus V. Pendleton’s widow Sara (love these names).

My grandmother and her husband purchased the house in 1943. During the time my family lived there, it was set up as a two family house, with separate living quarters upstairs and downstairs, with a kitchen and bath on each level. I’m guessing it was already divided when my grandmother bought it. My extended family lived there. My grandparents lived downstairs, and my aunt and uncle and cousin lived in what was most likely the front parlor downstairs, next to the winding staircase.

On the staircase, there were casement windows at each of the landings; the lower landing’s windows were small and at the perfect level for little girls pretending to be princesses. You can see the windows under and next to the porch roof. The upper landing window was taller. Each of these windows had squares of colored glass surrounding the main clear glass in the center of the window. Upstairs, the living room/dining room (pocket doors between!) belonged to my parents, my brother and sister and me. Across the hall was my bachelor uncle. My other uncle, aunt and cousin had the room at the end of the hall. That’s a lot of people! After my baby sister arrived, my parents bought the other house that I grew up in.

The picture above is from the early 1990’s, when I was home visiting from New York. I had always dreamed of owning this house and renovating it, but it was not meant to be. The house was sold after my uncle (the last family member to live there) passed away, and a subsequent owner did the renovation. It was gorgeous from the outside, with all the meticulous trimwork. The current tenant let me in to look around, and I was a little sad to note that all the original cedar bullseye moldings and doors had been painted white. (My current old Portland house, circa 1921, has pale walls and mahogany trim, as you can see in my previous post’s Christmas stocking mantel picture. We added the mantel and fireplace surround to match the rest of the trim in the house.)

I was in the neighborhood last year, and swung by to see the old house. I don’t know what happened, but the grande dame is looking tired.

old house

A lot of the shingles are missing, the porch railings and balusters are rotting, the stone wall has fallen, and one of the windows upstairs at the back (bedroom, I think) is boarded over. Poor old house. But I have a lot of happy memories of growing up there, and going to my grandparents’ home for weekly dinners after moving out. And this is where my favorite aunt first taught me to knit! I learned more properly from her when I was 14, but this is where it all started. (This is the downstairs parlor auntie, Aunt Rose. Click her name for that story.)

Thanks to Doug Decker at Alameda Old House History for the thought-provoking, memory-eliciting prompt!

Do you have a favorite old house, or an old house story? Please share!

(Notes: The first picture is a scan of a photo I took in the 1990’s, before digital photography. The second picture is digital, so you can zoom in and see more detail.)

It’s a wrap! OFFF 2014

What a glorious weekend: Slightly chilly mornings (sweater weather!) giving way to sunny afternoons and smiling crowds. Perfect. I taught Blocking on Friday, and Tink Drop Frog (how to fix mistakes) on Saturday. My students were charming and eager to become the bosses of their knitting! We blocked my Snowy Woods KAL cowl, among other things.

Snowy Woods Cowlbefore blocking

imageafter blocking

Sunday was my play day. I headed for the barns first, and I was not disappointed. This is Amy with one of the angora goats from The Pines Farm. Mohair on the hoof! Amy is wearing a sweater knit with mohair, and it is the most decadently soft fabric, with a luminous halo.

image

Can you even see where you’re going?

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Haircut day!

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The coat of an angora goat grows an inch per month. These goats are shorn every six months, now and in March, but they still won’t be cold this winter!

I was captivated by this display at Upstream Alpacas.

image
naturals?

image
or colors? I liked them both.

Natural colors are not boring.
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For me this year, the fiber and spinning supplies were most enticing. Maybe because I already have more yarn than I can knit. No matter. Look at these spindles. The gateway drug to spinning.

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Spindles at Carolina Homespun

I have several drop spindles, but haven’t yet heard the siren song of the wheel. Then I saw people trying the HansenCrafts miniSpinner. Look how portable this is. I had to try it, too. See my blue yarn?

image

There’s always a fleece sale on Sunday. The woman who lured us in here said that the first time she went, she bought two fleeces. And she didn’t have a spinning wheel, just a drop spindle. Uh-oh.

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I bought a Kromski…

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Kromski niddy-noddy, not a wheel! I wanted an upgrade from my one yard niddy-noddy; this one is a two yard model.

I did buy one skein of yarn, from Huckleberry Knits.

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It’s Teri’s fault. I loved the glowing colors in her Glitz on the Ritz shawlette, so I had to check out this dyer, too. Oh, and see Sherece’s Hitofude? Teri knit that for her. What a great friend!

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All in all, a perfect weekend. I spent some time with Lorajean and the divine Miss F in the Knitted Wit booth.

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You have to start them young!

Did you go to OFFF? What tickled your fancy?

OFFF 2014 is this coming weekend

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is this weekend. I’m really looking forward to it! I’m teaching on Friday and Saturday afternoons, and playing the rest of the time. The weather report is looking decent as of this moment, which would be great after last year’s monsoons.

Things I’m looking forward to:

booth

Knitted Wit’s booth. Always lovely things there, and this year she’s debuting her Cotton Candy yarn, 100% merino super bulky. You can see my Big Leaf Scarf and pattern in her booth this weekend.

Big Leaf Scarf

Hanging out with the Portland Spinnerati group. Always entertaining, and always inspiring!

spinners

I went to the group’s meet-up at the Oregon Historical Society for Worldwide Spin In Public Day last Saturday. I was the only drop spindler in a group of wheels, but it was all fun.

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I’m also looking forward to shopping, and visiting the animals. For a much more comprehensive list of things to do at OFFF, see Mary Mooney’s post on the OregonLive Knitting blog. If you see me, say hello!

Snowy Woods Cowl

What’s on my needles? I’m almost done with my Snowy Woods Cowl that I’m doing for the knitalong. This is the last official week of the KAL, so there’s one more prize to be drawn next week. This week’s prize? Stitch markers, made by me. These feature leaves, snowflakes, and the blue of the custom dyed Snowy Woods colorway from Knitted Wit.

pdxknitterati stitch markers

This cowl is coming with me to OFFF, where it will be part of my blocking class on Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. There’s still a little room in the class, and there’s no homework! Registration is onsite only at this point.

Are you going to OFFF, or another sheep and wool festival near you? Who’s going to Rhinebeck? (Someday, me…)