Category Archives: travel

Montreal, and knitting progress

Knitting away over here; I finished one project for a pattern I’ll be re-releasing soon, but I want to tweak it to add an additional size, so one more knit coming up. The smaller size was perfect airplane knitting.

snowy woods cowl 2

This is an update of the Snowy Woods cowl, which was released last winter as an exclusive for one of WoolGirl’s club kits.

snowy woods detail

So far I’ve changed this up with a fatter, smooshier yarn which means it can be knit with fewer repeats and be closer to the neck, and I also want to make a version that will double loop around the neck. The current yarn is Knitted Wit’s Superwash Merino Aran, a heavy worsted/light Aran bouncy round fun to knit delight. More on this soon.

Other yarn was delivered while I was on vacation, and I was knitting away madly on it, until I looked closely and said to myself, “clown barf.” It’s a fabulous variegated paired with a semi-solid, but the stitch pattern I chose isn’t bringing out the best in the variegated, so it’s back to the drawing board on that one. No worries; I have time and determination.

Vacation: We went to Montreal for six days, and had a blast! It’s almost like going to Europe, very charming, bilingual, and much closer. We stayed in the old part of Montreal, and it was lovely. Our hotel had this bronze outside, which is a smaller version of the one we know and love in DH’s home town of Clayton, Missouri. We felt right at home.

image

Our hotel was near the Basilica of Notre Dame. The square in front of it always has something fun going on. There’s music at noon.

image

We saw a gorgeous bridal party…

image

And at night, Notre Dame’s windows glow blue.

image

We happened to be there during Just for Laughs, a comedy festival. We also enjoyed the Festival des Nuits Afrique. Montreal has a short summer, and they seem to make the most of it! So many people walking around, enjoying the sunshine and the warm evenings.

image

I don’t know if this police officer lost a bet, or if this is just part of his summer wardrobe.

image
This troupe was offering mariages gratuits, free weddings. No one took them up on it.

I saw a rendition of a very Canadian song, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, in a way I’d never heard it before. Sorry the sound isn’t very good; half the speakers weren’t working ’til later in the song. But I like the beat of this, in four instead of three.

There was a lot of good food, and wine.

image

image

image
(Breakfast of champions. Or champignons.)

My food mission was to check out poutines. This one was from Au Pied du Cochon’s food truck at the festival. Poutine avec foie gras.

image

And we had to try the poutine at McDonald’s, because, photo op. It was underwhelming, as far as poutine goes.

image

image

But I learned that chicken McNuggets are Poulet McCroquettes, which made me laugh out loud. Really, doesn’t everything sound better in French?

image

image

image

image

Whew! That was a big catch up. Back to my knitting. No more clown barf!

Road trip with the Traveling Ewe

It was a fiber-full weekend! On Saturday I went on The Traveling Ewe‘s inaugural road trip. JJ Foster is putting together fiber-related tours, and this one was grand.

image

How awesome that the license plate on our bus said “YARN”? Too funny. Our trip took us out of rainy Portland to the drier side of the Cascades. We shopped at Knot Another Hat in Hood River, a very lovely store with a view of the Columbia River.

image

image

image

We had lunch at Celilo. I’m thinking these hefty picks through my sandwich would make very cute little knitting needles.

image

From there we hopped back on the bus and visited Cascade Alpacas of Oregon, which has a cute little yarn shop and even cuter alpacas. Thomas demonstrated spinning and weaving for us.

image

image

And Connie told us about raising alpacas.
image

Can you get more bucolic than this?

image

Snack time!

image

This cria (baby alpaca) is 2 days old.

image

And this cria is 3 hours old. Check out the wobbly walk!

Our last stop was at Mt. Hood Winery. We sampled some wines, and had show and tell with the day’s purchases. (Angela wins. She did some major shopping!)

image

image

Melissa is going through a blue-green knitting phase. All her yarn seems to match.

image

Mt. Hood made a valiant effort to peek through the clouds. All in all, it was a fun day! JJ Foster has a knack for planning. We had just enough time at all the places we visited, and the bus was a great venue for chatting with other knitters. I’d do this again! You can, too. The next trip is August 16, and will visit Corvallis and Eugene. More details here. Bring knitting you can multi-task with, because you’ll be chatting and laughing the whole time.

Sunday’s fiber fun? Open studio at Knitted Wit; Lorajean is doing this on the second Saturday and fourth Sunday of each month. Stop by and craft, and shop, too. This weekend Lorajean was getting ready for Tour de Fleece. Me? I just knit. Oh, and we are coming up with a very cool color for a pattern I’m releasing soon. I edited and formatted two patterns this weekend. Lots of fun things in the works; I’m looking forward to showing them all to you. Soon!

image

Fiber appreciation starts early!

How was your weekend?

She Who Watches

Last week, I did a quick camping overnight at Washington’s Maryhill State Park. It’s about 2 hours from home, on the other side of the Cascade Mountains. I drove through that area a couple months ago; you may remember my fascination with wind turbines.

image

Still fascinated.

Here’s the daylight view, with knitting.

image

I met up with my friend Vickie so we could visit Tsagaglalal, She Who Watches.

image

She’s a Native American petroglyph that was etched and painted into the rock perhaps 250 to 300 years ago. She Who Watches is located in what is now Columbia Hills State Park in Washington, and is only viewable through a guided walk with the park.

image

Along the way, one can also see other pictographs (rock paintings, as opposed to etchings or carvings).

image
Salmon Shaman

she pano edit

She Who Watches is at the end of this guided walk. Very cool! There are also some petroglyphs that have been relocated to this park from Petroglyph Canyon, which was flooded when the Dalles Dam was built.

image

You can read more about these petroglyphs and pictographs here.

The knitting? It’s the second knitting of the Lantern Moon Indochine, this time in the color Viridian. This piece is done and blocking. On to the companion piece! All will be revealed, soon.

In other news, the blueberries are early this year! Ripe and ready for picking. I made my first cobbler of the season from my favorite recipe that I’ve been using since 1986. You can find the recipe here.

image

It was deiicious, as usual. We had it a la mode, in the back yard, as a belated Father’s Day celebration.

image

What did you knit this weekend? Did you go to Black Sheep Gathering? I’ve never been, but some day…

Road trip knitting

I’ve been on several road trips lately, but I’ve been the driver on all of them. I’m a great multi-tasker (knitting while reading or watching TV), but I draw the line at knitting and driving. Fortunately, there’s a new way to road trip. JJ Foster, local knitter/instructor/former LYS owner/hospitality professional has come up with a fun concept: The Traveling Ewe.

The Traveling Ewe is a new tour business focusing on knitters, crocheters and spinners. The Traveling Ewe will offer a new fiber-focused day trip every other month, starting with the Columbia Gorge Adventure on June 28th. Fiberistas will board a swanky luxury coach and head to Hood River for an inspiring day of crafting, eating and shopping. There will be time at Knot Another Hat, lunch at Celilio, a trip to Foothill Fibers Alpaca Farm and Store and, to end the day, a glass of wine on the sunny patio at Mt. Hood Winery . Tickets for this event are available at the Traveling Ewe website.

This sounds like a perfect field trip for me, and no yellow schoolbus! I’m planning to go. Come join the fun!

Mt Hood at Timberline

The sight of Mount Hood still thrills me every time, even though I grew up in Portland. This is an old picture out the back window at Timberline Lodge. The last time I drove out I-84, I kept looking in my mirrors for a view of the mountain. It will be much safer snapping a picture when I’m not the driver!

Just enough yarn

It’s so satisfying to have just enough yarn…

just enough indochine

There was just enough in this ball of Lantern Moon Indochine to finish my project, leaving only 18 inches to spare. Glad I didn’t have to rip out that last repeat. I’ll show you what I made, but first I have an idea to coordinate with it. Soon!

A little more beachiness before moving on. What’s got the seagulls all in a twitter on top of Haystack Rock? Oh, just a couple of eagles looking for lunch…

Just before this, all the common murres took off in a big cloud, fleeing the rock. Apparently they’re the first course for lunch because they’re easy pickings. The gulls eventually ran the eagles off, but it took a while.

I finally found a good clump of starfish; I was getting a little worried that they weren’t as much in evidence as they were last August.

starfish clump at haystack rock

There’s an epidemic of starfish wasting disease on the west coast this year, and it’s made its way to Oregon. I hope the starfish don’t all die out. The ones I saw looked healthy.

One more sunset!

haystack rock sunset gulls

Haystack Rock and Needles at sunset

cannon beach sunset

Back to my knitting, again! The pink Bling is back on the needles, round 2.

backyard knitting

Lantern Moon Indochine yarn…and the coast

I forgot that I have a little ball of Indochine, Lantern Moon’s 100% silk sport weight yarn. Cathy gave it to me when I was on my way up to Madrona in February. I meant to use it in class, but didn’t, and then it got tucked away when I got home. This is a sample color; I don’t see it on their website now.

I brought it to the coast to play with. It’s lovely and luminous; it catches the light and shines it right back at you.

Indochine

My impression so far: This is a gorgeous yarn. It’s 100% silk. There are 12 individual strands, three groups of four. Even with all those strands, it’s not splitty to work with at all, and knits like a dream on a US size 5 (3.75 mm) needle. I tried it first on a 7 hoping for a loose lace, but the stitch definition is much better on a 5. So far, I love it. It comes in 50g/134 yard skeins; Lantern Moon shows it on their website for $19.50/skein. A bit spendy, but oh, so lovely! I’m trying to make a little one skein project out of it; I sure wish I’d brought my yarn scale with me. I guess if there’s not enough, I’ll just have to frog it and have the pleasure of knitting up this yarn again in another incarnation. But for now, I’m counting on the magic of blocking…

I brought four design projects to play with, and I’ve charted three, but this one is the one that has captured my attention. Doesn’t everyone take their knitting on vacation? It’s not Paris, but Cannon Beach is pretty sweet this time of year. I didn’t bring a kite; this is the next best thing.

indochine kite

I found these tiny sand dollars on the beach; that’s my anniversary ring next to them for scale.

sand dollars

I decided to chase the sunset last night, but it wasn’t an original idea.

haystack rock sunset chasers

It was worth it though. I used my Lumix GF6 for this next picture. The rest of the pictures are iPhone5, except the sand dollars, which was iPad. Different toys, um, tools, for different reasons.

sunset haystack rock

And I took a panorama shot with my phone, which turned out nicely, too.

haystack rock sunset pano

Back to my knitting!

Sophie’s Rose in Paris

Well, I haven’t been to Paris recently, but Sophie’s Rose has! I taught a Sophie’s Rose class last month at For Yarn’s Sake, and Theresa was in my class. From there she headed to Paris, and took her project with her. Here are some pictures she sent me…

image
Montmartre

image
Place de la Concorde

image
Musee d’Orsay

image
Notre Dame

I love it when knitters send me pictures of their PDXKnitterati projects. Continuing the Parisian theme, Leigh Anne sent me a picture of of her Ooh La Lace shawlette.

image

Thanks for the pictures!

I went traveling last week, but not that far afield. A friend and I met up in Edmonds, Washington for a quick overnight visit with another friend. We spent some time at Sky Nursery, which is the most lovely huge place. I love hydrangeas, and this one was calling my name, loudly. More on that in a bit.

image

We spent happy hour down by the waterfront, watching the ferries come and go. We had a great time laughing and catching up.

image

image

Oh, the hydrangea. I didn’t buy it, and then saw another lovely one this week.

image

This picture doesn’t do it justice. It has white outer blooms, and small inner blooms that turn yellow as they age. (This one’s called Golden Crane, and was developed from seeds brought back from China.) I’m thinking I want a hydrangea bed next to the house in the back yard. There’s an ancient blue one there already. It needs friends! And not this poor abandoned toe-up sock project from 2008…

sockie

I just finished knitting the first version of a fall/winter design for September, and I still need to finish the fuchsia colored summery Bling project, too. No idle hands here! What are you knitting this week? Does the change of seasons make you change your knitting?

Oregon coast weekend, symmetry, and more

I went to the coast for a retreat this weekend. It rained torrentially, except for about an hour after dinner on Friday. I hadn’t been to the beach in Gearhart before, so I took a quick walk to see what there was to see…

image

image

a gorgeous sunset

image

image

Tillamook Head, to the south

image

Interestingly textured seaweed

image

And these very interesting things. They look like tubes of tapioca. I had never seen them before, so I put the picture up on Facebook and appealed to the power of the interwebs. The answer came back quickly, from the 9 year old daughter of a friend. (Concidentally, the very same kiddo who was the recipient of the Gryffindor sweater that needed a new home a few months ago.)

image

They’re squid egg sacs. More info here, if you’d like. I love science…

We did a little cardboard loom weaving on retreat.

weaving

My piece says a lot about me. I like symmetry. I like a plan. I’m currently designing a knit piece, and symmetry plays a lot into what I find appealing. Is this the sign of a tidy mind? It’s not a sign of a tidy house!

image

My friend’s piece was a lot more free-form than mine. That says a lot about her, too. The fact that there’s room for both in this group? That says a lot about the world!

There were 15 of us; the Lodge can house up to 26. If you’re looking for a group getaway spot on the Oregon Coast, I highly recommend The Lodge at Gearheart’s Little Beach. It overlooks an inlet, but beach access is a short walk down the road.

image

Another week of the Aloha KAL done, and it’s time to pick the next winner. This week’s prize?

image

These totally fun wine glass coasters. Very aloha! It’s not to late to join the KAL. I’m guessing it will run at least 2 more weeks. More info here.

How was your weekend? I frogged a design prototype, and figured out how to make it better. Symmetrically, of course…

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.

image

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

image

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?

image

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…

image

Whychus Creek, near Sisters, Oregon

image

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?

Road trip over the Cascades, part 1

Sorry for the radio silence last week; I took two road trips totalling about 850 miles. Both trips went to the other side of the Cascade Mountains, the sunnier, drier side, with a stopover at home in between.

The beginning of the week took me to Ellensburg in Central Washington. I went to help Vickie celebrate her birthday; we had a grand time. We caught a bit of the lunar eclipse on Monday, but it clouded over before totality, so no blood moon for us.

image

image

On Tuesday we visited a wind farm. The wind was blowing at a constant 35 miles per hour, the perfect speed for generating electricity! These turbines transform that wind into power for 80,000 homes. I love how these look; they are stark and somehow mesmerizing.

Each blade is 129 feet long.

image

I know wind farms are controversial in some places, but there’s a lot of wind and not many neighbors in this part of the state, so it seems to make sense to have this kind of renewable energy here.

image

We hiked a trail at Cave B Resort. It’s above the Columbia River next to the Gorge Amphitheater. The views are spectacular. Keep going down the gorge, and you’ll make it to the river. We turned around here due to time limitations.

image

I nearly stepped on a snake. Whoops!

We made a quick stop (it was really windy!) at Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park above the Columbia River to check out the petroglyphs. These were relocated here to save them from the rising water after the Wanapum Dam was built four miles downstream.

image

image
Sheep?

image

The next morning we took a stroll on the banks of the Yakima River. The river takes a wide turn here.

We saw this truck remnant in the woods.

image

I headed home Wednesday afternoon to get ready for the next trip on Friday. More on that in the next post. For now, it’s time to cast on for the Aloha Shawlette KAL! Are you knitting along with me? Come check out the chatter on Ravelry.