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…

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Montmartre

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Place de la Concorde

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Musee d’Orsay

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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?

Potpourri post: cook hike knit!

A little of this and a little of that, all in a mad dash.

We celebrated Mother’s Day with the annual boys’ (young men) helping me put the yard in order. They also brought me a Vietnamese clay pot, and they made dinner in it. Catfish and eggplant in clay pot, and Vietnamese beer to go with it.

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This was inspired by a cooking class we took in Vietnam in 2009, and a Southeast Asian Flavors class we took at Portland’s Culinary Workshop last month. What a cool gift, and there were no leftovers.

Last week some friends and I went for another urban hike, this time in Macleay Park. We went from Pittock Mansion down to the Stone House and back again. I chose this hike because I wanted the view of Mount Hood from Pittock Mansion, but it was a pretty hazy day.

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(Doing a little work up there, clearly)

Most hike guides go from Lower MacLeay Park up to Pittock Mansion and back, but I wanted it to to be a little shorter due to time constraints, so we started at the top and went down and back up again, skipping the portion below the Stone House. This meant all the hard work was at the end. Oof. But it was pretty!

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The Stone House was a comfort station built as a 1930’s WPA project; when it was damaged in the Columbus Day Storm of 1962, the city opted not to repair it. The stone walls are all that remain. Kind of creepy cool.

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Balch Creek

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Maidenhair Fern

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Magic lighting!

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Share the trail

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Is this some kind of rose?

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Reward!

In other news, I’m working on a few design ideas. I’m using this bit of stash for one of them. It’s Knitted Wit Bling in Fuchsia Basket, a CSY color from last year.

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I’m knitting at a loose gauge, and blocking even airier for a lovely springtime accessory. Surprisingly, it’s not a shawl this time! We’ll see if it matches my vision. I’ll know soon. I’m also working on a couple things for September…

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…

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a gorgeous sunset

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Tillamook Head, to the south

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Interestingly textured seaweed

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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.)

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

We did a little cardboard loom weaving on retreat.

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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!

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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.

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

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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…

Purling back backwards tutorial

Aloha edging

I’m working the knitted on border of my Aloha Shawlette for the Aloha knit-along. The border is 4 to 6 stitches wide, and it’s tedious to turn my work after every row. The solution? Purling back backwards. You can do it, too.

Edited to add: Some people call this knitting back backwards, or KBB. I’ve seen it referred to both ways. For me, what I think of as knitting back backwards would result in garter stitch. I’ve never done garter stitch with this non-turning technique, but it’s possible, too. I just haven’t needed it yet.

I’m almost done with the shawlette; this is a quick and easy knit! But it’s not to late to join the KAL. You can be part of the chat and prize drawings through my Ravelry group. I’ve just drawn the first prize winner; JBTCat will be getting these fishy stitch markers.

fish stitch markers

You can make stitch markers like these, too; check out my tutorial here.

There are a few more prizes in store, including yarn and a mystery fun thing. Come join the fun!

Doomsday Knits patterns available

The patterns from Doomsday Knits are now available individually! That means you can knit Thrumviator, solo.

Thrumviator 1

Thrumviator 2

Here’s the Ravelry link.

In other knit news, the Aloha KAL is progressing quite nicely. If you’re knitting along, be sure to post a picture in the progress pic thread by tomorrow (Sunday) night for a chance to win a prize in the first drawing. Progress can be as simple as the yarn you purchased, all the way through a finished object! I’ll pick a winner on Monday morning. The progress pic thread is here.

Aloha KAL 2

I’m through the second shellflower lei, which is the last one for the small version of this shawlette.

And this is incredibly late notice, but I’m teaching a class on the Sophie’s Rose Shawlette at For Yarn’s Sake this afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. There’s still room in the class, if you want to come by and walk through the construction of this piece.

sophie's rose detail

I’ll be knitting all weekend, and watching our Portland Trailblazers’ playoff game against the Houston Rockets. Yes, I’m a fair weather fan, and have no idea what’s going on. The last 5 minutes of last night’s game were pretty exciting, though. How about you? Big weekend plans?

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.

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

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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?

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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…

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Whychus Creek, near Sisters, Oregon

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sheep?

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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.

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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.

Trillium season, and knitting

I’ve spent the past week continuing the big studio project, purging what used to be the kids’ closet. Twenty years of kids’ schoolwork…buh-bye. Rock and magnet collections? Gone! The best stuff went to friends’ kids, so that was fun to curate. Now it’s time to get back to work.

But first, a walk in the park…Forest Park. I went on a hike there yesterday with friends. It’s 5,157 acres inside the city of Portland, which makes it the largest urban forest in the United States. I’d never been there before, and I’m a native Portlander!

It’s trillium season in the Pacific Northwest.

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image These are one of my favorite wildflowers.

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Now I’m back to my knitting, working on a design to use the leftover yarn from my Aloha Shawl. And planning the Aloha Shawlette and Shawl KAL! Sharon (Stitchjones) and I are excited to be working on this KAL together. You can use her gorgeous Pai Mei Sock yarn in Rainbow Shave Ice and Warm Sand, or you can use your own yarn. The pattern is still $2 off through April 10; use the coupon code ALOHA to purchase. And swing by the KAL thread on Ravelry!

Is it spring in your neck of the woods yet?

Aloha Shawlette KAL

Aloha! Sharon Spence (Stitchjones) and I are planning a KAL for Aloha; would you like to knit along with us? Easy breezy knitting, and I think we’ll have some prizes, too. I’ll set the KAL up in my Ravelry group; conversation is easier there than on the blog. Those of you who participated in my Rose City Yarn Crawl KAL know that I love a good KAL! If you’re not a member of Ravelry, you should join. It’s a free membership, and there are lots of wonderful resources there.

You can choose to knit the smaller shawlette

Aloha Shawlette

or the larger shawl.

Aloha Shawl

Sharon Spence (Stitchjones) is taking orders for yarn for this KAL; orders are due by next Thursday, April 10 so you can have yarn in hand for the cast on Monday, April 21. You are also welcome to use your own yarn. But hey, it’s Rainbow Shave Ice!

Aloha Shawl back2

I’m extending the $2 off sale on the pattern through April 10, to coordinate with the yarn order deadline for Stitchjones. Use the coupon code ALOHA at checkout for the discount.

Most of the knitting for this is very relaxed, and relaxing! Stockinette and garter stitch and the spirit of aloha. You could even knit it at a knit night. The pattern progresses at a nice pace, and the lacy parts come at just the right time to pique your interest.

Aloha details

Is a knit-on border new to you? It was new to me, and it was fun! I like learning a new skill through a project, and this one was easier than I thought. Why did I wait so long?

Are you in? Please say yes! Get your supplies ready, and we’ll cast on April 21!

Introducing the Aloha Shawlette and Shawl

Last fall Sharon Spence of Stitchjones asked me to design a shawlette with her Pai Mei Sock yarn in a variegated color for her 2014 Yarnageddon Club. She had a Hawaii theme in mind, and she knows how much I love Hawaii.

I love variegated yarn, but I love it even more when it’s combined with a semi-solid. We settled on these colors, which I got to name: Rainbow Shave Ice and Warm Sand. Perfect!

Aloha Shawlette

Aloha can mean hello, goodbye, or just be a friendly greeting in general. The Aloha shawlette looks good coming and going! It features rainbows, leis, and waves. Knitting begins at the center back neck (note the three lacy flowers here), continues through the rainbows and shellflower leis, and ends with an edging that is knit onto the live stitches at the end. The shawlette uses 2 half skeins of Pai Mei Sock. The yarn is available from Stitchjones.

Aloha Shawlette back

The shawlette is a nice size both on the shoulders and worn bandanna style, but the result made me so happy, I had to have a full size shawl, too. More rainbow, more happy!

Aloha Shawl

The pattern includes instructions for both the shawlette and shawl. It is available through my Ravelry page, and will be on sale for 33% off the usual price through April 7. Visit the Aloha Shawlette/Shawl pattern page and use the coupon code ALOHA to make your purchase. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Aloha Shawl back2

Aloha details (Detail of shellflower lei and edgings for shawlette and shawl)