Tag Archives: Menucha

Road trips, and swatching

The week has flown by! The weekend is here and I’m still on last weekend, which I began at Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett, in the Columbia Gorge. This is spring on my side of the mountains…damp and cool.

gorge

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I always walk the labyrinth at Menucha. It helps me quiet my busy mind, and focus. A meditation and a revelation, perfect.

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I don’t remember ever seeing this much color in the mosaic stones before. I guess all that moisture can have its advantages.

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And Diane became a new spinner! I’ll pass along a spindle to her; I have more than I need.

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I went home Saturday night, and on Sunday morning I headed to the other side of the Cascade Mountains with my friend Vickie. We went to Kahneeta to hang out with her mom in her mom’s new RV. Nice digs.

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The landscape is completely different over there, sunny and dry.

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trees

cattails

The cattails reminded me of spindles, with their loads of fluff.

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The cottonwoods were shedding their loads of fluff, too, and it made me think I should try to spin that…

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With all that fluff going on, you may ask if there was any knitting. Yes, a bit.

swatch

I’m going to call this swatching, mostly because I’ve completely frogged it. I’ve started and ripped three times now, as I hone in on what I want from this piece. There have been a lot of “aha!” moments. I’m about to start my last (I hope) rip, because now I think I know exactly what this needs. This time. Real swatching would be smart, but I get so excited about getting started, I just jump right in. Oops. We’ll just call them “very large swatches.” At least this yarn can put up with repeated froggings. I may be impetuous and lazy, but I’m stubborn, too, and I will prevail…

stubborn

The original colors, below. It turned out that the pale green in the variegated didn’t pop against the gray, so I had to choose a new background. It’s Violetas, also in Malabrigo worsted.

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On our way back over the mountains, we stopped up at Timberline Lodge for the view. Here’s Mt. Jefferson from the parking lot:

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(Love that sky!)

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And Mt. Hood out the back window of the lodge, near the bar.

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The bar window is pretty cool looking, too.

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And now mama bird is home, for a while.

mamabird

What’s up for you this weekend? I think the boys (young men) are going to help me whip the back yard into shape. It’s Mother’s Day, and that means they’ll do it, even if it’s not their favorite thing to do! Don’t worry; I’m making a fabulous dinner as their reward…

Surfacing…

It’s been a busy few weeks around here: holidays, a women’s retreat…but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been knitting. I’m finally happy with my lace shawl project, having knit it to completion, twice. Well, three times, if you count the first one that I completely frogged! Here’s the second version:

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It’s a very shallow, wide piece of knitting, and there are a lot of ways to wear it. Scarf? Shawlette? Whatever suits your fancy. Thanks to Bobbi for modeling!

The third version has a less ruffly ruffle, and is currently on the blocking wires. The pattern is out to test knitters right now; we’ll see if I made sense! The impetus for this design is the upcoming Sock Summit. I wanted to do something with sock yarn, that wasn’t a sock! I asked my friend Lorajean Kelley (Knitted Wit) to dye a cloudy Portland sky, thinking that the yarn/pattern combination would make a great Sock Summit souvenir. This design will be called Zen Rain; I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

Speaking of Sock Summit, I am registered for three 3 hour classes, plus the Anna Zilboorg lecture and the opening night reception. My classes will be Photographing Your Fiber, Designing with Japanese Stitch Dictionaries, and Choosing Among Choices (sock design). Looking forward to all of it! I’ll also be roaming the marketplace and perhaps helping LJ a bit in her booth, too.

I didn’t take many pictures on retreat, too busy working! But here are a few. The labyrinth at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, OR is a great place to contemplate one’s life.

labyrinth

And the late afternoon light was absolutely magical.

afternoon trees

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I hope your weekend was grand, too. And here we are, on the verge of another one. Happy spring!

Virtue is its own reward

That’s what they say. But it’s pretty sweet to get an additional reward.

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Dez over at Knitting Asylum had a drawing for people who donated to Doctors Without Borders for Haiti. I won a prize! Pen and tape measure, and a beautiful stitch marker necklace made from Czech glass and shell. These are really pretty, and what a great way to keep track of them.

rewards

Thanks, Dez!

I was away for the weekend up at Menucha Retreat Center, working at our annual women’s retreat. This one was filled with music! We sang through the Holden Evening Prayer Service on Friday evening, which was lovely. Some of my Day Old Pastries were on hand to help with the music for the rest of the weekend. I love my Pastries.

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I did get some knitting done. See my prototype shawl on my knee, and the new one in my hands? The new one is coming along swimmingly; I really like it. I’ll show it to you, soon. Check out the handknit socks, too.

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My favorite thing at Menucha, besides the view…

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…is the labyrinth. It’s a good place to be silent and meditative.

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It’s always interesting to discover a new epiphany when I reach the center.

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This beautiful garden is across from the dining hall.

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There’s a hidden space up there, with a rock bench facing this.

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I love spring, in all its glory.

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How was *your* weekend?

Weekend at Menucha

Not a lot of knitting time last week. I was prepping for our annual women’s retreat at Menucha. The retreat was this past weekend, and we had a great time. No snow this year! But we did have an awesome thunderstorm on Saturday afternoon. The sky was very dark, right about the time we were working on quilt squares, and trying to thread needles in the gloom.

The labyrinth was finished last summer. It’s in a rose garden; it will be gorgeous in June, but right now it’s a little spare. Which is beautiful in its own way.

center flower

This was my favorite stone.

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Sunday morning was sunny and perfect, so I abandoned my planned program, and we walked the labyrinth instead. I’ve walked labyrinths before, and I always find it very meditative. Sunday’s walk was no exception. It’s interesting how the walk is an individual experience, even when walked in a group. Just like life.

labyrinth 1

There’s a sculpture garden behind the labyrinth. This piece reminded me of the Venus of Willendorf.

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What little knitting I did this past week and weekend was on Ishbel. Once I became accustomed to knitting with really skinny yarn on medium sized needles, it started to flow. But it’s still not my favorite kind of knitting. I do think the effort will be worth it, though. It’s like gossamer. So lovely. No picture yet.

Sunday was apparently pink sock day. Joanne was wearing her Oriel socks from Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Knitted Socks, and I was wearing my Shur’tugals.

pink socks

Here are a few more pictures from the weekend:

tree

vista house 3

vista house

Can you see Vista House out on Crown Point? This is the view from the swimming pool (it’s not pool season yet, though). The swimming pool is right by this fireplace. The fireplace has ovens, and a huge tank on the back for heating water. Clever! JM stands for Julius Meier, of Meier and Frank (Oregon department store, now part of Macy’s). Menucha is the old Julius Meier estate.

fireplace

I hope your weekend was as nice as mine!

Falling for falls, all over again (aka Gorge-ous)

Sunday was a beautiful spring day, and my friend Nova was in town from San Diego. We drove out into the Columbia River Gorge to look at waterfalls and wild flowers. I used to take the kids out to the falls to play in the water on hot summer days, but I hadn’t been out there in the past few years. (At ages 20 and 15, it’s just not the same.) It was fun to see the falls through fresh eyes. Wahkeena Falls is my favorite; Wahkeena means most beautiful. Too bad I didn’t bring the camera!

I did have the camera phone, though, and took this picture of Nova at Multnomah Falls:

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And I tried to capture the shaft of sunlight coming down the hillside:

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But it was much more beautiful in person. I’m so glad Nova came to visit! A perfect afternoon.

I was actually out in the Gorge last weekend, too. I was working at a women’s retreat at Menucha. Lovely, lovely place. Friday night’s sunset was spectacular through low curtain-y clouds. The sun is reflecting off the Columbia River down below.

friday sunset

It snowed Saturday morning! We had a visitor on the back deck during Saturday evening’s song circle:

saturday morning

saturday night guest

The rose garden labyrinth at Menucha is beautiful, and should be finished in a few months. It’s come a long way since we visited last year.

this road

From winter to spring in one week flat! April is an exciting month in Oregon.