Category Archives: Portland area fun

RBG street mural refresh

Remember this RBG street mural?

September 2020

She got pretty grimy, and last year she had a facial to spiff her up.

August 2021

This weekend, she had a full-on facial.

Just before losing the rest of her 5 o’clock shadow
Brighter eyes, more detailed dissent collar
Good to go!

What a difference a fresh coat of paint makes. She looks ready to take on the world. I’m glad she’s here in the neighborhood.

Women’s rights are human rights; whoever thought we’d still be fighting for basic bodily autonomy again?

Beads in knitting and pink spring!

Whoa, 21 days since my last post? Inconceivable! I’ve been knitting up a storm, and paring down a to-do list that grew to anxiety-provoking length. It’s better now. On the to-do list were three video tutorials for the project on the needles. No, the project isn’t hard. But sometimes having an extra visual can make things more clear.

Adding beads to your knitting

One of the videos shows how to add beads to your knitting using the crochet hook method, and also using a BeadAid, which is my favorite beading tool. You can click the link above to watch it.

The video also features my bead tin setup. I hope you enjoy it!

Looking south to the Burnside Bridge

This past week the cherry blossoms have come into their full glory down at the Willamette River waterfront. This is the river that goes through the center of Portland.

Looking north to the Steel Bridge

Gorgeous! I went for a walk with friends last Thursday.

And then DH and I rode our bikes down there on Sunday. It’s a nice 10 mile loop from our house.

The magnolia trees are in full bloom, too.

Camellia Wrap

My favorite camellia hedge is also blooming, even more than in this updated Camellia Wrap picture from 3 weeks ago. It’s definitely Think Pink season around here.

It looks like we’re in for a rainy weekend. Perfect timing. I’ll be teaching two zoom classes this weekend: Deep End Brioche Increases and Decreases on Saturday and Sheepy Steeky Coasters on Sunday. It’s not too late to sign up for either one, but the steeks class has homework so you’d definitely need to address that now.

Happy spring! Or fall, depending where you live. Happy change of seasons, anyway…

Rose City Yarn Crawl: It’s a wrap!

It’s been a busy two weeks, so it will take me a few posts to catch up. The blog is my searchable journal, so I like to make sure things get noted here. I’ll start with the crawl, then there’s a new pattern, and then I’ll go back in time to Red Alder last month. Three posts, minimum!

I started the crawl on Thursday at For Yarn’s Sake; I had a trunk show and book signing there.

It’s a tradition that Lorajean (Knitted Wit), Shannon, Debbi and I begin the crawl at For Yarn’s Sake. This year we had two tables instead of one (new very spacious venue), so we divided as front and back of house.

We did spend some time all together with owner Anne, and the traditional bubbles! It was so nice to visit with people in person. Masks and proof of vaccination were required for the in-person crawl; there was also a virtual crawl option online.

My knitting/design project came up with an incorrect stitch count, and this dropped stitch may have been part of the reason why. I think it was laughing at me. I showed it who’s boss, though: frogged the section and got it back on track. Yes, you can frog in public. And the FitBit thinks that winding the yarn back up counts as steps. Winner!

I didn’t do a lot of crawling, but I made it to Weird Sisters Yarn Shop to see Wendee of Hazel Knits Yarn. I wanted to thank her in person for the yarn support for my book, Brioche Knit Love. She’ll be vending at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle (Bellevue, really), and I’ll be teaching there. We’re planning a book signing in the market on Saturday, April 9. More on VKL in a later post…

Here’s the total of my crawl haul. The theme tote was designed by DKGraham. I didn’t really need another tote, but this one was so pretty I decided I had to have it. The little wallet is by Heidi West Designs; she screen prints her own fabrics. I love how it coordinates with the tote. It’s perfect for hanging on to the little things in my larger tote bag. I picked up the shawl pin at Pearl Fiber Arts; I love this style and have several more by the same maker (One of a Kind). And the yarn is from Blu Fiber Company (trunk show at Starlight Knitting Society).

I was looking for a yarn to play with applied pooling. I’m currently looking for a stitch pattern that will work with this; the purple color runs may not be quite long enough to do what I want. We shall see.

I’m teaching an assigned pooling/planned pooling class at For Yarn’s Sake this Sunday March 6, if this geekery interests you!

Blue brioche headband

Also this weekend, I’m teaching Petite Brioche (beginning 2 color brioche in the round) on Saturday for Twisted Yarn Shop. The class is almost full, but there are 3 spots left. You can register here.

I know there’s a lot going on in the world. My heart is heavy for the people of Ukraine. I’m looking for a good place to send money to support them; I’m thinking World Central Kitchen. Chef Jose Andres is feeding Ukrainian refugees on the border in Poland. Everyone deserves to be safe in their homes and to be fed, whether at home or on the run.

Delicious!

September is my favorite month. Birthday, anniversary, a chill in the morning air that evokes that back to school feeling, and time for woolies.

(not this week, but it’s us)

It’s been a delicious week. I celebrated my birthday with friends and family, repeatedly. The kids came over and made kalua pork (instant pot ftw), and spam musubi, as part of a Hawaiian themed dinner.

DH and I celebrated our upteenth wedding anniversary a week later.

Tomato, avocado, cucumber, lime, stone fruit

This was part of our anniversary dinner at Républica, a restaurant in NW Portland. The restaurant was recently featured in the LA Times. Dinner was delicious, and exquisitely plated. The co-owner/pastry chef is the daughter of a friend; I’ve known her since the kids were in preschool. It’s so great to see her doing something she loves, and doing it so well.

Corn brûlée, with ice cream and blueberry compote

And I celebrated a friend’s birthday yesterday with a wine tasting/blending party. We tasted three single grape pinot noirs, and then played with blending them.

Mmmm, Brooks wines.
Beaker blending, so mathy

I baked a flourless chocolate torte, which we paired with an ice cream sampler. The new way to blow out birthday candles is by waving your hands at them. Thanks, pandemic! Still fun.

Time to get back to work! How’s your September going?

Book going to print!

I just finished all the edits on my book with my publisher, and it’s off to the printer! It’s so pretty. I’m looking forward to being able to share it with you. Soon! But not yet.

While I was waiting to see the layout so I could finish the edits, I went camping with a group of friends. We were at Lost Lake near Mt. Hood (Wy’east). A great place to knit! There’s not much snow on the mountain this summer; it has been hot and dry. Fires are currently not permitted in the national forests, so we didn’t get to hang around the campfire this time.

The alpenglow at sunset was still pretty, though!

There were two tent sites in my campsite; I pitched my tent up this set of stairs, and felt like a princess in the tower. A perfect place to knit.

A clearer picture of the mountain. One of my favorite sights, from land or sky.

And now I’m home, my edits are done, and the waiting begins. Publication day for my book is October 19, if all goes according to plan. This week I’m working on stuff for Knit Camp at the Coast (virtual), which will be September 16-18. Are you joining in? I’m teaching log cabin knitting, and I’ve added some fun new material for this event. And I’ve signed up for the whole event, so I’ll be there for more than just the class I’m teaching.

I’m also working on another virtual event for November. That little snippet of knitting in the first picture is part of what I’m teaching. It’s time to get my samples knit, and my handouts writ!

Hard to believe it’s September already…summer flew by, and my autumn calendar is filling quickly. What are you up to this fall?

Time out, time shift

I took a break on Sunday and Monday, since weekends aren’t a real thing around here lately. On Sunday DH and I took a walk on Mt. Tabor, an extinct volcano cinder cone. I’ve probably posted pictures from there before, but there we were again!

One of the reservoirs on Mt. Tabor, inactive now

Our city water used to be held in reservoirs on Mt. Tabor, but now they’re underground. The city kept the old reservoirs because they are beautiful and add to the atmosphere of this city park.

There’s currently a piano at the top of Mt. Tabor. I’m not sure why it’s there, but it’s available for public play.

And there’s one place at the top to peek at Mt. Hood, through the trees.

On Monday, I went hiking with the kids in MacLeay and Forest Parks. I love that there are easily accessible green spaces in the city.

Tiny waterfall on Balch Creek
Watching water skimmers and crayfish
Tinier waterfall
This must have made a heck of a noise when it split the other tree
The leaves were nearly fluorescent

The weather has been beautiful this past week. And now it’s back to work. One more thing to design for my book. Things are moving along. Tech editing is under way. Our first photo shoot is this week; I’m looking forward to it. There are still a few things to finish knitting, for a later shoot. And then a lot of work putting it all together. I’m pretty excited about this!

Onward!

Knit, knit, knitting this week

It’s a knit filled week! I’m speaking and teaching for the San Diego North Coast Knitters Guild on Tuesday and Wednesday. We were hoping it would be in-person, but at commitment time their venue wasn’t open yet. So Zoom it is! We know how to have fun, no matter what.

On Friday at 4 pm Pacific/7 pm Eastern, I’m chatting with Amy Snell/Devious Knitter on her podcast, Would Knit Be Fun. Amy is an excellent designer/teacher with a great knowledge base. Come join us! You can sign up at this link.

After these events, I have just one more class before taking a summer break. I’ll be teaching Brioche Doctor via Zoom for Bazaar Girls on Tuesday, June 22. You can register here. The listing says 10 am to 1 pm, but it’s a 2 hour class, so we’ll get that straightened out this week. I’m pretty sure it’s at 11.

And I can finally tell you about my new project…in my next post! Tuesday, I think.

It’s a holiday weekend here. DH and I took an unexpected trip out to Hood River; the place we wanted to hike yesterday was overrun with people, so we just kept driving east.

The clouds are prettier on the other side of the Cascades! At least they were yesterday. It’s the wind…

Mt. Adams, Columbia River

A stroll instead of a hike, and lunch. Perfect.

I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Signs of Spring: Birdwatcher and Cherry Blossoms

The Birdwatcher (pattern by Casapinka) is underway. I moved up to a US5 needle, knit for a while, and steamed it to get an idea how wide this will be. It’s approximately 39” and I’m aiming for 40”. I’m hoping that the stockinette portion will be just a tad wider than the chevroned edge, and I think it will be. Or not! Again, do as I say, not as I do. I like the fabric I’m getting, and it may just have a little less ease than I was planning. I don’t want to go up another needle size, and I don’t have enough yarn to go up another size in the pattern.

There are supposed to be 4 repeats of that chevron pattern, but I stopped at three. The bottom of the sweater is supposed to be 12” to the armhole, and I want it to be 9. I don’t want chevrons halfway to the armhole; I want it to be more of an edging. I think three repeats will be enough! Also, I was ready to stop paying attention. Now it’s just stockinette to the armhole, which is gives me room to think about other things. I’m glad I’m alternating skeins every 2 rounds; I can definitely see a bit of stripeyness as I’m knitting the stockinette section.

My log cabin wrap is done and blocked! I took some pictures in the back yard, but the modeled pictures are coming soon. My sister modeled for me, and we were lucky to catch the last of the cherry blossoms on a neighborhood street. We went downtown, too, but the trees there were no longer very pink!

Just not the right look for the photo shoot. I really have had cherry blossoms on my mind, so I think this pattern will probably be called Cherry Blossom Wrap. Look for it at the end of the week! For now, let me share pictures from a couple weeks ago downtown. This was the hoped for backdrop for our photo shoot, but I wasn’t ready when it was ready.

What are you knitting this spring?

Dreaming of Spring

I’ve been haunting the Portland waterfront this month, waiting for the cherry trees to bloom.

The top picture is 2 weeks ago, and the bottom is from March 31, 2019. Hoping next weekend is peak!

This color palette is on point!

Here’s a peek at what it’s becoming. I’m so pleased with this. After my adventure with the Pythagorean Theorem and the hypoteneuse, all is well! I don’t regret frogging those 11,000 stitches at all. I’m just over halfway done with this. Pattern coming soon.

I didn’t get much knitting done this weekend because I was teaching for Vogue’s Virtual Knitting Live. I debuted my new Darn It! class, which was really fun! Mending and even more visible mending. This all started with that sock mending project for a friend; it was so much fun I wanted to share my new skills. I’m teaching it again through For Yarn’s Sake on April 25, registration on this page, soon.

And we also launched Brioche Doctor. This covers reading your brioche knitting, and fixing mistakes. I love that it’s different every time, depending on the questions from my students. We can make this as calm or as crazy as you want! I like having several samples so we can play with it different ways.

April classes are booked; I’m looking forward to teaching Brioche Doctor, Tink Drop Frog, Syncopation, and Log Cabin Knitting for Vogue in April. Sign up for their newsletter so you can be notified when registration goes live.

I’m also teaching a slightly longer Syncopation/Syncopated Brioche class for Bazaar Girls Yarn Shop on April 3. I’ll walk you through flat brioche instead of assigning it as homework, before getting to the syncopated brioche. Class is a little longer than the VKL classes to accommodate this. Register here!

I have classes with Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake in April, too. Sign up for my newsletter for the most complete list of classes, plus knitting news, tutorials, and the best discount on my new pattern releases. I try to keep my Workshops and Classes pages updated here on the blog, but there’s no way to let you know about updates on that.

Knit on!

Rose City Yarn Crawl starts today!

Rose City Yarn Crawl, Portland’s premier yarny event, begins today, March 4, as usual. But it’s not business as usual, because the crawl is going virtual this year, with an extended crawl March 4-14.

I usually kick off the crawl at For Yarn’s Sake with owner Anne Lindquist, Knitted Wit dyer Lorajean Kelley, and designers Shannon Squire and Debbi Stone (Ravelry link). This year we toasted virtually in a Zoom we recorded last night. You can see our chat online on the For Yarn’s Sake RCYC page here. And you can find our trunk shows for the crawl on the same page. I’m featuring 7 designs. Six are new this past year, and Lucky Star is an older favorite that Features Knitted Wit’s yarn.

My Half the Knit Sky design is being offered as a yarn kit with gradient yarn from Huckleberry Knits, another Pacific Northwest dyer. Quantities are limited, so if you want a kit, now’s the time for action! These colorways are Practical Tactical Brilliance and Made you Blush (shop exclusive for For Yarn’s Sake). Pattern is sold separately from the kit through Ravelry and Payhip. Many of our trunk show items are in the shop so you can see them up close, too.

Check out the Rose City Yarn Crawl site for ways to participate and win prizes. And you can even visit the stores in person; it’s just not required this year. This may be the first year in a long time that I’ll be able to visit all eight participating shops, if only virtually!