Category Archives: Portland area fun

Half the Knit Sky, encore

The Rose City Yarn Crawl is coming up next month, and I’m having a trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake! The crawl is virtual this year. You can visit the shops in person, but it’s not required for the crawl. I’m sending over my Half the Knit Sky knit with Huckleberry Knits gradient and MadTosh Twist Light. There *will* be kits, in two colorways. The gradient on this one is Practical Tactical Brilliance, and the other will be Made You Blush, an exclusive for For Yarn’s Sake.

I knit this last year for my KAL, and stopped short of the acid green at the end because I had already added 24 rows to the original pattern. Last weekend I decided to take the edging off and use more of the gradient, so I did! I ripped back all the way through the flying arrows, so I could add a third repeat of that last section of star trails. I then replaced the flying arrows, and finished again. I had 1.3 g of gradient left, yay for yarn scale and not yarn chicken!

Adding this many rows put me just past where I’d need another increase row based on the pi shawl formula, so I was counting on the flexibility of knitting to make it work because I didn’t want an increase so close to the edge. Also, no more yarn! I used a Russian bind off for the refinished edge, because I knew it was going to be quite a stretch blocking the edge out.

Finished size: 60” x 30” pinned out, and it bounced back to 60” x 28” deep when I took it off the wires. It is larger partly from the added knitting, and partly because the first time I blocked it, I did it outdoors on a hot September day, and it was drying very quickly while I was pinning. Now we’re in winter, and I blocked it in my studio. It is the loveliest, airiest thing. Yay!

Before and after. I’m really happy with it!

The Rose City Yarn Crawl is March 4-14; check out their website here.

Dreyma is dreamy!

DH’s Dreyma is as dreamy as its name, and perfect on a snow day!

This yoke is so fabulous. And the built up neckline is much better than where the ribbed neckline ended before. Most of whatever T shirt DH wears underneath is covered, which is way better aesthetically.

I gave the body of the sweater a pretty relaxed fit, just like his other favorite sweaters. He’s been wearing this constantly over this snowy weekend!

We don’t get much snow in Portland, so we make the most of it when we do! One or two snowfalls per winter. And then usually freezing rain on top. But on Saturday it was still fresh and perfect. I brought out my nearly 40 year old ski equipment, and toured the neighborhood instead of using the basement treadmill. Of course I wore my ancient Pippi Hat. I really need new boots, which means new bindings, too; these are very old school.

DH’s ski boots are no longer with us, so we walked, too.

The neighborhood was full of joy. So many smiles after being locked down.

The neighborhood sledding street, busy as always.

And the witch hazel is in bloom.

This is not the only unicorn I saw. The best was a XC skier in a unicorn onesie, complete with a rainbow tail!

How’s your weather? And what am I knitting next? There’s a new design idea on the needles, and a revamp of a previous one. Two projects is probably my limit!

Knits happening downtown

Christmas tree at Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland

It was sunny and cold today, so we took our favorite bridge walk along the Willamette River, with a side trip to Pioneer Courthouse Square. I brought a couple hats with me, and wore my Dissent Cowl.

Golden Chain hat, pattern by me

We stopped by my favorite otters along the way.

Golden Chain and Hunter Hammersen’s Presage (I test knit this summer)

This statue is called “Allow Me.” He usually has an umbrella in his right hand, but it had been damaged, so the city took it off for repairs. I felt he needed something over the umbrella handle sticking out under his hand. And then I left these two hats for someone who needs them. I hope they will help keep someone warm. Umbrella Man has a history with hand knits; crafters used to photo bomb the downtown statues for the holidays. He had a very nice sweater one year, but it was stolen. So I decided to leave hats that are meant to be taken. They even have notes pinned inside, offering warmth and well wishes.

They did at least provide some amusement. Or bemusement. Or both.

I love that DH is willing to go along with my plans
Ours was not the only selfie!
Oh, deer! Dissent Cowl, pattern by Carissa Browning
Mayor Vera Katz; the Dissent Cowl suits her

I took a couple more pictures on the way back home. And then I taught Brioche Increases and Decreases for Virtual Vogue Knitting Live.

Today’s class

A very fun day. One more class tomorrow, Log Cabin knitting, and that’s it for December! I have a ton of things to get done for the rest of Hanukkah and Christmas. Onward…

Biking and Zooming (new classes with For Yarn’s Sake)

Fall is here, and last Monday was a perfect day for a bike ride in the Columbia River Gorge. I went with some friends to bike through the Mosier Twin Tunnels, out past Hood River. They’re just on the other side of the Cascade mountains, the dry side, but it was a glorious day all around.

Eighteen Mile Island

The ride isn’t terribly long, maybe 8.5 miles out and back, but it’s hilly! It’s on a dedicated bike/pedestrian path that follows the old Columbia River Highway. You can see the (not that new) Columbia River Highway, Interstate 84, down below.

Eighteen Mile Island from the other side
Breathtaking diagonal geology across the river on the Washington side

This section of the old highway was abandoned in the 1950s when the new highway was built closer to the river. It was restored for recreational use in 2000.

Standing between the tunnels, looking east through the east tunnel

It felt so good to get out for a while!

We stopped for refreshment at Thunder Island Brewing’s new digs in Cascade Locks. They used to be down on the water, now they’re up on the main drag. Great view from the deck!

Cascade Locks is on the wetter, greener side of the Cascade mountains

It’s windy and rainy today (Sunday), but the forecast is for cool, drier weather this coming week. I’m on Day 4 of work; I spoke about blocking for the Puddletown Knitters Guild on Thursday evening, and have been teaching for Vogue’s Virtual Knitting Live all weekend. Busy busy!

I have a couple new Zoom classes through For Yarn’s Sake. We’re doing Petite Brioche on Sunday October 25 (I love teaching new brioche knitters!) and Braided Wristlets on Sunday November 8.

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

Braided Wristlets is one of my favorite classes to teach. It dips into beginning colorwork knitting, tonal contrast, yarn color dominance, and of course, the very fun herringbone braids. Links to the For Yarn’s Sake classes are here. Are you ready to learn a new skill?

RBG in the neighborhood

Last week, this street mural of RGB popped up in the neighborhood. Pretty awesome! A group of neighbors painted it overnight.

She’s getting a lot of attention in the neighborhood and on social media. Cool!

Inspired by RBG, I decided I need to knit a Dissent Cowl (Ravelry link). Pattern is by Carissa Browning; she’s donating pattern sale proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union. There’s a crochet version, too, in case you prefer that. I’m knitting mine with Hazel Knits Lively DK, in Jam Session and Nickel, both out of stash. (Stash means I bought yarn for something, but decided it wasn’t the best yarn or color choice for the project, so I set it aside. I don’t usually buy yarn without a specific intended purpose.) The red is even deeper and plummier than this picture.

This has been an interesting knitting year. I don’t usually have much time to knit other people’s designs, but pandemic stay-at-home and a little bit of designer’s block made me knit other things while awaiting inspiration. So far I’ve knit 3 Love Note sweaters (Tin Can Knits), I’m working on Cat Bordhi’s Rio Calina cowl, and now this Dissent Cowl. At least the Love Note sweaters weren’t instigated by grief and loss. Sigh.

Speaking of grief and loss, one of my knitting students passed away last week. Judy Clymer Welles was a founding member of my knitting guild. She was hoping to live long enough to vote in the November 3 election, but decided to make a difference by writing to voters in swing states before she passed. She’s in the NY Times today, story by my piano camp roomie Katie Hafner. It’s a small world, isn’t it?

Onward. May RBG’s memory be a blessing, and Judy’s too.

Rose City Yarn Crawl 2020

Fun, as usual! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook (PDXKnitterati on those, too), you may have seen a lot of these pictures already. But I find it easier to search for pictures here on my blog, so Future Me is thanking Today Me for archiving these here.

I started the weekend with a trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake with Knitted Wit (Lorajean Kelley), Shannon Squire, and Debbi Stone. It’s become a tradition! Thanks so much to Ann for having us, year after year.

Shannon and LJ swear that they didn’t plan to color coordinate their clothing, but here they are. And their color orbit is so strong, the shawl on the wall is part of the fun, too.

This year’s mystery KAL was designed by Marie Greene. I love it! Carrie’s is lovely.

TJ embellished the edge of hers with eyelets and beads to use up her remaining yarn. Perfect!

Kim showed me her Zen Rain Shawlette. I designed this for Sock Summit 2011. Many happy memories there!

Paula took my Brioche Pastiche class 2 weeks ago, and brought her finished hat wth her. I love the colors and the squishiness; she did a great job!

I showed Julie how to use her phone’s camera filter to check for good tonal contrast so her colorwork will have some pop. Do you know the camera filter trick? Use the Mono setting (alas, they’ve done away with Tonal) to make sure you’ll be able to see your colorwork! This is a gentle contrast, but enough to show off her colorwork knitting.

Someone (I’ve lost your name; let me know if you see this) had an advance copy of the new Vogue Knitting magazine (on sale March 10) and told me that my picture is in it! It’s from VKLive Columbus from my Fancy Stitches class; I’m showing off my Aloha Shawl. My 15 seconds of fame continues…

It’s hard to knit at a trunk show, but it’s really easy to frog! I brought the too big version to frog so I can use the yarn on the smaller size. Frogging the mohair and fingering together was surprisingly easy, and I just balled it up together since I’ll be knitting them together again. It’s really hard to separate them!

It was so nice to chat with so many people on Thursday.

Kathryn and Stash

Alissa from El Rey Knits podcast

More fiber friends!

I went back to For Yarn’s Sake on Friday to get more DK Gradient from Scarlet of Huckleberry Knits. In my hand: Vivace. I love it, but I also ordered another ball of Practical Tactical Brilliance for my current entrelac project. It’s the same color as my Aspen Leaf scarf pictured above.

I also went to Knitting Bee to see DKGraham’s wooden stitch markers and pins. So cute! And so is she. We’re going to get together to knit some brioche and plot some pins or…

One more store on Friday: I met up with Thao from Nerd Bird Makery. I love her pins and T shirts; I have several. We live in adjacent neighborhoods, so we’re going to get together and knit…brioche, of course.

On Saturday I went to Twisted and Pearl Fiber Arts, but the yarn fumes must be getting to me…I forgot to take pictures! But I *did* remember to order some sparkly yarn from Stacey of Fierce Fibers for a project I’ve been dreaming about for a couple years. It’s TIME!

I’m staying home today to catch up with my life and house; it’s been a very busy couple months. Did you Yarn Crawl? I hope you had fun!

Spectacular autumn in the Pacific Northwest

Mother Nature and the weather have conspired to make this fall one of the most colorful in recent memory. It’s so beautiful I almost can’t stand it. I’ve been taking a lot of pictures so I can remember this on gray winter days.

DH and I went for a short hike at Wahclella Falls yesterday; the trail re-opened in August; it had been closed since the Eagle Creek fires in September 2017. Still beautiful, and worth the wait.

Munra Falls at the beginning of the Wahclella Falls Trail

Tanner Creek

Wahclella Falls approach

Wahclella Falls (East Fork Falls above)

Gotta have a selfie!

Mushrooms growing on a burned log

A gentle reminder

And here are some pictures from just around the neighborhood.

The view out my studio window…it’s amazing I get anything done!

How’s fall where you are? Spring?

A belated OFFF report

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival was fabulous, as always! This late September event never fails to delight.

I had a full class for my Brioche Pastiche hat on Saturday morning, very fun. The power of group learning is strong! And then I met friends for lunch and zipped around to see the sights.

Icelandic on the hoof

I love the real-ness of Icelandic wool, and you can’t get more real than this! He’s from Ten O’Cock Farms in Beavercreek, OR.

A bunny parade brought some bunnies out of the barn so they wouldn’t be overlooked. So soft.

And there was shopping. This lazy kate was strangely mesmerizing. The woodworker, Dave Yocom, has been coming to OFFF for a long time; I’ve been admiring his bowls for years.

I bought this DK weight gradient (Practical Tactical Brilliance) and speckle (When You Said Hi, I Forgot My Dang Name) from Scarlet Tang of Huckleberry Knits. I’m having a grand time trying to make an idea come to life; we’ll see if it pans out.

And I bought two more shawl pins from One of a Kind Buttons. I love these little clay pins; they stay nicely in my shawls and help keep me together.

The day was swiftly drawing to a close, so I went to see the kids running their kids (ha!) through the goat obstacle course. Very fun. How had I missed this event for so many years?

At this point in the afternoon, the skies darkened and the thunder and lightning began. I made it to my car in time for torrential sleet-filled rain. Whoa. September fun!

I went back on Sunday afternoon because I wanted to see the judging results upstairs in the pavilion. This was the Grand Champion winner, and I think it won by a mile.

A 100% silk knitted lace shawl. Coleen Nimetz raised the silkworms, unreeled the silk cocoons, spun and plied the yarn, dyed it, and knit this masterpiece.

The tiny size 11 delica beads are almost gilding the lily, but they’re perfect, too. Congratulations to the winner!

Also? I loved this felted fox by Dana Nishimura. And I just noticed the flowers on its chest when I zoomed in to look more closely.

Also not to be missed: The ladies in the Knitted Wit booth! They had been shopping together, clearly. Hi Shannon, Maria, and Lorajean!

It was a grand weekend, and it feels like a long time ago, but it’s been less than a month. Tempus fugit!

WWKIP Day pix, and a knitCompanion winner

I didn’t make it to IKEA on Saturday; that was one too many activities for me. But it was a great day in the park with Knit Picks. It didn’t even rain! And it was cool enough that we could wear our knits. Perfect.

I had a little display, shown here behind Meghan of JaMpdx in her lovely Blooming Brioche Shawl.

She gave me a yarn chicken patch, so new they’re not even in the shop yet. She knows I’m a big yarn chicken fan.

Emily Kintigh was the designer next to me; I love her softies. That baseball is calling my name.

Chelsea and Rebekah Berkompas are sisters-in-law who design!

And MK Nance (right) was there with gorgeous rainbows, and a friend whose name I didn’t catch. Sorry!

Cali came by to say hi, and gave me some plant cuttings! I follow her, and her kitty, on Instagram. We first met years ago during a Rose City Yarn Crawl.

I brought my new Hopscotch Scarf, which is coming soon.

Did you knit in public on Saturday? I hope you had fun!

I picked a winner for the knitCompanion Setup + Essentials. It’s kimbelina! I’m sending her an email to make arrangements for prize delivery. Thanks to everyone for commenting; it’s interesting how we all have different ways of tracking our projects. Even clothespins!

WWKIP Day is this Saturday, June 8

Worldwide Knit in Public Day is this Saturday, June 8. As knitters, we knit in public all the time. But it’s fun to make a special party of it!

There are three WWKIP Day events on my radar, and I’m hoping to make it to two of them. I know for sure that I’ll be at the Knit Picks event at Portland’s Wilshire Park, 4116 NE 33rd Ave. It’s from 11 am to 2 pm. There will be door prizes drawings, and a yarn and book giveaway for everyone. Yay, freebies!

It happens rain or shine; I’m hoping for shine. And there’s a covered picnic area, so we’re covered either way. Bring a chair and your knit or crochet project! I’ll be there along with five other designers, with samples to show.

If I’m up for an earlier start, I’ll make it to IKEA! Puddletown Knitters Guild is hosting an event at the Portland IKEA store from 9:30 to noon! I don’t think I could say it better than their Instagram post, so I’ll just put this right here.

The third WWKIP event that I know about is a joint venture between Brooklyn Tweed and Pedalpalooza. Meet at Brooklyn Tweed headquarters at NE 7th and Davis at 11:30, and join the bike ride to Ladd Circle Park for a crafty time. Or just meet at Ladd Circle Park In SE Portland at noon.

So many choices, and I’m sure there are more! Are you planning to participate in WWKIP Day? What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

Also, just a reminder that I’m picking a winner for a year’s subscription to KnitCompanion’s Setup and Essentials on WWKIP Day. See previous post for review and details.

Happy knitting!