Category Archives: Portland area fun

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!

Portland Cherry Blossom Bridge Walk

Spring has sprung for sure! April is the prettiest month in Portland. Everything bursts into bloom.

I try to do my favorite bridge walk on the waterfront when the cherry trees are blooming.

The walk is 2.7 miles along the Willamette River. It crosses the Hawthorne Bridge and the Steel Bridge, making a big loop along the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade and Waterfront Park on the west side.

The metal sculpture on the fire station at the eastern end of the Hawthorne Bridge looks like raindrops in a pool. It’s more visible, or less visible, depending on where you are as you approach it.

I’m so giddy that spring is here!

hanami cowl

Way back in 2011, I designed my Hanami Cowl and Wristlets. It’s a super quick knit in worsted weight yarn. I especially love this in a fluffy single ply. Hanami is the name for the spring cherry blossom viewing parties in Japan.

I’m offering 50% off the Hanami pattern with coupon code BLOSSOM through April 15. Mookie would have approved. (Newsletter subscribers get an even sweeter deal…)

Oh! New kitty’s name is Calvin. Calvin LeRoy Purraldi. He’s very sweet, and settling in nicely.

He and Biscuit are working out their relationship. He’s bigger than Yadi was, so she doesn’t try to wrestle with him! (He’s bigger than we thought…ManCat rather than BoyCat.)

Happy spring!

Rose City Yarn Crawl

The 2019 Rose City Yarn Crawl is in the books, and it was fun as always!

It’s a tradition that we begin on Thursday with a big trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake. Lorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit, and designers Shannon Squire, Debbi Stone and I come with lots of pretties for oohing and aahing. This year was especially fun because we had just launched the Glow Up Knitted Wit collection, and we had many of the samples on hand.

Thanks so much to Anne Lindquist of For Yarn’s Sake for hosting us, and for supplying these beautiful rosé bubbles!

Lorajean got a little punchy by the end of the day, and put on ALL the cowls. There was a lot of giggling.

See my Instagram feed for more pictures from the trunk show and crawl.

On Friday I only made it to one shop, Twisted, and that was because I needed a 32” size 5 sharp circular for a design project.

Somehow, in the moment, it made more sense to buy the whole interchangeable sharp set. I have the regular set and love it, but sometimes you need pointier tips!

On Saturday I stopped by Close Knit. I love this knitting jewelry designed by Lisa Carney-Fenton of Hand Works. Alas, they’re made with brass, so my skin chemistry doesn’t agree with them. I’d love one in sterling silver, but that would be a very spendy special order.

I also went up to Vancouver to visit Blizzard Yarns, a shop that’s new to the crawl. It’s a lovely large space. They had multiple trunk shows going on, including one with Larissa Brown. I love her designs, and am waiting for her next novel to come out. She sets her stories in 10th century Iceland. Cool.

On Sunday I visited Fiber Rhythm and Crafts, which was new to me. I like their space in the old Ford Building; the building is brick with tall windows. I went there specifically because I wanted to try their reflective yarn. I want to knit a hat for DH for his pre-dawn/post-dusk walks. The reflective yarn is meant to be a carry-along with other yarn. I also bought a couple reflective buttons for good measure.

I didn’t mean to buy yarn on this crawl; I have a lot to work with already. But I was approached by a young lady, E, who offered me chocolate, and then proceeded to tell me about the wonders of her mom’s yarn (Art by Eve). The colors are all based on fairy tales. E is 12, almost 13, and a perfect spokesperson. I had to reward her presenation by making a purchase! I love how vibrant these colors are. (E was modeling a hat and cowl, but prefers not to be on social media yet.)

My final stop was at Starlight Knitting Society. Their expanded space is very inviting.

Remember this pin I bought at Knitty City in NYC 2 weeks ago? I didn’t realize until after I was home that Thao of Nerd Bird Makery is local here!

It was a pleasure to meet her. I bought another pin and a T-shirt. Pictures someday, maybe. Gotta pack up for Crafty Moms Weekend! (This month is astoundingly busy, but relaxing at the Oregon Coast is going to be good for my soul.)

A whale of a new year, and more on Barbie knitting

Last week was Winter Whale Watch week at the Oregon Coast; gray whales are migrating down to Baja to their warmer winter waters. I went on a day trip with friends to try to catch a glimpse of them.

We ended up at Ecola State Park, which has gorgeous views. You can see Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach from here.

We didn’t see any whales/spouts, so I made this picture to commemorate the day.

Along the way, I had this very happy lap full of rainbow knitting. This is a project with Knitted Wit, due in late February. It’s her #glowupknittedwit rainbow mini skeins, paired with a skein of Oregon Sky. The base is Knitted Wit Fingering.

It was the perfect knit for a drizzly day. The project is done and currently blocking; I love how it turned out. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you soon.

Thanks for all your comments on the previous Barbie knits post. I was wondering just what kind of skating outfit was in that Knitting for Barbie canister, so I googled “knit 2 piece barbie skating outfit” and found this pattern page on Ravelry. It’s a 1962 pattern for a sweater and skinny pants. There’s a picture of the printed pattern, and more googling found a copy of the pattern posted on an old blogspot blog.

The instructions are extensive and quite bossy, with a header that says DO ONE STEP AT A TIME — DO NOT READ AHEAD and a footer that says DO NOT PUT YOUR WORK DOWN BEFORE YOU FINISH THE ROW YOU’RE WORKING ON. The pattern is aimed at beginners, with instructions for ribbing that include moving the yarn back and forth between the needles for knits and purls. I wonder how many of these outfits were knit, and how many were abandoned?

Maybe it wasn’t that hard. At least it was small; the cast on for the back is only 14 stitches.

My Aunt Rose taught me to knit when I was 14. My first knitting project was a pullover sweater knit in the round with baby blue worsted weight yarn, with twin cables up the front. What was your first project?