Category Archives: Portland area fun

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!

Half the Knit Sky, again

I’m having a trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake as part of this year’s Rose City Yarn Crawl. We’re featuring kits for my Half the Knit Sky using gradients from Huckleberry Knits.

This colorway is called Made You Blush, and it’s an exclusive at For Yarn’s Sake. It’s paired with Manos Alegria in Pewter in the kit. You can start your gradient ball at the white end, or the pink end, knitter’s choice! Test knitter Ann is now a sample knitter, and she sent it to me for blocking. You may recognize my fence.

The other kit features the Practical Tactical Brilliance colorway, which is a favorite of mine. Scarlet says that she made the new batch a little bluer than this at the end, to be even more like the aurora borealis. I can’t wait to see it. The contrast color in this kit is Madelinetosh Twist Light in Stormborn. Both kits go on sale on March 4.

Rose City Yarn Crawl begins on March 4, and runs through March 14. I’ll pop up another post with a link to my trunk show when it goes live. There will also be a recorded Zoom interview with my other trunk show buddies, Knitted Wit (Lorajean Kelley), Shannon Squire, and Debbie Stone. I just wanted to show you the pretty pink shawl!

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!