Category Archives: Portland area fun

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?

OFFF 2018 weekend and brioche inc/dec tutorial

It was a glorious transition into autumn. What better way to celebrate than with a fiber festival? Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is done for another year.

I spent Friday afternoon judging the knitting entries. This piece was the winner of several awards, including the top award for the festival.

It’s handspun from Jacob wool (this year’s featured breed), hand knit, with 1300 beads, and perfectly blocked. I loved everything about it. (Shawl pattern is Moon Shadows by Romi Hill.) I found out afterward from the knitter that she had lost at yarn chicken the week before, and had to spin more yarn to finish. She took this off the blocking wires the night before the judging. Close!

This was the felted Grand Champion. It demonstrates wet felting, needle felting, and probably other techniques I don’t even know about. Exquisite.

This felted entry used Jacob wool, which I thought was brilliant.

This embellished knit coat was also knit from handspun. I loved the detail in it. The pattern is by Anna Zilboorg from her Splendid Apparel book. I took this class with Anna just before her book came out.

Saturday I taught Favorite Shawl Shapes in the morning. So much fun! I’m planning to teach this class again, but I may give it a better name. Shawl Design 101? What would sound even more enticing?

I taught Brioche Pastiche in the afternoon. It was interesting that many had tried brioche before but not succeeded. I’m glad to help make new successful brioche knitters! Most had a good grasp of 2 color brioche rib in the round by the end of class.

I’ve just made a video tutorial of brioche increases and decreases. These are the ones used in the hat, but handy for all brioche.

Sunday I went back to shop and play! The weather was perfect.

My favorite purchase? This yarn chicken pint glass from JaMPDX. Yarn chicken is my life!

I also picked up this gorgeous yarn set from Knitted Wit. It’s Victory Sock in Pollen, plus two Sixlet gradient sets in Carbon. Plus two more mini skeins in Ghostly, but I may not need them. I’m knitting one more version of my Lucky Star Shawl, but with two Sixlets instead of one for a deeper, wider shawl. It’s going quickly; I hope to be done knitting by the end of this week.

More eye candy from Sunday:

Stacey’s Fierce Fibers booth, including a splendid version of my Rosaria shawl. Look at those gradient cakes! We’re using her yarn for our Nymphaea Retreat in November.

Speckled gradient cakes from Boss Kitty. I bought some of their cat-eared stitch markers. Mine glow in the dark!

I loved this rug on display with one of the vendors in the main pavilion.

And of course there were animals. Goat? Sheep? I’m never sure. Cute, though. (Goat.)

Bunnies are easier to recognize, yes?

Alpacas!

And humans. Amanda and Margaret representing Puddletown Knitters Guild. Hi, ladies!

A very fun weekend. Now I’m back at home working. More knit fun to follow. How was YOUR weekend? Welcome, fall!

Knitting for the near future

I’ve been knitting up a storm.

Here’s a sneak peek of my newest shawl, coming soon. It’s called Lucky Star. You may now have a Madonna song running through your head. You’re welcome.

You know that hump that happens at the center neck of top down crescent shawls? I didn’t want that on Lucky Star, so I’ve worked on minimizing it. I’m making a tutorial on how to do that. It’s coming soon, too. I’m debuting it in my Favorite Shawl Shapes class at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this Saturday morning.

I’ve been knitting little samples for class, too. We’re going to have fun talking about shape and design.

You can still register for this class on-site. You can knit these little shapes, too!

What are you knitting now?

Flock and Fiber? Yes Please!

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is just around the corner! This local fiber festival has something for everybody: yarn, fiber, classes, animals, cooking, shopping, and more.

I’m teaching two classes this year. Brioche Pastiche is sold out; I’m really looking forward to introducing more knitters to two color brioche in the round!

There’s still room in my Favorite Shawl Shapes class. We’ll make mini samples of four of my favorite shawl shapes, and talk about how to incorporate your design ideas into them. You’ll have a better understanding of how shawls are made, and a good basis for designing your own. Come join me on Saturday morning, September 22. Registration link is here; pre-register by September 8 to make sure you get the class info you need.

I’m judging the knitting entries at OFFF again this year. It was educational for me last year, and I hope my comments on lasts year’s entries were educational for the knitters! You can enter your knit, crochet, felted, woven, and other fiber projects at OFFF, as well as spinning. Last year’s winners were stunning, and all of the entries were worthy of praise.

One more class! A reminder that registration is happening now for the Nymphaea Shawl Retreat that I’m doing with Laurinda Reddig at Quinn Mountain Retreat in the Columbia River Gorge (near Camas), Nov. 9 – 11. There are only 4 knitter’s spots left. Come get a jump start on knitting or crocheting this beaded shawl with us! Gradient yarn by Fierce Fibers and beads are included in the registration price. Registration link here.

Fall is coming; make plans to get your knit on!

Alphabet soup! WWKIPD, LM, GDPR

Worldwide Knit in Public Day is this Saturday, June 9. I know that for most of us, every day is Knit in Public Day; it’s just part of what we do. But it’s fun to make a party out of it, even if it’s just once a year. There are many events going on in Portland, and all over the world. To find an event near you, check the WWKIPDay website. For a great list of local WWKIPDay events, check the Oregonian’s knitting blog here.

I’ve spent the past couple WWKIPDays with Knit Picks at their Knit Pick-nics. I’ll be doing the same this year, with a little trunk show again.

These events are always fun, and the swag is amazing: Goodie bags and raffle baskets. Come by and say hello if you’re local!

One other knitting related event in Portland that day: Lantern Moon is having a closeout sale. They’ll have mostly needles, some baskets, and other small items. The sale is June 9, 9 am to 1 pm, local sales only (no online), cash only. The address is 3324 NE 32nd Ave. Lantern Moon is closing their business; Sharon and Joel are moving on to new adventures. I have loved knitting with their ebony needles from the moment I tried them. If you love their ebony and rosewood needles, too, this is your chance to stock up. I used to blog for Lantern Moon many years ago; they will be missed! I’m hoping the retreats will continue.

I had a great time at Stash in Corvallis last weekend, teaching Tink Drop Frog for Lace and Cables, and my new Brioche Pastiche hat.

I’m teaching Brioche Pastiche again at Twisted in Portland on August 4, and then at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on September 22. I love brioche knitting!

Just so you know…I’ve updated my privacy policy regarding my blog/website, newsletter, Ravelry, PayPal, and LoveKnitting, which is now on my blog/website here. Thanks, GDPR!

Where are you knitting in public on Saturday?

Knitters with Kitters

I had the pleasure of hanging out with 16 knitters, and a group of kitters, last night. It was the first ever Knitters with Kitters event at Purringtons Cat Lounge. It sold out quickly. I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last!

We had some great product tie-in. Stacey from Knit Picks came with copies of their 9 Lives Collection, a very fun book of patterns. The photographs for this 2017 book were shot at Purringtons! We had a copy for each of the attendees, and then a drawing for a cat-themed tote bag, and a set of interchangeable needles.

Lucky is my kitty halo!

Cats can help crochet, too.

They’re very social, and would like to go home with you. All the kitties at Purringtons are available for adoption; they’re from Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood. The cat café is an opportunity for them to get social skills before adoption. Our Biscuit is from Purringtons, too; she was adoption #194. Purringtons is now up to adoption #528.

A good time was had by all, knitters and kitters both.

I have an extra copy of 9 Lives that I’d like to share. Is it calling your name? Leave a comment below and let me know. You can also leave a comment just to leave a comment, but if you want the book, please say so! I’ll draw a name next Saturday, Cinco de Meow-o. (Ouch!)

If you’d like an extra chance to win, sign up for my newsletter here; I’ll send one out next week after Knot Another Fiber Festival. Busy busy! (If you’re already signed up, you’re in! Just reply to the email when it comes.)

Log cabin pick up lines, Rose City Yarn Crawl

No, it’s not about dating in the pioneer days! (Hey baby, wanna go for a buggy ride?)

I taught a log cabin knitting class last month, and I wanted to revisit how I pick up my stitches along the selvage edges before class. I had recently read a post describing how to pick up and knit these stitches, and it wasn’t how I was doing it.

This new-to-me way involves picking up in the edge stitches with a separate needle (slide it through the last horizontal clam shell), and then knitting them off. My edge stitches of the previous square are stretched out and distorted, making them look straight instead of like the purl bump clamshells that we know and love. See it on the red edge stitches? And the white pickup area where I picked up the new green block is also pulling on the diagonal.

So I did a little experiment.

Section 1 is picked up in the edge stitches with a knitting needle, then knit through the front loops. It pulls on the diagonal.

Section 2 is picked up in the edge stitches with a knitting needle, then knit through the back loops. Not so diagonal, but still distorts the stitch.

Section 3 is picked up and knit under the single strand between garter bumps.

Section 4 is picked up and knit under two strands between garter bumps. This leaves a bigger ridge on the back, but it matches the bigger ridges of the pickups along the bound off edges. You know to pick up in the front half of the bound off edge, right? If you pick up in the back half, the front half of that bound off stitch leaves a line on the front of your work.

Result: I still like picking up under the thread between garter bumps, whether under one or two strands.

Is this incredibly fussy of me? Yes. Would you notice it if I hadn’t told you? Maybe. But sometimes fussing makes me happy.

Your mileage may vary; part of it depends on how tightly or loosely you knit. I recommend experimenting to see what looks best with the way *you* knit. Remember, as long as you get the result you want, you’re doing it right!

Here are my finished Log Cabin Mitts, this time in Noro Taiyo Sport. They’re adorable. The pattern is free from Karen Templer of Fringe Association. I made them for the #logalong on Instagram.

And Rose City Yarn Crawl is upon us! Click the link for details on ALL the fun. It runs Thursday through Sunday. I’m having a group trunk show with fellow local designers Shannon Squire and Debbi Stone, and dyer Lorajean Kelley (Knitted Wit) at For Yarn’s Sake on Thursday (tomorrow!) from 10 am to 4 pm. Come by and say hi! I love seeing what you’ve knit (I know you’ll be wearing it!) and I’ll have my newest designs with me for you to squish.

You know there will be some brioche. I taught my first Petite Brioche class last week, and everyone was well on their way by the end of class. Team Brioche is growing!

Wishing you a very yarny weekend, whether you’re yarn crawling, or not!

Knitting Guilds! Tigard, Portland…

Do you belong to a knitting guild? I just joined a brand new one, the Puddletown Knitters Guild. Link to Facebook site here; I don’t think there’s a website yet.

What is a knitting guild? It’s a place to share your love for knitting, and it is for all levels of knitters. There is always something new to learn, and something new to share.

Tigard Knitting Guild is our well established and wonderful guild, just outside Portland. I’ll be speaking there later this month, on October 19 at 7 p.m. Social knitting begins at 6 p.m. I’m talking about taking pictures of your knitting (and other things) with your iPhone or other mobile device. Make your pictures shine! Not a member? You can visit twice before joining.

Puddletown Knitters Guild is a new guild that is forming so there is an additional guild option for Portland area knitters. This is especially appealing for those of us on the east side of the Willamette River.

I’ll be the inaugural speaker at Puddletown Knitters Guild on Thursday, November 9. Social knitting begins at 6 p.m., and the meeting begins at 7. We meet at the Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark St. You can visit twice before joining this guild, too.

I’ll be speaking about my design process. I thought about it a lot this summer, because I designed four shawls! Come learn about what I do and why. And maybe how.

Hope to see you at either or both guild meetings!