Category Archives: travel

Nashville and knitting

Catching up with myself here…DH and I went to Nashville for a few days of fun last week. He was on his way to Bowling Green, KY for a project, and had to pass through Nashville, so why not?

I met up with Ann Shayne at Mason-Dixon Knitting world headquarters. I’m so impressed by how she and Kay Gardiner have developed MDK from a longtime blog between friends to this new creation. They’re dabbling in all sorts of knit-related fun: publishing booklets, blogging, community forum, YARN.

MDK wall of yarn

This is the wall of yarn. My Euroflax mini-skeins used to live here, and now they’re all grown up.

SeaScape

It looks great on Ann! It’s a long skinny…scarf? Shawlette? Scarlette? What would you call it? Ann called it “deliriously pretty” in an Instagram post; I was pretty chuffed by that. Pattern coming soon.

 

These are samples of the Breton Cowl from Field Guide Number 1. The Shibui yarn is heftier than I thought (quick knit!), and really pretty. The favorites queue is getting longer! Thanks to Ann for a fun morning of knitting and chat.

Breton Cowl

I made a quick trip to Craft South the day before in search of yarn to swatch for a design idea. This is a sweet shop that carries fabric and a small but exquisite selection of yarn.

Craft South entry

Craft South yarns

While I was there I met Hannah Thiessen, @hannahbelleknits on Instagram. So fun to meet online knitting friends in real life!

Hannah at Craft South

And Craft South is near a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream shop, so I got to introduce DH to his first Jeni’s experience.

Jeni's

I may have acquired some red boots that day, too. But it wasn’t an all knitting trip. We saw Sister Sadie, an excellent 5 piece bluegrass band at the Station Inn, and A Prairie Home Companion at the Ryman Auditorium. Nashville is a fun city; I’d love to visit again.

At the Ryman
Those stained glass windows at the Ryman!

Red Zephyr and Biscuit

Right now I’m knitting away madly on a red Zephyr Shawlette to go with my new boots. This is Hazel Knits Entice, Vamp colorway.

Zephyr and boot

I love how the Zephyr arrow echoes the heart on the boot. I’m trying to finish this to take to Madrona next week. Knit like the wind…a zephyr!

Stopover to Aloha

Is my Stopover done?

Stopover red aloha

Nah, who knits with Lopi in Hawaii? Well, me, just for a bit, but I also brought some linen to play with. This is the Euroflax Sport mini skein set from Mason Dixon Knitting, in Sea.

Euroflax minis

Euroflax minis in mason jar

I think they are spot on with the colors! I had an idea for this set, and after six swatches, I think it knows what it’s doing.

Aloha knitting

It’s on hold, now that I’m home, and cold! But the plan is set.

Stopover sleeve

I knit a sleeve on the flight home, stopped to prep for Hanukkah and Christmas, and knit the other sleeve in the last couple days. I didn’t have my row counting stitch marker with me on vacation, so I made do with a piece of contrast color yarn, flipped from front to back or back to front each time I made an increase. One must make do with the tools at hand. I think I actually like this better than the row counter; it’s very visual.

Stopover three tubes

I now have three tubes, and am headed toward something resembling a sweater. I am really looking forward to wearing this! In the meantime, here are some vacation pictures because, aloha.

Moonset Dec 13 2016 Maui

Moonset Dec 13 2016 Maui

The full moon coincided with the beginning of our time on Maui, and you know how I am about the moonset. So glad I took my real camera with me; the iPhone can do most things, but not this.

Lana'i Cat Sanctuary

We had a couple stellar day trips. One was to the Lāna’i Cat Sanctuary (512 cats!) on the next island over. Fun day, with two ferry rides, drinks at the Four Seasons, and some tide pooling on a very beautiful beach.

Whale spout off Lana'i

We saw three whales playing near a sailboat in the sunset from our ferry back to Lahaina.

Family 2016

My favorite day included a hike to the Nakalele Blowhole. This is Mother Nature at her most impressive.

Nakalele Blowhole

Nakalele Blowhole Maui

Rainbows everywhere! (If you’re curious about the gifs, I’m using an app called Motion Stills, free from Google, that makes gifs from iPhone “live photos.” It has image stabilization, which is awesome. It can also make short videos from the same photos.)

Maui sunset

We really enjoyed the wraparound lanai on our rental condo. We had views of Lana’i and Moloka’i. Erosion has taken away the beach, but we were there for the views, including monk seals and green turtles swimming past. A perfect getaway.

knitted wit cedar and sprinkle

Sneak peek at a new shawl design debuting in January. Until then, aloha!

Four Seasons Lana'i

Sheeper than Therapy retreat

Moving backwards to move forward! Before my meeting with the Boss, I was at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center in Three Rivers, California to teach at the Sheeper Than Therapy Guild’s fall retreat. We had a great time. The weather was perfect.

St Anthony's Retreat Center

We played with Log Cabin blocks

Log Cabin blocks

Braided Wristlets

Braided Wristlets

Braided Wristlets

And the fun stitches of the Tilt Shift Wrap

Tilt shift stitch

We finished up Monday morning with an overview of photography and editing on mobile devices (phone and tablet).

Sheeper Than Therapy group

This was a very fun group of knitters to hang out with! Many thanks to Ann for organizing, and to Susan for recommending me. Susan knit my 2014 Rose City Yarn Crawl mystery shawlette, and met me during the crawl.

Susan and me

Want to know more about the weekend? Here’s Renee’s blog post.

While I was knitting there, we noticed something interesting on my yarn label. My fellow Pie Bird Claudia gave me this yarn many years ago. It’s lovely, lovely stuff: 65% Cashmere and 35% silk. So soft, and it knits up into an airy dream.

Bollicina label Fa Re

The name of the yarn is Bollicina, which means bubble in Italian. The label features the treble staff, with two notes, Fa and Re. Why? Google Translate tells me that “fare” means “to make” in Italian. So it’s a big musical pun!

Now I’m home, writing up four new patterns, and planning what happens next. Onward!

OFFF tomorrow!

Ready? Go! I’ve got my patterns printed, and class samples ready for my Braided Wristlets class tomorrow (Saturday) at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. It’s an all day class, 9:30 to 4:30, so I won’t have much time to play. Which only means that I’ll have to go back on Sunday, which promises to be a gorgeous day. Win! Come to the registration booth at 9 if you want to join us tomorrow.

pdxknitterati braided wristlets go ducks

Here’s my wristlet variation, since you’ve seen the others several times recently on the blog. Instructions for this variation are in the pattern, too.

Last week I was over in Sisters to visit friends who recently moved away. We worked on a song I’m writing; it’s about tumbleweeds, or really about friends moving away. This is number four in the last 2 years. Ouch! The song started in my head after V moved away, but is finally coming together now, a couple years later.

Trampoline

But it wasn’t all music. There was some trampoline time.

And a lovely walk along Whychus Creek.

Whychus me

With a view of the Three Sisters by day…

Sisters

Sisters sunset

And night! We took the kids to watch the sunset and moonrise; they were conveniently at the same time and the moon was nearly full. The kids thought they needed to use our phones for flashlights, but the moon was so bright…nope!

Sisters sunset collage

Do you use Layout? It’s a free app from Instagram, and it makes great collages. It works great with my iPhone, and the only complaint that I have is that it doesn’t play nicely with my iPad; it doesn’t show me the pictures I’m choosing from until I click the blank space where it should be. But I can work around that.

Hope to see you this weekend, knit and spin peeps!

Yarn, and a beach

Lido Beach Resort balcony

A little more road tripping…last week found me in Sarasota, Florida. DH had a company meeting/anniversary celebration there, and the Plus Ones were invited. I was happy to have the Gulf of Mexico as my view for a few days.

Rachel Trtlgrl

While I was there, I met up with Trtlgrl, Rachel, who just finished her RCYCMKAL 2014 Rosaria the day before. (The power of a deadline!) She moved from here to there last year? year before? so it was nice to see her again. Test knitter, Turkish Delight spinner, friend. She gave me these sweet stitch markers that she made. More here, if you want some too.

Trtlgrl stitch markers

We went to A Good Yarn, the LYS in Sarasota. What a charming shop!

A Good Yarn custom colors

I was intrigued by this particular wall of yarn. These are dyed by indie dyers in custom colorways for the shop.

gulf of mexico yarn

The blue green that you see on the upper right is called Gulf of Mexico. Owners Susan and Murray Post have found a perfect way to make Florida souvenir yarn. Many of the colors come from underwater photos taken by Murray. Two skeins came home with me.

Handmaiden Double Sea Clam

This one is called Clam, and it’s based on this photo of a Tridacna, a giant clam in Fiji.

Tridacna, photo courtesy of Murray Post

Tridacna, photo courtesy of Murray Post

I know exactly what I’m going to design with this gorgeous DK weight silk/sea silk yarn from Handmaiden. Stay tuned. There are two other projects in the pipeline first. Deadlines!

Anzula Sea Tulips

This silk blend fingering weight yarn by Anzula Yarns is called Sea Tulips, and it’s based on this picture of Feather Duster tube worms. (We just don’t use the word “worm” when naming yarn colors.)

Feather Duster tube worms, photo courtesy of Murray Post

Feather Duster tube worms, photo courtesy of Murray Post

I’m not sure what this will be yet, but I’m guessing a shawlette. We’ll see. The color is gorgeous.

Susan Post knitted reef

Check out the knitted reef behind Susan and me!

Thanks to Susan and Murray, and Rachel, too, for a fun afternoon. Here are a few more pictures from the trip. I can pack a lot of fun into four days, including cross-country travel time. Now headed back to my lair to finish the Twin Leaf Crescent adaptation. Time to knit like the wind! And write patterns…

Sarasota sunriseSunrise

Sarasota sunsetSunset

Sarasota cloudsCloud monster!

birds

Santa Barbara getaway

Earlier this month, I took a gal pals trip to Santa Barbara. We were celebrating a birthday (not mine).

Santa Barbara is a cute town! It’s the county seat for Santa Barbara County. The county courthouse is gorgeous.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

There are 360 degree views from the clock tower, and a view into the clock fromt the inside, too.

I meant to share this last week. Inside the clock tower. Time flies!

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This mural depicting the history of the area is in the meeting room. Click to embiggen; it’s worth it.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

The Santa Barbara Mission is also beautiful, and is next to a rose garden.

Santa Barbara Mission

Santa Barbara Mission and Rose Garden

Santa Barbara is right on the water. We watched surfers, paddle boarders, and dolphins? Porpoises?

Another from last week. Dolphins or porpoises? Very cool, either way.

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pelican

Pelicans are bigger than I thought.

poppies and Channel Islands

The Channel Islands are right across the water. These are not the islands of Channel Island cast on fame.

We spent a day on the beach at Carpinteria. The fog rolled in during the afternoon, so it was warm and cool at the same time. The water was cold! I re-designed this knitting project three times on this trip. It’s finally done, pictures in an upcoming post.

Carpinteria beach knitting

There are a lot of wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley on the other side of the mountains behind Santa Barbara. We took the opportunity to sample the local offerings. But first, aebelskivers (pancake balls) in Solvang, a Danish-themed town.

solvang windmill

aebelskivers

old gringo boots

And these boots were quite tempting, too. But on to the wine!

Deep Sea Winery

Figgie at Brander Winery

Too much wine for Figgie?

Millie at Brander Winery

Millie reminded me of my Mookie.

J Ludlow Winery

While we were tasting at J Ludlow in Los Olivos, we met fellow tasters Lori and Bob. Bob makes his own moonshine, distilled from merlot. He shared some moonshine with us; this one was cinnamon flavored. It was DELICIOUS. Thanks, Bob!

moonshine!

A very fun trip.

knit leaf coasters

I came home and knit these coasters as a gift for our hosts, and will get them into the mail this coming week. Onward!

Crafty Moms Weekend catch up

The weekend before the yarn crawl was the 13th annual Crafty Moms weekend at the coast. That’s a lot of tradition!

The Beanstalk Poncho that I wore Sunday?

Terri, me, M

I seamed it at Crafty Moms weekend.

beanstalk seam

I was going to use mattress stitch, but my blocking wires left a loopier and rufflier than expected edge, and I didn’t want to take up even more fabric in the seam allowance. Those holes ended up being perfect for slip stitch crochet. I didn’t have an appropriately sized crochet hook, but I had this little repair hook, and that did the trick.

Twin Leaf at Crafty Moms

I almost finished my Twin Leaf Crescent for the Black Trillium KAL, which wraps up at the end of this month on Ravelry. The view beyond the window was pretty, too.

wrap bracelets

Carole made the bracelet on the left for me with beads we bought at Shipwreck Beads on the way home from Madrona. The middle one is hers. And I made the one on the right, but I don’t love it. The orange beads with the brown leather don’t make me happy. So I’ll frog it and do it again, later.

It was rainy and not rainy, as is customary on the Oregon Coast. So there was walking and not walking!

rope and sea creatures

The ocean likes beading, too. I think these beads may be anemones?

Here’s a little live action…

Crafty Moms weekend at the #oregoncoast. Sometimes you have to go outside.

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sunset

It was a very relaxing weekend with 16 Crafty Moms!

Madrona, fun and games edition

Madrona was, as always, a magical experience. This was my first time teaching there. My blocking class was full, and my students came ready to learn about swatching, washing, and blocking all the knits. It was fun!

I took two classes, but I’ll write about them in a later post because I’m using new knowledge from both classes on a little project, and I want to put all of it together for you. Curious? Watch this space! This post is about everything else. To tide you over, here’s a link to the class I took with Evelyn Clark last year.

Last Wednesday I was packing for Madrona, and I caught myself thinking, “Don’t buy any more fingering weight yarn.” (The bin is full.) And then I heard myself say out loud, “Unless it’s gradient!”

Sincere Sheep

So apparently I had to buy some gradient yarn. This is from Sincere Sheep. I bought just the gradient on Thursday, and the next day went back for a coordinating solid. And two days later I found myself buying beads from Bead Biz to go with them! This will be a fun design project.

Janine Bajus FeralKnitter

Janine Bajus was our speaker on Friday night. Very inspiring. As she wrapped up her talk, I was compelled to write down these 3 ideas, plus the big question.

You get to do what YOU want.
There is no one right way to do it.
You won’t know if it will work until you swatch.

What is holding you back?

I chatted with her on Saturday about her strikingly beautiful shawl, which actually isn’t finished yet. She wore it on Friday, the steek cut but not edged. Holding just fine! Now that I think about it, it would be cool to leave it that way, as a representation of the journey.

Carol Milne

I met glass artist Carol Milne. She’s well known for her knitted glass sculptures. Her current project is a glass entrelac dress. Glass entrelac? Yes. She knits the squares with wax cord, and makes a clay molds which are used to make the glass pieces.

knit wax for glass carol milne

pamela

New buddy Pamela Grossman tried on the beginnings of the dress. Pretty cool! You can sponsor a glass entrelac square, and when the June exhibit is over, Carol will send it to you. I want one! Check out her Facebook page for details. (It’s not up on her website yet.)

GS Mini

What else? I had a fabulous hotel room with a great view. And a fainting couch! I brought Minerva, my GS Mini, as a diversion. Last week when my #BangOutASweater gauge swatch lied to me, I started writing lyrics in my head. It’s to the tune of Blowing in the Wind. I’m sharing them with you here. If you use them anywhere, please credit them to me. And yes, I used the singular “they.”

Knitter’s Lament
Michele Lee Bernstein, PDXKnitterati

How many times must a knitter cast on
Before the swatch doesn’t lie?
How many swatches must one knitter frog
Before they break down and cry?
How many swear words will one knitter say
While knitting the umpteenth try?

The answer my friend, it’s all about the gauge
The answer is all about the gauge

How many binges must one knitter watch
On Netflix, to finish a sleeve?
Second sleeve, second sock, second mitt, second cuff
Our boredom must be relieved
How many times do we itch to cast on
Before our ends have been weaved?

The question my friend: What’s next in the queue?
What project is next in the queue?

How many times have you given a gift
And were told, “But wool makes me itch”?
How many gifts have been tossed in the wash
To felt, and shrink each precious stitch
Yes, but how many times have you given a gift
And seen the lives you enrich?

The answer my friend: It’s for the love of yarn
We do it for the love of yarn.

How many ways can a knitter make socks?
Up from the toe… Or down from the cuff?
How many ways can we learn to cast on
Before we know all the stuff
How many classes will we knitters take
Before we call it enough?

The answer my friend: It’s time to confess
At Madrona, we are obsessed.

As you can see, I had a fun time at Madrona! I’m knitting away on the little project I want to show you, using Latvian braids (from Beth Brown-Reinsel’s class) and speed swatching and proportions (from Franklin Habit’s class). Stay tuned for a class review! Here are a couple peeks out my window while you’re waiting…

Friday sunrise

Rainier peeking Friday

Goodbye 2015; Hello 2016!

We had a great vacation in December, and coming back to rain was tough! Missing this:

mauna kea sunset

But we brought a little aloha home with us.

spam mac nuts

It seems like looking back on 2015 is the thing to do this week, so here’s mine.

2015 design collage

I published 12 designs in 2015 (up from 9 in 2014). I began the year playing with a fun stitch pattern, and designed 4 accessories with them: The Criss Cross hat, beret, mitts, and cowl. It was also the year of the poncho, and I had two, Tilt Shift and Summertime Blues. Snowy Woods came back as a hat, and there’s more Snowy Woods in my future. I ended the year going down the gradient rabbit hole with Lobelia (Knit Circus yarns) and the Twin Leaf Crescent for Black Trillium Fibres.

There’s more in the pipeline, and lots of ideas rolling around in my head!

Are you on Instagram? You can find me there under the name pdxknitterati. There’s a cool end of year thing going on over there, #2015bestnine where you can see your nine most liked pictures. And everyone else’s, too. Here are mine:

2015bestnine

All knitting related except for a lone camellia, seen on a walk. The Rose City Yarn Crawl is represented twice, and my lovely Edin Cardigan (design by Bonne Marie Burns) is also there twice.

I hope your 2015 was good to you, and that 2016 is even sweeter! Cheers!

hau tree cocktails

Knitting with a volcano

Last week I went to knit with Pelehonuamea. Pele, the fire goddess. Her home is in the Halema’uma’u Crater in the Kilauea Caldera. I was afraid that we wouldn’t see the volcano at all; it was rainy and misty when we arrived. We were encouraged by occasional glimpses that afternoon.

Kilauea

yarn chicken with Pele

I lost this game of yarn chicken, and I didn’t even care. The view was worth it! We booked just one night at the Volcano House, because we’ve visited the volcano several times, but never at night. (Previous visits here and here, if you like scenery.)

Halema'uma'u at Kilauea

The clouds eventually cleared, and we watched the quarter moon set over Kilauea.

moonset at kilauea

moonset over kilauea 2

The morning glow just before dawn was stunningly beautiful, but hard to photograph. Don’t try to focus on the glow; it’s vapor.

kilauea morning

Morning brought more rain, and a double rainbow.

double rainbow

The Meditation Room at the Volcano House was a great place to knit!

meditation room volcano house

Ripping and re-knitting. I want this piece to be knittable with 1 skein each of 3 colors, not 1.2 skeins. Plotting and planning.

volcano knitting

How’s your knitting? Where’s the most unusual place you’ve knit?I know I said I don’t gift knit, but I have one tiny thing to finish before Christmas. Onward!