Category Archives: travel

Vogue Knitting Live Columbus Nov. 1-3

I’m teaching at Vogue Knitting Live in Columbus, Ohio this fall! The event is November 1-3, and general registration is now open at this link.

I’m so excited to take my show on the road! I’ll be teaching these classes:

pdxknitterati braided wristletsHerringbone Braids and Beyond

Athena Entrelac Cowl

Brioche Pastiche Hat

Designing with Favorite Shawl Shapes

YO? YO! Fun and Fancy Stitches

and a lecture on Blocking: It’s Magic!

It’s a very full schedule, and I’m looking forward to it! I’ve been to Columbus once before, for TNNA back in 2015, so I’m familiar with the venue. We’re going to have a lot of fun. And Jeni’s Ice Cream.

I hope you can come knit with me!

Here are some highlights that are happening at the show:

Diversity Panel and Town Hall: The panel will include members of the Vogue Knitting Diversity Advisory Council as well as members of our community.

Indie Yarn Tasting: Try before you buy! Sample yarns from indie dyers in the Marketplace. A few rows are already knit for you to take a few stitches and see what you think, then head to their booth and shop.

Opening Ceremony with Clara Parkes: Kick off your weekend with a keynote from Clara Parkes on the current state of the wool industry.

Free lectures: Cultivating Resilience: Fiber Production in a Changing Environment with Charis Bennett Walker AND The Love Language of Making with Marceline Smith

Free learn to knit and crochet lessons available to complete newbies as well as those who want a refresher! Needles and hooks provided by Knitter’s Pride.

#HatNotHate Collection: Join Lion Brand in their anti-bullying campaign. They encourage people to make, wear, donate, and post handmade blue hats, adding #HatNotHate when sharing on social platforms. Blue hats can be donated at the #HatNotHate drop-off box in the Marketplace all weekend long.

The Knitterati Diagonal Afghan KAL will be starting on Thursday, September 5, 2019. See squares from this afghan on display in the Marketplace as well as past blankets.

Cheers!

Camping and knitting…with white linen!

What kind of person brings white linen knitting on a camping trip? Yes, it’s me.

I had just finished the white linen top, and I didn’t love it. I wanted minimal shaping, so I designed it with two simple rectangles. It turned out boxier than I wanted it to be, which meant that I needed to rip it back down to the beginning of the armholes, and add armhole shaping. That meant re-knitting 1/3 of the FO, ouch!

This new design had an impending date with the tech editor, just a few days away. So white linen and camping? Game on!

I did get it finished, and I love it. The shoulder/armhole shaping made a big difference. Pattern coming soon.

I’m currently knitting one more sample at a slightly tighter gauge, but the pattern is done and tech edited already. It just needs final measurements from the second sample; I’m almost done with the second half of it. This is a really quick knit in Aran weight Kestrel from Quince & Co.

Camping was lovely, too. We were at Lost Lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

We had a little help with the cake!

If a tree falls in a forest…

These clouds!

It was great to get away for a few days. No cell service, but my iPhone camera was handy!

And my feet were toasty warm in my Concentric Bed Socks.

I don’t have any big vacation plans this summer, just little jaunts close to home. But that’s not a bad thing. I was over in Sisters a few weeks ago for another friend’s birthday. That trip included karaoke, an incredible hailstorm, and a sailboat’s maiden voyage.

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Oh, hail.

A post shared by Michele Lee Bernstein (@pdxknitterati) on

Here’s to good times with good friends! And linen. Definitely linen.

What are you up to this summer?

Crafty Moms Weekend 16.0 (2019)

One more time! We had a spectacularly beautiful weekend on the Oregon Coast. Great weather, beautiful sunsets, camaraderie and crafts. I’ll put the scenic photos at the end. Yarn and other craftiness first!

Brioche and Bellini breakfast

I brought three knitting projects, but I only worked on one of them. I spent a day trying different ways to reverse the colors on the new section, and I’m finally happy with how it’s working out. It was a technical challenge.

Now it’s just a matter of finishing it! I may have to set it aside for a bit; another project has a deadline and needs to get underway.

Laurie was crocheting unicorns. So cute!

Sharyn brought supplies for block printing on tea towels. I brought some of my previous blocks, and carved a new flower block. I purchased these bags last year in Sisters during the Lantern Moon retreat, but hadn’t gotten around to printing them yet. Done!

This is pretty easy, and lots of fun. I see more of this in my future!

This was our 16th year at Rockaway Beach. The house looks right over the water so it’s perfect for any weather. But this year it was sunny all weekend.

Twin Rocks

This cloud bisects the sun

This one does, too

We stayed Friday afternoon through Monday morning. It would have been hard to go home on such a gorgeous day, so I didn’t! I had a free night expiring soon at Tolovana Inn in Cannon Beach, so Carole and I headed north for an overnight there. It was so warm that I bought a sundress and walked barefoot on the beach.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

The afternoon low tide was perfect for tide pooling.

We only saw two sea stars; I hope they’re coming back.

The anemones look pretty healthy!

The moon was nearly full, and the early morning moonset was gorgeous to behold.

It clouded over as the day went on, but that made it easier to head home. It was a perfect weekend!

Bisquee missed me. A lot.

And today (Friday), we brought this guy home. He’s 2 years old. His shelter name was Frumpkin. That’s got to go. But I don’t know what to call him yet. Working on it…

The fun never stops around here!

48 hours in NYC

On top of everything else going on, we went to New York City for the weekend for a family gathering. It was a very quick trip! We did a few things between family events.

We were a block off Central Park on the Upper West Side.We woke up to light snow on Saturday morning, but not enough to keep us from a walk. The sidewalks and paths were clear, so off we went!

If you don’t have a back yard, this *is* your back yard! I really wanted to build a snowman after seeing all the frolicking.

So my sister-in-law and I went back in the afternoon and created Diana, named after the nearby playground.

I also stopped in at Knitty City, hoping that Nancy Ricci would be there. She worked at Close Knit when she lived in Portland.

We had a quick, great catch up. The shop is lovely, with a nice selection of yarns from all over, including this home favorite of mine.

I had a nice chat with owner Pearl Chin, too. And I had to bring a few things home, including these.

I love this pin; I’ve seen this on T-shirts but I don’t wear T’s very often. This pin can go everywhere. Perfect!

On Sunday, DH wanted to do something we could only do in NYC, so we went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning

It was very moving, and overwhelming. I didn’t take many pictures, but wanted to remember this memorial wall.

We came home Sunday night. Back to knitting!

I’m getting ready for the Rose City Yarn Crawl. I’ll be at For Yarn’s Sake on Thursday March 7 with a trunk show featuring me, Lorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit, and designers Shannon Squire and Debbie Stone. You can see our Glow Up Knitted Wit samples in person. Come say hi!

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?

2018 was a trippy year

We had a pretty trippy year in 2018. We began the year in Kona, swimming with the mantas, and returned to Kona in December and met some octopuses. In between, we went to Scotland to hang with Son1 on his sabbatical, and I even made it wool-related. We stopped in Barcelona along the way. And in November, we had a weekend in New Orleans to meet up with friends who have moved away from PDX.

Another friend just asked me about our NOLA trip, since she’s headed there next week. That reminded me that I never posted! So here’s the scoop on NOLA and a bit of Barcelona which was also lacking a post.

Music: We stayed in the Marigny near Frenchmen Street, which was a great location. We used AirBnB, and had a really cute semi-attached shotgun house. Frenchmen Street has lots of live music venues, and isn’t as grossly alcohol focused as Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. We enjoyed music at the Spotted Cat and the Three Muses.

Food: The standouts were a breakfast at the Ruby Slipper Cafe, with huge fluffy biscuits and outstanding benedicts. (Bonus: You can get in line, online, before you arrive. No waiting!)

And a dinner with no pictures at all at Pêche Seafood Grill. Lots of fun flavors, locally sourced fish, delicious.

We had beignets and café au lait at the original Café du Monde in the French Market, the venerable original purveyor of these tasty bits. No picture until after we inhaled them.

Stuff: The best thing about NOLA is walking around and running into things! Jackson Square in the French Quarter feels like the center of the universe.

The architecture is distinctive, lots of verandas and narrow houses.

New Orleans is home to Mardi Gras festivities, and there’s a museum exhibit at the Presbytère, Museum of Louisiana history right on Jackson Square in the French Quarter. Lots of great costumes.

And one of Fats Domino’s two pianos, rescued from his flooded house after Hurricane Katrina. (Really interesting story of the two pianos here.)

Music in the street? Why not? There are buskers everywhere, including this group outside Café du Monde.

This is Tuba Skinny. Loved them!

I don’t know if it’s a weekend thing, but we saw several Second Line processions. These can be celebrating weddings, funerals, anything that needs it. This one was my favorite.

Somehow we ran into Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine in a hat shop. She’s a costumer!

I got into the hat thing, just for a moment. New Orleans is great for a quick weekend, and probably even better with more time. Alas, I had to go home, and DH had to go to his next gig.

Here are a few photos from Barcelona. For me, Barcelona was all about Gaudi. We visited Sagrada Familia, of course.

Casa Batllo was really interesting, too.

We did the tourist picture!

DH was bemused at the Picasso Museum.

I was, too.

Overall, we liked Barcelona, but didn’t love it. Maybe because we didn’t feel connected? We stayed in a hotel because we were using points, so we never felt part of a neighborhood. When we went from there to Scotland, I felt at home, especially at the B&B in Oban.

2018 was a big travel year, and probably the last one for a bit. DH has taken a new job here in PDX, so he won’t be traveling all the time, racking up all those points and miles. Back to being a regular Joe!

(DH and la girafa coqueta on the Rambla de Catalunya, Barcelona)

December Aloha, and happy new year!

We ran away to the sun in early December, and had a fabulous time. There was even knitting involved.

We saw turtles and tide pools.

Honu at Ai’opio Beach

Tide pool at Wawaloli Beach

Shingle urchins

We visited an octopus research facility…

And watched sunsets and moonsets.

Waning crescent moonset Dec. 8, 2018

Eventually we had to come home…

It’s been a good year, knit-wise. I published 13 patterns this year (the newest one, Concentric Bed Socks, will be out tomorrow), and taught at retreats, festivals, and yarn shops. Designing and teaching go hand in hand for me.

What will 2019 bring? More of the same, I hope!

I’m working on a collaboration with Knitted Wit for March. It’s flying along, and I hope to be done with the knitting next week.

What do you want to knit in 2019?

On the cusp of fall

Oh, Labor Day! Farewell summer, welcome fall…

I ran away with my knitting last week. Good thing I brought more than one project; I lost at yarn chicken on this Mitered Crosses Blanket square. I just needed 2 more green garter ridges, probably about one yard of yarn. I considered using the red as an accent stripe, but it would have been too much. One garter ridge, yes. Two garter ridges? Christmas! I had to finish at home.

This is for a group blanket project through Mason Dixon Knitting. #mdkteamblanket2

My other project is a slipper sock. I’m using 4 50g balls of KnitCircus Ringmaster Panoramic Gradient (worsted weight), colorway Thanks for all the Fish, to double strand the socks. They are glorious. (Picture from KnitCircus site, since I forgot to take a picture before I started knitting.) I finished the first one at the coast. Good thing it was time to go home; I was out of knitting!

No real sneak peek on the sock yet; the excitement is on the cuff! I knit mine using the magic loop technique, and Biscuit thought that was pretty interesting when I tried it on. I’ll be looking for test knitters soon. Would you like to knit slipper socks? They’re really quick! This one took me one day.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

It wasn’t all knitting last week. I love walking on the beach. This one was a solitary walk, just me and the seagulls.

Lone sea star at Chapman Point

I saw a lone sea star. Five years ago, there were hundreds of sea stars here. Sea star wasting disease killed many of them, but they’re starting to come back. I’m glad.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

It was a perfect getaway.

Now I’m swinging into knitting season! I have several new designs coming soon. The first is this cowl, which is also designed with KnitCircus Ringmaster Gradient, this one in Fig and Prosciutto. Look for it later this week.

Fall brings more teaching opportunities, too. I’ve got my schedule mostly set at Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake; you can see it here.

There’s still room in my Favorite Shawl Shapes class at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (pre-register by Sept. 8).

And a few knitters’ spots left at our Nymphaea Fall Retreat (Nov. 9-11).

What are you knitting this fall?

Highland Games, Harris Tweed

When we decided to meet Tyler in Scotland, highland games were high on my list of things to see. The Lorne Highland Games are pretty small, but going to Oban meant we could take the train from Edinburgh and not have to drive. Also, puffins! (Still not over them.)

Admit it, you’re not over them either.

These games were small but fun, and included most of the things you’d expect.

Highland dancers, Lorne Highland Games

Highland dancing.

Mull & Iona Pipe Band

Piping. This is the Mull and Iona Pipe Band.

Scotland the Brave! Of course.

Track and field events, and the heavies. Heavies? Hammer throw, heavier hammer throw, stone put, throwing a weight over a high bar, and caber toss. (Like tossing a slim telephone pole.)

It’s cool to watch kilted men and women make the hammers fly!

Unfortunately, we had to leave to catch our train to Glasgow before the caber toss. I’m guessing caber toss comes last because it’s like a finale, and also because it must really tear up the field! This just means I need to go back to Scotland for more games.

I did come home with an awesome souvenir, though. It even involves wool!

Harris Tweed bag

This is my new knitting bag. It’s certified Harris Tweed. What does that mean? The wool has to be sourced in the UK, and it’s spun and woven on the Isles of Harris or Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The fabric has to be woven in a crofter’s home, on a human-powered loom (not electric). Some weavers weave for Harris Tweed, and some are independent weavers designing their own cloth that will be certified as Harris Tweed, but not sold by Harris Tweed. The woven fabric goes back to the mill for washing/finishing (*see below for historical sidenote) and inspection. Independent crafters can purchase this fabric for their designs.

Harris Tweed bag by Thistle Fairy Designs

This bag is made by Shona of Thistle Fairy Designs. I love the colors of this tweed; it’s so vibrantly pinky purple!

Harris Tweed bag by Thistle Fairy Designs

The fabric lining features Highland cattle (hairy coos!), stags, heather, and pheasants? grouse? All very Scottish.

It was a pleasure meeting Shona and talking to her about Harris Tweed. Her work is exquisite. I love my new bag!

*Woolen fabric used to be finished by hand, and this was called waulking the wool. It involved stale urine(!), rhythmic beating, and usually singing to pass the time. More info here (this is the singing group I wanted to see at Auchindrain on our Oban weekend, but it was too far and we didn’t have a car). Nowadays this finishing is done by machine at the mill, using ammonia rather than urine. Thank goodness.

A taste of wool waulking

Now I’m home, catching up, trying to decide if I like my current design project enough to continue with it. So far, it’s not blowing my kilt up. No pictures! I’m also trying to perfect that no-hump crescent shape I mentioned earlier, so I can make a tutorial, as requested.

And I’m dreaming of more Sheepish Sock yarn from Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh.

I have the blue in the center, Pappy’s Garden. I wrote to Jess to see if I could get a coordinating color so I could design a shawl. She suggested either Dove on the left, or Breakfast with Ginger on the right. What do you think? So far Dove is trending on Instagram and Facebook!

Scotland vacay within vacay

We had a great vacation last month. Our older son was on a two month sabbatical trip through Europe, and we caught up with him for a week in Scotland near the end of his trip, spending time in Edinburgh, Oban, and Glasgow.

Oban was our vacation within a vacation. It’s a sweet town on the water, and a hub of the Caledonia MacBrayne ferry system. I picked it for the Lorne Highland Games going on that weekend, and for its proximity to Iona and Staffa, two islands that I wanted to visit.

Kilchrenan House

We arrived on Friday afternoon and settled into Kilchrenan House.

Dunollie Castle

It’s just down the road from Dunollie Castle. We walked up to the castle, but it was closing by the time we arrived. No worries; it was time to head for our tour at Oban Distillery.

No pictures allowed in the distillery, but here’s one of the whiskies we tasted.

I quite liked it. We also tasted the Oban 14, which is smokier/peatier. Who licked the ash tray?!

On Saturday we took the Three Isles Tour with West Coast Tours. It was spectacular. We took the ferry across to Craignure on Mull, then a scenic bus tour across Mull to Fionnphort to take a smaller ferry over to Iona. We spent two hours walking on Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland.

Nunnery ruins on IonaMedieval nunnery ruins

St. Oran’s Chapel on IonaSt. Oran’s Chapel

Iona Abbey

Iona Abbey is ancient and beautiful, but that was not our destination. We were looking for the beach at the end of the road, and we found it.

North Beach, Iona

Next time we’ll climb Dun I, but two hours isn’t enough to do everything. Iona is a most bucolic place. Peace abounds.

We saw this rounding up of sheep on the walk back.

Good dog! or dogs.

From Iona we took an even smaller ferry to Staffa, home of Fingal’s Cave, and a puffin colony that comes ashore to nest in the summer.

If you sit very quietly, the puffins will come to you.

This was my favorite part of our entire vacation.

Tyler’s too! We spent about half an hour with the puffins, and then decided to hurry down to see Fingal’s Cave before our hour ran out. The hexagonal basalt columns are very cool.

Fingal’s Cave on Staffa

(as seen from the water)

We made it back to the boat with one minute to spare before the appointed departure. I was the last person to board. Do you think they would have left without me? (They were counting the passengers as we boarded, so I hope not.)

It was a perfect day. And on Sunday, we attended the Lorne Highland Games. More on that in the next post. I’m trying to give you something a little wooly in each post, and there’s a Harris Tweed story in the next one!