Category Archives: travel

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!

A video posted by Michele Lee Bernstein (@pdxknitterati) on

 

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.

A video posted by Michele Lee Bernstein (@pdxknitterati) on

 

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.

A video posted by Michele Lee Bernstein (@pdxknitterati) on

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!

Class spotlight: iPad/iPhone photography and editing, Athena entrelac

I just got home from teaching a new class at Twisted. It’s Photographing and Editing Your Knits (and more!) with iPad and iPhone. I use my iPad to edit photos from my camera, iPhone, and iPad for all my pattern pictures. People have asked me how I do this, and that’s how this class was born. The class is not just for knitters; it’s perfect for anyone taking or editing pictures with an iDevice.

We talked about how to use your phone (and there are always new tricks that you didn’t know), and basic rules of photography. Then we practiced editing with Snapseed and Instagram. It was really fun and I’m looking forward to teaching this class again soon!

Speaking of which: I’m scheduled to teach at Stash in Corvallis next Saturday. One of the classes is this photography class, and the other is Athena, my entrelac-in-the-round cowl.

athena

Sign up for one or both! I’m also bringing a trunk show so you can see my newest designs. We need a few more people to sign up for classes, especially for Athena, to make this road trip happen. I’m really hoping it works!

If you’re local to Portland, I’m also teaching Athena this coming Monday evening at Twisted. Contact them to register there.

And now for your amusement, Athena! This statue of Athena is at the Parthenon in Nashville, TN. Who knew there was a Parthenon in Nashville? Who knew it was right by our hotel?! We saw it when we were there over Labor Day weekend. It’s a full size replica of the Parthenon in Athens. I had to take a picture knowing that it would be used with an Athena class post.

Athena Parthenon Nashville

The statue is 42 feet tall.

Athena Parthenon Nashville

The statue of Nike (Victory) in her hand is 6 feet tall.

Parthenon Nashville

But I digress. I’m teaching a lot this fall, and hope to see you in one of my classes. Come say howdy!

July: Tour de Fleece, Blues Festival, Chicago

July means Tour de France, which means Tour de Fleece! I participated last year, but that’s pretty much the last time I picked up my spindle. I had started spinning this pretty BFL from Knitted Wit

image

but when I picked it up on Saturday to start again, I was pretty confused! First I had to figure out which direction I was spinning (easy), and then I couldn’t get it drafting. Why not? I couldn’t remember which hand I used for drafting! That’s definitely a hint that it’s been way too long.

bfl spinning

I don’t think my poorly wound cop was helping at all (wobbly spinning), so I wound it on my niddy noddy (thank goodness I eventually remembered how to do that) and started over. Let’s see how much spinning I get done this time! And if I can get something fairly consistent. I want a fingering to sport weight singles, to use as a single ply yarn for a simple triangle shawl. I want the colors to be the star of this project.

What else? Oh, the beginning of July means it’s time for Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival. It’s been egregiously hot here (mid-90’s), so I wasn’t interested in spending much time listening to music outdoors, but I did go with DH on Saturday evening for a couple hours. Portland really knows how to throw a party.

blues festivalClick the picture for a closer look: Thousands in the park, the Hawthorne Bridge, and Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin and the Guilty Ones on stage.

The weekend before, DH and I flew to Chicago to visit a friend who moved away last year. We were joined by two other friends who had also moved away from Portland. Reunion tour!

Lincoln Park group shot

We had a great time. 72 hours was enough to get a taste of Chicago, and make us want to go back. Here’s the whirlwind. We did an architecture tour by boat. Highly recommended.

chicago architecture

postmodern chicago

chicago architecture

Chicago has many beautiful parks, which feature free activities, including the zoo. Lots of public art:

chicago beanThe Bean in Millennium Park

Jaume Plensa Awilda

This is the back of “Looking into My Dreams, Awilda” in Millennium Park by Jaume Plensa, which is very similar to his “Echo” that I saw at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle in May.

daily bride and AwildaAwilda snuck into this picture, too.

At first I thought this was another bride at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Lincoln Park, but it was a fashion photo shoot.

Caldwell Lily Pool Chicago

lily pool photo shootGorgeous.

chagall mural chicago

This Marc Chagall mural is in the plaza at the Chase building (which is a cool looking building itself). I didn’t realize until I looked at this picture that there’s a Ferris wheel in it. I saw it as an echo of this, which I took to be a rose window from a cathedral.

chagall mural chicago 3

Chagall mural Chicago 2

Love this signature.

And I love that there’s a beach in this city! Lake Michigan is huge.

Chicago beach

We got around by trains, cabs, Uber, and Divvy.

Divvy

And ate and drank our way through town. Sometimes simple is best: This avocado toast at Le Pain Quotidien

avocado toast

inspired this when I got back home.

avocado toast breakfastToasted English muffin, avocado, sea salt, cumin, chia seeds. Simple and delicious.

lox and latke Diner food!

Eataly Chicago is two floors of fabulous shopping and eating. The cheese counter is impressive. They have the same for meat, and bread. And the pasta selection is out of this world. Or this country, at least.

eataly cheese counter

Of course I took my knitting, which seems to echo the antennae on the Sears Tower.

knitting sears tower

Good friends, good times. I wish you the same for your summer!