Tag Archives: mittens

Astoria StitchFest: Check!

Last weekend’s first ever Astoria StitchFest was a delight. It was a small event, but very nice. The weekend began with a delightful Stitch Feast at the Baked Alaska, right on the river. We had a little show-and-tell fashion show after dinner.

The classes were held in the light and bright rooms above the Liberty Theater, across from the historic Hotel Elliott. Mary Scott Huff and I taught knitting, and Laurinda Reddig taught crochet. I taught Cast On Bind Off, Slip Stitch Cowl Design, and Blocking: It’s Magic. I think everyone went home with new skills.

blocking with pdxknitterati

I had a free afternoon, so I sat in on Mary Scott Huff’s Sassy Selbuvotter class. She is a fabulous teacher, and also fun to hang out with! Here’s the beginning of my mitten.


Classic Selbuvotter (mittens in the traditional style of the town of Selbu, Norway) have a gusset thumb, but these sassy mitts will only have a slot thumb. I was curious about Norwegian mittens, because I had knit these many years ago.

selbu mitten

These are the Selbu Mittens from Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. The have a fake gusset (no increases, just patterning to look like a gusset) and a slot thumb. They’re kind of a mix of thumb techniques. My next Selbuvotter will have a traditional, real thumb gusset, because I like the way they fit!

Astoria sits at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. It’s a fun mix of the old and the new. I didn’t have a lot of time to explore, but I popped on down to Coffee Girl for lunch on Saturday because my singing buddy Claudia loves it, and used to sing there.


I didn’t realize that Coffee Girl is right on a pier that houses the West’s oldest cannery building.

bumble bee logo

I worked at a salmon cannery on Kodiak Island for five summers to pay for college. We even canned for Bumble Bee. This brought back all sorts of memories.

cannery workers

We didn’t look quite like this, but aprons, hair nets, and steel toed rubber boots were the uniform!

pier 39 astoria

Canneries were a big part of Astoria’s history. Even the waste baskets on the streets downtown acknowledge this.


Mary and I had rooms at the Grandview Bed & Breakfast, a very interesting Victorian house. My room was breathtakingly gorgeous, with lace draperies around the bed, and at the entrance to my sitting room

grandview b & b

which was a great place to relax.

Grandview b&b

The sitting room had a view of the Columbia River, and the bridge that crosses to Washington.


Many thanks to Bonnie Lively and LeAnn Meyer, the organizers of Astoria StitchFest. I had a fabulous time, and hope that all the participants did, too. I’d love to do this again next year, and you should come, too!

Happy new year hike

A perfect time to blow out the cobwebs! We went hiking in the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday. Drove out from under the fog bank to see Mt. Hood in the distance:


We took the same hike we did last July. There’s more water now, but the snowpack is way below normal, so still not overwhelming.

Upper McCord Creek Falls:


On the way up, we looked down on Elowah Falls:


Same falls, from ground level. I love the snow ledge. Lots of people out this weekend!


I’ve decided that 2014 will be the year of the purge. There’s too much stuff in the house. DH found these items in the back of a closet.


A Gryffindor sweater I knit for Kid2, maybe a dozen years ago. I’m sending it to a friend who will love it. And here’s a lone mitten from 1991.


I knit 8 pairs of these, as birthday party favors. Knit flat (I didn’t know how to use dpns back then), seamed up the side. Bugs Bunny buttons, of course.


Oddly enough, I knew exactly where the mate was. These won’t be purged, though. I may have to frame them. Or at least keep them in my sample box.

I have big plans for painting my knitting studio, and then organizing all my crafty stuff in it. Right now my organizer bins are in the room off our bedroom, but it’s coming in to my studio, along with my sewing machine. I love these IKEA bins. They’re not this tidy right now…


What are your crafty plans for 2014? And don’t forget, I’m picking the winner of the Under 100 Knit Collection ebook tonight. More lovely things to knit!

Warm socks

Well, they will be, when I get them done. I’m knitting them with worsted weight yarn, KnitPicks Wool of the Andes.


Yes, that’s an insane number of needles in that sock. Eight, to be precise. The sock is based on the Ukrainian Socks in Folk Socks by Nancy Bush. I love the color pattern on those socks. Since the stitch count is different, I had to choose different stitch patterns that would fit into a 10 stitch repeat instead of a 16 stitch repeat. I’m keeping the peasant heel, sometimes called an afterthought heel, but messing around with it a bit. I’ll do a plain blue toe, no pattern on it for me. I don’t want them to be too bulky.


I didn’t want to go all the way to the toe and find out that the sock would be too long or too short, so I’m doing the afterthought heel before I finish the toe. I put the heel stitches on my short dpns before I took out the waste yarn, because I like the security of having the stitches accounted for before pulling the waste yarn.


Enough needles for ya?

We’re snowed in here in PDX, and are having freezing rain on top of that. There’s a crunchy crust of ice on top of the snow, but it’s not so hard that I can’t crunch through and walk somewhere. It’s just a lot of work. I’m hoping it all thaws gracefully when it should. I’m glad we played in it yesterday before it got crusty. I was glad to have these.


These are the Selbu Mittens from Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. I made them years ago, but they’re still in great shape. They were a bit big when I made them, so I felted/fulled them a bit in the sink. This made them fairly wind-proof, too. Perfect!

I think the birds are hungry. I threw some seed down on the snow/ice under the bird feeder. There have been birds all day, and Mookie has been enjoying the view.


“Hey, it’s me!”


“Here, under the bird bath.”


“Wanna come out and play?”