We interrupt the silence to bring you a smidgeon of crafting news

Life has gotten a bit crazy lately.  We’ve spent a lot of our non-working/sleeping time house hunting, and now we are in the throes of house buying, with all the paper gathering and emails and phone calls that entails.  In the meantime, the kids still needed to eat and have clean clothes and get to track and Cub scouts and who knows what.  Some balls have been dropped, and getting anything crafty done has been one of those balls.

But I did abandon my responsibilities last weekend for another trip to join my fibery friends.  We rented a place through AirBnB and raced off through the rain storms to catch the ferry to Anderson Island for the weekend.


There was a lot of spinning on my part.  I finished the blue two ply yarn in the pic below, and filled another bobbin with the third single I needed to make another yarn.  I also worked on the I-cord edging on my Volt wrap.



There was also a lot of learning.  Paige taught us all how to do two color brioche knitting, and Leslie 2 was quick enough at it to knit a shoulder wrap/cowl thing.


We also learned it takes a great deal of junk food (and pineapple cider) to fuel so much creative effort.


It was hard to leave and go back to the real world.  But we had a satisfying pile of progress to show for it.


Finishing weekend 2


I just spent wonderful weekend in Seattle with my fiber friends.  It was the second finishing weekend of the year, a time when we dig out WIPs that have been languishing and dig in to get them done, along with a lot of catching up and some fabulous food.

Finding knitting projects was a little difficult for me as the last finishing weekend took care of most of mine that needed just a bit of seaming or ends sewn in.  Plus I frogged so many of my knitting WIPs.  Quilting WIPs weren’t going to work as I didn’t want to haul my machine and all the necessary bulky quilting supplies.

But I did have my blue sweater that just needed one sleeve sewn on, and my Volt wrap.  And there were some embroidery projects to sort through for possible finishing contenders, and spinning fiber in progress.  So in the end I had plenty to do.  Enough that it took several trips to get all the bags and bundles out to the car.

It was such a great time!  So much laughing and helping and exchanging projects and sharing ideas and accomplishments.  Portland Leslie likes to seam, and Seattle Leslie and I needed a lot of that.  Paige loves to sew in ends (so weird!  so handy!) and I was useful with machine binding.

Have you heard of Slow TV?  I hadn’t – apparently on Netflix there are hours and hours of Norwegian television that takes a topic and sticks with it through every possible second.  There are eleven hour celebratory hours of a boat traveling a Norwegian canal.  Eight hours of knitting talk. An entire multi-hour train trip captured on film.  And our personal favorite for weekend viewing, five or six hours about wood chopping.


Everything about wood chopping.  How to stack, how to chop – and all the possible variations of both.  Wood deliveries, wood tool, music with chopped wood, contents on wood stacking, how to cut a piece of wood so that it is a burner for tea and a stool.  The apparently bitter controversy over bark up or bark down in the wood pile.  It was both tedious and mesmerizing.  And all in Norwegian and subtitles!  We had it on for hours, and yes, I’m aware of how crazy that sounds.

Another highlight was the tour of Seattle Leslie’s fiber stash.  It is impressive!  Walls of IKEA bins full of spinning fiber, and more cases and boxes and bins of the yarn she has gathered since the days when she worked at a yarn store and was paid in yarn.  We treated it with the respect normally given to museum visits.

We ate, and drank gallons of tea, and laughed, and got so much done.

I finished my embroidered undersea scene that I started in a class I took a couple of years ago.


I also got the last four oz. of my Ashland Bay merino spun and plied both bobbins into finished skeins just needing their bath.

My Volt wrap is just two rows away from needing the attached i-cord edging, and my blue sweater has its last sleeve attached. Just needs a zipper now.


Everyone walked away with a lot they could cross off the WIP lists.  The photographic evidence of all we accomplished:


That blanket at the bottom was a major team effort and is going to get a blog post all of its own very soon.

We are already planning the next get together.  There is talk of an AirBnB in Olympia in the new year.  Can’t wait!

Socks by the sea

This morning we had to leave the little cabin on the ocean and head home to reality and remodeling and chores and kids in camps.  But before we left I took one more mist soaked walk along the beach, and I sewed together the last toe on the socks I have been knitting.

And then I handed them to my cousin, who they fit much better than me.


I think the color works for the beach.  Blue and gray and black, like the windy, rainy day we had on Thursday. Obviously not when this picture was taken.  We were incredibly lucky weather-wise for a week on the central Oregon coast.  But there was that day, when the sky and the sea and the sand all went dark.


I thought there would be much more fiber related activity on this trip.  I dragged my spinning wheel and three different fibers along, and two other knitting projects, sure that I would need choices.  But the socks were all that happened.  Beach walks and tidal pools and whale watches and ice cream trips all called more strongly.  As they should on a family trip!


So, just these socks.  Kiertoradalla socks, size medium, in Cascade Heritage Paints yarn.  The only mod I made was the heel, which I did as always in eye of partridge stitch.  They fit my cousin’s size 7 feet perfectly.  My wide 8 1/2s would need a size large in this pattern.


I think they blend with the colors of the rocky coastline as well.





At the coast

I’ve taken a break from sewing sea life to go see the real thing.  My cousin and I rented a little cabin and we’ve been exploring up and down central Oregon’s coast with our kids.



One of our traditions is getting ice cream and then eating it while we watch the sea lions on the docks at the Newport waterfront. My kids choose their ice cream by its color – the more lurid the better. In between bites the kids bark at the sea lions and the sea lions bark back.



It is such a beautiful drive down highway 101. We saw whales spouting nearby from this high point, but my camera never quite captured them.


The Yaquina Head Lighthouse stands above my favorite Oregon beach, Cobble Beach, with sea lions, seals, common murre nesting colonies, and round black volcanic rocks that chatter and whisper with each wave. Absolutely unique.

And how about this fabulous view while knitting socks?


Wheels and yarn

The big project for our trip to Arizona was to find my mom a car.  We spent the first day – all day – working on it.

She wasn’t very sure about which car she wanted.  When I asked her what her priorities were, she said it had to have Bluetooth and a rear view camera.  That didn’t really narrow the make and model choices much.

But we did find one she liked, so my Mom is now the owner of a new-to-her car.

We’ve mostly been puttering about since then, which leaves plenty of time for sock knitting.  And cacti viewing.  And putting knitting on cacti.

Today my knitting progress was hampered by the fact that I knit sock one months and months ago and didn’t write down all the changes I made to the pattern in the heel.  So I knit the heel flap twice today.  But still, the sock is definitely growing.

A sun break

Spring Break!  No school for a week!

I left the school parking lot and went straight to the airport (well, after stopping to pick up my sister and some chocolate).

We are off to Arizona to visit my snowbird mom.  She lives up near us in the summer and in Surprise, Arizona, in the winter.

An airport sock is born:


Leaving Oregon gave us some spectacular mountain views.  Mt. Hood:


The festival seating on Southwest Airlines was new to me.  I didn’t know we were supposed to just sit anywhere, and then my sister and I debated in the aisle about the merits of bulkhead seating.  (She has very long legs, I needed my knitting and chocolate bag at my feet.) I used to be able to pick up and go to Asia or Africa with 10 minutes notice and now I can’t get down a plane aisle smoothly.  Skills deteriorate so rapidly.

A couple of other sisters traveling in nearby seats were fascinated by the double pointed needles knitting process.  I may have converted a crocheter to sock knitting in the course of the trip.

I woke this morning to the sounds of quail scratching in the rocks and doves cooing.  I’m sitting in a sun beam by the patio fountain sipping fake-fresh-squeezed orange juice (Mom’s orange trees  didn’t do well this winter so she had to buy the juice we demand on arrival).

My sock is enjoying the new surroundings too:


Hedgerow socks pattern by Jane Cochran in some sock yarn I can’t remember the name of that I dyed purple.  I can’t escape purple.

Sock one can be seen here.  It has been waiting a long time for its mate.