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.

image

image

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.

image

image

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.

image

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?

image

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:

img_5836-2

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

img_5840

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:

img_5841

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.

 

OFFF

This past weekend was the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby, Oregon.  I’ve been going the past few years with my fiber friends and it is the highlight of my fall.  So much going on at the fair grounds!

Fair warning – this is a very picture intensive post.

The booths catch us first.  Must touch all the yarn! Fondle all the fiber!

OFFF yarn and fiber image image

Leslie, wondering if she went overboard at the hand painted merino sale rack:

OFFF fiber

Then there are the animal barns.  The llamas have their own show, the alpacas are next door, there is a lot of sheep judging, and then there are the angora bunnies. 
image image image image image image

This poor sheep had to endure both the shearing and then having to watch its fleece be bundled up and then carted away.

Sheering image

The difference in the fleeces of different sheep breeds is always astounding to me.

OFFF fleeces image image image image

And it is amazing how many colors llamas come in:

Llama yarn

There is also a finished project display, with judges awarding ribbons to the various garments, skeins and art projects.  Some I loved, some I wondered about, and some I looked at from six angles and still couldn’t quite understand.  A very small sampling:

OFFF projects image image

When we weren’t wandering and shopping and petting both animals and fiber, we ate a lot of Thai food (lunch both days at different Thai restaurants).  There aren’t a lot of leftovers!

Empty Thai lunch dishes

Overall, it is an amazing weekend.  The best part might be getting time to knit and spin with friends.  Paige came down from Seattle to join Leslie and I in our own mini crafting circle.
image image image

Camping chairs are a must.  That is my Kromski spinning wheel, which though not small, does fold into a big back pack to make it more portable.  I haven’t been spinning a lot since I started quilting, but this weekend reminded me how much I love it.  And more green!

Crafting at OFFF

There was so much else.  Lamb cook-offs, a wolf hound dog show, long distance spinning competitions, weavers, lace makers, people in enormous crocheted ponchos. Goat agility races! You can see it all at OFFF.  I was sad, and tired, when it was over.  I made it home in time to pile all my new goodies in a corner, hug my family, watch the lunar eclipse, and then headed to bed.  I can’t wait until next year.

A brief detour

There has been little to no crafting in the last couple of weeks.  Finals and essay grading played havock with my free time, though I did get the Scrapitude quilt sashing done and I’ve started to sew together the blocks.

But it then even that minimal progress was interrupted by a planned-but-not-prepared trip to New York.  We abandoned the children to Grandma’s loving care and headed with friends to the airport the day after school got out.  Since then, we’ve been hoofing it around the city and the only fiber activity has been about two inches of sock knitting that I did on the plane.

Though I did find a yarn store in Manhattan and bought my trip souvenir.

New York yarn purchase

A skein of Tosh merino light in Vanilla Bean (On the right)  and Maiden Hair silk & mohair yarn.

There was supposed to be more fiber craft pics as today my plan was to spend a lot of time at the Folk Arts Museum, but to my first puzzlement and then disappointment, the eight story museum building was torn down by the MoMA people to expand their building, and the folk arts are now a three room squeeze in a corner of a nearby Mormon temple.  All the many crafts have disappeared somewhere and they only have a single rotating exhibit at a time.

I did not take this well.  There were sad exclamations, and curb kicking, and trash talking of modern art.

And honestly, having visited MoMA the day before, I do not GET modern art.

image

Yoko Ono exhibit

 

I believe that Yoko Ono has been perpetuating an elaborate hoax for decades and is secretly laughing at museum visitors.  It is the only explanation I could come up with for pages and pages of little typed squares like this:

Yoko Ono exhibit

 

So, not a fan.  Probably just uneducated, but still, not a fan.

Since this is a crafting blog, I’ll get back on topic and share part of a really interesting exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art I was a fan of.  It involves cloth and sewing, so it counts.  They have a show called China Through the Looking Glass about how Western culture has borrowed from Chinese culture, usually without really understanding it.  In one of the rooms, I inspired by blue and white china like this:

China plate

there were dresses like this:

China blue and white dress

 

Broken China dressChina blue and white dress

 

Between the the dramatic outfits scattered through the many rooms and the Chinese embroidery, I was slightly reconciled to the loss of the Folk Arts Museum.

Well, no.  I’m still really disappointed and a little pouty. But it was a good museum visit if I had to make a substitution.