Saturday, September 26, 2009


A wonderful package arrived here from Germany yesterday! Aren't these kiddie stamps great!?


My dear friend Nadine sent the most wonderful box of goodies for the baby! We all enjoyed them and it was so fun opening the box, because she had hidden each item in layers of tissue paper.

I'm afraid I didn't get very good photos because I was so excited opening the box with the rest of the family, but here you see....

in the foreground, a super soft blue and tan Baby Surprise Jacket with a special Nad-designed front placket with wooden buttons, and a matching hat (modeled on a squirmy baby):


In the background is a most beautiful sweater that made us all go "Oooooohhhhhhhh!" when we lifted it from the box. It is so gorgeously done in the softest of fingering yarns and the buttons are little tiny yellow turtles!! The little collar is soooooo sweet! And the turtle theme goes with a charming little book she included called "Happy Birthday Franklin" which we started reading to the baby immediately.

The next one I'm showing is a baby Tomten jacket. Nad is an incredibly accomplished knitter!! I really love the colours. This is so perfect and Jule said "It has a hood!!!!!!" when she lifted it out:

There were several hats and hoods, including two pixie hats that seem to be from a vintage pattern - perhaps something that is handed down in Nad's family? I only say that because I've never seen this pattern before and it is incredible - a perfect hat and yet not something you could figure out by looking at it - it has complicated looking increases and decreases to make the points and peaks. We all loved them - I especially loved this blue-green one in the picture (and it has a pair of tiny baby socks to match!) and the parents loved the fair isle one (which unfortunately you can only see in the background of one of the pictures...). Sorry the baby was so wiggly - he blurred this photo a bit (of course we had to try everything on him and he got a bit impatient):


All in all, Nad sent a whole basket-full of gorgeous hand knit and beautiful baby things, including clothes she got on a trip to France so our sweet little one is quite "Continental" now!!


I couldn't get everything in the photo, but there was:
Blue-green pixie hat and matching socks
Fair Isle pixie hat
Blue & tan Baby Surprise Jacket and matching beanie hat
Yellow and red and blue jacket with collar
Green and red and blue Tomten jacket with hood
Short sleeved French baby onesie
Long sleeved French baby onesie
Baby Blue Jeans!!
and a Franklin Turtle book!

I hope I didn't forget anything - there was so much!

What a well dressed child this is. :) His mom said "He'll be a well-sweatered baby with all the hand-knit sweaters from you and Nad!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Twisted in a good way

I visited the yarn store, Twisted, again, even though I hadn't planned to go way out there again on this trip. Now that I knew where to go, it was smoother, but still several blocks of walking up Broadway after getting off the MAX and finding my way through the Lloyd Center... I had to go back though, because they had forgotten to charge me for the tea we had at our last visit and it was eating at me... I had to back and pay it!

I'm so glad I did. I think my "sock knitting mojo" was calling me the whole time. They were having a Sock Sale to celebrate a neat sock class they're going to be running. All sock yarn was 10% off and sock accoutrements had even deeper discounts! How could I not fall to this temptation?

I know, this is inexcusable stash enhancement!


The golden wheat skeins you see are for the person who's been checking in on my cat, who needs drops in her ears twice a week. This person has also been cleaning up after her, so deserves a really nice treat. I got her Indigo Moon and Black Trillium Fibers sock yarns...

Black Trillium is a new company for me. I discovered their Blue Faced Leichester sock yarn at Twisted. It is unbelievably soft and the colours are incredible. On top of that, BFL socks are supposed to be especially hard-wearing because the fibers are so long. Here I have 2 black and red, two grey and white, one grey tweed, and one deep seaweed green, and one deep blackberry - a kind of combination of blood red and deep purple... Other skeins shown include an Artful Yarns sock skein in a beautiful fall colourway (I've forgotten the name) and a Chewy Spaghetti skein in my usual blues and sea greens :).

I also indulged in some really tiensy sock blockers - one infant sized that I figure I'll be able to use for 2 - 3 years, and one child sized that I think will last until about age 8 or so? The baby blockers were only $5!! Twisted does online orders too, if you're interested....


Things here are going well. This is a bustling, lively city and the part where I am is beautifully green and full of gardens. Sometimes the view out of the big picture window is very interesting. Take last night, for instance. Since the apartment buildings in this section of town are non-smoking, people often gather across the street under a spreading shady tree to smoke. Yesterday someone put out an old red couch for their own smoking convenience. It was used all day for this purpose. But when night fell, and the apartment-dwelling smokers were cosily inside, another purpose emerged... A homeless couple, with their belongings in bags and sacks, moved in and proceeded to sort, and squabble.

We had all gathered to watch The Neverending Story and Wolverine when the beginnings of a real fight broke out. The very tall hefty man had taken off his shoe and was threatening the very slight, short woman with it. We saw him push her down and raise his fist and thought that some intervention was called for. B yelled "Hey" out the window to let him know he was being watched (this caused him to immediately lower his arm and step back but muttering, yelling, and threatening all the time while the woman pursued him) and S called the police for the woman's protection. While we waited, the couple continued fighting and then finally wandered into the neighbour's sheltered yard for a make-up session.

A few minutes later the police arrived and, finding the clothes and belongings on the sidewalk, began to search the yard. We turned out the lights and peeked out through the fan blades. Sure enough, they found them under the bushes and herded them out to the sidewalk. They sent the woman in one direction and the man in the other, with a verbal warning. As the police walked back to their cars, one said to the other "I was hoping a call would come in - it's been a quiet night." so we felt we had done our duty for all concerned.

At midnight, when I looked out, a lone figure was wrapped in a blanket on the red couch under the trees, silently sleeping. I predict that couch will not stay there for long.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rose Petals and Gingerbread

We had a chance to visit the Portland yarn store Twisted a couple days ago. It was a long ride on the MAX and then a long walk down Broadway, but so worth it! If you have a chance when you are in Portland, you really should go. It was probably the friendliest, most welcoming yarn store I’ve ever been in. We were there for a couple of hours, had tea and ate peaches for lunch at their table (which they were fine with - they have a big washroom so we could make sure our hands were clean for browsing afterward), talked with both of the ladies there about all kinds of things - not just sales talk, and looked at everything in the store 2 or 3 times. It was relaxed but they are seriously FULL of yarn and patterns. I don’t know how they get so much into their space. It’s very pretty too with lots of comfortable chairs. When we left, a book club was on the couches discussing their latest read!

I got several skeins o yarn - all from local dyers, including of course Blue Moon Fiber Arts. These are Gibson (the top one) and Gingerbread Dude... aren't they perfect fall colours?


I also got skeins from Black Trilium Fibers, and Indigo Moon...

There are so many rose bushes in people's gardens in Portland. Whenever we walk, and we walk a lot, we stop a million times to smell the different rose petals. Some smell like strawberries! On 23rd St in the Alphabet District, we stopped at Alotta Gelato and I got Rose Petal Gelato!


It was wonderful.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A new philosopher is born

I'm sorry I've been away for so long. I have embarked on (what is for me) a great adventure! I am 3000 miles away from home and living in an unfurnished studio apartment in a kind of spare Zen way... I will be here for a month. I have a good reason and this is it:


He is a Very New baby, just a week and a half old. Jule is doing great and she is a wonderful parent. I'll be here - far away from my own home - for the whole month. It's strange and exciting living in a new place, and of course I love being with them every day...

I am living on the 3rd floor of Jule's apartment building. She found and rented this place for me because it would be so much better than staying in a hotel for the same length of time. My apartment is beautiful, in a building that used to be a convent in the 30's. I have a big claw footed tub, a gorgeous deep bay window that is just begging for a window seat, and I have a lovely little 30's kitchen with built-in glass fronted dish cupboards and a sunny window.... I've bought very little and intend to live quite simply while I'm here.

As you can see, the baby is wearing the sweater I made before he was born. It turned out very tiny, but he's a tiny baby (just 7 lbs!) so it fits him perfectly now. We've had a couple of cold days here on the west coast, in between scorching 96 degree days, so he did get to wear it once or twice. I'll make him a bigger one when I get back home.

I also finished the big comfy sweater - Red Lantern - for Jule while I was here. I needed to fit it on her to make sure the arms were long enough. It's perfect! I'll take action shots as soon as we get a chance.


This is a beautiful deep red (deeper than the photo could capture) of Plymouth's Baby Alpaca Grande yarn. It took several skeins - maybe 6? It's my own pattern that I intend to write up. Here you are seeing it unblocked. And for some reason, the photo turned blurry when I saved it....

But here is a bit of a close-up that is a little sharper:


Today is Jule's birthday, and I suggested making a Maple Bacon cake and friends will be coming over tonight so there's lots to do and I'd better get started...

I'm keeping up with Ravelry and reading your blogs, but I don't get a chance to post very often, and now you know why!