A Knit Decision

Knitting in Oregon, with other stuff, too, such as crochet, cats, dogs, history, fashion, highly opiniated rants, reading, diabetes, church, life in general, etc. I like circular needles, prefer natural yarns, don't spin, choose small projects, and don't have any one favorite yarn store. I love them all.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Red Scarves

I am very enthused about this project calling for red scarves for older foster children in the USA. The group, the Orphan Foundation of America, supports foster children as they transition into young adulthood.

When I think back to my late teens and early twenties, I remember how much support, financial and emotional, that I got from my parents and my family. I cannot imagine how tough that time might be without strong support and good financial resources.

My mother wrote to me faithfully when I was in college. With each letter, she included a two-dollar bill. To this day, I smile when I see a two-dollar bill, because it reminds me of my mother's faithful love.

The Orphan Foundation of America (hate the name, btw) sends out care packages to the former foster kids in the month of February to remind them that they matter, that they are cared about, and to encourage them to keep going.

Any knitter worth her salt can knit a scarf. Knit a red one and send it to the nice folks who will send it on to these hardworking kids. They've overcome so much already. Help them keep going just a little longer.

Scarves are fun. They're short projects. I found some cool red yarn with pink flecks in it, so I'll knit a scarf for a girl. I went looking for some burgundy, and happened upon some superwash merino. How scrumptious. That will make up into a nice thick ribbed scarf for some young man.

A lot of charity projects leave me cold. But not this one. I wonder if they'll let me send a two-dollar bill with them....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving Knitting

I'm planning on finishing the arms on Emily's sweater over the Thanksgiving weekend. It's a finish weekend. I'm avoiding cooking, just so I can knit more.

I'll let you know how I do. I'm also being tempted by classes down at Abundant. It's a long way to drive, but, temptation calls. You know how it goes.

Friday, November 17, 2006

When visiting Portland

Barbara posted a comment that she will be visiting Portland and asked for some advice on things to do / see, etc.

Well, it's hard to give advice without knowing people very well, but here are some things I love about my town. This is based on the assumption that a person is staying in the downtown area.

1. TriMet. I love our local transit system. You can see the town and have a "busman's holiday" (I have done this) just by getting on the TriMet MAX train. It's our light rail system. It will take you east to Gresham and west to Hillsboro and back again, all on the Blue line. This would take about 4 hours for a whole round trip. (You can also catch MAX at PDX and ride into downtown Portland. That's a slick trip.) You can buy a seven-day pass, which will get you anywhere in the system, for $19.50. The website has a Destinations to Discover page. If you want to see the countryside, catch the #31 to Estacada. Ride into Estacada and ride back into Portland. Wowwee!

2. Yarn Stores. The folks at Knit-Purl are delightful. Also, downtown is the Knit-Knot studio, which I've heard good things about, but haven't visited yet. Yarn Garden is not far from downtown and has good coffee. All of the yarn stores that I link to are great places, with charms all their own.

3. Powells. This is our legendary bookstore, at NW 10th Ave and Burnside. It currently occupies more than one city block. Get a map when you go in, and arrange a time and location to meet the rest of your party. The bad thing about Powells: I cannot go in there without spending money that could be spent on yarn. The good thing about Powells: They brought the Yarn Harlot here to Portland for a book signing in September 2006.

4. Beer. Well, I don't love beer, but Dr. Parts does and Portland was recently listed as one of the top 10 Beer cities IN THE WORLD. Only two US cities were listed, and we're the only one listed on the west coast. We have microbreweries galore. If beer's a draw for you, ask around. You cannot go far wrong. I like the Laurelwood. It's owned by the brother of my friend Jenny, who is a knitter. She knits fabulous lace scarves and shawls.

5. Multnomah Falls. If you've got access to a car, drive east on I-84 (affectionately called 'the Banfield' by locals). About 30 miles out of the city, exit on the left to the parking lot. Lock your car and hide the valuables before you reach the lot. Walk up to the lodge and see the falls. If you've got a few hours and are very fit, you can walk up to the top of the falls. This will give you a taste of our fabulous Columbia Gorge. I'm a lucky gal to live so close. We go whizzing past Multnomah Falls whenever we go east without a second thought, but it is a marvelous sight.

The Portland Visitor's Association site is great, and good for events. We were always up in the Seattle area after Thanksgiving, so I'm not up on events that happen around here.

And, as women, we cannot avoid the shopping word. There are two places that are uniquely 'Portland', that I might send you to. One is the Portland Saturday Market. It's between Front and First, underneath Burnside. Yes, underneath. Burnside becomes a bridge at that point, so about half of the market is under cover. Several fun local artistans. Buy a tie-dye T-shirt, with matching panties, even. Great Christmas shopping. And SE Hawthorne Blvd. I like the area from about 25th to 39th (stop at Yarn Garden on SE 14th, first). It's less franchise-y than NW 23rd Blvd, in my humble opinion.

I'm just skipping the restaurants, because there are too many favorites to mention.

Oh, and if you're thinking of moving here, SUSAN, here's a link to local real estate listings.

Enjoy your visit. If you want to look like a local, don't use an umbrella.

And the river that goes through the middle of our city, it's not pronounced Will-uh-METTE, it's pronounced, Wuh-LAM-ette.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I have knit.

I was on vacation last week, Nov 4-10. It was very nice. We went by train to Klamath Falls, and the Running Y Ranch.

I dutifully packed my knitting, with the minimum required 3 projects. Okay, I had 4. One that only needed finishing (mitts), two that needed working (game bag & Emily's sweater), and one that I could start (another pink EZ Baby Surprise Jacket). You know, you have to take one that requires starting, because there is some magic involved in starting a project. It's special.

I was recovering from the flu and felt AWFUL for the first three days. So I didn't actually knit until the train ride north to Portland. We sat across from another knitter on the train. She was knitting "strips" as she put it, very cute novelty-yarn scarves for her grand-daughters.

I pulled out my red-and-white dishcloth cotton project, which is, in actuality, a giant practice sock, but without the heel. It is going to function as a game-piece bag, with a drawstring. I put in a row of eyelets (yo, k2tog), after first putting in another row entirely that wouldn't create holes and having to tink back. I also bunged up the two-circular needle thing, something that I only thought happened to lesser knitters than I. Can I blame it on the bloody marys that my husband was bringing from the lounge car? I finished the thing, weaving in and making the drawstrings and everything, while still on the train.

So, I have knit. It was stupid knitting, I admit. But, the dry spell is over and, I have completed a project, which has its own separate magic.

Also, on the knitting front, I got my gift for the lovely baby Dorothy to her and her parents this weekend. Becci pretended to be impressed with my giftwrapping (a ziploc back and a manila envelope-do you think she was humoring me?). It seems Dorothy has grown in the two months since her birth-imagine that! Perhaps I shall have to make her a delightful sweater in a 12 mo size. Yum!

And, I called my knitting buddy Susan, from Hawaii, who was in Portland (before vacation) but, who, through a series of mis-communications, I didn't ever meet up with her in person, during her visit. Ah, well. She says she'll be back in six months. We'll still email, right, Susan?

Photos & more progress soon!