Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Knit and Crochet Show

On this weekend of the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (OFFF), people from the Pacific Northwest will be focusing on that extravaganza of fiber, felting, weaving, knitting and crocheting and they will most likely be thinking, "Huh. The Knit and Crochet Show. That's so two weeks ago!" But for me, I'm still smiling and reminiscing about the TKCS.

I took only three classes although I certainly could have filled my schedule up with all sorts of classes and tutorials every day. The class on figuring out the math (remember that I wrote about it in my fave five?) was exceptional and was taught by Edie Eckman who has a newly published book on crochet, Beyond The Square Crochet Motifs. She is also the author of The Crochet Answer Book. Eleanor sat in on a couple of my classes with me.

The MarketPlace was a maze of magical fiber, patterns and samples.

I was drawn in to the Habu booth sort of like a metal pin to a magnet. Oh my! What beautiful yarn. The sample sweaters and scarves were begging to be touched, stroked and examined. My credit card was burning a hole in my bag. But I resisted. I can't believe it, but it's true. Oh how I wanted that yarn! I found Teresa Ruch's booth and gazed at her vibrant colorways. I introduced myself as a friend of Roxie's who had won a skein of Teresa's blue bamboo yarn. I also bought another skein in that blue colorway. The only other items I bought were some Pure and Simple sweater patterns that MamaMia and I have been looking for. I found them at FiberRhythm, an online store run by two sisters, Dawn and Diane, who just happened to be sitting at our table Saturday night with Flower and me!

I met a fellow blogger who was there at the MartketPlace with her husband who makes incredibly beautiful wooden needles and crochet hooks. Wanda at FiberJoy and I had our photo taken together. I didn't have much time to chat because she was busy 'working' at the Stitch Diva booth.

On Saturday night Flower and I attended the award dinner

and I got called up on the stage to get my master knitter pin. That was THE highlight of the evening for me, (right there on the platform next to Mary Scott Huff, on the same stage where The Crochet Dude and Lily Chin were standing)

although the fashion show was a close second.

I have to say that this white short row cape/shawl was THE hit of the fashion show.

This crochet shawl (and several other pieces) was modeled by a new friend I met in Edie's class. We exchanged emails and blog addresses and when I got home, I couldn't find her email address! So, Betsy, if you read this, please let me know what your email is!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday's Fave Five, Take 3

My Fave Fives this week:

1. Beautiful weather! The sun has shone every day, the temperatures have been in the high 70s and low 80s. The late afternoons have been incredibly clear and the Santa Monica Mountains have stood out in sharp detail behind our home.

2. Raspberry jam. I made three more batches of rasberry freezer jam. It will be delicious on pancakes, waffles, scones and toast!

3. A telephone call via Skype from a dear friend who lives in another country far far away from me. We chatted and plotted a possible joint vacation in England. We'd meet 'in the middle'. We'll have to start now saving our pennies for a holiday in 2010 or 2011. What a fantastic surprise to pick up my home phone and hear, "Hi! This is L___!"

4. The Los Angeles Dodgers are playing baseball very well indeed. This makes The Professor happy. He has explained to The New Boy about the good guys being the 'men in blue'.

5. Our church's Food Pantry ministry. Twice a month our church hosts a free food pantry with fresh produce, flowers, meat and other items provided by a local branch of a national boutique grocery chain* and The Professor and I have the privilege of helping distribute the food to people who come by the church on the day the food is picked up from the market. When there is left over bread, eggs, flowers, or anything else, we are able to bring the surplus home to our neighbors and bless them with the abundance since the church has limited food storage space and all of the grocery items are perishable. *When the market donates the food the only request is that the food is not thrown away, so we are able to pass the 'extra' on to so many people. We love to knock on our neighbors' doors and see their smiles when they discover we have a loaf of their favorite bread or a bunch of fresh flowers. This market gets my business the other days of the month because I am so impressed with its generosity and community involvement. And it has plenty of organic food options.

To read others' Fave Five and be blessed, go to Living To Tell The Story.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Bridge of the Gods

The Bridge of the Gods is one of the bridges that spans the Columbia River and connects the states of Washington and Oregon. The bridge is operated by the Port of Cascade Locks, although at one time it was prvately owned by a family.

The bridge derives its name from an Indian legend about a natural bridge that was located at the present location of Cascade Locks. If you want to read the whole story, click here.
The short version is that Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams fell in love with the same maiden mountain, Squaw Mountain, who was a notorious flirt. The two mountains fought over her until they caused the bridge to fall into the great river and rapids were formed.
When my parents were young, the rapids were still there, but when the Bonneville Dam was built during the Great Depression the rapids were covered by the water from the dam. My history is connected to the dam because my grandfather worked as a night watchman, guarding the construction area during the years it was being constructed. The Bonneville Dam has a tourist area where you can visit and see the huge turbines that make the electricity that is used for power throughout the Pacific Northwest and learn more about the history of the dam, the river and the salmon that migrate to their spawning grounds above the dam.
You can see east and west along the Columbia River from the middle of the bridge and you also have a fabulous view of the magnificent evergreen forests.

Once you are on the Oregon side of the river you can stop at the Charburger for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and grab a window seat, and watch the barges and ships travel up and down the Columbia River, and pass under the bridge.

The burgers and milkshakes at the Charburger are pretty good, too. Flower and I recommend them.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bonneville Hot Springs, Bonneville, Washington

Because I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest area of the United States, I have an affinity with deep, wide and swiftly flowing rivers, with tall evergreen trees, with mountains and river rock.
A trip up the Columbia River Gorge satisfies all those cravings for memories from my childhood. One of my favorite destinations (besides Crown Point, Multnomah Falls, Bonneville Dam, Rooster Rock and Cascade Locks) is Bonneville Hot Springs. The hot springs are on the north side of the Columbia River, on the Washington side. (Get your atlas and find boundary between Washington State and Oregon~that's the Columbia River.)
Flower and I packed our swimming suits and towels and drove up the Oregon side of the gorge, crossed the river at Cascade Locks on the Bridge of the Gods, and arrived
at the front door of *
with ample time to walk through the lobby and appreciate the craftsmanship of the wooden mantle over the huge, smooth river rock fireplace.

The Columbia River Gorge, and indeed the entire Pacific Northwest is synonymous with fir and cedar trees and salmon. The salmon motif is often seen in local sculpture and Native American art.

The Douglas fir trees towered over us as we walked through the garden. From our chairs in the inner courtyard, we faced these trees and the rock wall fountain. The wall fountain runs the entire length of the garden area and the water flows on both sides of the wall, inside and outside of the garden area. I'm sure the fountain represents the Columbia River flowing from eastern Washington to the Pacific Ocean through the gorge.

We spent our morning at the hot springs resort basking in the sun's rays, soaking in the hot tub,
using our muscles in the swimming pool and relaxing them in the sauna.

It made for the perfect outing!

If you're ever driving up the Columbia River Gorge and have a few hours to spare, this is one place where you could invest them!
*the mountain you see in the silver silhouette is Mt. Hood, the highest mountain in the Cascades Mountain range in Oregon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friday Fave Fives

At first, when I sat down to write my Fave Fives this week, (cute new button, here!)
I was wondering if I could come up with five. As I reviewed the week in my mind, I thought, "How can I choose just five?!"

1. The Knit and Crochet Show in Portland, Oregon. It deserves its own post. The highlight for me was being called to the platform at the dinner and receiving my Master Knitter pin. And. Lily Chin was standing right there!

2. Coming home. The Professor, Kiti and The New Boy braved the LA freeways to pick me up. We stopped to see Son Number Two on the way home and have a late lunch with him.

3. Babysitting The New Boy. His mama had a class one evening this week, so I got to have him all to myself for a few hours. We took a walk. I followed my usual several thousand step route with hills to climb, but I pushed a stroller. That makes for a good workout. The bonus was that the walk put The New Boy to sleep. He has become ambulatory and can get himself in to the most interesting places and positions from which he can't yet extricate himself, thus providing hours of entertainment for his grandmother.

4. School days. I am working in First Grade this year, which means that the students I had in Kindergarten last year are my students again this year. I loved it when I walked in the room and several little voices piped up, "Hi, Mrs. Willow!" and "It's Mrs. Willow!"

5. A phone call from Chaplain Dan. Calls from your kids are no big deal, unless those kids are many, many thousands of miles away in war zones. Then those calls are pretty special.

To read more Fave Fives, go to susanne's blog .

Photo Challenge: Plants

Plants: some are big, showy, and flamboyant.

For more photos of Plants, go to spunwithtears.

I Won! I Won!

I am not usually a 'lucky' person. I hardly ever, ever win anything. You can ask my family. I don't win raffles. I would never buy lottery tickets because I know I'll never win anything and it would just be a waste of my money.
So imagine my delight and amazement when I found out that I had won a giveaway from Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage! Wow! I have been reading Cindy's delightful blog and commenting on her garden and cat photos for several months, virtually enjoying her garden near San Francisco. Cindy is a really creative person and she gives away cards and gifts on a regular basis. I just never expected to win anything!
This little package arrived just before I left for Oregon. I was so excited! Do you know what I did? I put the box on the table and looked at it for TWO DAYS before I opened it. I savored the thrill of winning and prolonged the sense of anticipation as long as I could. Finally, I opened it. Slowly. Carefully. Quietly by myself.

There was a letter inside.

This is what was in the package! A lovely retro-looking decoupage three dimensional wall box! The recipe for Chocolate Fudge Pie is from a pamphlet published in 1952 called Borden's Eagle Brand 70 Magic Recipes. The note on the back of the box says that 'the illustration of the finished recipe is a highquality photo reproduction of an original watercolor by Cindy Iverson that she hand-constructed into an original piece dimensional paper art.'

I immediately hung this treasure on the wall next to my kitchen door! Aren't I a lucky girl?!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Doing Not Thinking Challenge

There really isn't anything to report for the challenge since I was out of town the whole week.

I'm back now and, while I did make two batches of freezer raspberry jam, I started teaching this morning and haven't settled in to any school year routines yet.

Plans for this week:

1. Find curtains or curtain material for the guest room windows.

2. Sew Kiti's skirt.

3. Mail off two packages. These are two custom orders for knitted bunnies. The bunnies are ready to move to their new homes. All I need to do is print out information on my knitting business and on how to care for the bunnies.

Here is a photo of the first bag I sewed and sent to MamaMia!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm home with The Professor. (sigh of contentment)

Thai food at Red Sesame near LAX with Mike, Kiti and The New Boy was the perfect lunch. Then a drive up Highway 1 along the Pacific Ocean was the perfect way home.

Friday, September 12, 2008

This Week's Fave Five

Here are my fave five for this week, without photos.

1. Visiting my brother and sister-in-law. Flower and I drove up the Columbia River Gorge on Tuesday, crossed the Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks, and spent three hours at Bonneville Hot Springs swimming and soaking in the mineral waters. Then we had lunch at Charburger,which is a tradition started by my parents a long long time ago.

2. Visiting my brother and sister-in-law. We sat in their back garden under the stars one evening around the fire and roasted marshmallows.

3. Visiting my brother and sister-in-law. We picked fresh tomatoes, beans, corn, and apples from their garden and took the produce in the house and ate it.

4. Visiting my brother and sister-in-law. Flower and I walked her usual four miles on the trail around the local golf club.

5. Visiting my brother and sister-in-law. My bro drove me to the Oregon Convention Center yesterday and picked me up again after so I could attend the first day of THE KNIT AND CROCHET SHOW sponsored by The Knitting Guild Association and The Crochet Guild Association. I took two classes and learned a lot about how to *whispers scary word* mathematically calculate design and size changes in a knit pattern. (The teacher used words like Euclidian geometry and discrete math.)

This has been a wonderful and exciting week! And I still have two more days here in Portland to store up memories!

Join others at and celebrate their Fave Fives this week.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today was the first day of the Knit and Crochet Show in Portland. I had a fantastic time, attended two 3-hour classes, jumped on the train and went to Old Town for lunch with Amani, MamaMia's buddy.

And guess what! I didn't take a single photo! Oh no!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beautiful Pacific Northwest

I'm here, we're having a great time, the weather is incredible!

I did not bring my laptop so I can't upload any photos until I get back home. I'm visiting lots of familiar places and seeing old friends. I'm making a new friend, too- Flower's granddaughter!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

On a Plane

I'm on my way to Portland for a nice little visit with my brother and Flower, who is my sister-in-law! I will try to post during the week I'm gone.
My bags are full of a few clothes and lots of yarn!
In the meantime, I'll miss all my blogging buddies!

Opening Doors, Day 6

Opening Doors, Day 6
Back Door, Bath Abbey

Closed doors in odd, out of the way places are intriguing and oh so mysterious.
See more doors at Heaven In Belgium.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Fave Five for Friday

Susanne at Living to Tell the Story is hosting Fave Five for Friday. Here’s what she says…
“Hope you play along. It’s very simple. Just list your favorite five things from the week. It can be anything from jokes to music to food. It’s a fun way to get to know more about each other and maybe make new friends, find new blogs or new things to try. Expand our world’s a bit. Make it as detailed as you like, but the more detail the more fun! Don’t forget to link to this site and sign the Mr. Linky so I can come and read your favorites.”

My Fave Five for this week:

1.The New Boy sleeping in his stroller with Edward Bunny snuggled up under his chin. The New Boy doesn't sleep much so having him nap in the afternoon is a blessing.

2. I finished sewing the wool bag. I love the turquoise cotton lining!

3. Ellen and I walked every morning this week. We started out each day when the fog was still clinging to the trees and covering the mountains, but by the time we were close to the top of the hills in my neighborhood, the sun had come out and burned most of the fog away and we saw blue sky overhead.

4. My daughter in law sent this photo of Chaplain Dan to me. I don't know when it was taken (although I know where) but I love it!

5. I am planning a trip next week to Portland to attend the Knit and Crochet Show. During the weekend, my brother called to invite me to come early, since I am not starting back to work for another week, and stay with him and Flower. Their invitation made my week!

Opening Doors, Day 5

Opening Doors, Day 5

I have posted so many photos of doors in England and I'm wondering if people might think I live in England. So today I'm posting a photo taken in the next town north (and a little west) of my town.
Mission San Buenaventura
Ventura, California

California is a new part of the New World. Jesuit priests under the leadership of Father Serra established missions and churches along the West Coast of California during the 18th Century before Spaniards, and later on, Americans, moved into California and displaced the native population. Mission San Bueneventura was established in 1782.

For more opening door photos, go to heaveninbelgium where Jientje is our hostess.