Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 2:09 PM

Last year #1 Son was the proud recipient of a speeding ticket. You should take care of that right away, I suggested. Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll take care of it.

Later, #1 Son received a letter from the Oregon DMV explaining that the state frowns on people who fail to take care of their tickets and tends to suspend or revoke their driving privileges until it’s all cleared up. You really should take care of that, I reminded. Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll take care of it.

Then #1 Son traveled to Brazil for over a month and life went on and I forgot all about it because… it had been taken care of.

Tax time came, and taxes were calculated, and returns were electronically filed. #1 Son received a nice letter from the State Of Oregon (Revenue Division) thanking him for the tax return amount that had been applied to his outstanding account from Multnomah County. Would he please remit the remainder post haste? What’s this about? I asked. I don’t know, Mom. But don’t worry, I’ll get it taken care of.

Fast forward to last Wednesday. It’s 10:30 PM, and I am drowsing knitting in front of the TV, watching a DVR’d episode of Men In Trees. The phone rings.

#1 Son: Mom! My car just got towed! What am I going to do!

I’ve been through this once before. Last year when I was in Miami on business, a call came from #1 Son in Canada asking me to move his car in Portland. It was difficult, since I was diagonally almost as far away across the US from the car as I could possibly get, thus my familiarity with the whole car towing thing. It also pointed out what a small place the world is becoming. But I digress.

Mom (only 1/2 awake and trying to understand what might have happened): Why was your car towed? You have the area parking permit now.

#1 Son: Well… OK… here’s what happened. You know how when you get off the freeway by my house you can only go north and I live south and everyone just does that illegal U-turn? Well… my roommate called to tell me that there were a lot of cops out pulling people over for illegal U-turns. So instead of making a U-turn I crossed two lanes over a solid white line and turned left. [ed.: because apparently an illegal left turn is so much better than an illegal U-turn.] And the cop pulled me over and towed my car.

Mom (still trying to understand): Why did he tow your car?

#1 Son (after long pause): Apparently I’ve been driving on a suspended license. But I really didn’t know that! And he threw me in the back of his car and frisked me and everything! He wouldn’t even let me push my car home even though I could see my house from where I was. What am I going to do?

Mom (trying to remain calm): You will be glad you are not the kind of person to have illegal substances in your car (right?!?!?). You will be happy that you did take care of the lost registration so that this is not being complicated by a charge of driving a stolen vehicle (yes I know it’s not but you are a punk kid and therefore everything you say is suspect). In the morning you will call the state and find out what that outstanding debt is for and this time you will actually get it taken care of. You will then call the City Of Portland and find out how to get your car back. You will then call the court and find out how to take care of your ticket. You will then report back to me. Love you!


Thursday morning… in between meetings, my phone rings…

#1 Son: Hi! I called the state and paid them. They will let Multnomah County know by tomorrow that I’ve paid and Multnomah County will tell DMV so that is taken care of. I called about my car… uh… apparently I have to get a release from the police first before I can get the car back. But I can’t get the release because I’m not the registered owner and I don’t have a valid driver’s license. uh… what do I do now?

Mom: Apparently I will have to go get the release. Can one of your friends drive your car when I go to pick it up? By the way, your car is coming to my house. I will take your friend back to wherever they need to go afterwards.

#1 Son: I talked to Guitar Hero and he can go. Here’s the number of the place where the car is. And here’s Guitar Hero’s number. And here’s the number and address of the place where you get the release. Thanks. I really love you!

So I called Guitar Hero and asked him to be at my work front door at 4:00, and he agreed. I called the Portland Police and learned that people trying to get back cars towed because of a crime have to go to the Asset Forfeiture Unit first. But I could go directly to the Records Division to obtain the release because this was for a violation not a crime.

On my lunch hour (an extended hour, as it turns out), I walked down to the Portland Police Bureau Central Precinct. Once there, I was required to prove who I was and why I was there before I was allowed to ride the elevator up to the Records Division. The waiting room of the RD was tiny and lined on three sides with backless wooden benches. The east side included windows of bullet-proof (I assume) glass with little slits for papers and such to be passed back and forth. I stood briefly trying to get the lay of the land. Take a number, I was told. I did so and sat down against the north wall.

There were three parties ahead of me in line, and they were all friendly and chatty. The woman currently being served was there to get a release for her daughter’s car. It had been towed because her daughter was driving without a license. It seems that her daughter wasn’t old enough to actually get a permit, but she’d only driven a mile or two. (I hesitated to ask why her daughter had a car.)

The couple on the west bench were there to get a car that had been towed. (Do you see a pattern here?) They had been upstairs first to the Asset Forfeiture Unit. They didn’t really want to discuss why. I didn’t really want to know.

The woman on the south bench across from me broke the pattern as she was just there to get a background check so she could rent an apartment. I really hope my drug convictions don’t show up, she said quite seriously. I had no idea how to respond to that except good luck.

It occurred to me that I had left my knitting at work.

I was vastly relieved to have the release in hand and head back to work. At 3:45 PM my phone rang…

Guitar Hero: uh… hi… you know when I talked to you earlier… there was something I sort of forgot… I think my license is unsuspended. I just need to go over to DMV to get it reinstated. But I sort of haven’t done that yet so it’s not really valid… I talked to Drummer Boy and he said he’ll go with you to get #1 Son’s car so I’m going to bring him down and we should be there pretty soon.

Was I being punked? Twilight Zone? Candid Camera? (OK. That shows my age.) I was beginning to think that I was the last person in Oregon with a valid driver’s license.

Drummer Boy went with me the last time I had to get #1 Son’s car out of hock. This, I told him is deja vu all over again. He assured me that he did, indeed, have a valid license. The tow company fortunately had a key, because I do not (which I remembered on the way over there). And #1 Son’s car is back outside my house, taking the place of the car that had taken the place of the truck.

Last night my phone rang…

#1 Son: I think I forgot to tell you that L [ed. his girlfriend] is coming down from Canada and Autistic Youth is playing a couple of shows down in the Bay Area. We should be back I think on Sunday. Or maybe Monday.

Mom: How are you getting down there?

#1 Son: We’re taking Guitar Hero’s van

Mom: Drummer Boy better be doing all the driving

#1 Son (after long, long pause): Yeah. We’ll figure it out. Did you know that I could get my license back as soon as next Wednesday now that everything is taken care of but the new ticket? Isn’t that good news? Love you!

Furry Friends |Knitting |On The Road by Judy @ 9:51 PM

view from my room
view from my room

I am home! And I am very glad to be here.

Friday Harbor was, as always, gorgeous. This first picture is the view from my room in The Lodge at Lakedale Resort. I was on the ground floor and only had to open the door and walk out to be right on the shore. The room was cute and cozy. There was a fireplace with an electronic starter which was appreciated just before bed and first thing in the morning to take the chill off. The rest of the time I didn’t really need it. For one thing, I was rarely in my room. But, as you can see, there are vastly worse places to spend 4+ days.

Since I overslept had so much to do on Saturday morning, I missed the 2:30 ferry. So by the time I arrived in Friday Harbor, it was dark. If you’ve ever been way out in the country away from city lights, then you know, gentle reader, just how dark dark can be. I don’t see all that well at night, so the drive out to Lakedale was… exciting, shall we say? The turn off for Lakedale leads you on an adventure down a 1 lane road over a 1 lane bridge. In the dark. There were signs pointing past the cabins to the lodge, but I couldn’t find a place to park my car. So I parked in front and went inside. And there I found an envelop with my name on it and a set of keys inside. I asked one of the Lodge hosts where to park. Right up on top there, he said, pointed up a wall of rocks to a higher area where I could see a car parked. Just go up that driveway over there, he added. I peered into the darkness, but no driveway could I see. Right up there by that truck, he explained. OK, I replied. I got in my car and carefully backed up until I was near where he had told me the driveway was. Acting totally on faith, I drove up what looked, in the blackness, to be either a wall or a bog. It was a driveway. Whew.

After parking I stumbled around the grounds in the dark, trying to find anyone that I knew. I was rescued by Cat (she seems to rescue me quite often, come to think of it), who took me in to the light and warmth and company and wonderful food.

Wings Of The Raven
Wings Of The Raven

The weather was pretty decent. There was rain. And one night there was quite a wind storm. But we did have some gloriously sunny, faux-spring warmth. A fellow retreater snapped these pictures of Wings Of A Raven for me when the sun came out. (Thank you, again, fellow retreater!)

I love this first picture because it almost shows how the colors shift in the light. See how it looks black across my back, but the left wing has flashes of blue on it?

And my hair is almost behaving itself, miracle of miracles! But I could use a little tan on my arms, it appears.

The second shot of the sun streaming through the lace shows off the feather pattern nicely, I think.

Every place I have worn this shawl I’ve gotten lots of compliments. People just want to touch it and pet it and I do, too. Of all of the objects I’ve knit, I have to admit this is one of my favorite. And I’m going to wear it a lot. Because black, you know, goes with everything. It’s the new black, or something like that.

I am not at liberty to tell you about the Visionary Retreat. I can only say that it was an amazingly diverse group of people with an amazingly diverse array of projects / interests, and the energy was, well… amazing. I felt both energized and drained, if that is possible. Although I slept like a log every night, by Thursday morning I was really, really, really tired.

Getting up early enough to be in town by 7:00 for the 8:05 ferry was trying. Thank goodness there’s a little coffee place right next to the ferry dock where decent coffee and breakfast sandwiches can be procured by hungry and sleepy travelers.

Wings Of The Raven
Wings Of The Raven

On the way home, I stopped in Tacoma for the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat. I wasn’t signed up for any classes. But I’d heard that there might be yarn involved.

And there was yarn. Lots of yarn. Walls and aisles and racks and booths of yarn.

I bought no yarn. None.

I hear your gasps of surprise out there, gentle reader. But it is true. I fondled and petted and stroked all of the yarn. But none came home with me.

I stayed away from the Koigu.

I said hello to Teresa, who did not laugh this time at my lack of sock yarn. I waved at Lucy Neatby, who was in a vast hurry to get somewhere. I spoke to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and managed, this time, not to be a total dork (only partially). And Tina petted Wings Of A Raven and agreed that it was a perfect pattern for that yarn, which was sort of cool.

But, best of all, I got to see the two people I really, really wanted to see. So, in order of actual seeing:

Shelly, from Butternut Woolens, was there with some of her yummy hand-dyed yarn and roving. Gentle reader, if you have a chance, you must see her indigo dyed sock yarn. Gorgeous! Like all of her yarns. Shelly and I had a wonderful chat. I felt sort of bad monopolizing her when there might be paying customers. But it was so fun to talk to her. Shelly is one of the few people I know who understand exactly what I mean when I say things like Island Park and Arco and continental divide, and who isn’t all that surprised that I ended up canoing in a snowstorm one August when I was a kid.

After bidding a fond farewell, I headed over to Tactile Fiber Arts’ booth, where I got to meet Brooke. And then, leaving the marketplace madness behind, Maya and I chatted over a cuppa coffee. Maya, as you will remember, gentle reader, dyed the yummy honey-colored yarn that I am using for the Honeybee Stole. So nice to tell her in person how much I love it! Maya and Brooke are dying wonderful fibers with natural, long-lasting dyes. If you have a chance to see their work, don’t miss them!

Madrona haul
Madrona haul

I didn’t escape from the marketplace entirely unscathed. I purchased a lovely new nostepinde from Asciano.

A pair of silver sheep earrings were acquired from JKF, Inc. And how could I resist the matching necklace that has as a pendant a bell with a sheep clapper?

I had planned to stay late and maybe have dinner with Maya and Brooke. But I was so, so tired I was afraid I might not make it home if I drove after dark. So I left pretty early and headed south. And, of course, arrived in Portland just in time for rush hour. Go figure.

Captain Kidd and Moo Cow were just fine, and glad to see me. #1 Son checked in on them during my absence, so I knew they’d be alright. This morning I picked Phoebe up from the vet where she had a radioactive iodine treatment. She is none the worse for wear, and hopefully will now be cured of her problems and back to normal. She will take a little extra care over the next few weeks, though, until she ceases to radiate. Or, rather, her litter will need extra care. It must be flushed for the next three weeks. And she will not be allowed to sleep with me for awhile. 🙁 (It sort of reminds me of one line from Elephant Parts: My house glows with almost no help.)

But the good thing is that we are all home and healthy and happy. And tomorrow I’m having lunch with #1 Son and we’ll have a chance to catch up, too.

Furry Friends |Knitting by Judy @ 10:50 PM

honey and … clowns?
honey and … clowns?

So, with The Wings Of the Raven finished, what was I to do but cast on a new lace project? And, well… maybe some socks. Because two pairs of socks on the needles are obviously not enough, you know.

So I spent Saturday mostly winding yarn. 1350 yds of laceweight and 360 yds of sock yarn, to be exact. It took a long time. But my handy dandy little tinker-toy swift really helped.

Then I cast on the Honeybee Stole and knit one repeat of the center pattern. I love it. I love the way the pattern is knitting up. I love the golden honey color. I love the way the colors are subtly pooling. I love the way that the cashmere/silk blend is exactly like knitting with very soft clouds.

Did I mention that I love it?

I’m a little iffy on whether I’ll have enough yarn or not. I really want to use all of it. But if I run out I can’t really run down to the LYS and get more. What I have is all there is in the whole, wide world. Which is very cool. But a little scary. So I cast on for the larger size of the stole, but I’ve gone down one needle size and I’m planning on knitting one fewer repeat in the center. Keep your fingers crossed.

For socks, I wanted something really colorful. After knitting for a couple of months on black, black, black… color just seemed like a nice thing. So I reached into my stash and pulled out the most colorful yarn that was right on top so I didn’t have to dig too far. This is Great Adirondacks Soxy in High Desert. I really love the colors in this yarn. And, yes, the blue really is that bright.

But, the way it’s knitting up… gentle reader, are you seeing… clown barf?

I’d really like opinions on this. For me, I think the jury is still out. I will knit for a bit further and see if maybe it’s going to be OK. I’m knitting a pair of toe-up Monkeys. I experimented a bit with the toe and ended up with a very pointy, rather strange looking end. But my feet are rather pointy and strange anyway. It’s all good.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your kind comments about The Wings Of The Raven. There was sun today, but alas I was not home to take pictures. It may be a week or two before I can manage that. I’m not sure I will ever be able to really do it justice. But I will definitely be wearing it next Thursday at Madrona. So if you are there, and you see a strange woman with biggish hair wearing a blackish/bluish winged stole, running around and petting all the yarn, do say hello!

#1 Son will be home tomorrow. Even as I type, he is on a plane that is winging its way from Sao Paulo. He has to make a connection and has a rather long lay-over. I get to pick him up at the airport and I’m already excited. I know I have to play it cool and nonchalant and all that. But I will be so glad to see him. And so will Moo Cow. 😆

Knitting by Judy @ 7:43 AM

pretty, pretty
pretty, pretty

Last August, Maia came up to Portland for a bit of a yarn crawl. Somewhere during the day, I whined mentioned to her that I couldn’t find just the right honey-colored laceweight that I wanted for the Bee Fields Shawl by Anne Hanson. Sort of like this, I said, picking up one ball of super-bulky something or other, shading into this (picking up second ball). Not solid, but slightly variegated. Honey and golden bees. You know.

Maia, bless her soul, said that she would be happy to dye yarn for me. All I needed to do was to send the yarn to her. Little did she know that I would actually take her up on that.

There began the search for the perfect yarn. I had almost given up hope when at the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival I found a gorgeous undyed cashmere/silk blend by Hokulani Farms. Three skeins were dispatched to Maia.

Maia was pretty busy because she and Brooke had started Tactile Fiber Arts, purveyor of gorgeous, naturally-dyed yarn and fiber. So I had to wait awhile. But I forced myself to not email Maia every day asking is it done yet? waited patient (mostly), knowing that my yarn was in good hands and having other lace in progress anyway.

Last week I received a package in the mail. And, oh, it was so worth the wait!

See in the picture? Gorgeous, honey-colored yarn with just the perfect amount of shading into reddish-golds, and sometimes into slightly greenish golds. I can’t wait to have this on my needles! In the meantime, plans for this have changed to the Honeybee Stole, also by Anne Hanson, because I think I will wear a rectangular stole more than a triangular shawl. And I will want to wear this one. Lots.

The fingering-weight skein in the picture was a surprise from Maia. Isn’t that just beautiful? Coral and khaki and white. I am in heaven! And that’s just a tiny sample of Tactile Fiber Arts offerings. Their online store will be coming soon. Until then, you can keep up with announcements on their blog. And look for them in the markets at Madrona and Stitches West.

I’m really hoping to get to Madrona for part of one day, and I’m going to definitely stop by Tactile’s booth. Will I see you there, too?

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 8:50 PM

ravens have landed
ravens have landed

I heard the Ravens cawing as they winged their way from Scappoose. I rescued them from the mailbox on my way home. Poor things — it’s damp and cold in there.

Top: Laci in Korppi
Bottom L-to-R: Silk Thread in Haida and Thraven; Socks That Rock Light in Rook-y and Ravenscroft; Silkie STR in Tlingit

This yarn is just extraordinarily hard to photograph. There’s no way to capture the richness of the colors or the way that the color appears and disappears on the Silk Thread as it is moved back and forth. And, of course, this is Oregon and it’s winter, so there’s no light to speak of — or at least I have not been home except in the dark since this yarn came. Today a weak sun peaked out for a brief moment and I started snapping pics.

The Laci is earmarked for Anne’s new faroese pattern. Go and look at her site to see this shawl. I’ll wait right here. It’s well worth looking at! There will be a stole version also that uses fingering weight yarn. I may knit that one later.

The Thraven… OK. Silk Thread is very… threadlike. I had planned on knitting The Wings Of A Dream version of Mystery Stole 3. But this yarn is too fine for that pattern. What would you do, gentle reader, if you had the perfect yarn for a pattern but it wasn’t the right gauge? Well… I ordered another skein of Thraven so I can double the strand. My order shows shipped, but it did not arrive today, probably because of the weekend. I expect it will be here on Monday.

Interestingly enough, the Haida has a typo on the ball band. It says Haidi.

Haidi ho, haidi hi
gonna get me a piece of the sky…

OK. That’s not the way the song really goes. But that’s what started going through my mind.

There are no particular plans for the STR or the Silkie. It will go into my stash for awhile until it lets me know what it wants to be. I really love the Ravenscroft and I can see that on my sock needles soon. When I can get back to sock knitting.

And, yes, I’m still slogging away at The Great Green Glob. I was nearly finished with the I-cord when I realized that it just was way too tight. So I ripped the I-cord out and started over. I’m much happier with the results this time. I’m about 1/2 way done with it, and should have it finished soon.

Today, although no yarn arrived, I did receive an order from Knit Picks of a few Options Harmony tips in the sizes I use the most — including the sizes needed for any of the lace projects I want to start.

Thank you for the sympathy on the loss of my rose. 😥 I loved the rose, but the arch had gotten more and more rickety over the years, and I spent most of the summer shoring the poor thing up and putting it back together. I still have other roses. This is Oregon, after all, as we have already established.

In other news, #1 Son is still trying to raise the money needed for his trip. He is a bit unhappy with me, as I have been firm in my resolve to keep Bank Of Mom closed for withdrawals and not accepting applications for new loans – unless, of course, one is attached to a business plan that might actually earn a living or has a proven ROI, which I have not seen so far. But he is close to his goal and may make it yet. I’m not sure whether to hope he does or hope he doesn’t. Either way, things will work out the way they are supposed to. They always do.

Knitting by Judy @ 7:06 AM

“official” PDX Knit Bloggers sign
“official” PDX KBs sign

I will post about Boston and the fun stuff I did there later — when / if I finally get organized. But first I want to tell you about the wonderful time I had yesterday at the first PDX Knit Bloggers meet-up.

The PDX Knit Bloggers group was born when several of us were blown away by the number of people who had their hand raised when The Yarn Harlot asked how many people in the Portland area blogged. There’s a bunch of us. So of course, being both bloggers and knitters, a little gathering was necessary!

The official sign was provided by Bobbie’s husband Tool Man. I love it!

PDX Knit Bloggers
PDX Knit Bloggers

Be sure to click on this picture to see the biggy-size version. I stitched it together from several pictures, so some of the angles of tables and such might look a little wonky. But it gives you an idea of how many people where there. This represents about 1/2 of the bloggers that have joined the PDX Knit Bloggers list.

Knit Purl provided us with a space, iced tea, ice water, and door prizes. And… well… cookies and brownies where there also and I did try a couple. 😆 It was sooooo cool to see everyone and the lovely projects they are working on. I laughed and laughed and chatted and commiserated and celebrated and had a wonderful time.

Kathy, who is much more organized than this intrepid reporter (I didn’t even managed to remember to bring paper and pencil) kept a list of the attendees, so I’ve stolen this from her (thanks, Kathy!):

a bit of yarny stuff
a bit of yarny stuff

Did I mention there were door prizes? People with stickers under their chairs were treated to a little surprise. Mine was the Shibui Merino Alpaca in Bark that you see in the upper right of this picture.

In the upper left of the picture is hand-dyed superwash sock yarn from Fearless Fiber’s Etsy shop in colorway Marrakesh. This is wonderful, sprongy, 100% merino yarn that has been rainbow-dyed in a gorgeous and subtle combination of different greens with touches of mustard and bronze. The picture doesn’t begin to show how lovely this yarn is in person. Go, now, over to Fearless Fibers and check out Deb’s lovely yarns and patterns. Yum!

In the bottom row… Well, Knit Purl is a yarn shop. L-R: Colinette Jitterbug in Jay, Shibui Sock in Stone, Koigu KPPPM in P342 – a mostly gray/brown with flecks and short runs of bright orange/green/yellow/red/blue, and finally Artyarns Ultramarino in 139 (don’t you love colorways named with numbers?) – I had to have this because the colors are exactly the PI blog blues and greens, and how perfect is that?

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