Saturday, April 28, 2007


In my trusty little camera, there were quite a variety of different pictures from this past week.

Mom projects
The reknit of the bodice and sleeves for my mom's peasant top (aka her Christmas present) is complete.

And here's the progress on the dressing gown. I haven't heard back from Martingale press and haven't had the gumption to figure out the collar on my own. It's now the first 2007 Christmas present, so I'll wait to see if the publisher responds before I put the extra brainpower into the collar and edgings.

On one of the sunny days, I set off with my iPod and camera and marveled at the neighborhood colors.
orangetulip orangewhitetulip pinkazaleas pinktree pinktree2 purpletulip redazaleas
rhodybuds tulipsgalore whitetulips yellowbush yellowflowers yellowtulips yellowtulips2

The Safeway in Lake Oswego gives a 50% discount on prescriptions for pets, so that's where we go to get Cody's meds. When we had to pick up some puppy pills, we decided to park out and walk through downtown Lake Oswego, something we really haven't done. On our way we met up with some very confident ducks, sharing the pond with some concrete birds.

In two weeks we are heading across the pond to Scotland. Because American has canceled their Chicago-Glasgow flight, our 10 hour travel time out is now 16 thanks to two layovers instead of one. Coming back will be worse, since we will layover at O'Hare for 4 hours. That's a lot of knitting time. So I've been trying to figure out what to take. (The most important part of trip planning, in my book, is the "activity bag.")

I've decided to resurrect the Sasha skirt. I started it last May, made some progress, then pulled it out because it was just going to be too small. Today, I'm about where I was before I restarted, which is here. Coincidentally, the page also has the original version of the peasant blouse.

My carry around project is another long-term (though not quite as old) project. When I received Victorian Lace Today, I was enamored with all the lovely lace, but overwhelmed with the choices. In January, I decided to try the Spider Net shawl. Try being the optimum word. In my two or three previous attempts, I kept running afoul of the pattern and had to restart. Finally, on the trip to San Francisco, I got the pattern in my head and here's where it stands. The yarn is stash Artisan NZ Merino lace yarn (300m to 20g - really lacy).

And through the power of suggestion, I have started an Elann lace shawl as part of the Elann Shawl Knit-a-long. When Lisa W invited me to join, I thought about all the lovely yarns in my stash and decided to do join. Then I had to decide on a pattern and shop my stash. In the end I settled on the Luna Moth Shawl and some Just Our Yarn Zen, a silk/cashmere yarn I found at Stitches West 2006. Very soft. Here's my progress.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Good recipes

Dianne asked me if I was going to blog about dinner last night and my first thought was, "probably not." But after a bite of the dessert this morning, I decided I'd share the wealth.

We invited Dianne and John come over (that's Dianne Rodway and John Becker of the City Properties Group in case you're Googling either of them), to dinner and a whisky tasting. Of course, Tom was hosting the tasting. It gave him a good excuse to open some bottles he'd purchased and share with people who would appreciate good whiskies. That's not to say that all were good, but the good apparently outweighed the bad. I wouldn't know. I'm not one of those people; water was my beverage of choice.

Tom was in charge of the main course and he adapted a lamb shank recipe by Mario Batali he found on Food Network. He used veal shanks (osso bucco) since I don't do lamb, a variety of olives from the olive bar at Market of Choice, frozen artichoke hearts and thyme instead of rosemary as the herb. I did say adapted. Tom is quite good at that. The braised veal and veggies were served over Marscarpone Polenta, from a veal shank recipe, also from the Food Network. It was all delish—especially the polenta.

At Market of Choice strawberries and rhubarb were prominently featured, so we decided that would be the basis for the dessert. My favorite place to look for recipes is For 20 years we subscribed to Bon Appetit, but my love for cooking had waned and they were taking up just too much space, so I gifted the issues to a friend. But I digress. There were lots of pie and compote recipes, but I finally narrowed it down to Strawberry Rhubarb Pudding Cake. It seemed easy and foolproof. And it turned out to be that and fabulous. Tom and I agree that of all the fruit desserts I've made this one springs to the tastebuds as the BEST. So I highly recommend it.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Doggie Dash Update

Just thought you might like to know that thanks to a lot of wonderful friends, family and a stranger or two, TheHudsons have raised almost over $800 so far!

There's still time to support the Oregon Humane Society. It's the "Doggie" Dash because it's easier to walk and dash with dogs than say, cats or bunnies, but the Oregon Humane Society isn't just about dogs. So if you're an animal lover, please consider sponsoring us with a donation. Every dollar counts.

Donate in Tom's name.

Donate in Patty's name.


"Romantic Style" frustration

What is it with book and magazine editors? Are they so concerned with the page layout that the pattern completeness and accuracy isn't import?

I've finished the body of the Dressing Gown from Romantic Style and am frustrated with the inadequate intructions regarding the collar and edging. "Start collar at left shoulder edge" is the only placement instruction. Then the pattern launches into the collar itself with no mention of how it is attached. The starting sentence would imply it's knit on, but the instructions don't bear that out.

Same goes for the edging. Is it sewn on or knit on? Since the edging instructions only provide the pattern, I'm guessing it's sewn on, and I'm guessing the starting point is the back of the collar once it's attached, but you wouldn't know that from the instructions.

I'm not a novice knitter and I can usually figure things out, but with one lousy diagram with just the shape and dimensions, and two stylized photos, the hope of having this done for Mom's day is fading fast.

I've emailed Martingale and Co. We'll see how quickly and thoroughly they respond.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Weekend in San Francisco

This past weekend we attended our seventh Whiskies of the World Expo in San Francisco. Tom goes for the tastings, to check out new products and talk with the distillery managers and owners. I go to keep Tom company.

We stayed at the Handlery Hotel on Union Square. It wasn't our hotel choice, but one chosen when the Renaissance Parc 55 overbooked and offered to pay for our stay at another hotel. We had a "deluxe" room, and it was nice. However, it was on the second floor facing Geary St and much like sleeping on the street with all the noise. Were it not for the fact that the hotel was completely booked we would have asked for quieter room; instead we purchased squishy ear plugs which seemed to do the trick. It was, however, an excellent location and the price ($0) was right.

The hotel had a comfortable lobby, where I spent the early hours knitting, till it was a reasonable hour for Tom to get up. While there I had a chance to chat with Charles South, a member of the Tisohmingo county, Mississippi school board. Seems the National School Board Association was in town (is that why we were moved?).

The better part of the trip for me is the shopping in San Francisco. We always visit Artfibers and I usually come home with something new. I do a lot of online yarn shopping, but clearly there is nothing like seeing yarns in person and Artfibers always has swatches and samples, which is the reason this year I came home with three colors of Sylph—a true red, a rosy red, and royal blue.

Of course, Britex is always a destination on our visits to the City, but without a specific project in mind, I generally don't leave with anything. It is an experience, to be sure, but a bit of a sensory overload.

Tom did pretty well, too, adding to his collection of Single Malt Whiskies and other spirits, including a Bruichladdich special bottling. (This is a pdf link)

On our return to the hotel from Sutter St, we walked through Union Square where artists were displaying their work. And there was a giant elephant staring at us from Macy*s as part of their Celebration of India.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A new shirt for Tom

I had planned to make a new coat to wear on our trip down to San Francisco this weekend. And everything was going swimmingly until I tried to attach the collar facing to the back lining. The lining was WAY too small to fit the collar. A look at the back lining pattern piece (yes, I should have checked it before I cut) compared to the collar piece told me the piece had been drafted incorrectly. In fact, even without the pleat, it was too small.

So I abandoned the coat for the trip (who need's sewing stress before a trip?) and moved on to something I knew would work.

Thanks to my shirt cutting spree earlier this year, and getting up so early, Friday morning Tom got a new shirt to wear on the trip.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Doggie Dash
Thanks to the generousity of friends and a few strangers, we have collected over $500 for the Oregon Humane Society in one week! And there's still a month to go...

Dressing Gown
I'm making more progress than I expected. I'm working on the back and sleeves at the moment. Can I dare to hope to have it done for Mom's day?

Peasant Top
I actually finished it last July, after my mom picked the pattern out of the Spring 2006 Knitters magazine. And it was gifted to her on Christmas. And it fit. BUT the cap sleeves were too short for her liking. We spoke on Sunday and she was wondering just where was her sweater. Okay. I had to get on the stick and find a ball of the brown yarn on the web since, I couldn't find it in my stash. This one wasn't so easy because not too many stores seem to carry the Garnstudio Bommul-Lin yarn. After some Googling, I did find it, and it's a local online store, located in Aurora, Oregon—Knitty Noddy.

Here's my backward progress having frogged the yoke and sleeves, since both were knit from the bottom up and my attempts to just take out the sleeves were a bust. I did, however, take the opportunity to lengthen the top by an inch.

A walk in the park

Our walking program continues, having missed only one day because we didn't want to get caught in one of Monday's many two-minute torrential downpours (I'm not exagerrating.)

On Sunday and yesterday, we ventured to Mary S. Young Park. We've taken the dogs to the open dog park (remember Cooper?), but never really wandered through the park, since the Cody dog can't go on long hikes. There were some lovely little wildflowers and streams and the added bonus of throwing balls for a couple of dogs (who shall remain pictureless.)

And just because here's Mt. Hood taken on a very sunny, warm Friday.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Doggie Dash 2007

We are great proponents of adopting rescue dogs. Three out of the four dogs that have graced our family were rescue dogs. We continue to support the Nike Animal Rescue Foundation who brought us Cody and Companion Animal Rescue Effort, where we were all introduced to Miss Mandy.

When we moved to Oregon, it only seemed natural that we support the Oregon Humane Society. Normally, we do it with a check, but hearing about the Doggie Dash timed with our new exercise routine of walking, we thought we could do something more.

So that's where you come in. I'm asking you to help us support the Oregon Humane Society by making a donation on behalf of me or Tom. Your choice.

Whatever you can give will help - it all adds up! We greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on our progress.

Donate in Patty's name.

Donate in Tom's name.


Still knitting

I am bound and determined to finish either the dressing gown or the reclaimed traveling shells vest, but it's a bit slow going.

My trip to the hand specialist resulted in a diagnosis of "saddle syndrome"—swelling of the saddle joint of the middle and ring finger. He prescribed therapy and rest to try to reduce the swelling, before doing anything drastic like poking a sharp object into it with drugs. Rest consists of a buddy thingy that holds the two fingers together so the joint isn't stressed. Therapy consists of heat and cold and massage.

Fortunately the buddy contraption is placed low enough on the fingers that it's only a slight impairment to most motions, so I can do most things, including knitting—just more slowly.

So any new knitting projects are in my head. Lace. I want to knit more lace...

Scenes from our walk

I use "our" because after walking at my usual early hour, I encountered so much post-spring break traffic—which is an issue when there aren't sidewalks everywhere—I decided to go out later and Tom decided to go out with me.

It was clear and freezy-cold on Tuesday, but it made for a great view of Mount St. Helens, and if you look very closely, you can also see Mount Rainier peeking from behind. The advantage of the clouds is that they keep the heat in so at 50ish on Wednesday, it was downright balmy. Mount Hood without houses looked better in person, but here it is anyway, with it's "hood" of clouds.


And there were some flowers along the way like bright yellow and orange tulips.

And roses, tiny roses.

And the first buds and flowers on a rather large and otherwise barren tree.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Flora and fauna

Starting with the fauna
We met at Dianne and John's house before heading to Abhiruchi for dinner. It was quite a surprise and fascinating to see a hawk sitting in their back yard.

On my morning walks, I'm noticing all the lovely spring color (even though it's been close to freezing). I thought I'd share some of it with you.