Friday, May 30, 2008

Yarning around town

There's a lot going on in our world, including one more trip to Phoenix next Wednesday to get my Mom moved out of her house and up here to stay. She'll be moving into a nice senior community in Wilsonville, OR. She doesn't "believe it" but we think life will be easier without a house and yard and 100°F-plus to contend with.

Off the needles
In the meantime, I've been knitting away between trips and move planning. Before I headed to Chicago, I found a quick little crochet pattern so I wouldn't go to the Fiberly weekend empty-handed - a soap sack pattern on Simple Knits. I added an extra row of changes to make the edge more lacy and this is what I came up with. It was a quick and easy project, and in the course of a week or so I whipped up about a dozen out of Sugar and Cream cotton yarn.

I started the Indigo Ripples skirt from Interweave Knits Summer 2007 before going to Phoenix, but didn't get much knitting done while I was there. When I got home, I set to work. The yarn is Elann Den-M-Nit Pure Indigo Cotton. The indigo dye seemed to be a little drying to my skin, or it may have simply been having to wash my hands after each knit session. It was a good pattern to knit; it knit up fast and like those who went before me, I do like the result.

On the needles
Evelyn Clark brought several knitted samples to class. One really grabbed me - Baltic Blossoms. So I took a picture to remind me and after I got home, I ordered it.

The Habu Bamboo lace yarn I got from Knit-Purl in Portland had been calling me to knit it up, so I cast on Baltic Blossoms. It's a 20/3 yarn, so very fine and my resulting shawl won't be large, but I think it will be pretty an oh-so-soft.

Portland Area yarn stores
Early this month I got news that Tangle in Lake Oswego will be closing in June. The same week, I also saw a note about a new shop opening in Vancouver, WA, Stitchcraft. It's an interesting market here. I've updated the Yarn Shops lists to reflect the changes.

In the meantime, a couple of days ago, my new neighbor, Laurie (who knits!!!) and I headed on a little shop-hop, since she is new to the area. We started at Mill End Store (she also sews - some). Then to Abundant Yarns, where we each picked up some Abundant Yarn naturally dyed yarn. I got 50/50 wool/silk in Bandon Dunes.

I also found Noro Designer Mini Knits by Jenny Watson that I couldn't resist bring home.

Next Laurie got to experience Yarn Garden. It's a great shop, but neither of us found anything that screamed it had to take it home, so we headed for our next destination - Yarnia. There were lots of yarns in wool, rayon, bamboo, silk, cotton and more and the concept of creating a unique blend of yarn was intriguing, but it's a new one to us, so we left with ideas and will probably return with projects in mind.

We headed across the Columbia into Vancouver to check out Stitchcraft. It's a nice little shop that has some quilt fabric and a very nice yarn selection. We both fell in love with the Purity shawl from Rowan Magazine 43 and decided we had to knit it.

I loved the orange, but I'm just not an orangy girl. The Rowan Kid Silk Haze was just so soft, I actually bought the pattern yarn, but picked out a more red version, which it turns out is not too far from the color of the Habu bamboo. Well at least I'm consistent. So far it's an easy knit in stockinette on size 9 needles.

I also found yet another book: Heartfelt by Kim Hargreaves.


Our last stop was Knit-Purl and Josephine's Dry Goods, where admired the yarn and fabric, but didn't make any purchases.

One more thing
Not yarn related, but worth mentioning is the restaurant we found - Kappaya. I ordered the Tempura bento, which I thought was a little spendy at $7.50, but I was wrong since it came not only with rice, salad, miso, but included two dumplings, pickled vegs, and more than a dozen pieces of tempura - more than half of which went home with me.

While I'm on the subject of Japanese food, I'll give honorable mention to our favorite (though not nearest) Japanese restaurant - Fuji Sushi in Clackamas. Good reasonably priced sushi. My favorite thing is the Sunnyside roll, with tempura shrimp, cucumber, cream cheese and avocado - topped with Fuji sauce. We haven't figured out exactly what's in the sauce, but it is good.

It was a good day out.