Portland

Two weeks into our third year of marriage and I have to say I’ve gotten two things that I severely needed, more than jewelry, more than yarn (yep):

  1. Emotional support
  2. Family time

At the beginning of the month we had a surprise visit from my cousin Janet and her husband Kannan. We had just seen them in California the weekend before for their wedding. Later, her sister Laura flew in and we all went out to lunch! omnomnomnom, Thai street food!

Kannan, Janet, Laura, JD

And of course, my husband has to make a weird face. lol

Laura stayed a few days and we hung out talking about everything from makeup, to family, to life in general. Made me so happy to be able to reconnect with my cousins even though we haven’t had quality time since…I don’t even remember. It’s been too long! I sometimes play with the idea of going south for the winter to see my family, but something always manages to come up, distract, or drain my holiday funds before I can settle on an itinerary.

The next day we went around and showed Laura Mississippi Ave and walked around for a little bit. I found some HUGE textile bobbins at a shoes store!

textile bobbins textile bobbins

all the tokyo milk

We also happened upon a shop that sells the entire range of Tokyo Milk! This pretty much sets me up for life for gifts for a particular friend. Never have to worry about what to get her ever again and I get to support a local small business! Double win for me! =D Flutter also has an assortment of cute hair accessories, notebooks, magnets, and other useful house ware nick-knacks.

As we wandered we ran into a friend of ours, Lauren. She was there with a friend on the hunt for lunch. Laura later noted that she really liked the fact that one could wander down a street and run into someone you know. That’s something I feel is very positive Portland and common for smaller-mid size communities.

Though we’ve had a huge influx of people over the past 5 years that small-town feel is somehow surviving. I’m happy that there’s still some positive in the sea of overwhelming negative (homeless population in Portland seems like it’s about 20% because of how much it is reported, and how little the city is active in improving the situation).


Anyways, after my cousins visited that Tuesday the 6th was our 2nd wedding anniversary!

Lucy on the toilet

Lucy also enjoys the toilet on occasion. She sat and waited while we were getting ready to go out. She doesn’t like being left out of the know. Her mood since we’ve been back from Europe doesn’t seem to have changed as much as when we left for a week last year for Costa Rica. Maybe 2 and a half weeks is too long and she forgot about us?

In any case, I think from now on we’ll only do a week at a time if possible. She’s getting older, and calmer thankfully, but still a wiley little butt-munch that needs our full attention, when she wants it, at her convenience, because cat.

2nd wedding anniversary

We dolled up and headed out to Hokusei, which is now Fukami. Had geoduck and Uni nigiri for the first time and I think I’m hooked! Geoduck is much tastier than muscles, scallops, clams, surf clam, and ika combined! It’s like all of them in one gloriously sweet and savory semi-solid textured omnomnom. And Uni. omg Uni.

Fukami itself is a really great experience. There are two menu items and a nigiri menu. They had real wasabi root that they ground fresh for each piece of nigiri as well as a curated set of dishes and a dessert. The dining room is limited to the counter and one 4-top table. It’s very intimate and you get to chat with the chefs too.


This past weekend we also went out and walked around a bunch, just my Jonathan and me. The master plan was to hit the Rose City Comic Con, but we didn’t quite make it there. Instead we did about 30 miles of urban exploration over two days.

I’d post our route, but I don’t want to publicly post where I live…so…just trust that we walked a lot haha.

The community mural on 39th between Belmont and Hawthorne has some new additions:
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All the Toast Ghosts had different quips and one liners. This one is my favorite of the loaf.

Obnoxiously, it seems some pea-brained gangster-wannabe spray painted a gang sign over an actual art piece that was posted up there. =( Fortunately there are plenty of other contributions that don’t appear to be negatively affected.

…now that I look at it I should have gotten a better shot of the mountain and moon triangle piece in the bottom left corner. Oh well, it doesn’t look like it will rain soon so I may be able to get back there in time for a good photo of it.


At the waterfront I finally decided to take a picture of this weird sticker. I’ve seen it before on a few occasions, but yesterday it really was shouting out to me. How can I say no to neon and clip art?

I can say no to going to their website. Anyone out there brave enough to grab some screenshots for me?

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Also, Mr. Grumpus

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At Mt Tabor yesterday there were also a lot of photo opportunities. I got a few shots of the reservoir and the downtown cityscape behind it.

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So I don’t consider myself exactly photogenic, but I enjoy the occasional couples selfie. Husband…not as enthusiastic. haha
img_5126 img_5127On our way down to the lower reservoir the road twists around the northern part of the park towards a switchback to get to the upper reservoir gate. There a Caterpie pokemon spawned at the same time I saw a real caterpillar in the road! He was quite a fat and juicy looking specimine that probably fell off of a tree branch high above us.

Naturally I wanted to save it. I like small weird squishy bug type things (spiders not included).

It was decided that the little guy was not a Caterpie, but a Weedle. As Jonathan went to scoop it with a leaf it flailed quite wildly and almost pricked him with the horn on it’s head.

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A caterpillar with a horn, definitely a Weedle! He tried again with a stick, and the caterpillar struck again at the stick. Pokemon: the struggle is real, in the wild. Unfortunately, with direct sunlight the camera app in the Pokemon Go game is really terrible. The graphic for the Caterpie is pretty good while the fat, juicy, green caterpillar is all washed out. It was nearly as green as the Caterpie.

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Finally reaching the lower reservoir via some precariously steep and narrow concrete access stairs I grabbed another shot of the area. I’m not sure who’s idea it was that our reservoirs look like castles, but I thoroughly enjoy our gothic looking architecture. I think these may have been built in or around the same era as a lot of the work done along the Historic Columbia Highway, Highway 26 to the coast in the Cascade mountain range, and Route 101 along the coastline. There are very similar ramparts along the roads at various vista points and pullouts.


Work has begun on the technical spinning project I have planned. So far so good on the Zwarbles sample I have. It’s surprisingly incredibly easy to draft!

Here’s a few upclose shots of the fiber:

zwarbles sample zwarbles So far it seems the fiber has been expertly prepared. I’m excited about this because I like spinning natural fibers to ply against more colorful custom dyed commercial tops.

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Success! I didn’t get the flu this year so I was able to check out a few of the shops!

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This year the rcyc started a day early! WHO DOES THAT? I was a little irked that the stores were making their exclusives and having trunk shows starting on Thursday. A lot of people have jobs, a lot of people are coming from out of state, a lot of people are  attending! That last bit though is probably why they extended the crawl by a whole day. This year they didn’t have a yarn ball either (pre-party).

Enough of the self-deluded griping and on to the goodies!!

rcyc haul

From leftish to rightish:

A. Thoroughly Thwacked 60/40 Merino Bamboo fiber braid gradient Bleeding Heart

B. Alexandra’s Crafts 50/50 Merino Yak down fiber braid. No official color way name, but it is a dark red/black

C. Twist and Turnings 2.25″ African Padauk Whorl with a 9.5″ Maple shaft. 26g/0.95oz

D. Ashland Bay Cheviot natural roaving. 0.5oz for testing purposes

E. Alexandra’s Crafts Custom Colorway for Pearl Fiber Arts. Cedar Creek 85/15 SW Merino Neps in Mushroom

F. Alexandra’s Crafts 2 skeins Black Butte 60/20/20 Merino, Silk, and Yak down. In the color way Deep Purple.

G. Solstice Alpenrose DK SW Merino in Lake Washington

H. Solstice Luna Sport 80/10/10 SW Merino, Cashmere, Nylon in Cherry Blossom

I. Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Targhee-Columbian Wool in Postcard

J. Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light SW Merino in Filtered Light

K. Chiaogoo Red Lace  size US15 24″ fixed circular needles

L. Unicorn Wash!

rcyc

Most of the items are brands that are new to me or material that is new to me. For spinning the Merino/Bamboo blend was my first spinning project. I like it a lot and have since learned how to navajo ply so I picked up a gradient specifically for that purpose. Additionally the yak down was just too poofy and soft to pass up. And at $30 for a whole 4oz of a luxury fiber? Yes please!

I had been avoiding using Brooklyn Tweed because of reports of the weakness of the ply. So I decided to go with Shelter, the worsted weight yarn they offer. It sure is spongy and hopefully lives up to it’s name. This is the only skein I purchased at the crawl that is not some sort of merino blend. I’m not settled on what I want to make with it, but signs are pointing towards hat.

Additionally I had my eye on splattered yarns. I’ve seen some people around town sporting this type of hand painted yarn in hat form and I want one for myself! I’m familiar with Madeline Tosh yarns so I know it will turn out really well. Also I’ve used Thoroughly Thwacked’s Vixen single ply yarns I find myself liking the stitch definition a lot more than other yarns, especially with lace projects. Tosh Merino Light is a single ply so this skein probably won’t end up as a hat, and if it does I may hold it double.

Next comes the Solstice yarns dyed in Portland by the Dublin Bay Knitting Co. gals at the same named shop. I have already started a project with the Alpenrose Dk. First impressions? This is a really sturdy yarn. It is super wash merino at a reasonable 280 yards for $26.   Perhaps it is because I’m making a hat, but at this point the semi-solid nature of the dye job is making some areas pool with the darker dye. The yarn itself also has some variation in thickness and softness. Overall I’d give this a 8/10 for those issues pointed out. Once the project is off the needles I may revisit my analysis. I do feel I need to make a sweater out of this yarn before I pass final judgement. =)

Little Red

In addition to upping the variety of yarns I use, I chose also to up my skills in drop spindling by purchasing a new spindle without a notch. I’ve decided to name it Little Red since it is the smallest, and cutest, of the two spindles I now currently own. At just under an ounce, I’ve used the Cheviot to try it out and boy is it light! I think I can make some really nice three ply lace weights with this spindle…with enough practice of course. The Kundert is still my workhorse that I seem to always have a project going on.

Lastly comes the Unicorn Wash. I see this stuff everywhere! I’ve been using some wool wash that came with the Knit Picks blocking mats. Small little bottles of soapy smelling stuff that I’m not entirely sure why there were two different kinds because they smelled the same. I’ll have to do more investigation into the difference between an wool soak and an actual wool wash. But that’s for another time.


TL;DR Bought stuff that I haven’t used before in new brands, color ways, and material. Pretty excited for this year’s knitting projects!

 

 

 

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For the curious, here’s a blog that features factual points of interest in image form about Portland, Oregon.

Images date back as far as to the mid-1800’s! Especially for those who are moving to this awesome city, a little bit of a history lesson might help with understanding those of us who have been here a while: our love for old historic buildings, ancient cemeteries in the middle of what would be prime real estate, empty gravel lots that haven’t been touched in decades that are too at prime locations,  the unique pronunciations of street names, etc.

This is the city I live in.

Yesterday’s Tomorrow – A Portland Journey from Uncage the Soul Productions on Vimeo.

Produced 2015 by Uncage the Soul Productions http://www.uncagethesoul.com
Powered by The Oregonian and OregonLive http://www.oregonlive.com
In association with TEDx Portland http://www.tedxpdx.com and 503 http://www.our503.com
Aerials Provided by Aerial Technology International http://www.aerialtechnology.com

Original Music Composition by Peter Bosack http://www.peterbosackmusic.com
Visual Effects Artist Chloie Medeiros http://chloiemedeiros.wix.com/chloiemedeiros

In “Yesterday’s Tomorrow,” we brought our cameras to the same position and angles of our favorite Portland historic images. We wondered, what’s changed? What’s remained the same? This ‘new’ Portland that is captivating national attention- how new is it really?

We’ve seen books and blogs using the “Then and Now” treatment to show side by side the historic and present via photos. But in our curiosity and research, we could not find many or any examples of this comparison being done with motion video. Thinking about it more, we got excited to use timelapse and slow motion to bend and warp present time while exploring past time. The idea was sparked. The project started. Research into what old photos existed began.

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