Sunday, December 26, 2010

Poster for Craft a New Year 2011

Craft a New Year 2011!

Join us Saturday, January 1, 2011
from noon to 4 pm
at the Ike Box
299 Cottage St NE!

See demonstrations of all kinds of crafts from knitting to tatting to beading to scrapbooking! Watch a magician work his magic. Enjoy Hot and cold drinks and snacks at the Ike Box Snack bar.
Call the Ike Box at 503-581-6154 for more info.

Please repost to publicize this event, thanks!

Helen

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas catchup!

Merry Christmas everyone! Been a while since I've posted here, except for pictures of projects, so I thought I'd take a few minutes this morning and write a bit. DH and I will be taking Christmas dinner to my Mom at her assisted living facility later today, so she can enjoy a home cooked meal on the holiday and we can spend some time together. I have two weeks vacation coming up in January and one task I have then is to find her an Alzheimer's transition facility. She is beginning to need more care than the current facility can provide, within her budget, and my brother said if I can find a good place near me, he has no objection. I've been driving 50 miles each way to see my family for over 30 years now and he thinks it's time I was able to see Mom more frequently. Also, we're hoping costs will be lower away from Portland. I have two possibilities to check out so far. 


I need to update my finished projects list on the blog. I realized the other day that I hadn't actually listed anything for a while now. Hope you've been enjoying the pictures, though! Let's see, I finished DH's Christmas socks on the 23rd, after he hinted that he'd like something to open under the tree this year. He picked the yarn out while we were on vacation in August at Websters in Ashland. He usually says no rush so I was using his socks for a mindless knitting project, but a week ago he made the comment about wanting to have a present under the tree so the socks got put on the front burner. I also was rushing to knit a tam for my friend Margaret in Scotland. I had knit her Fair Isle mittens when she moved back to Scotland in February to care for her sister, planning to knit the coordinating tam over the summer. But then I made the decision to start my next career as a knitting teacher and designer and the tam kept getting moved back in the queue. When I got a Christmas card from her, I decided it had waited long enough (she didn't know my plans about it), got the bowl of yarns out and got busy. I mailed it off to Scotland on Wednesday and she should have it in a week or so. 


In this next week I need to decide on the January Monthly Mystery Project and get started on it. I have the yarn to use, bought it a week or so ago when I had a chance to chat with Vivian about which yarn she would like me to focus on. I also need to write up and print out the sign up sheets for the two Fair Isle classes I have planned for February and March at Tangled Purls. February will be Design Your Own Tam using five colors and March will be Fair Isle Fingerless Mitts. Both will use Jamiesons Shetland yarns. Vivian will be bringing more colors into the shop to give a wider color selection. I'm planning to coordinate my tam and mitts to make a set. I might even make a second set to have on hand for a gift.


We started a new Christmas tradition last night. Last year my SIL announced that that was the last year for the family Christmas party at her and my brother's home - she wanted to be in Hawaii this year (didn't work out). My sister piped up and said she wanted to be out of town for the holidays as well (also didn't happen). Several other traditions went by the wayside - Mom was in the hospital and missed the family Christmas for the first time. And there were other stresses that came up - work, NWRSA, among others. All in all, it was a really rough time but with God's help and lots of support from friends I got through it. One of the results was my decision to start some new traditions this year to carry on. So we invited friends in for a family style Christmas Eve dinner and ended up with 9 folks at our table enjoying a huge turkey dinner with lots of food brought by our friends - simply wonderful!


The first one came about kind of serendipitously. A customer at work told me about the Holiday Express at Oaks Park in Portland. Turns out the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation has been doing this for 6 years (now 7) and it's quite the event. I went to the website, www.orhf.com, and signed up for two shifts as a volunteer so I could ride for free afterwards. I invited my brother to come ride with me on the 6 pm run, not knowing that it was sold out until I got there on the 5th. I had signed up to be a loading host, but the volunteer coordinator emailed me that he had too many for that and would I be interested in being an Outreach Associate? I said sure and so I asked folks four questions when they arrived, to check the marketing effectiveness of the ad campaign. I wore my Dad's Conductor hat from Southern Pacific RR (SP) and dressed in my new uniform dark blue slacks, a green shirt and DH's bright red sweater. I became an unofficial greeter while doing the surveys, answering questions, directing folks to the port-a-pottys, the snack bar, the boarding line, etc. The woman who was my boss was thrilled, she told me she knew when she met me I would be perfect for the job and apparently I was so good that she was able to not assist with the surveys but do others tasks that needed doing, confident that I was the perfect person for the job. Really awesome compliment!


Anyway, I got to chat with the other volunteers who have been doing this for a while, exchanging railroad stories and such. I told one that I had invited my brother to ride the 6 o'clock run with me and he told me it was sold out. Oh, rats, what was I going to do now? He saw the look on my face and told me to hang on, that he needed to go talk with someone. He came back a few minutes later and told me he had arranged for my brother and I to ride in the cab of SP X4449! Oh. my word! Talk about excited, I could hardly contain myself. Picture a little kid excited about Christmas morning and you'll get an idea of how I felt. I texted my brother with the good news and he got excited. For those of you who don't know my brother, he's a business exec and usually pretty reserved. He got there just as I was getting off the train after walking through the restored vintage passenger cars, so I invited him on board and gave him the tour. There was no 5 pm run, as the train crew was eating dinner and taking a break then. We went to get in the cab for the 6 o'clock run but it was full, so they asked us to wait until 7 if we could (are you kidding??? no way am I missing this chance!!!!).


So Paul and I walked around and chatted while waiting, until X4449 pulled back in and folks got off. We strolled down to the head end and climbed aboard, checking everything out as we went. We took pictures of the inside of the cab and of each other, now I wish I had handed my camera to someone to take a picture of the two of us together but maybe next year. 

I was in bliss for the next week and even signed up for one shift the next Sunday. Paul and I decided this is something we want to do together every year from now on as a new tradition. Awesome! I keep telling my friends about it and some are planning to also ride next year - wonderful!


Okay, now a few pics of some of my knitting projects to share with you. Enjoy!


This is my St. Enda cardigan, with the right sleeve started. I'm looking forward to getting lots of knitting done on her in the next few weeks, possibly even getting her finished to be able to wear while it's still cold enough out. I love this pattern, it's easy to work with and pleasant to knit, even in public. The Cascade 220 yarn in Christmas Red (much brighter than the photo shows) shows the cables crisply on size 5 needles.


This is Three Fates Terra sock yarn, for a KAL which begins tomorrow. The pattern is by Ariel Altaras and called Isaz. The yellow is brighter in person, being a luscious hand dyed yarn. I've seen several of Ariel's patterns being test knit by members of my local Ravelry group and they are all gorgeous. 


This is a tam I designed for my friend Margaret, using left over Hebridean 2-ply from DH's Oregon Autumn vest kit from Virtual Yarns. I really love the depth of color that Alice Starmore has in her yarns, it makes them so interesting to knit with as I watch to see which colors bring out other shades in the adjacent yarns.


This is the Autumn Tam, by Sandy Blue, the second tam class I taught at Tangled Purls. After being on display for two months, I'll bring it home and it will be a niece's Christmas present for next year.


These are my brother's Escher's Cube socks, using custom dyed Three Fates Yarns eponymous sock yarn. The color variations in the yarn and the knit/purl patterning meant I had to work on these only when I had good light available. 


This is the Aragorn sock pattern converted to knee socks for my friend Katie to wear during labor with her latest wee one. The yarn is also a custom dye from Three Fates Yarns - I love being able to special order any color I want!


This is the December Monthly Mystery Project for Tangled Purls Yarn Studio - Mini Mittens in Storybook colorway of Three Fates Yarn sock yarn. I added beads to the cuffs for a little glitz for the holidays.


This is the Midnight Sun tam, also by Sandy Blue, the first tam class I taught at Tangled Purls. This one will also be a shop sample for two months, then become a niece's Christmas gift next year. So nice to have gifts made so early!


This is the November Monthly Mystery Project, Mini Mittens using Mini Mochi yarn in the Rainbow colorway. The yarn is a singles, meaning there is only one ply and it is softly twisted. But it's like butter to knit with and the color changes mean every mitten will be different - a great way to get a lot of ornaments from just one skein of yarn!


Okay, enough pics for now, I need to get off the computer and head to see my Mom for Christmas Day. I wish everyone a wonderful Blessed Christmas, hopefully with family and friends, and a fantastic New Year!


Helen

Friday, December 24, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Margaret's tam 2


Margaret's tam 2
Originally uploaded by BlueDragon2

Margaret's tam1


Margaret's tam1
Originally uploaded by BlueDragon2

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Autumn Tam


Autumn Tam
Originally uploaded by BlueDragon2

Paul's Escher socks 3


Paul's Escher socks 3
Originally uploaded by BlueDragon2

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday, December 06, 2010

Aragorn Knee Socks


Aragorn Knee Socks
Originally uploaded by BlueDragon2
Aragorn pattern converted to knee socks for MendyLady to wear during labor this month.