Just some things I enjoy looking at


A relatively random collection of recent photos that make me smile. As always, click to make them bigger.

My new yarn all balled up and begging to be swatched

Dew drops on the grass in the early morning.

Panda watching the rain.

Dog friendly park with a lake

Duck duck...


Little critter A nutria (thanks Amanda!)

He can swim.

The purple center of a Queen Anne's Lace flower

I love autumn


This might be the longest I've spent spinning any amount of fiber. Since I spend most of my free time cranking out projects I cannot blog about, I'm only granting myself about 1 hour of spinning for every 8 hours of knitting work. That one hour includes all pre-drafting, bobbin changing and other spinning related activities involved in producing yarn.

The lack of time is no lack of devotion, though, and I'm so pleased with the outcome. The fiber is a merino/viscose blend in colorway, Autumn, dyed by Chameleon Colorworks. The end result is about 425 yards of sock weight, 2-ply yarn. It's definitely got some thick and thin areas but I think it may be my most lovely yarn to date.

My blocking board is in the one spot in the house getting sufficient enough natural light to allow pictures without a flash.

While I was spinning the fibers, I was thinking that I didn't c are for the green as much as the other colors. But spun up, the colors come together in a beautiful way. Even though the green plays very heavily, the effect of the yarn, as a whole, is more orange-brown.

Using a good drive band made a big difference in the final product.

I was getting a lot of yardage with pretty thick looking yarn and I realized a lot of that had to do with my yarn being a bit underspun...or maybe a LOT underspun. It would result in a very soft and light yarn but one that looked a little sad and limp. This was my first yarn spun using one of those synthetic drive bands and the results please me to no end.

The good drive band gave me much more control over the wheel. It seems obvious, but it's another "well duh!" moment for me. Before, I was using a mercerized cotton and I sometimes couldn't get the wheel to spin at all if I had the break on too high, and even when I kept the brake rather slack, it'd still spin the fibers too little and the yarn would break a lot.

Another lesson learned.

Here I go again


Well, it looks like I'll be back on Knitty Gritty for another episode. I'm actually co-guesting with the one and only Ms. Stitchy McYarnpants.

We'll be doing an episode in the spirit of her fabby fabby book
The Museum of Kitschy Stitches
That's all I'm telling you for now, so you'll just have to wait.

I may also be doing a little knitster duty while I'm in town. At some point they may have to start charging me rent at the studio.

The great news is that it means I'll be back in LA for almost a week, in early December. My mom and I are going on an SF yarn and fiber crawl the weekend before. It'll be a damn fine vacation, if I do say so myself.

And a good time was had by all


On Saturday morning, I stretched out my bon-bon shaking aches. Leo suggested we brave the rain and wind and head to the beach to give Panda some running around time. Bundled up in layers we made our way to Cannon Beach.

The three of us arrived at our destination and Leo gave me a wry smile. "It looks like a hurricane out there." he says, and he should know, having lived through hurricane Andrew more than a decade ago. Panda, was doing the happy dance in the back seat, shifting from foot to foot and pacing from window to window as she let out a little desperate whimper. It was all on me, the princess of the bunch. Do I dismiss the hour's drive and turn the whole party around and go home or do I suck it up and brave the elements?

That ain't steam rising off the ground there!

I like to think of this as a little macrodermabrasion. You can't tell, but along with the wind, we had a healthy bit of rain coming down. The temperature was relatively mild, maybe 60 degrees, but the wind had quite a bite.

Panda felt it was all good fun, indeed.

In fact, she was wondering why we didn't stay longer. Once my jeans were soaked and the wind got even stronger, I wrangled the crew back into the car. We went home, had some lunch and tucked in for a little nap.

I thought it'd be a quite night in, but Leo had other ideas. "We'll just go out for an hour, see a band, maybe have a beer." He says. So I pop on something casual, that will keep me warm, and we head out to Laurelthirst, a little bar on the other side of the river, where we had some munchies and a little bit of beer while we listened to the band.

Their selection of beer is impressive and their nachos really hit the spot.

Any place sporting a Deception Dollar, is fine in my book.

Isn't Leo a good looking man?

He looked so cute I had to give him a kiss.

From Laurelthirst, Leo suggested we go back for more salsa dancing. At first, I resisted. I definitely wasn't dressed for dancing. But he didn't have to work too hard to twist my arm. We went back to Andrea's for a few, then over to Fernando's Hideaway. I danced and danced some more before we headed out for a little walk by the river.

It was a gorgeous night with just a little mist in the air. The trees had turned yellow and nearly glowed against the warm light of the streetlamps. A perfect ending to a great night.

Shakin' my bon-bon


Last night, Leo and I met up with a local group who tries different restaurants in Portland, every two weeks. This time, we went to Eleni's Philoxenia a Greek WONDERLAND of food yumminess. Great googily moogily, this meal was good.

After eating ourselves stupid, and smelling not unlike Gilroy, California, we went for some Salsa dancing at Andrea's Cha-Cha Club. When I say "we" went salsa dancing, it's in the royal sense. We don't salsa dance, I salsa dance. Leo mans the camera and tends to the people watching.

While I doubt the eau de garlic was a scent my dance partners hoped would be wafting over them, I couldn't help but have a grand old time cutting a rug.

I kind of think this blurry one is the most flattering of the bunch.

I guess this one looks a little bit more like it's actually me.

Dancing a cha-cha. I had a little trouble following this guy's lead and he kept insisting on counting aloud. It was a little bit of a train wreck.

Despite his mullet he was a very good dancer. Oh and he has a mullet, my god, I haven't seen one of those since New Hampshire!

We danced until about midnight before calling it quits and heading home to bed.

While Andrea's doesn't have quite the crowd I remember from my favorite Salsa clubs in Boston and LA, it comes as close as I've been able to find since coming to Portland. We've hit a few other spots that are nicer to look at but lack the sort of regulars that can really hold their own. Apparently, Tango is rather popular here and I may have to give it a shot, but for now, I've found a place to get my salsa fix.

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