At my request, this weekend we decided to try some sight seeing inland. The ocean is always a safe bet but there's a whole lot of Oregon that doesn't even come close to being near the beach, but which is supposed to be lovely.

Leo got a recommendation from a friend who said that Silver Falls was both pet friendly (though she hadn't brought a pet) and really wonderful. It did sound amazing and hearing that pets are allowed on all trails except the "canyon trail" lead us to believe we had some beautiful falls in store for us. Alas, there are no falls, that we could see, anywhere on the other trails. Luckily, we still got to see much that was truly beautiful.

These weren't redwoods, but the trees stood incredibly tall. I just wasn't able to get a picture that showed a single tree from top to bottom

This fallen tree was immense. Leo and Panda look so small next to it.

 

The trails were fairly well maintained and a pretty easy walk. It didn't seem too challenging and surprisingly few buggies about our heads. As immense and breathtaking as all the views were, it's the little things that catch my eye.

We have icky spiders about the house, but it doesn't mean I can't appreciate a beautiful web when I see one.

Those shocking red berries look so intense next to all that green.

And if you think those are enchanting, look at this moss growing everywhere.

Some trees had thick coats of this growing on them, while others seem relatively untouched.

This seems like a setting out of some fantasy movie.

I had no idea I was making a heart with the leash. Cute, no?

After our hike, we went back to Portland for some lunch. We ended up at a wine bar called Thirst, where we had a delicious but light meal.

The view from our table, overlooking the river, on a perfect Sunday afternoon.

Panda hanging out at Leo's feet, and Leo sporting a lovely Panda shirt.

Since it was a wine bar, we decided to try their tasting options. I was expecting and would have been perfectly content with, smaller servings of wine, but their selections were great and really fun to try together. Leo got the "Eclectic Reds" and I had the "Light Flight All White." Paired with our salads and an order of assorted olives, we were three happy hikers.

Our favorite was the roasted kalamata olives. They were addicting. I'm surprised it didn't come to blows deciding who would get the last one.

A little eye candy

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While I wait for my spinning wheel, I have been passing the time on my non-public knitting projects and my spindle spinning. I'm pleased to say that my tencel/merino blend yarn turned out every bit as lovely as I hoped.

Here it is looking rather unassuming on top of my laundry hamper.

It's about a sport weight, two ply, spun on my 0.9 ounce Golding Tsunami

It's fairly balanced, with only a single twist in it after removing it from my niddy noddy.
But check out how much better she looks basking in a little ray of sunshine.

I actually had the skein on my desk and I had already downloaded a bunch of pictures I had taken earlier. I saw the way the sun glinted off the yarn and just had to take this second picture.

And because she makes my heart melt, here's a little picture of Panda napping near me while I work.

It doesn't get much cuter than that.

We were channeling our inner knitwear models in these pictures. I think the Lush Hoodie better suits the scenery than my vest, but one makes due with what one packs.

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I think I may have laughed myself stupid during this.

See all the silliness here and here.

A little glimps of what I'm doing

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While I have a myriad of knitting ideas and projects in my head, and a couple on the needles, right now I'm working on two projects for Kat Coyle's upcoming book, so knit blogging will be sparse at best. She has granted me permission to post little unrevealing bits of what I'm doing, and so, I give you a swatch’s eye view of my current progress.

This is the public side of the fabric. It's worked in Alpaca in a stitch known by several names. I believe Barbara Walker refers to it as a "Woven Stitch" and the Harmony Guides refer to it as "Linen Stitch." Either way I love the way it looks though it's a beast to knit and a real yarn hog. I don't care though, it's worth every hour spent. Check out how the back of the fabric looks:

Isn't it great? It's a sort of highly defined seed stitch, though of course, not reversible. Despite the fact that all the knit stitches face the front of the fabric and all the purl stitches face the back, the fabric does not roll the way a stockinette does, which means that the requirement for edging is really minimal. All in all, I'm very happy with the results so far.

But that's about as much of that as I can show you. Instead, how about a little spinning?

Here is some roving from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks (no site, but you can search google to see all sorts of shops that sell her work.) It's tencel/merino blend in colorway "Sandlewood"

I can't decide which shot I like better.

On the left is the roving in the shade. There's a bit of a flatness to it but it's got a soft and pleasant look to it. On the right, she basks in direct sunlight. You might need sunglasses for the glare but it really shows her sheen. Either way, I'm in love. And can I just say how much I love this tree stump in my backyard?

Not everyone loves a parade

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Saturday, Leo, Panda and I decided to walk around Portland a bit. Panda doesn't really love "social" settings, she's more of a reclusive nature girl. She's definitely gotten better over the years, but it's still a little overwhelming to be in the city. We try to give her small doses of relatively positive experiences in public places when we can and lots of good times at places she’s more comfortable.

After walking along the river for a while, we headed back inland for some lunch at a wonderful Thai restaurant. We sat outside, enjoying our great meal and giving Panda a little breather from the hot weather and noisy city only to hear a bit of a commotion coming up the street.

What was it?

An immigrants' rights parade.

The "haters" sign amuses me to no end.

Panda, on the other hand....

...Is NOT amused. If you aren't an animal person, you may not be able to read her expression, but to me, this screams "get me the hell OUT of here." Click the image to get the full effect. I can't help but laugh. I know it's wrong, but I do anyway.

Once the parade passed, we found a quiet route back to the car and ran into this little guy:


And if you are wondering, here's his tag:

He's a part of this project. How cute is that? Check out some of the other pictures in the galleries.

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