One fine day in Portland

There is so very, very much that I love about that part of the world. I think of it when I am in Vancouver and Victoria and Seattle, but never so much as this time in Portland. It is green and lush and green….and lush….and standing off in the corner are Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood. (That’s a volcano too…but they say that it is sleeping.) I love how everything looks there. This time, because I was hanging with Tina, and she runs Blue Moon Fiber Arts and that is in Scappoose, that’s where I went, and I was absolutely stunned to see something totally new to me.



See that? It’s moss! Big Moss! Moss that wraps up all the trees and covers everything. It drips from the trees like some sort of thick verdure spraypaint. I loved it. I was so completely flipped out by it that once again I found myself thinking about how much I would love to live there, and then it started to rain, and I remembered. (I think I must have been a cat in a previous life. I hate getting rained on.) The Pacific Northwest and I will just have to date. We could never live together.

(While I got to see the inner workings of Blue Moon, how they dye everything, how it all works – the mountains of yarn, I didn’t take pictures. The light was bad and the space deserved better. Rest assured that it’s as magical as you think.)

We journeyed to the Forestry Center (which is a really beautiful space) where the Blue Moon team was setting up for their day and doing a heck of a job. They only sold one colourway that day, a fantastic one called “Doctors Without Borders” $3 from each skein goes straight to the good guys. (You’ll be able to get it on the website soon.)

I knitted some up into Leyburn socks (I love that pattern) but I’ll show you in a day or so when I can photograph it nicely. I paced around the back, walked off my nerves and listened to the sound of more that 400 knitters arrive in the driving rain. (There’s another difference between there and Toronto. If it was raining that hard in Toronto a bunch of us would have stayed home. Totally.) Then it was time. I walked out and already there was big fun. Tina had done an Earth Day scavenger hunt. (You should look at the pictures here. They’re fantastic.) Here’s the winner – Susan.


Susan got up at dawn, spent the whole day with maps and a plan and claims to have had a fantastic day. I don’t doubt her. Susan and the runners up chose yarn from the big box of Socks that Rock.


When I got up there, this is what I saw.



Portland knitters. More than 400 of them. I’d have been freaked out but they were too much fun. Just when I was working my way up to having a stroke completely, Duffy got up and sang. (You gotta see it here.)


I got her to hold the sock. It was the least I could do.


Portland babies represented: Amanda and Everett, Shannon and Jaxon, Mia and Gunner. (Click to embiggen the babies.)


There was, as always, the first sock brigade: Jillian, Tinivial, Rachel, Mary, Camille and Hillary.



Camryn represented for the youngsters. She’s a competent and knitterly 8.


Nic was sent on a mission (bribed with fudge) to get his Aunt Kathy (from the comments) a book. (He admitted to having a good time Kathy. Keep working on that one.)


Melissa went to Voodoo donuts for the scavenger hunt and brought me back this baby.


Er, yes. It is shaped like what you think it is, and it is (naturally)…. Cream filled. (Also, yes. It does appear to have been licked. Not by me.)


Michelle brought an Oregon washcloth and Leann gave me a rabbit rescue one.


Knitters with cool tats turned up. That’s Maiya and (although I was so impressed with her back I didn’t get her face) Kelsey. (I love what hers says. Click to embiggen.)

Maiyatathat2304-1 Kelseytatwools2303-1

Libby knit a “Princess Diana” sweater in the eighties. (Bitterly, it turns out, since all her friends were able to go and buy a commercial version right after. ) It’s knit on supertiny needles.


The PDX knitbloggers turned out in scary force.


…and they even brought Judy Becker with them, which is awesome, since she’s a genius.


Roxanna wears a mean hat and gives a wicked, wicked backrub. (I want to be her when I grow up.)


….and, in case I wasn’t overwhelmed enough, here’s Deb from Fearless Fibers. (Which I have coveted for some time, seeing it beautifully pimped out on Knitspot.)


Finally (and I hope I didn’t miss anyone) this is Zarah, who lost a sock while doing the scavenger hunt.


In her words the misplaced sock is 1 bright green simply soft “ugly sock” lost on Gateway bus #19 (probably.)

Have a look around will you? A hand knit sock is a terrible thing to waste.

All in all, it was a spectacular evening, only made more so by the terrific efforts of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, comprised of several women I am pleased to count among my friends. Jolly good.

For now, I’m off to bed. I’m in Northampton, totally freaked about tomorrow. The big WEBS event looms large, and I’m petrified but at least I’m here. This morning when the sky turned grey and stormy over Toronto (that storm moving along from Chicago tried to get me on this end) I was nervous, but although we had a terrifically turbulent take off, I’m all the way here. Wish me luck. It’s going to be a big one.

PS. Reports are true. I’ll be in San Franciso May 3 at the Maker Faire. Saturday, 11am at the Main Stage, and then I’m doing something (I have no idea what…maybe signing…at 2pm at the Craft Demo area “Fiesta”. (I especially like the “Fiesta” part. Makes it sound like fun.)