Silk Scarf

For three years in a row I managed to post every day in November, a tradition I was determined to keep this year, until yesterday.

The day was a good one, and utterly exhausting. Along with regular Sunday morning responsibilities was the Scotts Mills Friends Thanksgiving dinner right after church.

The hours between church service and returning home passed quickly: Setting up for the meal then leisurely eating and chatting with friends.  By the time the remaining people had removed the tables, swept the floors, moved pews into place, washed last dishes, and the lights turned off, I was exhausted. A short nap, followed by taking some food to an elderly couple, then an evening of mindless knitting while listening to an audio was all I was capable of doing.

The silk scarf pinned out to block and dry this morning.
As anticipated by the amount of yarn, it’s a short scarf. Soft with good drape. Perfect for wrapping once around the neck and securing with a pin.

Trying it on for size and feel, an old memory of my aunt came to mind. In the winter she liked to wear small woven silk scarves. She didn’t like long, dangling scarves. I wish I could go back in time to look at her scarves and ask her about them.

The pattern: Purl Soho’s Open Air Wrap   28 stitches cast on.
Yarn: 106 yards 100% Tussah silk spun from 1 ounce of The Dragonfly Yarns fiber
Needles: US4 / 3.5mm   Pink Ivorywood circs made by Ed
Length: 38″, Width: 7″

Grateful for
the soothing, and deeply satisfying, process of spinning and knitting
– finished projects
– a sermon that was well received by attentive listeners
– gatherings of food and friends, even when they take me out of my introverted comfort zone
– another beautiful day of sunshine and autumn colors


Smooth as Silk

The decision was made to wind off one ounce of the spun yarn (see yesterday’s post), then ply the remaining three ounces for Wesley’s hat.
It’s one of those things that I should have thought through more carefully before beginning the spin, or at least before all but the final few grams had been spun.

It also became clear that it was madness to contemplate completing the hat before Monday morning considering that it still needs plying, wet finishing, and drying, then crocheting it. Perhaps if tomorrow wasn’t already filled with tasks and final prep of Sunday’s lessons. There’s  a Thanksgiving dinner following morning service on Sunday and I’ve signed up to bring a couple of dishes.

Grateful for clarity and direction before rushing to meet self-imposed deadlines!

Knitting lace with sharp wooden needles is a pleasure, especially when purling (or knitting) several stitches together. The warm feel of wood, the soft, barely discernible clicking of the needles, and the ease of pushing between stitches and needle to scoop up the next stitch.

Knitting this Open Air Wrap (this will be a small scarf) has been a pleasure. The silk yarn slips soothingly through my fingers. The pattern doesn’t take concentration or counting which has been perfect at the end of taxing days.
Grateful for these needles which Ed made a number of years ago.

 Our daughter and family are driving to Idaho to spend Thanksgiving with our son and the kids. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to send along their Christmas gifts and a full-sized violin for Faith.

Grateful that some of the Christmas shopping and wrapping is finished!

Small Joys

After some rain last night this morning was cold with gusts of swirly winds, not conducive to spinning fiber outside. Instead, one of the knitting projects went for a walk about town.
Not much progress on the moebius with the silk scarf getting the knitting time lately.

Grateful for easy projects to work on when walking.

As we reached where the pavement turns to gravel a gust of wind shook a swirl of leaves off their branches. By the time the picture was snapped most of the leaves were no longer airborne .

Grateful for 
the unexpected joy of dancing leaves.

The red combs of the chickens feeding under late red apples dangling from a tree  was the next photo op.
Their attention zeroed in on Shayna, the Irish Wolfhound, who was sniffing at the fenced corner of their yard. They weren’t chicken enough to run away, no, they moved closer towards her, alert to her every move.

From the back of the pack, out of sight in the photo above, strutted the fine specimen of a chicken.

Grateful for the small, seemingly inconsequential things in life that provide moments of heart warming joy.


Frogging and recasting 28 stitches was the right move. The scarf is purling up nicely. Except for each edge stitch the entire pattern consists of yarn over, purl 2 together. It’s really quite a mindless knit since there’s nothing more to keep track of.
It should block out to a good width with open lace latticework. It won’t be long, just a little something to keep the neck toasty.

Grateful that the silk yarn stood up to being ripped out two times without ill effects!

The church where Ed helps prepare and serve a weekly community dinner needed a new pulpit. They asked Ed to make it. He’s spent the past couple of weeks building it.
Last Friday and Saturday the weather was perfect for him to apply the multiple coats of finish outside.
Today it was ready to be taken to the church so he asked me to help him move it from inside his shop and load it into our car.
Isn’t it gorgeous! It also has some great features: the lectern part can be raised or lowered by a huge screw-like mechanism Ed build inside where it’s hidden but easily accessible; there are unobtrusive holes where the mic cord can travel from inside to above the lectern; the two visible cup hooks are for hanging banners on certain occasions; it has wheels for ease of moving.

Grateful for the woodworking knowledge and skill Ed has. I’m even more grateful that woodworking brings great joy and satisfaction to him.

For the past six months or so I’ve been trying to build up strength with daily routines of pushups, planks, wall squats and some other leg exercises. It’s been a long slow process that is paying off. Mowing the yard for 90 minutes yesterday didn’t exhaust me as it would have a few months ago. The biggest surprise came today when we moved the pulpit. It was not heavy, until I realized that yes, it was heavy but my increased body strength made it easy to lift and carry.

Grateful for the physical reward of diligently exercising.

Showing Support

The bumpy landscape of the chocolate cake didn’t put off the Wednesday dinner crew. The report was that they devoured it in record time.

Shortly before 8am the phone rang: the police contact for one of the families who considered themselves as Daniel’s parent had called to let them know he’d be canvasing the neighborhood today, passing out flyers, and talking to people. Could Daniel’s friends come help and be visible representatives that his life mattered.

Wednesday is normally a slower day. A day for contemplating, thinking, praying and being more than doing. I like to take an extra long walk with my neighbor before settling into any “must-do” work tasks followed by reading and preparing for Sunday, and taking time to be quiet all evening while Ed is away.  When the call came I immediately knew I needed to go. I called one of Daniel’s good friends and we headed up to Portland.

Arriving in the unfamiliar area of North Portland, there was already a number of people including the very kind, knowledgeable policeman who gave us an update on what they’ve determined so far, including that evidence showed the driver was traveling over 60 miles an hour when he swerved out of his lane, into the bike path hitting Daniel then continuing at high speed along the 35mph, 2-lane road.

Taking flyers to all the businesses of this mixed neighborhood full of mom-pop businesses and residential houses we encountered caring and kind people everywhere. One woman even rushed out of her house to ask for flyers to pass out too. She’d recognized Daniel’s girlfriend, Daria, from an interview she’d given on the news yesterday.

We were all thankful for a sunny day with no wind! Yesterday it poured a cold rain most of the day. Tomorrow another storm is moving in. Today was one of those jewels of an autumn day.

Thanks for reading these non-cheerful posts that I’ve been writing lately.
Tomorrow I plan to post some of the spinning I’ve been doing.

I had enough of the handspun yarn left to knit a headband/earwarmers to go with the fingerless mitts. I’m tempted to keep the set for morning walks. If the temps aren’t below 45F I like ear warmers rather than a hat which can get too hot.
Grateful for:
– a smooth trip to N Portland and back without any traffic delays
– warmth of the sun while walking the streets for almost 3 hours
– the cup of comforting cinnamon/vanilla tea beside me
– strangers who are kind and caring
-a time of serene spinning this evening

Home Stretch

Ed’s sweater is off the needles and ready to be grafted and seamed.

This afternoon the ironing board and iron were set up in the kitchen, a white cotton dish towel dampened and I tackled the task of steaming the individual pieces. Anne Hanson of Knitspot blog about steam blocking a sweater early in February convinced me that it would be worth the extra step.

Except, I don’t have a large surface to fully lay out a sweater for steaming so I wasn’t able to properly block it. Still, it seemed worth the effort to steaming the edges so they’d lie flatter during the seaming process.

The two sleeves, the one on the left looked just like the one on the right before steaming it.


All the sweater pieces steamed and folded into a pile.


The grafting and seaming will be tackled when there’s a good chunk of time to sit by the window during daylight hours. It’s not a job I want to feel rushed doing.

This coming Thursday I’ll be demonstrating spinning from 9am – 1pm at Wool ‘n Wares Yarn Shop in West Lynn during the annual Rose City Yarn Crawl. It is the oldest Yarn Crawl in the country! If you’re in the greater Portland area come by to say hi.

This morning we decided to take advantage of the lovely March 1st day by riding our bikes in a new area. Looking through our Road Biking Oregon guide book we decided to do the 10 mile Hagg Lake loop. Neither of us had been there though we’d occasionally mention it over the years. The guide book rated it as easy, and since it went around the lake we figured we’d be riding on level land surrounded by farms and rolling hills.


The road turned up into the base of the coastal range where the county owned park is located. This was the scene from the first parking lot. Later we realized that there are many parks and swimming areas scattered around the lake. Hagg Lake is very popular in the summer for swimmers, boaters (the lake is zone motorized/ski boats at the eastern end, non-wake on the western end) and triathlons.

Crossing the earthen dam.


The view looking west from the dam.



Shortly after crossing the dam the road started climbing.

And climbing. We kept thinking around the next bend the road would dip back down to the lake.
DSC07776It didn’t.
By then Ed’s leg was threatening to give out on him. We also had the very real suspicion that the road was going to continue skirting the lake higher up along the flank of the hills surrounding the lake than behaving gently by going back down to stay level with the lake.

We practically flew that mile back down the hill. We loaded into the car and drove around the lake, clocking that uphill mile which once we realized we’d pushed that far on our 3 (Ed’s ) & 7 speed (mine) bikes were very proud for having accomplished that climb.



Our speculation proved true. The road rolled up and down all the way around the lake, much of it in the fir trees. It’s understandable why this is considered a great triathlon course.

This early in the year there were very few vehicles on the road. We did pass a number of cyclists and several runners.

On the north side looking south across the lake. One lone boater enjoying the calm day.



We’re glad we went to such a lovely place on this beautiful day!