Saturday, November 14, 2009

Survived another Friday the 13th at work, better than the usual, actually. It has been dark and rainy here since last Tuesday but the light was ok for a few pictures today.

My most impressive class at SOAR was 3 hours with Sarah Swett. She didn't spin but brought 3 types of washed fleece we were supposed to card/comb/otherwise prep and spin for soft yarn. She had a display set up of many of her sweaters and they were amazing. All wool prepped and spun by her. The fabric was so elastic. They were wearing very well. This labor intensive method helped along by only needing enough yarn for a Size 2. My friend says the main idea was to spin loose singles and overply. My sample from the class was pretty sad, mainly due to trying to ply in inadequate light in my room.
So ordered some Romney/Coopworth batt off etsy, katrinaswoolworld, very nice seller. It was well prepared cause frankly I don't have enough life left to spend on selecting, washing and carding. 3 ply woolen singles and slightly overplied. 6 3/8 oz, 500 yards. Sent the swatch through the washer. 7.5 st/in on 1's. A little fuzzy, somewhat elastic, but not there yet. The color is true. Oatmeal gray.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Next was a large plateau area of chunks of volcanic rock and scrub grasses. Couple of gorges where a river had cut through, a few cows and a tiny town where we stopped for gas and apples. Which were $1 a pound cheaper than here. On a clear day they could turn any direction and see mountains but it's a pretty isolated place to live.

We made it into Bend , collected a friend from the airport and went downtown. Had a nice fishy lunch in a mall area constructed around an old mill. Downtown had a nice tea shop and many other retail establishments aimed at tourists. Extremely cute little Craftsman style houses near town, McMansions further out. Their economy is very precarious right now, 19% unemployment. We returned at times during the week for real food. Moose was there almost every day checking out the bakeries. Picture is from the top of Pilot Butte at sunset. All clear except the wisps of clouds on the peaks. This is in the middle of Bend and very scary drive up, no guardrails.

Sign in was very efficient at the resort. The rooms were nice but poorly lit. The public spaces were positively murky and with sparse seating so there wasn't much opportunity to gather and spin in the evening. The food was on the cheap ticket and nourishing but unexciting. Breakfast every day was scrambled eggs and oatmeal. & different preps of oatmeal, who knew? No toast, fruit every other day. Yogurt once. No soup. Soup is cheap, why not? The last night they had a well cooked steak dinner with vegetables. Another problem was that everything was in a different building. Winding, poorly lit, sometimes slippery paths. Not so good for the older attendees schlepping wheels and equipment. Shuttle busses were available.

Sunday we drove back through Portland to Olympia. The day was much clearer and better views on the plateau. Mt Hood again. Olympia is laid out with many walking opportunities. Huge lake in the middle with a nice path. Lots of ducks. The flight home was unremarkable. I was happy to see my kitties again. The loads of laundry not so much.


It was a long trip out. First leg ok, 2nd leg a woman who OBVIOUSLY had the flu hacking and streaming across the aisle. And a screaming baby. Landed in Portland with rain. Found the car and went to Powell's, bought some books. Then we visited a food cart, The Frying Scotsman. He was parked in a garage space in a warehouse. Hard to find but the fish/chips were good. Dinner at a very nice Thai place. It was weird to see all the people walking around after dark. Not usual for Baltimore.

Next day went to the waterfront park where they have a craft market every Saturday. No fiber stuff except crocheted hats and a few other bulky accessories. Visited a nice yarn store: Twist. They had a large selection of sock and worsted and were mobbed with customers. Very friendly staff. All the shop and restaurant people we encountered in Oregon were pleasant , friendly and helpful. Stark contrast again to Baltimore. Picked up Farilyn at the airport and went to a German place for dinner. Packed. Good food. Sunday we had a terrible breakfast at the hotel. Fuzzy picture through a window of sunrise. First time the mountain was visible.

As we rode Mt Hood got bigger. Pretty exciting close up. Cold and breezy. Pretty vicious slopes on the way down, hairpin turns, luckily very little traffic.