Sunday, September 01, 2013


Summer Produce

Food Bank donation
I'm sure that this abundance of fresh, organic produce looks familiar to folks who have gardens - what a bounty. I've been harvesting so many different types of tomatoes, squash, beans, lettuce mix, and kale from my friend Carol's garden this past few weeks. I've made 2 deliveries of about 30 pounds each of goodies to the local Food Bank. The prices in the stores and farmers' markets for produce, and especially organic stuff is SCARY up here in the states! Hopefully some people were able to enjoy these veggies who would otherwise not have any.

Chicken veggie soup
Of course I've been doing my best to eat up this bounty too. What a great life here for me...I show up in Oregon to a garden that is ready for harvest and I get to have wonderful meals. Here's some chicken vegetable soup I enjoyed for several days while catching up on my reading. We only get our mail about twice a year so I had a nice stack of knitting magazines to keep me occupied. 

Master Knitting Level 1 swatch
Speaking of knitting - my submission of works to The Knitting Guild Association for Level 1 of the Hand Knitting Masters program has been accepted with no resubmits (resubs are often required for improvement or correction of technique)! Yippeee! That means that I only have 2 more levels to produce to have "TKGA Master Knitter" bragging rights.

Here's a photo of one of the many swatches that were required for the program in addition to a report on blocking of knits and answers to questions about techniques. That hardest part for me was getting organized! There is a specific format for the submission and some of the questions were about what I did when knitting the swatches. So things had to be knit in a specific order. I used my trusty friend MS Excel to keep a check off list of the requirements and my status towards completion of each of them.

Yes, I have already signed up for the Level 2 work and will start that when I return to the boat in Guatemala.  I'm not much fun on the boat (from Jonesy's perspective) when I'm working on the program because I have to concentrate and research each topic to provide references ( IS work but work well worth the final accreditation). There's just too much other stuff to do right now up here in Oregon on my "vacation" from the cruising life.

Dogs walking in the Opal Creek forest
Like what besides harvesting and eating you might ask? I took a drive up to an old-growth forest to hike with the dogs in a natural setting where no logging has ever taken place. This is the land over which activists protested for many years and protection of the spotted owl was invoked. The Opal Creek Ancient Forest is now protected and is a real treasure.

I let the dogs do their doggy-sniffing activity along all the spots where other dogs had left "sign" for the first mile. For them this was the E-ticket portion of the adventure, and after all, I was there to give them some fun too. I believe this took about an hour. We then picked up the pace and covered some territory before coming up to a stunning little waterfall into a crystal clear pool. I'm sure that the dogs weren't impressed because they couldn't get in that water. But there were plenty of opportunities for them to get wet later.

Opal Creek Ancient Forest
After a few hours, we turned around and headed back down to the car. This return trip was faster because we didn't stop for sniffing. Walking outside in an open, natural area is so refreshing. There aren't a mess of distractions so you can actually let your mind wander as your feet do the same. Well, yes, my mind does tend to wander anyway wherever I am but that's a different kind of inattention now isn't it?

The tired doggies not only slept all the way home in the car, but crashed on their doggie beds right after eating their dinners too. I was relieved from toy-tossing duties that night for once! Seeing as these gals are used to being walked long distances every day, I've been exercising them by tossing their toys outside and letting them retrieve them. They run around, I stand in one for me. Yes, I walk them too, but I'm a slower walker and I don't cover the distances that their two "peoples" do for them.
Lucky checks out old mining equipment at Opal Creek

Fiber, fiber everywhere...I have visited two fairs in the last few weeks. First I went to the Benton County Fair to pet all the sheep and alpacas and view the handicraft competitions. Last week I drove up to Salem to see the Oregon State Fair to do the same. I saw lots of different sheep; navajo-churro, shetland, corriedale, and more. I just love to stick my fingers in through their fleeces and poke all the way to the skin to see how deep it is. It's always greasy feeling as unwashed wool should be.

But wait, there's more fiberly fun! I was invited by a friend here to attend the opening of the (Sur)face Forward: an Exhibit of Contemporary Surface Design for textiles in Corvallis. It was wonderfully inspiring! The colors and textures and innovation in the works activated my creative brain circuitry. I have already started a new knitting design which incorporates some fo the novel things I saw combined with an article I just finished reading in Cast On Magazine (from TKGA).
Lucky loves to look over cliffs - too scary!

Then, on the same night, I stopped by the meeting of the Marys River Quilt Guild because I had seen a notice in the paper that they were meeting and had a special guest speaker. The speaker, Diane Bishop, owns the quilt shop Ladies of Liberty Quilts and spoke about Civil War Era quilting. Not only did she speak, but she shared many examples with us. I love the warm colors of that era.

So the Marys River Quilt ladies were a group of friendly people! After I introduced myself as a guest (including where I was from), I was asked if I was the "SailingKnitter"! What fun! Sharon H. (Hi!) is currently knitting one of my sock patterns from Six Sox Knitalong Yahoo Group. (Sharon, the name we couldn't remember is "Soxie"). It's so nice to have more fiberly friends!

It was hearing about Soxie's Opal sock club that started me knitting socks in 2001. My great grandmother taught me to knit in 1955..she was 87 and I was 10. Great memories!
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