Category Archives: Portland

Holiday Cowl Workshop – Free Class Offer

Natalie wearing a cowl

Quick cowls make great holiday gifts

Need to make Holiday gifts and fast?

Or are you knitting for your several members of your family? Here’s a lovely Christmas gift that is both simple but stylish and elegant, but best of all this project is FAST! Natalie Laderas will teach this Saturday class at 10:30 on November 12 and a 2nd class on December 3. This special offer class is offered at a fee of $15 which includes the pattern. If you purchase your yarn and supplies at the Naked Sheep Knit Shop (North Portland, 2142 N. Killingsworth, 503-283-2004) the class is free! Skills featured in this class are using provisional cast on & kitchner stitch.

Sign up soon as class space is limited.

Materials needed

Version 1:

  • 2 skeins Paloma any color (150 yds any extra bulky or polar weight yarn)
  • 1 size 15 US circular needles 16” or size 15 US straight needles

Version 2:

  • 2 skeins Di’Ve Autunno any color (180 yards bulky weight yarn)
  • 1 size 11 US circular needles 16” or size 15 US straight needles

All projects require:

  • Waste yarn
  • Large darning needle
  • Cable needle (DPN in the appropriate size will work too)

I will bring crochet hooks for those who do not have them.

Pre-requisite skills

You must be able to cast on, knit and purl. You must also be able to make a crochet chain.

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Sock Summit – Natknit’s mini #pdx tour Part 2: Mississippi Avenue & North Portland

Hi there,

I love in North Portland or No Po as we affectionately call it. I love sharing all about my neighborhood with folks from out of town. Since you’re all knitters you’re doubly cool house guests. Also if you’re from Portland already and just want to hang out with some cool knitters then come along. If you’re not able to make it on Friday, just use the directions here and do the tour on your own. Do some of your own research to get comfortable with the Max System and the Google Map of the area as well. Here’s a link to the train schedule.

I’m sketching out more details of this plan. Right now I’m planning for Friday only. 

2:30 -2:45ish PM We’ll meet outside of the Convention Area near the “Big Bell” I’ll probably be there earlier just hanging out. I’m not sure how hot it will be so make sure you bring a water bottle or hotweather drink just in case. Anzen (Japanese grocery) across from the Convention Center sells beverages and so does the Starbucks inside.

2:45 We’ll walk down to catch the 3:09 Max Yellow line train (schedule). It’s not that far but I want to give us enough time to accommodate anyone who is a ‘leisurely’ walker and give us time to purchase our train tickets. If you purchase a whole day ticket you won’t have to worry about paying for one on the way back.

We’ll get off at N. Killingsworth. It takes roughly 15-20 minutes to make the trip on the train. Walk 4 blocks to the Naked Sheep Knit Shop near Killingsworth & Gay. I timed it and it’s about an 8-10 minute walk and I drag my feet.

Hang around the Naked Sheep for a bit, then walk back to the Killingsworth station. Take the train back one stop to the The N. Prescott stop and walk down Skidmore to Mississippi Ave 3 blocks.

My hope is that we’ll get done around dinner time. I plan to eat at the Carts at Mississippi Ave.  get a brewski at Probst Gastrobpub and then head to the Amnesia Brewery for more local beer. YES, we like BEER as much as we love coffee in Portland. Anything goes after that. If you’re interested in trying out one of the many places to eat on Mississippi it’s up to you. If a few people are interested in hanging around we can stay at Amnesia or go to any of the other lovely establishments on the street. 

This is very Portland, you see… just hanging out letting things develop as they will.

To get back to the convention center, you’d just walk to Failing st. from Mississippi Avenue. Take a right on Failing and walk to Failing Street Pedestrian Bridge. Walk over the bridge and straight to N. Interstate. Take a left and walk to the Max Station at Overlook Park.

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Filed under Portland, Portland Knitters, Sock Summit

Sock Summit – Natknit’s mini guide to Portland – Part 1: Downtown

Hi there,

Thought I would help the Sock Summiteers out and provide a mini guide to Portland. I suppose this guide can be used any other time. If I have time later today I’ll post a mini tour to South East & Happy Knits. All of these tours will be for those taking public transit. You can use the links and addresses provided to program your GPS or locate driving routes on your phones 🙂

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square on a rainy day

Mini Trek Downtown from the Oregon Convention Center

  1. From the Convention Center stop take the MAX Red/Blue lines headed for Hillsboro. Stop & get off at Pioneer Square (see map). Actually use that map to guide you.
  2. From Pioneer Square walk to the foodcarts on 10th & Alder.  Pioneer Square is on 6th & Ziba’s Pitas, Whole Bowl, and others are good choices at this cart area.
  3. From the foodcarts on  9th & 10th & Alder walk up Alder to Knit Purl on Alder & 11th
  4. From Knit Purl walk to the Button Emporium on 10th & Taylor
  5. Going back to the Convention Center: From Pioneer Square take the MAX Red/Blue lines to the Convention Center stop.

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Tis the Season for Planting Trees

We went to visit the fruit tasting out at the One Green World nursery out in Mollala (about 35 minutes outside of Portland, OR).

I can’t wait to plant Eucalyptus because I heard that moths abhor it! They have these open house tastings 2nd weekend of every month (assuming there’s fruit). The most wonderful thing they cater to folks who are looking to put fruit/bearing and hardy species that flourish here in the Pacific Northwest. The red fruits pictured in the gallery are Cornelian cherries from a plant similar to the Dogwood.  The served them both as fruits and as a jam or preserves. My favorite treat of the day was the Seaberry juice.

Photos from Gallery in order from left to right: Nursery front,  Eucalyptus Plant, Quince (in a columnar tree), Cornelian Cherry Bush, Unripe Figs on the Tree.

Eucalyptus in a pot

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We’re now on Podcast Alley

I’m listing Cloudy with a Chance of Fiber (the knitting podcast I co-host with RachelP) on Podcast Alley.

My Podcast Alley feed!

And sorry for being delinquent with my blogging but since I last posted here we’ve released Episodes 6: Lace Interval & Episodes 7: Done with Cloudy Weather.

At least I can safely say that the heat and drier days are here for a limited period of time. I consider myself a consummate Pacific Northwester but even I could no longer deal with the long string of damp dreary days. I was starting to become the water ghost of Harrowby Hall.

I finally got around to talking about Gansey’s in Episode 7. A good thing too because maybe if I get around to starting my TV John McIver Aran Sweater I can finally work on version to of Lochinver this time around in some Reynolds Whiskey I hoarded away.

TV John McIver

TV John McIver

Short story – The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall

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Filed under Crochet, Knitters, Knitting, PDX Culture, Podcast, Pop culture, Portland


Owls Sweater in Cascade 128

Owls Sweater in Cascade 128

I forgot to post the link to this pattern. You can find it here:

I can’t wait to teach a class on how to make this sweater this October. This is a great sweater for beginners to sweater knitting.  Not only is the body and the yoke knit in one piece, it’s done in bulky weight so you could potentially finish your sweater in less than two weeks.  I’ve read of people doing it in a week, but I can’t imagine the strain on your hands after constant use of bulky gauge needles.

Again, I did both sleeves at once using the magic loop method.  I found it’s easier to keep my sleeves more uniform this way. One thing I adore about this sweater is how the waist shaping is done by a series of increases and decreases done on the back side of the sweater (see image below).

Waist Shaping of my Second Owls Sweater in Universal Classic Chunky

Waist Shaping of my Second Owls Sweater in Universal Classic Chunky

If you’re interested in taking the class (and live in the pdx area), it should fun. This is a great sweater for people who are starting to consider knitting  their first sweater. I’m excited to be able to share the experience for knitting this pattern with others. Here are the class details (you can also view an abbreviated version on the Naked Sheep’s website):

Owls Sweater Class:

Saturdays (October 3, 17 and 24)

Have you always wanted to make that perfect sweater as a gift for a special friend or relative this holiday season, but you don’t have loads of time? Knit in bulky weight yarn this stylish sweater makes the perfect quick knit gift.  Also, this sweater requires very little sewing or seaming. Natalie will help students customize size dimensions for the pattern if needed. She can also convert the pullover pattern into a cardigan version if desired.  Students will learn how to make two sleeves at a time using the magic loop method.

Notions & Supplies Needed:

  • Large tapestry needle
  • Cable needles (if you are new to making cables)
  • 24” circular needle in appropriate size for yarn used
  • 32” or greater circular needle in appropriate size for yarn used. If you are using the Magic Loop 40″ circulars are highly recommended.
  • Optional: 40-50 buttons or large beads for owl eyes

Recommended Yarns:

Any bulky weight soft yarn.

  • Universal Yarns Chunky Classic
  • Cascade 128
  • Cascade Soft Spun
  • Eco Wool or Eco +

Not recommended: any boucle or fur yarns.

Prerequisite Skills:

Advanced beginner. Students must be able to Knit in the round as well as increase and decrease.

Once you get the sleeves done its smooth sailing all the way

Once you get the sleeves done it's smooth sailing all the way


Filed under Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Patterns, Portland, Portland Knitters, Stockinette, Sweater, Teaching, Techniques, Wool, Yarn

I’m full. I can’t possibly knit anymore

No, not really. I could actually keep knitting.

Yesterday I hosted a Yarntasting party in Overlook Park.

At least over twenty people showed up from the invitee list. It was such great fun!!!! Surprisingly, it was a bit chilly and windy early when we started but the sun eventually came out. Many people brought food and drink to snack on while we were knitting.  There was a bit of a mix up with the parks area because they double booked the spot.  A poor woman showed up around 12:00 puzzled because she’d booked the site from 9:00 to the end of the day.  The last hour of the Yarntasting was a bit rushed, but all in all it was great! And I got to meet a lot of wonderful Portland Knitters.

A few people did try to crochet their samples. Others like Puppydog knits created a sample mini scarf from their swatches.

Artfibers Swatch Scarf

Artfibers Swatch Scarf by Puppydog Knits

Located outside of San Francisco in Pinole, California, Artfibers has been producing their uniquely gorgeous artisan yarns for over 15 years. At our Yarntasting there were about 180 different gorgeous fiber samples of 38 different yarn lines to choose from ranging from blends made from alpaca to yak. You can see all of the yarns (and more) we tried at this event on the Artfibers yarn page.

I’m going to try to keep a log of fibers I both tried and took smaller samples from. It was virtually impossible to try all of the them but my favorites on the spot were (I will post photos as soon as my camera battery is charged up and I can find my blasted USB cord for my camera):

  • Cassanova (Tussah Silk/ Mulberry Silk) – So beautiful I made swatches of two colors. Gorgeously soft with just the amount of sheen from the silk. It doesn’t hurt that the colors are absolutely gorgeous from a deep velvety teal to a pink and plum multi-color shown here.
  • Casanova 18 & Safa 12

    Casanova 18 & Safa 12

  • Bunnuit (53% Tussah Silk/40% Angora/7% Mulberry Silk) – I normally don’t like angora in such a large percentage in a yarn, but married with the silk it seems to work for me. The black angora bathes the rich multi-colored variation in this yarn in a halo of dark softness. The result is an amazingly rich texture and colorway. Did I mention that it’s super baby soft too?
  • Bunnuit 03

    Bunnuit 03

  • Chutney (100% Wild harvested silk bourette) – While Chutney isn’t as soft as the previous two yarns, I still love it because of how it shows off beautiful hand painted colorways.  Lately, I’ve learned to love the rawer silks because they produce lovely summer garments with a good deal of breathability and drape without skimping on the warmth coverage when you need it on those cool summer nights. I actually crocheted the swatch you see in the photo below. (Still need to take a photo).

Almost all the favorites I picked have silk in them. I suddenly realized that this was because Artfibers has mastered the secret of making truly fantastic soft and luxurious yarns using silk and silk blends.

Other yarntastees are posting their photos and pictures. I’ll be posting these up here as I find them.

Me forgetting how many inches were in a yard... Doh! Excitement gets to you.

Me forgetting how many inches were in a yard... Doh! Excitement gets to you.


The yarn samples

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Filed under Art, Colors, Community, Creativity, Dye, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Portland, Portland Crocheters, Portland Knitters, Yarn

Swatch Day and Blueberry Socks

I know I said I was going to write about swatching as part of my process in the whole “Raglan Sweater Series” of posts. I lied.

I know a lot of knitters don’t like hearing the “Sermon on the Swatch.”  Maybe it’s just part of the lesson. Knitting a whole sweater that doesn’t look or fit right. I’ll be honest. I have had this happen to me… more than once. As a result, I now swatch.

That’s all I’ll say on this subject for now.

I did have time today to swatch a few yarns I’ve been wanting to try… some yarns for spring: a cotton/hemp blend, Silky wool, and a mystery yarn from Yarnia that I purchased at last years Knit & Crochet Show (Fall). It’s a mystery because I lost the tag.

I’m a little worried that the Coto Canapone (cotton/hemp) is a bit heavy and stiff, but I think it will soften up after washing and blocking.  I’ve heard some really great things about using hemp and I’ve swatched some pure hemp before. It was a bit too harsh for my liking, and I realized that it would take many washings before I could get it to the softness I wanted. Though perhaps I should think of this as a trade off for the fact that hemp takes a lot longer to wear thin than cotton.  Apparently hemp had quite a history as a much used textile until recent times.  Perhaps with the economy being as it is… more people will turn to having durable clothing items rather than disposable ones they replace or trash every year.

I’m quite charmed by the Yarnia yarn.  Unfortunately the photo of the swatch I took doesn’t reflect the different greens\ and purple shades in this gorgeous yarn. Some people have noted that they find the loosely spun plies difficult and splitty to work with, but I’ve always felt that if you take proper care, even splitty yarn can make nice fabric as long as your knitting on the ‘snug’ side.

From top to bottom, Coto Canapone, Silky Wool, & Yarnia 'mystery yarn.'

From top to bottom, Coto Canapone, Silky Wool, & Yarnia 'mystery yarn.'

I was also able to finish my pair of Heritage Paint socks for the shop model for my “Toe up Socks” class coming up.  I have to say, this yarn is pretty fantastic. I think it’s pretty durable and still fairly soft with no itch. Plus it’s pretty inexpensive and the yardage is huge… 437 yards a skein. I found that the solid colors of this yarn are quite a bargain at around $12-13 dollars a skein. That’s a good price for yarn for handknit socks that should last quite some time.

My Blueberry socks in Heritage Paints

My "Blueberry" socks in Heritage Paints

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Filed under Fibers, Hemp yarn, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Lace, Portland, Portland Knitters, Socks, Stockinette, Stuff I made, Teaching, Techniques, Yarn

Crochet isn’t just for Granny anymore

Not your average crochet (Amazing aran cardigan by JRoKnits

Not your average crochet (Amazing aran cardigan by JRoKnits

Edit 1/25/09 – Please note I linked to the wrong pattern book for the Dusty Miller sweater pictured above.  The correct book is Crochet Aran Sweaters by the same author. Sadly it looks like Amazon doesn’t have this book.  It may be out of print.

Let me confess here. I once had a very low opinion of crochet. Crochet was for Christmas themed toilet roll cozies and Grandma crafts that included walnut critters with googly eyes. Don’t get me wrong I wax nostalgic for anything with googly eyes, but about 10 years ago when I re-discovered knitting, I was determined to pick up knitting again because I didn’t want to crochet. Crochet reminded me of orthopedic shoes and support hose.*

Gorgeous Crochet Gown by OutsaPop Trashion

Gorgeous Crochet Gown by OutsaPop Trashion

Crochet wasn’t sexy.

Now let me apologize to all the crochetiers and crochet afficionados out there by saying “I WAS WRONG.”  More than a year ago I was introduced to the idea of Crochet being for all sorts of gorgeous garments in one of Brenda Dayne’s Cast On podcasts. This podcast along with the work in Interweave Crochet magazine gradually transformed my opinion of crochet.

I discovered that crochet can be used to make aesthetically pleasing garments of not just lace but well structured and sturdy articles of clothing.  It can be used to make stylish and fashionable accessories and household objects. I ran a quick search on Flickr and I found many wonderful examples.

But crochet also sparks the imagination and fancy in a way that knitting does not. In the Flickr search I found wonderful objects and creatures that are not easy to find among knitted toys.  I’ve made knitted objects before. I’ve knit and shaped the muzzle of  a bear and the steps you take (increases, decreases and short rows) felt more like following a mystery puzzle than a pattern. A while back I took a class on how to make Amigurumi, and a sparks shot off in my head.  Crochet made more sense to me ‘geometrically’ than knitting. There are different possibilities with crochet because you can structure and shape three dimensional objects easily with strategic increases and decreases. You can build spheres, cylinders, tubes, even cubical objects easily and these structures are pretty sturdy and can stand up on their own when crocheted with certain fibers.

This year I’m teaching a few crochet classes at the Naked Sheep Knit Shop.  My first class “Learn to Crochet” starts next week.   I’m incredibly excited to share my  new found love of this fiber art with others.  Through swatching, and experimentation with stitches and textures, I’m hoping to guide my students through the basics and help each of them pick a beginner project . I think there are three people currently in the course and there is more space left.

If you’re interested (and live in the Portland Metro Area) I”m also teaching a course on Amigurumi toys. All the information is listed in the link below.


Crochet Cactus by Nadia308

*Please note… I didn’t hate crochet back then… I just had some erroneous preconceptions based me associating it with senior ladies.  Like most youth… I didn’t want to be associated with ‘older people’ and their sense of style. Though this doesn’t explain my love of Big Band as an adolescent. To be truthful, I do also have some very fond memories of crochet. The woman who was our babysitter and caregiver was an avid crocheter… she taught me how to make my first object… a hat that looked more like a sausage.


Filed under Amigurumi, Craft, Crochet, Pattern Links, Patterns, Portland, Portland Crocheters