Friday, October 6, 2017

Images of Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival 2017

Another Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival has passed into history. Here are a few of the sights.



This year's featured breed was the Pygora goat. The Pygora breed was developed here in Oregon by crossing Angora and Pygmy goats. According to, Pygoras produce 3 types of fleece. Type A is similar to Angora, Type C is like Cashmere, and Type B is blend of the other two. Pygoras come in several different colors a number of which were on display at OFFF.

This little goat was snoozing.

And this guy thought the hay was sweeter in the pen next door.

But this is OFFF, and there's work to be done. Time for the judging.  Some of the goats were more cooperative than others.

There were, of course, other animals. I had to stop by and see the alpacas. This fella's kerchief said he was for sale. Sadly, zoning rules prevented me from installing him in my back yard.

I got to the llama barn in time for some of the judging. This one was patiently waiting his turn. I just love his color pattern.

Fiber Arts Competitions


Over in the main pavilion the fiber arts competition entries were on display. Here are the top winners in the crochet competition. Fabulous work.

I love this winner from the felting competition. A pile of puppies!


Juneko Martinson of the Alpaca Bonbon Fiber Art Studio was on hand demonstrating her incredible needle felting. The white pig in the foreground of the photo has knitting needles and a tiny ball of yarn. Yes, I know. We need one with a crochet hook!

Here are some more of Juneko's creatures.

Always In Stitches Crochet Guild Display

We in the local chapter of the Crochet Guild of America always have a display. We're Always In Stitches, and would love to have any crocheters within striking distance of the Portland area come join us. We meet on the second Saturday of the month in the Tigard Grange from 1 to 3 pm. Check out our websiteRavelry group or Facebook page.

Designer Laurinda Reddig of ReCrochetions lent us this gorgeous dress she created for her sister's wedding.  


Animals and competitions and displays are nice, but then there are the vendors. Oh, yeah. There were many wonderful vendors. Here's Boss Kitty in front of her booth selling hand dyed yarn. Love the cat ears!

I also loved her sale section. Where I got two skeins of sock yarn at half price because the color didn't come out matching the designated colorway. Not a problem for me. It's lovely just as it is.

Fierce Fibers is another of my favorite local dyers. She displayed these lovely shawls created in her yarn. 

The gray and red shawl in the photo above is Decadent Bliss by Laurinda Reddig. Here's my version of that shawl crocheted in Fierce Fibers lace weight in the Staycation colorway.

Fierce Fibers also sells hand dyed roving. Note the special qualities of her products as stated in the sign below.

I made a purchase at one other booth which I unfortunately didn't photograph. Raya of Blissful Knits had a sale section that I couldn't resist. I tried, but I spotted one skein that just called to me. I put it back and decided that I'd buy it if it was still there when I returned later. It was! (Not that I put it back at the bottom of the sale basket and covered it with other skeins or anything. No, no. Not me.) This was the last skein of this yarn in this colorway. It's her 80% merino/20% nylon sock yarn. I just love the colors. You can't really see it in the photo, but there are gorgeous shades of amber and red.  

That's it for my weekend at OFFF 2017. Has anybody else had any fiber festival adventures lately?

Monday, August 21, 2017

I'm back!

Hello, my friends! Sorry to be MIA for so long, but life intervened. I've freed up some time now and will be posting more regularly. So what have I been up to in the meantime?

Chain Link Conference 2017

In July I had the pleasure of attending the 2017 Chain Link Conference. That's the annual conference of the Crochet Guild of America.  If you ever have the chance to go, do it, do it, do it! It's the most fun a crocheter can ask for. There are wonderful classes, a great yarn market, and the camaraderie of fellow crocheters. This year it was in Chicago. Here are some photos of the fun.

Some of the beautiful entries in the design competition 


See the CGOA web page for the list of winners and a slide show.


Interesting crochet and crocheters

The Queen Bee of Crochet complete with flowers, birds and insects

An ingenious head mounted yarn swift

Kathryn White and I show off our banquet attire. Both her jacket and my shawl are Kathryn's designs.

You've got to see the back. Kathryn's fabulous jacket won grand prize last year.


The fashion show 


I didn't get any photos of the show because I was otherwise occupied (i.e. I was drafted into modeling), but the couple below lead off the show. In my photo, they hadn't changed into their show outfits. See if you can pick them out in the CGOA slide show.

Lots of social crocheting


There's more than one use for a yarn bowl.

Toasting with "red coffee" (Hint: Think another red beverage.)


The marketplace!

A beautiful wall of yarn from Stunning String Studio

A book signing by Laurinda Reddig

Yumiko Alexander and her lovely DanDoh Designs booth

Mugs with attitude from Pawley Studios


And best of all, friends.


I'm already excited about next year's conference especially because it's in my own back yard - Portland, OR! I hope you all can come.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Crochet for a Cause

Crocheters make a lot of projects for charity. We've probably all made a chemo cap or blanket to donate somewhere. Project Pussyhat is a little bit different. On January 21st, the Women's March on Washington is taking place in Washington, DC. Women and men are coming together in a show of solidarity and strength to counter the vile rhetoric of the recent Presidential election. The march supports civil rights for all people - women, people of color, native peoples, the disabled, the LBGQTIA community. 

In support of the march, the Pussyhat Project was started. Knitters, crocheters, and sewers are urged to make a pink hat with "pussy ears." You may have seen other hats with this design. Instead of decreasing in size from the brim to the crown, it's the same circumference all the way up. The top is seamed straight across so the two points form "ears" when you wear it.

The hats are being sent to Washington for marchers to wear or being worn at local sister marches on the same day. They'll not only keep the marchers warm, they'll present a dramatic visual statement. Pink is considered a feminine color. We're hoping the marches will be a sea of varying shades of pink to symbolize the power of all the gathered women. Any of you who know me, know that pink isn't my favorite color, but I made a hat and will wear it at my local march. 

There are several crochet patterns for this hat. Some are linked from the Pussyhat Project website. I found one on Ravelry that I really like. It's the Crochet Pussyhat by Gina Langridge. We only have 10 days left, but there's still time to make a hat and either donate it to a march or join a march yourself. Make 2 hats and find a friend to join you!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Top-Down Sweaters

One of my favorite designers is Dora Ohrenstein. I have several of her books, and each one is well worth the price. They are more than pattern books. She always includes lots of useful information for learning new skills. Dora's latest book is Top-Down Crochet Sweaters. The top-down style of construction is popular because it allows you to try the sweater on as you crochet it and adjust the fit as needed. I haven't made a lot of top-down sweaters so I was eager to get this book. 

The book contains 14 sweater patterns that are arranged in pairs. The members of each pair share the same basic theme - the style of yoke, either round or raglan, and the stitch pattern. But other than that, they are different sweaters. They're made with different yarns. One may be a pullover while its pair is a cardigan. One might have long sleeves and the other short sleeves. The necklines might vary. I've never seen a book arranged this way, and it's very intriguing. 

One of the most eye-catching designs in the book is Nanette which is featured on the cover. It's a lovely half-sleeved cardigan that can be worn buttoned in the front or the back. It's pair is Erde, a pullover with 3/4 length sleeves. They both use an interesting crossed stitch with plenty of texture.

As I mentioned above, Dora always includes more than patterns in her books. Chapter 1 contains a detailed discussion of top-down construction including the two styles of yoke, neckline shaping, creating the underarms, and adding the sleeves and body. Chapter 2 contains information on choosing an appropriate yarn, swatching to get gauge and achieve your desired drape, and how to block your sweater. Chapter 3 describes how to take your measurements so your finished project will fit the way you want. Dora also explains reading schematics, how different fibers affect fit, and here's the best part - how to make alterations to customize your sweater both in fit and elements of the design. Want a tighter neckline? Dora tells you how to do it. Prefer long sleeves to short sleeves? That's covered too. So is adding waist shaping and adjusting bust size. She even explains how to change a pattern from a pullover to a cardigan. I love this! Dora gives you the tools to make exactly the sweater you want. 

I know I'm going to make several sweaters from this book. I chose Zora, a pullover with lace panels, as my first one for a practical reason. I had appropriate yarn in my stash. The biggest modification I made was to lengthen the half sleeves to full length. I also tightened the neckline a bit and increased the armhole depth all with information contained in this book. I'm very happy with the result.

So, what shall I make next? I think I'd like a cardigan. I have yarn that should work for either Janelle or Magda. I love Janelle's relaxed look, and Magda's cables. I'm going to swatch for both of these patterns and see which which one speaks to me. 

If you're tempted by a sweater or 3 from this book, get yourself a copy and join us in Dora's Crochet Insider group on Ravelry for a crochet along. No worries about starting or ending dates because it's open ended. Some lovely sweaters have been the result so far.

Dora has several earlier books that I also recommend. Custom Crocheted Sweaters tells you how to customize sweaters of various of constructions to achieve your desired fit. Creating Crochet Fabric is a manual on how to take virtually any yarn and get the fabric you want. It's a great resource and includes a small stitch dictionary. See more of Dora's books and individual patterns here

That's it for today. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave a comment if you decide to make a pattern from Dora's book.