The rest of October, 2021: knitting, neighborhood, more hikes…

A transitional month – the last of the summer flowers, leaves turning and falling, more rain, an atmospheric river event. We got our Covid booster shots, are poised for reentry, again, again, again, again….

Knitting, etc: 

I knitted some little creatures – a gnome, three cats and a witch, and finished a pair of socks. My collection of twelve hats and a cowl are blocked and ready for donation to a local women’s shelter. I sewed potholders and a door light curtain for my daughter.

Around the neighborhood:

Colors of the season:

Two more hikes, besides our Mt Adams and Eagle Creek adventures:

With more frequent rain in western Oregon, we go east of the mountains, beyond the rain shadow. 

10/21/2021 Tom McCall Point, Oregon: Orange oak trees, views of Mt Adams and Mt Hood, and a surprise viewing of a buck near the top of the mountain.

10/27/2021 The Labyrinth, Washington: A saunter with our son through some of my favorite basalt piles and oak groves on an overcast day with sun breaks.

New Zealand Albatross update: The chick Tiaki that I watched in the webcam from the time it was laid as an egg last fall, to its fledging in September 2021, has flown across the South Pacific Ocean to the coast of South America.

And some inspiration for staying positive…


Internet meme – author unknown.

August 2021 – summer gardens, knitting an albatross, the wing and the wheel….

August turned out a bit differently than planned, as we had to cancel travel due to the spread of the delta variant of Covid-19. I celebrated another birthday, walked the neighborhood, ate lots of fresh garden tomatoes, knitted, sewed masks, enjoyed my daughter’s visit, and went on a few hikes (next post). 

Neighborhood and garden


Summer roses









View to downtown from Alameda Ridge from the top of…



the 38th Avenue stairs.



Signs of support in the neighborhood…



Water splashing in the Beverly Cleary sculpture garden.






Puffy clouds in the evening sky,



Half moon rising,






Farmer’s market and garden bounty



Birthday cupcakes and books


Knitting and sewing

An Albatross –

I finished knitting an Albatross Chick, pattern by Rachel Borello Carroll. The face and legs are perfect, the body and wings a less accurate reproduction, but I love having the chick on my shelf.


During our travels in New Zealand in February of 2020, we saw albatross chicks in their nests at the Royal Albatross Center in Taiaroa.


Albatross, taken from the bird blind at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head, February, 2020


After we returned home, almost immediately into pandemic lockdown, I discovered the albatross chick Atawhai, who we probably saw on our visit, was live on camera 24/7 on the Albatross Webcam:…

I spent many a moment of zen during this pandemic, watching Atawhai sitting in the beautiful landscape that we visited, the beaches we walked upon beyond. Atawhai fledged in September of 2020.

This year I have been watching the new season of albatross on the webcam. There is a new fluffy chick named Tiaki, who will also fledge soon. She is down to only a few fluffy feathers, and spends lots of time stretching her wings in the wind (wingspan about 3 meters!) One day in the next month, the wind and wings will catch together successfully, and she will fly off for a few years, somehow knowing how to dive into the water to get food, having never touched it before. And new chicks will be hatched in January. The photos here are screenshots from the Webcam.


Other knitting and sewing: I finished two more hats for donation, and made new masks for my daughter.


Not traveling

Our travel destination turned from orange to red the week before departure, so we will not be walking through the Mid Atlantic Ridge, not watching an active volcano in the twilight, not walking along the shores of a glacial lake with floating icebergs, or seeing the birds and marine life of the North Atlantic ocean. We thought we would be too early for northern lights, but I was looking forward to seeing the lopi yarn, the black sand beaches, all the recent volcanic features, and the many waterfalls….   I heard an interesting discussion about the ethics of making the choice to not get vaccinated, and whether people making that choice (excepting those with true medical reasons) should have consequences. I fall squarely on the side of yes they should, and not because my travel plans are delayed. People are dying, people are surviving with long term consequences. Everyone’s life has been interrupted, and will continue to be until herd immunity can be achieved. So yes, I think that those selfishly ignoring the science, unwilling or unable to evaluate all the misinformation out there for what it is (more divisive rhetoric from the right wing patriarchy), should be restricted in their ability to move through public spaces freely, especially when they won’t offer the courtesy of at least wearing a frigging mask! It is a public health emergency!


RIP Nanci Griffith

We lost one of my favorite singer songwriters this month. I have been listening to her beautiful voice and poetry for more than 40 years, and will continue to listen. 


There’s a pale sky in the east, all the stars are in the west
Oh, here’s to all the dreamers, may our open hearts find rest
The wing and the wheel are gonna carry us along
And we’ll have memories for company, long after the songs are gone.

Nanci Griffith – Wing and the Wheel


May 2021, part 2: Garden, Knitting, Sewing

My garden:


Native irises


First roses

Our tomato plants are doing well – next we will add a few basil plants.


Walking in Portland:


California poppies


Same poppies on a cloudy day.



Meadow rue and allium


Colorful landscaping

And in the “weird” Portland spirit:


Fairy garden


Sidewalk interactive music box display


Mannequin arms on Yogurt Shop bench


First local Hood strawberries! (Not weird)

Knitting and sewing:


I am making progress on my bamboo Em Dash cardigan.


I’ve finished all of the parts of the albatross – assembly next.


I am close to finished with the red/brown socks. 


I started these green socks for travel knitting, made good progress on our DC trip. But I lost at yarn chicken. 

The pinwheel quilt for a new baby in the family is basted and ready for quilting:


I used this opportunity to knit Egg to Turtle for the big sister. I have had my eye on this Susan B Anderson pattern for a while, and enjoyed the opportunity to make it for someone.

I refreshed my mask supply for our flight to DC and travels there:


I have some garment sewing patterns queued up for stitching. I’ve been using my Jane Austen pattern weights:


And in other crafty news, my knitting group is planning a Big Hug-Show and Tell Back Yard Party later this month, after we are all fully vaccinated. It will be great to share all our knitting projects that we have only seen over ZOOM.

Skiing in Portland, February 2021

February 14th – When it snows in Portland, our city mostly shuts down. This only happens every few years. We don’t have enough plows to keep side streets clear, and often get sheets and layers of ice with the snow, so best to stay in if possible. This year, we were ready, having practiced pandemic life for eleven months. We have apocalyptic quantities of nonperishable food in our pantry, and can resupply for a week or more with each grocery shop. So no panic, just sit and watch the winter wonderland form, and hope the power stays on.

I took my usual walks around the neighborhood on cross country skis for three days. The streets are flat, with very few cars out. Traffic is mainly dog walkers, families going to the park with sledding accoutrement, other skiers and fat tire bikers. A few skate skiers whizz by, but I am happy to kick glide along, probably slower than I walk, enjoying the novelty of skiing through my snowy neighborhood.


Traffic on Tillamook Street


I always notice these opposing statues on Thompson Street:


Dogs staring at Lions.


Lions staring at dogs.


Tonite the ice storm cometh. So far we still have power, but parts of the city have had outages. Eventually we will thaw and the slush will melt away, and I will be back to walking, but I have enjoyed a few days of skiing. Today was a bit icier on the road, unlike the first day when the surface was fluffy. Today I had to focus, keep my weight over my knees, and stay aware of icy tire tracks diverting my ski path. I was reminded of myself, in my early 30’s, when I attended an annual party at a park with a high dive on the swimming pool. Every year I would make my way to the platform and leap off, feet first, trusting the water to break my fall, just to see if I could still bring myself to do it. Today I trusted my knees and balance to keep me upright on an icy road, sliding along on my 30 year old skis. Check.


Sewing: I finally collected 200 pennies! No one uses pennies anymore, yet they are the perfect filling for a set of pattern weights, pattern from an old Elizabeth Hartman blog post. I used some of my Jane Austen fabric. 


A side


B side

Knitting: I finished my Artists Garden Socks. I have made a goal to knit at least one item per month for the Puddletown Knitting Guild project to supply a woman’s shelter with warm items next winter. I obtained a pile of donated yarn from the guild, and have finished two hats so far, and started a cowl.


Artists Garden Socks


Quick Ombre Hat


Barley Light Hat


Meanwhile, around the yard and neighborhood, before the snow, I saw crocuses, one daffodil, and a cherry tree. Hopefully they will all survive the freeze we are in now.






September – wildfires and smoke

September began with a heat wave, too hot for hiking. I went on my usual walks through the neighborhood, noting the late summer flowers and early signs of fall.

And I finished sewing my summer kimono robe.

We were planning some adventures after the Labor Day weekend, when the trails would be quieter. Instead, quite literally, all hell broke loose. In my last post, I expressed my “hope for a late summer without a local fire season.” I could never have predicted the late summer snowstorm in the Rockies that created an ‘unprecedented’ giant windstorm that swept westward across the continent, fanning the flames of wildfires in every combustible forest on the west coast of North America. We were safe at home, watching in horror, as the news kept getting worse.

Satellite photos from September 11th show the smoke being pulled far out to sea:

After the winds died down, the heavy smoke settled in, limiting visibility, and making breathing painful. We learned how to use the AirNow app to monitor our air quality, constantly refreshing the page, hoping for better results.

For six days I did not go out of doors at all – grateful to have a safe home to harbor in, knowing there were so many families evacuated, and many with their homes burned. Many have still not been able to return; meanwhile the firefighters, Red Cross, and all the social support services have stepped up to aid those in need. I have only gone out once, so far, to pick up a prescription and some groceries. Nobody is walking our neighborhood streets – the air has been too bad. Today it finally shows signs of improvement, and we may be able to step out in the next day or two.

September 16th – our first glimpse of the sun in more than a week.


Once again, knitting to the rescue. I have had time to finish a few projects:

And make progress on other projects:

Awake and say
“What time is it?
What day is it? What season?”
No sun,
but not dark,

End of summer in a strange year
when all the cues are gone,
and now gone again.
Most things closed down again.
Wildfire smoke blankets our part of the planet.
Fall approaches, but is it the fall of our civilization? Or autumn?
Invisible viruses still pervade the air.
Not quite invisible smoke particles dim our sight, harm our lungs.

A metaphor for the insidious gloom covering our entire nation in an unprecedented election year, the outcome to determine how we will breathe going forward.


Peninsula Park Rose Garden


April 23, 2020 – Another urban hike-

We walked to the Peninsula Park Rose Garden through northeast Portland. Neighborhood gardens are bursting with flowers, but it was much too early for the rose garden.


It is pink snow season in Portland! (cherry blossoms)



These red and white camellias reminded me of the “Painting the roses red!” scene from Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.

Our route took us through the Alberta Arts neighborhood where personal artistic expression is abundant!

We finally reached the Peninsula Park Rose Garden after walking about 4 miles. 


The rose garden was built in 1913.


The rose beds are sunken below street level.


Peonies near the entrance were the brightest color there today.


Brickwork paths.



The gazebo


The only blooming roses.



Looking west across the rose garden.

Image 4-23-20 at 10.43 PM (1)

Hike #37, 8.4 miles, 200 feet. We are hoping to find a dirt trail nearby to walk next week – the cement is very hard on my poor arthritic feet, as I am trying to keep my fitness levels up for the duration…



I finished the ‘eggs’ and the ‘chicken feet’ on the Which Came First shawl. On to the ‘chicken wire’!

PS. Happy 3rd Blogiversary to me – I published my first post in April of 2017!


Rocky Butte

Another week of Pandemic, another urban volcano hike, new spring blooms, a bit of crafting, and some good advice from George Washington.

April 16, 2020 – Hike of the Week

Rocky Butte is another Boring Volcanic Field volcano in Portland. We walked there from the Rose City Golf course, and had a great view of the High Cascades Peaks, with a coyote sighting along the way.

Image 4-22-20 at 10.09 AM

After walking flat city streets, we began the uphill climb on Rocky Butte Road.


A coyote, crossing the road ahead.


The coyote continued up into the forest.


Meanwhile, we walked up the road and through the tunnel.


The road, tunnel, and stone walls were built in the 1930’s as part of a WPA post-depression infrastructure project.


Eventually, we reached the park on the summit.


Views in all directions:


East to Mt Hood


North to Mt St Helens


Columbia River, Mt St Helens


Mt St Helens


Northwest, down the Columbia River


West to the Fremont Bridge, Portland


West to downtown Portland


Southeast to Mt Jefferson


Mt Jefferson


Mt Hood again

And a last look at Mt St Helens before heading down.


I always love a Peak Finder!


Hike#36, 6.5 miles, 420 feet.

New blooms in the neighborhood and garden this week:


I made forward and reverse progress on my Meris sweater. While playing yarn chicken, I made the sleeves too short. I have knit just about every part of this sweater three times, so now I will reknit the lower sleeves.  I sewed more masks, started sewing a new bathrobe to replace the one I left behind in Queenstown, and continued knitting Emily’s shawl, and the purple socks.


Meanwhile in Portland:


Physical distancing demonstrated by our founding father!

Back to the sky/some sewing

8/31/2019 Cloud Cap/Timberline Trail High Point

We returned with friends to this same trail near Cooper Spur on Mt Hood that we hiked in July. Fewer flowers, less snow, still the sky, the swirling cloud cap, the views afar, the plans formulating to complete the Timberline Trail loop someday. Hike #42, 6 miles, 1650 feet.


Once attaining the crest of the East Eliot Moraine, the Washington Cascade Peaks are on view to the north,


and Mt Hood is ahead to the west.


Low growing buckwheat, lupine and yarrow.


Later in the day, clouds forming on the mountain, knotweed in the foreground showing fall colors already.


My hiking companions resting near the Timberline Trail high point.


And, almost back to the trailhead, high desert beyond.

Lookback: A couple of photos comparing snow levels with mid-July:


View up the Eliot today, 8/31/2019.


View up the Eliot seven weeks ago, July 12, 2019


View to the south, toward Lamberson Butte and the Timberline Trail crossings, today.


Similar view seven weeks ago.

Some sewing


Two pairs of sleep shorts.

And a random Portlandia street art scene:






Sunbonnet Sue Quilt

I started this blog two years ago with the goal of writing about my quilting. Instead, the blog has become more of a hiking and travel journal, with a side of crafting. Here, at last, is my first quilt story! It is a common lament in the quilt world that many quilts are unlabeled and their stories are lost to history. My first quilt story, which includes a bit of my history, is about my oldest, my first quilt.


Sunbonnet Sue   68″ x 82″   by Margaret Klute 1975

Quilt Story 1: Sunbonnet Sue, 1975

My childhood best friend, Susan, moved from Minnesota to our neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley of southern California in the early 1960s. Her Mom, Sally, often gave us projects to keep us busy – everything from polishing their family’s antique whaling lamps and silver, to baking bread and cookies, to making candles, macrame and clothing.  Sally showed us how to make Sunbonnet Sue blocks when we were about 14 or 15 years old – this would have been about 1970 or 1971.


The dress on this Sue was a scrap from a blouse I wore in high school.

We began by cutting templates out of construction paper. Then we raided our family’s overflowing scrap boxes for fabric.  Both of our moms sewed, and my sisters and I also made some of our own clothing.  We had fun choosing fabrics for the dress, bonnet, arm and shoe patches.  We sewed the pieces onto white background fabric, possibly from an old sheet, using an overcast hand appliqué stitch. We each created a stack of blocks but then lost momentum. My blocks sat in a drawer for a few years.


In 1975 I wanted a warm quilt to take with me to college in northern California.  I made additional Sunbonnet Sues using scraps from recently made clothes, but did not have enough blocks for a bed-sized quilt.  I raided both families’ fabric stashes again and cut out 5 inch squares from a wide mix of scraps.  I sewed the squares together with half inch seam allowances, and determined a layout that would float the Sunbonnet Sue blocks between rows of patchwork.  I found a backing fabric at the discount fabric shop, and I also bought a roll of 2″ thick polyester batting.  I finagled a quilt sandwich with straight pins, and somehow managed to force the quilt under the foot of my Mom’s sturdy Kenmore sewing machine, stitching in the ditch around all the squares.  I found fabric for the binding, again from the scrap box, and attached it by hand.


Backing fabric, which I always thought of as batik saw blades.

I brought the quilt with me to college and continued to use it for a good 20 years. I patched it and restitched much of the appliqué, and eventually the batting flattened down to about a quarter inch thick.


Front binding close up. These fabrics include cotton, polyester, and wool; both prints and wovens; and light to heavy in weight. The edge of the middle faded pink spotted patch shows the bright original color along the seam allowance.


The binding on the back was much wider, and hand stitched. I only added the signature recently!

Construction commentary: This quilt represents to me a big chunk of my youth – and also, I love the audacity of youth that this quilt reveals.  I finished Sunbonnet Sue in a way that made sense to me at the time. I remember thinking I didn’t need the full 5/8 inch seam allowance used for garment sewing – 1/2 inch should be plenty.  I also had  the idea that a patchwork quilt should not be made of new fabric, and should have as many different scrap fabrics as possible – though I did have the option to not use fabric that I didn’t like. There were no blogs or online tutorials – we had one Dover quilt book. I consulted my Mom, but she had never made a quilt, though she had made curtains, bed spreads and cushion covers as well as clothing. (She could also knit, crochet, tat, and change the oil and spark plugs and adjust the carburetor in an automobile engine while single handedly feeding and clothing nine children – but that’s a story for another day.) The wide seam allowances, thick batting and wide binding are not what I do today, but they worked to complete my quilt.


The orange dress print is leftover from our Shasta travel trailer curtains. The streaky red, white and blue fabric reminds me that both tie-dye and pre-bicentennial patriotism were part of the pop culture of the time. The pink striped floral fabric is a pillow ticking weight fabric.


The uppermost flowered patch, now needing a patch, was another favorite blouse fabric. The middle patch is an example of the psychedelic graphics of the time.

I love the personal history of the fabric in this quilt – I see mine and my sisters’ and my friends’ childhood wardrobes, with many fond memories of people, place and time. I also love that this quilt reflects what I considered at the time to be the true spirit of patchwork quilting – making something from the scraps of both material and memories. This was during the early seventies anti-establishment/anti-war/back to the land movement, which defined the paths that I and a few of my siblings would choose as young adults.  We went to war protests, dug up our lawn to plant a garden, joined a food coop, and eventually moved out of the city to northern California or Oregon. Susan never finished her quilt, but during a visit a few years ago we enjoyed looking at all the fabrics and remembering when and where we wore them when we were young. I wish I had photos of us in some of the clothes, but alas, I do not. Just the patches in this well worn quilt.


Red, White and Purple at Three Corner Rock, WA (18-28)

Three Corner Rock   4th of July, 2018    (Hike#40)

This easy hike follows the Pacific Crest Trail south from the 2090 road in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The beautifully maintained and graded trail switchbacks up a ridge lined with a variety of summer wildflowers. DSC06569The last 3/4 mile is on a rutted red access road which goes to the saddle – and to the volcanic pile of Three Corner Rock that is holding down the ridge from blowing away on this windy July 4th.


We scramble part way up the rock to a windbreak and have lunch – only one of our hiking party braves the blast to scramble all the way to the top.


Meanwhile, we admire our five volcano view: Jefferson, Hood, Adams, St Helens, Rainier, along with views of the Columbia River all the way to Portland to the west. This was a good place for a lookout back in the day!


Mts Hood and Jefferson beyond the cell tower.


Mts St Helens, Rainier and Adams.


Silver Star Mountain

Among the flower palette are tons of red paintbrush, white bunch berry, and purple penstemon – nothing blue blooming up here today.

Other wildflowers – some are first sightings this year:

The map and June flower comparison is on my blog post from last year. 4.4 miles/1200 feet.

We stopped in Cascade Locks on the way home to buy fresh salmon for our 4th of July barbecue dinner.


Bridge of the Gods over the Columbia River.


Native fish market at Bridge of the Gods. The burned skyline shows how close the Eagle Creek fire was to Cascade Locks.


Pinwheel Quilt completed and just waiting for baby:


Fabric baskets for a sister’s birthday:


I started a quilt for the Welcome Blanket project: