Monday, October 17, 2005

"It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again." 

Portland was fun with a capital F!

At the last minute I decided to not bring the gigantic camera, so I haven't any Portland pics, and strangely we ran across no postcard shops with copyrighted images I could scan and claim as my own.

The lack of postcard hawkers on every corner was just one small difference between San Diego and Portland.

The no sales tax thing never stopped being thrilling.

Powell's was fabulously labyrinthine (I never even made it up to the Pearl Room) and despite the fact that books don't make the best choice of souvenirs, I couldn't resist. I ended up running through the airport with a fifty-pound pack on my back, listening to the high pitched "eee-ee-ee-eee!" complaints of its myriad nylon support straps.

Heidi staggered behind wearing her own overloaded pack and clutching an empty basket. Quite a nice basket, if I may say.

(Okay, this next bit's quite long but if you get bored you can just scroll down to the pictures I took after we got back of the yarn adventures)

I think if you'd had an overhead camera filming our last day it would have looked like some sort of farce:
get up, get lost, find the freeway, lose the freeway, find the right road again, sit behind several construction projects, get to Tillamook, sprint up to Munson Falls, "ooh," "aah," and engage in good-spirited recriminations regarding the camera's location in the rental car, race back to Portland wondering what those gigantic white plastic-wrapped things were, (more sitting behind construction projects), downtown, "lunch" in a too-sugary gelato place just 'round the corner from Anthropologie where we marveled that there was a great amount of work put into garments that were made of not so great materials, although I still paused from time to time to rub my grubby fingerprints in and Heidi and I enjoyed the range of grimaces the shopgirls were capable of producing.

Then, up to my cousin's house to retrieve my forgotten phone.

Then to the airport, oops, here's the airport but we must fill up the car's tank lest we pay $4.09/gallon.

Crazy traffic, unclear road signs and my stubborn, manly refusal to pull over, stop driving, and take a look at a damn map make the ensuing hour or so a bit of a blur really.

Heidi assures me we passed my cousin's house at least twice.

A very slow rental shuttle ride.

Then the great overloaded dash through the airport.

Only to find that the plane (which should have been securing its doors and pushing back from the gate when we got there, according to my definition of "on time" Mr. Flight Screen Information Updater Person) had arrived just before we did, and they were still hosing down the cowchips, or whatever it is they do between Southwest flight runs.

So Heidi finally got to use the restroom.

So the story has a happy ending.

And it was funny and farcical and frustrating (I could almost hear the Benny Hill dee-dee-deedle-dee music going and if we'd driven past my cousin's house a couple more times I would have started hallucinating girls in bikinis and gorilla masks)while it was happening, but I now know that I should never leave less than a two hour buffer between activities which involve any amount of driving in Oregon.
Because although Portland apparently has the second highest unemployment rate, it does have more than its fair share of road crew and road sign meddlers-with-ers. Wossname, taggers, sign twisters, stealers, and an odd affinity for placing road signs so you can only read 'em if you are driving the wrong way down a one way.

We did seek out a few yarn stores and a dissappointing bead shop (well, we didn't know Let It Bead was dissappointing until we got there) and even ran into a former San Diegan on the bus.

Yarn Garden was huge. And so overwhelming I only bought a bag to hold my Powell's haul in.
knit-knot was not. But it did carry handspun. I bought this, 185 yds of bulky-worsted, little sections of dk-ish 2ply superwash at a price I found absolutely encouraging: $43. Worth every goddamn penny, I had such a hard time picking which skein.

I was thinking of seeing if I could make a dogsweater of it, but I think all the dogs are too big, even if it was all blah stockinette. So maybe socks.

The Naked Sheep was very neat, my kind of shop were I to take such a gamble. It's a small shop but they have nice sheepy wools, not many novelties, Rowan, Debbie Bliss, baby yarns in soft superwash and a nice selection of sock yarns. Some wonderfully soft alpaca / pima cotton blend I ruined with natural dye (kidding, Heidi, just kidding!).

Geez, already this is kind of long. Maybe I should save the natural dye stuff for a whole separate entry. Here's a preview of the dyeing we did. Heidi and I both did fibers, so this is all our stuff together, drying in the sun. Everything got jammed into my pack still soggy.

And this is what I've done since I got home:

Green and blue mostly worsted weight superwash, 470 yards/ 8 ounces for a sweater for Tahoe. Totally inconsistent gauge, but I love it. The superwash feels supersoft.

And, I came home to two great packages which should be separate entries all their own. But here goes anyways:
My brother sent us some really quirky stuff, some great dog toys (Snowball LOVES the glow in the dark slobber ball) doughnut scented air freshener for Nick, bacon band-aids (again, for my accident-prone Pig I'm assuming) a funky cutting board and knife I'm still getting the hang of, some tunes, a great bunch of surprises.

And my Secret Pal Mama Llama sent me a package too, but the dogs opened it in the yard and so I had Nick open the rest of it over the phone when I was in Portland. Chicken tenders for the dogs (taste-testing has proven them to be of higher value than the greenies--if offered a greenie and a chicken tender in one hand the chicken tender is snatched first 100% of the time, which is amazing if you've ever seen Tahoe spaaz out to just the word "greenie") and some fabulous hand-mixed trail-mix (devoured quite quickly) some gear for kitchen communications and three ounces of BFL and a cute card. It was great to come back and play with pressies, and unpack all the fun stuff we got...I'd go away more if it didn't mean all the hassle of leaving home ;)

I'd take a picture of all the loot, but it's been disseminated to various parts of the house--or yard, or stomachs. I've even spun up the BFL to 130 yards of singles. I'm not a very good blogger. Sorry.

Oh, and while the natural dye stuff will wait for a post of its own, I should sort of explain the title of this post--I think I'd like to raise silk worms (which are caterpillars, not small worms at all really) and I was daydreaming about the habitat I'd create for them and for some reason that line persisted in my brain. It would be peace silk, after all, so we'd be a little over-run with the silk moths maybe. Definitely something I need to read more up on, that's for sure.


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