Handspun FO – Viola Viola

I thought I’d take a break from trip stuff today to share some pics of my first FO since coming home (does a skein of handspun count as an FO?).

DSCF0005

A few weeks back, Rayna and I went to the home of a friend of hers, who was destashing an impressive amount of gorgeous stuff. Among the many gems that we dug out and brought home was an unexpected treat; a braid of Viola Viola (based on a quick Ravelry search I think this is either ‘Ghost’ or ‘Dew Drop’).

DSCF0652

Viola Viola, before she took a break from dyeing to travel to England, was second only to Tanis Fiber Arts for gorgeous yarn. I loved her bases, her colours, and I hoarded everything I owed from her after she stopped dyeing. So to find this partly used braid sitting loose at the bottom of a fiber bin was like striking oil.

DSCF0001

Unfortunately, as I complained to Rayna afterwards, the braid had suffered from its time in the bin. The spin was slubby and tough, and the fiber blend was a mystery since it was without a label.

DSCF0004

Because my spinning skills are not developed enough for me to spin something end-to-end yet, I pre-draft relatively thin before spinning, which means that the colours all faded out to a fairly neutral grey instead of preserving some of the blues and purples that you can see in the first photo (that little bit of green has almost disappeared entirely).

DSCF0008

However, when it was done and plied I was happy that I stuck with it. I suspect it’s merino-silk or something like it; the yarn is incredibly soft and bouncy with great shine. I’m thinking it might make a small cowl, or perhaps a woven scarf. Using my own handspun is so gratifying!

DSCF0002

Cape Perpetua and Thor’s Well

Isn’t that a great name?

A few years ago I found a place on Pinterest called ‘Thor’s Well’. Thor’s Well is a sea cave that caved in on itself leaving behind a 20 foot deep hole, and it’s on the Oregon coast. Then and there I decided that I had to visit Oregon and shoot that formation, and that was the genesis of this trip.

Cape Perpetua ©Shireen Nadir 2014

Here’s the place where I talk about what a champ Tito is. These photos were the entire reason for going to Oregon in the first place, and every other gorgeous thing we saw was just icing on the cake. Accordingly, I was even more obsessive than usual about getting the perfect shot.

Cape Perpetua ©Shireen Nadir 2014

Thor’s Well is not easy to shoot. I thought other photographers were exaggerating, but I was wrong. The well is 20 feet deep, with a tunnel that goes out to the ocean. Sea water comes in from the top and the bottom, filling the well and turning it into a natural geyser that erupts back out. The most spectacular shots are that of the water pouring back down into the hole. It looks like a gate to another world.

Cape Perpetua ©Shireen Nadir 2014

Add to that the fact that it’s best seen at high tide, eg. when it’s the most dangerous. There is a strong back current when the water is being sucked back down again that can pull you forward (and down!). You can’t really run easily if a rogue wave comes because it’s all uneven volcanic rock, and it’s tough to keep your footing, let alone run. Finally, you have to be willing to get wet. You risk salt water damage to your gear, and while shooting you’re being constantly salt-water-showered by the spouting horn that’s just to the right of the well.

Cape Perpetua ©Shireen Nadir 2014

To quote a scene in the latest Batman:

Christian Bale: Am I supposed to understand all that?

Morgan Freeman: No. I just wanted you to know how hard it was.

It gets more challenging. The weather was not interested in my goals. The crazy fog was out in full strength again.

Cape Perpetua ©Shireen Nadir 2014

Cape Perpetua ©Shireen Nadir 2014

Cape Perpetua ©Shireen Nadir 2014

We ended up going back to the well not once, twice, or even three times, but 4 times. The last time required Tito to make a U-turn on a narrow, winding road because the fog cleared and the sunset showed up out of nowhere and I knew I had to go back. Love that man.

So this was the shot.

Before Sundown

Before Sundown

And this:

Empty well, in between waves

Empty well, in between waves

Right after the well filled up

Right after the well filled up

Right at sunset

Right at sunset

It was the highlight of the trip, no contest. I think it’s one of the best shots I’ve ever taken. Thanks baby, for understanding and being willing to humour my little shutterbug heart. To me, it was all worth it.

Fiber Tour Stop 2 – Pearl Fiber Arts

Pearl Fiber Arts Portland

The second fiber shop we visited in Portland is an adorable store tucked away in the très-cool Pearl neighbourhood, called, appropriately, Pearl Fiber Arts.

Pearl Fiber Arts Portland

I was greeted by the super friendly Cindy, who showed me around the product-packed store, highlighting the local yarns and fibers when my eyes alighted upon the coolest stuff. They have a shelf full of bags that contain luxury, undyed, roving.

Pearl Fiber Arts Portland

This aligns perfectly with my increasing need to control every step of my own creative process. I want to dye the fiber myself, then spin it, and then knit/weave it. Clearly, I’m a lot more ‘process’ than I used to be, why else go out of my way to make the process three times longer than needed?

Pearl Fiber Arts Portland

I bought 3 bags (4 oz. each) of fiber. One was a super wash panda, one is a camel-silk and one is a merino-silk. I have successfully dyed all three (more on that later!) and will be emailing Cindy to see if she can ship me more.

Pearl Fiber Arts Portland

I also loaded up on some books and some presents for the girls (project bags). Pearl Fiber Arts was a very good find indeed. If you find yourself in the Portland area I definitely recommend checking them out!

Pearl Fiber Arts Portland

Cape Kiwanda

©Shireen Nadir 2014

Cape Kiwanda is a photographer’s heaven. Which made it twice as annoying that the first time we went there, it was covered in an impermeable, pea souper of a fog.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

Here’s an example of how bad the fog was; there is an iconic rock formation on this beach called the haystack. It’s no tin-of-biscuits either; it’s 330 feet tall. I walked around like a tourist inquiring of people where I could find the haystack rock, only to have them look out to sea and offer me a friendly, noncommittal shrug.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

We still tried to shoot. We climbed the sand dune and endured pretty severe (for the cameras) wind gusts filled with stinging sand grains. The conditions were difficult and dangerous, and we gave up after about an hour.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

The next morning we came back again and were astounded to see the rock, exactly where folks said it was! That really drove home for me how bad the fog had been.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

Same photo as the one above! If you look closely you can see the base of the rock in the first shot.

We spent about 2, really amazing hours, shooting here. My only regret was that we didn’t spend longer. I have learned not to rush a shoot–when the light is right and the place is intriguing, you need to just stick it out.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

©Shireen Nadir 2014

Parts of Cape Kiwanda look like Mars.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

So of course I had to indulge in a little bit of quick Photoshoppery =D

Curiosity found something!

Tito said Curiosity was a pretty nice guy, but not very chatty. Also, there may be a scale issue here.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

See that little lip of ground in the lower left? yeah, I almost stood there to get my shot.

©Shireen Nadir 2014 ©Shireen Nadir 2014 ©Shireen Nadir 2014©Shireen Nadir 2014

I really hope to go back some day, possibly in the fall when that accursed fog is not as frequent an occurrence (so folks tell me). We could have easily shot for 3 days in that one location!

©Shireen Nadir 2014

The “should-haves” downward spiral

shireenxnadir3711:

My friend Caroline is battling cancer, and wrote this touching post about our day together which I spent teaching her to knit (What better companion for hospital waits and exhausted days?). She is inspiring, and a fighter. If you’re in Toronto, there is a fundraiser to help Caroline offset the costs of her treatment, which will include live entertainment, a silent auction (including resin jewellery!) and a performance of the High Heel Revolution that is sure to be awesome!

Check out http://nogoodwomanleftbehind.com if you want more information :)

Originally posted on Cancer Chose The Wrong Woman To F%$! With:

10:45pm. July 16th 2014. 

How I’m feeling: I’m exhausted. I did two things instead of one today (and I also had a 3rd set of plans scheduled – that I didn’t make it to). I don’t regret following through with my two plans – as I had a really great time – but I know I pushed myself too hard. I know I should have stopped the moment I started tuning out in the middle of conversations during my first set of plans. Also, my mouth cankers (a chemo side-effect) came back – on my tongue and left side of my mouth and they are quite painful. After this post, I’m going to get ready for bed. I have three sets of plans tomorrow, that I’m likely going to have to chop down to two or one. It’s not easy having such a limited supply of energy and focus juice…

View original 779 more words

Fiber Tour Stop 1 – Knit Purl Portland

DSCF0255

Knit Purl is a shop that, for a start, looks very awesome from the outside. I can say this because the first time we found it was on July 4th–so I spent lots of time looking through the windows and wanting very much to be inside.

DSCF0249

The store has a very warm atmosphere, with a big knitting table at one side and a fabulous selection. The staff are super friendly and showed me around the brands that were local to them, as well as an entire wall of Shibui, which is their sister company.

DSCF0251

It’s a pretty posh little knitting store, and I ended up choosing one skein of Fiber Spate, which (as fas as I’ve seen) you can’t get in Toronto.  It’s a generously sized plum coloured silk lace weight (only one skein you say? Well, I did have at least 3 more stores to get through…).

IMG_7089 DSCF0250

If you are vacationing in Portland and you decide to have a look for Knit-Purl, you only have to walk directly away from the river along SW Alder Street for a few blocks to find them right on the corner. Check them out online for more details!

Waterfall Day on the Historic US 30

On the second full day that we had in Oregon, Tito and I spent the day waterfall hunting along the Historic US 30.  That highway, impressively, actually had too many waterfalls for us to visit in only one go, so we had to pick and choose a bit.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

This is Latourell falls, a fairly nondescript waterfall early on in the drive. However, the light that morning was stunning, and our timing was perfect for this gorgeous shot. The morning light is just creeping over the cliff edge and sending its rays down into the valley. The waterfall itself is illuminated by the sun, which is barely touching the ground. I am standing downstream and using my Lee Filter Big Stopper here to slow down my shutter enough for this shot.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

This one, and the two below are from Multnomah falls. It’s a picturesque spot with great hiking, as well as some more touristy things like a restaurant, snack bar and gift shop. Accordingly, this was the only waterfall where we had to work to find parking, but it was definitely worth it!

©Shireen Nadir 2014

©Shireen Nadir 2014

This shot was taken in the evening light after returning to the falls a second time, so the Big Stopper wasn’t needed to blur the water nicely.

We also visited a few hidden falls that were further off the track, Bridal Veil falls:

©Shireen Nadir 2014

And Munson Creek Falls.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

You could spend an entire week in that area alone doing nothing but waterfall studies. We only had a week though, and much ground to cover :) Tomorrow, Knit-Purl, the first leg of my fiber tour!

 

 



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,523 other followers

%d bloggers like this: