Back to our regularly scheduled Sock Summit Update (warning – picture heavy)….
Saturday morning found us a little more leisurely than usual. That’s not to say we slept in, but Jess didn’t have class at all that day and Troy and I didn’t have class until 1:30 PM so there was no rush to get out the door immediately. We had decided this would be the perfect morning to do a little exploring and we thought the Farmer’s Market would be the perfect thing to do. Jess was amazing and pretty much figured out exactly where we needed to go and which TriMet route we’d need to take to get there. Luckily, we were in the free zone for where we wanted to go, so it was super easy. All I can say is, kudos to Portland for their public transportation! If only we had something this nice where I live. Of course, it’s not hard to get around in my town, but there are times where I’d like to not have to worry about driving or parking.
We hopped the Trimet to the Skidmore Fountain stop which was a quick 5 minutes or less from the Convention Center block. At our stop, I was initially put off by the group of scruffy looking loiterers shouting obscenities at each other over their shopping cart, but we just walked the other way and I put it out of my mind. What caught my eye first was the historic architecture surrounding us; buildings with flourishes, and the historic colonnade housing a portion of the market. I never cease to be fascinated by old structures and their histories. The stories are there, buried, waiting for me to discover them. I wonder about the people who lived and worked here. What was life like for them? Were they happy, sad, indifferent? As I soaked it in I snapped a few photos for posterity.
We wandered, we looked, we soaked it in. I found a lot of inspiration at the market, seeing all kinds of items that had been re-created from vintage or cast off things; upcycling being the buzz word I presume. This has always been an interest of mine and seeing examples of this in the marketplace gave me all sorts of ideas for future projects. I bought a couple of leather cuffs made from old belts. Because I needed to “toughen up my image” I told Troy. Couldn’t hurt. Before long we were getting hungry and we decided we’d all divide up and get the food that sounded best to each of us. Troy and Jess convinced me I’d love pierogies, which I had never before tried, so I bought my lunch at a cute little cart just across the street from the Portland Saturday Market sign up above. Mmmmm…. Potato and cheese filling with onions and bacon on top. I have to say, my first experience with pierogies was a blissful one! Troy, who was holding a table for us, had to have the same after I came back with mine.
The picture is a bit blurry you see, because I was salivating so hard I could barely hold the camera straight :) I told Jess and Troy that I did believe my blog was starting to turn into a food blog as most of the pictures I took over the weekend seemed to be of food! After eating and looking a bit more, we thought we spotted the mecca of doughnut shops – Voodoo doughnuts – on an adjacent corner, and had to have a look for ourselves. As we got closer, we asked a few people what the situation was and they told us that the line was at least an hour long. An hour long! And it was mid-morning, not even breakfast hour anymore. Of course, there is no bad time for a doughnut. But none of us was down with waiting an hour just to say we’d been there. We satisfied ourselves with snapping a picture of the sign and Jess even got a guy sitting outside at a table, about to bite into a doughnut the size of his head, to agree to having his photo taken. I’m pretty sure one of his friends had one of those specialty maple doughnuts with bacon on top. Oy.
After that, we wandered around a little longer to see what we could see. We thought maybe there’d be a fun little shopping district or some such somewhere near all this other goodness, but no such luck. We did see this, which explained a lot:
Coming up on Chinatown, we thought perhaps there would be something fun to explore here too, but it was all but dead. I did find the entrance enchanting though, and thought a rather funny sign deserved preservation on film. Do you think they realized what they were advertising? Or did they think it was funny too?
Perhaps this was old Chinatown and there is a new and bustling Chinatown somewhere else in Portland. By then in our travels, it was getting close to time to head back. So we boarded the TriMet and were on our way back to the Convention Center. I’d had a raging headache all day and it wasn’t getting any better. I think we got some coffee before our class and maybe poked around the Marketplace again and at 1:30 PM Troy and I headed to our Perfect Rib Class with Cookie A. I have to admit, I wasn’t feeling 100% by the time we got to class, and there was a lot to cram into this one-hour wonder. Despite Cookie A. being a friendly, knowledgeable, and all around excellent instructor, my brain was at maximum capacity and most definitely not firing on all cylinders. So I didn’t get much out of it, unfortunately. Through no one’s fault but my own, of course. There were lengthy handouts that I brought home and I imagine I will study them later, the next time I get around to trying to design my own sock. I loved the idea that you can incorporate ribbing into the pattern itself (the main idea of this class) and I think that is perhaps why Cookie A.’s designs are among the most beautiful of all sock patterns. Her ribs never look just stuck on, in fact, everything flows seamlessly together into a harmonious design. I know accomplishing this myself with my own pattern, will make much more sense when I can sit down and study it later with my brain in a more receptive state.
After class, we met up with Jess again and decided it was time for another field trip. We piled into Troy’s car this time (I think yesterday’s trek had taught us that it would be much more relaxing to drive just in case we got lost again) and headed to the nearest LYS, Portland’s Twisted. What a sweet little shop! They had all sorts of yarns my LYS doesn’t carry and a lot of local indie dyed stuff that was really fun to see. The Twisted booth at the Marketplace at Sock Summit had been handing out 10% off coupons for the brick and mortar shop, so of course we had to take advantage. I bought some beautiful Madelinetosh Tosh Merino in “Grasshopper” for a slouchy hat. I love slouch hats, but don’t know if they love me back. I’m thinking this is a bit like shawls. They look funny on you only if you feel funny in them. You have to work it and just know you are cool and then, in turn, you will be cool. It’s my new experiment.
Jess asked the gals in the shop for a restaurant recommendation and they gave us a few. Jess and I were thinking sushi, but after driving back and forth a bunch, with no sushi place materializing, we settled for the one place they recommended that we could actually find: Cha! Cha! Cha! Taqueria. It was cool inside and inviting. Most of the clientele were seated outside, so it was nice to have the place to ourselves. The food was billed to be authentic and locally sourced which is apparently a condition for every restaurant in Portland. But you know, I do believe it makes a difference! Our meal was delicious. Troy and Jess got something called Molcajete that Jess says is served at one of her favorite restaurants back home. All I know is it arrives in a ginormous sizzling bowl of goodness and smells heavenly! I got poblano chile and cheese tamales and we all got the requisite frosty adult beverage necessary to complete a summer meal such as this.
After dinner was consumed, we headed back to the convention center for a “special kind of baby shower” in honor of Ravelry founders Casey and Jess’ new baby Eloise. Each of us had knitted a hat to donate to the cause and it was astounding to arrive there and see the sheer number of sweet knitted things that people had made. There were several gift bags on the tables and I was a little confused as to what that was all about until Tina Newton and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee started looking into one of them and exclaiming over the huge amounts of tiny socks nestled inside. I guess that one knitter had gone sock wild and knit dozens upon dozens of socks for donation. Kind of made me feel a little subpar with my one measly hat :( But I guess every little bit helps!
We kind of thought that, since it was a baby shower and all, there should have been some cake or something. But no cake. We settled for milkshakes from Burgerville (yum!) and some knitting in Troy’s room instead. I’d all but convinced Troy and Jess to take on the Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL 2011: Earth & Sky with me so we purchased the pattern and discussed color choices while sipping our cool frosty treats. After a while Jess and I bid Troy goodnight and headed back to our room for some shuteye. A thoroughly wonderful, totally exhausting day. And one of the best ever in recent memory! And tomorrow would mean goodbye :(