Travels and Connections

Connections Across The Miles

Michael and Me on Lava Canyon hiking trail.  Mt St. Helens

Michael and Me on Lava Canyon hiking trail. Mt St. Helens

I have a brother that lives in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m finally able to visit him.  I’ve never been to Washington or Oregon, so I look for things to do and see in the area.  So much natural beauty: The Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, Mt. St. Helens, Fort Vancouver, and the list goes on.  I would be remiss if I didn’t seek out some local fiber arts.  I’m always amazed that no matter where I go, I find fiber artists and/or a mill in the general area.  I found the Pendleton Wool Mill one town over in Washougal, WA, and the Portland Handweavers Guild, who invited me to their meeting as a guest.  I place everything I find on my “to do” list and print directions.

Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge.

Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge.

The opportunity to spend some time with my Brother is priceless, and I feel blessed to have this time.  We like a lot of the same things; the state parks and natural attractions in the area call to both of us.  He is in excellent physical shape, and I just do the best I can 🙂  I loved the hike and views of Multnomah Falls, and those of Mt. St. Helens are breath taking.  The dangers of these trails are apparent, but it feels good to push myself on terrain that I can’t find in Florida.  My Brother, the endless daredevil, never passes a chance to stand on the edge, nearly giving me heart failure.  I’m just thankful that he showed a lot of patience waiting for me to catch my breath, and we could share these experiences. 

Karen Weavers at the Portland Handweavers Guild

Karen Weavers at the Portland Handweavers Guild

While connecting with Linda Hendrickson via email just prior to leaving, she invited me over to her studio.  I couldn’t pass this invitation by.  While I would love to spend the day weaving with Linda, I’ll take a visit any day.  She also invited me to go with her to the Guild meeting with a long time friend of hers, Ladella.  They’re both very sweet, kind, and welcoming.  It was a pleasure connecting with these fine ladies.  The meeting focused on the Karen Weavers from the Burma-Thailand area that moved here from refugee camps.  A blend of art therapy, culture and beautiful textiles consumed our evening.  It was a pleasure to watch these ladies weave.  Linda and I had a chance to take a look at Ply Split Weaving, something I had given little thought to.  She made it look like fun, and showed me some fine examples of ply split braiding from other countries.  My only regret is that I didn’t get a photo with Linda and Ladella, I also forgot to bring any samples of my work to show Linda.

A cowl, perfect for the Pacific Northwest, for our gracious hostess

A cowl, perfect for the Pacific Northwest, for our gracious hostess

The Pendleton Mill and store is located in a beautiful area.  A stones throw from the Columbia River – Washougal isn’t getting its fair share of publicity.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to take the mill tour, but I spent a fair amount of time checking out all the woolen woven wonders inside.  I have to say, I knew they would be pricey, but I found much of it outside my budget 🙁 We were able to go to the Saturday Market in Portland, where I connected with a weaver.  Francisco Bautista is a fourth generation weaver from Oaxaca, Mexico.  The weavings reminded me a lot of Navajo weaving.  We couldn’t talk much since he was trying to run his booth, but he has a website.  My incessant need to keep my hands busy was met with a lovely cowl that I knitted with some wonderful yarn from Peru – a gift to our lovely and gracious hostess.  I had some time to knit a few washcloths too.  We also had a great craft day painting birdhouses, something new to me – Fun.

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A website devoted to learning, sharing and teaching a wide range of fiber arts. Inkle, Tablet and Navajo style weaving, Spinning, Knitting, Crochet, Sewing and Lace Making. Silver Work, Beading and Tool Making grace my bench as well.

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