November 2008 Archives

Rainy, muddy and fantastic


This weekend, we made a long overdue trip to the beach. It was a little cold (thought not too cold) a little rainy (no one here minds the rain) and foggy like you wouldn't believe.

Check out these shots.

Manzanita Oregon
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That's the same stretch of beach we almost always go to. We would have spent all day there, but the rip current was pretty strong and Thea is not the most buoyant dog around. Visions of her being pulled into the briny deep made us uneasy.

We thought the day might be shot, after about a half hour, but we decided to do a little hiking to make the long drive worth the while.

Off we went to Ecola State Park, where we had nearly the whole trail to ourselves. The fog made the view look like a fantasy.

Trail to Indian Beach in Ecola State Park

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By comparison, this is how it looked the first time we went.

But I think there's a pretty good reason why we had the whole trail to ourselves. By the end of the hike, the four of us were coated in mud.

Getting muddy on the trail
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We learned that Panda would make every effort to go around giant puddles of mud, while Thea would aim for them. Either way, there was no keeping clean, but we definitely appreciated Panda's efforts to stay clean.

We had to put the girls in the car, however we decided that a dip in the ocean before we leave would be much preferred to a bath, when we got home. So we headed back to Seaside and played a wee bit of fetch.


It was good to see their beautiful white coats again.

As we were clipping on everyone's leash, someone nearby said, "Did you see the elk?" and pointed to the hill ahead. I looked up and saw three little heads, just showing above the ledge. Leo had the the good sense to go put the dogs in the car, and I walked over to where a small crowd had formed, a safe distance from the herd.


We've seen our share of elk at the coast, but never this many at once. Such a great way to end a fantastic ocean trip.

Our day wasn't over with the ocean, though. My sweet guy treated me to a delicious meal to celebrate our 8 year anniversary.

It was a great meal, beautiful view and, of course, perfect company. And for the toast, he said "Here's to 8 years, 8 years more and nothing more."
Of course, I refused to toast to that nonsense, so he said, ok, well, what if we lay the second 8 on its side?"


There's a reason I keep him around.

It's a shame to have this lovely long weekend end, but it was great while it lasted.

Using Photoshop to color your sketches


Most images can be clicked to zoom.

Perhaps you need to submit sketches of a pattern for consideration in a publication, or maybe you are just designing for yourself and want to play with color combinations, regardless of your reasons, you don't need a full set of pencils and markers to colorize your drawings and if you use Photoshop, you change the colors over and over again, without having to do a new drawing. I'm going to cover some very simple techniques, that you can build upon to create your own style.

As with all my tutorials I want to make it clear that I'm not an expert, these are just some suggestions. I don't supply support for these methods and cannot offer instructions for older versions or open source alternatives to the program indicated. I am using Photoshop CS3 on a Mac, but will try to provide PC equivalents when I know them.

And, of course, if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments. I love learning new tips.

Start your sketch

You may download my original, unretouched sketch here, and play along at home. The final document is available here.

I generally do my sketches on paper. I'm not a fine artists, so I often use catalogs as reference for the way clothing drapes and the correct proportions for the human form. I don't like to actually trace images, because I think this looks too stiff. I prefer to just use the image as a visual reference and draw the images by hand. You should do what produces the best results for you.

In this case, I want to draw a skirt. I looked around online and found this cute number over at the Gap. I lightly drew my sketch with pencil then outlined only the most important features with a thick dark marker.

If you have a scanner, great, scan it. I have one but I generally just take a picture with my digital camera, like I have here. The lighting was atrocious that day, so the paper is pretty dark, but that's totally fine.

Now, open the image in Photoshop.

A knitter you might enjoy


You know that YouTube thing that's all the rage with the kids today -- the ones who won't pull their pants, up, turn their music down, and get off my lawn? Yah, well sometimes those kids make these talkies and they post them on the YouTube and a subset of those ain't half bad.

Whilst perusing one day, I found this delightful knitter. Actually, it was a while ago that I found her but she's only recently outed herself as a knitter, so, VOILA, it's now legit fodder for the knit blogger (poetic license in effect with that near-rhyme.)

So here she is, singer, song writer, ukulele player, and hat knitter, Julia Nunes

That was one of her own songs, but she does some beautiful covers as well.

Gone -- Ben Folds Five

Survivor -- Destiny's Child

Keep Fishin' -- Weezer

Adorable, no? Adorable, YES! And she's clearly talented.
Go check out all her videos here.

For over two weeks, two of my 3 feeds have not been updating in Bloglines, despite repeatedly contacting them for support. Google Reader would show updates and my feedburner feed that uses my primary feed, was updating in Bloglines (that's the 3rd feed) but the two directly out of my blog, were not updating.

I was sad.

I missed you guys.

So to any of you who haven't been by since before the election, welcome back. Sorry for the backlog.

To those of you who have had no problem getting my feed, well, here are a couple of shots from Thea's first trip to the beach back on April 29, 2007, for my your enjoyment.

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Aww, puppy.

Eggplanted in front of El Matchador


I can't get enough of this roving.

eggplanted card and singles.jpg

Love love love love love.


The colors are really rich and the way the two fibers (bamboo and merino) take up dye, produces a ton of depth in the singles. Also, I love purple.

eggplanted fatter singles.jpg

The first bobbin has about a sock weight singles on it. The second bobbin (currently in progress) has a much thinner singles, maybe lace weight. My plan is to ply the thick singles with two strands of the thin singles, fed from a center pull ball, though I might just do a single strand of each singles. I'm kind of on the line about it.

I love this colorway so much, it makes me sad I don't have more time to spin, but it's a nice little treat when I need to rest from my deadline work.

And since we're talking spinning, I thought I'd show you my pretty calendar from Spindlicity. Janel sent it to me along with my payment for the neck warmers I designed.

spindlicity calendar.jpg

This will be going up right next to my computer, in the office. It's a lovely reminder that El Matchador isn't my own spinning tool, in the house.



The new Twist Collective is up and I think you'll agree that it's a fantastic issue. There are so many great designs by so many great designers.

My own contribution is Dietrich


Photos copyright Caroline Bergeron All Rights Reserved

Layout by Twist collective.

Dietrich is a simple felted cloche with a subtle, asymmetrical brim. When I told Kate I really wanted to adorn it with a feather, she said it was a great idea and said she had just the feather, if I hadn't picked one out already. I think she did an amazing job styling it. I love it.

The only problem with designing felted items is that you can't know if you got it just right until it's too late to undo what you've done.

The hat starts big and floppy

dietrich1_pre felting.jpg

The first version had a VERY dramatic brim, which is fun, but not as practical, so I knit a second version, that you see in the pattern shots, and kept the original to play with.

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Using a simple back stitch, I embroidered some vines around the brim. I found a ribbon that picked up the shades of the embroidery and added that as well. I think it's cute and I'll definitely find more excuses to embroider on knitting.

Dietrich not your thing? There's oodles of great content over in the winter edition, so go on over and check it out.

I finished spinning the One Wild Night roving I got from Mary-Kay last year. The 4 ounces yielded approximately 500 yards of 3-ply worsted weight yarn that I'm knitting up into a long skinny scarf. I will probably also make a pair of mittens to go with them, time permitting, and if I'm really motivated, a little hat to boot.

But first things first, the scarf:


The piece is worked in linen stitch which is worked kind of like ribbing, only every other stitch is slipped. This results in a lovely soft transition between rows, as the color from the previous row is carried up into the next row, every other stitch. I thought that would be perfect for yarn that already had fairly subtle gradations between colors. This stitch would also work great in something like Noro.

scarf colors.jpg

The final fabric has a woven look on the right side and a sort of seed stitch look on the wrong side. The seed stitch really highlights the unevenness of the handspun which might bother some people, but I'm going to consider it "charming" and "rustic."

I'll probably work a little i-cord edging around the piece to even off the edges, or maybe single crochet. I haven't decided.

Of course, the knitting pictures are boring without a certain you-know-what. This is for my friend Erica who always chastises me for draping stuff on Panda's head.

panda and scarf.jpg panda and scarf 2.jpg

Oh you can all just shush, she got so many kisses after that, she hardly remembers the embarrassment.

And seriously, look at what the rest of her life is like:


Yah, life is tough, around here.

With all that I have on my plate, it doesn't leave too much time for other projects, but I did start some more roving on El Matchador.


This is the absolutely exquisite bamboo/merino from Blue Moon, in colorway, Eggplanted. I kind of want to marry this roving. And yah, that's Thea's blurry butt in the shot. She's just checking to make sure there's plenty of dog hair on the floor. Wouldn't want to run out.

The Ministry of Silly Walks


It's the rainy season here in Portland. Like all other weather, the girls consider it perfect for a trip to the ocean. Who are we to disagree? It was chilly, overcast, but with unexpected patches of blue clear sky.


With such unpredictable weather we had almost the entire beach to ourselves.


The tide was really high but shallow


A little slice of heaven.

How does the most graceful and demure puppy respond? With grace of course. She appears wise:


Holds her head high


And she keeps all four feet planted firmly on the ground


But Thea wasn't the only one expressing herself.


Today topped out at about 54 F/12 C, not exactly bikini weather.


Yah, that about covers it.

See all the pictures here.

With all due respect



And, um, hells yah.

We went out and celebrated last night. Here's us having dinner.


After this, I may, possibly, have run through the streets of downtown Portland, screaming the name of our new president elect.

Maybe ;)


If you haven't yet, you should


Oregon is entirely vote by mail, so I've already sent in my ballot. For those of you who haven't yet voted, please do. I realize that not everyone who reads my site will be supporting the democratic ticket, but I certainly am.

And with that said, I'm nervously optimistic.

These charts from, November 3, 2008.

Waiting to see how this all unfolds is nerve wracking. Here's hoping the decision is clear, long before I head to bed on Tuesday.

But I digress.

Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote.

A happy Halloween


Some years, we put a lot of thought into dressing up for Halloween and some years, we just wing it. This year was mostly the latter.

Leo went a little Clockwork Orange, thought without the fencing outfit.

halloween-1 halloween-2

I went standard issue goth.

It was a little deja vu, taking me back to my very late teens and early twenties, when I'd get all dressed for dancing at Man Ray in Boston.

For Leo, we did the eyelashes, around one eye.


Then I rimmed both eyes with lots of black eyeliner and shadow. By the end, he and Thea were looking pretty matchy matchy


The end result:

Yah, he's pretty darn cute.

From there, we had some wine and coffee at Gilt.

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Then some dancing and general people watching at Embers.

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We tried to check out a few other clubs but the lines were so long that we settled on filling our tummies with a few munchies at the Living Room Theater, instead.

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A seriously fun night.

See all the pictures here.

Hope your Halloween was filled with lots of fun too.

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